Your Self Drive Adventure
Day 1 - Perth to Margaret River (287 km)
Collect your car and head south to Bunbury, home to the Koombana Bay dolphins. A group of up to 100 wild bottle nose dolphins live in the city's bay. Take the Dolphin Watch Eco Cruise (own expense). From here continue on to Busselton and then short drive south to Margaret River home to some of Australia's finest wineries. The town is well known for its surfing beaches and magnificent coastal scenery.
Bunbury is a major city in the south-west, acting as the region’s administration and business centre. Around the town there are a number of art and craft galleries with a fine range of local craft, including some delightful woodcraft made from local West Australian timber. Wild dolphins visit the beach along Koombana Bay on a regular basis and have become a major attraction in their own right, prompting the building of the Dolphin Discovery Centre nearby.
Busselton sits on the shores of Geographe Bay, a bay of calm waters, long beaches and sheltered coves, which is ideal for water-based activities. The Busselton Jetty, all 2km of it, is the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere. Today it is a major landmark, and daily train rides are conducted along its length. To see marine life up close, visit the Oceanarium, or if you are into diving, this is one of the best dives around. The amount of marine life in, on, and around the pylons has to be seen to be believed!
Margaret River and its surrounding region offers a wide variety of attractions - from the tranquil waters of Geographe Bay in the north, down the ancient cave-carved Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, through the picturesque vineyards and karri forest of the heartland, to the desolate beauty of Cape Leeuwin in the south. Margaret River is well known for its award winning wines, fine food, pristine beaches and breathtaking scenery. The great ocean swells offer a real challenge to the surfers who come from far and wide, and the town is home to many artists and crafts people.
Standard: Stay Margaret River
Deluxe: Margarets Beach Resort
Day 2 - Margaret River
Day at leisure to explore the fine wineries, beaches and the gourmet delights that the Margaret River region has to offer. Must see attractions of the region include Busselton Jetty and Underwater Observatory, Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and the Ngilgi Cave.
Day 3 - Margaret River to Pemberton (150 km)
Leave Margaret River and travel south on one of the State’s most scenic drives, Caves Road. See two oceans meet at the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse (tours leave on the hour) and then make your way to the tall timber country surrounding Pemberton. Enjoy a forest walk or if you prefer take the Pemberton tram and meander through some of the tallest trees in the world. Natural fresh waterways and lakes are prevalent in the region, so why not pick up some local wine and produce to enjoy a picnic.
Pemberton, steeped in timber lore, is the best place to experience the magic of the magnificent karri forest growing all around. The town stands on what was formerly Nyungar Aboriginal land. Extensive karri and marri forests grow in the district, timber milling being the main local industry. The beauty of the forest is enhanced by clear streams and pretty cascades and by a wealth of wildflowers in the spring. The Karri Visitors Centre is located near the town centre and combines the Tourist Centre, Pioneer Museum and the Karri Forest Discovery Centre, all of which help give visitors a first-rate introduction to the region. A special audio-visual on the forests ought not to be missed.
Standard: Best Western Pemberton Hotel
Deluxe: RAC Karri Valley Resort
Day 4 - Pemberton to Albany (260 km)
Visit timber and art galleries in Pemberton and then make your way to Albany via Northcliffe and Walpole. Stop off at Northcliffe’s famous forest sculpture walk. Visit the Giant Tingle Tree and see the only place in WA where the Forest meets the water. Continue your journey and take a stroll along the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk (at own expense). Don’t miss the Elephant Rocks and Greens Pool near Denmark. Continue onto Albany which overlooks Princess Royal Harbour and many elevated vantage points around the town provide spectacular views.
Denmark is nestled on the banks of the Denmark River with magnificent forests that sweep down to meet the sea. The river flows into the protected Wilson Inlet, which in turn flows in to the Southern Ocean. The town is therefore a series of continuous images, all of them stunning.
Albany was Western Australia’s first settlement and was once a major whaling centre. It has numerous white sandy beaches and spectacular coastal scenery. In the town itself there are over 50 historic buildings, many of which have been developed as museums, display galleries of restaurants. The whaling museum, named Whaleworld, details the whales and the whaling operation that once flourished here. Surfing and diving are also popular activities in the area and a wreck has been sunk in the Sound as an artificial reef, making it a popular dive site.
Standard: Best Western The Clarence on Melville, Albany
Deluxe: The Beach House at Bayside
Day 5 - Albany
It’s time to take a break and explore Albany today. Walk the Amity Trail and take in a visit to Whaleworld, the only whaling museum created from an operational whaling station. Between June and October watch out for magnificent humpback and southern right whales, who pause to play in the surrounding waters. There are many scenic walks to explore the magnificent coastline.
Day 6 - Albany to Perth (410 km)
Depart for Perth today taking the Albany Highway. North of Albany you may wish to visit the Stirling Range National Park – the only Alpine area in Western Australia. Another good stop on the way back to Perth is at Kodja Place in Kojonup. The centre provides an insight into rural life, as well as a history of Aboriginal life in the region.
6 Day Self Drive - from £499
with flights from £1195
Our deluxe Western Wanderer self drive includes all the benefits of our standard option and offers superior hotel accommodation and full breakfast included during your stay in Albany at the Beach House by Bayside.
All prices are per person, based on 2 sharing a double or twin room, and include pre-booked accommodation, air-conditioned car and unlimited kilometres. Hotels specified are subject to availability and may be substituted by one of a similar or higher standard.