Two years ago, I saw a tour advertisement to Australia from a travel agency on the newspaper. I thought that going to travel in Australia wouldn’t be cheap. Occasionally, AirAsia released the ZERO FARE SEAT Sale nine months ago. Of course, both of us would not pass up this opportunity to go travel again. So, without a second thought, he said we would go to the Perth and I immediately nodded my head.
After checking the return trip flight, it would only cost RM 500 (= 167 SGD) per pax to go Australia. We randomly selected the dates knowing that we wouldn’t want to miss out on this cheap flight. Shortly, we decided our couple trip to Perth. It then became a 4 person trip where the other two decided to join us. Their flight tickets were a bit more expensive because they bought it later.
Immediately after we bought the flight ticket, we found that it was difficult to find a complete itinerary to Perth on the internet. Fortunately, we managed to find some Travel Itinerary on Facebook about 3 months before the trip and it really helped us a lot in planning the trip. Honestly, we both are kinda lazy person to do research and we just booked the camper van & AirBnB 2 months before the trip.
It can go up to 23 degree Celsius in the morning and go down to 4 degree at night. Sometimes you will see a warm and bright sunny day while sometimes the strong cold wind can make your body shiver so hard. In Perth, it gets dark as early as 5:30pm like 7:30pm in Malaysia. In fact, it goes completely dark at 6pm. Most shops are closed after 6pm so you won’t easily find any entertainment or thing to do.
For us, we went back to the campsite to cook for ourselves. It’s still early even after we finished our dinner and bath. So we normally slept quite early when in Perth and need not worry about not having enough time to rest.
🚗Why Road Trip and Why renting Camper Van
While many travel bloggers say that most of the attraction spots are far away from each other in Perth, we initially wanted to just stay and hang around in the Perth City. But then we knew both of us are nature lovers, so eventually we decided to rent a Camper Van to go around the Perth! We love this kind of relaxing journey as we don’t have to rush to the attraction spot nor be hassled by taking public transport. We literally changed our itinerary several times during the journey, thought about only going to the Northern part of Perth, or vice versa. In the end, we unbelievably went both part as well as the center.
In fact, we did enough research of the trip beforehand, we just don’t like to rush and check in. In our opinion, traveling is meant to be relaxing, so we wouldn’t really mind if we have no enough time and had to skip some places. However, we’ve still got enough time to travel the whole Perth from North to South.
If you would like to go outskirts of Perth, you will need to rent a car. We opted the Camper Van for its convenience because campsite is everywhere in Perth and it could save you a lot of accommodation fees! You can rent a Camper Van from Apollo or Britz. We chose the former one because it’s more popular and we would get 10% discount if we stayed in the campsite of BIG4 or Holiday Park company.
Usually, we would find the nearest campsite in our journey without booking in advance. In fact, I personally think it’s not necessary to reserve the campsite in advance as long as you reach the campsite by 9pm. This is because one of the campsites told us they wouldn’t accept customer after 9pm.
Regarding the driving license, you need not go to JPJ to apply international driving license as long as your driving license has been renewed. Driving in Australia is most likely the same as driving in Malaysia because they drive on the left side of the road while the vehicles have the steering wheel on the right side. During the collection of camper van, the rental company will require your credit card and driving. So if anything like being summoned happens to your booked camper van, they will deduct the amount from your credit card.
When driving, always remember to obey the traffic rules in Australia, otherwise you will be fined. I saw a blogger saying that he got a speeding ticket after going back to his home country while just exceeding 10 km/h from the maximum speed limit indeliberately. So, OBEY the rules. If you happen to drive in the outskirts at night, be sure to have clear sight at the surroundings because there is no street lamp there. In fact, you can hardly see a moving vehicles there after 6pm because everywhere would be so dark. Sometimes, the kangaroos will come out of nowhere. You wouldn’t want to crash into a kangaroo at night.
Petrol filling: The prices vary in different petrol station. It would be more expensive in the outskirts but we didn’t fill the petrol in the city on purpose. We just filled it when the tank was empty. It’s not easy to find a petrol station in the outskirts. Sometimes we couldn’t find a petrol station after driving for more than 100 km.
Day 1 (10/6)
After touching down safely at Perth Airport, the first thing we did was to buy the SIM Card. We chose the Vodafone AUD20 because it offered 8GB of Mobile Data, unlimited local call & SMS in 7 Days. The truth is, we only used not more than 2.5 GB in the whole journey because there’s nearly no network in the outskirts. Most of the time we used the offline map I had downloaded on my Smartphone. So, be wise to install offline map beforehand to avoid getting into troubles when you find no network to connect to online map. It’s very useful.
After getting SIM card, we went for camper van collection. If I’m not mistaken, there are four terminals in Perth Airport. We landed in the T1 and then we took the airport shuttle bus transfer to T3 and asked the airport staff about the exact location of the rental company. To be honest, I can hardly understand their English because my English isn’t good. Luckily, my travel buddy was good at English so he was able to understand everything the staff said.
Bus 40 to Before GT Eastern Highway = AUD 2.1 per pax, then Bus 295 to Appollo office = AUD 3 per pax
We had no enough small change so the bus driver asked us to pay for 3 person fare. How good he is! After alighting from bus, we walked for 1.1 km to reach the Appollo Office, then the we encountered another nice person who saw us with full of baggage and offered to gave us a lift to our destination. We didn’t think much but hopped on his car. In the car, we thought he would request for some money from us. But then we realized we were wrong. He said he was going to visit his mum and then he saw us taking many heavy luggages so he genuinely wanted to send us without any return. After sending us to the Appollo office, we thanked him for his kindness.
We then collected our Camper Van and departed to Midland Gate – Coles to get some groceries. Then we headed north to the first attraction spot, Nambung National Park (Pinnacle).
At night, we stayed at the Horrocks Beach Caravan Park. We reached the campsite at around 8pm but the host seemed to fall asleep. So, we followed the instruction at the front door and rang the bell twice. The host looked kind of fierce but actually welcomed us kindly and told us where to park our camper van. He then told us he needed to get some sleep because it’s a bit late and would talk to us in the next morning.
Traveled Distance: 530 km (We obliviously drove for such distance on the first day!)
Day 2 (11/6)
Early morning, we departed to the Pink Lake. Along the way, we noticed that the Pink Lake was just right beside us on the highway, but we could find no ways getting in until we decided to stop our car at the pathway and go in on foot. The path was a bit bumpy but I can see the trace was walked by somebody else before us. We followed the trace and went in. We were afraid of the appearance of snakes or existence of traps so we really tiptoed very carefully. Our only target was the Pink Lake so we only traveled towards its direction until the Pink Lake appeared in front of us. The lake was stunningly beautiful and it looked more pinkish with sunlight. When there’s no sunlight it looked less pinky so I recommend you to go on the big sunny day!
After the Pink Lake, we rushed to the Kalbarri Visitor Centre. In fact, before we went there, we read a travel blog saying that the visitor centre will be closed temporarily and private vehicles cannot drive in. So all you can do is to follow the tour guide. I thought I was about to witness the famous Kalbarri National Park but the tour happened to be fully booked. Only thing we could do was to join the next morning tour. If we did so, we had to delay the itinerary for one day. In the end, we decided to pass up the tour and went into the visitor centre to grab a Kalbarri map and go to every attraction spots by ourselves, such as the Pot Alley, Eagle Gorge, Island Rock and the Natural Bridge.
At night, we stayed at the Jurien Bay Tourist Park campsite. Same as the day before, we reached the campsite at 8 something so we had to disturb the host from sleep again.
Traveled Distance: 550 km
Day 3 (12/6)
We initially just wanted to go around somewhere near our campsite, and then we unexpected reached the Harbour and encountered 3 dolphins. We were so excited to take a video of them playing in water and they happened to be so close to us. Afterwards, we headed to Lancelin Sand dunes. Maybe I had seen the similar sand dunes in Vietnam, so I actually wasn’t too impressed by the view from Lancelin. It’s just that Lancelin in Perth has wider and brighter white sand dunes.
Due to the blowing sand that would possibly go into our naked eyes, we went off after taking some nice photos. We went to the next place, Caversham Wildlife Park, to see the Kangaroo and Koala.
Entrance fee is AUD 28 and you will get a close encounter with the kangaroo and koala. There are some shows you can enjoy in the Wildlife Park as well. The park closes at 5:30pm. We spent our night at the Bunberry Discovery Park Village, a very special triangular penthouse.
Traveled Distance: 430 km
Day 4 (13/6)
We headed south to Albany, passed through the Busselton Jetty and went to visit the Ngilgi Cave. Well, the Cave wasn’t free for entrance and the entrance fee wasn’t cheap. Plus I’m personally not so into cave so we only hanged around there outside the cave. Afterwards, we went to the Margaret River Chocolate Company to taste Chocolate, to Bettenays – Margaret River Nougat Company to try out the Nougat, to Candy Cow and to visit the Yahava Koffeeworks. The Voyager Estate Winery is also notable for its wine as well as its interior design.
We stayed the fourth night at the Turner Caravan Park. We once again reached the campsite later than 6pm so the host wasn’t at the reception. So, we followed the instruction and the map to find a parking lot and we would pay the campsite the next morning. Actually, we wanted to stay in Hamelin, but it was raining in that campsite so we felt a bit scary and dangerous so we decided to go to another campsite.
Traveled Distance: 210 km
Day 5 (14/6)
Entrance fee to Leewin Light house is AUD 8 per pax. You can only take photos at the first storey of the Light House and are not allowed to go upstairs.
Unfortunately, the cold wind was to strong to cause us the earache so we didn’t stay long. We then moved on to the Tree Top Walk for its scenic natural views. Then we headed to Greens Pool, a place to enjoy the seaview.
If you’ve got no enough time, you may skip the Greens Pool.
Then, we traveled to the Wind Farm to see the windmill. We reached there at 5pm and it’s getting dark. We were too rushed that we felt like chasing the time. Of course, it was totally dark when we reached the top which was just 100 meters away from where we stopped our car. We still could be able to listen to the sound when the windmill was spinning. We couldn’t take any photos though. When we were about to go down, we saw two cars trying to going uphill to see the windmill as well but they didn’t stay more than 5 seconds because it was too dark to see anything.
The campsite we stayed that day was the Middleton Beach Holiday Park. It was by far the most luxury and beautiful campsite we stayed.
Traveled Distance: 430 km
Day 6 (15/6)
When we reached the Wind Farm the day before, it was too dark for us to catch any nice photos. But we were so eager to go Wind Farm once again in the morning to take some scenic view photos. Unluckily, our camera was faulty that day and we could only take photos with our phone camera. The Strawberry Hill opened at 10am but we reached there earlier than that. So we just casually walked outside though it’s really nothing special. Only an old farm over there.
Then, we went to The Gap N National Bridge and I loved it so much!
After that, we drove for 5 hours to Fremantle. Along the way we stopped at a petrol station, I switched to another driver after driving for 4 hours because I was kind of tired. I accidentally damaged the roof of the van by a crash as I forgot the height of the camper van. When we arrived at Fremantle I went to the Blue House that I have been wanting to go. It’s a different beauty in Blue House at night.
We stayed at the 11 Cantonment Street, a house owned by an artist. We ordered fish and chip for our dinner and it costed AUD 8.40. Its portion was too big and we could not finish it. In the city area, you need to pay parking fee everywhere and its rate is for AUD 2.8 per hour. You will pay at the machine and put the parking receipt into the dashboard in your car.
Traveled Distance: 489 km
Day 7 (16/6)
Early morning, we strolled around at the Cotteles Beach and enjoyed seeing people surfing in the sea and going for a dog walking along the beach. We then returned to photo the Blue House. Obliviously, we parked our car for only 10 minutes into some private property and we received a note from the owner to ask us drive our car away. So embarrassed!
After that we went to a very large park called King Park. While enjoying our brunch at the park, the birds approached us and stole our food! So if you are going there, be careful of the bird! Afterwards, we returned our camper van to the rental company and walked to the bus stop. Surprisingly we were able to catch some black swan along the riverside.
Then we’re supposed to take the Bus 296 but we went wrong to the opposite direction so we had to watch the bus leaving in front of us. In fact missing the bus is what we’re good at, and you are not considered a traveller if you have never missed a bus! After that, we switched to ride the Bus 299 because any of Bus 295/296/299 can reach the St. George. When we aboarded the bus, the driver informed us that the Family Pass was worth because we’re traveling in group of 4 and we can take any public transportation (Bus and Train) to anywhere. It only costed us AUD 12.4 = 12 SGD = 36 MYR so it’s the real deal.
In fact it helped us save a lot of transportation fee when we had to take so many bus and train to our destination. We then reached the Hay Street Mall and London Court, went to see the night view at Elizabeth Quay and The Bell Tower to view the Water Park.
After a tiring ride, we had our luxury dinner at the Jamie’s Italian Restaurant, a meal that costed us AUD 125. We spent our last night at 11 Cantonment Street.
Day 8 (17/6)
We started off our last day at the Fremantle Market. In the market, most of the vendors were Asian and they were selling some fruits and souvenirs. After having our breakfast and buying some souvenirs, we continued our journey at Fremantle.
We went to the Fremantle Prison, Ferris wheel at Esplanade Park, had the most famous Fish’N Chips and oysters at Cicerello’s, had a stroll at Round House.
After all, we returned to hotel and got our belongings then took the shuttle bus to the Airport. Time to go home!
|Car Rental & Insurance (8 Days)||412.5||137|
|Accommodation (8 Nights)**||346.95||114|
*Flight Ticket (from AirAsia ZERO FARE SEAT sale)
Penang – KL One-way Trip: RM 150.70 (= 50 SGD)
KL – Perth Return Trip: RM 596.62 (= 200 SGD)
2-Nights AirBnB: RM183.25 (= 60 SGD) per pax
6-Nights Campsite: RM163.70 (= 54 SGD) per pax
It included Food & Bus & Entrance Ticket & etc.
>> Currency Rate – AUD:MYR:SGD = 0.935:3.04:1
Thank Siewying Heng for sharing her road trip in Perth.