8 Day ItineraryBest of the South West

{{slide.SlideTitle}}

DISCOVER WHY THE SOUTH WEST IS ONE OF THE MOST DIVERSE HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS ON EARTH.

In just eight days from Bunbury, Busselton and Margaret River, to Denmark and Albany, you’ll experience it all – world-class wine, surf breaks and walking trails, stunning beaches, whale watching, ancient caves and forests of timber giants. It’s hardly surprising Lonely Planet nominated this as one of the world’s top 10 regions to visit.

Best time: September to December (to coincide with wildflowers, whale watching in Dunsborough and dolphins) 

Highlights:

  • Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre
  • Busselton Jetty
  • Whale watching
  • Margaret River
  • Valley of the Giants
  • William Bay National Park
  • Torndirrup National Park
  • Kodja Place


Busselton Jetty Busselton Jetty

Day 1:

Morning: Perth to Bunbury

An early morning start will give you the best chance of meeting the friendly wild dolphins of Bunbury for a memorable close encounter. 

Head south from Perth on the Kwinana Freeway and Forrest Highway and you’ll reach the Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre within just two hours. 

Take a swim tour with the dolphins, join a dolphin eco cruise, learn more about dolphins and local marine life inside the centre, or head for the interaction zone at the shoreline, and wait for the dolphins to come to you.


Afternoon: Bunbury to Busselton and Dunsboruough

Stay in Bunbury for lunch at a cafe, restaurant or brewery, or make the 50-minute journey to Busselton for lunch overlooking Geographe Bay and the longest timber jetty in the southern hemisphere – Busselton Jetty

Take the 1.8-kilometre jetty walk, or ride the train and take a tour of the Underwater Observatory – your window to Australia’s greatest artificial reef.

From here, it’s another 25-minute drive to reach Dunsborough for your overnight stay.



Whale watching near Busselton Whale watching near Busselton

Day 2:

Morning: Dunsborough

If you’re visiting between the months of September and December, join a whale watching tour to witness the annual migration of the humpback and southern right whales along Western Australia’s coast.

January to April is a good time to enjoy the region’s stunning beaches, including the calm sheltered waters of Meelup Beach and Bunker Bay.

Afternoon: Dunsborough to Margaret River

Continue south on scenic Caves Road and take your pick from the region’s many fine wineries and breweries for lunch.

You can easily spend the whole afternoon indulging in premium wines and fine artisan foods, hopping between the cellar doors and gourmet produce stores of Margaret River.

Hand pick your ingredients for a cook-your-own dinner, or dine on the fine creations of the region’s many award-winning chefs. See the Australian Good Food Guide  for inspiration.



Lake Cave, Margaret RiverLake Cave, Margaret River

Day 3:

Morning: Margaret River forests and caves

Breakfast in Margaret River town, and browse the high street for art and crafts, fashion and foodie treats. 

Or head up to one of the most famous of Margaret River’s 40 surfing spots – Surfers Point, near Prevelly . Home to the internationally-renowned annual Margaret River Pro competition, it’s a top spot to watch the local pros in action.

Continue south on Caves Road and you’ll soon find yourself amongst the tall karri trees of Boranup Forest. Enjoy a scenic drive and a picnic surrounded by these majestic 60-metre timber giants.

Below the forest floor lie other enchanting worlds. Take a guided tour of the wild depths of Mammoth Cave, Lake Cave, or Jewel Cave – home to the longest straw stalactite on show in the world.


Afternoon: Margaret River to Augusta

Another 15-minute drive south brings you to the most south-western point in Australia, at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse .

Join a guided tour of the lighthouse (the largest of its kind on mainland Australia), watch the waters of the Indian Ocean and Southern Oceans collide, and keep an eye out for migrating whales between June and September.

From here, you’re just an eight-minute drive away from Augusta accommodation and restaurants.



Winery, PembertonWinery, Pemberton

Day 4:

Morning: Augusta to Pemberton

If you missed the whale watching in Dunsborough, humpback and southern right whales can often be spotted close to the shore in Flinders Bay. Or you can jump aboard a morning tour from Augusta (June to September) for memorable encounters.

In under two hours from Augusta, you’ll reach the premium cool-climate wine region of Pemberton – the perfect stop for lunch and dinner.


 

Afternoon: Pemberton

The best forest vantage points can be found by venturing up Pemberton's climbing trees. Originally used as fire lookouts in the 1940s, the largest (known as the Gloucester Tree) stands at 61 metres.

Nearby, the dense forests and pretty waterways of Beedelup and Warren national parks offer another great opportunity to wander the Bibbulmun Track or cycle the Munda Biddi.



Valley of the Giants Tree Top WalkValley of the Giants Tree Top Walk

Day 5:

Morning: Pemberton to Walpole

Follow the Vasse and South Western Highway from Pemberton to Walpole, and the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk.

This unique walkway (the first of its kind ever built) leads you on a gentle climb, 40 metres above the forest floor, to reveal breathtaking views of Western Australia’s 400-year-old tingle tree giants.

Afternoon: Walpole to Denmark

Heading east to Denmark, the 40-minute scenic drive brings you to the spot where the tall-timber forests meet the clear green-blue sea.

Here, in William Bay National Park, you can swim and snorkel in one of nature’s most inviting swimming pools, Greens Pool, and take a scenic walk to meet some curious bathing giants at Elephant Rocks .

Along the 20-minute drive into Denmark, stop by the cellar doors and gourmet produce stores to pick up some evening treats before taking a table at one of Denmark’s restaurants for dinner.



Torndirrup National ParkTorndirrup National Park

DAY 6:

Morning: Denmark

Follow Mount Shadforth Tourist Drive into the rolling hills above Denmark town for a morning feast of local wines, arts, delicious produce and breathtaking mountain-to-ocean panoramas.

Afternoon: Denmark to Albany

It’s a 50-minute drive east from Denmark, through Albany, to reach one of the most dramatic coastlines in Western Australia – Torndirrup National Park – home of The Gap, Natural Bridge and The Blowholes. From July to October, these tall cliffs make a top whale watching spot too.

Return to Albany and take your pick from the restaurants, taverns and accommodation options among the town’s 50 heritage buildings.



Albany by Amazing AlbanyAlbany by Amazing Albany

DAY 7:

Morning: Albany

Spend the morning exploring the spot where the first European settlers set foot in Western Australia and where the first ANZACs departed Australian soil, bound for the First World War. You can discover almost two centuries of dramatic whaling, convict and settler history on the heritage trails and by visiting Albany’s museums.

Head out to the historic whaling station at Discovery Bay - the only museum of its kind in the world to be hosued in a formerly fully-operational whaling station.

Or step inside the boots of an ANZAC at the state-of-the-art National Anzac Centre and follow their personal journey from recruitment, through training and in conflict at the battlefields of Gallipoli, the Middle East and the Western Front.

A weekend visit to Albany will bring a bonus treat – a taste of the region’s fresh local flavours at the iconic Farmers' Markets.

Afternoon: Albany

From Princess Royal Fortress and Mount Clarence, you can take in amazing views of the town, coast and wind farm. Or you can view the entire coast in all its rugged beauty on a scenic helicopter flight.

For more historic insights, head up to Mount Romance to experience one of the oldest industries in Western Australia – the branch-to-bottle processing of sandalwood.



The Kodja PlaceThe Kodja Place

DAY 8:

Morning: Albany to Kojonup

A one-hour flight gets you direct from Albany back to Perth. 

If you’re making the return journey by road, make the one-hour-forty-minute drive north following the Albany Highway to The Kodja Place

Browse the Kodj Gallery and gift shop, featuring local and regional Noongar paintings, boomerangs, didgeridoos and hand-painted pottery.

Experience the tradition of billy tea and damper on a guided tour and enjoy lunch at the café, overlooking the Australian rose maze.

Afternoon: Kojonup to Perth

From here, it’s a three-hour drive through the vast open spaces of the Wheatbelt to Perth. Break your journey with a refreshment stop in the outback town of Williams and its interpretive woolshed.



Important Travel Information

  • Dolphin tours must be pre-booked via the tour operator. The dolphins are generally very consistent in their habits and behaviours. However, as they are wild animals, sightings and interactions are not 100% guaranteed. See the tour operators’ terms and conditions for details.
  • All tours by boat are subject to weather conditions.
  • Tours of Busselton Jetty Observatory depart on the hour all year round (9am to 4pm September to April and 10am to 3pm May to August).
  • Be Sun Smart. Always apply sunscreen (at least +15 SPF), wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and drink plenty of water. If you’re visiting in the warmer months (December to March), seek some shade between 11am and 3pm. See Cancer Council WA for more advice.
  • Surf and marine conditions can vary significantly. Always read safety signs and swim between the red and yellow Lifesaving flags. Get more tips from Beachsafe
  • Be aware that drivers are subject to alcohol limits that are strictly enforced. Moderation is always advised. 
  • TAKE nothing but photos – picking wildflowers is illegal and can attract a AU$2000 fine. RESPECT private property and don’t trespass. PROTECT canola crops and prevent the spread of disease by staying out of canola fields.

 

Trip Details

START:

Duration:

REGION(S):

Perth 8 days Perth & surrounds
The South West

Distances :

Perth to Bunbury

172 km

Bunbury to Busselton

52 km

Busselton to Dunsborough

24 km

Dunsborough to Cape Naturaliste

14 km (one way)

Dunsborough to Margaret River

51 km

Margaret River to Surfers Point

9 km

Surfers Point to Augusta

52 km

Augusta to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse

8.5 km (one way)

Augusta to Pemberton

125 km

Pemberton to Walpole

120 km

Walpole to Denmark

66 km

Denmark to Albany

54 km

Albany to Kojonup

153 km

 Kojonup to Perth

264 km

Total Distance

1,187  km

{{data.DisplayProperties.SubTitle}}

{{data.DisplayProperties.Title}}

{{data.DisplayProperties.Emphasis}}

{{data.DisplayProperties.Description}}

{{result.title}}
{{result.title}} {{result.title}}
{{result.title}}
{{result.city}}
{{result.formattedEventRangeDates}}
{{result.title}}
{{result.city}}
{{result.formattedEventRangeDates}}

{{data.DisplayProperties.SubTitle}}

{{data.DisplayProperties.Title}}

{{data.DisplayProperties.Emphasis}}

{{data.DisplayProperties.Description}}

{{result.title}}
{{result.title}} {{result.title}}
{{result.title}}
{{result.city}}
{{result.formattedEventRangeDates}}
{{result.title}}
{{result.city}}
{{result.formattedEventRangeDates}}