Subject: Re: Welcome Valerie in Perth
Hi Candice,

> I'm so happy to have a member from western Australia!

Not Valerie, tho' I've been part of this list for several months. Hope the following will give you some ideas.

> We're thinking about visiting the western part of
> Australia for the
> first time. How many days would you recommend in Perth?

Perth alone could be covered in a day or two, but you'd miss out on Aqua, the Pinnacles, Wave Rock, Tumbulgum Farm, Armadale Reptile Centre, Yanchep, Fremantle, Penguin Island, Walpole Treetop Walk and Mandurah Canals - all of which are within a few hours driving distance from Perth, but even easier if you choose one of the many affordable coach tours available.

> we'll only be in Oz for 2 weeks and we'll want to get to Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns.

Nowhere near enough time to appreciate the delights of each of these cities so you'll need to be pretty selective in what you want to see and do. Remember too, this is a huge continent and flying time from east coast to west is roughly 5 hours. The 'Red Eye Special' departs Perth at midnight and arrives on the east coast in the early hours, but if you can't sleep on a plane, or suffer horrible jetlag, you could lose at least a day in recovery, so may prefer a flight at a more civilised hour.

>Also, I've heard that the Margaret River is a great place to visit

Leeuwin Winery in Margaret River annually hosts some great artists in our summer and previous performers include the London Philharmonic Orchestra (who began it all in 1985) Ray Charles, Bryn Terfel and Sting. Concerts are regularly sold out well before the event so if you're planning to visit at this time of year, it'll pay to do some advance checking. Here are a few websites that will give you some ideas http://www.leeuwinestate.com.au/default.asp?V_DOC_ID=776 http://tinyurl.com/44bbj http://www.margaretriverwa.com/frontpage.asp http://www.atn.com.au/wa/south/parks-b.htm http://www.downsouth.com.au/ http://www.frogandtoad.com.au/wa/sw/margaret/

> What's to see and do there? While I like to take long
> walks,

If you only plan a couple of days, your time will be adequately filled just by checking out places in the above links, but Margaret River is an ideal base for exploring much of our southwest, including the tall trees country. See http://www.west- oz.com/Regions/southwest/manjimup/manjimup.asp http://www.walkabout.com.au/locations/WAPemberton.shtml or even go for a walk through the treetops at Walpole http://www.westaust.net/treetop_walk.html http://tinyurl.com/5mdct

> not into roughing it,

As with so many tourist spots around the world, a variety of accommodation is available.

Cheers Sue In Western Australia, where it's already tomorrow!