WAY out west there are plenty of reasons to lose yourself from the daily grind of city life. Western Australia is overflowing with great escape options, so get yourself a Perth car rental and hit the accelerator as you head for one of these sublime destinations for some serious R&R.
1. Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages (pictured)
TWO hours south of Perth (246km) along the coast is all it will take to reach one of the highest accommodation locations in WA’s South West – and most enchanting – the multi-award-winning Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages. This venue’s has only just unveiled a fresh look for its five rustic timber cottages following a major renovation. A Spring Special is on for stays up until December 20 this year (2014), so get in quick – stay a minimum of three nights in your choice of cottage and receive a complimentary farmhouse breakfast hamper, a gourmet cheese platter and bottle of award-winning Smallwater Estate Wine. Spring Special package rates start from $230 per couple per night ($175 mid week). Offer not available long weekends.
The Forest Cottages are set amidst 25 acres of bushland, and now feature new open-plan kitchens, bathrooms, paintwork and floor coverings, plus reverse-cycle air conditioning and pot-belly log fires. A revamp of the property’s two-bedroom ‘Gum Nut Cottage’ has added a new Jarrah timber deck to take advantage of spectacular views, and an extended master bedroom and living area. The 46-acre Balingup Heights’ property is perched high above the quaint township of Balingup in the Blackwood Valley. We’re talking authentic country charm, incredible views over rolling green hills and ever-changing fruit orchards. Visit www.balingupheights.com.au or www.facebook.com/balingupheights
2. Moore River Holidays
This beautiful place just 85km north of Perth is secluded and can accommodate up to 14 people comfortably – so grab another group of friends or another family and have a fun group escape. Moore River Holidays is self-contained, has reverse cycle air conditioner, wood fired heater, gazebo on the Moore River and a hooded BBQ. Stainless steel kitchen has a super dooper fridge, casserole slow cooker hot pot, rice cooker, steak knives, flat sandwich maker and large pots for cooking up a storm. Visit mooreriverholidays.com.au/accommodation
3. Pinnacles Holiday Park
Go a bit further up the road past Moore River and say hello to paradise at the Pinnacles. Just over two hours drive north from Perth on the scenic Indian Ocean Drive the Pinnacles Holiday Park is right in the heart of Cervantes and has a range of facilities and amenities to suit everyone. Think absolute beach frontage and kick back with brekky, lunch or dinner at Seashells Café. Gorgeous part of the world. Visit www.pinnaclesholidaypark.com.au
4. Cape Lodge
Three hours drive south in Margaret River country, it’s more than just beautiful vineyards and magic ocean views – this is the home of mighty Cape Lodge, stunning five star accommodation of the highest order. And amazing food! Cape Lodge is a prestigious venue with 22 rooms and suites, an executive five-bedroom house, all enveloped within a vineyard, enchanted bushland and a lake. When not losing yourself in the grounds’ gardens, there’s a tennis court and free-form swimming pool that may come in handy for burning those extra calories you’re doomed to load up on at the venue’s restaurant. Dynamo chef Tony Howell’s offerings are melt-in-your-mouth world class. Visit www.capelodge.com.au
If it’s a quick drive from Perth you’re after, head north east for half an hour and park your wheels at beautiful Brookleigh, luxury chateau accommodation in the heart of the Swan Valley where there’s so much to explore in this dynamic little region in the west. Visit www.brookleigh.com.au