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Please help with our plans!

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Please help with our plans!

Hi

We are two reasonably fit and young-at-heart seniors heading to WA from England next February (I know its going to be hot!). We will spend a few days in Perth and then pick up a hire car to discover the south-west region of WA. We enjoy nice scenery and the pictures all look really lovely.

We plan to drive down through Bunbury and stop at the Dolphin Discovery Centre, then continue on to Busselton to walk the jetty and maybe see Cape Naturaliste if time permits before staying the night in either Dunsborough or Busselton. The next day we want to go to Yallingup to visit the aboriginal centre in the morning and then head to Margaret River for lunch. After that, we thought a trip down to Cape Leeuwin would be good before backtracking a little to head to Nannup for that night.

The next day we want to drive up to Balingup and down through Bridgetown to Manjimup and head to Pemberton for the night. Will we have driven through the Blackwood River Valley?

Is this part of our plan doable and sensible? Will we need two nights in Pemberton, is there much to see around that area? From there, we thought we would head to Denmark and Albany but haven't got beyond Nannup at the moment and would appreciate some help and advice please. Its hard planning without knowing how far or how long it is between these places and we don't want to be rushing about and unable to appreciate the scenery.

Thanks!

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1. Re: Please help with our plans!

I will leave it to others to comment on your plans for the Margaret River region and take on your itinerary from Pemberton.

Re spending time in Pemberton, Mel, a regular on this forum, provided a lovely trip report on the area which I am sure you will find helpful:

tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g255101-i530-k7…

How long do you intend to spend on this trip? It would be very easy to take 2 weeks but even 10 days could give you a fairly leisurely itinerary. Fortunately in February the school holidays are over so won't be too difficult finding accommodation. It won't be quite as hot in the South West area as it is in Perth so pack a light weight zip fleece as can get a bit nippy at night.

After Pemberton head to Walpole. If you wanted you could spend a night or two there- or perhaps Denmark instead-depends what accommodation you are after. Walpole is a wonderful wilderness area and if you are interested in some easy (or strenuous) walks then parts of the Bibbulmun Track are fantastic. Day walks are on this web site:

https://www.bibbulmuntrack.org.au/

Other activities in Walpole include the Mt Frankland area (new lookout ), Conspicuous Cliffs, Giant Tingle trees, Peaceful Bay (yum fish and chips) and going on the highly rated eco cruise (on my list of things to do in the area).

http://www.wowwilderness.com.au/WOW/Home.html

http://www.rainbowcoast.com.au/

A short way from Walpole on the way to Denmark you will find the Tree Top Walk-one of WA's popular tourist attractions.

As you proceed on from the Tree Top Walk suggest you head into William Bay National Park for a beautiful beach. Then the drive along Scotsdale Rd is recommended as a pretty drive with great wineries and foodie places. Denmark is a lovely small town.

http://www.denmarkwa.asn.au/

Drive into Albany via the Lower Denmark Rd ( more scenic). Before the turn off you might enjoy calling into a great wood place: www.southcoastwoodworks.com.au/Home.html

Along the road from Albany to Denmark are lots of wonderful beaches eg Shelley Beach lookout and Mutton Bird Island.

So to Albany. You could easily spend say 3 days there are still not see everything.

My favourites:

Walk around boardwalk from Ellen Cove even to Ataturk Monument,

Wind Farm-stunning vista and walk a bit heading to Denmark (BTW always take water even for shorter hikes-obviously sunscreen, hat and sun glasses-many a time have got sunburnt on the South Coast as doesn't seem as hot as Perth).

Hang out at Emu Point (lovely cafe) and Middleton Beach

Whaleworld (note re-opening in October just up the hill from Whaleworld is a terrific small botanic park and native animal sanctuary) then all the other places around the area-Frenchman's Bay, Gap/Natural Bridge, Salmon Holes etc.

Two People's Bay (including Little Beach) and Nanarup on the way.

The ANZAC heritage area at Mt Clarence/Mt Adelaide

Day trip to Porongorup National Park and even Stirling Range National Park

Weekend Farmer's markets if you are around

http://www.amazingalbany.com.au/

All these places have wonderful wineries, cafes, micro breweries and produce to enjoy.

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2. Re: Please help with our plans!

Eyepye-7 your plan looks OK but could I suggest you have a look at the Stirling ranges for some very good walks, Bluff Knoll and several other peaks offer excellent walking trails and great scenic views. This could be done on the way back to Perth from Albany.

I would miss the jetty walk in Busselton and go straight to Cape Naturaliste but turn into bunkers bay road and take the walk trail from the car park (Walking West along the coast), from here you should see some seals on the rocks about 2 kms into the walk. There are a couple of lookouts along the way used for whale watching. Head back to Busselton in the evening for a stroll on the jetty and a meal.

I think one night in Pemberton will be enough and you are not rushing things so will get time to drop into wineries, craft shops and more.

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3. Re: Please help with our plans!

Hello Eyepye-7.

You have already had some excellent advice but may I add make sure your car is air conditioned and that you have a swim in the beautiful blue ocean ! Also take plenty of stops along the way, you don't want to drive fatigued. Also you will have plenty of photo opportunities .

Perhaps plan a overnight stay in Yallingup, then Margaret River and another night in Augusta. There is really so much to see and do and most people when they come here wished they had planned a longer stay !

Enjoy !!

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4. Re: Please help with our plans!

The drive between Nannup & Balingup is along the Blackwood River Valley. Pretty drive (about 40 mins) even though there won't be much water in the river in FEB.

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5. Re: Please help with our plans!

Thank you all so much for your help and guidance. We are about to check out all those links that Jean has kindly given us, so much great info there. We will have 7 or 8 days to spend in the area and with so much to see and do, we have to plan quite carefully to make the best of our trip. We will be on a pretty tight budget so were thinking of staying in some of those chalets they seem to have on the campsites. As long as linen and towels are provided, we can buy a coolbox and do our own breakfasts and packed lunches.

We think we shall just spend one night in Pemberton as Pete suggests and add the other night onto plans for Albany. Thanks to Numbat too, we know now that we're on the right route.

TA folk are always very helpful, so thanks again. I may well be back with more questions! :)

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6. Re: Please help with our plans!

Hi Eyepye-7,

I wouldn't waste my time at Margaret River, we were so disappointed in the township itself.

The outskirts of Margaret River are the better drives visiting the many wineries (that's if you like wine!).

On another note, if you are staying in campgrounds in the cabins, all linen should be inclusive in the cost.

Enjoy WA and we hope that you visit these extroadinary places on your return; such as, Geraldton, Kalbarri, Carnarvon, Coral Bay, Exmouth, Tom Price, Broome etc etc - these are exceptional sights to see.

CH

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7. Re: Please help with our plans!

Okay, so our plans are progressing thanks to you kind folk here on TA, so now I have a few more questions to ask please -

1 How far is it to drive in miles (or kms) and time between Augusta and Nannup?

2 We would like to drive to the Swan River Valley rather than taking a cruise from Perth. Any suggested routes or things we shouldn't miss please?

3 If we want to drive north from Perth, how far would be comfortable in one day and where is a good place to visit? We could maybe finish up at Cottesloe Beach to watch the sunset.

4 Is it best to visit Freemantle on a Friday or Saturday? I know the markets are on Saturdays but would that mean its very crowded. We also have to bear in mind that we shall be flying out of Perth the following morning and would need to pack on Saturday (though we could always do that any time really).

I'm probably on the wrong forum here to ask my questions other than Q.1, but I'm hoping you guys can help me with all my queries.

Thanks!

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8. Re: Please help with our plans!

1. Google Maps can answer that for you. It offers both modes of information.

2. Swan Valley is about 30 minutes from Perth CBD through the suburbs. It's essentially an outer suburb of Perth, so there isn't really a lot along the way IMO to stop to see.

3. Do you mean, drive north and return to Perth in the same day? (Because Cottesloe Beach is part of the greater Perth area.) Maybe Yanchep National Park... or if you don't mind a longer day, the Pinnacles at Cervantes, which would involve about 2 1/2 hours' drive there and then 2 1/2 hours back.

4. Well yes, Freo does get fairly crowded on a weekend so if you don't care for crowds then possibly Friday would suit you better. The Markets will be open in the evening on Friday.

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9. Re: Please help with our plans!

Hi YorkFoodie and thanks for getting back to me. I realised that I could obtain the answer to my first question just as soon as I posted it, duh!!

I thought I read somewhere on TA a while ago something about the Swan River Valley area and places to visit, but now I can't find it, hence my question.

And, yes, I did mean to drive north and return to Perth the same day. Will look into the two suggestions you have made so thanks for that.

If the markets are open on Friday evening, I think we might go for the day on Friday and stay on into the evening. We didn't realise that the markets would be open then.

I have reposted some of my questions on the WA travel forum in case someone can come up with more ideas, particularly for the Swan River Valley trip.

Many thanks for your help, very much appreciated!

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10. Re: Please help with our plans!

Here's a link to the Swan Valley Tourism website (please note, it's just "Swan Valley", not "Swan _River_ Valley"):

http://www.swanvalley.com.au/Home

There is lots of info on things to see and do in the Swan Valley. You could give wineries a miss if you're going to MR, but there are many more things there than wineries. Sorry, I thought you meant , things to see and do on the way to the Swan Valley.