Some top tips to use when travelling around Western Australia

Beached Barrel and Cowaramup
Beached Barrel Café Geraldton and Cowaramup

The way we travel will always be a representation of our character; maps or apps, cash or cards. Do you use the maps and GPS system on your car or phone? Perhaps, like me, you still like to have a UBD stashed under the front passenger seat.

Here’s my list of Have a Go things to do when and wherever you travel to in this beautiful state:

1. Visit local shops.

To experience a good regional town, stop and explore the main street.  A gift shop, a general store and a bakery. That’s the trifecta.

Top Tip: Cowaramup.

2. Eat where the locals eat. 

OK, it sounds a bit like an overseas tip but even in our towns, the locals know where to go for a great burger and where to stay away from.

Top Tip: Broad Arrow Tavern, Kalgoorlie.

3. Find where the locals relax.

 At the end of the day, where are the locals going to watch the sunset or relax?  It might not be the Instagram worthy vista that the travel sites recommend but the atmosphere in the company of locals rather than tourists may be a better way to finish your day. 

Top Tip: Derby Jetty.

4. Watch the world go by. 

Often when we travel it’s about getting from A to B.  Buy some Drumsticks and Frosty Fruits for the family and just watch people walk past and take it all in; you’re not just on your way to somewhere amazing, you are somewhere amazing, right now.

Top Tip: Geraldton foreshore.

5. Have a conversation, not just a transaction.

Have a chat. How’s the weather?  How long have you worked here?  Try my 11-year-old son Tom’s icebreaker question; Who’s your favourite Marvel character?

Top Tip: Margaret River Bakery.  

6. Get safely lost.

Let yourself meander, just a bit. Don’t route map it with an app, let yourself go left and right down a few side streets, you’re not going to fall off the edge of the world.

Top Tip: Toodyay for shops, museums, galleries and pubs.

7. Buy impulsively.

Make buying something you don’t need an essential part of the travel experience. You know you don’t need it but just buy it.  Whenever I see a prickly pear cactus in Perth I think of my travels through Puglia in Italy where I saw a beautiful terracotta prickly pear with the little red flower buds on it. I missed my chance. Don’t miss yours. As I said to Tom in Beverley: “You never know where you’ll find another rusted bicycle bell.”

Top Tip: East End Gallery, Beverley.

8. Get to a local market. 

There’s no better way to bring together most of the tips in this list.  Many of our regional communities have a regular market that offers up the best of local produce and odd knick knacks. Eat something. Buy something impulsively. Say thank you.  Have a conversation. Sit down with some local food and watch the world of the market pass before your eyes while your kids are entertained by the local barber shop quartet.

Top Tip: Walpole local markets.