9D Self Drive Western Australia Perth, Margaret River, Mandurah – March 2016


It has been slightly more than a week since my return from the very hot & sunny Perth. Autumn in March is a lie except during the late nights, where it gets slightly chilly. Let me attempt to recall my itinerary before it gets forgotten. Detailed write-up will come later (or never) so feel free to comment below if you have any burning questions.

Day 1, Friday

  • 12:55 – Arrived at Perth (Note: no time difference with Singapore)
  • Car Rental Drama (we almost lost our reserved car – scroll to the end to read)
  • Drove for approximately 40 mins from Perth Airport to Fremantle
  • 15:00 – Lunch at Cicerllo (Fish & Chips)
  • 16:00 – Drive 8 mins to Airbnb Accommodation
  • Check in at James House (beside Fremantle Arts Center)
  • Shopping at Coles (5 mins drive away)
  • Drive to Perth City (42 mins with a bit of traffic jam since it was Friday Night)
  • Dinner @ Twilight Hawker’s Market
  • Drive back to Fremantle (32 mins with no jam)

Day 2, Saturday

  • 1 hour drive from Fremantle to Caversham Wildlife Park
  • Spent approximately 2 hours inside – watched the Farm Show
  • Drove 15 mins to Mondo Nougat
  • Drove 5 mins to House of Honey
  • Drove 1 hour back to Fremantle
  • Home-cooked Dinner

Day 3, Sunday

  • Fremantle Market
  • Drove 40 mins to Penguin Island
  • Spent slightly less than 2 hours at the area (include waiting for the boat and Penguin Feeding)
  • Drove 50 mins to Watertown Brand Outlet Centre
  • Spend 3 hours (All shops will close by 5PM)
  • Drove 30 mins to Cottesloe Beach
  • Beach Sculptures Festival + Fish & Chips Dinner + Beautiful Sunset (Spent 90 mins)
  • Drove 30 mins back to Fremantle

Day 4, Monday (Public Holiday in WA, Labour Day)

  • Checkout from accommodation by 10am
  • Drove 2 hours to Bunbury Lighthouse
  • Lunch at Cafe140 (15% Surcharge for Public Holiday and most shops were closed)
  • Drove 45 mins to Busselton Jetty
  • Walked around Busselton Jetty area for approx 30 mins
  • Drove 1 hour to Margaret River
  • Check in at Airbnb accommodation which cost cheaper if bought at Margaret River Website
    Airbnb – $1014 vs Margaret River Website – $934
    I found the accommodation at airbnb first (the photos look really terrific and i decided immediately that I will be booking it). While searching for reviews, I found exactly the same listing at the Margaret River website and saved $80!
  • Dinner at Settlers Tavern (15% Surcharge for Public Holiday and most places were closed)

Day 5, Tuesday

  • Drove 20 mins to Margaret River Chocolate Factory (not really a factory, more of a touristy place with free chocolate buttons)
  • Visited neighbouring Providore
  • Cape Lavendar
  • Rivendell Wine
  • Laurence Wines
  • Eagle Bay Brewing Co
  • Canal Rocks
  • Playground near accommodation

Day 6, Wednesday

  • Eagles Raptor Center
  • Lunch at Watershed Winery
  • Voyager Estate
  • Mammoth Cave
  • Hamelin Bay (Interact with wild stingrays along the beach)
  • Domino Pizza Takeaway

Day 7, Thursday

  • Checkout of Margaret River The Villa accommodation
  • Brief stop at Cowaramup
  • Lunch – Red Rooster at Mandurah
  • Ice Cream at Simmo’s
  • Check-in at Mandurah Canal Lodge
  • Shopping at Mandurah Forum (Late Night Shopping)
  • Dinner – McDonalds

Day 8, Friday

  • Mandurah Form Shopping
  • Lunch – Chicken from Coles
  • Afternoon at Mandurah Park
  • Dinner – Sharky

Day 9, Saturday

  • Fremantle area
  • Airport

Car Rental Drama

The person booking the car did not select the arrival time of our flight nor provide our flight details. Pick-up timing was set to the default time of 8am. As a result, our car was gone when we arrived at the counter because the company by default holds a vehicle for a maximum of 4 hours. We ended up going door to door down the lane of car rental companies to ask for any available cars which could take 5 adults + 1 baby + a lot of luggage. On the 4th or 5th attempt, they finally found a Hyundai 9-seater which cost about $400 more than our previous booking. Not having much choice, they quickly agreed and started filling up all the forms and suddenly a guy from the initial car rental company (Redspot) came running towards us informing that they managed to do a reshuffle and there was 1 KIA Carnival car available for us! The credit card was barely 30 seconds from being swiped and the staff was totally fine with us canceling despite filling up almost 90% of the paperwork. Thanks to the staff from Redspot – we saved $400 and retained our KIA Carnival.

The Car – KIA Carnival

KIA Carnival (8 People; 2 Large and 2 Small Suitcases; Automatic; Dual Zone Air-Conditioning; 2.4 litre; Passenger Van)
9 Day Rental – $1,029.83 (Inclusive of all fees and $5000 standard excess)

I personally enjoyed this car a lot despite being on the 3rd row (alone). It was so much better than Toyota Wish – the only MPV memory I had in me.


Will update this entry again in due course!

Continue reading with the photolog of my trip. (Warning – It is image heavy so consider being on wifi before you load the page.)


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