We naturally gravitate to the coast, particularly in warmer months but experienced South West adventurers know there's a whole other world further inland ready to explore at any time of year.
In summer, these places are great for a dip or even for canoeing and skiing. In autumn, the weather is moderate and ideal for adventure along the surrounding hiking and cycling trails. In winter, the falls, cascades and rivers rush to put on a show and spring is when wildflowers send you on a rewarding search for our regions rare and endemic orchids. Above Image, Black Diamond Lake near Collie by Stephen Norman photography.
Here's some of the South West's best lakes, rivers, natural pools, falls and inlets, all easily accessible with plenty of other nearby activities. Be sure to pop into a local visitor centre for more things to see and do in the area.
The variety of falls hiding in the South West are little known. Visiting in winter or early spring will give you the biggest treat as they're in full flow.
Is quite an adventure as you need to hike to the site (2 hour return) from Moses Road Carpark, south of Yallingup.
Is surrounded by many other natural attraction of Pemberton like climbing trees and the Cascades.
In the Walpole Wilderness is also in a hotspot for natural attractions, like the Tree Top Walk, Giant Tingle and Mt Frankland.
Viewed easily from the roadside near Cowaramup.
Ironstone Gully Falls
A picturesque waterfall near Capel.
We're not sure it’s possible to beat a dip in a natural pool on warm day.
Between Ferguson Valley and Collie is also great for canoeing and camping
Near Walpole is fondly referred to as "the Cappuccino" in winter as the water darkens to the colour of black coffee and natural foam swirls in the centre of the pool
In Nannup often takes on a spectacular jade shade
Is always beautiful but has a truly amazing atmosphere during local events like Australia Day
In Collie is a lovely spot for a picnic or to watch horses being walked in the shallows
In Manjimup is a long-time family favourite with chalets and caravan park onsite
The South West is home to Western Australia's longest continually flowing river, the Blackwood River at over 300km long. Canoeing, camping and events along the banks are very common in each town in the Southern Forests and Valleys region. Other common activities along the South West's rivers include fishing, skiing and walking trails.
Isn't just the name of an internationally acclaimed wine region. It’s also the name of the town and a river than runs through it
The Denmark River
Is a hive of activity and runs through the townsite of Denmark
Near Albany has gentle walking trails and is home to a ski club
Near Pemberton, you can take a cruise tour down this river to arrive at the coast which is otherwise quite inaccessible
The Warren RiverLoop Trail
Nearby is a popular walk through the forest to a valley lookout
There are many harbours and inlets in the south west that are seldom visited compared to the beaches they break into; but are worth their own exploration.
The Irwin Inlet at Peaceful Bay
Is very secluded spot in a very secluded hamlet set between the two quiet coastal towns of Denmark and Walpole (super secluded we're saying). It’s a popular location in school holidays but otherwise you'll likely have it all to yourself
The Wilson Inlet
Breaks out to the famous Ocean Beach in Denmark. In summer, the water is toasty and locals often take a pool floaty for a relaxed afternoon
Is a great place to explore by foot after four wheel driving along Muttonbird Beach (dog friendly) near Albany
Is a popular camping spot and a great base to explore the Walpole Wilderness
The Leschenault Inlet
Just north of Bunbury is an estuarine lagoon and in parts is bordered by mangroves, here you can learn about Aboriginal culture on a tour
Nowhere does lakes like Western Australia. From pink lakes in our neighbouring regions of the Coral Coast and Golden Outback, to the surprising variety in the South West
Lake of Many Colours
Accessible on an Aboriginal cultural tour in the Stirling Range area near Albany is the Lake of Many Colours. A culturally significant area and indeed a true sight to behold
Black Diamond Lake and Stockton Lake
Both near Collie are renowned for their emerald hue and suitability to water sports
is just one of about 150 caves that can be found in the Margaret River region, of which eight particularly magnificent caves are open to the public
Near Pemberton is next to the famous Yeagarup Sand Dunes, accessible by 4WD or on a tour
In Albany is bordered by a walking trail fit for avid bird watchers. In spring, you may even spot the elusive Long Necked Turtles that come out of their hidey-holes for the breeding season
The Harvey Dam
Has ample facilities for a family day out. With a lookout, playground and barbeques.
In Pemberton, bordered by towering Karri trees
Big Brook Dam
Leaves a lasting memory of being picture-perfect with the pristine waters, picnic areas and trails
There's plenty to do around Wellington Dam near Collie with water sports and four wheel driving prevalent in the surrounding National Park. It’s also a relaxing visit with a lookout as well as meals and mountain bike hire available from the Kiosk