The South West W.A.
The South West region of Western Australia enjoys mild weather and fertile soils that combine to create a visual feast that meanders through lush green granite ranges onto the white sand fringed beaches of the Indian Ocean.
Combined with the northern Kimberley region, the Southwest has become the food bowl of Western Australia and grows a vast array of fruit and wine grapes. Most of the small regional towns offer the chance to sample and purchase the local produce - everything from citrus, apple, stonefruit, cherries and grapes to fine cheeses and dairy produce and local beef and lamb. The seafood isn't lacking either, abounding with local fish, shellfish, prawns and Marron - a type of freshwater crayfish.
Combined with a wealth of local culinary talent the South West is capable of serving up some of the most delicious fresh dishes in some surprising places.
Bunbury is the largest centre in the South West and acts as a feeder town to the more tourist oriented towns further south.
Margaret River has been a world class surfing destination since time immemorial and has become a trendy, arty town with a bohemian feel while Dunsborough is the weekend playground for Perth's well heeled, with thousands flocking there every summer weekend while Walpole borders the Great Southern region, home of ancient red tingle trees and The Valley of the Giants.
The South West's natural environment is it's best asset, from the forests to the beaches, there is something on offer for everyone.
Facts about The South West
Population: 123,000 approx.
Climate: Mediterranean climate, with dry summers and wet winters
Geography: Eucalypt woodlands lie beneath a low range granite escarpment, coastal limestone cliffs and low shrubby sand dunes
Flora: Jarrah, Tuart, Sheoak, Peppermint and Karri. Varied native wildflowers.
Fauna: Carnaby's black cockatoo, chuditch, brush-tailed phascogale, western ring-tailed possum and brush wallaby, Tammar Wallaby, Numbat, Woylie, Chuditch, Dibbler, Western Grey Kangaroo, diverse range of birds and reptiles.
South West Attractions
- Dolphin interaction at Bunbury
- Blackwood River Valley
- Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park
- Margaret Rivers famous wineries and Western Australia's surfing mecca
- Arts and crafts throughout the region
- Large scale wine and food production through to small cottage style food and beverages
- Boutique breweries and wineries
- Whale watching
- Bibbulmun Track
- Many scenic drives notably - Balingup to Nannup and the tall timber of Pemberton
- Old growth forests and bushwalking
- Stunning coast from Busselton round to Augusta
- Beautiful isolated beaches with swimming and snorkelling opportunities
- Majestic southern rivers
- Bussleton Jetty and Underwater Observatory
- Cave Exploring
- Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk
Augusta, Australind, Cowaramup, Capel, Boyanup, Burekup, Benger, Binningup, Brunswick Junction, Cundinup, Cookernup, Dardanup, Donnybrook, Donnelly River, Jalbarragup, Argyle, Balingup, Brookhampton, Busselton, Grimwade, Harvey, Kirup, Lowden, Mullalyup, Mumballup, Nannup, Newlands, Noggerup, Roelands, Yabberup, Collie, Allanson, Gracetown, Karridale, Kudardup, Margaret River, Manjimup, Northcliffe, Pemberton, Quinninup, Walpole, Wilgarrup, Windy Harbour, Yanmah, Beedelup, Myalup, Witchcliffe, Boyup Brook, Benjinup, Chowerup, Dinninup, Kulikup, Mayanup, Tonebridge, Wilga, Bridgetown, Greenbushes, Hester, Yornup, Vasse, Wonnerup, Dunsborough, Eagle Bay, Meelup, Naturaliste, Quedjinup, Quindalup, Yallingup, Wellington Mill, Wokalup, Walpole, Yarloop
Getting Around The South West
A twice daily train -'The Australind' runs from Perth to Bunbury and the meandering 2 hour trip beneath the Darling escarpment is a pleasant way to arrive. Car rentals are plentiful as are coach and bus services while small tours are frequent and easily organised from local tourism offices.
The South West is relatively close to Perth and while the major towns have local airports the best way to get around is to self drive.
Accommodation is plentiful with large hotels, pubs and small rural Bed and Breakfasts.
The South West is criss-crossed by small sealed roads in good condition. These roads link the many small towns which all have something to offer the inquisitive tourist.
Driving yourself enables you to duck into the many small beachside hamlets and inland towns that would otherwise be missed by the tour companies.
Eateries, antique shops and art displays are all offered welcomingly to the wandering traveller.
Best Time to Visit
Generally April and August are the best times to catch migrating whales sauntering along the coast, usually with young in tow.
Early June sees Humpback whales in Flinders bay at Augusta while Blue Whales are found in September in Geographe Bay near Busselton and Dunsborough.
Summer in the South West tends to be milder than the scorching heat of the north and is great time to enjoy the beaches while spring (Sep - Nov) is always pleasant. Winter in the South West sees cool days and chilly nights with plenty of rain but also means the tourists have thinned out and activities and accommodation are quiet.
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