Explore the best of South West Australia
Today’s guest post was written by Chris Moshi, a travel blogger currently working his way around Australia. He shares his stories, insights and travel tips on his personal travel blog My 30’s Travel Blog. You can also follow him on the ol’ Twitter and Facebook.
Perth is a very laid back city with plenty to keep visitor’s occupied. However, if you are ready for a change of scenery, then the South West has a lot to offer. Whether you have a week or a weekend, there’s a lot to see, from stunning forests, beautiful coastlines and of course, plenty of vineyards to quench your thirst.
We’ve taken a couple trips south of Perth and along the coast so we would like to share our favourite spots, many of which can be reached within six hours of Perth.
Just a three hour drive from Perth, Margaret River is home to one of Western Australia’s main wine regions. While we did just the one wine tasting, we also sampled local food. We tried a variety of cheeses at the Margaret River Dairy Company and indulged at Margaret River Chocolate. The latter is worth a visit to sample the many varieties of chocolate available as well as to watch the chocolate making process (not on Sundays).
The sister company, Providore is also worth a visit for foodie fans to sample many jams, spreads, sauces and spices. Lastly, the ‘Tav’ is a popular pub if you’d like to sample the local and imaginatively named, Margaret River Ale alongside mod Oz pub fare.
We stayed at Margaret River for two nights on our first trip and found it to be a good base for travelling to the surrounding areas since there is Busselton to the North and Augusta just a little south.
Just a 40 minute drive north through beautiful countryside is Busselton. We loved this very picturesque seaside town. Many people travel here to see the Busselton Jetty which stretches out for 1.8kms and is the longest timber jetty in the Southern Hemisphere.
At $2.50 it is well worth the walk along for the spectacular views (or if you wait until after 5pm it’s free!) You can also take your snorkel gear to the end of the jetty and jump in the water to see some spectacular marine life.
Heading south down the coast, we stopped at many scenic beaches before reaching Augusta. If you’re looking for something a little different, there is an inland route with a few caves that you can tour.
Augusta’s main attraction, the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, is definitely worth a visit. This point is where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet and there are fantastic ocean views.
If you are travelling between July and October it is possible that you may see migrating humpback whales.
Climb the Gloucester Tree – Pemberton
160kms south from Margaret River is the Gloucester National Park, where you can find the Gloucester tree, a giant Karri tree estimated to be 250 years old. It’s one in a series of three trees that was used as a lookout to spot forest fires.
The reason I suggest a visit is because visitors are able to climb up the tree, all 61m of it. It isn’t for the faint hearted since it is quite high and there are no safety measures. You just climb up the 153 metal pegs and hope you don’t slip!
There have been no deaths from climbing the trees and it is definitely well worth the climb, as you are rewarded with breathtaking views over the forest canopy.
Valley of the Giants – Walpole
Another 120kms South East you will find the Valley of Giants, just after Walpole. This tree top walk is great for getting a birds eye view over the forest floor without any pegs to climb.
It is a gentle walk 40m high that takes around 30 minutes to complete with a chance to explore the karri trees when you get back to the ground.
Elephant Rocks Beach
After the tree top walk, I’d recommended travelling east along the coastal road towards Denmark. The views along here are spectacular and if you didn’t see whales in Augusta, you may well spot southern right or humpback whales right from the beach.
Just before Denmark, you will arrive at the Elephant Rocks and Greens Pool, where you find some stunning beaches and a rock formations that look like Elephants in a herd. As with many things in Australia names are very obvious and simple! (not a bad thing).
Greens Pool is protected from the ocean by the massive rocks and is another great spot to get out your snorkel gear. From here it is just a short drive along the coast to Albany, where you can take the Albany Highway back to Perth in under five hours.
The South West of Australia offers a great variety of experiences, and, with it being a very different landscape to the rest of Western Australia, I hope it’s one you get to explore someday soon.
Have you visited South West Australia? What did you think?
Share your tips and tricks in the comments section below!
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