When you visit the Western Australian capital of Perth, hire a rental car and begin to explore, it would be easy to fall under the illusion that you are stuck in the city itself. Of course, though there are certainly plenty of things to do here, there’s more still if you are looking for a great road trip idea.
Use your unlimited-kilometre rental car to its full potential by venturing south to the renowned holiday destination of Geographe Bay.
Only two hours south of Perth, Geographe Bay is an aquatic paradise, with loads of fantastic seaside towns to get to know, in addition to some excellent wine – Margaret River, one of the country’s top growing regions, is just next door.
Here’s a run down on some of the top towns.
Your first destination will be Bunbury, the third-largest city in the state, and the gateway to this magnificent area. You’ll find it just 180 kilometres south of Perth Airport.
The Dolphin Discovery Centre is the must-do attraction in Bunbury, letting you get up close with these charming creatures either by swimming or taking a cruise.
“One of the best tourist attraction in Bunbury,” wrote one TripAdvisor reviewer. “We were surrounded by dolphins most of the time, and how lucky we [were] to see baby dolphins do the jumping!”
Tuart Forest National Park
Just 30 kilometres further south, you’ll find one of the last remaining forests of tuart trees in the world. This pristine National Park is a fantastic place to stretch your legs, take in the fresh, seaside air and try to spot some local wildlife in their natural habitat.
There is a 1.5-kilometre walk here designed to be taken at night (with torches, of course), allowing you to see different varieties of possum in the trees. Picnic areas are also available if you want a spot of lunch.
Next, visit Busselton to see its popular jetty. This structure juts out 1.8 kilometres into the ocean, which has given birth to the local marina and the many industries that flock here. You can take a train journey to the end of this pier, where a fascinating Underwater Observatory is waiting for you to delve into its mysteries of the deep.
Finally, make your way to the cafe-heaven of Dunsborough, on the outskirts of the Margaret River wine region. If you aren’t indulging in a coffee, glass of wine or something scrumptious to eat here, you’ll likely be cycling the beachfront pathways, swimming in the ocean or making your way into the heart of Cape Naturaliste National Park – another great bush attraction to see.