Get ready for an epic road trip along Western Australia’s stunning South West, where world-famous surf beaches, award-winning wineries, trendy produce markets and unique wildlife experiences take centrestage.
We begin our journey on Rottnest Island, also known as Wadjemup, just off the coast of the mainland. From Perth, it takes about an hour and a half on the ferry to Rottnest Island (or just 25 minutes from Freemantle). Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted with a landscape like no other. While you’re on the island, you’ll be treated to nature walks among windswept grasses that dot the foreshore, pink and purple sunsets over aquamarine water, and an abundance of birdlife. There’s something for everyone on Rottnest – eager anglers can drop a line, golfers can go for a hit on the green, fitness fanatics can hike or jog to their heart’s content on the island’s many walking trails, and wildlife-lovers can meet the friendly quokkas.
The next stop on our foodie tour along the South West coast is Fremantle, an eclectic and dynamic city only 25 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Perth. While in town, you can’t miss a visit to the Fremantle Markets. Since 1897, the markets have been providing locals and tourists with farm-fresh produce, specialty food offerings, and arts and crafts, as well as live music and a sense of community. Come here on the weekend for rich spices, organic vegetables, fragrant flowers, Indigenous art, bespoke gifts and trinkets, and a relaxed vibe.
Jump in the car and travel just under two hours south of Fremantle to Bunbury, where a cosmopolitan seaside oasis is complemented by wonderful and wild outdoorsy experiences. The town is famous for its friendly (but wild) bottlenose dolphins, which can be admired from afar on a cruise, or up close on a swim experience.
Once you’re finally able to peel yourself away from Bunbury (a difficult feat!), travel about an hour and 15 minutes further south down the coast to Margaret River. This area is one of Australia’s most famous surfing destinations, hosting the Margaret River Pro each April where the likes of Kelly Slater and Owen Wright frequent annually. Surfing pros and eager groms can zip up their wetsuits and try their hand at some winter surfing, while those with shakier sea legs can admire the Indian Ocean’s beauty from the long stretch of pristine shoreline.
To read about the rest of the road trip, check out the Winter 2023 edition of Caravanning Australia.
Pictured: Injidup Beach, Yallingup. Image courtesy of Tourism Western Australia