Driving Distances: Perth - Margaret River 277 km
Margaret River - Albany 132 km
  Margaret River is quickly developing an international reputation for its wines and as a tourist destination. Around the coastline, you will find some of the prettiest beaches in the world with white sand, turquoise water and ochre coloured outcrops. The area is also famous and much admired for it's splendid old growth forests and exotic timbers; some unique to the area. This route is ideal for people with limited time; but wanting a nice and relaxed RV, Campervan or Motorhome holiday, without having to drive long distances to get to wonderful natural attractions.
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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.
  Fremantle. If you are planning a trip to Perth, then 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. And then there are the cafes and grand old pubs. And the 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.  
  Mandurah. If your destination is the 'Great South-West', then Margaret River is only 300 km south of Perth. Mandura is a good place for your first stop, and 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 beautiful Ocean Marina.  
  Bunbury is another good places to stop-off at, on the way down the coast. From the 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. And there are lots of activities for the family.  
  Busselton. Heading further south, the beaches seem to be getting better and better. And how do you get two kilometres out into this vivid turquoise water 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 tropical coral growing on the artificial reef.  
  Dunsborough Heading west ... that's right; heading west from Busselton you will find the pretty seaside town of Dunsborough, with it's 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. Most of the Margaret River wineries are between Dunsborough and the town of Margaret River.  
  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, so 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.  
  Augusta. Although only 75km apart, it's quite a contrast in scenery between the protected north facing beaches around Dunsborough; and Cape Leeuwin, the most south-western point of Australia, where the Indian Ocean and Southern Oceans meet. Migrating whales are often seen in these waters and spotted from the Lighthouse. Augusta is a beautiful little fishing town, tucked-in around from the Cape. The inlet and river are excellent for all kinds of water activities and a ferry cruise takes visitors up the river to excellent limestone caves.  
  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.  
  Walpole. Less adventurous, but equally spectacular, 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. This whole area where the forests meet white sandy beaches and the Walpole Inlet is pristine and spectacular.  
  Denmark. By now you will have realised that 'the Great South West' is not lacking in beautiful places to visit. By the time you get to Denmark, you are well and truly spoilt; then you are re-exhilarated by this splendidly beautiful coastline. In the midst of a white sandy beach stands Greens Pool, a sheltered natural lagoon with glittering emerald water ideal for snorkelling and Elephant Rocks, huge elephant-like granite boulders standing in picture-perfect contrast to the vibrant blue sky and sea-green water.  
  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.  
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