Qantas - - Travel Insider. -

TASTE THE NORTH There was a time when in­ner-city North­bridge was strictly the realm of non­nas by day and rowdy club­bers af­ter dark. To­day, the vi­brant neigh­bour­hood – in par­tic­u­lar, its myr­iad food op­tions – at­tracts a cos­mopoli­tan mix. The frozen treats at newwave gela­te­ria Chi­cho Gelato (chi­ draw crowds day and night, while Shadow (shad­, the Alex Ho­tel’s wine bar and Euro­pean restau­rant, is equally pop­u­lar. (Its week­end brunch is at once grown-up and plenty of fun.) For some­thing ca­sual, con­sider Fran­co­forte Spaghetti Bar (4/189 Wil­liam Street, North­bridge; 08 9227 9289), a BYO, no-reser­va­tions pasta place that’s busy ev­ery night of the week.

HIT THE COAST Cottes­loe Beach is one of Western Aus­tralia’s pret­ti­est stretches of coast. Max­imise your time here by stay­ing in one of the 13 rooms at the Art Deco-style Cottes­loe Beach Ho­tel (cottes­loe­beach­ho­ It’s an ideal home base from which to em­brace – even tem­po­rar­ily – that sun-kissed, beachy life­style.

PLATE UP THE STATE Not all farm­ers’ mar­kets con­sist solely of pri­mary pro­duc­ers sell­ing their wares. The buzzing Satur­day Farm­ers Mar­ket on Man­ning (farm­ers­mar­ke­ton­man­ gets the bal­ance right be­tween farm­ers and food stalls, plus it’s only about 15 min­utes from the CBD. Stock up on Cam­bray Cheese (cam­ and farmer-di­rect sea­sonal treats like white as­para­gus from the Bick­ley Val­ley (bick­ley­val­leyas­para­

STEP IT UP What’s tough, about 250 steps long and the best way to ex­plore Perth’s green lungs? Ja­cob’s Lad­der, a stair­case that con­nects Kings Park with the Swan River be­low, at­tracts lo­cal fit­ness fans, who race up and down its steep in­cline. It’s one way to go sight­see­ing and stay on top of your ex­er­cise rou­tine.

DRINK IN THE VIEW Trigg is a sea­side com­mu­nity and beach beloved of lo­cals. Here’s a great way to start the day: fill your Keep­Cup at cult café Yelo (ye­lo­corner­ then walk across West Coast Drive and take a seat over­look­ing the In­dian Ocean. Voilà! Magic views of the waves rolling in to go with your flat white.

HEAD FOR THE HILLS Ev­ery­one’s heard of the Mar­garet River wine re­gion. But the Perth Hills? Now that’s a reve­la­tion. Just a 45-minute drive east of the CBD, the area is notable for its di­ver­sity of wine styles, mi­cro­cli­mates and ter­roirs. At Fair­brossen (fair­, Matt Bow­ness crafts ad­ven­tur­ous drops us­ing grapes grown on the es­tate and else­where in Western Aus­tralia, while the wine­mak­ers at My­atts­field (my­atts­ fo­cus on Span­ish and Por­tuguese va­ri­eties. A lit­tle fur­ther north, the Swan Val­ley (swan val­ley­wine­mak­ is an­other des­ti­na­tion not to be missed. The warm­cli­mate area is the state’s old­est wine re­gion and has a rep­u­ta­tion for pro­duc­ing plush, gen­er­ously flavoured drops. Verdelho, shi­raz and for­ti­fied wines are re­gional strengths. The Koso­vich fam­ily is among the val­ley’s wine­mak­ing pi­o­neers and third-gen­er­a­tion wine­maker Arch over­sees day-to-day op­er­a­tions at John Koso­vich Wines ( johnkoso­vich­ La­mont’s (la­m­onts. is also a fam­ily name syn­ony­mous with the re­gion.

JOIN THE ’ROOS Watch a film with kan­ga­roos... plus a mil­lion stars of the ce­les­tial, rather than celebrity, kind. Run­ning from Novem­ber to April, Kook­aburra Out­door Cinema (kook­abur­racin­ at Mun­dar­ing Weir – just over 45 min­utes from the CBD – presents movies in a state for­est, where the lo­cal fauna and flora is as big an at­trac­tion as what’s on screen. For the ad­ven­tur­ous, overnight camp­ing is avail­able at nearby Perth Hills Dis­cov­ery Cen­tre (

TACKLE A CONTI Like the muf­fulet­tas of New Or­leans and the hoagies of Philadel­phia, Perth has its own Ital­ian sand­wich: the con­ti­nen­tal roll, or “conti”. Beloved deli The Re Store was piv­otal in pop­u­lar­is­ing the roll and its out­posts in North­bridge (72 Lake Street; 08 9328 1877) and Leed­erville (231 Ox­ford Street; 08 9444 9644) still make bench­mark ver­sions for the lunch crowd.

DIVE FOR ABALONE Abalone fish­ing has a very short sea­son – your win­dow of op­por­tu­nity is just an hour long on a hand­ful of Satur­days from De­cem­ber to March – but seafood-lovers and fish­ers rel­ish the chance to hunt for these pricey del­i­ca­cies. While we won’t re­veal the spe­cific spots where you can find abalone, we will let you know that you need to go on­line ( to ap­ply for a fish­ing li­cence (and to dis­cover the des­ig­nated fish­ing zones) be­fore don­ning your wet­suit.

FLY IN, FLY OUT The Mar­garet River wine re­gion is no se­cret but given it’s some 270 kilo­me­tres from Perth, it’s a long drive for a daytrip. Fly­ing, though, means less time on the road and more time tast­ing vino and en­joy­ing the area’s gor­geous scenery. Swan River Sea­planes (swan­ri­versea­ of­fers a daytrip pack­age that in­cludes ho­tel pick-up, re­turn sea­plane flights, win­ery tours and lunch for $795 per per­son.

Kings Park & Botanic Gar­den is one of the world’s largest in­ner- city parks

Visit the Mar­garet River re­gion by sea­plane for an in­dul­gent day of food and wine tast­ing

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