The National Trust-classified town of Toodyay lies in the Avon Valley. Surrounded
by bushland to the west and rural farms to the east, it makes a great place for a "get away from it all" weekend. Stroll
along Stirling Terrace and admire the historic buildings. Connor’s Mill has a steam driven flour mill in working condition
and houses the tourist information centre. Avon Valley National Park to the west of the town has many bushwalks, canoeing,
picnicking, BBQ areas, panoramic views, wildflowers, birdlife and rock formations. It has a healthy population of echidnas
which can often be seen in the late afternoon. The famous Avon Descent, a two day white water canoe race, takes place each
August and passes the town on day one.
Rottnest Island, a short ferry ride from Fremantle or Barrack Street Jetty, makes an ideal weekend destination. It is a
peaceful haven, free of the ubiquitous car. To explore the island, which is only 11 km long and 5 km wide, hire a bike or
take a 2 hour guided tour of the island. Free guided walks depart daily. Evening and early morning are the best times to
catch a glimpse of the island’s best known resident, the marsupial quokka. The blue seas surrounding the island are a
snorkeller’s paradise. Pocillopora Reef off the south of the island has a snorkelling trail which explains the reef’s
ecosystems. If getting wet isn’t your thing, regular cruises in a glass bottomed boat leave from Main Jetty and
provide a glimpse shipwrecks, reefs and fish. There are some great views, from lookouts such as Oliver Hill, Vlamingh
and Jeannies Lookouts.
Mandurah has long been a favourite holiday spot for Perth inhabitants. The city
sits on the inland waterways of Peel Inlet, ideal for swimming, boating and fishing. Along the foreshore, there are grassy
play areas with barbecues, picnic areas and changing facilities. A great way to see more of Peel Inlet is to take a
cruise or hire a boat. There are dolphin watching cruises or you can swim with wild dolphins in their natural
surroundings. The Peel Discovery Centre has several fascinating exhibitions which relate the history of the area.
Mandurah is well known for its fine seafood, especially blueswimmer crabs and school prawns, and fresh local seafood is
the main item on the menus of the many restaurants. Check out what’s on at the Mandurah Performing Arts Complex where
there are often performances by local, national or international acts.
Great accommodation deals
in the area from needitnow.com
The city of Perth makes a great weekend destination. Hit the pavements and explore
on foot or travel free within the Free Transit Zone in the city. There are great walking and bike trails around shores of
the Swan River, and bikes can be hired at several locations. The cultural precinct of Northbridge is alive at the weekend,
with the Galleria Art and Craft market, fine galleries and the Western Australian Museum. Pack a picnic and head for King's
Park, where you can relax in this vast bushland area.
Grab a city bargain
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