Cocktails at glamorous hotels, swimming alongside whale sharks and an island dotted with kangaroos. Qantas travellers share highlights from their recent trips to Australia’s west coast.
“For cocktails with a fabulous view, travel to level 18…” - Drishti Nanwani, Silver Frequent Flyer
“I have family in Perth so I visit regularly but this was my partner’s first trip so, of course, we visited Rottnest Island. We took the hop-on, hop-off bus around the island and saw a shipwreck and met several quokkas – it was a real highlight.
“Back in the city, we spent time at Elizabeth Quay and visited a great restaurant and microbrewery called The Island, which you reach by crossing a bridge. For cocktails with a fabulous view, go to 18 Knots, a rooftop bar on level 18 of the Doubletree by Hilton Perth Waterfront. The Rooftop at QT Perth also has incredible city skyline views.
“We did a daytrip to Black Diamond Lake (above), just an hour and a half south of Perth. It’s actually an abandoned mine site that was decommissioned in the 1950s and it’s been a popular swimming spot ever since. The water is beautifully clear and you can set up a picnic and make a day of it.”
“There’s an island covered in kangaroos in the middle of Perth” - Tom Lovegrove, Platinum Frequent Flyer
“Once a year I return to my hometown, Perth, with my holiday starting in the Qantas Domestic Business Lounge at Sydney airport. There are a few things I do on each visit, including watching the sunset from Cottesloe Beach. I also hire a bike and ride around Rottnest Island, observing the playful quokkas and relaxing on the beaches like Little Salmon Bay (above). Back in the city, Kings Park is one of the best places for a stroll; the Western Australian Botanic Garden overlooks the whole CBD.
“Every time I return there’s something new to discover. On my most recent trip, I stumbled upon Chu Bakery, which is spectacular. I can understand why people queue for their pastries; I managed to get a raspberry croissant and it was super fresh.
“My sister took me to Heirisson Island in the Swan River. In all my years living in Perth, I never knew there was an island with kangaroos living on it in the middle of the city!
“My family and I had a weekend escape in Margaret River. While I didn’t manage to visit any wineries on this trip, I did pick up some excellent Giniversity Sriracha Gin from Margaret River Distilling Company.”
“It was like being in a real-life aquarium” - Monique Farmer, Bronze Frequent Flyer
“I flew Qantas from Sydney to Exmouth (via Perth) for a five night group trip to Ningaloo Reef. We headed south from the airport to Cape Range National Park where a private campsite was set up right next to the beach. Each day followed a similar pattern: wake up, have breakfast, then paddle up and down the fringing reef, stopping to snorkel from our kayaks.
“Within the first five minutes of day one we saw a dugong, then a green turtle darted under my kayak and I spotted a dolphin fin – it was like being in a real-life aquarium. Then there are the whale sharks! You get to swim alongside them – you must book a boat tour – and the whole time you’re wondering, ‘How are you so big?’
“The contrast of the bright blue water with the red rock of the neighbouring national park is magnificent. In the afternoons, we’d hike to Yardie Creek or Mandu Mandu Gorge and see beautiful rock wallabies and after, we would come back and have a glass of wine while watching the sun set. It’s one of the most stunning parts of the world I’ve ever visited.”