Western Australia’s picturesque and rugged beauty was made to be explored by car, taking a few days, to a few weeks or more. These driving routes will take you to some of the world’s most pristine and clean coastlines, into the heart of premium wine country, and through spectacular gorges and outback. Fret not, all you need to prepare is a sense of adventure.
Located at an easy 4.5-hour flight from Jakarta, Western Australia’s capital city Perth is the best starting point to kickstart your Australian road trip adventure. Indonesian travelers put Western Australia at the forefront of travel preferences for Indonesian visitors, and there’s no better way to explore the State’s diverse landscapes and experiences than on a road trip adventure. Here is the list of easy and exciting destinations you can easily access from Perth by road.
Driving 40 minutes south of Perth will lead you to the pristine islands and reefs of the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park. Discover an incredible array of marine encounters, from penguins and dolphins to dive wrecks and snorkel trails. With pods of dolphins regularly visiting these coastal waters, it’s a great opportunity to jump in the water and swim with wild dolphins on an organised tour. If you’d prefer to stay dry, you can watch these playful creatures from a boat tour as they ride the bow beneath your feet. Just a short ferry ride away, you can get up close with some 1,200 penguins at Penguin Island, who make up the largest colony on Australia’s west coast.
Against a backdrop of the best preserved 19th century port streetscape in the world, a day out in Fremantle is an eclectic and eccentric blend of fabulous artisanal food, handcrafted beers, great coffee, quirky boutiques and a lively music, arts and festival scene. Duck into the Little Creatures brewery, or explore one of the hidden pockets of restaurants and bars in the west end. The lively city of Fremantle is located an easy 30-minute drive from Perth CBD.
For those who love being on, in or near the water, Mandurah is a dream destination just a 55 minute drive south of Perth. With a long history as Western Australia’s seafood centre, you’ll get to enjoy an abundance of mouthwatering delicacies. Mandurah Cruises’ experienced guides know exactly where to find the finest delicacies of the region, where you can catch your own world-famous blue swimmer crab, pull up a crayfish and cast out for a dhufish, snapper and groper.
Take a day trip from Perth to the other-worldly landscape of the Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park. Following the Indian Ocean Drive, you can stop to meet friendly kangaroos, try sandboarding at the coastal town of Lancelin and taste Cervantes’ famous seafood delicacy – the western rock lobster. If you’re travelling between July and October, you’ll see Western Australia in full colour, as the coastal landscapes are filled with the blooms of spring wildflowers. Nambung National Park is located a 2.5 hour drive north of Perth CBD.
Swan Valley & Perth Hills
Take a 25-minute drive from Perth and you’ll find yourself surrounded by some of Western Australia’s oldest vineyards, and award winning wineries and microbreweries in the Swan Valley region. Many of the wineries offer al fresco dining, or you can opt to fill a basket with gourmet goodies and head for a picnic. When visiting the Swan Valley, be sure to check-out the region’s countless gourmet providers, handcrafted wares, distilleries and vibrant art studios.
Extend your drive from the Swan Valley to the Perth Hills, and take in the towns of Kalamunda and Armadale, gateways to the Araluen Botanical Park, wineries of the Bickley Valley and the Bibbulmun Track walk.
In addition to being home to world-class food and wine where you can pick from over 150 wineries, fine restaurants, boutique breweries, art galleries and fresh produce stores, Margaret River offers pristine beaches, surfing, tall tree forests, caves, seasonal whale watching and wildflowers. Hike a section of the popular Cape to Cape Track, picnic under the towering Boranup Forest, head underground to discover a labyrinth of caves, and taste your way through delicious homegrown produce at the local Farmers Market. The Margaret River region is also home to the longest wooden-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere, Busselton Jetty, taking visitors 1.8 kilometres out to sea. Stroll or take a ride in the new electric jetty train over the waters of Geographe Bay to the Underwater Observatory. All of this, and more, can be accessed in an easy three hour drive south of Perth.
Text and photos courtesy of Tourism Western Australia