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A vast landscape inhabited only by a scatter of residents stretching up to northern Australia.

The largest city is Perth, a friendly oasis of sophistication where gleaming skyscrapers overlook quiet colonial suburbs on the banks of the Swan River.

A short drive to the west is the restored port town of Fremantle and a chain of beautiful surf beaches, but it is a long drive to the next settlement inland — the gold-mining town of Kalgoorlie.

To the south, the coastal towns of Albany and Denmark provide an excellent base for hiking and whale-watching, and the Margaret River area has beautiful national parks, friendly wineries and deserted beaches, cooling toward temperate forest regions. Go north and you pass the rock formations of the Pinnacles, the visiting dolphins of Shark Bay and the pearl farms of Broome.

Southwest Australia itinerary ideas

Start thinking about your experience. These itineraries are simply suggestions for how you could enjoy some of the same experiences as our specialists. They’re just for inspiration, because your trip will be created around your particular tastes.

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Our Southwest Australia highlights

Dive off Ningaloo Reef

A highlight for snorkelers and divers is the Ningaloo Marine Park. The reef is just 328 feet (100 meters) offshore from the sandy beaches of Coral Bay and the Cape Range National Park.

Eat at a seafood restaurant in Kalbarri

Explore the Murchison River and the gorges of the Kalbarri National Park before sampling freshly caught fish in the restaurants in town.

Visit the vineyards of Margaret River

The Margaret River region produces over 20 percent of Australia's premium wine, and combines tranquil vineyard landscapes with stunning Indian Ocean beaches.

Visit the lighthouse at Cape Leeuwin

Spend some time at the lighthouse at Cape Leeuwin. This is the most southwesterly point of Australia, where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean.

Drive through the tall trees of the karri forests

A self-drive is a great way to explore the southwest, and a highlight is the drive through the tall trees of the karri forests near Pemberton.

Some of our favorite places in Southwest Australia

Vineyards, The Margaret River region

Margaret River

Around three hours south of Perth by road, the beautiful Margaret River region is famed for its world-class wineries, many of which are family-run, offering tastings, superb lunches and cellar door sales.

Breaching humpback whale, Vancouver Island

Ningaloo Marine Park

The astonishing Ningaloo Marine Park is famed for its massive fringing barrier reef that stretches for 200 miles. The gentle whale shark is a seasonal visitor here between March and June.

Perth, Australia


Australia’s premier west-coast city, Perth is much more than the sum of its parts. Beyond its energetic central districts and parks, you’ll find winelands, island wildlife reserves, cavalier port towns, and some of the country’s best beaches.

Great places to stay in Southwest Australia

Sal Salis, Cape Range National Park & Ningaloo Reef

Sal Salis

Cape Range National Park

First Class