They say Perth is one of the world’s most isolated cities but you don’t have to travel far from the city for a stylish weekend away. Take your pick of pristine beaches, heritage towns or world-class wineries, grab the keys and go.
A trip to York is like stepping back in time. Less than 90 minutes' drive from Perth lies Western Australia’s very first inland town – York was settled in 1831 and close to 150 heritage buildings still stand today.
So if you’re visiting, it’s only right to stay at one of the state’s oldest-surviving colonial mansions. First built as a family home in the 1840s and now listed with Australia’s National Trust, Faversham House has been reimagined as a high-end boutique hotel set on two hectares of heritage gardens.
The hotel is just a short walk from town, where you can be charmed by a stroll down the historic main street, stop for high tea at The Olive Branch or take in a sunset atop the Mt Brown lookout.
This tiny beach town 120 kilometres from Perth is the perfect place to check in and check out – with a population of just over 200 people, you won’t have to worry about sharing the beach with crowds.
And when you get hungry? Head 20 minutes up the road to the nearby town of Lancelin, where you can dine on delightfully fresh lobster at the Lobbster Trap Café or enjoy oysters with a view of the ocean from the Lancelin Beach Hotel.
Swan Valley Wineries
You don’t need to journey all the way to the Margaret River to experience WA’s world-class wine culture. Just a half-hour drive from Perth is Swan Valley, home to more than 40 wineries, six boutique breweries and distilleries, plus dozens more gourmet restaurants and cafés.
Upper Reach Winery even offers visitors the chance to stay on-site at its vineyard cottage, which comes equipped with spa bath and log fire for cosy nights in. After a day of sampling the grapes, you can grab a bottle, pick up some cheese and head back to your home away from home to watch the sun set over the vines. There’s just one cottage on the whole eight-hectare vineyard so you’ll have the whole place to yourself.
There's a lot that's unusual about New Norcia. Not only is it Australia's sole monastic town, it's also full of Mediterranean architecture, a style that looks particularly out of place in WA's wheatbelt region, 130 kilometres inland from Perth.
You could rent a room at the monastery but we’re guessing you’d rather stay in style at the neo-classical New Norcia Hotel, where you can sip wine on the verandah or dine at the on-site restaurant. To really soak up New Norcia’s peculiar history, sign up for one of the daily town tours for a guided look at the Baroque, Gothic revival, Byzantine and Renaissance buildings nestled in the bush.
Although it only require a mini road trip from Perth’s CBD, Fremantle has all the right ingredients for a luxe weekend away. Stay in style at the boutique Hougoumont Hotel, where you can make new friends at one of the nightly cheese and wine events in the lobby. But don’t fill up too much – just around the corner is Manuka Woodfire Kitchen, where chef Kenny McHardy prepares locally sourced produce over the flame for dinner Tuesday to Saturday.
Sleep in, then enjoy the Middle Eastern flavours of Propeller, Freo’s best breakfast spot. And if you’re still hungry? Duck over to Sweetwater for a drink on the rooftop and one of their signature Asian-inspired share plates