No time to get out of Perth and head out bush? Yes, you do. Here are some accessible rural weekend experiences just for you (Megan Arkinstall).
Have an easy bush getaway: Jarrahdale, Serpentine Valley
Only a hop, skip and jump from Perth, a 30-minute drive in fact, is Yarrabah in the small historic town of Jarrahdale. The rural homestead and retreat are ideal for a quick family escape from the city – and a lovely one at that. Set on a huge 350 acres of bushland and pastures, with running creeks, dams, and an array of wildlife, there are ample opportunities for walks and picnic spots. Have fun with the tennis court, darts, table tennis and play croquet, totem tennis and cricket on the lawns. Marron is farmed on-site and available fresh to purchase – so light up the barbie and enjoy an alfresco dinner. $250 per night in the Retreat; $350 per night in the Homestead, minimum two-night stay; kids welcome.
Hide out in a rural manor: York, Avon Valley
Nestled on the banks of the Avon River, 97 kilometres east of Perth, is Laurelville, an Edwardian country house impeccably styled in shabby-chic white. With wide verandahs, distinctive gables, high ornate ceilings, polished original floorboards and open fireplaces, Laurelville is enough reason to visit WA’s oldest inland settlement, York – but we suggest checking out the refurbed old flour mill, now an Australian art gallery with a lovely little café (try their high tea… real scones!). From $200 per night including breakfast; kids welcome.
Get away for peace and quiet: Yallingup, Margaret River region
The Margaret River wine region is filled to its bushy brim with beautiful places to stay. But the adults-only EMPIRE Retreat, a charming 35-year-old farmhouse, is one of the top contenders. The suites are either located in the farmhouse or connected via a boardwalk and are beautifully designed with subdued lighting, natural stone and timber. Book the EMPIRE Experience two-night package to really make the most of the retreat – it includes fully-cooked breakfast, $450 to spend at the tranquil day spa, and a gourmet hamper with a bottle of both EMPIRE Estate’s red and white, ideal for a romantic picnic for two at a peaceful spot on the property – it won’t be hard to find one. From $1090 for the EMPIRE Experience; or from $295 per night, suite only.
And… somewhat further afield… Soak up the country and the sea: Denmark, WA
These delightful little stone cottages, just a stone’s throw from the stunning seaside town of Denmark, make for an idyllic weekend escape. Each of the seven unique cottages (most suitable for a family) are charmingly rustic, built from locally sourced timber and stone, complete with exposed bricks and beams, polished floorboards and cosy wood log fires. The huge 330-acre property adjoins William Bay National Park, known for its granite boulders, the turquoise Green Pool, and Mazzoletti Beach, just 25 minutes down a private walking track. Or stay country-side and revel in the beauty of the property, where horses, cattle and goats graze peacefully and the birdlife is prolific. From $170 per night in the Robin’s Nest to $230 per night in the Endeavour Cottage (based on two adults), minimum two-night stay.