If you are heading to Western Australia on a Self-Drive Holiday, you are in for a treat! There is so much to see and do here, that you could easily spend a year exploring the largest state Down Under, but if like most of us, you are limited to just a couple of weeks, you need to plan your itinerary carefully if you are to see more than just the traditional traveller attractions.
Perth is a great base for anyone exploring the coastline of Western Australia, and you can do some fantastic day trips from here if you are prepared to get in some mileage (which is essential in Australia!). You could head north to the Pinnacles and Nambung National Park, and you could head out to sea and Rottnest Island – one of the most spectacular places you are likely to visit in Australia, but if you want to experience local people, local wines, and awe-inspiring landscapes, a trip south should not be missed.
Driving from Perth, your first stop will most likely be Freemantle, where a coffee overlooking the port will set you up for the day. From here, head south towards Margaret River, a surfer’s paradise with boutique breweries, world-class restaurants, and award-winning wineries where you can quaff some of Australia’s best New World Wines.
After a delicious lunch overlooking the vineyards, continue to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, which is situated at the most south-westerly point of Australia. If you are travelling between May and September, you may be lucky enough to see some whales from your land-based vantage point, standing at the foot of the tallest lighthouse in mainland Australia.
If time permits, continue down to Pemberton and the Gloucester National Park, and climb the Gloucester Tree, a giant karri tree, which takes you above the forest canopy for the most spectacular views over the national park. It’s not for everyone, but if you have a head for heights, this could be a highlight of your Australian self-drive adventure!