The south-west of Western Australia is a perfect road trip destination filled with world-class wineries, great beaches, forest giants and delicious foods.
Whether you’re a photographer trying to nail the perfect shot or just like sharing pretty places on social media, these spots in Western Australia’s south-west, will get the likes flooding in fast!
Don’t forget the south-west hashtags!
#australiassw #southwest #southwestlife #justanotherdayinwa #thisiswa #explorewa #westernaustralia
1. Wyadup Rocks, near Yallingup
Also known as Nature’s Spa, this protected sea pool sits between Wyadup Bay and Injidup Bay, just south of Yallingup.
To get there, turn off Caves Rd and head to the end of Wyadup Rd, then walk down the pathway over the rocks towards the right which takes you to the natural spa. Don’t forget to also check out nearby Canal Rocks.
Tags: #wyaduprocks #naturesspa #naturalspa #wyadupbay #injidupbay #yallingup
2. Pemberton Pool, Pemberton
Built into Lefroy Brook in the 1920’s for the families of timber workers, Pemberton Pools has been an iconic cool-off spot for decades. The pool is surrounded by lush forest with tall timber and lots of wildlife. Walking and mountain bike trails run adjacent along with the 1000km Bibbulman Track that runs from Perth to Albany.
Get here at sunrise to watch the fog drift over the water as the sun peeks through the trees. You’ll only have to share it with the multitude of birds and frogs.
Just 2 minutes from Pemberton’s main street on Swimming Pool Road.
Tags: #pembertonpool #pemberton #naturalpool #southernforests
3. Hillier Lake, Esperance
A little bit more south, than south-west and not easy to get to but look at that pink! Yep, it’s real, especially on a sunny day when the lake is at its pinkest. The colour comes from tiny micro-organisms that inhabit the lake. You’ll need to take a scenic flight or book a boat tour to get out to the island that is home to Lake Hillier.
Tags: #pinklake #lakehillier #esperance
4. Sugarloaf Rock, Cape Naturaliste
Any semi-serious WA photographer either has this on the list or has already shot it. There’s just something about the giant rock emerging from swirling turquoise seas with a sunlit sky behind it that makes togs go giddy.
While it’s an easy view from the top of the cliff, the best shots are at the bottom, so be prepared for a mini rock-climbing adventure!
Situated about 15 minutes from Dunsborough, head down Cape Naturaliste Road, turn left onto Sugarloaf Rock Road and you’ll find the car park at the end.
Tags: #sugarloafrock #capenaturaliste #dunsborough
5. Valley of the Giants, near Walpole
Walk through ancient tingle canopies 40m in the air and confuse birds as you take in the valley view. The 600m tree top walk is perfect for all ages unless heights scare you. At the end of the tree top walk, continue onto the Ancient Empire walk at ground level and get up close to the giant red tingle tree, many of which have had their innards gutted by fire that makes a great photo when you stand inside them.
Mobility issues are not a problem as there is only a small incline and no time limit.
Tags: #valleyofthegiants #treetopwalk #walpole #nornalup #tingletrees #skywalk #southernforests
6. Margaret River Wineries
What better way to show your friends you’ve been swilling wine in the countryside by posing in front of Margaret River’s famous vineyards.
There’s plenty to choose from, enjoy lunch at one of the big wineries like Watershed, Voyager, Leeuwin or Xanadu or head to one of the smaller boutique wineries like Stella Bella, Cape Mentelle or Madfish, with a follow-up visit to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory (free tastings!)
If you’re into the sweeter wines, head a bit further south to the wineries around Denmark.
Tags: #margaretriver #margaretriverwinery #wine #winetime #allthewine #cellardoor
7. Elephant Rocks/Greens Pool, near Denmark
The smooth granite boulders that dot the aquamarine water at Elephant Rocks and nearby Greens Pool make a stunning backdrop on a clear summer day. Head down in the morning to swim in calmer water as it usually picks up with the sea breeze in the afternoon, although the rocks do offer some protection.
Not suitable for those with mobility issues.
Tags: #elephantrocks #greenspool #williambay #denmark
8. Hamelin Bay
Half an hour south of Margaret River and through the magnificent Boranup Forest is Hamelin Bay, a wonderful white sandy beach with azure waters in its own right, but it’s the morning visitors that give this place an extra notch or five on the wow meter.
Most mornings you’ll find a group of friendly stingrays visiting the beach, usually near the boat ramp or jetty ruins hoping for fish scraps.
While quite gentle and friendly just remember they are wild creatures so can be unpredictable, especially when they feel threatened. That pointy tail isn’t just for decorative reasons and holds a poisonous barb. But if you keep your feet still they might just come up and give you a little foot hug.
Tags: #hamelinbay #hamelinbayrays #stingrays
9. Gnomesville, Ferguson Valley
It starts off being cute as you wander the Gnomesville grounds, finding an Elvis gnome here and a gnome bus there, but as you keep walking and find hundreds and hundreds more garden gnomes, it does start to get a bit creepy! There are just so. many. gnomes!
It is pretty cool though and you can even bring your own gnome to join his ceramic brethrens.
Half hour drive from Bunbury at the intersection of Ferguson Road and Wellington Mill Road.
Tags: #gnomesville #fergusonvalley #bunbury #wellingtonmill #gnomes #gardengnome #ifyoudontgnomemebynow
10. Busselton Jetty
At 1.84kms long, Busselton Jetty is the longest timber jetty in the southern hemisphere. Take the mini train out to the end or visit the underwater observatory 8m underwater to view over 300 different marine species, tropical coral or if you’re lucky, a mermaid!
Tags: #busseltonjetty #busselton #southwestmermaids
11. Boranup Forest
Boranup Forest is filled with tall karri trees, many over 60m high. Their straight trunks en masse create a fascinating pattern in nature that makes driving through it an absolute joy, especially in the early morning or late arvo when the sun pushes through the trees. Nearby Cafe Boranup set in the middle of the forest is a wonderful spot for lunch.
Tags: #boranupforest #margaretriver #hamelinbay #southernforests
12. Black Diamond Lake, Collie
A former open-cut mine now a lake known for its vivid turquoise water. Best seen on a clear, sunny day when the blue is its bluest.
Tags: #blackdiamondlake #collie #lake
13. Margaret River Caves
There are a number of caves to visit in the Margaret River area, including Lake Cave which is the deepest and has a permanent lake in it producing stunning reflections, and Jewel Cave, the biggest show cave in WA comprising of three massive chambers and one of the longest straw stalactites in Australia. Nearby Mammoth Cave has some wheelchair access and contains fossils of long extinct megafauna while Ngilgi Cave is home to stunning stalactite, stalagmite, helictite and shawl formations.
Lake Cave is 20 minutes south of Margaret River on Caves Road.
Jewel Cave is 10 minutes north of August on Jewel Caves Road.
Mammoth Cave is 15 minutes south of Margaret River on Caves Road.
Ngilgi Cave is 5 minutes east of Yallingup or 10 minutes south of Dunsborough on Yallingup Caves Road.
Tags: #lakecave #jewelcave #mammothcave #ngilgicave #yallingupcaves #caves
14. Bluff Knoll, Stirling Ranges National Park
I’m not sure which is better, the view of or the view from Bluff Knoll, Western Australia’s third highest peak and the highest in the Stirling Ranges. It’s 3.1km to the summit from the car park, so allow 3-4 hours for the return trip which is considered moderately difficult, but those views are worth it! If doing the hike, be prepared and take sturdy walking boots, warm clothing (the weather can change suddenly) and lots of water. There’s usually a few days each winter that sees the knoll dusted in snow. Also, keep an eye out for Quokkas! Rarely seen on the mainland, but they’re around!
Tags: #bluffknoll #stirlingranges #hiking #mountain #stirlingrangenationalpark
15. Golden Valley Tree Park, Balingup
Pretty all year round but spectacular in autumn when the Golden Valley Tree Park is painted a thousand amber hues just begging for the cameras to come out. Situated on the edge of Balingup town on Old Padbury Road.
Tags: #goldenvalleytreepark #balingup #autumnleaves
16. Fire Lookout Trees, near Pemberton
The Bicentennial Tree and Gloucester Tree are not for the faint-hearted and require a little bit of stamina, courage and good shoes!
The world’s tallest fire lookout tree, the Bicentennial Tree is located in Warren National Park near Pemberton, the 75m high karri tree was pegged in 1988 for Australia’s bicentennial celebrations.
The slightly smaller Gloucester Tree, but still the 2nd tallest fire lookout tree at 53m, is just on the outskirts of Pemberton.
Tags: #bicentennialtree #gloucestertree #pemberton #southernforests #lookout
17. Castle Rock Granite Sky Walk & Balancing Rock
Effort required to get there but you’re rewarded with 360° views of the Porongurup Range at the top. Moderate fitness needed for the 4.4km return trip that includes a steep walk through the forest climbing over and under huge, granite boulders before ascending a 6m ladder to get to the top.
On the way up you’ll pass Balancing Rock, a 6m high granite boulder which reportedly weighs around 186 tonnes yet rests on a base just 1.21 square metres!
Half hour north of Albany.
Tags: #castlerockskywalk #castlerock #skywalk #balancingrock #albany #porongorupnationalpark #hiking #rockclimbing
18. Wildflower Season
Running from August till well into January, there are plenty of wildflowers to capture your attention all over WA’s south-west. End of September to early November have the largest amounts of wildflowers in bloom, and 1000’s of Kangaroo Paws continue to line the country roads well into January.
Although not a wildflower, the canola fields also make a great backdrop for any photo. Try mid Sept to October for canola.
The WA Wildlife Guide is a great source of info on where to see wildflowers en masse.
Boyup Brook and Collie are favourites with many orchids, coral vine, Lechenaultia and others flooding the forests. Further down, the trail near Bluff Knoll is also quite pretty.
Tags: #bloomingwild #wildflowersWA #southernforests #wildflowers
19. Blow Holes, Albany
When the seas are churning the blow holes send forth plumes of mist and sea air accompanied by the sound of fire-breathing dragons. Just be sure to keep away from the rocks closest to the ocean as many waves have claimed unsuspecting tourists and fisherman.
15kms drive from Albany. The car park is a few hundred metres from the blow holes but a sign will let you know if the holes are blowing.
Tags: #blowholes #albany
20. Honeymoon Pool, Wellington National Park
Sitting between Bunbury and Collie is this picturesque camping and picnic spot deep in the old growth forest on the Collie River, where peppermint trees drape like willows over the water.
Tags: #honeymoonpool #wellingtonnationalpark
So there you have it!
Of course, there’s still plenty more places to capture, but this list gives you an idea of what’s out there.
Western Australia’s southwest is perfect for a roadtrip, with most places within a 2-4 hour drive from Perth. Make sure to sample the region’s fresh produce and check out the unique wildlife.
The weather can vary and is usually quite a bit cooler than Perth. In winter, many areas fall to the minus’ overnight, but it makes a great time of year to book a cabin with a roaring log fire to keep you toasty warm.
In summer the water is refreshingly cool, some of those currents are direct from Antarctica after all!
Visit Australia’s South West, the official tourism site for the region, for more info.
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