Australia⎜Where to start your trip ?
Starting to travel, yes but where to start ?
"Travel". The word itself brings us to much afterthought. Where to go ? What’s there to see ? How to get ready ? And the question’s list is not short. Looking for the most incredible place in the world, your next destination, whether it be an unforgettable vacation or part of your great adventure as a world explorer. You spend hours and hours looking for something online, reading hundreds of Facebook pages, asking your friends and even finishing to spend all your money buying all the new travel magazines. Yet you don’t know where to go. And no one will blame you, the world is big and full of unmissable places !
As far as we are concerned with Arthur, we have chosen to start our "great adventure" by an extraordinary country : Australia.
Right after our studies, in 2015, we decided to leave France for this full year long journey.
Why Australia ?
We think like most of people who want to leave France or who have already left for this country, Working Holiday Visa in your pocket, the first reason was to improve our English level. We're not going to go back to that, but it's true that we're really bad in language in France 😬
Anyway. It was a purely thoughtful decision. But you may be wondering "why not England, Canada or the United States? It's true, England is so much easier !".
You know, we like challenges. And for our first trip we wanted to set the level high and not have this opportunity to return to France if we had any issue or a little bad mood. Trying to cope yourself and without speaking English : challenge raised !
After choosing the country, we had to find the city where to land and in which to start our new life. To be honest, we hesitated a long time between Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Sydney was obviously not on the list because we had heard that a big French community is living there. And our aim (do not forget it) was to improve our English.
So we had to make a choice, and landed in Perth.
Perth, the city to choose
For several years now, Australia has been a famous destination, especially for students and young graduated people with the creation of the Working Holiday Visa for under 30s.
But most people decide to take a flight and follow their dream of “the great Australian adventure” by going straight to the East Coast which is well known with its incredible and unmissable places. And we can understand ! What we usually see on television or online about Australia are the heavenly beaches of the Whitsundays, Sydney the magnificent or the great barrier reef next to Cairns.
So we wondered "why not the West Coast ?"
It is true that this part of Australia recalls the "outback" and the “bush” with deserts and thousands of kilometers in between each city. Most of the time we hear only about shark attacks or devastating fires around Perth.
We will therefore deny what everyone thinks : the West Coast of Australia is not only the city of Perth and deserts 😉
Perth (and its 80 suburbs) is the largest city in the Western Australia state and the fourth largest city in Australia.
From the moment we arrived, we felt a sense of well-being and a smoothing atmosphere. The city is human-sized and easy to locate. Shops, cafes, gardens, terraces ... we loved walking around and discovering hidden places. We also loved this very present nature with Kings Park, a huge garden stucks in the city center.
This spot is perfect to watch the sunset on buildings facades in the CBD.
We also liked people. With our bad english level when we arrived, they helped us and escorted us for our first steps with this smile and that constant cheerfulness. It's crazy, but for a first city / experience abroad, it changed us a lot from France ! We felt that people were happy and lived only for one thing : having a good time.
Perth is a city that can suit everyone as so many different activities exist. Naturally, we have tested everything : days spent at Cottesloe and Scarborough Beaches, Northbridge bars and nightclubs, hiking the surrounding islands such as Penguin Island, or shopping in the CBD.
We would definitely recommend (if you do not know in which city to land in) to settle in Perth for a while to interfere with these Western Australians and actually feel good.
We will return to Australia, and Perth will definitely be a faithful pass.
What to do in Perth ?
For those who are lucky enough to go there or even the chance to go there one day, here is a list of the "must-do" in and around Perth :
1- Stroll through the cafes, rooftop bars, along the river, with delicious drinks and amazing cakes
2- Relax on the beautiful beaches of City Beach, Cottesloe Beach, Scarborough Beach, and Trigg Beach
3- Watch the sunset on Trigg Beach (our favorite!)
4- Learn to surf in Scarborough Beach
5- Take an excursion to Penguin Island (30 minutes from Perth), go around the island walking or kayaking and try to find penguins!
6- Have fun getting selfies with Heirisson Island's hyper-friendly kangaroos
7- Discover the fantastic old town of Fremantle, south of Perth, with its hippie atmosphere and hidden bars
8- Then, participate in a Beach Party until 9am in the south of Fremantle (not necessarily legal but so fun!)
9- Picnic on the heights of Mosman Park with a breathtaking view of the city and its river
10- Try to spot a dolphin in Mandurah (1 hour driving south from Perth), best spot to see dolphins
11- Make an Australian BBQ with the perfect combo beer/sausage/music near the beach
12- Find old vinyls in the trendy Subiaco district
13- Watch a beautiful sunset over the city of Perth from the top of Kings Park
14- Enjoy the many bars and the nightlife in Northbridge
15- Escape to Rottnest Island for the day for biking, diving and see quokkas
This list may require to be completed by your comments 🙂
And Perth is not the only place on the west coast that deserves to be visited. A few kilometers from the city, direction North, South or East, activities are very varied. We went on a 4X4 in the dunes of Two Rocks and Lancelin, strolled in the stylish Mandurah neighborhoods and camped in the bush near Wave Rock.
To go further, on weekends or holidays, we went down south to Margaret River. A completely unique place with vineyards as far as the eye can see, beaches and perfect waves (Arthur was so happy !) and more than adorable citizens.
We told you, Perth is the perfect city and the wilderness that fits all states of mind and all travelers styles.
After spending four months enjoying every places in Perth, we left for our first 4WD road trip along the west coast, going up to Darwin. And to be honest, it was the adventure of our life ! Sleeping on the beach, feeding dolphins, swimming with whale sharks, climbing cliffs and crossing 800 kilometers of desert (yes, we spoil a bit), was an unforgettable experience !
We tell you everything about this in the next article 🙂
This city is an incredible destination where you can be yourself and have your own life style by being always satisfied. You can go to this city with your eyes closed. Whether it’s your first great adventure on the other side of the world or just for a short vacation. Either it’s as a backpacker sleeping in hostels or as a worker or an Au Pair in a family that will surely quickly become yours. Let yourself be tempted by this part of Australia and become a member of this Australian culture, fun and cheerfulness.
And you, when will you go to Australia ? Have you ever been to Perth ?
Any questions ? Do not hesitate to comment below.
And do not forget to share this article, that may interest your friends 🙂
Cheers, Claire and Arthur