Western Australia Road Trip: The Great Southwest Edge Drive

Western Australia Road Trip: The Great Southwest Edge Drive
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Embark on a vibrant drive through wine trails, timber forests, and gorgeous coasts from Perth to Hyden!

From ancient mountain ranges to scenic coasts and astounding wildlife, here’s what to expect for an epic 11-day Great Southwest Edge Drive in Western Australia!

Best time: All year round
Duration: 11 days
Vehicle: 2WD

1. Perth To Bunbury

Western Australia The Great Southwest Edge Drive Gnomesville
Photo by: Gnomesville

First stop—Bunbury, the home of adorable bottlenose dolphins! At the Dolphin Discovery Centre, you can interact with these majestic creatures via swim and boat tours.

While in Bunbury, remember to drop by Gnomesville in Ferguson Valley, where you’ll see thousands of whimsical gnomes! What started from a small collection of gnomes placed by locals to decorate the area has now evolved into a quirky tradition, where every visitor places a gnome to populate the ever-growing Gnomesville.

2. Bunbury To Margaret River

Western Australia The Great Southwest Edge Drive Margaret River Busselton Jetty

Find a coastal paradise at the Margaret River region! Enjoy picturesque strolls at the Busselton Jetty, or even dive down under to experience the fascinating marine life around you. If you prefer to stay dry, you can also opt to visit the underwater observatory!

At Margaret River, you’ll also find yourself surrounded by world-class wineries and vineyards, timber forests, and breathtaking beaches perfect for the ultimate unwinding.

3. Margaret River To Albany

Western Australia The Great Southwest Edge Drive William Bay National Park
Photo by: Lazy Penguins

En route to Albany, drive by the small milling towns of Pemberton and Nannup, where you can admire the quaint karri forests and even be treated to fresh produce like marron.

Venture a little further to the William Bay National Park, and discover sparkling emerald waters, pristine beaches, and beautifully formed granite rocks for an unparalleled swimming and snorkelling adventure.

4. Albany To Hopetoun

Western Australia The Great Southwest Edge Drive Porongurup National Park
Photo by: Parks And Wildlife Service

From Albany, head to the Porongurup National Park and be prepared to gape in awe at the ancient Porongurup mountain ranges formed millions of years ago. The best view is definitely from the Granite Sky Walk—a 670m high walkway.

Approaching Hopetoun, stop by Stirling Ranges from Chester Pass Road to challenge yourself to the Great Southern region’s highest peak—Bluff Knoll.

5. Hopetoun To Esperance

Western Australia The Great Southwest Edge Drive Lucky Bay
Photo by: Tourism Western Australia

As you head out of Hopetoun to Esperance, drop by the Fitzgerald River National Park. The UNESCO-listed site is home to over 20 percent of Western Australia’s plant species and offers walking and driving trails filled with botanical wonder.

Arriving at Esperance, you’ll be able to set off on a magical coastal drive along the stretches of beautiful beaches encompassing the town—the Great Ocean Drive.

Don’t forget to visit the nearby Cape Le Grand National Park, home to the sparkling waters, white sand beaches and friendly kangaroos of the famous Lucky Bay!

6. Esperance To Hyden

Western Australia The Great Southwest Edge Drive Lake Hillier
Photo by: Woody Island Eco Tours

The Recherche Archipelago sits off the coast of Esperance. Before setting out for Hyden, make sure to set a day aside to appreciate the wildlife in this area—adorable Australian and New Zealand fur seals, eagles, and more! Alternatively, you can opt to take a visit over Lake Hillier, a unique pink lake sitting on Middle Island.

7. Back to Perth via Kalgoorie

Western Australia The Great Southwest Edge Drive Wave Rock
Photo by: Pandotrip

Hyden is home to Wave Rock—a unique wave-shaped rock formation formed over 3 billion years ago. Learn about the fascinating history of Aboriginals through ancient rock paintings in Mulka’s Cave.

From Hyden, head back to Perth through a stretch of country towns or via Kalgoorie, the biggest outback town in Australia famous for its gold rush history.

Can’t wait to set out on the Great Southwest Edge Drive? Don’t forget to bring your YouTrip card along to utilise YouTrip’s Wholesale Exchange Rates for favourable Australian Dollars (AUD) currency exchange rates!

Read: 6 Best Day Trips From Perth Australia You Must Take

Read: Best Things to Do in Sydney: Itinerary Guide (2019)

Read: Western Australia Road Trip: Southwest Nature & Wine Drive

Read: Epic 6-Month USA Road Trip in a Self-Converted Van

Read: 11 Rare Passport Stamps You May Never Get

Enjoy a worldwide fees-less travel experience!

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