Our trip to Western Australia was spur-of-the-moment. Emmett came home from work on a Tuesday and told me he had the next two weeks free and he wanted to travel somewhere. Ummm...okay, twist my arm. That night we had narrowed our vacation destination ideas to Maui, Fiji, or Australia. The next day, Wednesday, we decided on Maui. But after thinking about it for 24-hours, we suddenly changed our mind. For both of us, Australia is our spiritual homeland. The idea of having two weeks of vacation time (how often does that happen?) and not spending it somewhere in our beloved adopted home seemed downright wrong. Thursday morning I booked our tickets for a Saturday flight. And away we went.
There was little time for researching the area and putting together an itinerary. I managed to get some travel books on Perth and Western Australia before we left but had no time to read them (besides, we knew somewhere in our 30-hours of travel time, we'd crack them open!). There was no Internet research either, except to book a rental car and a hotel in Perth for the first few nights. We were leaving everything else to chance...and weren't worried about it one bit. If there's anything we learned from our previous two trips to Australia, it's that 1) there is ALWAYS something magnificent to see and do (even in the pouring rain) and 2) Aussies are full of from-the-heart, spot-on recommendations. Upon meeting you, an Aussie will ask two questions: "how long are you here for?" and "what have you seen so far?" And from there, they're off! They stand tall, their eyes fill with excitement, and they enthusiastically tell you of two or three of their favorite places to visit or things to see or restaurants to eat at. It's never information overload. And it never feels arrogant, like they are trying to prove something (i.e. that they know the "it" places or that their city is "happening" more than any other city). It's just pure love for what their city/state/country has to offer. In other words, you can trust their advice.
This is all to say that we had only a fuzzy idea of where we wanted to go after Perth so we hadn't lined up any lodging and had no set agenda. "Proceed" had been our motto from the beginning of this trip (that's the button you push when you purchase tickets on V Australia)...and that's just what we did. If we didn't like something, we didn't hesitate to move on. If we fell in love with something, we weren't afraid to linger as long as we wanted to. If we didn't know what to do next, we just turned to the closest Aussie and did what they told us to do. We knew it would all be fine. I think part of this confidence came from the fact that despite our last trip to Australia being a complete wash out (worst rain and flooding in 120 years!), it still ranked as one of the best trips we've ever taken. I'm telling you...you can't go wrong with a trip to Australia. You just can't.
So after Perth, we headed a full 30-minutes south to the little port town of Fremantle. We initially saw Fremantle simply as the base for our trip to Rottnest Island (you'll see more of that later). But as usual, Australia proved yet again that every town has something to offer. In this case, it was a quaint, old hippy town with great views, great parks, great architecture, great food, and great local brews.
You can check out more about Genesis here: http://www.genesisinthehills.com.au/