Are you currently planning your next family holiday and been looking for a new destination, or perhaps looking to go back to somewhere you've been to before but discover a new part? We challenged Aarika Lee and her family to rediscover Western Australia by hitting the road and leaving their regular holiday haunt of Perth to travel down to the Margaret River region on a self drive.
Why did you decide to accept our family self drive challenge?
We’d been to Perth many times both before and after having our 2 children Zola Mae (6) and Ari Jon (3) but never ventured out into Western Australia beyond the city, but heard great things about Margaret River and we love to drive and explore on holiday so why not!
Zola Mae’s favourite part was the boat trip from Rockingham to see the seals and penguins. Unfortunately we didn't manage to spot any dolphins on that day but it was still a brilliant way to spend the day, if you are going in the summer like us bear in mind you will still need jumpers on the ferry crossing but bring your swimmers so you can enjoy the water at penguin island. If you go in cooler season (April- Oct) you could go whale watching instead.
Ari John just liked the adventure and being on the road, I think he wished he was driving the car. The drives were between 30 mins to 2 hours between stops so never too long and he did a few naps along the way. I think he really enjoyed taking the train down the jetty at Busselton, definitely try and make space for that when you go.
Kevin’s highlight was the Fringe World Festival that we experienced in Perth at the end of the trip. There were so many events to choose from including free music and artists performing, a street walking silent disco and some great shows for the kids. Fringe World happens in February. Perth has really changed in the last couple of years and there is so much going on in the city. His culinary highlight however was at Eagle Bay Brewery Co where we discovered our new favourite craft beer, Kolsch. You can’t get anywhere in Singapore yet as far as we know, but all the more reason to head back and sip it in their garden again!
My personal highlight, apart from being away with my family for the week was watching the sunset at Surfers Point in Prevelly. We stayed around the corner in an apartment and drove the 5 minutes to the lookout where we could watch the local surf talent and dug into the most delicious fish and chips from a food truck. The trucks weren't there the first night we went there (a Thursday) but luckily we got to go back the next day and it was worth it.
The self-drive was planned out by one of our CheapTickets.sg Aussie Specialists who is also a parent themselves, how did you find it?
The trip itinerary was really easy to follow and the places recommended to visit would be perfect for any family to enjoy. There was a really good mixture of nature, outdoors and of course eating and drinking, as you’d expect from visiting a region famous for its wine. From the recommendations of where to stop to where to stay detailed on the google map it really helped take the strain of planning the trip whilst still letting you decide where you’d want to stay the night depending on your budget along the way.
Is there anything you would do differently next time you come?
Next time I will come with my friends, and share the fun! We’d also stay longer in each place if time allowed. We visited an animal farm during the trip but we’ve been to some really great ones just outside of Perth so would definitely recommend visiting one of those before or after your trip to Margaret River if you have young children like us if you can’t fit it in on the itinerary.
Want to see Aarika’s highlights from her trip? Check out her Western Australia family self drive Vlog here! Don’t forget to follow her instagram to see more from her trip and get more family inspiration along the way.
You can follow Aarika’s 5 day self drive itinerary from Perth to Western Australia’s Margaret River here. We’ve put together a guide to include family friendly places to visit including vineyards and breweries with custom built playgrounds or plenty of space to run around in the gardens and cater children's meals whilst you enjoy the produce and sip on the local creations. Don’t forget to bring some home for the days designated driver to enjoy when the kids are in bed!