Ready for a winter road trip? Pack your coats, wellies and beanies, as this will be a wild winter ride!
Here are the highlights:
- Watch storms roll in over the ocean and crash against the coast.
- Check out the charming inland towns of the Southern Forests and Valleys, Ferguson Valley and the Great Southern.
- Indulge in fine red wine and hearty comfort food.
- Spot migrating humpback whales along the coast.
- Treat yourself to a spa day.
Winter Road Trip
DAY 1/2 PERTH TO GREAT SOUTHERN
Head south to Albany, along Albany Highway, stopping (nearly) halfway in Kojonup. Here you'll find Kodja Place – an indoor museum featuring the history and traditions of the Aboriginal people of the Great Southern. Continue south, detouring through the Porongurup Range, stopping along the way to taste local produce (Devonshire tea perhaps?) and sample the region’s high profile Riesling. If weather permits, visit the Porongurup National Park and climb Castle Rock and the Granite Skywalk, for breathtaking panoramic views. If the weather’s 'not so great', spend a few hours indoors at the National Anzac Centre, where you can learn Albany’s Anzac history. If you feel like braving the elements, discover the dramatic coastline at The Gap’s new coastal lookout, within Torndirrup National Park. Keep your eyes peeled for migrating humpback whales, or join a whale watching tour for a closer look.
DAY 3/4 GREAT SOUTHERN TO SOUTHERN FORESTS
Discover the charming art community of Denmark by visiting its local galleries, or bunker down for a long lunch at one of the region’s wineries. Drive along Scotsdale Tourist Drive or Mount Shadforth Scenic Drive for beautiful winter vistas of vast green hills and karri forest. If indulging is your thing, book in for a spa treatment at one of the region's spa retreats. Take an invigorating walk among the tree tops at the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk near Walpole, or jump on an eco cruise (weather permitting) nearby. Take the coastal route to Northcliffe, stopping to explore the limestone cliffs at Point D’Entrecasteaux and watch the crashing swells of the Southern Ocean. Head to the Truffle and Wine Co in Manjimup and join in a hunt for the highly prized black truffles, followed by a hearty lunch at the on-site restaurant.
DAY 5 SOUTHERN FORESTS TO BLACKWOOD RIVER VALLEY
On your way to Bridgetown, take one of the most scenic drives in the region. You'll head through beautiful rolling hills and valleys before stopping to explore Bridgetown's quirky shops or canoe along the Blackwood River. Visit Boyup Brook, coined the ‘Country Music’ capital of WA, and check out their mysterious street art. Enjoy Balingup’s colourful shops, where you can browse for handcrafted pottery, herbal products and crafts, then drive inland to Nannup, known as the “Garden Village”, and walk through the town's beautifully manicured gardens.
DAY 6/7 BLACKWOOD RIVER VALLEY TO MARGARET RIVER WINE REGION
Visit Augusta and climb to the top of Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, where you’re likely to spot migrating humpback whales. Head north along the beautiful Boranup Forest Scenic Drive, stopping for a stroll through Boranup Gallery and a hearty lunch at the onsite café among towering karri trees. Head underground into one of the region’s show caves (they’re dry and a mild 20 degrees all year round), then try an immersive winery experience such as Cape Mentelle’s Behind the Scenes tour or a private tasting in the lavish Howard Park Wine Chapel. Rug up and hit the great outdoors with a horse ride at Jesters Flat or a high rope adventure at Forest Adventures South West.
If you missed the opportunity for whale watching in Albany on day 2, now’s your chance. Tours depart from either Busselton, Dunsborough or Augusta (season dependent) with Whale Watch Western Australia, All Sea Charters or Naturaliste Charters.
DAY 8/9 GEOGRAPHE REGION
Explore the stunning inland hills of the Ferguson Valley and book a cosy cottage for a night of unwinding after your road trip adventure. Join a Dolphin Eco Cruise from the Dolphin Discovery Centre (weather dependent) in Bunbury or sit down to a long lunch at St Aidan Wines. Experience the home of children’s classic story, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie in Harvey, before heading back to Perth.
For everything cool, visit Winter Down South.