Driving Distances: Perth - Kalgoorlie 595 km
Kalgoorlie - Esperance 390 km
Esperance - Albany 475 km
Albany - Perth 409 km
  If you have the time and would like to experience the coast as well as the Australian 'outback' in the one trip, then add the Kalgoorlie Goldfields and Esperance to 'The Great South West'. With this route, we recommend that you travel in a clockwise direction so that you get the long drives out of the way at the beginning of your holiday. One of the advantages hiring a RV, Campervan or Motorhome for this trip, is that your standard of accommodation is consistently good from the start to the finish. You can virtually stop anywhere for a meal and a rest.
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Perth. The first thing that is impressive about Perth, is the lack of pollution. The sky is a bright blue, the modern buildings glisten and the sun shimmers off the Swan River; and there's not the 'hustle & bustle' of the cities on the east coast. It's a slower pace of life, and yet, the mining boom over recent years has rejuvenated Perth. The best vantage point to view Perth is from Kings Park. The views of Perth, the Swan River and surrounds are magnificent, and it's a delightful place for a picnic amongst the beautiful gardens. Of course Perth has all the attractions, shopping, restaurants, galleries etc expected of any large city. The Perth Mint is worth a visit to see a live presentation of gold being poured. The other main attractions, not far out of the city include: beautiful white sandy beaches, the Swan Valley wine region, the historic port of Fremantle and nearby Rottnest Island.
  Kalgoorlie. The 'Wild Wild West'? Not quite. For a start, some locals call 'Kal' the hub of the Wild West; and Kalgoorlie is 600 km East of Perth; yet it has that real Aussie-outback-frontier-town character. There are 25 'watering holes' (hotels and pubs) in town, to quench the thirst of those parched gold miners and tourists. Kalgoorlie is Western Australia's largest goldfields town and is famed for its fascinating gold rush history, fabulous old buildings and old gold miners' ghost towns. Kalgoorlie is still an active mining town and the 3.5 kilometre long, 1.5 kilometre wide Super Pit Mine - where 800,000 ounces of gold is produced each year - is mind-blowing. This massive hole in the Earth is as deep as Uluru is high with about the same circumference.  
  Esperance. After spending several days in the outback, driving into Esperance is like finding an oasis in a desert. There are simply no superlatives that can adequately describe Esperance and the surrounding coastline. The Fairfax WalkAbout website describes Esperance as an "Intensely beautiful town with some of the most stunning coastal scenery in Australia........ the most beautiful stretch of coastline I have seen anywhere in Australia." This area is so pristine an unaffected that the kangaroos laze about on the beaches, undeterred by tourists. 50km east of Esperence is Cape Le Grande National Park. There's a good bitumen roads to Lucky Bay and Cape Le Grand Beach. Camping here may be the highlight of your whole trip.  
  Hopetoun is a 3 1/2 hours' drive from Esperance and about half way to Albany. It's a pretty little coastal village on the shores of the beautiful Mary Ann Harbour. The contrasts, between dramatic rocky headlands and magnificent white sandy beaches, are fantastic. Hopetoun is a good place to stop for a break, or stay overnight and explore the nearby Fitzgerald River National Park; one of the most diverse botanical regions in the world and a haven for native animals and birds; some near extinction.  
  Albany. Tourism Western Australia describe Albany this way: "Prepare to be blown away by Albany's dramatic convict history, set against a backdrop of rugged granite coastline, green seas and a wild beauty that tugs at the heartstrings. Step back in time and explore convict jails, old taverns, whaling ships and settlers' cottages and grand National Trust homes in beautifully landscaped grounds." With 50 historic buildings in town, the best way to learn of Albany's rich history, is by taking a self-guided walking tour. The story of Albany's whaling past is recalled in the excellent exhibits on display in the Whaleworld museum. For another experience of Albany's past, hop aboard the Brig 'Amity', an accurate replica of the ship which brought the first convicts and settlers to Albany. Imagine how they felt, sailing past the breathtaking coastline and arriving in such a beautiful harbour. The Torndirrup National Park is a great location to view spectacular coastal features such as Natural Bridge, a fantastic granite formation in the shape of a bridge.  
  Denmark. By the time you reach Denmark, you will be spoilt by the breathtaking coastline; then you are Re-exhilarated by the introduction of towering tall trees and forests to the splendid scene. In the midst of a white sandy beach stands 'Greens Pool', a sheltered natural lagoon with glittering emerald water ideal for snorkelling. Nearby, 'Elephant Rocks' are huge elephant-like granite boulders that stand in picture-perfect contrast to the vibrant blue sky and sea-green water.  
  Walpole is surrounded by national parks, State forests, and sits on the magnificent Walpole Inlet. One of the areas major attractions is the 'Valley of the Giants - Tree Top Walk' in the Walpole-Nornalup National Park. Take a bird's eye view of the world famous forest of gigantic tingle trees from the lightweight bridge through the forest canopy. On the forest floor below, a boardwalk wends its way through a grove of impressive veteran tingle trees, some over 400 years old.  
  Pemberton. Surrounded by magnificent karri, jarrah and marri forests, it's not surprising that Pemberton was once a busy timber milling town. These days wine making, gourmet local produce and tourism have rejuvenated the town. The town's most popular tourist attraction is the Gloucester Tree; a 61 metre tall Karri with a daunting, narrow, spiral ladder leading to a lookout on top. Over a million (fit & brave) people have climbed the tree to take in the magnificent views.  
  Augusta is a beautiful little fishing town, on a protected inlet, around from Cape Leeuwin. This is the most south-western point of Australia, where the Indian Ocean and Southern Oceans meet. Migrating whales are often seen in these waters and can be spotted from the Lighthouse. Augusta is a relaxed and popular holiday destination for Perth residents. The inlet and river are excellent for fishing and all kinds of water activities. A ferry cruise takes visitors up the river to excellent limestone caves.  
  Margaret River. The focus of much of the tourist attention in this region, are the 220 vineyards and 80 wineries producing over 15 per cent of Australia's premium wine. Naturally you will want to sample these fine wines. It's safer and more informative if you take one of the many wine tours. Apart from wine and cheese tasting, there's chocolate sampling, at the chocolate factory, and beer tasting at the boutiques breweries. The township is booming with arts and crafts, cafes, restaurants, galleries and souvenirs. If all the fine wine and food is making you feel guilty, there are plenty of outdoor activities to get you fit for the next round. Margaret River is also renowned for having one of the best surfing breaks in the world. Better to watch from the cliffs, unless you are a pro. For a more leisurely activity, perhaps you would prefer a drive down south through towering natural forests.  
  Dunsborough is a pretty seaside town, north of Margaret River, with fabulous, protected, beaches that face north. It's hard to beat Meelup, Eagle Bay and Bunker Bay, as being amongst the best swimming beaches in Australia. If your visit coincides with a special occasion, then lunch or dinner at the Bunker Bay Resort or Wise's Winery is excellent. The water views from both are fabulous; but be prepared to do some damage to your credit card. There are a variety of eateries in town for every budget.  
  From Dunsborough, it's only a half day's drive back to Perth. In planning this trip, you might consider setting aside a day to stop and have a look around Busselton, Bunbury and Mandurah.  
  Busselton. How do you get two kilometres out into vivid turquoise water without a boat or without getting your feet wet? Busselton has the longest wooden pier in the Southern Hemisphere. At the end of the jetty is the Underwater Observatory where you can view more than 300 marine species, colourful fish and a tropical coral reef.  
  Bunbury. From sidewalk cafes, looking over the beautiful park and white sandy beach, you won't believe the colour of the water in Koombanna Bay. So clean and clear, that it is the home to over 100 bottlenose dolphins. Golfers love Bundbury as well, with three international courses to choose from.  
  Mandurah is a good place to stop for a cup of coffee or a bight to eat. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean, the Peel Inlet and Harvey Estuary. Not surprising that Mandura is ideal for fishing, boating, picnicking by the water, or dining on fabulous seafood at the Ocean Marina.  
  Fremantle. Whether you intend staying in Perth before or at the end of your holiday, you MUST spend at least one day exploring Fremantle. Forget the industrial surrounds to the port, this is a place rich in history and many, many, places to see and things to do. For a start, Fremantle has 5 major museums displaying everything from its maritime heritage to convict infamy. Then there are the marvelous heritage buildings and old maritime port streetscape. Talk about shop-till-you-drop, 'Freo' has everything from vibrant markets to sophisticated boutiques and galleries. And did we mention food? 'Freo' is famous for it's seafood, restaurants, cafes, grand old pubs, and breweries - great local beer!  
  Rottnest Island. Just off 'Freo' is 'Rotto', as the locals call it. A 17th century Dutch explorer called the place 'Rat's Nest Island' because he mistook the local quokkas (cute miniature-like kangaroo) for big rats. Unfortunate really, as Rottnest is a beautiful little island surrounded by white sandy beaches and turquoise water, coral reefs and shipwrecks; a diving and snorkeling paradise. There are no cars on the island so you can either walk or hire a bike, and build up an appetite for the delicacies from the local bakery.  
More Information . If you book through GoOzGo and indicate your preferred tourist route or destination, we will email you a detailed list of website links specifically related to your choice. This will make it easier for you to further plan your holiday, book holiday parks, preview attractions etc.

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