The South West Edge

Adventure into the heartland of an undisturbed and uncrowded Australia, on a road trip that will change you forever!

The South West Edge is an epic road trip around the South Western edge of Western Australia, through wine regions, towering forests and along marine life-rich coast, before returning to Perth across the outback.

Leg 1: Rottnest Island to Fremantle 25 kms

On day one, jump on a ferry ride from Fremantle to the picturesque Rottnest Island.

Here you can hire a bike and explore the many beaches that are perfect for snorkelling, plus Mermaid Pools and blowholes.

Meet friendly quokkas and enjoy the Thompson Bay Settlement or hop on a Rottnest seafood tour to experience fresh delicacies before catching the ferry to the mainland.

Stay overnight in the historic town of Fremantle, which has a vibrant arts scene and plenty of boutique shops for some retail therapy.

Quokka Experience Western Australia Japan Red Dirt 4WD Rentals
Quokka, native to Rottnest Island, Western Australia © Experience WA Japan

Leg 2: Fremantle to Bunbury 190 kms 2 hours

Enjoy the gourmet cafe culture of Fremantle for breakfast and browse local boutiques for unique or vintage finds.

Then jump in your 4WD and head to Bunbury via the rolling hills of the Ferguson Valley.

Spend the morning wine tasting, exploring or mountain biking in Wellington Forest National Park and stop by Black Diamond Lake near Collie for a view of turquoise waters.

Roll onto Bunbury, where you can purchase fresh local produce from farmers markets, meet native animals at a wildlife park, shop the boutiques and spend the evening immersed in the nightlife at one of the many bars and restaurants.

Camp at nearby Honeymoon Pool or Potters Gorge campgrounds.

Ferguson Valley @discoverfergusonvalley Red Dirt 4WD Rentals
Ferguson Valley © Ferguson Valley Marketing Inc

Leg 3: Bunbury to Yallingup 95 kms 1 hour

Interact with wild dolphins at Koombana Bay this morning before departing for the Margaret River region, beginning at Busselton and Dunsborough. Swing amongst the trees on a high ropes course of dive below the Busselton Jetty for a view of colourful sealife.

From winter through spring, spot whales as they migrate along the coast.

Indulge in gourmet food at beachfront dining before continuing to Yallingup, and incredible coast spots like Canal Rocks and Injidup Natural Spa.

Feeling adventurous? Hike the Cape to Cape track between the lighthouses, or connect with the world’s oldest living culture through an Aboriginal experience.

Take your 4WD with roof top tent to Yallingup Beach Holiday Park

Busselton Jetty, Western Australia Red Dirt 4WD Rentals
Busselton Jetty, Western Australia © Matthew Butcher

Leg 4: Yallingup to Margaret River 40 kms 30 minutes

Famous for its premium wines and world-class surf, Margaret River is also home to plenty of restaurants, wineries, breweries and distilleries for foodies to enjoy.

Visit cellar doors and meet the markers on guided tours with nature-meets gourmet experiences.

Adventure seekers can ride the waves, go rock climbing or abseiling, or take a kayak or canoe along the Margaret River.

Savour the natural surroundings with plenty of underground caves and the stunning Boranup Forest and meet stingrays at Hamelin Bay.

Stay at Conto’s campsite.

Hamelin Bay Red Dirt 4WD Rentals
Hamelin Bay, Western Australia © Hannes Jocarter

Leg 5: Margaret River to Pemberton 165 kms 2 hours

Drive to Pemberton through Nannup and Manjimup – home to the Perigord truffle. Search for this black gold in winter, and feast on other local delights such as marron, trout and chestnuts on your way.

Need to stretch your legs? Ride on of the many mountain bike trails or tackle the Munda Biddi, hike the Bibbulman track and admire Beedelup Falls.

Test your fear of heights at the 58m-tall Gloucester Tree, once a fire-lookout, and climb the makeshift ladder to the top.

Gloucester Tree Pemberton Red Dirt 4WD Rentals
Gloucester Tree Pemberton, Western Australia © Base Imagery

Head to Fonty’s pool and caravan park.

Leg 6: Pemberton to Denmark 195 kms 2 hours

Take a four-wheel drive tour of the world’s largest moving sand dune system, Yeagarup Dunes, before you head to Denmark via Northcliffe and Walpole.

Enjoy views at Mount Chudalup, join a Walpole inlet eco-cruise and walk among the tops of tingle trees at Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk.

Then, its on to Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks – framed by huge boulders which act as a protective shore break for the peppermint-tinged waters, this sanctuary is perfect for snorkelling.

Set up camp at Parry Beach or head closer to Albany and stay at Torbay Inlet.

Greens Pool, Denmark, Western Australia Red Dirt 4WD Rentals
Greens Pool, Denmark, Western Australia © Australia’s South West

Leg 7: Denmark to Albany 55 kms 40 minutes

Next stop: Albany, where you will find farmers markets, fresh oysters and marron galore, and some of the most pristine beaches this side of the equator.

Go paragliding at Shelley Beach, or wreck diving in King George Sound.

Visit the striking coast at The Gap and Natural Bridge, and historical attractions at Discovery Bay.

Ready to take a safari, South West style? Spend an extra day between January and April to join the Bremer Bay orca tour, chasing the largest-known group of orcas in the Southern Hemisphere.

Albany The Gap and Natural Bridge Tourism Western Australia Red Dirt 4WD Rentals
The Gap and Natural Bridge, Albany, Western Australia © Tourism WA

Leg 8: Albany to Hopetoun 360 kms 4 hours

Start off early today and drive inland where it is another world entirely!

Hike the trails in Porongurup National Park and climb to the top of the Granite Skywalk for spectacular views across the jarrah, marri and karri forests, and undulating farmland to Albany.

Reward yourself with lunch at on the boutique Porongurup wineries.

Search for wildflowers in spring and climb one of Western Australia’s highest peaks, Bluff Knoll for sweeping views of the Stirling Range National Park.

 roof top tent - Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia Red Dirt 4WD Rentals
View from roof top tent – Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia © Rebina Criddle

Leg 9: Hopetoun to Esperance 185 kms 2 hours

With unique wildflowers and fauna in Fitzgerald River National Park, not to mention the dramatic coastal views, you will want to visit here before Hopetoun!

Next, head to Esperance and sip on refreshments at Lucky Bay Brewing, sample local olive oil and take in the town museums and craft shops.

Keep the adventure rolling by exploring the numerous lagoons and beaches along the breathtaking 40km loop of the Great Ocean Drive before watching a sunset at twilight.

There are a number of campsites available around the Esperance region, however camping within Cape Le Grand National Park at Lucky Bay is an unmissable experience.

Explore Esperance

The nearby Lucky Bay, in Cape Le Grand National Park lives up to its name in plenty of ways – translucent water and sand like icing sugar, not to mention sunbaking kangaroos!

Explore other stunning beaches around Esperance via coastal walk trails or for a bird’s-eye view, take a scenic flight to witness the striking juxtaposition of bubblegum pink Lake Hillier on Middle Island against the blue ocean.

Esperance Lucky Bay RebinaCriddle Red Dirt 4WD Rentals
Lucky Bay, Esperance, Western Australia © Rebina Criddle

Leg 10: Esperance to Perth 715 kms via Hyden or 985 kms via Kalgoorlie 7 hours (depending on the route taken)

Return to Perth via Hyden or Kalgoorlie other the next two days – the choice is yours!

If you travel through Hyden, be sure to visit the impressive Wave Rock on your way. Thought to have formed some 130 million years ago, Wave Rock is entirely natural and measures about 15 metres (roughly three storeys) in height.

If you travel back to Perth via Kalgoorlie, immerse yourself in living gold history, quirky outback pubs and be stunned by the scale of the Superpit gold mine.

Break up the trip back to Perth by staying a night or two near Hyden at the Wave Rock Caravan Park or Goongarrie Homestead, or Lake Mason near Kalgoorlie.

 

Tourism Western Australia Lake Ballard Red Dirt 4WD Rentals
Lake Ballard, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia © Tourism WA
Total kilometres: 1,874
Total travel time: 20.5
Travel times are estimated based on an average speed of 80km p/h and should be adjusted to suit road conditions and weather. The travel times indicated should allow for delays due to road works, traffic, fuel, food and bathroom stops. Travel times and distances are approximate and we recommend using as a guide only, along with a published map book or GPS navigational system.

Itinerary: courtesy of The South West Edge

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