Winter Along The South West Edge

Are you embarking along The South West Edge this Winter? With whale watching season in full swing, the natural landscape at its lush, green best and cosy accommodation options with roaring fires, Winter is an incredible time to jump in the car and embark on this epic adventure. Pack your Ugg boots and your warmest clothes as you rug up and tackle beach walks, hikes, and waterfalls, then head indoors for long lavish lunches paired with local wine and beers. Here’s just a few amazing ways you can experience The Edge this Winter.

Tackle the coastline

While the pristine beaches and bays along The South West Edge are picturesque under a sunny Summer sky, they are just as glorious in the cooler months of the year. Rug up and head down to your favourite beach for a coastal walk on the sand with a coffee in hand and watch the waves roll in. If there’s some bad weather approaching, watching it roll in over the ocean towards the shore is an amazing visual display, just be sure to get back to the car before the rain hits! If it’s a clear, crisp day, then take a picnic and enjoy the sunshine. This is also a great time to spot whales off the coastline, so keep your eyes peeled for these migrating gentle giants. Some of our favourite Winter beaches are Cottesloe Beach, Margaret River Mouth, Middleton Beach and West Beach, each with the turquoise water gleaming under a grey sky.

Museums & art galleries

There’s no shortage of museums, art galleries and other interesting shops throughout the towns you pass through along The Edge. Escape the rain and head inside these incredible buildings to shop, learn, and explore many different forms of art, history, and culture. From your starting point on Rottnest Island to your final destination of Perth and all the places in between, visit the array of museums to learn more about the culture and history of our incredible state. Some of our favourite museums are the WA Maritime Museum, WA Museum Boola Bardip, Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre, National Anzac Centre and Museum of the Goldfields.

Following on from local history and culture, visit the art galleries to immerse yourself in artwork and amazing creations from local to international artists. Whether you make a purchase or not, this is a great way to support local artists and creators from around the region, as well as escape the wintery weather outside. The perfect thing to do while strolling around town with a coffee in hand! Be sure to check out the following galleries to see some incredible local pieces: the Fremantle Arts Centre, Bunbury Regional Art Gallery, Christian Fletcher Gallery, JahRock Galleries and Cindy Poole Glass Art Gallery.

A landscape image of an old ship replica with a modern museum in the background to show cultural and historical experiences on The South West Edge road trip
HMB Endeavour replica, Fremantle Maritime Museum

Pack your Ugg boots and your warmest clothes as you rug up and tackle beach walks, hikes, and waterfalls, then head indoors for long lavish lunches paired with local wine and beers.

Home away from home

The full itinerary of The South West Edge covers 12 days, meaning you have plenty of nights to book into some cosy, winter-friendly accommodation. When you think of a winter road trip, you’re probably not thinking of camping under the stars. Cast your minds indoors, rugged up in your cosy accommodation, making yourself at home. Whether you’re looking for a cosy cabin in the forest, a hidden farm stay, a hotel, or a resort, you are spoilt for choice when booking your nightly stays.

TOP TIP: Make your reservations at a place with an indoor fire to keep you toasty warm, or a place light a campfire to toast marshmallows and enjoy a glass of wine. Don’t forget to pack some games for those cosy nights at ‘home’ to enjoy by the fire.

Wineries and breweries

Nothing warms you up quite like wine! The Swan Valley, Margaret River region, and the Great Southern are full of incredible wineries and breweries that are perfect to visit along your winter journey along The Edge. Settle in for a few hours for a long lunch at one of many cosy wineries or breweries with a fireplace inside or outdoor heating. Plenty of these places are kid-friendly too, so if you’re travelling with kids you can rest assure knowing the kids are entertained and happy as you sip your drinks and indulge in a delicious meal or two. Don’t forget to pick yourself up a bottle or a six pack to take back to your accommodation when you’re done. Or why not try a few different places and book a wine tour. Have your driver drive you around for the day as a group, try new wines, and discover new flavours.

If you’re traversing The Edge in late July, Cabin Fever Festival is back in the Margaret River region with plenty of fire and food to be enjoyed across multiple venues and locations. Some of our favourite cosy establishments are Little Creatures Brewery, Drakesbrook Wines, Eagle Bay Brewing Co, Black Brewing Co, Singlefile Wines, and Sandalford Wines.

Truffle season

Winter means truffle season! From June to August each year in Manjimup, the heart of Australian truffle country, immerse yourself in all things truffle! Join a truffle hunt, where you will follow the highly trained truffle dogs as they sniff their way through the orchards to unearth fresh black truffles from the rich soils. Plan your visit around the annual Truffle Kerfuffle festival, where you can indulge on delectable gourmet meals, celebrating the Manjimup truffle from talented chefs.

Whale watching

Humpback, Southern Right and Blue Whales make their way up and down the coast of Western Australia each year between May and December. This is one of the longest whale watching seasons in the world and travelling along The South West Edge during the Winter months is the perfect time to spot whales off the coast. Book in to one of the fantastic whale watching tours or spot them from one of the many beach vantage points along The Edge. You may need to sit for a while to spot the ocean giants swimming out towards the horizon, but there are around 30,000 whales that swim past the south west corner of the state each year, so you’ve got a high chance of seeing them! Try your luck at these places for the best vantage point: Geographe Bay, Cape Leeuwin, Torndirrup National Park, Bremer Bay and Fitzgerald River National Park.

Natural beauty

The South West Edge has stunning scenery and natural beauty all year round, but with some added rain the landscape truly bursts to life. The green vibrant landscape of the forests surrounding you will give you a new meaning to the word green! A walk through one of these many forests or tranquil bushlands will have you feeling reconnected with nature, especially if there is a trickle of rain on the flora around you.
If you’re travelling along The Edge after some recent rainfall, head to some of the amazing waterfalls scattered throughout the South West region, like Beedelup Falls near Pemberton, to see them fully flowing into nearby lakes and valleys. When you hit Albany, be sure to stop at The Gap and Natural Bridge to see the wintery ocean waters crashing against the rugged rock landscape causing a spectacular show. If you’re in Esperance on a clear day, book a helicopter flight to marvel over the natural beauty of Lake Hillier on Middle Island.

A portrait image of man on truffle hunt with two women smelling fresh truffle to show luxury experiences en route along The Edge
Truffle dog hunt, Manjimup

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