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Albany or Margaret River

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Singapore, Singapore
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Albany or Margaret River

Hi all,

Will be visiting Perth in mid Aug, a family of 3 with a 1-yr-old. Will be arriving at 5am, plan to hire a car and stay 2 nights (Day1&2) at Fremantle before making my way to Albany. Thought of visiting Perth Zoo and Swan Valley during this 2 days.

I hope to make it to Albany before dark on Day3, check-in and dinner. Planning to slot in visits to Denmark and Albany itself during my 2 nights stay (Day3&4) in Albany. Heard that Denmark is a short drive from Albany?

Then off to Margaret River with pitstop at Walpole for the Tree Top Walk/ the Ancient Empire Loop before settling down in MR for 2 nights (Day5&6).

And then head back to Perth for another 2 nights (Day7&8), stopping by at Busselton for the jetty walk and lunch. Flying home on Day 9, noon time.

Heard a lot of advice about the tedious and long drive from Perth to Albany and Albany to MR. So now, I am contemplating dropping either Albany or MR for a more relaxing self-drive holiday with a baby.

Would love to hear some opinions if my tentative plan/route is advisable or should I really consider skipping either one, Albany/ MR?

Which place is a better visit considering having a baby tagging along?

Fremantle, Australia
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1. Re: Albany or Margaret River

Yes ,the drive to Albany is quite long (5 hours) and done it heaps of times including when our kids were young. But if your baby isn't used to long travelling in the car then it may be a bit much to go to that beautiful part of the state (another trip maybe?). So suggest 4 nights in the Margaret River region as shorter drive. Lots to see and do in the MR region- check other posts for great ideas.

Eaton, Australia
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for Broome, Bunbury
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2. Re: Albany or Margaret River

I don't want to disagree with you Jean, but I don't see the drive to Albany as being such a chore with a one year old. We have done it a number of times when our son was young (many years ago) and enjoyed the scenery and towns along the way. Now our son and dil have little ones of their own and regualrly drive to Albany to see inlaws who live in Albany.

I just think you do it with breaks along the way ~ there's plenty of opportunities between Fremantle and Albany to pull over and enjoy morning tea, lunch, sight-seeing etc.

I think your plans are all fine...but then, we are used to driving long distances and love being on the road, but I am sure if you just take it as it comes, enjoy the views, stop as often as you like/need to, you will have a great trip.

rural West Aussie
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3. Re: Albany or Margaret River

One big consideration will be weather. August is winter and MR will be nearly freezing. Albany will be definitely freezing. I swear the wind comes straight off Antarctica down there. If cold will be an issue for you, I would stick to MR.

Singapore, Singapore
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4. Re: Albany or Margaret River

I didn't know its near freezing in Albany and MR. I was expecting a 8 degrees min, no?

Long hours driving isn't really a problem for both of us as we are pretty used to long hours on the road. As a matter of fact, we enjoy travelling on the road.

But then again, my concern is the journey on the road. With the cold weather, I'm worried also if it would be inconvenient locating places for toilet breaks, (including diaper change) or to pacify the baby who might be bored sitting in the car seat for hours. Stopping might be necessary to allow her to walk and run around a little before we continue on.

Any suggestions for pitstops in between Perth and Albany?

Eaton, Australia
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5. Re: Albany or Margaret River

There's little towns all along the drive to Albany and I would just stop when you need to, or when you see a visitor centre or roadhouse, etc and use their facilities. I think you will find that your little one will often sleep during the drive as well and it won't be such a long trip for the baby as you may think it to be.

If she likes looking at cows and horses etc, you will see lots along the way in paddocks and that would be a good time to stop and let her go for a walk.

Edited: 26 July 2012, 01:29
Fremantle, Australia
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6. Re: Albany or Margaret River

I was in Albany last week and some glorious weather for walking on beach.You do need to be prepared though and have some winter gear. Remember warm hat for your little one. For stops There's a park wth toilets in Williams and also the Woodshed for food and loos. In Kojonup has a little park plus the lovely Black Cockatoo cafe which has toilets and is next to interesting visitor centre. I personally prefer these two stops over roadhouses.You should have a great time but do take care on our country roads.

A J
Subiaco, Australia
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for Perth, Margaret River
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7. Re: Albany or Margaret River

Best choices for a stop on the way (IMO) would be the Woolshed in Williams, Kojonup and Mount Barker. There are other smaller towns along the way but those are the 3 that I usually stop at if I need a break from driving.

Re weather - who can say. Yes it can be freezing in Albany. It could also be warm. You can only go by averages and adjust your itinerary around what mother nature throws at you :)

The nearby Stirling Ranges has actually had snow in November so its anyone's guess what you'll get.

[edit] ahh.. same as Jean's suggestions - typing at the same time:)

Edited: 26 July 2012, 02:15
Fremantle, Australia
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8. Re: Albany or Margaret River

Forgot to mention that Denmark is about 40 minutes from Albany. It is on the way to Walpole so makes sense to combine with the loop to MR - will be a long day though. Greens Pool is on that road and a popular spot. In Albany consider Emu Point as great place for little ones plus has an excellent cafe. Suggest also walking with stroller from Middleton Beach -Ellen Cove boardwalk around to Ataturk monument for stunning view,flora and maybe fauns.

Perth, WA
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9. Re: Albany or Margaret River

I grew up in Albany so I did the Albany-Perth return trip all through my childhood with the family, and for me it was always a little adventure as a kid!

I agree that the Williams woolshed is a good place for a pitstop. The rest are just ugly roadhouses for the most part (but there are heaps, so it's unlikely you'll have to drive for more than an hour without finding one!).

Just don't get tempted to take "the scenic route"!! ;)

rural West Aussie
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10. Re: Albany or Margaret River

As Sue C comments, we found that on country drives our DD generally fell asleep about 10 minutes after we left home and didn't wake up until we got her out of the car seat :-)