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2 Week Self-Drive Southwest WA (Perth to Albany)

Singapore, Singapore
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2 Week Self-Drive Southwest WA (Perth to Albany)

Finally confirmed our night stops and here's our planned itinerary:

Day 1 Perth to Fremantle to spend the night (no long drive after the 'long' flight for our 1yo girl)

Day 2 Fremantle - Mandurah - Bunbury - Busselton

Day 3 Busselton - Dunsborough - Margaret River

Day 4-5 Margaret River Region

Day 6 Margaret River - Nannup - Balingup - Bridgetown - Manjimup - Pemberton

Day 7 Pemberton farmstay @ Pump Hill Farm Cottages

Day 8 Pemberton - Walpole (Valley of the Giants)

Day 9 Walpole - Albany

Day 10-11 Albany

Day 12 Albany - Kojonup - Boyup Brook - Donnybrook (Apple Fun Park) - Ferguson Valley

Day 13 Ferguson Valley Gnomesville - Harvey - Perth

Day 14 Early morning flight home

Some questions:

1) Hubby and I travelling with our 1yo girl. We'll be bringing our child seat along. Any pointers for a road trip in the Southwest with a toddler?

2) We still can't find a place to stay in Ferguson Valley. Some of the lodging options which I could get in touch with do not welcome children. Can anyone help/recommend?

3) What are must-sees and must-dos (bearing in mind we have a toddler in tow) in MR region and Albany area? I'm thinking our activities will have to revolve around our little girl.

4) Will it be too chilly to go to the beaches from mid-Sep to end-Sep?

5) Any recommended cafe stops in Nannup, Balingup, Bridgetown and Manjimup?

TIA!

Adelaide, Australia
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1. Re: 2 Week Self-Drive Southwest WA (Perth to Albany)

The Albany whaling station is facinating....well worth a visit and the tour only takes about an hour or so. Enjoy!

Fremantle, Australia
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2. Re: 2 Week Self-Drive Southwest WA (Perth to Albany)

Might have mentioned before in a previous post of yours for Albany I would suggest popping your girl into a stroller and walking around the boardwalk starting at Ellen Cove in Middleton Beach. Glorious spot and you might see some whales. Emu Point is excellent for toddlers to experience the sand and water- might be cold but fun. Weather down south might be anything from glorious spring day through to rain and cold. I would always pack a fleece jacket and beanie ( hat) just in case.

When travelling with children and even now will make picnic supplies so we can stop whenever we want and not rely on cafes. Great to pull into a side road off the highway and soak up the countryside. Always had singalong music tapes ( yes a while ago!) and never stopped if kids were asleep.

Day 12 is a currently quite a long drive. Just wondering about considering Boyup Brook then back track slightly to Bridgetown (others might chip in with this idea) to stay there as more of a range of accommodation. Day 13 is calling in to Donnybrook, Gnomesville and Perth by evening which is achievable.

Edited: 23 June 2013, 14:01
Singapore, Singapore
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3. Re: 2 Week Self-Drive Southwest WA (Perth to Albany)

I'm quite concerned about the drive on Day 12 too. It was originally a 2-day drive but we decided to combine it so as to squeeze in the 2-day farmstay at Pemberton. We hope to hit Ferguson Valley because we want to reach Perth by afternoon. I think we'll just have to bear with it and make brief stops along the way.

rural West Aussie
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4. Re: 2 Week Self-Drive Southwest WA (Perth to Albany)

If you wanted you could combine Days 1 and 2 and use the extra day to stretch out day 12. The drive to MR is only 3 1/2 hrs and you could make good stops along the way so it's not all in one hit, if that's a problem.

You can't use your child seat unless it has an ASA approved sticker on it. You will need to buy or rent one here.

Perth, Australia
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5. Re: 2 Week Self-Drive Southwest WA (Perth to Albany)

Combine Days 2 & 3 - no need to stay in Busselton and then move to MR IMO. Leave Day 1 as it is. "Exploring" Mandurah(M) & Bunbury (B) won't take long. You can take the whole day to drive to MR with leisurely stops at M & B and you can visit Busselton Jetty whilst staying at MR.

Combine Days 8 & 9 - i.e. no overnight in Walpole - no need to stay in Walpole to enjoy the V o G.

Albany to Perth is quite doable, albeit the long way around the way you are going :-) Donnybrook Fun Park will be fun for your littlie for an hour but at 1 yr old , can't see it being much longer. TBH - your girl is going to be just as happy playing in/on a local park's kid's equipment as at Donnybrook at that age. IMO.

My above point being, no need to stay in Ferguson Valley but go straight to Perth metro area. Somewhere like Hillside Garden Village in Armadale (self contained units) or the Wattle Grove Motel Welshpool would be feasible to stay for the early morning trip to the Airport and both are are on the way back from Albany.

http://www.wattlegrovemotel.com.au/

campingcompass.com/camping/australia/western…

Singapore, Singapore
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6. Re: 2 Week Self-Drive Southwest WA (Perth to Albany)

We have reasons for stopping at Busselton and Walpole for a night. But thanks PerthiteOZ, I think you just solved my problem. I think we'll just drive straight from Albany to Perth in one day and stay in Perth for 2 nights. Anyway my original plan also entails driving for 4.5h, might as well head straight to Perth! And I think Hwy 30 will be a much easier and less tiring drive than the narrow and windy roads between Kojonup and Boyup Brook and Ferguson Valley. And so many accommodation options in Perth!

We wanted to go to Ferguson Valley only for Gnomesville. I think we might just make a detour and visit on Day 2. Apply Fun Park was just an optional sidetrack/pit stop since it's on the way. Yup, I know my little girl wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the playgrounds! And we'll probably be bringing her to many playgrounds at the vineyards and breweries in the MR region.

And also thanks to YorkFoodie for letting me know about the ASA sticker. I didn't know! Now I'm thinking of getting someone we know to help us buy one in Perth. Renting one for 14 days is not cheap! Would almost be able to get a brand new one in Singapore!

Great advice here! Thanks all!

Fremantle, Australia
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7. Re: 2 Week Self-Drive Southwest WA (Perth to Albany)

Sounds a much better plan as think after the winding roads in the South West you might enjoy the straight trip back to Perth. Done it numerous times when kids were little- just take your time and with stops as required.

Enjoy the wildflowers in Spetember!

8. Re: 2 Week Self-Drive Southwest WA (Perth to Albany)

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