South Western Australia tends to be a hit amongst international and local tourists who are looking for a short getaway destination. Popular destinations such as Margaret River and Albany are buzzing with activities and events. While summertimeis a great time to head down, spending winter holidays down south offers it’s unique set of experience. In fact, the beauty of South of Western Australia during winter seasons are often downplayed as cold, wet and miserable.
In contrary, winter is one of the best time to visit south of Western Australia. The weather is mild and southwest landscape comes alive with lush, green farmlands, somber skies and water gushing from cascading waterfalls. The best part about spending winter there? No crowds! Check out the list below for magnificent places to visit down south Western Australia this winter
An hour flight or 5 hours drive from Perth the amazing Albany offers the best view of its landscape in late winter/early spring with its stunning display of yellow fields of canola. With stunning coastlines, National Parks and Nature Reserves, summertime in Albany is simply beautiful. However, known as the oldest colonial settlement in Western Australia, Albany has evolved as a big town with plenty to do, even in the winter months.
For the history buff, National ANZAC Centre and WWI remembrance places such as ANZAC Peace Park won’t disappoint. For something a little unique, head down to the Albany Wind Farm. The Wind Farm is connected to the Albany electrical system and control network.
For some art appreciation, Albany offers many interesting art galleries, with the Indigenous art scene and many talented local artists. Sample sensational fresh local produce and food from Farmers Market and Albany Indoor Market that runs on weekends.
There is plenty to do for the outdoor adventurer. If you truly would like to break a sweat amidst the cold winters, hike the Bluff Knoll trail in the Stirling Range Park. At 1096 m, is the third highest peaks in Western Australia.
Albany Wild Flowers at Stirling Ranges (Source Website)
Pemberton is an interesting 3.5-hour drive from Perth. You will drive through few interesting country towns on your way to Pemberton. Pemberton is popular among Perth locals as an option for a quick yet fun gateway. Famous for its awesome swimming holes and the green Karri Forest, there are more than meets the eye with Pemberton. While swimming might be off bound in winter (unless you don’t mind freezing cold water), there are still plenty to do here.
There are heaps of hiking train in Pemberton with the popular trails being the Bibbulmun Track. Smell the fresh air and take pleasure in the beautiful misty mornings in some of the greenest parts of South Western Australia.
If you prefer a higher vantage point, the viewing platforms at the Tree Top Walk allows an unrestricted view of the Karri Forest from above. Feeling adventurous? climb the Bicentennial Tree, the tallest climbing tree in the world. The 75 m tree is pegged with strong Rio Rods for climbing. This climb is certainly not for the faint-hearted!
Canoeing is often fun along the Big Brook Dam or the Warren River. The view is mesmerising this time of the year. If waterfalls are your cup of tea, The Gloucester National Park will be in all its glory in winter from the waterfalls and rocky pools.
For those who are a fan of trains, the Pemberton Tramway will not disappoint. Get on the diesel-hydraulic trams through deep forest and countryside.
Pemberton is a perfect point from where you can start exploring other smaller but equally as interesting places such as Northcliffe and Windy Harbour.
Bicentennial Tree Pemberton
Perhaps the most popular attractions South of Western Australia, Margaret River is a must visit destination for anybody who would like to experience the quintessential Western Australian experience. It is the perfect time of the year to explore Margaret River as the visitor’s count is lower than during the warmer months.
Revel in the rugged views of the lighthouses in both Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste. With ocean views as far as the eyes can see. Winter is also when approximately 35,000 whales migrate from the cold waters of Antarctica to Australia. Margaret River Region is one of the best places to whale watch in Australia.
Not just that, hide from the cool weather and explore the underground of Margaret River by spelunking. Popular caves such as Lake, Jewel and Mammoth Cave offers an insight into the amazing labyrinth of limestone crystal formed approximately 1 million years ago.
After that, warm up at one or a few of Margaret River’s wineries, breweries, cideries or distilleries. Meander through beautiful cellar doors sampling premium wines or simply enjoy some craft beers.
For family-friendly options, check out the animal farms, parks, ice creamery and chocolate factories for you to visit.
Spelunking at Margaret River Limestone Caves (Source Website)
Esperance is approximately 8 hours drive from Perth and 1.3 hours flight. Known predominantly for its coastlines which are undoubtedly stunning in summer. There are surprisingly interesting things to see and do during winter in Esperance.
One of the coolest things to see this winter in Esperance is the Esperance Stonehenge. It is a replica of the original Stonehenge in UK, using the Esperance Pink Granite. The sun sets align with the Station Stones and shines through to the altar stone. This amazing site to witness occurs during winter solstice on 21st of June.
Esperance is also home to the magnificently pink Lake Hillier. Lake Hillier is a salt lake notable for its pink color due to the presence of micro-algae. The best time to visit is between June-August as the algae in the water bloom in colder temperatures. This is when the lake in its most radiant bubblegum pink color.
Stonehenge in Esperance (Source Website)
Known as the winter capital of Western Australia. Bridgetown comes to live in winter. Less than 3 hours away from Perth and not far from Pemberton, Bridgetown is a beautiful country town with plenty of things to offer this winter.
This town is buzzing in the months of June, July and August. Bridgetown Winter Festival is a 3 month festival with lineups of events, music, art, culture, and activities. This country town is truly an explorer’s delight, with plenty of eating options, wineries, deep valleys and the magnificent Blackwood River.
Bridgetown Winter Festival (Source from Facebook Page)