The Southwest of Australia is yet another spot that is known for its beautiful beaches, but also for the massive old Karri Trees, beautiful wildflowers, world-famous surf spots and good wines.
If you drive a couple of hundred kilometers south of Perth, you will get to the Cape Naturaliste National Park and the Indian Ocean and the quiet town of Yallingup. You will get a first glimpse of what is waiting for you along the next hundred kilometers down south. Beaches to surf, fish and swim, Wineries en masse and Caves along the so-called Caves Road. In other words, you have found a Paradise.
Margaret River is the biggest town in between the Naturaliste and Leeuwin Cape. There are supermarkets, more than one pub and lots of accommodation to cater to all budgets. It lies about a 10 minute drive away from the beaches and is the main tourist spot to start exploring the area. It might be too busy for some people, but you can get all you need there and the pubs have got some good live music at night.
Lots of backpackers stop their journey to earn some extra cash on the vineyards and do their rural work to extend their visas for another year. So it might be a small country town, but you will meet more people from around the globe than at your doorstep back home, that's for sure.
Margaret River is famous for its wine thanks to a Mediterranean-like climate. Hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters, combined with the location by the sea with its constant breeze and the soil lets some vines grow that will turn into quality drops! That's what some people found out in the 1960s and since then there have come more than 100 winemakers to the area to prove it. Wherever you look, you will find a winery. Accompanied to that, there are of course also cheese and chocolate factories, olive farms, beer breweries and other wonderful places where you can taste and indulge yourself.
Apart from the already mentioned things to do (wine tasting, heading underground to explore caves, surf and eat), there is lots of other things to do. There is a coast to coast track that you can walk from Yallingup to Augusta. It takes about three days to walk it all, but you can also only walk single bits of it. You will pass so many beaches that taking the Bikini is more than essential.
A few kilometers down south and you reach Augusta, where the South and the Indian Ocean meet. You can take a photo with the sign, if the wind does not blow you away. One of the nicest beaches in the area is nearby, Hamelin Bay. It is quite popular, also amongst the water creatures, so most of the times you can see pretty big sting rays hanging out by the beach. They are that close that you can touch them, and fit them onto a good picture with you!
You can camp at the Blackwood River, kayak or fish. If you drive further on towards Albany, you will come past the giant Karri trees. They grow up to about 80 meters high, and there are a few that can be climbed up to the top. It is good to have shoes for that, because it is really high! Aim for the Gloucester or Bicentennial Tree near Pemberton. There is a great Treetop Walk near Walpole, where you can walk easily in between the giants at about 40m above the ground!
If you have more time, check out Esperance. The Cape Le Grand National Park has got beaches that can easily top them all! It is a great place to meet women or guys, depending on your preference. If you are young and single this is a great place to visit.
A lot of weekend holiday makers come down from Perth. You can travel by car or bus. If you have the time, you should definitely leave some more time for the southwest, you might fall in love with it!