Info Guide

More about Perth, the Margaret River region and Australia's south west

Perth

Perth lays claim to Australia’s sunniest capital! There’s so much on your doorstep… from wineries and bushland to stunning ocean sunsets enjoyed at beaches like Cottesloe or Scarborough – or so many others. They’re all easy to access whether you’re heading north or south out of the city.

Whether a day at Kings Park and Botanical Garden with its beautiful wildflowers and Perth city vistas (did you know it’s almost 150 acres bigger than New York’s Central Park?) or a trip to Swan Valley for some local wine tasting and gourmet food indulgence, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to exploring the region.

Just a little further afield you can explore the laid-back city of Fremantle (perhaps  wander through the Fremantle Markets, open daily or explore the historic buildings). Or jump on a ferry and head out to the sparkling beaches of Rottnest Island (Rotto to the locals). Surrounded by coral reefs and shipwrecks, it’s a great place to swim, snorkel or surf – or just relax on the long stretches of sand and meet a few quokkas — the happy and friendly marsupials that call Rotto home.

Margaret River and the South West

From Perth, the Margaret River Region is roughly a two and half hour drive to Busselton and the start of this magnificent region. The Margaret River Region is renowned for its award-winning wine’s but there is so much more to this region to explore. It is overflowing with epic experiences, beautiful landscapes to be explored and locally grown gourmet produce to feast on, the Margaret River Region offers something for everyone!

One of the best ways to explore the region is by hiring a car and exploring it at your own pace. This region spans roughly 100 kilometres of bays, beaches, towns, farms and forests from Busselton to Augusta, with Margaret River township in the middle.

Beyond the Margaret River Region, the south west has so much more to explore! We’ve included here both Pemberton and Albany, but that’s really just the start of the greater south west: comprising more than 23,000km that make up the south west corner of Western Australia (and 1000 of those kilometres consisting of awe-inspiring coastline!).

Things To Do

Mandurah

Mandurah is a water wonderland to enjoy. Less than an hour from Perth, set against the backdrop of stunning beaches and an estuary twice the size of Sydney Harbour, it is the perfect location for a weekend or week away.

  • Take the kids on a one-hour cruise to see the dolphins & bird life of the region.
  • Set sail on a pirate cruise. Great fun for all the family.
  • Visit Rockingham Lakes Regional Park. Take the coastal walking trail from Cape Peron to learn about the intriguing aspects of marine life in the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park.
  • Take a stroll along Halls Head Beach
  • Not for the faint-hearted, a tandem skydive over Mandurah Beach landing on the sands of Halls Head Beach

Busselton

Your Margaret River region experience begins at Busselton. The town features the nearly 2km original timber Busselton Jetty. The town is also known for its beautiful, sheltered beach and seasonal humpback whale migration.

  • Visit the the underground caves such as Jewel, Lake, Mammoth and Ngilgi
  • Visit the underground water observatory on the Busselton Jetty
  • Take a morning tour to view wildlife and spectacular scenery in the Cape Naturaliste area.
  • For the adventurous take on the high ropes & zipline in Tuart Forest
  • For the families, don’t miss a unique Australian bush experience, visiting the purpose built woylie viewing site. You may also be lucky enough to see quendas, possums and other wildlife. 

Yallingup

If it is views you want, if it is beach you want, if it is surf you want, then Yallingup is the place for you! Yallingup is nestled on a ridge, surrounded by the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park with spectacular views out to the Indian Ocean.

  • Watch the surf (and surfers) with a visit to Yallingup Beach, Smiths Beach and Injidup.
  • Snorkel and swim in the crystal-clear lagoon at Yallingup Beach.
  • Visit the arts precinct just off Caves Road.
  • Take in the Indian Ocean views with a walk up the rugged cliff from the sandy beaches.
  • Visit the ancient Ngilgi Cave in Yallingup.

Margaret River

Margaret River is the ultimate nature lover’s town and region. The township is nestled amongst towering trees, the azure Indian Ocean and craggy cliffs. It is also the epicentre of the Margaret River wine region and boasts a gastronomic range of eateries.

Remember on the way to stop in at the quirky, picturesque little town of Cowaramup (Cowtown to the locals!) for some lovely local shopping and to maybe pose for a selfie with one or two of the 42 life-sized fibreglass Friesian cows and calves that are scattered about the town! This is also the home of the The Margaret River Dairy Company — another great reason to stop in before resuming your trip to Margaret River township.

  • Visit the many boutique wineries in the region or take a tour if you do not fancy driving.
  • Hire a bike to cycle the various trails surrounding the town or the wineries within a 30-minute pedal.
  • Stock up on local produce at the Farmers Market held every Saturday morning.
  • Take the family to the sheltered cove at Prevelly to swim, splash or paddle.
  • Visit the local art galleries, the handcrafted jewellery gallery or watch glassware form in front of your eyes.

Augusta

Augusta is a delightful hilltop town steeped in local charm, nestled in the very south-west corner of the mainland, where the Southern and Indian oceans meet. The next stop south is Antarctica and the next stop west is South Africa.

Sitting on the Blackwood River, Augusta oozes natural attractions.

  • As the tallest lighthouse on mainland Australia, Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse is a must-see attraction (if you’re there before September 2022, be aware there are restoration works and guided tours are not operating).
  • Visit Hardy Inlet, home to numerous species of waterbird and fish.
  • If your timing is right (early May to late August) witness the annual whale migration.
  • Take paddleboards, tinnies, and kayaks out on the Blackwood River.
  • Throw in a line at The Ellis Street Jetty for black bream or try for herring, whiting, and salmon from any of the local beaches.

Pemberton

Pemberton is centrally located in the “Southern Forests and Valleys” region of Western Australia, just east of the Margaret River Region.

Pemberton was settled in 1861 and has always had a strong bond with the timber industry. The town is surrounded by huge karri, jarrah and marri trees. And even today, Pemberton’s main attractions have an affinity with the timber industry.

  • You can’t miss a visit to the giant Gloucester Tree. At 58 metres in height, you can climb up to a platform in its upper branches for views of the surrounding karri forest.
  • Remember your mountain bike! Mountain bike and walking trails begin at the Pemberton Pool, situated within the town boundary.
  • Take a 12km scenic drive through old-growth karri/marri forest in Warren National Park.
  • Spend a day sampling the wines at the many wineries near Pemberton. The area is renowned for growing pinot noir and chardonnay grapes producing refined Bordeaux-style wines.

Albany

Boasting a harbour larger than Sydney Harbour, Albany is rich in natural attractions of beautiful beaches and rugged landscapes. A visit is a must do!

It is the largest city in Great Southern, a historically significant region of Western Australia. Albany’s King George Sound was the site of Western Australia’s first European settlement, settled several years before the Swan River Colony in Perth.

Albany also plays a central role in the ANZAC legend, as the last port of call for troops departing Australia in the First World War.

  • Stretch those legs and hit a hiking trail on one of Albany’s walk trails.
  • Visit the National ANZAC Centre atop Mount Clarence, which pays tribute to 40,000 Australians and New Zealanders who left for World War I from Albany.
  • Albany boasts beautiful beaches, so do a day of beach hopping to Emu Point Beach, Little Beach, Middleton Beach, Goode Beach or Frenchman Bay.
  • Head to Torndirrup National Park, home to some of Albany’s most famous natural attractions: The Gap, Natural Bridge and the Blowholes.
  • Jump on a cruise from May to October to view pods of humpback and southern right whales.

Driving Distances (Kms)

Perth      
72Mandurah     
222157Busselton    
25619127Yallingup   
2712055137Margaret River  
324258143169135Pemberton 
418393331365343231Albany

Weather

Perth is Australia’s sunniest capital, and enjoys hot, dry summers and mild winters. During summer rain is unusual, but winter can bring downpours of rain and thunderstorms. Expect mostly warm and sunny days in the spring and autumn months.

The Margaret River Region is an all-year-round holiday destination and is best described as having a ‘West Coast Mediterranean climate’ with summer (December – March) temperatures sitting around the 25-35 degrees Celsius and winter (June – August) temperatures around the 15-20 degrees Celsius making the region a great year-round choice for holiday makers.

School Holidays 2022

ACT & New South Wales

9 Apr to 25 Apr
2 Jul to 17 Jul
24 Sep to 09 Oct
21 Dec to 29 Jan 2023 (NSW)
17 Dec to 29 Jan 2023 (ACT)

Northern Territory

9 Apr to 18 Apr
25 Jun to 18 Jul
24 Sep to 09 Oct
17 Dec to 29 Jan2023

Queensland

2 Apr to 18 Apr
25 Jun to 10 Jul
17 Sep to 3 Oct
10 Dec to 22 Jan 2023

South Australia & Tasmania

15 Apr to 01 May
09 Jul to 24 Jul
01 Oct to 16 Oct
17 Dec to 29 Jan 2023

Victoria

9 Apr to 25 Apr
25 Jun to 10 Jul
17 Sep to 02 Oct
21 Dec to 29 Jan 2023

Western Australia

9 Apr to 25 Apr
2 Jul to 17 Jul
 24 Sep to 09 Oct
16 Dec to 31 Jan 2023

Page header image: City Beach, Perth (Credit: Tourism Western Australia)

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