Adventure

4 Awesome Day Trips That Are A Stone’s Throw From Perth

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Used up all your holiday leave already this year? No stress. Any weekend can be a holiday with the right attitude.

And that’s precisely why you should escape the Perth city lifestyle and embrace the slower pace of these 4 nearby destinations on a whirlwind, one-day trip.

Get in the car, we’re going for a drive.

#1 Lancelin

 

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Save your ski holiday for New South Wales, Victoria or Tasmania, because you won’t be finding snow in WA this winter. But, visitors to WA can still get their downhill thrills if they’re willing to trade in the powder for the dunes.

Sandboarding is the tiny town of Lancelin’s biggest drawcard. The pure white sand dunes take about an hour and a half to get to from Perth, and a few days to fully get rid of from your belongings. It’s worth it, though.

Pack your own sandboards (forget trying to use anything else – they won’t slide) or reserve one before you get there.

If you’re keen to explore a bit further, an extra hour in the car will have you at the Pinnacles Desert. There is nothing else quite like the towering limestone pillars of Nambung National Park.


#2 Bunbury

 

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Bunbury is the Rocky of the south west. Always overshadowed by beachside towns further to the south, the city is finally breaking through and making a name for itself. At just under two hours’ drive from Perth (or a 2.5-hour train ride), WA’s second biggest city is totally worthy of a day trip. Instead of bypassing Bunbury for Margaret River and beyond, make a beeline for it.

Love art? Bunbury has you covered. The CBD is home to 31 pieces of street art, discoverable with the help of a downloadable map on a self-guided tour. Ironically, there’s even a Beastman piece on the back of the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery. Time permitting, the gallery is also worth checking out.

But before you head off on the trail, make sure you grab a coffee and a filled doughnut from Café 140 for sustenance.

Art isn’t all Bunbury has going for it, either – it’s also home to a 200-strong superpod of bottlenose dolphins. You can forget the nine-hour road trip to Monkey Mia to see the dolphins and go for a day trip to Bunbury instead. The Dolphin Discovery Centre has three options for getting up close – an interaction zone in the shallows, an eco-cruise, or a guided swim further out in the bay.


#3 New Norcia

 

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If you thought you’d have to hightail it to Europe to get your smackers around an Abbey Ale straight from the brew site, you’d be wrong. All you need is an airfare to Perth, a car, Google Maps and about an hour and 45 minutes of your time.

132km north east of Perth, along the Great Northern Highway, is the small heritage town of New Norcia. Established back in 1847 by two Spanish Benedictine monks, the former mission is Australia’s only monastic town. And, yes, they brew beer.

Look, New Norcia definitely isn’t your average outback town. It’s more historic homesteads with a Spanish flair than tin sheds and tractors. After checking out the speccy architecture about town, you can head inside the monastery and meet the monks, visit the museum and art gallery (where entry costs $12.50 for adults) for a history lesson, and sit down for a meal and pint at the New Norcia Hotel.

Before you head back to Perth, don’t forget to stock up on some of the local Monk-made goods. They make bread, wine, olive oil, and of course, those delicious Abbey Ales.


#4 Black Diamond Lake

 

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Pack your swimmers, floating flamingo and GoPro; you’re heading inland. Yes, you read that right, inland.

Drive for two hours in a south-east direction towards the mining town of Collie, and you’ll hit Black Diamond Lake – the region’s hidden jewel. Collie locals have been swimming in the decommissioned-mine-turned-swimming-hole since the ‘50s, but it’s only recently that anybody else has started to take notice of it.

In the last few years, Black Diamond Lake has become Insta-famous. The water here is an insane aqua colour and people from all over are obsessing over it. The #nofilter hashtag has never had such a workout. But don’t worry, the lake isn’t getting anywhere near “Croatia in the summer” amounts of traffic yet. There’s still plenty of space to pull out the paddle board, float around on your pink flamingo, or set up an area for your esky and chairs.

(Lead image: Revolt via Unsplash)

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