Hollywood’s Travel Guide to Western Australia

Where to eat, sleep and selfie with quokkas, à la Chris Hemsworth.

When it comes to Australia, the locations that first come to thoughts are Sydney, Melbourne and the Great Barrier Reef, Byron Bay if Chris Hemsworth can also be being mentioned. Although it takes up a big a part of the nation, there’s one thing about Western Australia that feels just like the wild west in all of the best methods, a bit unexplored and mysterious. In actuality, nevertheless, Hollywood boldfacers are not any stranger to its magnificence and charms. Or flavors.

It’s an enormous state—one-third of the complete nation, with greater than 12,400 miles of shoreline akin to virtually 15 Californias value of coast—however when you go, there are a couple of locations that ought to make the minimize, authorised by the likes of Hemsworth and his pal Matt Damon, who went on an journey within the state this spring. Star chef and TV character Curtis Stone additionally visited just lately to supply inspiration and components comparable to marron, saltbush and wattleseed to convey again to Maude, his Beverly Hills fine-dining restaurant.


It wouldn’t be truthful to say that Perth—birthplace of the late Heath Ledger—was ever forgotten, it simply wasn’t a spot that was on the radar of many individuals outdoors of Oz. But the capital of Western Australia has stolen a number of the nation’s highlight in recent times, thanks partially to improvement of its eating and lodge choices. The first new-build Ritz-Carlton in Australia opens late this yr in a most picturesque place on the Swan River, and a handful of different openings embrace QT Perth, a lush design bolthole with simply the right quantity of quirk and a rooftop bar; the five-star InterContinental Perth City Centre;the intimate Alex Hotel; and the brilliant, modern Quay Perth Hotel with bay home windows overlooking the esplanade, the place meals markets and live shows occur from November to April.

For such a small metropolis—the inhabitants hovers round two million—there appear to be greater than the anticipated allotment of lovely eating places that would simply rise up in L.A., and the tiny bar scene (a phenomenon that started simply over a decade in the past, granting licenses for small ideas holding up to 100 individuals) is scorching. Favorite meal locations embrace Mary Street Bakery, now an area establishment and a spot to overlook dietary restrictions in favor of a donut bursting with passionfruit custard; Shadow Wine Bar, full of lovely individuals, pleasant tapas and Aussie vino; the colourful Italian-meets-Western Australia Santini Grill; and Petition Kitchen, a comfortable, rustic setting for shared plates that take cues from native produce and merchandise.

Rooftop bars and eating places embrace Wildflower on the boutique lodge COMO The Treasury, with unparalleled views and creative regionally sourced cocktails and bites (knowledgeable by Aboriginal Australians’ six seasons); and Bob’s Bar up the newsprint-lined stairs above Print Hall, former residence of Perth’s newspaper presses.

This November, a famed native foodie occasion (now named Western Australia Great Culinary Escape and comprising 10 days of activations, tastings and flavorful surprises by worldwide cooks) is increasing north into Perth and its wine area of Swan River. A comedy pageant, performs, opera and reside music performances have typically made the colourful metropolis the primary cease on the continent for worldwide performers, together with Taylor Swift and Katy Perry.

The metropolis’s historical past and coolest nooks and crannies are best understood with a Two Feet & a Heartbeat strolling tour, themed round coffee, tradition, cocktails, crime and even fromage, and customizable and privatized, too. By foot is the one method to discover a lot of the vibrant road artwork, and small bars resembling Helvetica and Varnish. For extra strolling, or picnicking, there’s Kings Park–larger than Central Park and full of botanic gardens, bushland and trails.

Rottnest Island

Follow the lead of Margot Robbie, Adrien Grenier, Hugh Jackman, Roger Federer and Chris Hemsworth and hop the ferry to Rotto—brief for Rottnest, within the Aussie method—for a quokka selfie. The miniature marsupials are fairly prolific on the bike-able island off Perth’s coast, a half-hour ferry experience.

This spring, Hemsworth was one of many first visitors on the new eco-friendly Discovery Rottnest Island resort’s beachfront glamping tents, simply in entrance of the famed Pinky Beach, a well-liked website for picnics and swimming in the summertime season. Another cute island cease is Penguin Island, closed June to September for breeding season, however in any other case open to guests who swoon over the colony of round 1,200 super-petite penguins who stay and play on the sandy seashores.


While its most well-known export could be the band Tame Impala, Freemantle is like an indie seashore suburb of Perth, with the added attraction of pretty heritage structure, a lot of it constructed by convicts a pair hundred years in the past. Surf outlets mingle with bookstores on the walkable mural-dotted streets southwest of Perth, best explored initially with a strolling tour by Fremantle Tours, since most of the native highlights and interesting anecdotes are all however hidden to vacationers.

You gained’t discover chains of any type in Freo, because the locals name it. Standout dinner spots embrace Bread In Common, in a restored 1898 pharmaceutical warehouse, and elegant-yet-cool Strange Company, with frequent stay music on the historic market, the place Elijah Wood sat and performed on one of many busking pianos final month.

To keep on the town means the Hougoumont boutique lodge, a mashup of a historic constructing and delivery containers. This neighborhood is  residence to numerous motion, with  hip new eating places opening alongside boutique unbiased distillers and bars, such because the high-end restaurant, beer backyard, cocktail lounge and secret wine bar going into what was the primary Jewish synagogue in Australia, constructed within the early 1900s and now being repurposed, unique stained glass and all.

Margaret River

Some three hours south of Perth, this surf-meets-wine mecca might be reached by personal jet or personal automotive. Perth Luxury Tours, a specialist operator with a fleet of Mercedes has pushed everybody from Beyonce to Mariah Carey and Bruno Mars previous electrical inexperienced fields the place kangaroos hop amongst cattle and sheep. It’s one of many youngest areas for wine manufacturing in Australia, however often known as being probably the most premium (for context, it includes three % of Australia’s common wine manufacturing, however 20 to 30 % of all its premium wine). That means some 110 cellar doorways in addition to a lot of bucolic land on which to benefit from the wine.

Vasse Felix is the oldest, courting to the late ’60s, and as dreamy as they arrive, with a choice of unimaginable Cabernet Sauvignons, best tasted on the lengthy marble desk within the cellar, and chilled Chardonnays for sipping on the higher restaurant’s sunny balcony alongside native barramundi or kangaroo. For summertime open-air cinema, the decision is LVMH-owned Cape Mentelle vineyard.

It’s additionally attainable to take a helicopter down for the day from Perth, and Leeuwen Estate has its personal airstrip—together with a well-liked live performance collection—the place planes can land for personal wine-soaked lunches. Breweries and distilleries are additionally opening at a big tempo, with professional surfer Taj Burrows even designing his personal beer utilizing seawater at Caves Road Collective. Margaret River Distilling Company’s Giniversity presents immersive experiences distilling or mixing one’s personal gin utilizing botanicals native to the area. 

Experiences in nature stability out the booze. There is the famed Cape to Cape stroll, ideally organized by Walk into Luxury with an area information and gourmet picnics, or a didgeridoo-studded Koomal Dreaming cultural expertise into the stalactite-studded caves that populate the shoreline and have been an necessary a part of the native Aboriginal tradition for hundreds of years. Surfing, as Hemsworth is aware of, is a favourite pursuit in Margaret River, additionally the location of an annual World Surf League contest (Last month, 11-time world champion Kelly Slater headed to Rottnest for his requisite quokka selfie after the Margaret River Pro).

The place to keep is indisputably Cape Lodge, the place Sting, Toni Collette, The Rolling Stones, Michael Buble and Katy Perry have been friends—the primary for an prolonged go to whereas acting at Leeuwin, throughout which era he fell for chef Tony Howell’s delicacies. The serene, spacious boutique lodge additionally has a romantic restaurant overlooking a reflective lake the place breakfast is as irresistible as degustation dinners of delectables resembling confit duck leg and marron.

Elsewhere, Lamont’s Smiths Beach is superb all day lengthy, post-surf or pre-sunset. The restaurant Yarri—which might be proper at house in Venice—has a artistic menu knowledgeable by the six seasons and what’s recent from the land and sea, whereas Morries gives implausible tapas and occasional jazz nights. The picturesque, certified-organic olive oil vacation spot Olio Bello has not solely a fantastic open-air cafe, however stylish glamping tents full with fireplaces and hammocks.


Culinary-minded vacationers ought to make the extra journey to Manjimup, the fruit bowl of Western Australia, a bit south and inland from Margaret River (Lady Gaga has written music simply south of there). It’s primarily the Perigord truffle capital of Australia, producing and exporting a few third of Australia’s aromatic crop to Europe and different truffle-obsessed elements of the world. Interested events can go attempting to find them with the resident kelpies at The Truffle & Wine Co.

It’s additionally inspiration for the annual Truffle Kerfuffle, at which MasterChef scouts for brand spanking new expertise and notable cooks give talks, demos and placed on particular lunches and dinners, such because the Aboriginal native ingredient–centric chef Paul Iskov—famed for his multi-sensory, roving pop-up Fervor dinners round Western Australia, hosted on a farm this June. (The season is June by way of round August, however it’s not uncommon on this a part of Australia to see black truffle parts on menus year-round, and within the Aussie summer time there’s a cherry pageant.)

The Kimberley + Ningaloo Reef

Earthy, uncooked and actual, The Kimberley is tough to attain, little question. But as soon as there, it’s enchanting. Jackman was a type of who final yr ventured into the distant area to swim at Cable Beach, find out how a boomerang is made, hang around with Aboriginal elders and college students in a coastal group, style bush superfoods, spot humpback whales, and take an astronomy tour with an area stargazing professional.

A visit to Broome in 2017 noticed the actor on a personal constitution vessel fishing for Spanish mackerel and leaping off rocks at a waterfall. The A-list vacation spot is El Questro, a literal million-acre ranch featured in Baz Luhrmann’s epic Australia (together with well-known Aussies Kidman and Jackman); the unique El Questro Homestead is an intimate and opulent base for wild exploration by way of Four-wheel drive, heli, boat and horseback. Nearby scientists just lately discovered the largest-ever dinosaur footprint, six-and-a-half ft in diameter.

Further down the coast, Ningaloo Reef is the place the likes of Pippa Middleton, Hemsworth and Matt Damon have traveled, staying on the uberluxe outback-meets–seashore safari camp Sal Salis the place one in every of many foremost points of interest is swimming with whale sharks. The distant vacation spot is the closest one can get to the surreally beautiful UNESCO World Heritage–listed fringing reef, with a whole lot of fish and coral species, rays and turtles. Catch humpback whales in motion from July to November.

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