MARGARET RIVER & THE SOUTH WEST OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA
A two hour drive south of Perth will take you to the South West region of Western Australia and the
Leeuwin-Naturaliste, Tuart Forest and d'Entrecasteaux National Parks, the wineries of the famed
Margaret River region, other parks and reserves, and the popular towns of Bunbury, Manjimup, Walpole and
Australia's South West covers an area from Bunbury and Collie in the north to Augusta and the Indian
Ocean in the south, and east to Walpole.
Spectacular coastal scenery, jarrah and karri forests, interesting villages and coastal ports. and
great fishing and golf courses make this a great part of Western Australia to spend a holiday.
Whales can be seen along the southern coast between May and September and tours operate from several
ports along the coast. There is a tree-top walk 40 metres above the Karri and Jarrah forests near Walpole and
the surf off Margaret River and the eastern coast attracts surfers from around the world.
At Bunbury there is a Dolphin Discovery Centre and at Busselton an underwater observatory provides
views of life under Geographe Bay. Scuba divers and snorkellers can get even closer to the marine
environment with a dive on the HMAS Swan dive wreck.
Around Walpole eco-cruising around the Nornalup Inlet is among the main attractions of the South East.
Nominated by Lonely Planet in the world's Top 10 Regions in 2010, the South West
has some of the most varied travel experiences in Western Australia.
In the 1600s Dutch explorers investigated Australia's western and northern coastlines sailing from Dutch East Indonesia
in their quest for spices and other tradable commodities. In the early 1800s it was the French who came, sailing along the coast
and naming many of the features of Western Australia.
Geographe Bay, in the south-west, was named in May 1801 by French explorer Nicolas Baudin after his ship, 'Géographe'.
The bay is a wide, sweeping curve of coastline extending from Cape Naturaliste through Dunsborough and Busselton,
to near Bunbury in the north.
The bay is protected from the rough seas of the Indian Ocean by Cape Naturaliste
and is a popular destination for recreational boaters and swimmers. It is too shallow for large ships and required the construction of
the two kilometre long Busselton Jetty, (the longest in the southern hemisphere), to create a suitable port for traders.
The decommissioned RAN frigate HMAS 'Swan' was sunk in the bay off Dunsborough in 1997, to creat an artificial reef and
is now a popular dive wreck.
The area around Cape Naturaliste provides many good surf breaks and there is a vantage point for observing whales near the
historic lighthouse. There is plenty of accommodation in the area including resorts and caravan parks and it is a popular
visitor destination. Dolphins can be seen at Bunbury.
The Margaret River Region
Margaret River is at the centre of a vast touring area with hundreds of wineries, fabulous surf, limestone caves
and towering Karri and Jarrah forests. It is a popular destination for locals and other visitors and there is
something to see or do all year round.
In winter there are pubs with cosy log-fires, whale watching, brisk walks along the beach, horse riding through the bush and plenty of
delicious local produce to try. In summer there are extensive beaches and some of the world's best surf beaches.
See Wineries Map
The d'Entracasteaux National Park
d'Entrecasteaux National Park is named after the French Admiral Bruni d'Entrecasteaux who was the first European to sight the area
and who named Point d'Entrecasteaux in 1792. It is 315 kilometres south of Perth and stretches 130 km from Black Point in the west to
Long Point in the east and extends inland as far as 20 km. with an area of 118,779 Ha. It was declared a park in 1980 and basalt cliffs at
Black Point were created by a lava flow some 135 million years ago.
The park contains a variety of scenery including beaches, sand-dunes, coastal cliffs, coastal heath and pockets of Karri forest.
The Warren, Donnelly and Shannon Rivers flow through the park into the waters off-shore, some creating.wetlands, known as the Blackwater,
and lakes such as Lake Jasper and Lake Yeagarup within the park boundaries.
Sandy Island in Windy Harbour is part of the park and an important nesting site for seabirds, with up to 300,000 breeding pairs of
Flesh-footed Shearwaters (Mutton Birds), found there in the breeding season.
The Yeagarup dune is a mobile 10-kilometre long sand dune found to the west of Lake Jasper and The Bibbulmun Track passes through the
There is an entry fee and facilities include BBQs, toilets, 4WD tracks, camp sites, disabled access and picnic areas.
Rangers regularly patrol the area.
Places to Visit
Some well known attractions include
1. Busselton Jetty
2. Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre
3. Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
4. Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and Discovery Centre,
6. Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree,
7. Diamond Tree and Gloucester Tree.
8. Easter Cave
9. Jewel Cave
10. Kodja Place
11. Mammoth Cave
12. Ngilgi Cave
13. Pemberton Tramway
14. The Big Apple
15. Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk