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insider Great Southern
LOcAL TIP | Top five things to do
Having spent more than 20 years
on their Mt Barker estate, the team
at Poacher’s Ridge Vineyard know
the Great Southern like the back of
their collective hands. Here, they
bring us their five favourite things
to do in the region.
1. Swimming Splashing about in the
beautiful clear and calm waters of
William Bay in summer.
2. Hiking When up Bluff Knoll and
walking through the Stirling
Range, the view is different each
time of the year but it’s always
guaranteed to be stunning.
3. Taking in views Taking a drive
up to Mt Clarence in Albany and
enjoying the view overlooking
Princess Royal Harbour and
King George Sound.
4. Flower-spotting Visiting the
Albany Wind Farm in spring
when all the wildflowers are out
– it’s breathtaking.
5. Driving Jumping in the car and
heading out through the Valley of
the Giant’s tingle and karri trees
it’s absolutely exquisite natural
beauty on the trip to Denmark
Best way to see the region? It’s
all about the roads and air space.
By car From Perth, the heart
of the Great Southern region is
a cruisy 4.5 -hour drive south
along Albany Highway. There
aren’t too many pitstops, so
make sure you’re well-fuelled.
But, if you do need to replenish,
there’s Kojonup just 2.5 hours
south for a decent bakery feed.
By coach TransWA coaches
depart the East Perth terminal
daily to travel to Albany via
Kojonup, Bunbury or Northam
(for timetables, visit www.
transwa.wa.gov.au). Local bus
services around town are fairly
accessible and can get you
to many of the main natural
attractions, but if you’re keen
to travel between other towns
in the region, you might need to
hire a car or join a coach tour.
By plane Skywest Airlines flies
three times daily from the Perth
domestic terminal to Albany
airport. The flight lasts one
hour and is the quickest way of
travelling to Albany from Perth
(for timetables, visit www.
Head south along Albany Highway
and take a rest stop at Kojonup
where you can meander through
the Rose Maze (home to more than
100 Australian varieties). If you’re
there from September 24 to 29,
enjoy the town’s wildflower
festival display and bushwalks.
Drive through the heart of the
Stirling Range National
Park, climb Bluff Knoll or
some of the other
walking trails and take in
the spectacular blanket of
some 1500 species of
wildflowers. Then, stop
overnight at Mt Barker or
the Porongurups. In the
morning, visit the
Banksia Farm – the only
place in Australia that
grows every species of
banksia. Make your way
to the historic town of
Albany for two nights and, in that
time, visit Torndirrup National
Park, the Albany Wind Farm
(where you can see spring flowers
in bloom underneath the tall wind
turbines) and Two
Peoples Bay Nature
Reserve. You might
also consider a daytrip
out to Bremer Bay where
a wildflower haven
awaits in Fitzgerald River
National Park. Go west of
Albany to Denmark and
make your way to the Wildflower
Farm before visiting the Valley of
the Giants. Stay overnight in
Denmark and delight in the
farm-gate produce against a
backdrop of flowers. Enjoy a
scrumptious breakfast in town
before continuing north-east to
Muirs Highway and, if time
permits, detour via Rocky Gully-
Frankland Road to see the delicate
native orchids in the Frankland
River Wine Region before you head
back through Kojonup and make
your way home.
keen to see as many different wildflowers as possible in an extended
weekend stay? well, be sure to follow this four-day journey planner
through the Great southern wildflower hotspots.
Princess Royal Harbour, Albany, is
a picture of tranquillity that stands
out in an already beautiful region.
PLUS Where to stop... there is
so much to do, from fishing,
swimming, whale watching,
canoeing, wine tasting and
dining, to soaking up the history.
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