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11 Days in South Western Australia

Follow an ever-changing coastline through vineyards, forests and deserts, encountering dolphins, whales and wildflowers.

kms awe-inspiring coastline

Spend 11 days taking one unique road trip around the edge of the South West, through wine regions, towering karri forests, and along the marine life-rich coast before returning to Perth across the desert. Meet playful dolphins and watch majestic whales. Sample premium wines and the finest fresh produce. Explore ancient caves, unique mountain ranges, and pristine beaches. Immerse yourself in the diverse landscapes and pioneering gold rush heritage of the South West.

Wildflowers generally bloom in this region between September and November, and displays are more prolific after good winter rains.

Itinerary via westernaustralia.com

Day 1: Apollo Perth Branch to Bunbury

Travel time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Distance: 176kms

While in Bunbury, there are endless dolphin experiences in Bunbury. Meet friendly wild dolphins at the Bunbury Discovery Centre. Take a dolphin swim tour. Or hop on a dolphin eco cruise. Head to Bunbury’s very own Garden of Eden - the Ferguson Valley to enjoy majestic views of vineyards as you dine.

Image: Tourism Western Australia


Day 2: Bunbury to Margaret River

Travel time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Distance: 103kms

During your journey to Margaret River stop at Busselton for breakfast overlooking Geographe Bay and the Busselton Jetty - the longest timber jetty in the southern hemisphere.

Once you’ve finished exploring Busselton, drive 25 minutes to enjoy lunch at Dunsborough and Yallingup. Discover the natural wonders and history of Ngilgi Cave, and experience one of the oldest surviving cultures on Earth by joining an Aboriginal culture tour of the cave. Then finish your journey south to Margaret River while enjoying the scenic drive along Caves Road.

Where to stay: RAC Margaret River Nature Park.

Image: Tourism Western Australia


Day 3: Margaret River

Start the morning in Margaret River walking one of the most diverse coastal trails in Australia - the Cape to Cape Track. After your morning walk, you’ll certainly be ready for an afternoon of indulgence. Hop from cellar door to cellar door and sample the region’s fine wines. Be sure to stop by the local gourmet produce stores to enjoy local artisanal foods and purchase fresh ingredients for your campervan cooked dinner.

Image: Tourism Western Australia


Day 4: Margaret River to Pemberton

Travel time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Distance: 133kms

Enjoy bushwalking, fishing, hiking, or mountain biking? A stop in Pemberton is a must! Explore the region’s dense forests and waterways in Beedelup National Park by foot or bike. If you’d rather admire a bird’s eye view, scale one of Pemberton’s climbing trees and enjoy an 360 view of the incredible landscape.

Image: Tourism Western Australia


Day 5: Pemberton to Denmark

Travel time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Distance: 185kms

On the drive to Denmark, we recommend you stop at Walpole. In Walpole, you can walk through the canopy of 400-year-old tingle trees on the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk. This treetop walkway is the first of its kind and takes you on a gentle climb, exploring the breathtaking views of the surrounding forest.

While continuing the drive to Denmark, take an extended tour of the rolling hills above the town on Mount Shadforth Scenic Drive to discover more artisanal treats, local arts and panoramic views.

Image: Tourism Western Australia


Day 6: Denmark to Albany

Travel time: 40 minutes

Distance: 55kms

From Denmark, drive 55-minutes east through Albany to visit Discovery Bay and the state-of-the-art National Anzac Centre. Step into the boots of one of the 40,000 Anzacs who fought in the First World War as you follow their journey from recruitment and training to conflict on the frontline.

A short drive from Discovery Bay, is one of Western Australia’s most dramatic coastlines - Torndirrup National Park. Admire in awe at The Gap Natural Bridge and The Blowholes. If you’re here between July - October you might also be lucky enough to spot migrating whales too!

Where to stay: Albany Gardens Holiday Resort.

Image: Instagram - @theramblerco


Day 7: Albany to Hopetoun

Travel time: 3 hours 35 minutes

Distance: 333kms

If you’re in Albany on the weekend, a visit to the iconic Farmers’ Markets is a great place to sample the region’s fresh local flavours.

40 minutes north of Albany, find the striking Porongurup National Park - 12 peaks sculpted by Mother Nature over the last million years. To make the most of your time here, do the two-hour return walk to Castle Rock and the Granite Skywalk and enjoy panoramic views, rich birdlife and between August to December, admire the spring wildflowers. When planning your day, make sure you allow 3 hours to drive to Hopetoun for your overnight stay.

Image: Tourism Western Australia


Day 8: Hopetoun to Esperance

Travel time: 2 hour 5 minutes

Distance: 182kms

Hopetoun is ultimately your gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Fitzgerald River National Park, which is one of the world’s most naturally diverse landscapes. Explore the unique wilderness by walking or driving the many trails. This region is home to almost 20% of Western Australia’s plant species, with a number of the plants found nowhere else on Earth.

After exploring the Fitzgerald River National Park, head east to Esperance and drive along the Great Ocean Drive Tourist Loop for an afternoon exploring a string of impressive white-sand beaches and swimming spots.

Image: Instagram - @theramblerco


Day 9: Esperance

Meet kangaroos at one of Australia’s most famous coastal gems - Lucky Bay. With amazingly white sands, calm waters and flocks of Western Grey Kangaroos Lucky Bay is a perfect spot to spend your morning or afternoon.

Another Esperance highlight, is one of Western Australia’s most photographed and recognisable landmarks - Lake Hellier or ‘Pink Lane’. You can view this lake by boat or from above by taking a scenic flight.

Image: Tourism Western Australia


Day 10: Esperance to Hyden

Travel time: 3 hours 55 minutes

Distance: 382kms

From Esperance, drive inland through the Wheatbelt towns to one of Australia’s biggest breaks - Wave Rock. Wave Rock is a 15 metre high cresting wave of solid granite shaped by the forces of nature over 2 billion years ago.

Tip: Visit in Spring to enjoy the kaleidoscope of natural coloured sea of wildflowers.

Image: Tourism Western Australia


Day 11: Hyden to Apollo Perth Branch

Travel time: 3 hours 35 minutes

Distance: 319kms

On your journey back to Perth, detour east to see a very quirky attraction - the Tin Horse Highway or Kulin and Corrigan’s Dog Cemetery, a touching tribute to the man’s best friend. If you're planning on staying in Perth for a night or two, we recommend Discovery Parks Perth and Perth Central Caravan Park


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