Margaret River

Margaret River lies 170 miles south of Perth. It is good for a few days road trip down the coast. Places you might want to stop at include Rockingham, Bunbury, Busselton, Yallingup and the Tuart forests inland from Busselton.

Our first stop was at Rockingham, for a walk along the wild and windy beach. There were some very large industrial vehicles parked up the beach which made interesting photos. Cape Peron is an area of natural beauty and there is swimming and hiking. There are beaches and reefs and a good variety of shrubs and wildlife. Offshore you may see dolphins, sharks, sea lions, turtles and many species of fish.

Bunbury was in the midst of a storm when we arrived, but on another trip we were able to check out the good beach on the west side of the city. There is an ocean drive for a couple of miles down the coast, then the road goes inland around the Maidens Reserve. Bunbury is quite a large and growing city, but there are certainly places that are worth stopping to look at if you avoid the industrial areas.

Main Image by Rob Chandler (cc), Flickr

Next we stopped at Busselton to see its famous jetty. Stretching 1800 metres out into the ocean, the pier is the longest wooden structure in the world. We set out to walk it, but were forced to abandon by a very large thunderstorm coming across. Before getting to the town, you pass through groves of Tuart trees on highway 10. These trees grow up to 40 metres and are one of the largest species of tree in Western Australia. There are also Jarrah trees in the region which are used for making furniture. Both are types of Eucalyptus.

Shortly before you reach Margaret River there is the town of Yallingup. This is popular for its beaches and caves. Several beaches are good for surfing and fishing. The Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park includes Canal Rocks, a rock formation that in high seas will take an impressive battering by the ocean with the walkways being covered by spray. It’s pretty amazing. The region is popular with tourists, so don’t expect to have the rocks all to yourself.

Now you have reached Margaret River, famous for its surf beaches and competitions. We stayed by the Warperup Creek which has a strange grove of dead white trees standing in the creek.

Sadly after our first night – just out to have a quick pint, I don’t remember a lot. We staggered in at 4am after dancing long with the locals in a friendly pub on the main street. You will have to explore Margaret River for yourselves and don’t make our mistake of getting trolleyed on the first night.

Once our hangovers had cleared we headed south to Augusta and we booked a whale watching trip. There were plenty of whales to be found and we saw them breaching and swimming alongside our boat, and the trip got back on track.

Cape Leewin lighthouse was our furthest point south then we had to head back to Perth for other commitments.

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