The Great Southern is the largest and most diverse region within Australia’s South West. It varies from unspoilt coastline and idyllic seaside towns, to sprawling agricultural lands and national parks harbouring some of the world’s rarest species of flora and fauna.
Along the south coast, the sheer force of the Southern Ocean has sculptured a raw, dramatic coastline, creating some remarkable seaside scenery – think cliff faces carved out by crashing waves, natural rock formations in the shape of giant bridges, and pristine, white sandy beaches with turquoise-coloured water lapping at the shore.
A little further inland you’ll find trees that are hundreds of years old, towering above the forest floor; and ancient mountain ranges with breathtaking views worth the challenging hike and climb.
The Great Southern’s historic landmarks and the stories behind them are equally impressive. Albany’s King George Sound was the first European settlement in Western Australia, settled before the Swan River Colony in Perth. In addition, the area has significant ties to World War I, with Albany being the departure point for the majority of Anzac troops who left for Europe during the war.
The Amazing South Coast stretches from Walpole through to Bremer Bay, and inland to the Stirling Range in southern Western Australia. Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and diverse regions in the world. Visit Australia’s National Anzac Centre, the Gap and Natural Bridge, the Treetop Walk, Elephant Rocks and Greens Pool, and the Bremer Canyon Killer Whale Expedition. Head to www.theamazingsouthcoast.com for more info.
The Great Southern’s hidden treasures – pioneering farming communities that offer insight into the region’s rich rural heritage – can also be found dotted between winding rivers and picturesque farmland. Those after a tipple or two will be pleased to hear that the Great Southern is the largest wine producing region by area in Australia.
Made up of five wine sub-regions – Denmark, Frankland River, Mount Barker, Porongurup and Albany – it is renowned for producing a variety of wine styles, including cool climate wines. Team a good bottle of vino with freshly caught seafood and locally grown produce, and you’ve got a recipe for a great foodie holiday.
- Enjoy a beach day at the beautiful Green's Pool and lose yourself at Elephant Rocks, near Denmark.
- Hike one of Western Australia's highest peaks, Bluff Knoll, for spectacular views, located in the Stirling Range National Park.
- Marvel at the coastline from the Gap and Natural Bridge lookouts in Torndirrup National Park, Albany.
- Attend the weekly Albany Farmers' Market on Saturday morning or the Boatshed Markets on Sunday morning to fill your picnic basket with delicious treats.
- Discover the whaling heritage of Albany, plus WA's flora and fauna at Discovery Bay.
- Check out the largest sheep sale yards every Wednesday morning in Katanning.
- Climb the Granite Skywalk in The Porongorup National Park for awesome 360 degree views of the countryside.
- Drive the Scotsdale Road tourist drive, stopping regularly to taste produce and wines, near Denmark.
- Spot the endangered Malleefowl which lives in the Mallee trees near Ongerup.
- Visit Kodja Place in Kojonup and learn how the stories of settlers, aboriginals and migrants intertwine.
Explore the towns within the Great Southern region.