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A road trip adventure with the family

Get acquainted with Australia’s picturesque outback Photo: ZRyzner / Shutterstock.com

Road trips are great opportunities for family fun and bonding time – start with a short trip Down Under

Get acquainted with Australia’s picturesque outback Photo: ZRyzner / Shutterstock.com
Get acquainted with Australia’s picturesque outback
Photo: ZRyzner / Shutterstock.com

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]estern Australia’s coastal roads fringing the golden outback are great for a scenic road trip. The balmy weather Down Under in June helps make the journey an enjoyable one.

What better time to do so than during this school holidays? A week’s road trip makes an ideal holiday break for the whole family, with the kids and perhaps even grandparents in tow.

To avoid disappointment, book your flights and accommodation ahead, and rent the vehicle for your road trip before flying off.

Yallingup as a Base

Pick up your rental car at Perth airport. There, handy road maps are provided. Your proposed destination is Yallingup, where your family can lodge for a few nights.

Yallingup is 260km south of Perth and a three-hour drive on the Kwinana and Forrest freeways. Get a good night’s rest at a hotel in the city; this will perk up everyone for the actual road trip the next day. You need to get on the road early.

Decide also if you need one or two breaks en route, bearing in mind that you have to reach Yallingup before dark. Mandurah and Bunbury are two good stops for meals, grocery shopping and fuel tank top-up.

Welcome to kangaroo country
Welcome to kangaroo country

Grandparents and Cook-in Dinners

Unlike in Singapore where coffee shops are ubiquitous and open until late, Australia’s outback eateries are few and close early. You will thus need to visit the supermarket and stock up on groceries for cook-in dinners.

Here, the grandparents can help out and do justice to the well-equipped kitchen and refrigerator in the chalet!

Nearby Attractions

With Yallingup as your base, you can lead your group to explore nearby attractions. Among these are Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park’s limestone caves and Canal Rocks, a coastal rock formation; Yallingup Maze, an inland amusement park with a restaurant which serves healthy meals; chocolate and nuts factory outlets and the beautiful beaches.

From Yallingup, you can do a side trip about 40 minutes south to Margaret River to surf, go on a cave adventure, or savour the wine from the vineyards in the region.

After checking out from Yallingup, it’s time to head back north. Stop by coastal town Mandurah for lunch and then detour inland to Peel Zoo as a surprise treat for the kids. Lots of furry mammals await them.

Resume your northbound route on the South Western Highway to arrive 40 minutes later at Jarrahdale’s stately brick-timber lodge, Ballakup House, for a two-night stay.

Be careful to stay awake on the long and winding road, or take rest breaks
Be careful to stay awake on the long and winding road, or take rest breaks

Jarrahdale Highlights

Jarrahdale is just 45 minutes from Perth airport. With time to spare, you can climax the adventure with visits to the nearby Serpentine Dam (where parrots and kangaroos will come join your picnic!) and the Millbrook Winery in a picturesque orchard farm, which doubles as a setting for wedding receptions.

Indulge in the free wine tasting, and consider replenishing your wine stock back home. Soon, it will be time for the group to pack up.

Simply return the car at the same airport pick-up point, and then check in at the airline counter to catch the flight home.

On board the plane, you and your family will undoubtedly say a reluctant goodbye, which such a scenic adventure for a road trip holiday. It is likely that you’ll all wish you could visit again soon!

By Harry Tan