Wednesday 11 January 2017

Place of Love - The Great Southwest of WA

The day after my brother in law and son in law arrived from Europe we set off on our 4 day road trip to the South West region of Western Australia. My daughter had already arrived the week before.


Situated about 250km from Perth, Yallingup (Place of love) was close enough to Perth not to involve too long a car trip and also happens to be one of the prettiest areas of Western Australia and the visiting family were happy to get to know it.

From L to R: Approaching Yallingup with houses on the hill, the beach, surfboard statues, jeans used as planters on a balcony, another beach in Yallingup, surfer statue.


We stayed in a country cottage just outside Yallingup - quiet, relaxing and with birds and kangaroos visiting the open garden every day, it was idyllic.

From L to R: The cottage front and back (with family), the bushy area, the main bedroom, a visiting Kangaroo and our car packed to return home.


Located just 13km from the town of Dunsborough (10km north of Yallingup), you can find
the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse on the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. 
Built in 1903, it is surrounded by the Indian Ocean on 3 sides. 

There are paid guided tours to the lighthouse, departing every 30min, but we chose not to go up and just walked around the base of the lighthouse. There's also a free museum with the maritime history of the area and a coffee shop. 
Even if you don't go up, as  the Cape is 100mt above sea level, you have panoramic views over the Indian Ocean.
During September to December you might be lucky and spot the migratory whales swimming past. 

The Cape to Cape 135km hiking trail starts here and ends further south at the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse in Augusta. The entire trail can take 5 to 7 days to complete.

From L to R:  Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, flowers in the area, the family


One of the beaches in the area is the iconic CANAL ROCKS, with an various granite rocks 
forming a canal. There's a wooden bridge across to another granite rock on the 
other side of the first canal.
In stormy weather the waves crash again the rocks and churn through the canals making for
an amazing spectacle...just don't go swimming then!  
I saw some youngsters jumping off the bridge rails into the water and then swimming with the current. It seemed like fun, not that I would be that brave!

From L to R: the bridge at Canal Rocks (1 & 2), Waves again the rocks, fishing boat, a swimmer dives into the sea from the bridge, my daughter reading on a rock.

On the eastern side of the road leading from Dunsborough to the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse,  we visited SHELLEY COVE, at the end of Bunker Bay road (first 3 pics on next photo). 
It's a secluded beach with lots of granite rocks on the sand and at sea, and a limestone cliff on one side.  
The water looked very calm, but with so many rocks at sea could make for dangerous swimming, the sand is made of pebbles and shells. There were some inviting picnic tables under shady trees.

Further down the main road to the western side we visited SUGARLOAF ROCK at the end of Sugarloaf Road. In the middle of the ocean stands a rock which I presume was named after Sugarloaf in Rio de Janeiro as it has a similar shape. It's home to the Red tailed tropic bird, that nest on the rock. 

Back on the main road and we took Eagle Bay Road on the Eastern side where we decided to stop at EAGLE BAY BEACH for a swim and a snack. The beach was almost empty and it had the most amazing calm turquoise waters. Although the water was too cold for me the rest of the family went for a dip.

    From L to Right - top: Shelley Cove (1, 2 & 3), Sugarloaf Rock.
From L to Right - bottom: Eagle Bay (1 & 2), Meelup (1 & 2)

Further south on the western coast, closer to the town of Margaret River and about 30km from Yallingup, we also visited the beaches of Gracetown and Prevelly.


This pretty small beach town with about 150 houses, has seen a few tragedies - in 1996, nine people who were sheltering from the rain beneath a stone overhead died when it collapsed over them.

I had recently read an article about the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of this tragedy and was able to see the memorial erected in their honour.
In 2004, 2010 and 2013 three surfers also died due to great white shark attacks.

Top: Gracetown memorial to the 9 victims of the 1996 tragedy. Bottom: Gracetown houses perched on the hill and beach below.


This whole southern area has lots of wineries, breweries and gourmet products like cheeses, chocolates, ice-creams, nougat, fudge, jams, olive oils, etc. 
We stopped at a few places to have a taste and buy a few things to bring home, but of course being gourmet they are usually expensive (at least I thought so).
We again visited our favourite winery - Laurance's and bought some wine. 
I had previously mentioned this winery and it's beautiful rose garden, statues and bathrooms.


On the interior, just north of Margaret River is the small cow-themed town of Cowaramup.
The day we visited it was very hot, and apart from going from cow to cow taking photos - being December they were mostly dressed in their Christmas best - we bought "Two fat cows" ice-cream to cool down. Don't you love the name?


On our return home we stopped in Busselton, famous for it's 2km long jetty. At the end of the jetty is an underwater observatory, which I visited a few years ago.

The main beach had some fun event going on, and we just sat in one of the beach coffee shops and had something to eat and drink before getting back on the road.

With close to 250 photos taken during the 4 day visit, I had trouble choosing the best photos, hence the overload of picture collages, so you get an idea of what we did and saw during this trip.

Hope you enjoyed the ride, even though you didn't have to leave your chair and swat away the hundreds of flies we had to contend with!

           Map of Southwest WA) -  From Busselton (north east) to Prevelly (southwest) -  places we visited are marked in purple with the road traveled in dark blue.
(copy of map from Geographe bay tourism)
19 to 22 December 2017


  1. Haha, Sami, the flies were nearly with me (sadly a mossie was for real).
    Sounds like you had a great time!
    Sadly we just zipped by these places not being aware of them back then, what a pity!
    Reminds me of Italy a bit with the food :-)

    1. What a pity you didn't get to see some of these sights Iris, maybe on another of your visits you might be able to drive there.

  2. What an incredibly informative and lovely post. I was truly impressed, and delighted to learn a bit more about your country. I was delighted to see the sights, learn a bit of the history, and take in the architecture.

    I loved the surfers and the jeans planters. I also enjoyed the architecture of the buildings on the jetty. Thanks for taking us along on this incredible journey.

  3. Thanks Elizabeth, from the areas I've seen in Australia this is my favourite. Even though I'm not much of a beach person, seeing the turquoise sea makes me happy to be alive!!

  4. A very well documented post Sami, great place to be.

  5. Goodness Sami, this is a fantastic post put together beautifully in these collages. Readers from abroad will get such a clear picture of just how lovely this part of WA is.

    1. Thanks Grace, it truly is a beautiful area!!

  6. Such a nice post Sami! You seemed to have visited a lot of different places but still managed to not make your post extra long. Well done! I should definitely learn from you ;)
    The region seems to be great, with a beautiful landscape, beaches, gourmet produce and ice cream, a combination unlikely to fail.
    The cottage seemed really nice as well, especially with the visiting kangaroo.

    1. Thanks Sara, there was so much to show I felt to best way was to make photo collages.

  7. Beautiful and informative post, Sami. I'm impressed how nice that area is.

    1. Thanks for your visit Karl, gladiador you liked it.


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