If you live in Western Australia, chances are you’ve taken a road trip or ten in your life. As the cold days seem to have no end in sight (okay, we know it’s really only a few months in Perth), the idea of hopping in the car and getting out of town seems like the perfect one. warm hug we all need.
Whether you’re looking to embrace winter and cozy up around a fire, or just think you have to get away all together, here are our top ten getaways you need to get around this winter.
Karijini National Park
This must be on every West Aussie’s list. Throw it away, it’s got to be on every person that walks on the bucket list of this earth. The road trip from Perth to Karijini National Park is no small feat, but we guarantee that every hour is worth it. From Perth you drive inland for about fifteen hours before arriving at Meekatharra and then Karijini. Don’t worry, there are plenty of places to stop to sleep along the way. Crystal clear turquoise waterholes, epic gorges, and thundering waterfalls are something you must see at least once in your life. Make sure you spend a few days here as you won’t want to miss a thing. True adventurers can unroll a booty and sleep under the stars, or if you’re feeling a little more glamorous, the Karijini Eco Resort is where it is.
Margaret River and Dunsborough
Red wine and winter? It’s obvious. While a trip to the south is usually a regular on a Perthie’s itinerary, there is a reason for this. Get in the car and in a few hours you’ll be settling next to breathtaking beaches and an insanely good food and wine scene. When the colder days arrive in P-town, we can’t think of anything better than curling up with a nice glass of red around a fire. Take your weekend to a whole new level by setting up your camp at Mile End Glamping light domes with spa baths, or discover more of our favorite stays. It looks like heaven to us.
Avoid winter and embark on a long drive on the Coral Coast Highway to find yourself on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world you have ever seen. Heading up to the relaxed town of Coral Bay, you can take a detour to Monkey Mia to say hello to the resident dolphins or to camp under the stars in François Peron National Park where you can soak up the spectacular view of red cliffs and stunning blue waters. Arrive at Coral Bay and all your dreams will come true. The town gets its name for a reason – no matter where you stay, you’ll be able to walk incredible white sand beaches, dive your head underwater, and see some of the most pristine corals you can imagine. Going in winter also means being able to swim with the most beautiful giants of the seas. No, we are not talking about whale sharks. From the end of June to October, you will have the chance to see Humpback whales making their annual migration through Coral Bay to Broome, and if conditions allow you can jump into the water and get a ridiculously special sight of these magnificent creatures. While you’re up there, indulge yourself and sample as many pies from the bakery as you can. You can thank us later.
Just over an hour from Perth, in the heart of the Avon Valley, lies Northam, a town full of historic architecture and culture worth a visit. Our favorite time of year to get out in the valley is around the end of August, when the canola fields start to take on that crazy shade of yellow that almost makes you take your sunglasses off and the rain has made it all over the place. the rest is greener than Nana’s thumb. The best way to see it all is to get up at 4 a.m. (we promise it’s worth it) and tick off an experience list in the form of ascending balloon. The views are breathtaking and the serenity is worth ten days at the spa. End your morning with a champagne breakfast and you can’t help but feel like you are in seventh heaven.
If serenity is your thing, look no further than a getaway to Manjimup. 80% of the whole area is made up of forests and national parks, so you are sure to relax and unwind while relaxing with a cup of tea and a good book around the log fire. Settle down at Retreat in the land of clover and you can stretch out in a hammock overlooking the lake or let off steam in a private hot tub before settling in with a platter of Manjimup’s best. With incredibly rich soils, Manjimup is home to some of the best foods in the state, not to mention a truckload of truffles this time of year. Go out and experience a truffle hunt with some of the cutest dogs, or go on a wine route. You will not be disappointed.
With great bush walks and beautiful campgrounds, Dwellingup is the place to go when you want to slow down and take in all that Mother Nature has to offer. It’s also the perfect place to snuggle up around a campfire and spend your winter evenings gazing at the stars. Lane Poole Reserve is where you’ll want to pitch a tent and if you’re bringing your four-legged friend we recommend Stringers, Tony’s turn and Chuditch– don’t forget to keep them in mind. The area is also home to some great vineyards and cozy cafes. Stop by The Dwelly Pub community hotel for a pint and Parmesan before heading home.
If you’re looking for something a little under the radar, but just as glamorous, a weekend at Katanning’s The Premier Mill Hotel should be at the top of your list. Drive south-east from Perth and in around three hours you’ll reach Katanning, a town steeped in history and the perfect place to explore the Wheatbelt. The hotel is a restored 128-year-old flour mill that has been converted into a 22-room guesthouse, basement bar and cafe, and every corner of the hotel exudes style and sophistication . It’s going to be hard to get away from the lush king-size beds, but this area has so much to see. Go out and crack public art, wrap up your history nerd, or if you’re feeling energized after the best sleep of your life, Bluff hill waits.
There is nothing quite like building up muscles and exploring Albany’s awe-inspiring coastal scenery in winter. Pass through charming country towns like Kojonup and Mount Barker (a bakery stop is essential) and cycle through Porongurup National Park before settling into a B&B like Dunmoylen House. Spend your days wandering around the beautiful town of Albany, soaking up the history and culture, and exploring an excellent food and drink scene. Unmissable tourist sites like The hole should be on your itinerary and if you manage to find some free time you can head to Denmark to relax among the Karri trees.
Nestled in the Blackwood Riverr Valley, Nannup is the place to go when you’re ready to relax and rejuvenate as you get closer to nature. Spend your days wandering the tea rooms and gift shops, or go out and sample local produce like wine, cheese and chestnuts. There are loads of great roads to get out and explore, or if you feel like you need to burn off some of that Nannup goodness, rent a bike and try your hand at the Munda Biddi trail.
While some people are looking for a whiskey to warm up, we are told that others like to try their hand at exercise. If that’s you, pack your bags and head two hours south of Perth to Collie County. Home to scenic lakes and a ton of hiking trails, there is no shortage of breathtaking sites to fill your Insta stories. Must-see places include Black Diamond Lake or Stockton Lake, where you can also pitch a tent by the water if you score a weekend without rain. For those who have a sense of adventure, Wellington national park has a variety of walks and trails to explore. Once you’ve packed your bags, move on Harris River Winery and enjoy a long lunch before heading home. With all of these hikes done, you deserve it.
If you don’t have time to go far, check out these best Perth day trips.
Image Credit: Tourism WA, Oliver Strewe, Windward Balloon Adventures, Premier Mill Hotel