NORTH COAST AND VALLEYS
Distance from Perth CBD 130km
BEST FOR: Adventure Seekers
Grab breakfast at the local favourite, Le Croissant du Moulin (169 Railway Road, Gooseberry Hill), which serves amazing French pastries and one of the best almond croissants we’ve tasted outside of Paris. Beware: the cafe accepts cash only. Next, drop by the Zig Zag Cultural Centre (50 Railway Road, Kalamunda) to pick up any maps you might need (mobile reception is patchy), and while you’re in Kalamunda, check out the cute little shops in town. Hit the road and take a scenic drive through the Bickley Valley/Pickering Brook wine region. Drop by the wineries to sample the region’s pinots and cab savs, and don’t forget to visit Myattsfield (Union Road, Carmel) for a taste of their wine sorbet! Cider more your thing? Head to Core Cider House (35 Merrivale Road, Pickering Brook) for a lunch on the verandah overlooking the orchard and rolling hills beyond. Bookings are essential. OK, time to get active! Call on the Calamunnda Camel Farm (361 Paulls Valley Road, Paulls Valley) and experience a camel ride, book a mountain-bike tour with Rock ‘n’ Roll Mountain Biking (located at the same venue) to explore the Munda Biddi Trail, or take a bushwalk along the beginning of the world-famous Bibbulmun Track. Before sunset, head to Lesmurdie Falls or the Zig Zag Scenic Lookout to experience the best views of the metro area. On a clear day, you can see all the way from Hillarys in the north, Rockingham in the south, and as far west as Rottnest Island. Now turn your gaze to the heavens – until April or May, you can book in a Star Viewing Tour at the Perth Observatory and be dazzled by the WA night sky.
Tempted to stay an extra day?
If you’re visiting on a weekend, then explore the Kalamunda Farmers Market on Sunday morning to sample some locally grown, seasonal produce, as well as breakfast. Otherwise, grab breakfast at the funky Haynes Street Larder (2a Haynes Street, Kalamunda). Adrenalin junkie? Checkout Statham’s Quarry and book an abseiling adventure if you’re brave! Otherwise, spend the morning relaxing and beautifying at Annasha Day Spa (120 Williams Street, Gooseberry Hill), or take a scenic drive down Mundaring Weir Road to Mundaring Weir, and visit the No.1 Pump Station for a bit of history (open only on weekends). Hungry again? Stop off at the Mundaring Weir Hotel (Mundaring Weir Road and Hall Road, Mundaring) for some lunch, and soak up the picturesque surroundings. While you’re there, walk across the road to the Mundaring Weir Gallery. Then spend the afternoon at Lake Leschenaultia. Hire a canoe, go for a swim, and wish the trip would never end.
3 things you didnt know about the North Coast and Valleys
1. Solitude is a beachside mansion in Lancelin, complete with a helipad and a hefty pricetag of $3430 per night. Richard Branson and racecar driver Daniel Ricciardo are rumoured to have stayed there.
2. Over $6 million worth of rock lobsters are harvested from the ocean around Lancelin. Recreational fishermen are allowed to catch eight lobsters a day. Visit fish.wa.gov.au for more information.
3. Until the late 1940s/early 1950s, most of the towns between Seabird and Cervantes were considered closed towns where only bona fide fishermen were able to obtain land. Wedge Island is now the only ‘shack village’ where fishermen can live.
Top activity for families
The Maze Family Fun Park (1635 Neaves Road, Bullsbrook) is home to six mazes, Outback Splash waterpark and a wildlife park filled with koalas, kangaroos, emus and exotic birds.
Other Awesome Road Trips from Perth
HIGHLIGHTS Checking out the living stromatolites – the world’s oldest organisms – at Lake Thetis; spotting emus at the otherworldly Pinnacles Desert; and soaking up the coastal views from wildflower-covered Mt Lesueur.
HIGHLIGHTS Paddling along the Murray River; mountain biking along the forested Munda Biddi Trail; camping at Lane Pool Reserve.
HIGHLIGHTS Soaking up the history of Western Australia’s oldest inland town; visiting the York Mill’s gallery and bistro; and skydiving over the Avon Valley.
HIGHLIGHTS Exploring the monastic town’s Spanish- style buildings; sampling
the locally made olive oil, beer, port and bread; and joining in on the prayers with the monks.
HIGHLIGHTS Spotting sea lions at Penguin Island; lazing on the beach; kayaking around Seal Island.