From stunning beaches to lush forests, scuba diving to whale watching, world class wine to mouthwatering Australian dishes, all these can be experienced in the South West region of Western Australia. Having only 10 days will force you to make some hard choices. However, by organizing your itinerary in advance, minimizing your travel time and prioritizing which destinations you would really like to see, you can make the most of your vacation. Our suggested itinerary ensures that you truly experience the rich culture and the natural wonders of this beautiful country; to see the most in 10 days. Ready to go?
Things to know before traveling to Australia:
Language – English is the official language in Australia, although you will be surprised by many other different languages spoken across the country.
Currency exchange – The official currency of Australia is the Australian dollar. Australia is a well-developed country with a good banking and financial infrastructure. This means, exchanging money is easy and follows the same standard to elsewhere in the world. You may transact with banks, foreign exchange bureaus, international airports and hotels. You may also use debit cards and credit cards but watch out for ATM fees and foreign transaction fees, which can be very high per transaction. It is also good to know that there are plentiful of ATMs available throughout the country so you will surely have easy access to cash.
Safety and security – There is currently no nationwide security advisory in effect for Australia. Check your country’s travel advisory website to get the most up-to-date information for your personal safety abroad. Observe the same precautions with your personal safety and health as you would in any other country. For any type of emergencies, you may call 000 if you need a quick response from the fire service, police, ambulance or search and rescue.
Getting around – Getting around Australia, where major tourist attractions are thousands of miles apart, can be a bit daunting and time consuming so it is best to explore by region. Public transport in Western Australia is more appealing to budget conscious travelers as it is served by trains, buses and ferries. For the ultimate road trip adventure, driving is another fantastic option. If you are on a luxury vacation, consider hiring a driver to take you around Western Australia. This option is expensive but it will give you complete control of the trip.
Where to stay – There’s a great variety of accommodation in Western Australia, ranging from small guesthouses to five-star luxury hotels. In almost any town, there’s something for every level of comfort and budget. If you are going to follow our suggested itinerary, you have to find an accommodation in Perth, Dunsborough, Augusta, Pemberton and Albany.
Day 1: Perth
Take an international flight to Perth Airport. It is best to get an early morning arrival so you could fight off your jet lag before you go exploring in the afternoon. After check into your preferred accommodation, minimize your jet lag by spending a lot of time out in the sunlight so your body can adapt to its new surroundings.
Where to stay in Perth:
In the afternoon, take advantage of Transperth’s free public transport and visit some of the most popular attractions in Perth. If you start and finish within the zone from Northbridge to West and East Perth, you can ride the bus without buying a ticket. Remember to look for red FTZ logo on bus stops to identify free travel zones. If you just want to take it easy on your first day and just soak in the atmosphere of Perth, make your way to the iconic State War Memorial in Kings Park.
Day 2: Perth – Bunbury – Dunsborough
On day 2, rise early and embark on one of the most interesting day trips out of Perth by heading to Bunbury’s Dolphin Discovery Centre. This center can be reached in just 90 minutes by road from south of Perth. Under supervision of marine biologists, guests can interact with wild Bottlenose dolphins of Koombana Bay in their natural habitat. Boat-based dolphin watching and swimming tours are also offered in the center. For more information and ticket prices, you may visit the center’s web page.
In the afternoon, make your way to your next destination, Dunsborough, where you will stay for three nights. You can also make a quick stop at Busselton and take a tour of the Underwater Observatory.
Where to stay in Dunsborough:
Day 3: Dunsborough
Situated on the breathtaking waters of Geographe Bay, the coastal town of Dunsborough is a famous beach destination. Some of the attractions of this town are Meelup Beach, Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, Bunker Bay, Eagle Bay Brewery and Geographe Bay. If your travel dates are between September and December, then you are lucky to witness the annual migration of the humpback whales along the Southwest Region of Western Australia.
Day 4: Dunsborough – Margaret River
On day 4, continue south and explore some of the most popular attractions in Margaret River Town. This small coastal town south of Perth is famous for its boutique wineries, craft breweries, gourmet produce stores, beaches and world-class surf breaks. To get to Margaret River Town from Dunsborough, board one of the buses of South West Coach Lines, the bus company that connects Perth and the South West Region.
Day 5: Augusta
On day 5, enjoy breakfast at your accommodation in Dunsborough. After check out, head to Augusta, a sleepy town in the most south-western part of Australia. Some of the must see attractions in this town are Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, Hardy Inlet, Blackwood River and Jewel Cave. If your travel dates are between June and August, you might see thousands of whales passing along the coastline.
Where to stay in Augusta:
Day 6 and 7: Pemberton
On day 6, check out from your accommodation in Augusta and make your way to Pemberton, situated in the heart of Karri Tree County. It is here you will find the best forest vantage points – the Gloucester Tree, taste Western Australia’s best wines and explore the largest inland dune system – the Yeagarup Dunes. There are also plenty of outdoor activities for fun-loving and adventure-seeking travelers such as kayaking, canoeing and horseback riding.
Where to stay in Pemberton:
Day 8: Pemberton – Walpole – Denmark
After having a filling breakfast, set out this morning and head east to Denmark, where you will be staying overnight. You may also stop at some of the places along the way and visit the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk in Walpole. Then, enjoy the scenic view on the way to Denmark. Check into your preferred accommodation in the afternoon before you visit some attractions in town. You can also take it easy and just eat at one of the top rated restaurants in the area like Kirby’s at Rickety Gate Restaurant, The Lake House and Pepper & Salt Restaurant.
Where to stay in Denmark:
Day 9: Albany
Catch a bus to Albany in the morning. The route is run by Transwa and the trip takes about an hour. Prices start at 10 AUD. Once you are in the bustling city of Albany, check into your preferred accommodation. Visit some attractions in the afternoon like Princess Royal Fortress, Discovery Bay, National Anzac Centre and Mount Clarence. If you are in Albany on a weekend, then you are lucky to get a taste of fresh local produce at Farmer’s Market.
Where to stay in Albany:
Day 10: Albany – Perth
Today is your last day in Australia. Spend the rest of your day checking out some attractions in Albany that you might have missed. Fit in one last amazing breakfast or lunch in the town. You could even squeeze in some souvenir shopping before you travel to the airport back to Perth.
This is the end of our 10-day suggested itinerary to the South West region. If the pace gets too hectic, just chill out and prioritize which area you would really like to visit. This part of Australia may seem too big and distant, but it is a great travel destination rich in world class scenery.
Have been to Western Australia or anywhere else in Australia? Do you have any tips or suggestions to share? If so, you can leave your comments below.
Featured image: View of a kangaroo sculptures by Charlie Smith & Joan Walsh-Smith seen in Stirling Gardens in Perth, Australia (1000 Words / Shutterstock.com)