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Nature and urban life harmoniously combine in Perth. As Australia’s sunniest capital city, the city is marvellously laid-back, liveable and cosmopolitan. However, journey a bit further outside this bustling metropolis and you’ll discover white-sand beaches, world-class wineries and one of Australia’s best marine park wonderlands. So if you’re travelling for business and need to unwind over the weekend or planning a leisure trip, here is a list of our five favourite short trips from Perth.

1. Head to Fremantle for History, Markets and Some of Australia’s Best Beaches

Around thirty minutes south of the city you’ll find Fremantle, arguably one of WA’s coolest destinations and a spot that offers a myriad of must-see attractions suited to any intrepid wanderer.

ƒIf you’re a beach fan, then you’ll be in your watery element here with four main beaches perfect for paddling, picnicking and kite surfing. South Beach offers superb views of Rottnest Island, Port Beach is great for snorkelling, Leighton Beach ideal if you’re considering your first surfing lesson and Bathers Beach a top spot for a sunset fish ‘n’ chips feast.

History buffs enjoying a short trip from Perth should walk the worn pathways of the iconic Fremantle Prison, and if you love all things nautical, head to the WA Maritime Museum. Set on the shoreline of the Indian Ocean, here you can view a number of exhibits including an Oberon class submarine and Australia II, the winner of the 1983 America’s Cup.

Love shopping? Then you can’t miss the historic Fremantle Markets. Lively and chaotic, they are located a stone’s throw from the ‘Cappuccino Strip’ and feature over 150 stalls offering everything from jewellery and fashion to local produce and homewares.

2. Feast And Frolick Your Way Through the Swan Valley And Some of the Country’s Best Wineries

If you’re after a half-hour short trip from Perth, then head northeast to the Swan Valley, home to WA’s oldest wine growing region. Here you’ll find over 40 cellar doors, some fantastic breweries and if you’re lucky enough to have a designated driver for the day, can experience the 32-kilometre loop of the Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail, which takes in over 200 gastronomic attractions.

Visit organic wineries and award-winning microbreweries and then settle in for a vineyard-view al fresco lunch, or you can opt to fill a picnic basket with gourmet goodies and then laze about the lushness of Bell Rapids or Whiteman Park.

Here in the Swan Valley you can also pat a local kangaroo at Caversham Wildlife Park, wander through the vintage shops in Guildford, or take home a unique piece fashioned by one of the area’s talented painters, potters, woodworkers or printmakers.

3. Swim, Sail and Snorkel Your Way Around Mandurah and Its Picturesque Canals

If you’re after a seaside-bound day trip from Perth, an hour’s travel south will have you at Mandurah, which is an absolute nirvana for water sports lovers. Swimming, sailing, windsurfing, jet skiing, jet boarding … they’re all on offer here, and if you’re a mad angler, you’ll enjoy the fishing opportunities and the chance for crabbing in the shallow estuaries.

Adrenalin junkies might want to hit the iconic Munda Biddi Bike Trail (it’s the longest track of its kind in the world), play a few rounds of ocean-view golf, or visit Dolphin Quay at the Mandurah Marina.

And of course, no trip to Mandurah would be complete without a boat cruise on the area’s canals, where you can laze about on deck with a glass of bubbles while keeping your eye out for a glimpse of a wild bottle-nosed dolphin or two.

4. View a Breathtaking Underwater World from Busselton’s Jetty and Soak Up Its Maritime History

Thinking about a weekend getaway from Perth? Two and a half hours south of the city centre is Busselton’s pride and joy – its artificial reef and underwater observatory located at the end of the 1.8 kilometre-long Busselton Jetty. Descending eight metres beneath the water’s surface, visitors can view more than 300 marine species within its 9.5-metre-diameter observation chamber.

If you’re a little on the claustrophobic side, opt for a swim of the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean instead, browse through an endless array of homewares stores and boutique fashion outlets, or for a spot of history, take a visit back to the 1800’s amid the memorabilia and the memories of the Busselton Museum.

5. Sip Wine in Margaret River and Marvel at the Wonders of Its Incredible Marine Life

For the perfect weekend escape from Perth, head for the uninterrupted coastline and rolling vineyards of the Margaret River. In just under three hours you’ll find yourself amid more than 150 world-class wineries, renowned for several blends including their cabernet sauvignons and chardonnays. Pair a day of wine tasting with a decadent five-course menu from one of the area’s top restaurants and your taste buds will truly be in heaven.

If you’re into wildlife, the Margaret River region is home to some of the best whale watching in Australia, boasting one of the longest running whale watching seasons in the world. From May right through to early December, Humpbacks and Southern Right Wales splash delightfully about these waters, and if you’re lucky you may even catch a glimpse of a Bottlenose Dolphin, a New Zealand Fur Seal or even the world’s largest living creature, a Blue Whale.

Whether you’re keen to day-trip it in comfort or you’re off to celebrate a wonderfully long weekend free from the hustle and bustle of city life, we can take you there in style.

For all your transport needs in and around Perth, contact Hughes on 1300 615 165 and hire one of our luxury chauffeured cars today!