Now that you’ve read the “Useful Tips for Roadtripping Australia On a Budget”, you’re definitely itching to pack up and book the cheapest tickets to Australia and escape the labyrinth of Singapore’s skyscrapers. #roadtrippin’downsouth
Many would associate Perth as a place for retirees with clocks that tick half as slowly as Singapore’s stressful city life; and it is little wonder that Western Australia is often overshadowed by more populous areas like Sydney’s Opera House, Gold Coast’s endless stretch of beaches and Warner Bros. Movie World, or even the Outback Lifestyle that everyone wants to bask in.
Behold, with a map in one hand and wheel on the other, there are actually a few stunning locations you can do a roadtrip to in Western Australia from Perth City.
Shark Bay Region
Denham (Shark Bay & Shell Beach)
820 kilometres North of Perth City
Approximately 10 hours drive via National Route 1 and North West Coastal Highway
Shark Bay that stretches from Carnarvon to Kalbarri is a region on the edge of the Australian continent where nature will enchant you - a combination of unique wildlife and rich flora along the raw coastline and rust red sand dunes. Its vast sea-grass beds on the Indian Ocean are the world’s largest of 4,800 square kilometre, and has been listed as Australia’s first world heritage since 1991.
Shell Beach is located in Shark Bay World Heritage Area. Be smitten by the contrast of the snow-white beach against the palette of blue and green hues. Yes, like the name literally, this beach is made up of millions of tiny shells up to 10 metres deep and stretching over 120 kilometres.
330 kilometres North of Sharks Bay
Approximately 2 to 3 hours drive via National Route 1
This natural phenomenon is an unexpected sight. Along the rugged coastline, experience the cardiac clench as powerful oceanic currents force water through sea caves and jet out of narrow holes in the rocks; up to heights of 20 metres.
365 kilometres North of Carnarvon.
Approximately 4 to 5 hours drive via National Route 1 and Minilya-Exmouth Road
Note the off-road driving.
Turquoise Bay, Exmouth
Snorkelling is the most popular activity on Turquoise bay as it caters to all snorkelling capabilities with its varying snorkel zones. Two of the more popular ones are Ningaloo Reef Snorkel and Turquoise Bay Drift Snorkel (must be of certain snorkelling capability), where the current will carry you out to the world of coral reefs.
Kalbarri National Park
590 kilometres North of Perth City
Approximately 6 hours drive via National Route 1 and North West Coastal Highway
Note the off-road drives and passing animals when driving at night
Admire Mother Nature’s ability to carve intricate landscapes by their depths and heights; fitting in flora and wildlife in these vastness. Two most sought-after spots at Kalbarri National Park are ‘Z Bend’ and ‘Nature’s Window’.
Z Bend is a gorge that gazes 150 metres down to the river below. Nature’s Window is another picturesque view - a natural arch carved from red rock - that frames the Murchison River and the gorges.
There are many other routes - Eagle Gorge, The Loop, Hawk’s Head, and Ross Graham - and activities such as Sand boarding that you might want to explore.
245 kilometres North of Perth City
Approximately 2 to 3 hours drive via State Route 60 and Indian Ocean Drive
Littered across the rippled sand dunes of Nambung National Park are thousands of weathered Pinnacles. These limestones came from seashells in an earlier era when marine life was flourishing; and stayed unknown until 1960s. Take a walk or drive through these ancient pillars on their true desert landscape.
Hyden Wave Rock
340 kilometres Southeast of Perth City, 4 kilometres East of Hyden.
Approximately 4.5 hours drive via Brookton Highway or State Route 40.
This geographical grandeur is one of Australia’s most famous landforms. The surf-like wave on the multicoloured Hyden Rock was formed some 2,700 million years ago, even before ancestors Dino roamed the Earth. Standing at 15 metres high and 110 metres long, Hyden Rock and its surrounding carpets of wildflowers lack no indigenous Australians for many hundreds of years.
To learn more about this region, check out the significant historic sites located around it.
Gnomesville @ Ferguson Valley
235km South of Perth City, between Bunbury and Collie.
Approximately 2.5 hours drive via State Route 2 and Forrest Highway.
Ferguson is known for its legendary Gnomesville - around 3000 (and growing) gnomes inhabit the roadside - where you will first be welcomed by the Gnomes before reaching the lush green scenic countryside. Be part of this gnome community and bring your own gnome to place it wherever you like.
Unspoiled by progress, this is an ideal place for family farm stay, amidst the ‘sound of music’ rolling hills and dense forests. What more to ask for when you can have daily interaction with farm animals too?
Gloucester National Park
330 kilometres South of Perth City
Approximately 4 hours drive via Kwinana Highway and Vasse Highway or State Route 2 and National Route 1
Gloucester National Park is known for its heart-stopping thrill; something to tick off your bucket list. These exceptionally tall Karri trees were constructed in the 1930s and 1940s as fire lookouts, remain as Tree Towers and are open to public. They live to about 350 years old and three legendary tallies are Gloucester tree (61 metres), Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree (68 metres), and Diamond Tree (58 metres).
Are you game for it? 153 metals pegs without harness or supervision, and not only will you be a tree climbing expert, you get a certificate to keep forever! FREE.
Margaret River Region
240 kilometres South of Perth City
Approximately 2.5 hours drive via State Route 2 and Forrest Highway
Apart from the much needed ice cream after a long drive, Busselton is best known for its 2 kilometres long jetty, extended onto the pristine waters of Geographe Bay. Not hard to believe, it is the longest wooden pier in the Southern Hemisphere.
This town first started in 1834 by Bussell family, one of the earliest settlement in Western Australia; and is now a popular stopover for those headed for Margaret River or short getaway for families.
50 kilometres South of Busselton
Approximately 1 hour drive via Bussell Highway
Scattered along the highway are internationally recognised wineries and world-class restaurants, Margaret River is effortlessly Western Australia’s most famous food and wine regions. Amidst the alluring naturing paradise of surf, caves, forests, and vines, you can have fresh seafood straight from the ocean or dine on the local organic produce.
Be sure to check out the famous Chocolate Company.
45 kilometres South of Margaret River
Approximately 30 minutes drive via Bussell Highway
Among the extensive underground system of over 350 caves, Jewel Cave is the biggest show cave in Western Australia, home to one of the longest straw stalactites found in any show cave in the world.
Chandeliers? That’s the first word that came to mind.
Check out other well preserved cave-pride of Western Australia: Mammoth Cave, Lake Cave, and Moondyne Cave.
12 kilometres South of Jewel Cave
Approximately 15 minutes drive via Bussell Highway
Cape Leeuwin is located at Australia’s most South-Westerly point where Indian Ocean and Southern Ocean meet romantically yet ferociously. Apart from being a navigational refuge to ships within 26 nautical miles since 1895, it has also been an automated weather station.
Walpole-Nornalup National Park
400 kilometres South of Perth City
Approximately 4 to 5 hours drive via National Route 1 and South Western Highway
240 kilometres East of Margaret River
Approximately 3 hours drive via South Western Highway
Dive. Surf. Fish. Canoe. Trek. Yes, all of the above but the most popular attraction in the Walpole Wilderness would be the Walpole Tree Top Walk. Catch a bird’s eye view of the canopy of 400 year old giants on the 420 metre long suspension bridge while you take a breath of the fresh air photosynthesised by the Ancient Empire Forest.
For more travel inspiration, click here.