Road trip time!! Yes I know it's that little bit further than Dunsborough and Margaret River, and it’s a little bit colder, but hear us out about why we love Great Southern WA.
Firstly, the beaches are epic—even when it’s cold they are freaking beautiful. There is also some pretty fantastic wine (I’d go as far to say the best Riesling in WA) and walking trails that will really make you appreciate mother nature.
If you can make it down between 23 March and 9 April 2017, you’re in luck with the Taste Great Southern Festival putting on a heap of events. Check out what’s on here.
Here is your Albany and Denmark bucket list—how much can you tick off in one weekend?
The best chicken bao and cold drip negroni in town! Sitting in the bar for a drink and a bao is the best but if you want to settle in, grab one of the couches out the back.
Emu Point Cafe
After a quick swim at Emu Point, Emu Point Cafe is the place you want to go to re-fuel. Good coffee, delish food and they’re pretty much always open on public holidays!
Vancouver Street Cafe
Quite possibly the best brekky in Albany, but lunch is also delish. Double check it’s open if you’re planning on heading there on a public holiday.
Gourmandise & Co
The chef here is a French baker and word on the street is he used to cook for Prince Charles! Think long communal tables, French accents and some of the best pastries you could dream of.
Dinner is only on offer on Friday and you’ll need a booking but lunch is served Monday—Friday and they do some pretty epic desserts.
Down on Middleton beach, Hybla is great for a drink and they do a mind blowing sticky date pudding.
Three Anchors is a restaurant /bar and it’s right on Middleton Beach (read: epic setting). They do an awesome curry night on Thursday, or go for breakfast with a view.
Oyster House On Emu Point
Rock up to this little hole in the wall and grab a tray of fresh oysters from the nicest guy alive. It's a little hidden but if you find the Squid Shack (there's awesome fish and chips here too) you're on the right track). Take them home or to Emu Point and enjoy them by the beach.
Albany Farmers Markets
Go straight to cheese stall. Ask for labneh. Eat until heart content. Leave. Just kidding. Once you’re done with the labneh, move on to fresh fruit and veg, bread and coffee. If you sleep in on Saturday, you can head to the Boatshed Markets on Sunday.
Organic wine, a huge orchard and an avocado tree = heaven. Do a tasting, then order a bottle of Riesling to have with a platter. Just about all the food is grown here so you know its going to be nice and fresh.
National Anzac Centre
You can’t write a list about Albany without mentioning the National Anzac Centre. There are some beautiful views of Albany and you can even learn a little if those history lessons from high school are a distant memory.
The Old Marron Farm
This is a “do” but really it’s also an “eat”. A marron farm (duh) with an animal park and bird park, but if you’re not into animals, head straight to Nippers Cafe for a mean marron pizza.
It gets cold and rains a bit down this way but don’t let that deter you. Even if its cold, go and have a wander around and enjoy the serenity. A few you’ll want to tick off your list are Little Beach (easily one of the top 10 beaches in WA), Two Peoples Bay, Nanarup (if you’ve got a 4WD go nuts!) and Gull Rock (head here if there’s an Easterly blowing).
The Gap And The Natural Bridge
There are great views to be seen at The Gap but be careful. This place is full of blow holes and salmon holes and it’s notorious for losing rock fisherman with the unexpected Southern Ocean swells. Stay on the viewing platform, kids! The Natural Bridge is just a few metres away and is pretty impressive.
There ain’t nothing like a small town bakery and Denmark’s bakery does not disappoint. World famous gourmet pies and pastries, try their special of the day—you won’t be disappointed!
Luscious Organic Cafe
Luscious Organic is all about delish healthy food and great coffee. They specialise in gluten free, sugar free, vegetarian and vegan friendly foods so you can find something for everyone.
Mrs Jones Cafe
Mrs Jones dishes up hearty brekkies like spiced coconut rice or pork and fennel sausage with eggs. Once morning is over head here for lunch and enjoy a local wine or two.
The Denmark Tavern
The best pub food in the Great Southern! The Denmark Tavern dish up steaks and burgers that’ll knock your socks off.
Pepper and Salt
These are only on four times a year but if you’re heading down to Denmark for the Easter long weekend, you’re in luck! Make your way to Berridge Park on Saturday 26 March and find yourself some goodies, from foodie stuff to arts and crafts.
The sweets tour is completely made up but should be a thing considering all of these places are within a five minute drive of each other. Fit this in on the way home from Greens Pool, Elephant Rocks or Parry’s.
Head to Bartholomews Meadery to check out the glass beehive and grab some epic vanilla infused honey. Then make a strop at the Denmark Chocolate Company, it’s licensed so you can match some chocolate with local wine. When you’re all chocolated out, head on to the Toffee Factory and wrap your hands (and mouth) around Denmark’s biggest ice cream cone, then get some toffee to keep you going for the rest of the day.
Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks are probably two of the prettiest beaches you’re ever going to lay eyes on in your whole dang life. Park at Greens Pool and walk around to Elephant Rocks to enjoy the view. Other must visits include Ocean Beach, Lights Beach, Mad Fish Bay, Waterfall Beach and Parry Beach.
The Monkey Rock walk is part of the Bibbulman Track and will give you super speccy views of William Bay National Park, Ratcliffe Bay, Ocean Beach and the Nullaki Peninsula. It’s a bit of a climb so take some water!
Petland Alpaca Farm
I know we’re all grown up now, but go and embrace your inner child and feed some animals at the Petland Alpaca Farm. They’ve got koalas, kangaroos, emus and loads more!
Now on to the best part. Find yourself a designated driver then head down Scotsdale Rd to taste #allofthewine!
Our favourites include The Lake House, Singlefile, Castelli Estate, Harewood (open by appointment only), Appricus Hill for some of the best whites ever, Rickety Gate, Forest Hill, Ducketts Mill for all of the cheese and killer dessert wine and Rockcliffe for an epic Sunday sesh.
A Little Further Out
Closer to Mount Barker, try to fit a walk in on your way to or from Perth if you don’t have time to do a whole day trip here. The views are crazy beautiful and you’ll feel like earned your wine that night! If you’re out this way in the evening head to Maleeya’s Thai cafe—probably the most isolated Thai restaurant you’ll ever eat at, but authentic and delicious!
Valley Of The Giants
The Valley of the Giants is one of the most picturesque walks you’ll ever do and its right in your own backyard! Walk through the tree tops in the forest west of Denmark. It’s a casual 600m walk so anyone can do this one!
About two hours north of Albany, this is the tallest peak in WA and is about the only place in WA you might find snow. It takes about four hours and you’ll want to go on a clear day so you can actually see those views.
West Cape Howe National Park
West Cape Howe National Park is home to Shelley Beach which has great views and is paragliding heaven. If you’re keen for a challenge take on the 15km round trip walk to Torbay Head, the most southern point of WA.