If you’ve got a week to spare, why not consider a road trip Down Under covering some of Australia’s most stunning landscapes? Here’s how you can make the most of your next driving adventure. This is the first of a two-part feature.
A mere four-and-a half hour flight from Singapore, Perth is the international gateway to Western Australia. This is where your Down Under adventure will begin.
Perth holds myriad attractions, from beaches to vineyards and more. It is situated on the junction where the Swan River meets the southwest coast. Sandy beaches line its suburbs, while the huge Kings Park and Botanic Gardens offer panoramic views of the city. No visit to Perth would be complete without a trip to Kings Park. One of the largest inner-city parks in the world, it is frequented by more than 6 million people each year. With an impressive collection of Western Australian flora and over 70 bird species, the park will delight all nature lovers.
Here, you can view the famous giant baob tree. This tree is one of the oldest living thing not just in Australia, but also in the world. Also, take a walk among the treetops by crossing the Lotterywest Federation Walkway, and enjoy sweeping views of the Swan River and the city of Perth.
From Perth, enjoy a picturesque five-hour drive south to Albany, the spot where the first European settlers set foot in Western Australia. Take in charming colonial buildings now turned into museums, galleries and restaurants. If time permits, take a cruise to meet whales up close!
Just a short drive away is Torndirrup National Park, a wild and rugged coastal park known for its spectacular wave-carved rock formations including, Natural Bridge (a bridge made of solid rock), The Gap (a chasm between two cliffs that face the ocean), and The Blowholes (cracks and gaps in the ground near the water that allows the waves and current to rush up). Lookouts at Natural Bridge and The Gap provide outstanding views of the Southern Ocean and the coast from Bald Head to West Cape Howe.
The Gap provides a viewing platform 40m directly above the surging seas, and is accessible in all but the worst weather conditions. The platform is supported by five cantilevered beams that follow the natural shape of the rock surface and extend over 10m from their last contact point.
Not far from Torndirrup is the Albany Wind Farm. Here, you can see how Albany is doing its part in helping to conserve the environment. The farm consists of 12 giant wind turbines, each 100m-tall from the base to the tip of the blades. The turbines generate enough clean, green electricity to supply up to 75% of Albany’s total energy requirements.
Standing high on the coast, the dozen turbines make a fascinating landmark, and have become a tourist attraction.
Another well-loved attraction in the area is Middleton Beach. Take a scenic drive to this 5km stretch of sand. The turquoise waters and beautiful waves make it a popular place for swimming and windsurfing. You could also go fishing on the jetty if you feel so inclined.
From Albany, drive down to Denmark. No, it’s not the Scandinavian nation, but a forested village well loved for its beaches, wineries and tree-lined drives.
Reconnect with nature at William Bay National Park. The smooth granite fixtures in the park are surrounded by still water the colour of pale sapphires, creating a mesmerising scene. A walking trail leads you to the Elephant Rocks beach. Once down the stairway, walk through the gap in two multi-storey spheres of granite and emerge to a secluded paradise!
Also worth visiting is Greens Pool. Lying on the edge of William Bay National Park, it is famous for its turquoise-green waters and pristine, white sandy beach. Large granite boulders surround the pool, protecting it from the might of the Southern Ocean. It is also possible to swim and snorkel in the pool. This is a good place to spot sea creatures such as the silver drummer, zebra fish and mosaic sea star.
Make your next stop the Lake House Denmark, a family-owned cellar door, restaurant, winery and gourmet food emporium. Relax by the lake and forest setting, taste award-winning wines, and partake of a vineyard lunch consisting of local and regional ingredients.
Then, stop over at Valley of the Giants, an iconic region between Denmark and Walpole. This region boasts a spectacular array of natural attractions, accommodation, as well food and wine. The area is also famous for the Treetop Walk, suspended 40m-high in the canopy of the ancient tingle forest. Much of the plant life in this forest is unique to this corner of Australia.
Watch out for Part 2, which will cover Margaret River and Fremantle.
The 8D7N Perth & Southwest Self Drive Convoy will take place from 10–17 November 2019. Check out the full itinerary here. Registration closes on 11 October 2019, so there’s still time to sign up. Do it now!
For enquiries, please email to AA Events & Activities department at firstname.lastname@example.org with subject ‘8D7N Perth & Southwest Self Drive Convoy’ or call 6333 8811 (ext 140).