Australia’s South West is a dream holiday destination, whether you’re a foodie, thrill-seeker, nature-lover, or just keen for some good old-fashioned relaxation time.
It’s impossible to take stock of each and every one of the fun activities available to you in the South West, so we’ve narrowed it down to just a few.
For the Foodie
If your idea of fun involves putting your taste buds to the test, you’re in for a treat. The entire South West region is brimming with gourmet produce and people who really know how to use it.
Wine, beer, gin, and whisky lovers have ample sub-regions to explore, from the world-renowned Margaret River wine region to the more boutique Porongurup or Geographe regions. Hop aboard a dedicated wine or food tour and allow the guide to drive you from producer to producer, or pick just one venue and settle in for a masterclass followed by a long, indulgent lunch.
An easy way to sample the wider Margaret River region’s best wines, beers, spirits, and produce is at Busselton’s Origins Market. Experience the luxury that is honey straight from the hive at Southern Forests Honey, or pit your favourite olive oil up against Vasse Valley Hemp Farm’s raw hempseed oil. Keep an eye out on the market’s socials and website for unique events with celebrity chefs, gin masterclasses, and long-table dinners that might be happening while you’re in the area, too.
The best part? In between samples, you can meander your way through stalls selling local artworks, handmade candles, and artisan jewellery.
For the Nature-Lover
Flanked by sea and dense with trees, the South West is a natural haven. Its sprawling national parks and secluded coves make the dream escape from the hustle and bustle of a city-dwelling lifestyle.
Strap on a snorkel and explore what lies beneath at ‘The Aquarium’ in Yallingup, or descend to the depths of the Indian Ocean to watch schools of Moonfish flit through the Lena Dive Wreck, three nautical miles off Bunbury (PADI certified divers only). Staying above the surface is equally as rewarding, with activities like SUP boarding at Meelup or Albany’s Little Beach and kayaking the region’s waterways proving ever-popular.
Are you fascinated by flora? Time your visit to coincide with the wildflower season from August to November. After the winter rains, the region bursts into colour, making for some spectacular bushwalking and hiking. Tackle a section of the famed Bibbulmun Track from Collie, Walpole, or Denmark to see flowers endemic to each sub-region, or join a tour for a more in-depth guide to what you’re seeing. Climbing Castle Rock makes for a more challenging hike, with an incredible view from the Granite Skywalk waiting at the end.
For the Relaxers
There is solace to be found in the South West’s abundant nature. Waking up to the sound of bird song and the waves rolling into shore is relaxing in its own right, but anyone wanting even deeper relaxation sure will find it. It’s as simple as taking a walk through the Boranup Forest, Valley of the Giants, or Porongurup National Park.
‘Forest bathing’ is an emergent trend where you consciously disconnect from the digital world and connect with nature around you. Wander the forest slowly, taking in all the sights – including the wildflowers in the spring – sounds and smells. Forest bathing doesn’t have to mean stopping to meditate, but combining the two makes for a truly grounded experience.
More structured relaxation and wellness experiences are on offer with Untamed Escapes. On their four-day yoga retreat, you’ll find yourself limbering up with daily yoga practice, testing your balance with a SUP yoga session, and walking sections of the Cape to Cape Trail with a local healer.
For the Thrill-Seeker
The South West caters just as well for those chasing a high-octane adventure as it does for those after a relaxing escape.
Both grommets and experienced surfers can get their kicks riding waves right the way up the coast. Beginners are best to stick to smaller, sandy-bottomed breaks like those at Albany’s Middleton Beach and Bunbury’s Back Beach. But, those who’ve got their feet (and the gall) can really test their skills on some of the region’s most famed waves. Try Margaret River’s Surfers Point (home to the Margaret River Pro), the mega-waves out at Cow Bombie, or a trusty Gracetown wave.
If you prefer land-based thrills, the South West is home to a sprawling web of mountain-biking trails and pump tracks. No track is more famous than the almighty Munda Biddi Trail, which runs for over 1000km from Mundaring to Albany. Access sections of it from Collie – where you’ll also find the brand new, 10km Kylie trail and the Arklow trails, too – Nannup or Denmark. Prefer a pump track? You can find them in Cowaramup, Collie, and Nannup.