Busselton – Margaret River – Yallingyap – Rottness Island – Perth, Australia – 2023 – Day 16-20

By rosannau / On


Perth, Australia

25°C in Sydney. 28°C in Perth.

A final taste of Queenstown with Fergbaker for brekkie – Prosciutto Danish (5.30NZD)

And just like that, we left New Zealand behind. There’s something magical about this place that had been calling me back and after 13 years I finally returned. 2010 was my first international trip outside of North America to Australia & New Zealand (2 weeks & 1 week) and that’s when I first started making my own itineraries and oh boy, the knowledge I’ve gained since then is tremendous.

We covered a good chunk of NZ getting all the way to the Northernmost point of the North Island at Cape Reinga and all the way south as far as Te Anau on the South Island. Less than 2 weeks isn’t ideal and I know it’s definitely not enough time with the big trip we had planned, it had to do. Our next destination was Perth, Australia.

We flew out with Virgin Australia. If you are taking an International flight with them, online check-in is unavailable but for domestic, it is available.

Since we were flying to the other side of Australia (it’s pretty huge of a country with deserts in the middle) it was a super long travel day. There weren’t direct flights from Queenstown. We originally booked to layover in Melbourne however our flight was changed to stop in Sydney instead and pushed an hour later.

Bev’s credit cards have airport lounge benefits so we took advantage of the Manaia airport lounge as our flights got switched to a slightly later flight. We had the place to ourselves for a good hour or so. Food was decent and good variety but to me the stars were the carrots, cucumbers and their broccoli and cheese chowder.

After arriving in Sydney International airport, we had to venture through customs where they have automated kiosks setup to get you through quickly if you’re apart of a country with e-passports. No stamp though. After customs, you need to retrieve your bags and then re-drop off bags for domestic flights before hopping on the orange T-shuttle bus for about a 10-15 minutes ride to T2.

We found out at baggage drop off that our second flight was also delayed and apparently the last 2 days the air traffic had been really off and many delays. We got through security again and waited at our gate only to be notified we had a gate change. The plane we were waiting for was delayed so it pushed us even further behind.

At 834PM (Sydney time) we finally departed after another delay as they had to deboard a passenger off and ensure their checked bag didn’t go with us. Landed 10PM Perth time (3AM NZ time)

We jumped back in time by 5 hours with the timezones as Sydney is 2hrs behind and Perth is 5hrs behind NZ.

Upon landing in Perth, the silver lining of the day, we were greeted by an old familiar face – Edward. He’s our old volleyball teammate who now lives in Perth. He and his wife Valencia hosted us during our time in Perth with their dog Rover the chocolate lab.


Margaret River, Busselton, Yallingyap, Australia  

19-30°C, humid and when the sun is out, it’s real intense. Apparently rain isn’t a normal occurrence. No insulation for building homes. They don’t want to keep the heat in so winters are chilly inside. No basements as its expensive to do so.

We rented a car (Volkswagen T-cross) at the airport when we landed the day before. Up bright and early to drive the 2hr45mins to get down south to Busselton/Yallingyap/Margaret River area. I’ve been told driving at dusk and dawn are risky with kamakazing kangaroos and emus. We did see 3 dead kangaroos on the road/roadsides like we see skunks, squirrels and racoons in Toronto.

Speeding isn’t a thing here. The roads range mainly from 50-110KM for speed with cameras that record and calculate average speed.

After checking into our accommodation – Big Breeze Holiday Park for the night, we went straight over to the Busselton Jetty. At 1.841KM long, it is the longest timber-piled jetty in the southern hemisphere. It costs 4AUD to walk it (funds go for the up keep and conservation of the jetty). They even have a little train you can take.

There is a cool 8-metre underwater observation deck at the end of the pier – one of only 6 natural aquariums in the world.

When we started walking the jetty, it was super sunny and hot but as we continued to walk, we saw the skies to the left side with dark clouds start to come in and a few strikes of lighting. The entire day was a range from sunny to hard rain coming down which is not optimal if you are planning on visiting beaches all day.

I do have to say that it was so lovely to open your car door and the moment you do, all you smell is Eucalyptus everywhere.

For lunch, we went to Merchant and Maker and we feasted. Beetroot latte & Matcha latte (6AUDx2), Reuben Toastie w/broccoli side salad (13.50AUD), broccoli salad SM (9AUD), chia cup (9.50AUD) & a chocolate hazelnut cookie (3.50AUD)

With tummies full, off we went on our roadtrip of the day:

-Meelup Beach

-Bunker Bay

-Sugarloaf Rock

-Ngilgi Caves (kneel-Gi) (24AUD) for stalactites, stalagmites & helictites

-Injdup Beach – The rain was coming down hard at this point so we didn’t venture to find the Injdup Natural Spa

-Gnarabup Beach – Surfer’s Point

We opted out of driving down to Hamelin Bay Beach where there are wild stingrays you might spot in the waters because it was really gloomy and wet outside at that point.

Drove back to Busselton for the night and went to Origin 153 for dinner. We shared the Oyako Don bento – teriyaki chicken, Japanese style softly cooked egg, panko prawn, steamed rice, pork gyōza, seafood roll salad, edamame & radish kimchi salad (32AUD) and Spicy karaage (20AUD).


Perth, Australia


Busselton doesn’t have a lot of light pollution making it perfect for stargazing. Early morning call time to drive back up to Perth. 2hr45min drive back to the Fremantle area in Perth from Busselton.

Our adventure for the day – Rottness Island with our friends Sandra & Josh. We basically planned our entire trip itinerary to make this day happen as they were in Australia during this time period for a friend’s wedding. Always fun meeting up with friends while travelling.

Props to our friend Ed who got us discounts for the Rottness Express boat. The boat trip takes 30mins each way so we chose the 830AM & 430PM slots. There is all-day parking for $10AUD at Fremantle B Shed if you go further to the right of the parking lot for long term parking. Otherwise it’s max of 4 hour in short term parking.

Once we got to the island, we went straight to the Bakery for some meat pies (7.99AUD), sausage rolls (5.99AUD), donuts and raspberry Lamingtons (5AUD).

With our tummies full, we rented pedal bicycles for the day (30AUD). You can also opt for the electric bikes or a scooter (71AUD). You can also rent snorkel gear too.

With our bikes, you share the road with the buses so stay to the left. The roads were somewhat flat but also hills in areas. We made stops at Henrietta Rocks, beached at Parker Points Sanctuary Zone – Salmon Bay, and the Basin. There were many Quokkas around the island. The ones further away from the shops were less rough looking. The ones closer to the shop and the pier have too much interactions with humans which make them look rough like the rabid patchy looking squirrels. It’s quite difficult to take a selfie with the quokkas without laying on the ground covered in poop. Make sure not to touch them as they are wild and could carry diseases. We did feed some of them those orange fruits on the trees as they can only climb the lowest parts of the trees.

We finished the evening splitting from Sandra and Josh (after last minute baggage exchange) and were reunited with Ed & Val.

We went to Little Creatures for dinner in Fremantle (Freo). We shared the Gamberi pizza (prawn, pancetta, mozzarella & salsa Verde & chili)(28AUD), Kinkawook Mussels (33AUD), Heirloom Eggplant (22AUD), fries (12AUD).


Perth, Australia


Our friend Ed & Val brought us around for the day to get a feel of Perth. Brekkie at Taylor’s in the Valley. I got the Ricotta hotcakes w/sweet mascarpone cream and seasonal compote and biscuit crumbs (22AUD) with a Tumeric latte (6AUD).

To get the full experience up close and personal with the wildlife of Australia, we went to Caversham Wildlife Park (32AUD). We got to pet Calli the wombat and Brodie the Koala. Fed some kangaroos and watched sheep get sheared and so much more.

We had a quick stop at Margaret River Chocolates to try some samples.

We went to King’s Park. It has great views above the city that overlooks the North and South side of Perth. There is a ferry that can take people across from both which you can see cross the waters. There are giant eucalyptus trees everywhere making it smell lovely all the time.

We walked over to see the infamous Jacob’s Ladder where active people use these sets of windy stairs to train by running up and down them.

We drove over to the Elizabeth Quay area and walked the boardwalk. We even saw jelly fish in the waters. Ventured a bit further north into the main shopping area where 3 hours parking is free on weekends to entice more people to come into the downtown core outside of working. Beautiful old buildings like His Majesty’s Theatre. There are even old arcades that make you feel like you are in Europe.

For dinner, we drove over to Victoria Park (the Markham of Perth) with all the Asian eateries. We ate at 857 Dumpling Plus. We got Crab & Pork Xiao Long Bao, Gai Lan, Spicy Wonton Noodle Soup, Beef Rolls & Mushroom and Pork fried dumplings.

Ed, Val and Bev got ice cream and I finished the night off with T4 for bubble tea. I got the Taro Paste Boba milk tea (9.90AUD).


Perth, Australia

Low 19°C; High of 23°C.

We grabbed Last Crumb Cake Co for brekkie – Blood orange meringue cronut (6.70AUD) and a small sausage roll w/tomato sauce (6AUD).

Our original plan was to SUP in Swan River in the morning but it was a little too chilly to. We still popped by Swan River so Rover could play for a little bit in the park before we explored the Fremantle (Freo) area and Markets. The building that holds the Fremantle Markets have retained the old school exteriors and inside has Toronto’s St Lawrence vibes but separately spaced for local retail stalls and food. We went early so it wasn’t busy. I love the mix of old and new and this place had just that.

After Freo, the temperatures were just right and we took a dip at Leighton Beach. The beaches have an area that is also dog friendly so they can also play in the water. The water felt cold at first but you just need to dunk and it warms up quickly. We had the perfect conditions as Ed said the wind was minimal and no clouds. Usually after a certain time, the wind gets much stronger and the waves even bigger. Unfortunately since it’s so windy in Western Australia, no beach volleyball.

We went further along the coast to City Beach and had lunch at Clancy’s Fish. We shared lemon pepper fried squid (19AUD), beer battered snapper & chips w/slaw (29AUD) & Crispy duck salad (35AUD)

An iconic spot in Perth is the Crawley Edge Boatshed aka the Blue House. I guess it’s Perth’s version of San Francisco’s Painted Ladies. For both locations, it is such a tourist location that car break-ins are consistent so be aware of where you are parking and who is around.

For dinner, we went to Chinatown – Hawker’s Cuisine. We shared Fuzhou Tofu (16.80AUD), Sambal Kang Kong (18.80AUD), Marmite Chicken (21.80AUD), chili crab baos (2 for 13.90AUD) & golden Prawns (salted egg yolk) (28.80AUD).

We stopped by Kuld for Ice Cream. I got a scoop of the Coconut Lemon Myrtle w/ dark choco chips (6.5AUD). Myrtle is similar to lemongrass/lemon verbana and native to Australia.

To end our night and walk off dinner and dessert, we finished off at Opus Stadium and walked the Swan bridge.

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