A Must-Do List For Visiting The South West Of WA

south west of wa - busselton

A Must-Do List For Visiting The South West Of WA

Your escape awaits
south west of wa - busselton
Jarrad Seng

Featuring boundless stretches of magical coastline, plains of untouched nature, ancient towering trees, and numerous world-renowned wine regions, the South West corner of Western Australia is a dreamlike destination to tick off. 

Days here consist of soaking up the sun on secluded beaches, exploring the unique carvings of longstanding caves, sipping on glasses of the finest grapes among the vineyards, settling in for a pub lunch in the country breeze, and sampling the finest produce from farm to plate. 

With direct flights now running from Melbourne to Busselton-Margaret River with Jetstar Australia, the Margaret River region and the rest of Australia’s South West is closer than ever before. Here is your must-do list for a visit to the South West corner of WA.

1. Indulge in gourmet food and award-winning wine

south west of wa - amelia park wines
Amelia Park Wines | Image: Jarrad Seng

Australia’s South West is dubbed Nature’s Pantry, and for good reason. 

It’s a premium wine-producing region, mainly thanks to its Mediterranean climate and close proximity to the ocean, with nearly 100 cellar doors dotted around for you to experience. Margaret River is the undisputed wine capital of Western Australia and produces some of the finest drops of cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay from some of the prettiest vineyards you’ll see. In terms of where you should pop in, more popular wineries include Vasse Felix, Leeuwin Estate, Voyager Estate, and Cape Mentelle – but we’d also highly recommend two of our personal favourite smaller spots Domain Naturaliste or Passel Estate.

If it’s food you’re after, there’s an option for every taste from loaded degustations paired with the finest glasses to classic pub lunches alongside a pint, cafe-style brunch seaside, or tasting sessions filled with cheese, olives, honey, fudge, and chocolate.

2. Explore the pristine coastline

south west of wa - point piquet
Point Piquet | Image: Frances Andrijich

The sparkling turquoise waters and squeaky white sand of the rugged coastal stretches here are truly something magical. 

Iconic coastal spots to visit include the postcard-perfect shores of Meelup Beach and Eagle Bay, unique rock formations at Sugarloaf Rock, Injidup Spa, and Canal Rocks, and the rolling waves at Surfers Point. 

Further down near Denmark you can find some of the clearest, peppermint-green waters in the world at Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks, or feel the mist on your face as you overlook the surging ocean at the Gap and Natural Bridge near Albany.

3. Have a luxury stay at these eco off-grid chalets

south west of wa - tree chalets

Though there are plenty of luxury accommodations to enjoy here, we’d argue the private adult-only Tree Chalets rank among the best. 

The timber-clad chalets sit in complete privacy among the towering trees and green bushland and are all powered by the sun and fed by rainwater. The interior is simple luxury, featuring timbers grown on the farm and views from every angle. Complete with an outdoor cast iron bath, we definitely wouldn’t mind sinking in here with a glass of local red in hand. 

It’s a place to really let go, relax in the quiet and share an intimate romantic getaway with that special someone. 

Find out more here

4. Jump into an outdoor adventure

Here you can frolic with friendly wild bottlenose dolphins in the shallows of Koombana Bay in Bunbury, take a walk with a local Wadandi custodian to immerse yourself in over 50,000 years of Aboriginal culture, dive into one of the many snorkel sites, rock climb and hop your way to hidden coastal treasures, ride the waves on a stand-up paddleboard, kayak along the tranquil river, or walk among towering trees in the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk near Walpole.

If you find yourself in Busselton, make sure you walk down the iconic jetty (the longest wooden piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere) and explore the Underwater Observatory to see vibrant marine life.

Heading east to Manjimup during truffle season in winter means you can join a truffle dog hunt to dig up the famous black Périgord truffle, or you can venture to Pemberton to visit the Yeagarup Dunes, a large moving sand dune system with incredible views.

5. Tour ancient underground wonders

south west of wa - jewel cave
Jewel Cave | Image: Tim Campbell

Journey beneath the surface into an underworld of ancient caves featuring spectacular limestone shapes and dazzling crystal formations dating back to over 350,000 years ago. 

The Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge in Margaret River is home to around 150 limestone caves, with the more popular ones open to the public including Ngilgi Cave, Lake Cave, Jewel Cave, and Mammoth Cave. 

You can take a fully guided tour of all except Mammoth Cave, which allows a self-guided meander through the crystal-covered interior.

6. Immerse yourself in the arts and culture

The region has an extremely rich past deeply rooted in culture, and a thriving arts community providing a range of events and festivals every year. 

The laidback, coastal lifestyle means a number of artists and creatives now call this place home, and you can discover plenty of bespoke art galleries throughout the area along with displays of public art like the biggest dam mural at the Wellington Dam in Collie, and the giant grain silos in Albany and Pingrup splashed with colourful Australian artwork. 

Discover the six Noongar seasons and Dreamtime stories on an Aboriginal tour or delve into Ngilgi Cave for a live didgeridoo performance as you feel the ancient history seep from the cave walls.

7. Get back in touch with nature

south west of wa - balingup
Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages | Image: Frances Andrijich

In a place where tall-timber forests meet turquoise oceans, you’ll find a whole array of untouched natural landscapes just waiting to be discovered. 

Lose yourself along worn-down bush and sand dune tracks leading to sloping cliff faces, colourful wildflowers, and unbelievable ocean views along the famous Cape to Cape Track, spanning 124km from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin, or venture to Northcliffe’s Understory Art and Nature Trail – a meander through the forest with art installations intertwined along the way.

There are also 24 national parks and over 1000km of coastline here, so you’ll be fully embracing nature with both hands as you meet with rare and unique plants and wildlife.

How to get there

A Must-Do List For Visiting The South West Of WA

Australia’s South West covers 23,000kms in the South West corner of Western Australia. The region stretches from Harvey and Bunbury in the north, out past Katanning to Pingrup and Bremer Bay to the east, and encompasses Margaret River, Pemberton, Manjimup, Denmark, Albany and everywhere in between. The Margaret River region itself stretches from Busselton in the north to Augusta in the south, with Margaret River sitting just a 2hr 30min drive south of Western Australia’s capital city, Perth.

You can now fly direct into Western Australia’s South West with flights from Melbourne to Busselton-Margaret River Airport on Jetstar Australia, and the best way to get around from there is by hiring a vehicle and hitting the open road.

Win A Dreamy Getaway In The South West

To celebrate direct flights now taking off with Jetstar Australia from Melbourne to Busselton Margaret River, we’re giving you the chance to WIN a dreamy stay in Australia’s South West worth over $6,500, including 7 nights accommodation in luxury off-grid Tree Chalets. T&Cs Apply.

Your dream getaway in Western Australia’s South West includes all of this for two:

  • 7 nights accommodation for 2 adults with Tree Chalets in Busselton. This includes a curated breakfast hamper showcasing local products, a complimentary Tree Chalets Food Art Grazer Board, and a complimentary bottle of Whicher Ridge wine.
  • Return flights for 2 adults from Melbourne to Busselton Margaret River with Jetstar Australia.
  • 7 days car hire with Avis Car Rentals from Busselton-Margaret River Airport.
  • A voucher for Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory, including return Jetty Train.
  • A voucher for a Coasteering or Fat Bike Tour with Margaret River Adventure Co, and a voucher with Margaret River Mountain Bike Tours
  • A voucher for an Electric Quad Bike Tour with EcoAdventures Margaret River.
  • A voucher for Margaret River Exposed Snapshot Wine Tour OR Wildflower Tour.
  • A $100 voucher for any Cave or Lighthouse managed by Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association.
  • A voucher to visit Eagles Heritage Wildlife Centre.
  • A $100 voucher for Forest Adventures South West High Ropes Course and a $100 voucher for Origins Market in Busselton.
  • A $150 lunch voucher for 2 guests at Black Brewing Co./Dune Distilling Co.’s award-winning Restaurant/Brewery/Distillery.

Feature Image: Busselton Foreshore | Jarrad Seng