Come for the wine, stay for the sunset.
From March 2020, Jetstar Australia are lifting off with flights from Melbourne to Busselton-Margaret River Airport. This route links the laneways of Melbourne with the mouth-watering gourmet delights of Margaret River, so you can easily explore more of the South West.
Here's some itinerary inspiration for a trip from Melbourne to Margaret River and beyond.
SOUTH WEST ADVENTURE ITINERARY | 8 DAYS
BUSSELTON & MARGARET RIVER REGION - SOUTHERN FORESTS AND VALLEYS - GREAT SOUTHERN - BUNBURY GEOGRAPHE
DAY 1 MELBOURNE TO BUSSELTON TO DUNSBOROUGH
Fly direct with Jetstar Australia from Melbourne to Busselton-Margaret River Airport and head straight to the Ludlow Tuart Forest in Capel to tackle the high-ropes and flying fox course at Forest Adventures. Next, enjoy a seaside stroll along the Busselton Foreshore, where you’ll find the 1.841km-long Busselton Jetty, the longest wooden piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. Walk or catch the electric solar-powered train to the end of the jetty and explore the underwater observatory to see vibrant marine life. Drive on to Dunsborough, where oceans the hue of a Bombay Sapphire bottle and pristine, white sandy beaches are aplenty. See sweeping views of the coast from Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, where you can also embark on an Aboriginal cultural tour to learn about the Noongar history. Overnight Dunsborough or Busselton.
DAY 2 DUNSBOROUGH TO YALLINGUP TO MARGARET RIVER
Take a self-guided tour of Margaret River’s world-famous wineries or join one of the excellent day tours on offer in the region. Sample award-winning wines then indulge in a gourmet winery lunch. There are almost 100 cellar doors in the region, but travel along Caves Road to explore the oldest vineyards in the area. There’s also a plethora of breweries and distilleries to be discovered. Don’t forget to taste local produce including cheese, chocolate, olive oil, fudge, gin, whisky and boutique beer, then stock up on gifts found in the region’s many art galleries, boutiques and speciality shops. Top off your day with a swim, snorkel, stand up paddle board or surf, spotting whales from the shore (June to November) or walking part of the Cape to Cape Track, before watching the sunset over the Indian Ocean. Overnight Yallingup or Margaret River.
DAY 3 MARGARET RIVER TO AUGUSTA TO NANNUP
Today, drive further south via Caves Road through the stunning Boranup Forest, home to ancient karri trees and the region’s limestone caves. Head to Augusta, the most southern tip of Western Australia, and meet the friendly rays at Hamelin Bay. Nearby, visit the tallest lighthouse on mainland Australia – Cape Leeuwin where the Southern and Indian Oceans meet. Then take a charming country drive east along rolling hills and undulating farmland through to Nannup. Enjoy fields of lavender in season and browse colourful shops, where you can search for handcrafted pottery, herbal products and crafts. Overnight in Margaret River or Nannup.
DAY 4 NANNUP TO BRIDGETOWN TO MANJIMUP TO PEMBERTON
Head to Bridgetown, where you can stop for a cider, stroll the historic streets and discover quaint and quirky artisan wares, sweet treats and vintage finds. Continue your journey through the Southern Forests and Valleys toward Manjimup. In winter months, join a truffle dog hunt in search of the black Périgord truffle, or simply enjoy a truffle-infused meal at one of the region’s trufferies. Tackle one of the gigantic climbing trees in Pemberton – the Gloucester or Dave Evans Bicentennial tree or take a tour of Yeagarup Dunes, a large moving sand dune system with incredible views. Stop by tranquil lakes in stunning inland forests, perfect for swimming and catching trout and marron (freshwater crayfish). Overnight in Pemberton.
DAY 5 PEMBERTON TO WALPOLE TO DENMARK TO ALBANY
Walk among the giant tingle trees at Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk near Walpole before continuing to Denmark. Stop for a swim and to marvel at the peppermint-tinged waters of the protected bay at Greens Pool, or walk among giant boulders at nearby Elephant Rocks. Make your way to Albany and visit the Gap and Natural Bridge for impressive views of the surging Southern Ocean or take a break from driving and hop on a tour with Busy Blue Bus. Immerse yourself in whaling history and discover native Australian plants and animals at Discovery Bay, keeping an eye out for migrating humpback and southern right whales playing close to shore (June to September). Spend the afternoon sampling delicious seasonal produce, before enjoying dinner at one of the historic town’s restaurants. Overnight in Denmark or Albany.
DAY 6 ALBANY TO PORONGURUP TO BUNBURY
Wake up to a magnificent sunrise and breakfast at Emu Point, then spend the morning exploring Mount Clarence and the National Anzac Centre. Take a drive through the beautiful Porongurup Range to sample some of the region’s cool climate wines or take on the 3km round-trip walk to the Granite Skywalk – a skywalk set into the side of a giant granite boulder – atop the Porongurup Range. Continue to Bunbury for the night.
DAY 7 BUNBURY TO COLLIE TO FERGUSON VALLEY
Start your day early to experience the friendly, wild dolphins of Bunbury’s Koombana Bay at the Dolphin Discovery Centre. Then enjoy some shopping, followed by coffee along the Cappuccino Strip and be sure to check out the vivid street art murals that grace the city’s many walls. Spend the rest of the day exploring the nearby towns – either self-guided or on a tour. Start with Collie and enjoy a walk through the magnificent jarrah and marri forests found within the Wellington National Park, experience breathtaking views across the vast waters of Wellington Dam and the turquoise-coloured Black Diamond Lake nearby. Drive through the Ferguson Valley, exploring its cellar doors, boutique breweries and artisan galleries and stores, before heading to Harvey to sample some of the towns’ local produce. Overnight in Bunbury or Ferguson Valley.
DAY 8 BUNBURY TO BUSSELTON TO MELBOURNE
Soak up your last morning in Australia's South West with a beachside breakfast or an early morning dip before you depart for Busselton to catch your flight back to Melbourne, with plenty of memories and Insta‑worthy images for your Instagram feed to take with you.