Day trip out of Perth

Day trip out of Perth

HOP on a five-hour flight to Perth, drive up to its northern surrounds, breathe in sunshine and nature - and feel worlds away.

Imbibe views of the Coral Coast, discover wildflowers, get up close to sea lions, and eat fresh lobster - lots of it.

Spanning the northern suburbs of Perth to just south of Dongara, the Indian Ocean Drive is a scenic journey to the coastal towns of Cervantes, Jurien Bay and Dongara- Port Denison, to name a few.

The first stop is Cervantes (a two-hour drive north of Perth on the Indian Ocean Drive). Make this little fishing town a base from which to swim, go fishing, explore the desert and take a lobster factory tour.

Near Cervantes, is the Pinnacles Desert nestled in the heart of Nambung National Park. Here, thousands of limestone spires up to 5m tall puncture the skyline, making it one of Australia's most awe-inspiring landscapes.

Nambung National Park, made up of huge swathes of coastal heathland, is also home to a host of native plants. Just taking in the lush sea of flora - wattles, yellow-tail flower, white clematis and banksia species - is divine. Try to spot western grey kangaroos, cockatoos and emus too.

Caution: Western Australian law forbids the picking of wildflowers (below). Defy this and expect a hefty fine of up to A$2,000 (S$2,300).

Just 2km south-east of Cervantes is Lake Thetis, one of five sites in Western Australia that feature strange stromatolites or mounds of sheet-like rocks. Take a 1.5km walking trail around the lake to check out the formations, like layers of lasagne in sedimentary form.

Back at Cervantes, stroll past its jetties to the Lobster Shack, a western rock-lobster factory. The family-owned operator won a bronze medal for Tourist Attraction and Excellence in Food Tourism at the 2013 Western Australian Tourism Awards, so your visit is quality-assured.

Tour the shack, and learn how the delicious crustacean is processed, packaged and exported live to other countries.

Also, jump on the company's 68-foot vessel, Shack Attack, and head out for a half-day morning boat tour. Experience the livelihood of a lobster fisherman.

The best part: Choose a lobster from the day's catch, have it taken back to the Lobster Shack, and cooked for your yummy lunch.

Book at: A 20-minute drive north of Cervantes is Jurien Bay, (220km or 2.5 hours drive from Perth).

Dive and snorkel at Jurien Bay Marine Park. About a fifth of Western Australia's sea lion population lives and breeds in the marine park. Join a sea lion charter and frolic with the sea mammals.

Or sky dive and enjoy breathtaking views of the park before landing on Jurien Bay's powder white sands.

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