Winter is a wonderful time to travel in the South West - it's cooler, it's less busy, and there's plenty of things to do. Before you head down, get the most out of your winter holiday with these handy travelling tips.
Top tips for winter travel
Learn how to build a campfire.
While fires are often prohibited in the warmer months, there are many places that you’re allowed to build a campfire during winter (some campsites even provide free firewood!). If you want to enjoy the warmth and comfort of your very own fire, you’ll need to know how to build one. While we’re not professing to be experts, we’ve rounded up some tips to help. It’s all about three things: fuel, heat and oxygen. Here's some tips on how to make the perfect campfire, thanks to Lifehacker. Just don’t forget the marshmallows!
Visit the region's many waterfalls and cascades.
Nothing recharges the body and mind like the unrelenting flow of a pounding waterfall or cascade. In winter, there’s so many to choose from as the winter rains are syphoned into the region’s waterways. Don’t miss Quinninup Falls near Margaret River, Beedelup Falls near Pemberton and Fernhook Falls and The Cascades near Pemberton.
Winter rains turn the vast inland farmlands of the South West into green paddocks of lush grass, while the Southern Forests and Valleys turns on its charm, with quirky festivals and beautiful blooms late in the season. The same goes throughout the inland areas of the Great Southern. Psst! If you're looking for a secret wine hotspot, don't miss a visit to the Porongurups.
Visit a visitor centre.
Yes, some South West businesses do use the winter break to take a well-deserved holiday, but it's easy to find out what’s open and what’s on from a local visitor centre. These clued-up locals know the happenings of their town and will be delighted to fill you in. Quirky events abound in winter and visitor centre staff are sure to point you in the right direction.
Yes, you’re travelling in winter. There may be rain and it’s likely that you’ll hit some cold spots along the way. As long as you’re prepared, you can enjoy the adventures that winter travel throws your way. Have you packed an umbrella, wellies, rain jackets and warm coats? Have you got games for days you might be stuck indoors (we love charades, cards and Pictionary)? Are you clued up on indoor activities at your destination? Now's the time to do your research, to avoid any winter blues.
Head to the beach.
While we traditionally think of beaches as summer spots, it’s darn exhilarating watching pounding waves and huge seas that roll in come winter. The idea of swimming at the beach in winter may not tickle your fancy, but nothing recharges the soul like watching the raw energy of huge ocean swells pounding against the coast. Plus those extra clouds on the horizon mean our West Australian winter sunsets can be pretty spectacular. We recommend Surfers’ Point in Prevelly, a climb to the top of the lighthouse lookout in Bunbury, the Gap and Natural Bridge near Albany, Leeuwin Lighthouse near Augusta and Windy Harbour, near Northcliffe.