Western Australia’s South West

This region occupies the South West area and incorporates an area bounded by the towns of Yarloop and Katanning in the north to Augusta in the South and as far east as Bremer Bay.  There are several important tourist areas found in this region which includes the Margaret River Wine Region, The Great Southern, the Blackwood River Valley and Geographe.  Major towns in this region include Bunbury, Busselton, Dunsborough, Margaret River, Augusta, Harvey, Collie, Bridgetown, Nannup, Pemberton, Manjimup, Walpole, Denmark, Mt Barker, Kojonup and Albany.

The South West is within easy reach of Perth and tourist facilities are plentiful.  You can pick up coach tours to the region, but it is just as easy to hire a car to drive yourself, or catch buses between the local towns.

Although the South West forms only a tiny part of Western Australia, it covers 140,000 square kilometres and occupies less than 2% of Australia, the South West is still bigger than England and much of the area is covered by dense forest.  The South West is also the coolest region in Western Australia as the southern coastline attracts winds and currents that emanate directly from the Antarctic.  The Stirling Ranges, just north of Albany, is the only place in Western Australia to experiences snow, and then only on a few days each year on the highest parts.  This area really has a Mediterranean climate, which is one of the reasons that it is such a great wine growing area.  One very good reason for visiting the South West is to experience the excellent locally-produced foods, wines and beers, many of which have enviable international reputations.

For those visitors who crave physical activity water sports of all types: fishing, sailing, swimming, surfing, diving, kayaking and wind surfing are all popular.  The South West has some amazing beaches and lovely rivers, and the surf break at Margaret River is legendary. Hiking and biking are also popular, and one of the world’s great long distance walk trails, the Bibbulmun Track, traverses the area introducing the walker to spectacular scenery and the opportunity to trek through some of the world’s tallest forests.    

Accommodation in the area is plentiful and ranges in style from luxurious spas and retreats to farm stays and camping; there is something available for every budget and need.  Anytime is a great time to visit Western Australia’s South West, it is one of the few parts of Western Australia which does experience four distinct seasons, but Winter is a great time to view whales and dolphins and the area comes alive with unique wildflowers in Spring.

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