THE BEST WINTER ITINERARY

In by mike

THE BEST WINTER ITINERARY

Ready for a winter road trip? Pack your wellies and beanies as this will be a wild winter ride. Here are the highlights:

  • Watch storms roll in over the ocean and crash against the coast
  • Check out the charming inland towns of the Blackwood River Valley, Ferguson Valley and Great Southern
  • Indulge in fine red wine and hearty comfort food
  • Spot migrating humpback whales
  • Treat yourself to a spa day

Day 1/2 Perth to Great Southern

Head south along Albany Highway, stopping (nearly) halfway in Kojonup. Kodja Place is an indoor museum sharing the history and traditions of the Indigenous tribes of the Great Southern. Continue south, detouring through the Porongurup range, stopping along the way to taste local produce (Devonshire tea perhaps?) and sample the region’s high profile Riesling. If weather permits, visit the Porongurup National Park and climb to Castle Rock for breathtaking panoramic views from the Granite Skywalk. If the weather’s unfavourable, spend a few hours indoors at the National Anzac Centre learning Albany’s Anzac history or brave the elements and discover the dramatic coastline at The Gap’s new coastal lookout, within Torndirrup National Park (pictured below). Keep your eyes peeled for migrating humpback whales, or join a scheduled trip with Albany Whale Tours for a closer sighting.

Day 3/4 Great Southern to Southern Forests

Discover the charming art community of Denmark by visiting local galleries, or bunker down for a long lunch at one of the region’s wineries. Drive along Scotsdale Tourist Drive or Mount Shadforth Scenic Drive for beautiful winter vistas of vast green hills and karri forest. If indulging is your thing, book in for a spa treatment at Chimes or Karisma Spa. Take an invigorating walk among the tree tops at the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk near Walpole or jump on an eco cruise (weather permitting) nearby. Take the coastal route to Northcliffe, stopping to explore the limestone cliffs at Point D’Entrecasteaux and watch the crashing swells of the Southern Ocean. Head to the Truffle and Wine Co in Manjimup and join a tour to hunt for the highly prized rare black truffles, followed by a hearty lunch at the on-site restaurant.

Day 5 Southern Forests to Blackwood River Valley

Take one of the most scenic drives in the region through rolling hills and valleys, stopping to explore the quirky shops or canoe along the Blackwood River in Bridgetown. Visit Boyup Brook, coined the ‘Country Music’ capital of WA and check out their mysterious street art. Enjoy Balingup’s colourful shops, where you can browse for handcrafted pottery, herbal products and crafts. Drive inland to Nannup, known as the “Garden Village”, and walk through the beautifully manicured gardens around town.

Day 6/7 Blackwood River Valley to Margaret River Wine Region

Visit Augusta and climb to the top of Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, where you’re likely to spot migrating humpback whales. Head north on the Boranup Forest scenic drive with its beautiful Karri forest, stopping for a stroll through Boranup Gallery and a hearty lunch at the onsite café among the trees. Head underground into one of the region’s show caves (they’re dry and a mild 20 degrees all year round), followed by one of the immersive winery experiences such as Cape Mentelle’s Behind the Scenes tour or a private tasting in the lavish Howard Park Wine Chapel. Rug up and hit the great outdoors with a horse ride at Jester’s Flat or a high rope adventure at Forest Adventures South West.

If you missed the opportunity for whale watching in Albany on day 2, now’s your chance. Tours depart from either Busselton, Dunsborough or Augusta (season dependent) with Legend Charters or Naturaliste Charters.

Day 8/9 Geographe Region

Explore the stunning inland hills of the Ferguson Valley and book a cosy cottage for a night of unwinding after your road trip adventure. Join a Dolphin Eco Cruise from the Dolphin Discovery Centre (weather dependent) in Bunbury or sit down to a long lunch at St Aiden’s Wines. Experience the home of children’s classic story, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie in Harvey, before heading back to Perth.

Find more travel itineraries at www.australiassouthwest.com.

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