Western Australia - Australia in all its raw beauty

Posted by Tara on November 14, 2022



We started our adventure in Perth, Western Australia. After picking up a rental vehicle a short 20 minute drive saw us arrive into the heart of Perth City. COMO The Treasury is a 48 ­room contemporary luxury hotel in Perth’s revitalised historic heart. The hotel occupies state buildings dating from the mid 19th ­century. Como The Treasury provides an elegant, restful base from which to explore the wilder lures of Western Australia. It’s a wonderful take on relaxed modern luxury and is one of our favourite hotels in Australasia.

The Wineries of Margaret River

After a luxurious stay in the heart of Perth city, we set off the next morning to explore the Margaret River region. Taking in the sheer length of Busselton jetty at 1.8 km, we then lunched at the oldest of the wineries, Vasse Felix sampling their excellent reds.

After a visit to Smith’s Beach Resort – a wonderfully appointed apartment style property on a stunning beachside location in the hearth of the Cape to Cape walkway, we settled into Cape Lodge enjoying a degustation experience dinner in the peaceful surroundings overlooking their central lake to consider yet more of the regions 100 cellar doors – many of which are very local boutique offerings. 

The next day our guide Rob gave us a sample of various Margaret River vineyards, each with their own unique flavour. Highlights were the fine Australian art collection held at Leeuwin Estate, the incredible cheese selection at Woodlands, a private behind the scenes tour at Moss Wood and an elegant tasting Fraser Gallop. Throughout the day we glimpsed the stunning wild coastline of this region, at various points. Dinner was a fun night out in Margaret River township at the buzzing Pizzica restaurant.


The Outback

We then flew to Kununurra, a flight of three hours over the desert regions of Western Australia. A short 30 minute scenic helicopter ride (you can drive as well) to El Questro followed, which is considered to be one of the world’s most unique holiday destinations. The luxury of El Questro Homestead sits in stark contrast to Western Australia's rugged Kimberley landscape. Perched on a cliff top, with vistas of one of the prettiest locations in The Kimberley, The Homestead is a relaxed retreat catering for a maximum of 20 guests.




Surrounding The Homestead, a rich green lawn sweeps down to a pool overlooking the commanding Chamberlain Gorge. We were lucky to secure a room due to a late cancellation and this so happened to be the Chamberlain Suite which boasts a breathtaking view over the gorge. This is a luxury base from which to explore the diverse Kimberley landscape. Soak in the Zebedee Thermal Springs, cruise private gorges, rivers and waterfalls, explore from the air, horse-ride or hike the terrain on foot. The Homestead is renowned for serving gourmet cuisine in dramatic locations. We also shared an intimate cliff side dinner beneath the stars.     


The Bungle Bungles

Chartering a flight, we took a fixed wing plane from El Questro to the beehive-shaped domes of the Bungle Bungles. They appeared below us, dark grey- and red-striped sandstone mounds dating back just 360 million years, sitting like fortresses atop the savannah. A ground tour is a must here to take in the spectacular formations and colours of the earth.



En route we saw Lake Argyle which is 21 times the size of Sydney Harbour and home to 30,000 "freshies", including the biggest freshwater crocodiles to be found in Australia, measuring about four metres. On the way back we had a glimpse of the extensive workings of the Argyle Pink Diamond mine from the air. It’s now closed and is undergoing an rehabilitation programme.

Flying on from Kununurra to Bullo River Station was perhaps the highlight of our amazing outback experience. Situated on the edge of the remote Kimberley in the  northwest corner of Australia’s Northern Territory, Bullo River is a working cattle station that strives to balance best practice pastoral work with a commitment to environmental and indigenous conservation. 800 km south-west of Darwin and 200 km east of  Kununurra in what is referred to as the East Kimberley region. Encircled by the coffee-coloured waters of the Victoria River and rugged hills inscribed with Aboriginal rock art, this vast property is home not only to around 2,500 Brahman-cross cattle but also to a stunning variety of local fauna including wallabies, dingoes, wild buffalo, a myriad of native and migratory birds, fish and the omnipresent crocodiles.

Bullo River Station isn’t a hotel, it’s an experience – and a gloriously hot and dusty one   at that. This is what Australians call ‘the Top End’ of their magnificent continent. Australia’s pioneer spirit is much in evidence at this outback station, which occupies half a million acres and works closely with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy. Unleash your inner bushman or bushwoman by feeding calves, roaming the grounds in a 4WD or croc-spotting by the river. After all that, you’ll definitely deserve a dip in the pool, a drink in the lodge and a gourmet meal. One afternoon while lounging poolside a giant flock of white cockatoos flew over, their yellow crests glistening in the bright sunshine. While staying here you can take a tour highlighting station life or explore stunning landscapes and waterfalls, swimming in remote waterholes, fishing for barramundi and discovering Aboriginal rock art and wildlife. Rock art on the property is evidence that First Nations people lived in the area hundreds, if not thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers.

This area is in fact so remote that some of the waterholes and Aboriginal art found here had remained unseen for hundreds of years. Marlee’s Bath is a picturesque and safe waterhole, with a story attached to the previous owner, Marlee, a young stockwoman and owner of the station would bathe in this water when using the area as a mustering camp, directing all the men to bathe further down the river. We too swam in this natural delight, remarking how soft our skin felt afterwards, as we picnicked nearby.

After our delicious three course meal prepared by the chef we took in the stars. A high powered telescope allowed us to see Saturn with our naked eye, rings included! The clear, starry nights at Bullo River Station, offer a special viewing experience of the Milky Way.

We came away feeling that this Western Australian experience showed us the real Australia in all its raw beauty – it did not disappoint!