TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

SOUTH WEST

 

Places to see in Western Australia

 

 

 

 

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The south west of Western Australia is very popular as there is just so much to see and do and it is only three hours drive from Perth.

The area combines natural beauty with many man-made attractions and there is a huge range of accommodation from budget camping to five star luxury.

 

Bunbury Geographe Motor Museum
Bunbury Geographe Motor Museum

 

A relatively new attraction in the south west is the Bunbury Geographe Motor Museum.

The museum opened in January 2021 and showcases veteran and vintage cars owned by motoring enthusiasts in the area.

The exhibits change regularly so, if you have already been to visit the museum, chances are that things will have changed by the time you visit again.

This is an excellent museum with a very reasonable entry fee and it is an attraction we highly recommend.

 

Bunbury Wildlife Park
Bunbury Wildlife Park

 

The Bunbury Wildlife Park is located on Prince Phillip Drive next to the Big Swamp Wetland.

The Wildlife Park is a very popular place with families and after a wander through the park grounds admiring the exhibits, it is great to sit and relax in the cafe with a drink and a bite to eat.

Activities in the Wildlife Park include feeding birds in the walk through aviaries, interacting with the cockatoos, patting the kangaroos, picnicking and listening to talks by the keepers.

To find out more check out our Feature Page

 

Featured Wood Gallery and Museum
Featured Wood Gallery and Museum

 

Hidden away in the back streets of Australind is this little gem that combines a Wood Gallery (with some amazing wooden sculptures) and a unique Military and History Museum.

It is open every day from 10am to 4pm and is on our list of places not to miss in the Bunbury area.

To find out more check out our Feature Page or visit the official Website.

 

Balingup Medieval Carnivale
Balingup Medieval Carnivale

 

On the 4th weekend of August each year, Balingup is transformed into a town full of knights, ladies and courtiers as the Medieval festival takes over the town.

Thousands of people visit at this time either to participate in the events or just to enjoy the spectacle. In 2016 the carnival celebrated its 20th year.

To find out more about this fascinating festival visit the Balingup Medieval Carnivale website and our own Balingup Medieval Carnivale.

 

Busselton
Busselton

 

Busselton has always been a popular tourist destination and its position at the northern end of the Margaret River wine region makes it an ideal base for exploration.

The jetty is the most striking man-made object in the area but it is the natural beauty surrounding the town that attracts most visitors.

Swimming, fishing, sight seeing, walks, winearies, cheese factories, breweries and so much more make the area an absolute must see destination for Australian and overseas visitors.

 

Hotham Valley Railway
Hotham Valley Railway

 

This attraction is a bit further out of Perth than most but air-conditioned coaches are available (for an extra fee) for special dinner trains that operate during the year.

There are also the Forest Train and Steam Ranger that operate during the day for those who just want to ride on the train without having a meal.

The railway operates between Dwellingup and Pinjarra and is a credit to the many volunteers who spend countless hours working (usually) behind the scenes to keep the railway alive.

Due to the risk of fire, the steam trains only operate during the cooler months of the year. See the website for full details.

Hotham Valley website.

 

Ellensbrook
Ellensbrook

 

Historic Ellensbrook is located near the coast between Gracetown and Prevelly. The old homestead belonged to Ellen and Alfred Bussell who settled on the site in 1857.

The building is maintained by the National Trust and there is an entrance fee to help with the maintenance of the building and surrounding garden.

 

Stingrays of Hamelin Bay
Stingrays of Hamelin Bay

 

There was a time when these friendly creatures were not protected and this led to the senseless killing of a ray nick-named 'stumpy'. Stumpy had lost his tail and sting and was therefore defenceless. This heartless destruction of such a friendly creature led to a public outcry and now, the rays at Hamelin Bay are protected by law.

It has to be remembered that these are still wild creatures and they must be treated with respect at all times. They are capable of inflicting painful (and even life threatening) injuries if they feel threatened.

 

Gnomesville
Gnomesville

 

Gnomesville must be unique in Western Australia as far as attractions are concerned because it grew from a simple protest about a local round-a-bout into one of the most incredible community built attractions that has ever developed.

Gnomes are continually being added by visitors from all over the world who come to this site in order to add their own gnomes to the already massive collection.

There is nothing organised about this site, it just sits by the side of a country road. It grew from nothing to become world famous.

 

Stirling Cottage - Harvey
Stirling Cottage - Harvey

 

Stirling Cottage is a replica of a cottage built by Governor James Stirling in 1849.

The cottage sits by the Harvey River and is surrounded by landscaped gardens.

A restaurant now operates from the cottage where you can enjoy a light lunch. The local visitor centre is also on the site and includes a gift shop.

 

Six Mile Cottage - Darkan
Six Mile Cottage - Darkan

 

Located about 10km from Darkan on the Quindanning road is this historic cottage built by Dick Strange.

The cottage is tiny and life here in the early 1900s was probably not very comfortable. The cottage is a rare surviving example of how early settlers lived and is open all year.

 

Point Peron
Point Peron

 

50 kilometres south of Perth is the seaside town of Rockingham. Nearby Point Peron is currently the focal point of a fight over development as locals try to keep the area in a natural un-developed state while business interests seek to install a marina and canal-housing.

The area was once home to a coastal defence facility and remains of the bunkers and gun emplacements can be found as you follow the walk trails around the cape.

The cape is composed of rocky outcrops and sandy beaches and is one of the most popular walks in the area. There is also a 'snorkel trail' for those who don't mind getting wet.

 

Penguin Island
Penguin Island

 

Another attraction near Rockingham is Penguin Island. The island is a short ferry ride from Shoalwater (a suburb of Rockingham) and is popular due to a colony of little penguins.

A discovery centre on the island allows visitors to see some of the penguins and feeding sessions are held daily at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm.

The penguins are not usually seen during the day as they are out feeding and do not return to the island until after dark. It is thought that around 2000 penguins nest on the island during breeding season.

Close by is Seal Island where it is possible to see Australian sea lions lazing on the beach.

 

Cape Leeuwin
Cape Leeuwin

 

The cape lies on a rugged stretch of coastline south west of the town of Augusta. The Indian and Southern Oceans collide here making the waters tempestuous.

The lighthouse on the cape was built in 1895 and it one of the most elegant of its type along the long W.A. coastline. The stone was extracted from nearby Quarry Bay and closer to the lighthouse you will find an old water wheel.

 

Coopers Mill
Cooper's Mill

 

Located on an island at the mouth of the Murray River where it enters the Peel - Harvey Estuary, this mill has been restored to its former glory.

You will need a boat in order to visit the island but it is a very pleasant place to enjoy a picnic lunch.

 

Creepy Hollow
Creepy Hollow

 

Creepy Hollow is located at the old Bedfordale Roadhouse on Albany Highway. It is an interesting spot to break the journey between Perth and Albany.

There is a restaurant as well as one of the most unusual markets in the state. The market has a 'horror' theme and animated creatures will make your visit that much more fun. This is a great place for kids and adults with a sense of humour.

 

Tea-pot house -Dininup
Tea-pot house - Dininup

 

The Teapot House used to be run by Robyn and Barlee Jones. Sadly Barlee passed away but thankfully his amazing collection has been preserved and has moved to a new location at Boyup Brook.

 

Fairbridge
Fairbridge

 

It is a little difficult to categorise Fairbridge village as it is part English Village, part American, part Australia but all very interesting.

Originally it was established as a farm school and today the emphasis remains on education but you can also rent accommodation at the village and enjoy a very unique environment.

The village is located north far north of Pinjarra on the South West Highway. Day trippers are welcome and there are picnic facilities on the grounds.

 

Jewel Cave
Jewel Cave

 

The south west contains hundreds of caves and the Margaret River area has the greatest concentration of them.

Jewel Cave is the one to see if you only have time to visit one cave. The natural decorations in this cave are possibly the best in any commercial cave in the state.

If you have the time there are adventure caves that you can explore on your own or other commercial guided caves to see.

Jewel Cave is located not far north of the town of Augusta.

 

Lake Clifton
Lake Clifton

 

Lake Clifton is located south of Mandurah and is home to a large colony of Stromatolites.

There are picnic facilities and a walk leads you out over the water so that you can see these ancient life-forms without disturbing them.

The lake is also an important bird sanctuary for local as well as migratory birds.

 

Peel Zoo
Peel Zoo

 

The Peel Zoo is located north of the Pinjarra Road between Mandurah and Pinjarra.

The zoo has an interesting, is somewhat odd collection of animals including native, domestic and even pest species like the red fox.

The walk through aviary has an interesting range of parrots and there are a number of other bird species in separate enclosures.

To find out more visit the Peel Zoo website.

 

 

 

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