Free yourself with this epic South Western Australia road trip that will take you through wine regions, towering forests and along marine life-rich coast before heading across the outback. The South West Edge is a 12 day adventure that traverses 1200km from Perth to Esperance, a road trip that will fill your lungs, leave you in awe, and have you breathing more deeply. It feeds your soul with discovery and wonderment; every turn giving you a new experience.
Rottnest Island & Fremantle
On day one, jump on a ferry ride from Fremantle to the picturesque Rottnest Island. Here you can hire a bike and explore the many beaches that are perfect for snorkelling, plus Mermaid Pools and blowholes. Meet friendly quokkas and enjoy the Thompson Bay Settlement or hop on a Rottnest seafood tour to experience fresh delicacies before catching the ferry back to the mainland. Catch the ferry back to Fremantle to overnight. Overnight in the historic town of Fremantle, which has a vibrant arts scene and plenty of boutique shops for some retail therapy.
Fremantle to Bunbury via Ferguson Valley
Enjoy the gourmet café culture of Fremantle for breakfast and browse local boutiques for unique or vintage finds. Jump in your car and head to Bunbury via the rolling hills of the Ferguson Valley. Spend the morning wine tasting, hiking or mountain biking in Wellington National Park and stop by Black Diamond Lake near Collie for a view of turquoise waters. Roll into Bunbury, where you can fill your hamper with fresh local produce from farmers markets, meet native animals at a wildlife park, shop local boutiques and spot vibrant street art before spending the evening immersed in the nightlife at one of the many bars and restaurants. Overnight in Bunbury.
Bunbury to Yallingup
Interact with the friendly wild dolphins of Koombana Bay outside Dolphin Discovery Centre this morning or SUP in the calm, still water of the bay before departing for the Margaret River Region, beginning at Busselton and Dunsborough. Swing amongst the trees on a high ropes course or dive below the Busselton Jetty for a view of colourful sea life. From winter through spring, spot whales as they migrate along the coast. Indulge in gourmet food at beachfront dining before continuing to Yallingup. Visit incredible coastal spots like Canal Rocks and Injidup Natural Spa, or hike part of the Cape to Cape Track between the lighthouses. Connect with the world’s oldest living culture through an Aboriginal experience. Overnight in Yallingup.
Yallingup to Margaret River
Famous for its premium wines and world-class surf, Margaret River is also home to plenty of restaurants, wineries, breweries and distilleries for foodies to enjoy. Visit cellar doors and meet the makers on guided tours with nature-meets-gourmet experiences. Adventure-seekers can ride the waves, go rock climbing or abseiling, or take a kayak or canoe along the Margaret River. Savour the natural surroundings with plenty of underground caves and the stunning Boranup Forest and meet stingrays at Hamelin Bay. Overnight in Margaret River.
Margaret River to Pemberton
On day five, drive to Pemberton through Nannup and Manjimup; home to the Périgord truffle. Search for this black gold in winter, and feast on other local delights such as marron, trout and chestnuts on your way. Need to stretch your legs? Ride one of the many mountain bike trails or tackle part of the Munda Biddi, hike a section of the Bibbulmun Track and admire Beedelup Falls. Test your fear of heights at the 58m-tall Gloucester Tree, once a fire-lookout, and climb the makeshift ladder to the top. Overnight in Pemberton.
Pemberton to Denmark
Take a four-wheel drive tour of one of the world’s largest moving sand dune systems, Yeagarup Dunes, before you head to Denmark to overnight. Travel there via Northcliffe and Walpole to enjoy views at Mount Chudalup, join an inlet eco-cruise and walk among the tops of tingle trees at Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk. Next, visit Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks – framed by huge boulders which act as a protective shore break for peppermint tinged waters, it’s perfect for snorkelling.
Denmark to Albany
Next stop: Albany, where you’ll find farmers markets, fresh oysters and marron galore, and some of the most pristine beaches this side of the equator. Go paragliding at Shelley Beach, or wreck diving in King George Sound. Visit the striking coast at The Gap and Natural Bridge and historical attractions at Discovery Bay. Ready to take a safari, South West style? Spend an extra day between January and April to join the Bremer Bay orca tour, chasing the largest-known group of orcas in the Southern Hemisphere.
Albany to Hopetoun
Drive inland and it’s another world entirely. Hike the trails in Porongurup National Park and climb to the top of Castle Rock and the Granite Skywalk for spectacular views across the jarrah, marri and karri forest, and undulating farmland to Albany. Reward yourself with lunch at one of the boutique Porongurup wineries. Search for wildflowers in spring and climb one of Western Australia’s highest peaks, Bluff Knoll for sweeping views of the Stirling Range National Park. Overnight in Hopetoun.
Hopetoun to Esperance
With unique wildflowers and fauna in Fitzgerald River National Park, not to mention the dramatic coastal views, you’ll want to visit here before leaving Hopetoun. Next, head to Esperance and sip on refreshments at a local brewery, sample local olive oil and take in the town museums and craft shops. Keep the adventure rolling by exploring the numerous lagoons and beaches along the breathtaking 40km loop of the Great Ocean Drive before watching a sunset at Twilight Beach.
Lucky Bay in Cape Le Grand National Park lives up to its name in plenty of ways – translucent water and sand like icing sugar, not to mention sunbaking kangaroos! Explore other stunning beaches via coastal walk trails or for a bird’s-eye view, take a scenic flight to witness the striking juxtaposition of bubblegum pink Lake Hillier on Middle Island against the blue ocean. Overnight in Esperance.
Day 11 & 12
Esperance to Perth
Return to Perth via Hyden or Kalgoorlie over the next two days – the choice is yours! If you travel through Hyden, be sure to visit the impressive Wave Rock on your way. Thought to have formed some 130 million years ago, Wave Rock is entirely natural and measures about 15m (roughly three storeys) in height. It’s the perfect end to your Instagram highlights reel.
If you travel back to Perth via Kalgoorlie, immerse yourself in living gold history, quirky outback pubs and be stunned by the scale of the Superpit gold mine. Arrive back in Perth on day 12.
What is The South West Edge?
The South West Edge is an epic road trip around the South Western edge of Western Australia. It meanders through wine regions, towering forests and along marine-life rich coast before looping through the outback. It can be done in just 12 days and traverses through the tourism regions of Destination Perth, Australia’s South West and Australia’s Golden Outback.