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Great Southern insider
This is the region where forests, farms and
seascapes collide in a dramatic tribute
to the power of mother Nature. Head
there during the winter when the creeks
and rivers are full, or visit in September
to October for the wildflowers.
eNJoy... ancient rock formations,
large stretches of agriculture, waters
rich in sea life and sand that looks as
white as snow.
Region size: 38,917sqkm
Distance from Perth: 359 km
• Walpole is the home to an
awe-inspiring 600m tree-top walk
• Banksia Farm in Mt Barker features all
77 species of banksia in Australia, as
well as 96 species of dryandra.
• The Lockie Leonard TV series
was filmed in Albany.
• The Great Southern has two
animal-shaped rocks: Dog Rock in
Albany and Elephant Rock
• Bay whaling started in King George
Sound in 1835.
CliMate With wet winters and
dry summers, the months from
July to August are the best for
The undulating hills, winding
vineyards and towering karri
forests of the Great Southern region
are intensely beautiful from winter
to spring, not only because the
wildflowers are in bloom, but also
because there’s a lushness in the
fields and the mountain ranges,
too. Drives between towns are
softened by expanses of canola
in bloom, and in early winter
you can see snow forming on the
peak of Bluff Knoll. From May
to October, the humpback and
southern right whales grace the
southern coast shoreline, with
some of the best viewing spots in
Albany and Denmark. In November
and December, many of the berry
and fruit orchards throughout the
region start to bloom. While it can
get very cold through the towns
in the middle of the year, it’s
important to remember much of the
accommodation is built specifically
for the winter, so you can enjoy the
warmth of log fires and spacious,
thermal interiors while taking in
the coastal and forest views. For
advanced board and windsurfers,
June to August sees great conditions
along the Albany to Denmark coast.
And the best time to hike through
the Porongurups and Stirling Range
amid the lovely wildflowers is
September to November.
The Gap in
Torndirrup National Park.
THINGS TO DO
Great Southern | July to December 2010.
REASONS TO GO
At the heart of the Great Southern is
Albany, a 4.5-hour drive south of Perth
(or less than an hour by plane). It’s a
town rich in colonial history, with ship
replicas, museums and heritage trails
paying homage to its early settlement.
As well as harbouring some of the State’s
best whale-watching spots, Albany
also boasts some stunning natural sites
(don’t miss the Blow Holes, The Gap,
middleton Beach and mt clarence).
About 40km north of Albany is one of
the world’s oldest mountain ranges –
the Porongurups, said to be more than
1000 million years old. Just 15km west
is mt Barker where there’s chalet and
cottage-style accommodation, plus art
studios and wineries. Nearby, frankland
River Valley astounds, with rolling hills,
vineyards, lakes and natural bushland.
Just 55km west of Albany is Denmark
(with Walpole further west), where forest
meets sea. The dramatic Southern
Ocean coastline boasts magnificent
beaches, rock pools and headlands, not
to mention whales and sea lions in
season. Denmark is undoubtedly the
most popular town in the region,
renowned for its commanding Valley of
the Giants, where a multi-award-winning
tree-top walk floats through the karris.
JuN Jul auG sep oCt Nov
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