Thursday, 5 April 2018

FOLLOW ME AROUND AUSTRALIA: STOP 1, PERTH (WA)

So, I’ve been thinking. For someone who's travelled a considerable amount, it is slightly shameful that this is my first travel post.

In fact, I took an entire year out – the classic gap yah – devoted to working and travelling. I am planning to write a lil’ review of each place I’ve visited so far, including the best bits, hints and tips I can remember.

This week, I am heading down under to Australia and taking you with me; to explore the land of exotic palm trees, kangaroos, koalas, and bomb-ass coffee. Honestly, the coffee is enlightening over there, which unfortunately makes all British coffee sub-par. C’mon England, let’s improve our coffee game, please.

Just sayin'
I realise that Australia, an entire continent, is a rather large undertaking for my first travel post, so I’m going to break it down chronologically.

I went to Oz for three months in April-July 2016 (which I cannot believe is already coming up two years ago) and managed to catch five flights and take multiple ten-hour coach rides. So, it makes sense to just take you on the exact route I took – minus the sweaty coach rides – and chat about my experiences in each place. Yep, expect lots of detail!

Come fly with meeeee… Let’s fly, let’s fly awaaaaay…

STOP 1 PERTH:

How George Travelled

I travelled with Emirates airline. Emirates on-board staff went out of their way to make me feel comfortable throughout the flight, constantly checking I wasn't in need of anything; another blanket or refreshment. Shout out to one of their accommodatable staff who noticed that I was uneasy on landing -- not because of the plane, just because I am nervy on landing -- and reassured me that I was going to be OK. It was the first time I had travelled abroad by myself so, naturally, I was a little apprehensive.

I did a seven-hour flight from London to Dubai and then an eleven-hour flight from Dubai to Perth. After twenty-hours of travelling or more, you don’t really take much in, except the cosy bed waiting for you on the other side, and the slightly warmer climate. 

Where George Stayed

Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry at all about accommodation in Perth as I have close family that live out there. I was centred a bus ride away from Perth city which was great, everything was easily accessible.

What George Did

If I’m honest, Perth is more of a family place to visit rather than a tourist spot. Perhaps I got that impression because I was living in the suburbs with my family, but I made some friends out there too who asked me why I was in Perth and what I’d been doing(!) However, I did manage to find some great places to go and some fantastic places to visit.


Mandurah is a city under an hour South of Perth. There, you can go on a beautiful river cruise, gawp at the pricey but gorgeous estuary houses, and catch the river dolphins’ jumping in the engine-created waves.

I think I cried when I saw dolphins for the first time. I remember my heart fluttering and my head going tingly – I don’t know about you but I am amazed by sea mammals, they’re so intelligent and adorable!

Mandurah also has lovely handmade gift shops and they sell amazing fish and chips. It's perfect for a day trip.


I wanted to do the “swim with wild dolphins” experience whilst I was out in Oz, but I wanted to ensure I did it in a cruelty-free way. Rockingham’s Wild Encounter experience allows you to do just that. It is a full day trip hosted by knowledgeable sea life hosts; they drive you out to Rockingham, get you wet-suited up (a very attractive look, I must say) and boat you out to the dolphin hot-spots.

You are given snorkelling equipment and are told when to dunk your head under. I can’t explain the pure excitement and adrenaline rush you get seeing ten bottlenose dolphins circling half a metre below you. You can hear their echo-communication under the water and some get so close; they just want to play with you. They are literally like puppies… without fur. And you get to do this about five or six times, depending on how long it takes the crew to find them.

The best part is, the dolphins are totally wild and it is their choice to come to interact with the crew. However, as it is a totally wild encounter, you are taking a risk knowing that they may not appear. This is rare, and I think the company state that they re-schedule for another date if this happens. So, you’re guaranteed dolphins! Smiles all round.

Embracing the sexy snorkel look. 

That's me, snorkelling above a bottlenose beauty <3

The sweetest snorkelling group!

awww, they so happy.

Caversham Wildlife Park homes kangaroos, wombats, snakes, koalas and many more animals. You can feed the kangaroos – which was one of my favourite parts – and hold a snake; don’t worry, it is all animal-friendly and safe to do. The wildlife experts there are super knowledgeable and you can snap up some hilarious pictures too.


Hey there.
My uncle slowly realised that I was actually a child still... (he didn't enjoy the wombat as much as me).


Rottnest is an absolute must if you're in WA. You can get there by ferry and once you're there, the island is completely yours to explore. On the island live unique little animals called quokkas. They literally look like overfed squirrels -- so cute. 

You can rent a bike (it's the best way to get around the island), swim in the ocean, snorkel at Salmon Bay, eat calorific pancakes at the cafe, tour the lighthouse, and watch the sunset go down to finish the day! I think I slept for twelve hours that night, but it was so worth it. 

The dreamiest breakfast *heart eyes*

Views like this all day. 

The lighthouse!
Salt lakes -- they are gorgeous but smell horrendous, honestly, I wouldn't recommend going for a dip.

You guessed it, QUOKKA ATTACK! How cute are they?
King’s Park

Walking around Perth city makes you realise two things: 1) everyone is fit and healthy – you will never see so many people jogging, cycling, playing badminton… it’s just an active city. 2) They take good care of keeping the city clean! Which is so pleasant – a little luxury that I almost forgot about when I came back to dirty old London.

King’s Park definitely represents these two findings; the park boasts a gorgeous view of Perth’s cityscape and has its own botanical garden. There are really cute volunteers that do free tours of the botanical plants – I admit, I only lasted two plant explanations before I snuck off for a cup of to-die-for coffee, but if you’re into gardening then it might be your thing!

Reems of runners...


preettttyy
Nightlife

Again, as I was staying with family I wasn’t exploring much of the night-life. I did manage to go clubbing once… but I have no recollection of where I went. Just that there was definitely a 24 hour McDonald's... that’s not helpful, George, every city has a 24 hour McDonalds.** 

Note: I travelled with an iPhone 5, so the picture quality isn't great but I thought it was better to include them anyway. Hope you enjoyed my first travel post! 

** I have just been reminded by my friend there, the club was called Capitol... his exact words were: "That's the beauty of Capitol, you never remember it!" -- take that as you will!

Love, George x x
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