'Travel Correspondent' Richard Colman Wines & Dines In Perth

13 October 2014

Over the October long weekend, five lucky Aussies got the chance to channel their inner travel correspondent for Flight Centre. One of them was Richard Colman – a professional wheelchair athlete who travels the world competing on the track. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Richard placed 4th in the 1,500m track event and, not too long ago, became the first person in a wheelchair to complete the treacherous Death Road in Bolivia.

 Richard explores Perth's stylish CBD

Richard recently found a couple of days in his busy schedule to fly from his home in Geelong over to Perth to visit a friend he hadn't seen for a while, taking his best friend Lonnie along for the ride.

"Swan Valley was definitely the highlight," recalls Richard. "We spent a full action-packed day tasting coffee, chocolate, food and wine."

Located only 25 minutes east of Perth, Swan Valley is a haven of tranquil vineyards scattered with restaurants, microbreweries and distilleries. "We found this amazing coffee tasting place where you could choose from a page of varieties from all over the world. I tasted several different blends espresso-style and then we enjoyed a latte of another type from Costa Rica."

 An impressive caffeine fix in Swan Valley

Richard and co also found themselves faced with the sweet problem of deciding which chocolates to taste across the several chocolate shops they visited. Then, there was the wine.

"Angelica took us to a really good winery where we tasted a whole range of grape varieties. I was really surprised to discover I liked the rosé the most! I'm usually a red or a white drinker," says Richard.

According to Richard, the food around Perth is top notch. The three enjoyed an appetising and relaxing dinner in the Breakwater area and had lunch at a brewery where he savoured a "delicious slow-cooked pork topped with an Asian salad".

 Perth delivers the goods for breakfast!

On the second day, Richard and Lonnie took things a little easier and decided to spend the morning roaming around the city centre of Perth, where Richard was surprised by what he discovered.

"We found this really trendy little coffee shop down a leafy side alleyway and they served a delicious breakfast. I've been to Perth a few times so I knew what to expect, but finding alleyways like Melbourne was new to me. I just love these hidden gems."

Richard really enjoyed his fleeting trip to Perth and says he will definitely go back soon. "The weather is always amazing in Perth and we made the most of our short trip. When I have more time, I'd like to go back and head down to the Margaret River region." No doubt his tastebuds will be excited by this prospect too!

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Stay tuned for blog wrap-ups from our four other travel correspondents who ventured around Australia on the October long weekend. Can't wait until then? Search #travelcorrespondent on Twitter and Instagram.

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Gemma Cleveland

A lover of creativity, I appreciate the arts, culture and beauty in many forms. I'm hooked on experiencing new things and indulging my senses on this amazing planet we inhabit. I flounced around Europe for a time but am happy to be lapping up the sun again in my hometown of Brisbane.