An eight-day journey taking in approximately 1030 kilometres of the south-west coast’s beautiful beaches and forests, topped off with gourmet adventures around Pemberton and Margaret River Tail-wagging, Bella leads us through an avenue of hazel trees. Nose close to the ground, the young black labrador snuffles the base of each tree, seeking out edible gold. Suddenly she stops and begins pawing at the earth. Bingo! Although the season ended weeks ago, Bella’s training has led her to two small black perigord truffles. We’re soon savouring the funghi-like delicacies, which fetch up to $3000 per kilo, with a glass of shiraz, at...
An eight-day, 3600-kilometre drive combining the best of outback WA with its glorious west coast On the first morning of this trip, having driven our campervan out of Perth for five hours into the inky night the previous day, we awake in a layby in the middle of the desert. As the sun rises over the surrounding plains, a drowsy check of the map confirms that we are 70 kilometres from the nearest settlement, Paynes Find – home to 75 people and exactly one roadhouse. We have an 800-kilometre drive ahead of us to reach Newman, in the southern Pilbara...
From Margaret River to Denmark to Esperance: World-class wineries, white-sand beaches and tranquil wilderness; the edge of paradise along the south-west coast of Western Australia has it all, and more - one of Australia’s 16 Ultimate Escapes Where else on Earth can you find perfect barrels of both water and wine, staggeringly beautiful beaches, soaring forests, friendly dolphins and whales, and brilliantly-coloured carpets of wildflowers? Do let us know if you happen to find it, but for now, we’ll stick with Western Australia’s Great South West Edge, perhaps our country’s prettiest corner. Stretching more than 1000 kilometres, from Bunbury (around two hours’...
Score: 8.61 Another surprise so early on in the list – but a well deserved one. The Rowley Shoals Marine Park, found some 300 kilometres north-west from Broome, might be almost totally unknown (except to the lucky sandgropers among us), but the fact that each member of this panel has voted it so highly speaks volumes about its future popularity. The only way to get here is by boat, and there are no islands around – just you, three coral reefs, and all those fish. “Crystalline waters, endless coral gardens and fish confetti sound amazing, but add the fact there’s...
Score: 8.53 “This is a trip,” says Fleur Bainger, “where the journey-destination balance is bang on.” We know what she means – from the quiet beauty of Perth all the way to the Esperance coastline, you’ll motor through tall tree forests; stop in at wave breaks rated by Kelly Slater; gaze out at a smooth-stone archipelago set in a turquoise ocean and be greeted by ’roos, lounging on the icy-white beaches. “Bliss!” More info: Western Australia “An embarrassment of riches, boy these guys are spoilt with all they have to offer tourists.” – Catriona Rowntree Travel this great Aussie road trip, with...
Score: 8.31 “Just getting to this luxury lodge in the Kimberley region – only accessible by the romance of a seaplane, no less – is part of the excitement,” muses Keith Austin. “After that, it’s wilderness, wildlife, adventure, great food and relaxation in equal measure.” Sounds like a dream holiday recipe to us. Better start saving for Berkeley River Lodge, then... From $3990 per person per three-night package, including transfers, meals, alcohol and more. More info: berkeleyriver.com.au Book this adventure with our sponsor Back to the 100 Holidays Subscribe...
Score: 8.125 The Lurujarri Heritage Trail nine-day walk was initiated in 1987 by respected elder Paddy Roe as a means of encouraging members of the Goolarabooloo community to walk their country again; in order to stay connected with their heritage and keep traditional skills alive. Since then the walk has been made available to open-minded travellers so they, too, can experience the living country – long stretches of coast, reef, dunes, rugged bush, mangroves and salt plains. Passing indigenous midden-rich landscapes, the elders share Dreamtime stories, explain traditional tucker and medicines, and demonstrate how to make traditional tools. “I see...
Score: 8.121 The Pinnacles. Kalbarri’s wildflowers. Monkey Mia’s dolphins. This trip is stuffed with highlights, though as Lee Atkinson points out, the road is one in itself: “The desert meets the sea on this drive. The colours are astonishing: red, red dirt and turquoise seas, and every town has a different story.” Of course, an absolute must on this journey is to swim with whale sharks, but we’ve already blabbed all about that (see #12). Be sure to set aside at least 10 days (and then some) to really take it all in. See an itinerary jam packed with memorable...
Score: 8.06 You know you’re onto something when a Wall Street Journal travel journalist (and AT panellist) declares this the most moving trip he’s ever done. Daniel Scott’s exact words: “No journey I’ve done has felt as spiritual as this 2500-kilometre drive (and that’s saying something for an agnostic).” Whatever your religious persuasion, we’re confident you’ll agree: this road trip, which follows the path of the Dreamtime sea serpent as it snakes its way up the coast from Exmouth to Broome, visits some of the continent’s oldest parts. Swim waterholes, visit gorges and marvel at the greatness of it all....
Score: 8.03 The sealed Great Northern Highway between Broome and Wyndham may not be as rugged – or as raved about – as its alternate cross-Kimberley route, the Gibb River Road, but it’s certainly got its advantages (and not because it’s smoother). There are plenty of worthy side trips, especially from Halls Creek, like the unusual limestone formation of the China Wall, Wolfe Creek Crater and the magnificent 350 million-year-old Bungle Bungles. In parts, the highway is among the remotest sealed roads in the world. You can drive for hundreds of kilometres without seeing so much as a roadhouse but...
Whether you consider him a dutifully serving prince or simply an eccentric old man, the HRH of Australia’s original micronation continues to amuse travellers, says Richard Asher. Once upon a time there lived a wheat farmer. His name was Leonard, and he lorded over vast and fertile lands in the state of Western Australia. Leonard was a peaceful man; married with children. But if he felt wronged by you, he wouldn’t let it rest. The Western Australian government, which lorded over Leonard’s property outside Northampton, was one such party. In 1969, it issued a wheat quota limiting his permitted sales to 1647 bushels. For a...
Road tripping your way from Perth to Ningaloo is a bucket-list item all on its own, says Elspeth Velten, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. We’ve given you two accommodation options on different budgets. Day 1: Perth to Geraldton 4.5 hours, 433 kilometres Enjoy sneak previews of cerulean blue sea peeking through beautiful countryside vistas as you head north on Indian Ocean Drive, alongside the coastline. The views will turn to green farmland then brush before you arrive at Geraldton. The city has an inviting shopping district by the water with restaurants and beachy shops,...
If there was ever a place to completely escape, the Berkeley River Lodge is it, says Keith Austin. Want to confuse Google Maps? Ask it for directions between the small town of Kununurra and Berkeley River Lodge on the north-east Kimberley coast. It can’t be done. This is because the only way in and out of the singular lodge, perched at the mouth of the Berkeley River as it meets the Timor Sea, is by float plane. Beyond this there are no roads; no boat routes. This is way out back of the outback; a tiny, shiny dot in this...
They may not have dirt under their fingernails, but fresh local produce is still on the menu at Foragers, WA’s hottest ‘foraging’ restaurant, says Fleur Bainger Foraging is tres ‘on trend’ in foodie circles, what with chefs scouring coastal flats for samphire, or native bush for quandong. Noma’s Rene Redzepi made it hot, while cool kids like Luke Burgess of Garagistes (Hobart) and Ben Shewry of Attica (Melbourne) keep it sizzling. I’m rather attracted to the notion of hunter-gathering, so I’ve long been intrigued by Foragers, a little restaurant in WA’s Southern Forests region, just south of Margaret River. From the...
Dawdling along the sand, picking up shells from the seashore and carefully examining the hollow casings is a universal beachcombing activity. So where better to do it than the unimaginatively-but-appropriately-named Shell Beach in WA? One of only two beaches of its kind in the world, Shell Beach is a brilliant white stretch of what at first looks like snow, but upon closer inspection is millions and millions of tiny white cockle shells. This particular type of cockle – the Cardiid – is hardy enough to withstand the unusually high salinity of the waters of L’Haridon Bight here in Shark Bay,...
LATEST ON FACEBOOK
LATEST TWEETSTweets by @AustTraveller
WHERE ARE YOU TRAVELLING TO?
Select a state to view more
- The ‘ghost towns’ of outback NSW
- East coast country cottage chic
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #53 road trip the Legendary Pacific Coast, Sydney to Brisbane
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #63 take a beach break, Sapphire Coast, NSW
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #86 a beach break on The Shoalhaven Coast, NSW
- Dream road trips: Esperance to Perth (via Margaret River)
- Dream road trips – Perth to the Pilbara (return)
- Ultimate Escapes: WA’s Great South West Edge – wine, white sand & wilderness
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #19 escape to the Rowley Shoals, WA
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #23 a beachy road trip in WA’s South West
- Ultimate Escapes: Queensland’s Wet Tropics
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #11 stay at Lizard Island, Qld
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #54 holiday in Queensland’s triple threat
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #78 walk Thorsborne Trail, Hinchinbrook Island
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #85 swim with Manta Rays, Lady Elliot Island, Qld
- Thalia Haven – the greatest ocean-view bathtub in sight?
- Ultimate Escapes: Tasmania
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #2 road trip Tasmania’s east coast
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #5 book into Saffire Freycinet, Tas
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #13 (a tie) walk the Freycinet Experience, Tas
- Ultimate Escapes: Timeless North, NT
- Get lost in style in the Northern Territory
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #18 see the wet season in the Top End
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #27 make the Red Centre pilgrimage
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #56 (tie) follow Larapinta Trail (World Expeditions), NT