A quick two and a half-hour drive south of Perth opens up a gorgeous stretch of land waiting to be explored. This is Australia’s South West and it is filled with crystal clear turquoise beaches, famous surf breaks, unique wineries, ancient caves, and classic towns to visit. A perfect weekend escape from the city life, the South West region has much to offer. The South West is a new Australian favorite of mine with my suggestions of 4 places worth visiting included below.
Home to the Busselton Jetty, the town of Busselton is an excellent lunch stop on your way further down south. Walk along the soft sand, dive into the calm turquoise waters, and stroll down the 1.8-kilometre jetty. Or, better yet, jump aboard the train over the Indian Ocean instead!
For a cheap $3, enjoy a leisurely walk along the timber jetty, joined by fishermen and adventurous kids flipping over the railing into the cool water below. Upon reaching the end of the boardwalk, you’ll “see the whales” (large paintings on the wooden boards of a Blue Whale, Humpback and Southern Right) and likely meet a few scuba divers as well. It’s a great way to begin your trip and provides plenty of beautiful scenery to enjoy as well.
2. Margaret River
A cruise along Caves Road reveals the splendor of Margaret River, affectionately known as “Marg” by its locals. Here you can taste the creative wines of the region, delight in the stunning sunsets, and explore the mysterious and ancient cave systems down below.
Throughout my time in Australia, I’ve visited quite a few wine regions and tasted a variety of delicious wines. The wines found in Margaret River are different though. Their vintners are seemingly more creative with their flavors, combining grapes in unusual ways to make excellent gourmet wines. I expected to find generally the same tastes as I have throughout much of Australia and was pleasantly surprised to be greeted with something new. With 150 vineyards throughout the region, there’s something for every palate to enjoy.
The South West coastline is filled with awesome surf beaches, including Surfer’s Point, just west of town. Host of the Margaret River Pro, it’s common to find surfers catching breaks throughout the day and is also a popular sunset viewing destination. The rock pools and crashing waves add charming touches to the already colorful sunset. Bring a picnic and a blanket to enjoy!
Wine? Check! Beaches? Check! Why not add in some caves, too? Margaret River is also home to an extensive caving system with multiple caves to tour. I stopped at Lake Cave, the most actively dripping cave in the South West. With more time, it’s worth a purchase of the CaveWorks pass to include a few others as well. The tour guides talk you through the remarkable caves, explaining their discovery history and putting on a light show to highlight the magic of this world below.
3. Augusta & Cape Leeuwin
Augusta is the small town just north of the famous Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. Opened in 1895, the Lighthouse has saved many ships from a disastrous end along the dangerous coastline. This is where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet and is the most south-westerly point of Australia. Purchase a ticket to explore the grounds and listen to an audio guide about its history.
A popular surf beach and tourist destination, Yallingup is a great way to wrap up a weekend away. Relax on the warm sand and be entertained by the multitude of surfers catching the next wave. You really can’t go wrong here with the variety of beaches to choose from, many of which remain mostly empty throughout the day.
Australia’s South West is widely untouched with many wonderful destinations for every explorer. Make it a point to stop through here – it’s well worth the trip!