We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Self Drive Hoilday - Southwest Australia in September

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
330 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Self Drive Hoilday - Southwest Australia in September

We're planning a 14-day self drive holiday in Southwest Australia this September. As we're bringing our little girl (who'll turn 16 months in Sep) on her first long holiday, we'll take it slow. Rough itinerary:

Day 1 Perth to Fremantle to spend the night (no long drive after the 'long' flight for our girl)

Day 2 Fremantle - Mandurah - Yalgorup National Park - Bunbury - Busselton

Day 3 Busselton - Dunsborough - Margaret River

Day 4-5 Margaret River Region

Day 6 Margaret River - Pemberton

Day 7 Pemberton - Walpole (Valley of the Giants)

Day 8 Walpole - Albany

Day 9 Albany

Day 10 Albany - Kojonup (farmstay)

Day 11 Kojonup - Boyup Brook (Harvey Dickson's Country Music Show)

Day 12 Boyup Brook - Donnybrook (Apple Fun Park) - Ferguson Valley (Gnomesville)

Day 13 Ferguson Valley - Harvey - Perth

Day 14 Early flight back to Singapore

Our plan is more or less confirmed except for the last few days. We're not sure whether it is worth doing the farmstay in Kojonup and also attending the country music show in Boyup Brook, as there isn't much information we can find. We very much like to immerse ourselves in the culture of the countries we visit, so other than choosing B&Bs for most of our lodging, other ways would be to do a farmstay and join a local festival.

Any comments from the experts here? Thanks!

Fremantle, Australia
Level Contributor
3,321 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Self Drive Hoilday - Southwest Australia in September

Sounds a lovely, leisurely trip and being September you should be able to see a range of wildflowers. Still a lot of driving so trust you are comfortable with that, though you are giving yourselves plenty of time. Could be a range of weather conditions, but still great to be out and about.

Day 2- would suggest spending morning in Fremantle then even consider heading straight to Busselton. Mandurah and Bunbury don't really grab me when you have such lovely spots further in your trip. You might find your little one falls fast sleep in the car (in her car seat) and you can make Busselton without a stop- or a short stop for a break.

Between Walpole and Denmark are you thinking about Tree Top Walk? Great but others might know whether any good with toddler in tow. Heading to Albany stop off at William Bay as beautiful and of course Denmark.

You won't have long in Albany- I would suggest Middleton Beach and pop your daughter in a stroller and walk around the boardwalk at Ellen Cove (Middleton Beach). You might be lucky and see whales! My family down there are now seeing whales in King George's Sound, which is a bit early for the migration. Sometimes I have seen them in September/October so you never know. Another favourite spot and great for toddlers is Emu Point. A nice cafe there as well.

Sorry, don't know anything about the Country music festival. If you choose to go you would have to book accommodation ahead. Kojonup is a top farming district and nice small farming town, but again no personal experience of accommodation.

A lot of people on this forum love the Balingup and Nannup area ( must get back there myself). So could be a possibility to do Margaret River, then that section, Pemberton and so on.

If short of time then drop off Boyup Brook etc. -as pleasant as those areas are, you could easily spend 3 nights in Albany which IMO is a nicer area. Always good to stay put for a couple of days as well.

That would mean Kojonup to Perth straight drive is quite achievable on the Albany hwy without heading inland. Just a thought.

Happy planning-sure you will get plenty of great suggestions!

Edited: 15 June 2013, 16:44
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
330 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Self Drive Hoilday - Southwest Australia in September

Thanks for all the suggestions and advice. All noted. My husband and I have spent a week in Perth and have been to Fremantle a couple of times, so it'll just be an afternoon and night stop to let our toddler rest after the flight.

The total drive time to Busselton is quite long for our toddler who is not used to long distances in the car (being from a small country Singapore), so we thought of having many rest stops in between. She's usually very fussy during car rides and doesn't like to sleep much when out and about. But it really depends on how she takes the ride there! I would definitely prefer to spend more time in Busselton! So if she's ok, we'll drive for longer distances before stopping :)

We're definitely doing the tree top walk, Valley of the Giants! And I'm also considering taking the route via Nannup and Manjimup from Margaret River to Pemberton.

We're still in the initial planning stage, nothing has been booked yet except for air tickets and car rental, so all suggestions are welcome! TIA!

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
330 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Self Drive Hoilday - Southwest Australia in September

Made some adjustments to our plan... Will give the country music show a miss but still pass by Boyup Brook.

Day 1 Perth to Fremantle to spend the night (no long drive after the 'long' flight for our girl)

Day 2 Fremantle - Mandurah - Yalgorup National Park (picnic lunch) - Bunbury (just a pit stop) - Busselton

Day 3 Busselton - Dunsborough - Margaret River

Day 4-5 Margaret River Region

Day 6 Margaret River - Nannup - Balingup - Pemberton

Day 7 Pemberton - Walpole (Valley of the Giants)

Day 8 Walpole - Albany

Day 9-10 Albany

Day 11 Albany - Kojonup (farmstay)

Day 12 Kojonup - Boyup Brook - Donnybrook (Apple Fun Park) - Ferguson Valley (Gnomesville)

Day 13 Ferguson Valley - Harvey - Perth

Day 14 Early flight back to Singapore

A J
Subiaco, Australia
Destination Expert
for Perth, Margaret River
Level Contributor
2,821 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Self Drive Hoilday - Southwest Australia in September

Very well spaced tour of the southwest. Good to see a visitor detoring through the Blackwood Valley (Nannup, Balingup, Bridgetown, Manjimup) as this area is often overlooked but IMO a must-do drive. Some of the roads in this region are quite winding particulary the Nannup/Balingup stretch so take your time and enjoy the scenery (but watch the road too!) Take leg stretches in each town and check out some of the wonderful cafes and antique type shops. Just before Balingup township on the left side of the road and just after where the speed limit drops to 60km/h is the Old Cheese Factory now an art gallery/antique shop that can take hours to explore (if you're into that kind of thing)

Gnomesville !! LOL. Just recently appearing on itineraries but can be difficult to locate. Bring your own gnome and add it to the thousands that others have left :))

Edited: 16 June 2013, 09:30
Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Perth, Antarctic Adventures
Level Contributor
14,451 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Self Drive Hoilday - Southwest Australia in September

The music festival at Boyup Brook would be fun and a different thing to experience. Loads of info here

http://www.countrymusicwa.com.au

6. Re: Self Drive Hoilday - Southwest Australia in September

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 18 June 2014, 05:17