With our short timeframe of two days, we covered a lot of ground, 800 km’s to be exact. We managed to do quite an amazing Whistle Stop Tour to what the Perthians call Down South which covers Margaret River and the South Coast. It’s not an area you can do without a car or at least a tour bus to get to all the locations. Down South is home to magnificent natural wonders, towering forests, sprawling cave networks, picturesque vineyards and some of the most beautiful beaches.
How long do you need to explore Down South?
Ideally you need a couple of days to truly explore this area and there are several areas you can stay as your hub point during your visit like Margaret River, Dunsborough, Busselton and Augusta.
Where to stay and how much does it cost?
Hotels generally around $150 – $300 a night. Here are few places I recommend and I have previously stayed in:
Forte Leeuwin Apartments around $250 aus for a two bed apartment.
Bayview Geographe Resort Busselton around $255 for a Two-Bedroom Villa.
Discovery Parks, Koombana Bay around $155 for a Deluxe Two-Bedroom Cabin.
I’ve not stayed in any hostels in Maragret river before but there are a couple of place around the area. A few suggestions are Maragret River Travelodge and InneTown Backpackers. A dorm room generally starts from $18 a night.
Here is my whistle stop tour of Down South:
First stop off at Busselton Jetty which is the longest wooden jetty in the world, stretching almost 2 km out to sea. The train is the quickest way down the jetty, it does cost money so depends on your budget, you can walk the length of the jetty which is 25 minutes each way which will cost $3.00.
Dad used to take us to Meelup Beach as kids. I have fond memories of the beautiful clear water and the white sands, it lived up to all my memories! It’s a sheltered from the south-westerly winds that South West is famous for, has calm clear water and just a magical looking beach. It also has a shady park with barbeques make it a great summer BBQ area.
Cape Naturaliste is home to a lighthouse that was activated in 1904 and is still a running lighthouse to this day. It’s an easy walk to the lighthouse, unlike some which can be a hike. You can see the outside of the lighthouse for free or get a guided tour for around $15 which will also take you inside. There are deals that you can link with the lighthouse to the caves as well so have a look at the packages if you are interested in a couple of tourist attractions.
Margaret Rivers has a system of caves which were formed around 1 million years ago. These caves are massive labyrinths, intricately formed with limestone crystal formations, lakes, stalagmites, stalactites and helictites. Such an amazing display of natural beauty and is a definite must to see!
You can get a pass that will give you access to one or up to four caves. You can visit:
Jewel Cave Augusta
Margaret River Wineries
Like the Swan Valley, Margaret River has award-winning food and wine so whilst you are in the area check out the wineries, restaurants and cafes, microbreweries, arts, crafts and local produce. Tastings at the micro-breweries do generally require you to purchase a tasting paddle and from the ones, we did visit they were around $15 between four to six. Seeing as it cost money we decided against the beer tasting, the wineries, however, do free tastings depending on the winery it’s either their full range or up to five tastings.
The morning we headed to Prevelly beach it was pouring down with rain and heavy winds, needless to say not ideal for visiting a beach! It’s an area where the surfers head to as this area is known for its big waves and the rain did put a damper on us catching the massive waves.
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