AFL Travel: weekends on the West Coast

If you’re an Eagles or Dockers fan residing in Australia’s eastern states, chances are you’re already conspiring for a long weekend away (or three) this AFL season. Or perhaps you’re a WA local who needs a good excuse to extract yourself from the weekly 9-5 grind and experience Perth from a perspective.

Whatever your motivation may be for an AFL-inspired long weekend in Perth, AFL Travel is here to help.  We’ve got some great ideas to help you make the most of your weekend away on the West Coast.

Bike your way around Rottnest Island

Conveniently perched just offshore the Perth CDB and easily accessible by ferry, Rottness Island is Perth’s very own island paradise. Biking around Rottnest Island has become something of an iconic must-do for tourists and locals alike. Appreciate the island’s spectacular, Indian Ocean views, pristine sandy beaches and unique wildlife as you meander along undulating, well maintained roads. If cycling isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to explore the island; take a guided walk, book a relaxing bus tour or head out on a glass-bottom kayak for a truly stunning ocean experience.

Stargaze in the Pinnacle Desert

The Pinnacle Dessert is located two hours north of the CBD in the Nambung National Park and is named for the other-worldly limestone formations scattered along its expansive, sandy floor. Visitors arriving at the Pinnacles for an evening experience will truly appreciate the dessert’s moon-like landscape and the vastness of uninterrupted night sky. Adams Pinnacle Tours has coaches departing Perth CBD from 3pm, cruising up the coastline along Indian Ocean Drive and arriving comfortably in time for sunset. After touring the Pinnacles, the tour heads to the nearby town of Cervantes where you’ll refuel with dinner at the local tavern before moving back out to the Pinnacle Desert observation deck for star gazing and a tranquil venture through the national park.

Swim with dolphins in Rockingham

Head south from Perth to the seaside locale of Rockingham and have a truly wild encounter with the local dolphins.  Rockingham Wild Encounters operates from September to early June and offers Perth CBD pickups direct to the Esplanade. Their 44-seat [boat type] has been specifically designed for the ultimate dolphin-swimming experiences, with a long rear swimming platform and ladders running across the full width of the transom for easy access to the water.  The team at Wild Encounters has spent many years researching the nature and habitat of the local marine wildlife and is proud of its Ecoplus accreditation with the Australian Tourism Accreditation Program its numerous ecotourism awards.

Take a gourmet wine cruise on the Swan Valley

You don’t need to travel far from Perth CBD to appreciate some of the great wines this region is famous for. Gourmet wine cruises through the Swan Valley conveniently departing from Barrack Street Jetty in the city, offering a stress-free way to partake in a cheeky wine-tasting experience on your AFL weekend. The wine tasting begins on board as the tour cruises up the Swan River with regal views of the city and the upper regions of the Valley. Passengers disembark at the premier Sandalford Estate Winery and experience a delectable two course lunch, behind-the-scenes tour of the estate and more wine tasting. More stunning views and dessert awaits on board as the boat makes its way back to the CBD by 5pm.

AFL Travel is now taking package bookings for the 2019 Toyota AFL Premiership Season. Bookings can be made through the AFL Travel website or by contacting the AFL Travel Contact Centre on 13 17 43 from Monday to Friday 8am–6pm AEST and Saturday 9am–5pm AEST.

Words by Rebecca Walker. Image courtesy of Western Australia Tourism - Published 6 March 2019
Quick Facts 
Population Approx 1.5 million
Area 5,386 km2
Time Zone GMT +8
Languages English (official)
Currency Australian dollar (AUD)
Electricity 220 – 240v 50Hz
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