The last leg of our Australia trip was spent along the west coast in Perth. Kerry’s aunt and uncle live in Perth and had extended an invitation to stay at their house overlooking the water. We hopped on a plane from Cairns and made our way to the west coast. We traveled via Virgin Australia again, this time with a stop in Melbourne. We had a 4 hour layover so we decided to make the most of it and visit the Virgin lounge. Since this wasn’t included in our Priority Pass Select membership, we had to pay out of pocket for a day pass, but we decided it was worthwhile.
We entered the lounge and immediately started scoping out what we wanted to eat and drink. After grabbing a seat by some outlets we started to “consume our money’s worth”. After a little over three hours, we needed to be rolled out in wheelbarrows. Instead we walked out and complained about our poor decisions. Since security lines are a breeze in Australia, we were back at our gate quickly and had some extra time before boarding. This time was spent walking up and down the terminal walkway trying to not feel quite so miserable from our food overdose.
Little did we know, Virgin would be providing dinner and free wine on the flight to Perth. We couldn’t say no to freebies, so we gave it a shot! Virgin Australia has “interesting” food options on their flights. We first learned this on our flight between Brisbane and Cairns, but they just continued to intrigue us. Here are some examples of foods we got on our flights:
- Chickpea sea salt and vinegar snack (this looked like mini Funyons and had the same texture, but sans onion)
- Cheese and pickle relish mini sandwich
- Olive and sundried tomato bread roll
- Hot Pocket-style quiche with cheese and spinach
- Some weird carrot type dessert with maybe raisins in it
Our last Virgin Australia flight for the month landed in Perth, where we were greeted by Jerry and Jill! It was fun to see the look on their faces when they saw the size of our backpacks that we are living out of for the year. Since it was pretty late in the evening we headed to town, got a tour of the house and then crashed almost immediately.
On Monday, we woke up and proceeded to the pool in the beautiful backyard, complete with a cabana and outdoor living space. We hung out here all morning soaking up the hot Australian sun! Jenny’s friend Shelly and her husband and 2 young kiddos were also on holiday in Perth (they are living in Alice Springs, Australia because Shelly’s husband Michael is in the U.S. Military and stationed there currently). They swung by the house that afternoon and picked up Jenny, then headed to a nearby beach in the Watermans Bay area to hang out and catch up after not seeing each other for a few years!
That evening, Kerry’s aunt and uncle treated us for dinner at a popular spot about 20 minutes from their house. We enjoyed some delicious beers, food and had a great time catching up with them.
We had mentioned to Aunt Jill that we were in desperate need of pedicures, so she agreed to take us Tuesday morning and all 3 of us got a little pampered at the nail salon. We were so excited to have nice painted toenails again…it’s the little things! Afterwards, we headed out to Swan Valley, an area known for superb Australian wine and chocolates. For those of you who know us, then you already know that we love our wine! Aunt Jill was so gracious to be our designated driver, so we jumped right in and enjoyed some wine tastings. Our first vineyard was Sandalford, which we selected because it had the highest ratings online. The girl that poured our tastings was very sweet and actually from Auckland, so we chatted with her about our experiences in New Zealand. We selected wine tastings from their Estate wine selections, and the wines for the most part were delicious! We have taken a liking to drinking Rose in such a hot climate, but the Rose wine here was a bit too sweet for our taste.
We then moved onto the second winery, Olive Farms. Here we tasted a TON of wine. One thing we learned about wine tasting in this part of the world is: a) it is typically free or very cheap and b) they will let you taste as many wines as you would like. This makes Kerry and Jenny very happy. We tried over 15 different wines at Olive Farms, starting with bubbly and ending with a delicious Cab that we ended up buying for our dinner the following night at home. Jenny especially liked this place because they served olives that were grown in Greece and marinated on site at the winery…and they were delicious!
After all of those tastings, we were in need of some food. Kerry’s aunt and uncle had been to a restaurant/brewery in that area called Mash and highly suggested it, so we decided to go there for lunch. Here we ordered a meat/cheese/veggie platter (shocking, we know), and it was plentiful and scrumptious!
That evening, we headed down the coast to Freemantle to meet Shelly, Michael and their kids for some drinks at a local brewery there called Little Creatures Brewery. We tried a couple of different beers and both were quite tasty!! We enjoyed getting to spend time with our fellow Aggie friends, and hearing some fun traveling stories from their time spent abroad.
On Wednesday, Jenny had plans to meet Shelly and family on Rottnest Island for a day of fun in the sun. Kerry had a date with Kosmo and Ellie (her aunt and uncle’s precious dogs) at the pool here at the house. Jill drove Jenny to Hillarys wharf around 9:15am and she hopped on the 10am ferry to Rottnest. Shelly and fam arrived on a different ferry at the exact same time as Jenny, and they set off to explore the island on the Hop On Hop Off bus. The bus took them by some beautiful spots along the coast, including a shipwreck! They decided to get out at Little Salmon Bay, a beautiful small beach, good for snorkeling and with calm enough water for little kids. They had such a great time here relaxing and going in and out of the water, they ended up spending most of the day here.
With a couple of hours left before the return ferry departed, they decided to walk a bit along the road to see some other sights. The road goes along the coastline, so you are never without a gorgeous view of the water. The vibrant color of the water off the coast of Rottnest is almost impossible to explain and we’re not sure pictures really do it justice!
That evening, we were completely spoiled by Jerry and Jill, when they cooked an incredible meal for us. Jerry cooked shrimp and scallops for an appetizer, then served up some delicious steaks for the main. Jill whipped up some yummy twice baked potatoes, salad and an avocado and tomato dish that hit the spot! Since it was meant to be an early celebration of Kerry’s upcoming birthday, Jill had also made brownies with a homemade icing that had Bailey’s in it…YUM. We even had some of their fancy port wine with the brownies to send us over the edge into a total food coma. So worth it!
Thursday was overcast, so we got some shopping and errands done, along with tons of laundry! We got caught up on our trip budget, did some blogging, figured out a hotel for Bali (2 days before arrival…we have really gotten used to this traveler mindset of no plans, no problem) and Jenny did her taxes. Super exciting day, we know….but sometimes we just have to get our lives together!
On our last full day here in Perth, we spent almost every waking hour by the pool relaxing and working on our tans! We made sure to go up to the balcony Friday evening to watch the most gorgeous sunset imaginable. Not often does one get to see the sun set right onto an ocean and feel the nice ocean breeze while drinking a tasty beer. We have enjoyed every moment of our time here in Perth. It’s an easy going city with a relaxing beach vibe, and we are so glad to have made it a stop on our RTW journey!
For those wondering or worried about our level of activity dropping since we didn’t hike or climb any mountains while in Australia, no need to fret, we did workout a few times. Jenny practiced yoga a couple of mornings under the pergola in the backyard space at the house and Kerry ran along West Coast road and soaked in some beach views along the way.
Let’s take a minute to discuss some of the things we have missed and often take for granted. These were some of the small things we enjoyed over our stay in Perth:
- Getting out of the shower and being able to fully dry off before putting on clothes
- Showering without flip flops on
- Clean dishes. Hostels tell people to clean their dishes and put them away, but that doesn’t always happen
- A bed that isn’t a bunk. Or a twin size bed
- Dogs. We miss dogs
- Going to the bathroom in the middle of the night
- Not having to tiptoe around roommates
- Talking with people who are older than us
- Brownies and other baked goods (Kerry ate half a pan of brownies in a 24 hour period)
- Sleeping in
- Pedicures. We missed having pretty toes!
- LAUNDRY. Wow. Our clothes are so clean now. And can we just say how great it is to have dryer sheets again?!
Now we head to Indonesia to start exploring Southeast Asia! We are incredibly excited for the next leg of our journey.
~Kerry & Jenny