Losing yourself in Australia's South West is easy! Here you'll find a mix of sleepy towns bursting with arts, crafts and gourmet produce; delightful walks through forests and along a rolling coastline; enough wineries and eateries to last a lifetime; and some fascinating natural phenomena, from the ancient crystal caves of Margaret River to the giant tingle trees of Walpole.
Several of our multi-day hikes are in this region, along the Cape to Cape coastal trail and around the Stirling Range and Porongorup National Park. The 1000km Bibbulmun Track winds through the region, taking in coastline, countryside and hills.
On a clear day, you can see for miles from Bluff Knoll in Stirling Range National Park - one of the highest peaks in Western Australia. Stirling Range National Park encloses the only major mountain range with in the southern half of Western Australia. Featuring stark cliff faces, sheltered gullies and magnificent views, the park is one of the world’s most important areas for flora with 1500 species, many of which grow nowhere else in the world.
You will enjoy exhilarating views both here and in the Porongorups. Over 1.2 billion years old, this ancient range is home to towering granite peaks, majestic stands of karri trees and some extraordinary wildflowers.
Further east into the Southern Forests, you can take a treetop walk among the Valley of the Giants, a head-spinning experience as you look down on the soaring tingle trees.
On the coast are the quaint towns of Walpole and Denmark, and historic Albany, where you can learn about the old whaling industry. Whales are treasured now for their magnificent beauty, often spotted as they migrate north or south along our coastline. Humpback whales are sighted from June through to December as they travel between Albany and Busselton. Southern right whales are usually around later, from August onwards.
Closer to Perth in the famous Margaret River region, the coastline folds into bays, perfect for coastal walks and views, as well as world class surfing. You also have the chance to get closer to one of our favourite sea creatures - the bottlenose dolphin. Many say that swimming with dolphins has an extraordinarily calming effect, and there have even been claims of healing through this experience. These animals are so friendly and playful, it's something to keep on your bucket list.
The Cape to Cape walk runs along the Margaret River coastline, between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin lighthouses. With some lovely towns dotted around the region, it's easy to do this walk in sections and sleep comfortably each night. This is where you'll encounter the crystal caves too.
But Margaret River is most famous of course for its wineries. You'll be spoilt for choice, not only for wines but for delightful restaurants and cafes as you trail the cellar doors. What many don't realise is that WA wineries are spread right across the South West, as far south as the Porongorups and right into Geographe, adjacent to Perth.
As you travel north from Margaret River, the popular holiday town of Busselton on Geographe Bay is worth a stop. The picturesque and historic Busselton Jetty, at 1.8km, is a must, while the sheltered bay is a fabulous place or enjoy water sports.
To find out more about the South West, go to Australia's South West.
Experiences in the South West
Explore unique rock formations, ancient crystal caves, Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse with its panoramic ocean views, white beaches and the beautiful Geographe Bay coastline. Train ride on the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere and visit to the last remaining tuart forest in the world.
Discover rare lush green forests, unusual rock formations, ancient caves. Camp underneath the stars in an authentic Australian ‘glamping’ style experience. Swim at natural rock spas, meet friendly sting rays, climb Australia’s tallest lighthouse and take a train ride along the longest timber piled jetty in the southern hemisphere.
Wyld Womyn Hikes
26 Nov – 1 Dec 2017
This 85km hike follows the coastline, passing sheltered swimming spots and some of the best uninterrupted scenery along the south coast. Enjoy beautiful long beach walks, inlet crossings and an abundance of historical sights.
10–13 May 2018
This 55km stretch of the Bibbulmun takes in some of the most beautiful parts of the South West. You’ll be surrounded by karri trees, deep earthy aromas, crisp clean fresh air and beautiful natural forest.
20–22 Oct 2017
The Cape to Cape long-distance walk trail meanders along the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge – the backbone of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. This is a relatively easy section with cliff-top hikes, beach walking and striking views.
13–15 April 2018
The Cape to Cape trail meanders along the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge. The middle section follows the coastline to Ellensbrook historic homestead and Meekadarbee Falls, past isolated coves and along white sandy beaches and coastal cliffs, finishing among the cool, peaceful karri forest.
23–25 Nov 2018
The final section of the Cape to Cape trail winds through stunning karri forests and along the beach to the protected waters of Hamelin Bay. There’s a challenging walk along a limestone ledge close to the sea – a rewarding way to reach the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.
6-8 Oct 2017
Immerse yourself on a series of short hikes offering exhilarating views to the south coast, including the spectacular Granite Skywalk to Castle Rock, Wansbrough Walk, Nancy’s Peak Trail and the highest peak of the Porongurup Ranges along the Devils Slide Trail.
14–16 Sept 2018
This series of hikes showcases the beautiful mountain landscape with its stunning and diverse wildflowers, stark cliff faces, sheltered gullies and magnificent views. Enjoy the challenge of climbing some of the highest rugged peaks, including Bluff Knoll.