Relax Along The Edge

Take a journey of discovery on a themed road trip along The South West Edge. Be immersed in nature and wildlife experiences en route along The Edge that are suitable for families and groups of any age.

Themed Road Trip: Perth – Albany – Esperance – Perth

A landscape image of a sandy staircase down to a pristine cove beach on Rottnest Island to show the beaches en route along The South West Edge
Rottnest Island
Chapter 1

Perth to Rottnest

20KM

Spend a day exploring Rottnest's hidden beaches, historic attractions and wildlife - including the Island's Quokkas! Hire a bike, join a tour, follow a walking trail or use the hop-on-hop-off bus to discover the hidden beaches, historic attractions and wildlife Including the Island's resident Quokkas! Before you head off, stop in at the Visitor Centre for Information and maps and grab a coffee and breakfast from one of the cafés at Thompson Bay. If you're looking for adventure on the water, Rottnest Island has 63 beaches and 20 bays to choose from, where you can swim, relax on the beach, snorkel, dive and surf. With just over 135 species of vibrant tropical fish and 20 species of coral and over 13 shipwrecks to explore, heading below the surface is a truly worthwhile experience, with underwater snorkel trails at Little Salmon Bay and Parker Point. Other popular beaches include Pinky's Beach, The Basin, Little Parakeet Bay and Geordie Bay. For lunch, stop In at Geordies Cafe and Art Gallery at Geordie Bay. If you prefer exploring on land, follow the Wadjemup Bidi - a series of walk trails that will take you across spectacular coastal headlands, past stunning inland lakes and to both natural and man-made attractions along the way. Made up of 5 sections, the trails boast culturally and environmentally significant landmarks to interpret and experience, including Wadjemup Lighthouse offering ultimate views across the island. Head back to Thompson Bay and enjoy evening drinks and dinner overlooking the bay at Hotel Rottnest or at Riva Restaurant or Indulge In amazing seafood at Thompsons Rottnest. one of the most spectacular beachside views on the island, enjoy locally Inspired dishes and cocktails at Pinky's Beach Club. There are a number of accommodation options available from the premium ocean view hotel rooms and apartments to budget bungalows and cabins. For something truly unique enjoy an eco-glamping experience at Pinky's Beach.

Chapter 2

Ferry to Fremantle

20KM

Before catching the ferry back to Perth, enjoy breakfast overlooking the ocean and explore the island's south-side. Enjoy breakfast at your accommodation or at one of the cafés at Thompson Bay and take in the fresh air and stunning ocean views. Before catching the ferry back to Perth, catch the Island’s 64-seat Captain Hussey train from the Settlement Railway Station to Oliver Hill admiring the beauty of the Island’s south-side along the way. Oliver Hill is located close to the centre of Rottnest Island and features military remnants from World War II including a 9.2 inch gun and maze of underground tunnels, where you can learn about the islands rich history before returning back to the mainland.

Chapter 3

Bunbury

170KM

Roll into the port-side city of Bunbury, where you'll find friendly wild dolphins and a bustling café scene. In Bunbury, interact with the friendly wild dolphins of Koombana Bay in the interactive zone, on an eco-cruise or dolphin swim tour or visit the Interpretive Centre at the Dolphin Discovery Centre to get up close to a range of aquatic life. Afterwards swim or SUP in the calm waters of the bay, and enjoy a picnic near the foreshore playground. Cycle around the paved 5km path loop of the Leschenault Inlet to discover the Mangrove Boardwalk, a peaceful place to watch the unique bird species that congregate here. Alternatively, explore the area with on an Indigenous tour. Learn to spot botanicals for medicines, make ochre paint and learn to weave with reeds. Purchase fresh local produce from farmers markets, meet native animals at a wildlife park, shop the boutiques and grab dinner at one of the many restaurants overlooking the City’s three waters – bay, inlet or ocean - before returning to your accommodation. Overnight in Bunbury.

Chapter 4

Busselton

55KM

Depart for the Margaret River region, beginning at Busselton. Swing amongst the trees on a high ropes course set amongst the last remaining tall tuart forest in the wold. Take a seaside stroll or catch the train along the Busselton Jetty – a 150-year-old, heritage listed jetty that stretches 1.8 kilometres into Geographe Bay. At the end of the jetty, descend 8 metres beneath the waters’ surface and view the amazing corals and fish life within the Underwater Observatory. Enjoy a swim in the netted area nearby or take a walk or cycle along the paths following Geographe Bay to pick a spot to swim or fish. Overnight in Busselton.

Chapter 5

Dunsborough

25KM

Explore the peaceful bays around Dunsborough today. Swim or SUP at Meelup Beach where the trees and grass part to expose beautiful crystal-clear water. Take a whale-watching or jet boat tour to see the cape from the water, or join an eco-wildlife tour to spot endangered nocturnal marsupials like woylies. Visit incredible coastal spots like Sugarloaf Rock, Canal Rocks, Injidup Natural Spa and The Aquarium and spot whales as they migrate along the coast from winter through spring.

Chapter 6

Margaret River

48KM

Visit the cellar doors of this world-famous wine region and savour the natural surroundings of ancient caves, karri forest and wild rays. Visit the cellar doors of this world-famous wine region, grab lunch at a family friendly brewery and pick up local produce including cheese, chocolate, nougat, olive oil, fudge, gin, whisky and boutique beer, then stock up on gifts found in the region’s many art galleries, boutiques and speciality shops. Savour the natural surroundings with a drive through the towering Boranup Karri Forrest on your way to meet the friendly stingrays and eagle rays that play close to the shore at Hamelin Bay. Stop at the award-winning Jewel Cave – Western Australia’s largest show cave. Overnight in Margaret River.

Chapter 7

Manjimup

129KM

Stop in Manjimup and soak up the history and beautiful forest surroundings. Stop in Manjimup to visit the Timber and Heritage Park. With something for everyone, you’ll find tiimber heritage exhibitions, blacksmiths and woodworkers displays as well as a huge zip line and slide. To cool down, make your way to Fonty’s Pool, a famously beautiful freshwater dam with a 120-year history listed on the National Trust as a worthy national treasure.

Chapter 8

Pemberton

32KM

Experience sweeping views from atop a local climbing tree, sample the region's wines or immerse yourself in nature in Pemberton. Take in sweeping views of the landscape perched atop one of the local climbing trees - so tall they were once used as fire lookouts over the region. Next, spend some time sampling the region’s wines and local produce or walk the trail around Big Brook Dam. Visit Beedalup National Park to sit above the Beedelup Falls on a suspension bridge, watching the fall in full flow during winter and spring, surrounded by dense karri forest mixed with jarrah and several beautiful stands of pure marri. Overnight in Pemberton.

Chapter 9

Walpole

120KM

Stop at Walpole to join an eco-cruise of the inlet and visit the Valley of the Giants amidst the top of the tingle trees. Stop at Walpole to join an eco-cruise of the inlet. Visit the Valley of the Giants to get a get a birds-eye view of the forest from a 40m high tree top walk amongst giant tingle trees. Explore the beauty of their treetops on a lightweight accessible cabled walkway, which leads you high above the leafy canopy across a series of aerial platforms that gently sway back and forth with the breeze. Then, back on the ground, follow a twisting pathway through the forest floor to see their size and grandeur up close.

Chapter 10

Denmark

66KM

On the way to Denmark visit Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks, then sample gourmet produce and wine and browse galleries of local artisans. On the way to Denmark visit Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks - framed by huge boulders which act as a protective shore break for the peppermint tinged waters, this sanctuary is perfect for snorkelling. Sample the gourmet producers and cellar doors along Scotsdale Tourist Drive and Mount Shadforth Scenic Drive before overnighting in Denmark. Sample some of the local gourmet artisans, and stroll through local galleries meeting makers of furniture, pottery , glass, sculptures and paintings.

Chapter 11

Albany

53KM

Next stop: Albany, where you’ll find farmers markets, fresh oysters and some of the most pristine beaches in the Southern Hemisphere. Peruse farmers markets, try fresh oysters and explore some of the most pristine beaches this side of the equator. Visit the striking coast at The Gap and Natural Bridge or step back in time at Albany’s Historic Whaling Station and National ANZAC Centre. Discover native Australian plants and animals at Discovery Bay, keeping an eye out for migrating humpback and southern right whales playing close to shore (June to September). Spend the afternoon sampling delicious seasonal produce, before enjoying dinner at one of this historic town’s restaurants.

Chapter 12

Bremer Bay

180KM

Ready to take a safari, The Edge style? Join an expedition to find orca in the Bremer Canyon, then lounge on the pristine beaches and relax. The coastal hamlet of Bremer Bay is home to some incredibly unique wildlife. The sheltered waters and bays provide the ideal breeding grounds for Southern Right Whales; take a walk to the Point Ann lookout to spot southern right whales come close to shore to calve during winter. The cool temperate waters are also home to rare Leafy and Weedy sea dragons. Ready to take a safari, The Edge style? At Bremer Bay, you can join a charter boat tour from January to April to embark on a journey to one of the most unexplored regions on Earth in search of the largest-known pod of orca in the Southern Hemisphere. Overnight in Bremer Bay.

Chapter 13

Fitzgerald River National Park

210KM

Get an early start to make your way via Ravensthorpe to the other side of Fitzgerald River National Park. With 20% of Western Australia’s wildflowers found here alone, not to mention the dramatic coastal views, you’ll want to explore some of the walk trails here including the East Mount Barren trail to the summit. In spring, the landscape is dotted with colourful wildflowers including banksias, hakeas, bottlebrush, feather flowers, Quaalup bell and many others. Go bushwalking on one of the trails and you might spot endangered native animals like the dibbler, a small marsupial which has recently been rediscovered in the park.

Chapter 14

Hopetoun

49KM

Escape to the peaceful beach town of Hopetoun, nestled on the shores of the beautiful Mary Ann Haven. Flanked by pristine coastline and white beaches, follow the Southern Ocean Road east of town to access breathtaking coastal lookouts and beaches with quiet pools for fishing or swimming, like Mason Bay or Starvation Bay. Enjoy fishing off the jetty in town, or take kids to the foreshore playground while relaxing with a coffee and taking in the views. Overnight in Hopetoun.

Chapter 15

Esperance

217KM

Keep the adventure rolling by exploring the numerous lagoons and beaches in and around Esperance. Enjoy the breathtaking 40km loop of the Great Ocean Drive as you come in to Esperance - 11 Mile Beach and Twilight Beach are favourites. Head to Esperance and sip on refreshments at the local brewery or take a walk along the Esplanade foreshore. Take in the town museums and craft shops and the Rotary Lookout and Walk Trail, before watching a sunset at twilight. Explore other stunning beaches around Esperance via coastal walk trails or take in as much as you can on a tour. Explore untamed Woody Island or for a bird’s eye view, take a scenic flight to witness the striking juxtaposition of bubblegum pink Lake Hillier on Middle Island sitting beside the deepest blue ocean. Overnight in Esperance for the next two nights.

Chapter 16

Cape Le Grand National Park

55KM

Visit the nearby Lucky Bay in Cape Le Grand National Park. Lucky Bay lives up to its name in plenty of ways - translucent water and sand like icing sugar, not to mention sunbaking kangaroos! This pristine park near Esperance is known for its stunning scenery and idyllic beaches. The landscape changes from massive granite outcrops to freshwater pools and unbelievable white sandy beaches with views over many islands. Overnight in Esperance.

Chapter 17

Hyden

432KM

Return to Perth via Ravensthorpe and Hyden over the next couple of days. See the large scale art installations that feature on the PUBLIC Silo Trail, and be sure to visit the impressive Wave Rock along with Hippos Yawn and Lake Magic. Thought to have formed some 130 million years ago, Wave Rock is entirely natural and measures about 15km (roughly three storeys) in height. It’s the perfect end to your Instagram highlights reel. Overnight in Hyden.

Chapter 18

Hyden to Perth

355KM

Head back to Perth via Kulin’s quirky Tin Horse Highway and WA’s oldest inland town, York.

Chapter 1

The Start

15KM

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