It’s that time of year when all you really want to do is get the heck out Perth for the weekend. And when you’re brainstorming where to go, no doubt you think of Margaret River, Rottnest, Broome and Albany, but what about all the other beautiful places WA has to offer?
When everyone in Perth is trying to get away, it’s nice to go someplace where you can avoid the masses, right? We’ve found the best under the radar getaways in WA—why not give one of these a go next time you want to duck out of Perth.
If you’re short on time, Roleystone (and the rest of the Perth Hills for that matter) is great bang for buck. Only 45 minutes out of Perth, there is so much to do you’ll be shocked! Have a wander through the Araluen Botanical Park, check out the Roleystone Rock Pool or go for a hike, before heading to one of the many cafes like Haynes Street Larder, Roley’s On The Ridge or Genesis In The Hills to re-fuel.
A quaint little place, Balingup is the perfect spot to go if you want to unwind. Head to Heritage Country Cheese and sample all of the goodness before choosing your faves and taking them on the road with you. Make your way to Golden Valley Tree Park for a cheesy little picnic (if you’re clever you would have picked up some apples in Donnybrook on your way down to go with your cheese), then take a drive to Greenbushes Pool for a wander and a dip.
If you can’t fathom the idea of leaving the coast, then get some road trip beats sorted and enjoy the drive to Preston Beach. Head to Yalgorup National Park to check out the Lake Clifton Thrombolites and take in the scenery, then head to the beach with a book. Ultimate relaxation.
For a few weekends of the year, Manjimup is where all the action is thanks to Truffle Kerfuffle. But for the most part, Manjimup is pretty quiet and the perfect spot to relax. There are plenty of bushwalks which can range from a leisurely stroll to a 30km hike along sections of the Bibbulman Track. Head to the Manjimup Wine And Truffle Company and enjoy a wine tasting and some delish eats, then jump in the car and head to One Tree Bridge and Glenoran Pool.
You know what they say about the journey being as important as the destination? We reckon that little piece of wisdom is spot on, so enjoy the 110km scenic drive along Albany Highway until you get to the Hotham Way Trail. Explore the Dryandra Woodland and check out Pumphreys Bridge before continuing on to Dewllingup. Once you’re there, hire a kayak and hit the Murray River, walk part of the Bibbulman Track or break out your fishing gear. There are plenty of cottages and B&Bs, but why not grab your camping gear and head to Lane Poole Reserve so you’re right in the action.
About 250km north of Perth, Green Head is a friendly little town perfect for water babies. Whether you surf, windsurf, fish, dive or just prefer to hang out on the beach, you’ll find something that floats your boat here. If you manage to get there in wildflower season (August to November) you’ll want to drive the Coorow-Green Head Road to see those babies in full bloom. If you’d prefer to get straight on the water, jump on a boat tour to check out the sea lions!
Moore River Region
About 100kms north of Perth, the Moore River Region stretches from Yanchep to Jurien Bay and is the spot to go if you like to keep busy. Go sandboarding in Lancelin, check out the Pinnacles, explore the Yanchep caves, paddle across Moore River, take in the stars at The Space Place (the old Gingin Observatory) or go skydiving in Jurien Bay. There’s also plenty of spots to go surfing, fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving so there’s no danger of running out of things to do around here.
You’ll need a few extra days for this one if your road-tripping this one, but trust us when we say Windjana Gorge is well worth the 30-hour drive—just make sure you’ve got good company, a few good playlists and a lot of car snacks. When you arrive, pitch your tent and try to get a good night’s sleep so you can go exploring the next day. The Lennard River runs through the gorge and forms pools so you might spot a freshwater croc or two, and there are plenty of beautiful walks. This is one for the bucket list.
Roleystone | Image credit: Louise Coghill