Top 10 natural attractions to explore in WA's southwest

Last Updated: 24 Aug 2023
Localista Team

It may be winter here in WA but that doesn’t mean you have to spend the next few months in hibernation. Whilst it might be tempting to migrate north towards warmth, the grass is – literally – greener down south! The South West is a region of diverse and vibrant beauty, rich with picturesque natural treasures. From gigantic ancient forests to tranquil inland waterfalls, there is plenty for you to discover and enjoy this winter. Check out our top picks below and be lured from your sofa!

WA's South West is a region of diverse and vibrant beauty, rich with picturesque natural attractions. From gigantic ancient forests to tranquil inland waterfalls, there is plenty for you to discover and enjoy. Check out our top picks below to start dreaming of your next road trip!
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Boranup Forest

Towering over 60m, the imposing and grand Karri trees of the Boranup Karri Forest are truly a sight to behold! Bring a picnic and explore the forest’s lush ground cover, or spread your adventure further afield with a road-trip along the Boranup Forest Drive. Be sure to head over to the Boranup Lookout for a panoramic view of the forest canopy and the Cape Leeuwin area.

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Elephant Rocks & Cove

Nestled in the William Bay National Park, Elephant Cove is a stunning oasis famous for its elephant-shaped boulders that gaze out upon the Southern Ocean. The rocks offer a partial shelter from the ocean’s swell to form a beautiful natural swimming area. The lookout provides an excellent vantage point for absorbing the stunning views, and as an added bonus, the gorgeous Greens Pool is just a short walk away.

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Valley of the Giants

Overlooking the Walpole-Nornalup National Park, the iconic Valley of the Giants is home to a towering forest of majestic red tingle trees. Immerse yourself in the verdant canopy through the Tree Top Walk – a lightweight (but secure!) suspension bridge that rises 40m over the ground. Below the boardwalk, a grove of imposing 400-year-old giant tingle trees dominates the landscape, providing the perfect environment to ponder the meaning of life.

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Fitzgerald River National Park

Located on the southern coast near Bremer Bay, the Fitzgerald River National Park is a botanical wonderland known for its rugged coastal scenery. This national treasure is home to over 20% of WA native flora species and has the mark of untarnished biodiversity. Here you can adventure through the park’s water bays and inlets or watch as the southern right whales arrive into Point Ann from July to November of each year.

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Jewel Cave

Brimming with crystal formations thousands of years old, Jewel Cave in Augusta is a spectacular display of graceful ageing. The biggest of its kind in WA, the cave boasts the longest stalactite straw of any tourist cave in the country. Guided tours run daily showcasing the cave’s three staggering chambers, as well as a detailed account of its long natural history.

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Quinninup Falls

Tucked away on the Cape to Cape hiking trail, the Quinninup Falls in Wilyabrup is a jewel in the crown of the Margaret River Region. The 10m waterfall is a breathtaking sanctuary, encompassed by granite cliffs and greenery. The hour-long scenic hike is sure to get your blood pumping. Starting at Moses Rock Road, it winds through majestic sand dunes and forest trails. Plus, if you head down in Spring, you might see the beautiful Exotic Spider orchids, found exclusively in this part of the world.

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Honeymoon Pool

Just two hours south of Perth you’ll find Collie’s Honeymoon Pool, a popular picnic, swimming and camping spot nestled in the Wellington National Park. Spend the day swimming and canoeing below the overhanging Peppermint trees along the banks of the Collie River. If you’re looking for somewhere to camp there are 20 individual campsites spread out across the shaded forest.

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Sugarloaf Rock

Soaring out of the ocean at over 50 meters high, Sugarloaf Rock is one of the region’s most breathtaking coastal landforms. The coastline surrounding Sugarloaf is great for hiking as the Cape to Cape hiking track runs past it. Admire the beautiful bays and surf on one side and the native coastal bush and wildlife on the other.

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Lake Cave

Deep beneath the earth, you’ll find Lake Cave, an impressive chamber of tranquil lakes and crystal formations. The cave is the most ‘actively dripping’ cave in the region and the only cave with a permanent lake. Entry into the cave is breathtaking as you descend the staircase through a sinkhole with karri trees towering over you from the surrounding forest.

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The Gap and Natural Bridge

Stand on a viewing platform 40 metres above the surging seas and appreciate the outstanding views of the Southern Ocean and the coast from Bald Head to West Cape Howe. For the best views, a pathway leads you from the carpark and picnic area across the top of the granite ramparts to reach the viewing platform at the Gap.

Image credits; Feature - Valley of the Giants; Quinninup Falls: Christian Bishop via The Margaret River Region (FB); Boranup Karri Forest: Tourism WA; Jewel Cave: Tim Campbell Photo; Elephant Rocks: Parks and Wildlife Service, Western Australia (Facebook); & Fitzgerald River National Park: Parks and Wildlife Service, Western Australia (Facebook).

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