Explore Western Australia's South West
Explore the south western corner of Western Australia with this 1100km loop itinerary travelling south of Perth and taking in Margaret River, Augusta and Albany in a 10 day trip.
- Perth to Bunbury
- Bunbury to Margaret River
- Margaret River to Augusta
- Augusta to Walpole
- Walpole to Albany
- Albany to Kojonup
- Kojonup to Perth
Distance: 1100km Download: Perth to Albany self-drive itinerary
Day 1. Perth
Pick up your car or motorhome in Perth. If collecting a motorhome allow an hour for pick up and becoming familiar with your vehicle before leaving the rental branch.
Perth is the capital city of Western Australia, and the only place to combine a city lifestyle with the Australian bush. A visit to King’s Park is a must, which is one of the world’s biggest inner-city parks – even bigger than Central Park in New York! Here, you can take an Indigenous cultural tour, walk amongst the tree tops and have a picnic.
Stay: Discovery Holiday Parks, Perth
Day 2. Perth to Bunbury
Depart this morning and head south via State Route 2 to Forrest Highway. You will arrive in Bunbury roughly 2 hours later.
Spend the afternoon admiring the local wildlife of Bunbury. The bay is home to more than 150 bottlenose dolphins, which can be seen regularly in the shallow waters. You can even take a tour to swim with the dolphins and have the opportunity to interact with them.
Distance: 172km, 1 hour 50 minutes
Stay: Bunbury Glade Caravan Park, Bunbury
Day 3. Bunbury to Margaret River
Depart this morning and head south along the Bussell Highway to Margaret River.
Have lunch at the Swooping Magpie, a small, privately owned vineyard. The vineyard prides itself on having an abundance of full-flavoured, high quality and affordable wines to try. You must also try their famous scones with jam and cream, a local favourite!
Explore the ancient Mammoth Caves in the afternoon. Entering the cave from a bushwalk, you will see fossils from now extinct Australian animals that are up to 50,000 years old. If you visit during winter, you will be able to see the hauntingly beautiful red stream through the cave, stained from the natural tannins.
Distance: 99km, 1 hour 13 minutes
Stay: Two Nights at Big Valley Campsite, Margaret River
Day 4. Margaret River
Spend the morning on a tour of the stunning Margaret River Forest on an electric quad bike. You are taken deep into the Boranup Forest in the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park to trek where few locals have been. Using innovative iPad technology, you will learn about the indigenous flora and fauna, local animals including the whales and the aboriginal uses of local flowers and trees.
In the afternoon, visit one of Margaret River’s famous wineries. Camp Mentelle is one of the founding five wineries of the region, and crushes about 1,700 tonnes of fruit each year. Try a variety and become a bit of a wine connoisseur. They specialise in varieties of both red and white wines.
Day 5. Augusta
Depart Margaret River this morning and head south on Bussell Highway towards Walkington Avenue in Augusta.
Visit the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse and climb to the lookout at the top. The lighthouse is the tallest on mainland Australia on the most south-westerly tip. Here, the Indian and Southern Oceans meet to produce a truly memorable natural experience. Take a break and have a coffee in one of the heritage cottages overlooking Flinders Bay.
In the afternoon, explore the Hardy Inlet and Blackwood River. The Blackwood River is the largest river in Western Australia, and is full of local wildlife, dolphins and fish. Have a picnic, or take the opportunity to participate in a variety of water sports.
Distance: 43km, 30 minutes
Stay: Molloy Caravan Park, Kudardup
Day 6. Walpole
Depart in the morning and take the Brockman Highway to Darradup. Follow the Vasse Highway to Walpole.
After the drive, spend the day relaxing at the Walpole and Nornalup Inlets Marine Park for lunch. Bring a picnic and enjoy the remoteness of the natural location. Explore the various walking trails or even try out some fishing.
In the afternoon, visit the famous Valley of Giants Tree Top Walk. The walkway takes you 40 metres up into the canopy as you get to explore a different world that most never get to see. You must remember to wear walking shoes, and allow 45-60 minutes to fully enjoy the walk.
Distance: 245km, 3 hours 10 minutes
Stay: Coalmine Beach Holiday Park
Day 7. Albany
Depart this morning, and head east. Take the National Route 1 to Albany.
Have lunch at Mt. Romance, the sandalwood factory of Albany. After the morning drive, you can sit back and relax by trying some local produce in the gourmet café. Explore the sandalwood factory, and learn about the processes and uses of sandalwood, including its rich history with the local indigenous population.
Spend the afternoon at the National ANZAC centre. The first troops to leave for the First World War in 1915, left from Albany. Known as where the ANZAC story was born, the centre follows the journey of the troops from Albany, to the Middle East, to Gallipoli and across the Western Front. The Lonely Planet named the National Anzac Centre one of the best new travel experiences in the world, and is something not to be missed.
Distance: 120km, 1 hour 25 minutes
Stay: Two nights at Big4 Emu Beach Holiday Park
Day 8. Albany
Journey across the oceans and discover a small part of the Southern Ocean. Take a sailing tour and learn about the tales of the sea, whilst indulging in some coffee, tea and local food. You may even get the opportunity to steer the ship!
Explore the Padre White lookout in the afternoon, the most visited lookout in the region. The lookout is a tribute to Padre White, an army chaplain who would lead parishioners to the summit of Mount Clarence so they could watch the conveys depart for Europe and the First World War.
Day 9. Kojonup
Depart Albany this morning and take the Albany Highway towards Kojonup/ Perth.
When you arrive in Kojonup, be sure to visit the Kodja Place. The Kodja Place is made up of The Kodj Gallery, Yoondis Mia Mia, The Story Place and The Australian Rose Maze. This culturally significant place tells the Kojonup story, and is a product of the work of many dedicated volunteers who want to share their culture.
Enjoy a snack at Yoondis Mia Mia, as you immerse yourself in the Noongar culture in a traditional Mia Mia camp. Here, you will learn to see the bush through the eyes of the Noongar people, and how they can survive off the land.
Spend the afternoon getting lost in the Rose Maze. Discover the history and culture of three amazing woman: Yoondi, the Noongar woman, Elizabeth; and English woman, and the Italian woman, Maria. Throughout this journey, you will get to experience their lives in a completely different time.
Distance: 153km, 1 hour 35 minutes
Stay: Kojonup Caravan Park
Day 10. Perth
Depart for Perth. Head north on the Albany Highway towards Harrison Place. You have now finished your journey.
Distance: 264 km, 2 hours 45 minutes
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Special caution and planning should be taken when travelling in remote areas to ensure sufficient provisions, fuel and prescribed medicines are carried.
Weather conditions can make sealed roads impassable particularly during the northern Wet season. All rental vendors in Australia have restrictions on where their vehicles can be taken, therefore it is recommended that you consult with your vehicle provider on your intended journey when collecting your vehicle. Travelling where restrictions are imposed voids all insurance cover.
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