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Scuba diving and other activities near Perth

Cape Town, South...
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Scuba diving and other activities near Perth

My husband and I will be in WA from 3 to 6 September this year. We arrive in Fremantle on 3 Sept off a cruise and have not yet decided where to stay or what to do for our 3 days in WA.

We are both scuba divers. Where would you suggest we do a dive or two within range of Perth? I am not even sure if scuba diving is the thing to do around Perth area.

What should we do so as not to miss anything great that Perth and surrounds has to offer? We would actually prefer to be away from the city for a night or two if there is somewhere nice that is reasonably accessible. I have looked at the posts about Rottnest Island and it may not be quite the right place for us although a 1-day trip is an option. Seems we can also see Freo in a day.

Many thanks in advance. Cathy.

Colorado
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1. Re: Scuba diving and other activities near Perth

You can see Freo in about half a day. I highly recommend taking a Capt Cook cruise from Freo to the city or vice versa. It's a great introduction to Perth (and it's wealth). I'm not a fan of Rottnest and feel there are much better options for such a limited time in WA, although there are scuba diving options in the vicinity. My other half is a dive master yet he hasn't dived in WA in the 4.5 five years we've lived here - the water is entirely too cold for his tastes - if you're a warm water diver, you'll be in for quite a shock. I think there's diving off Rockingham too, but I don't know the specifics.

Kings Park is a definite must see, particularly in Sept, when the park is full of wildflowers. Spectacular views of the city from here, plus lovely walks, memorials, fabulous birdlife, a café and a great shop selling locally made artwork. Easy to spend half a day in the park, longer if you want to explore the numerous bush tracks.

If you're interested in Aussie wildlife, don't miss Caversham Wildlife Park - it can easily be combined with a visit to the wine growing region of the Swan Valley.

As for beaches - Cottesloe is a good one, as is Scarborough Beach, but it'll be cool in Sept (cold if you're a thin-blooded Aussie :-)

Edited: 16 April 2013, 01:54
Perth, Australia
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2. Re: Scuba diving and other activities near Perth

Yes, the water is cold, but I imagine you're used to that. You'll be kitted out in 5mm dive suits anyway. Rottnest has some beautiful dives and I'd recommend a day diving out there, leaving from Freo - search TA for reviews of the various operators.

You could possibly take a short (one night/two day) trip out to the wildflower country which are amazing and well worth a trip. you'll get a great sense of what Australia is about if you do that I think - the open sky, the quiet, the wildlife (if you sit still in one place for a while).

Another option if you are extremely lucky with timing and depending on budget would be to dive the Abrolhos Is. Seriously amazing!! And something not many Aussies do, let alone tourists. Will be a mission to get there, dive and get back in 3 days though, but you never know & it might be worth trying. Spectacular branching coral and amazing visibility with very similar fauna to Rottnest. The terrestrial landscape is equally amazing - highly suggest googling some images.

I have only ever been there with work & study (yep, I know... a hard life I've had), so can't recommend any service providers. You would have to fly to Geraldton to fit in a trip.

eta - the water at the Abrolhos is still cold in my books & I still dived in a 5mm wetsuit (and froze my butt off)...

Edited: 16 April 2013, 06:43
Cape Town, South...
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3. Re: Scuba diving and other activities near Perth

Thanks so much for your helpful advice. If the water is that cold, then I think we'll give the scuba diving a miss. I am definitely a warm water and fair weather diver and we choose our trips carefully to fit in with those criteria. We dived the Great Barrier Reef this past December which was stunning.

Thanks for mentioning some other options like Kings Park, Caversham and the wine region. Seems we will find something nice to do during our 3 day visit. Will also look at possibly flying to the interior to tick that off the bucket list.

Perth, Australia
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4. Re: Scuba diving and other activities near Perth

Ha! Yes, I don't like the cold water either and I only ever dived here for work.

If you enjoyed the Barrier reef, you might want to add some of our North West to your bucket list - in my opinion the reefs of the north west are even better! If you can afford it, a boat trip to the Monte Bello Islands will blow your mind.

Have a great time :)

Cape Town, South...
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5. Re: Scuba diving and other activities near Perth

Thanks for the info on the Monte Bello Islands, I googled them and sounds exactly what we would like, only problem is that their trips are 6 nights and we don't have that long. Pity!

Do you perhaps know of some nice lodges or B&Bs where we could stay north of Perth just to be out of the city and near nice beaches, nature, wildlife maybe, a nice restaurant or two, etc. Somewhere to chill and relax rather than be in a city environment. We would hire a car and drive there if that was necessary and if anyone can recommend somewhere really nice to stay for a couple of nights.

Really appreciate your advices as we don't know WA at all, not having travelled there before.

Perth, Australia
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6. Re: Scuba diving and other activities near Perth

Yeah the Montebellos are truly amazing. I used to work up there. . the Rowley Shoals are meant to be amazing too - on my list!

The swan valley would be my pic over the beach - for variety of things to do, good food & wine and great B&B's. You'll need to hire a car. There are lots of nice walks you can do in the National Parks, and if you wanted to you could do some day trips to some wheat belt towns from there. Whiteman Park is also in that direction, so if you did want to see kangaroos & koalas, you could pop in there.

You seem keen to get out of the City and IMO it's a wise choice. The things I love about Australia are the landscapes, the wildlife, the vast sky, the amazingly bright light (especially in WA - bring your sunglasses!), and the friendly laid back people - you'll be experiencing those things out of the City.

If you have time on one of your Port days (like a couple of hours after arrival or before departure, you could catch the train to Leighton Beach (just north of the Port), go for a stroll along the beautiful white beach. (Just watch the wind - it can howl in the afternoon, but you are coming at a good time of year so you should be OK). There's a cafe there, or if you walk far enough, you'll make it to Cottesloe where there are a couple of restaurants. We had a meal at the newly refurbished Cott Hotel a few months ago and it was great value and really good - I had seafood & hubby had a burger.

Cape Town, South...
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7. Re: Scuba diving and other activities near Perth

Thanks very much for all the info. I'll do some research on the Swan Valley area and also the train to Leighton Beach and see what I can come up with. Thanks again, much appreciated.

rural West Aussie
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for Perth
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8. Re: Scuba diving and other activities near Perth

I was in the Swan Valley today and picked up a handy dandy map with info called the "Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail Map". As well as food and wine places it lists a whole raft of other things to see and do in the Swan Valley. I note its website is

www.swanvalley.com.au

You can download the map there and find lots of other info as well.

Cape Town, South...
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9. Re: Scuba diving and other activities near Perth

Thanks very much, have had a quick look and that's a great web site for me to do my research.

Colorado
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for Western Australia
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10. Re: Scuba diving and other activities near Perth

Regarding nice food - I highly recommend both Lamont's in the Swan Valley and Cottesloe - entirely different dining experiences, but both are excellent. The Swan Valley location is more laid back and less expensive - my personal favorite place to eat in all of WA. I've been in the US for three weeks and I'm going through serious Lamont's withdrawal!

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