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5 Stops for an Epic Road Trip to the Great South West Edge of Western Australia

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4WD Driving near Walpole.

Have you ever dreamed of going on a road trip but not sure where to go? Well, guess what – Western Australia offers a host of routes for a self-drive trip across its five main regions that are bound to be relaxing for a road trip for families, friends or couples.

With Perth only being a five-hour flight away from Malaysia, your adventure begins the moment you get past the arrival hall at the airport. With so many affordable car rental services available at Perth airport, you’ll be on your way to an epic road trip in no time!

Take a trip down to the Great South West Edge; the 11-day drive offers multiple scenic stops that begins and ends in Perth, with a great number of beautiful sights of nature that are sure to rejuvenate your spirits and give a memorable holiday experience.

Check out some of these must see-places on your epic road trip to the Great South West Edge.

1.Get up close and personal with friendly dolphins at Bunbury

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Group swimming with wild dolphins in their natural environment in Koombana Bay. ‘Swim with the Dolphins’ tour is operated by the Dolphin Discovery Centre, Bunbury.

We may have dugongs and Irrawaddy dolphins in Malaysia, but seeing a dolphin up close is still a pretty rare occurrence for us.

If you’re headed to Bunbury along your road trip, you are in luck. Bunbury, a city famed for its wild but friendly bottlenose dolphins, is located just a two-hour drive away from Perth and is the perfect spot where you can swim alongside these playful mammals, among other fun activities suitable for the whole family.

To meet with these friendly locals, head to the Dolphin Discovery Centre, where you can learn all about dolphins and other local marine life.

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If you are feeling a little more adventurous, then try heading to the shores of Koombana Bay, which has a dedicated interpretive centre and interaction zone that lets visitors get up close with the bottlenose dolphins that frequent its calm waters. Alternatively, if you want to swim with the dolphins, join a tour for a viewing and swimming activities for a completely out-of-this-world experience!

2. Drink in the best of what Margaret River has to offer

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Couple walking through the vines at Wills Domain, Margaret River

Located a little over an hour away from Bunbury is Margaret River that has evolved from a chilled-out surfer’s town to a popular spot that lets visitors enjoy the region’s spectacular sights and flavours. Blessed with mild weather and abundant sunshine, there is something for everyone to enjoy during your stop here.

For wine aficionados, you’ll be happy to know that Margaret River is the producer of over 15% of Australia’s premium wine and offers a whole array of wine-tasting experiences. With over 100 wineries, boutique breweries and produce such as exquisite cheeses, we can guarantee that you’ll be spoilt for choice.

If you’re looking for an adventure, it will be hard to miss the 40 top spots along the coast of Margaret River to catch the best big-wave surfing opportunity. These spots offer waves suitable for all levels, from powerful reef breaks to fun beach surfs. For an activity the whole family can enjoy, take a relaxing stroll along the sandy beaches and take in the remarkable view of the sunset.

After a stop at the beach, take a scenic 30-minute drive inland and surround yourself with the world’s tallest hardwood trees at Boranup Karri Forest. It is also the perfect spot for a romantic picnic under the canopy of majestic 60-metre timber giants. You can also explore one of the many captivating caves in the forest with a guided tour to Jewel Cave where you’ll find the world’s longest straw stalactite.

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The fun doesn’t stop there. Margaret River also offers rock climbing, abseiling, mountain biking, canoeing and whale watching tours. You might even want to try your hand at fishing at one the many designated fishing spots as well. Now that’s what we call an adventure.

3. Go on a Tree top walk at Walpole

Valley of the Giants, Tree Top Walk

Walpole is a charming town located just three hours away from Margaret River and is a must-see stop for nature lovers. It is an adventure waiting to happen with its expansive national parks, state forests, wide sandy beaches, pretty picnic spots and tranquil rivers that offer more than a day’s worth of exciting activities. From bushwalking to white water rafting to four-wheel driving on the beach, there’s something for nature lovers of all ages.

The real beauty of Walpole lies when you take a gentle 600 metre stroll through the canopy of 400-year-old tingle tress on The Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk in the Walpole-Nornalup National Park. During the walk, take in the spectacular views of the tallest timber trees on Earth while having a relaxing lunch under the trees. 

4. Take a refreshing dip in Greens Pool

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Couple snorkelling at Greens Pool

Described as Mother Nature’s most inviting swimming pools, Greens Bay is located in William Bay National Park and is just under an hour’s drive away from Walpole. Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a perfect view of clear emerald waters and pure white sand, perfect for swimming, snorkelling and diving.

Once you’re out of the water, take a short stroll on foot to Elephant Rocks, where you can find natural elephant-like sculptures bathing in the clear waters. Take a peaceful walk along the stunning coastline to admire the breath-taking views of Madfish Bay, Waterfall Beach and if you are travelling during the spring, an abundance of beautiful wildflowers.

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5. Enjoy Nature’s Best at Porongurup National Park

Hikers on the Wansborough Walk and Bolganup Trail, located in the Porongurup National Park

Porongurup National Park is a haven for Australia’s most unique flora and fauna, including more than 100 species of birds and 750 varieties of plants. The park is located just over an hour away from Greens Pool and is home to the amazing Castle Rock Granite Skywalk – a walkway situated at the heart of Porongurup National Park that offer visitors affording breath taking views of the park below.

With over 1,100 million years in the making, it features a unique granite range of 12 peaks. For the more adventurous, there is also the option of scaling the last few metres via a short rock climb to reach the summit.

The park is also one of the best spots in the South West region to see wildflowers. Make sure to visit during spring or early summer to enjoy the colourful displays of Bluebells, Wattles, Hoveas, Banksia, Dryandras, Hakeas, Hrevilleas and Orchids.

With these top nature spots on your relaxing road trip, we’re sure you will be recharged and ready to come home rejuvenated and ready to face another day at work in the big city!

For a full itinerary of the Great South West Edge self-drive trip, head over to Tourism Western Australia’s website at https://www.westernaustralia.com.

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