7 Instagrammable Views on The South West Edge

Virtually every pit stop on The South West Edge road trip features an Insta-worthy sight, but these seven spots are truly photogenic from every angle. Cameras at the ready…

1. East West Design Street Art, Fremantle

Wander the streets of Perth’s historic town of Fremantle and you’ll just about have a whole Instagram feed of photos ready for posting, but East West Design in South Fremantle in particular is a must-see spot. Massive painted wall murals of the shop fronts located on the East West Design warehouse are the perfect place to capture the quirkiness of Fremantle – or as the local’s call it – Freo. Stroll along South Terrace to really take in the talent behind these works-of-art and marvel at their size.

2. Sugarloaf Rock, Cape Naturaliste

Is it real, or a simulation? Rising above the ocean like a tessellated pyramid, Margaret River’s famous Sugarloaf Rock draws an open-mouthed audience each day as the descending sun sets into the ocean, framing the enormous rock formation with a clear, rose-hued light. You may also wish to follow the lead of other clever picnickers and bring your own champagne hamper; there’s plenty of space to find your own snuggly viewing spot within the wildflower-dotted scrub nearby. After the light show, make your way into nearby Dunsborough for an appropriately beautiful meal paired with some local Margaret River vino.

3. Elephant Rocks, Denmark

Caster-sugar sands and water like liquid mint: the warm, flat expanse of ocean juxta positioned with giant boulders resembling a herd of elephants, Elephant Rocks should belong on a dazzling tropical postcard, but – shh! – you’ll find it in William Bay National Park, just twenty minutes by car from the centre of Denmark. A hop, a skip and a jump down the short walking track and you’ll reach your reward: postcard-perfect views of dreamy waters in hues of pastel peppermint. Next door you’ll find Greens Pool, where thanks to a shore-break of smooth boulders, the shallow-bottomed body of water is protected by the ocean’s normal current, creating a giant natural pool of water perfect for a dip. Join the locals and kick out a few morning laps across its top, or make do with a splash in the shallows and relax on the flat, sun-warmed rocks. Local tip: small multi-coloured coral communities have sprung up underwater around the base of the boulders; pack your snorkel for a closer look.

A girl sits on some rocks overlooking the ocean where a unqiue rock formation is ignited red from the sunset to show the natural monuments found along The South West Edge road trip
Sugarloaf Rock at sunset, Cape Naturaliste

"Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” — Aaron Siskind

4. The Gap and Natural Bridge, Albany

Whooosh… BANG! What was that? As you ease nearer the edge of The Gap, in Torndirrup National Park, the booming oceanic rumblings will intensify until – CRASH! – suddenly the spectacle reveals itself. A slice between rock-hewed sea cliffs, The Gap is embroiled in an endless dance with the ocean: watch as it sucks in giant pockets of air with each receding wave, then brace as the water returns with a head-first slam into the walls. The viewing platform overhead – high enough to make you dizzy – is the ultimate spot to watch the show; the scale of the cliffs and the force of the ocean put things in humbling perspective. Admire the surrounding coastline, aflame with native wildflowers, and check out The Gap’s equally beautiful counterpart, the rock formation known as Natural Bridge. Afterwards, head into nearby Albany for a meal, or check out the curious sight of Albany Wind Farm – its 12 turbines line the coast in a silent, eerily beautiful ever-moving formation.


5. Great Ocean Drive

Could this be Australia’s most beautiful stretch of road? Don’t answer till you’ve traced Esperance’s famous route for yourself: one dazzling beach after another unfolds along the Great Ocean Drive, while the horizon is splashed with some 105 islands of the Recherche Archipelago, making the route feel a little like island hopping by car. Though it’s only 40 kilometres end to end, you could easily spend a day exploring the many beaches and hidden inlets of this gorgeous drive; stop at Nine Mile Beach to watch colourful windsurfers float across the water’s glassy top, and make time to see Twilight Cove, where you’ll spot spectacular rock formations that curve and loop out of the water. When you finally arrive back in town, head to the Rotary lookout for a view back across the coastline.


6. Lake Hillier, Esperance

How pink can a pink lake be? Soar past Lake Hillier and you’ll soon have your answer: there’s no chance of missing this natural spectacle on a scenic flight with Goldfields Air Services (you’ll see famous Lucky Bay from above, too). The lake’s hard-to-believe hue is a natural phenomenon resulting from bacteria found in the waters, turning the water a fluorescent pink shade you’ll snap again and again. It’s located on Middle Island, off the Esperance coastline – a spot you can actually explore on foot, if you choose instead to take a helicopter tour. Land by the beach and take the short walk to admire its gem-coloured tones from the on-ground viewing area, cordoned off to protect its precious pH balance. There’s plenty more to see and do – picnic on the beach by an almost 100-year-old shipwreck, spot dolphins and sea lions playing by the foreshore, or hunt for the grave of Matthew Flinders’ right-hand man, said to be buried here. There’s even a set of ruins to be explored, thought to be left by Australia’s first and only pirate, Black Jack.


7. Wave Rock, Hyden

Ready to catch a wave? This one’s a little different to its coastal counterparts. If you’re heading back to Perth via Hyden, you won’t want to miss the infamous Wave Rock. Instagram sensation @JeremyJauncey ¬(who is also the man behind Insta-juggernaut @beautifuldestinations) took his 600,000 followers to Wave Rock in 2015, declaring it a “Bucket list” location; @LeeAbbamonte – the youngest American to visit every country on Earth – has also been, seen and grammed about it. Thought to have formed some 130 million years ago, Wave Rock is entirely natural and measures about 15m (roughly three storeys) in height. It’s the perfect addition to your Instagram highlights reel.


A drone shot of a long stretch of road next to pristine blue coastline
Great Ocean Drive


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