Western Australia - south coast
Below is a list of all the pages on this website which are concerned with places on and near the south coast of Western Australia (from the Walpole region eastwards). See map at bottom of page for locations.
The name suggests a round body of water ... but Circular Pool near Walpole is more than that. A long section of whitewater river flows into it, with cascades, smaller pools, and swirling patterns formed from the natural foam. All set to a scenic backdrop of native forest. It is on the local list of things to see, and rightly so.
Much of the coastline around Walpole in Western Australia's south is gorgeously rugged, but difficult to get to. One of the few beaches in the area accessible to normal two-wheel-drive vehicles is Conspicuous Beach. As an example of the state's wild and isolated coastal splendour it is hard to beat.
Having visited Elephant Rocks in New Zealand, I was keen to also check out Elephant Rocks in Western Australia to compare them, and see which ones look most like elephants.
Fernhook Falls is more a series of cascades than a single waterfall, and is a lovely spot to visit in the rainy season. In a remote patch of native forest, the Deep River tumbles over rocks through a number of lush pools, providing a scenic side trip for those travelling between Manjimup and Walpole.
“Stop and smell the roses (or flowers)” - an old piece of wisdom, urging us to pause and appreciate the beauty all around us. It may be wise, but can be easily forgotten when travelling. So much to see, and so little time! On a climb up Frenchman's Peak in Western Australia I took the old saying literally, and was very impressed with what I saw ... once I stopped long enough to really see it.
On a long road trip it can be easy to just keep driving past small historic sites that appear unexpectedly. The Kukenarup memorial, near Ravensthorpe in WA, is a good example of why it can be worth making the time to stop. It combines the sad and the positive in a memorial which is unique in Australia.
If you're a birdwatcher and you're in Albany, Lake Seppings is the place to go for sightings of hoary headed grebes or spotless crakes. For anyone else, the lake is a pleasant spot for a walk along the 2.7km path which encircles it. The sights and sounds of native birds in a wetland habitat can be enjoyed by anyone, even those with no idea what a yellow-billed spoonbill looks like.
Anyone visiting Esperance in Western Australia would know of Lucky Bay - one of the more popular highlights of a stunning stretch of coast. The access point is at the west end of the bay, but not all visitors get to experience the different landscapes and ambience at the far east end. The lure of a slightly less travelled path compelled me to go and have a look.
If wild and pristine coastline tickles your fancy, the south-western coast of Western Australia has much to offer. Between Walpole and Augusta lies nearly 200km of unpopulated and undeveloped coastline ... the only catch is that most of it is accessible only by four wheel drive, or on foot. Even then, access is very limited. Fortunately, two points on this remote stretch can be reached by normal car - one of them is the ruggedly handsome Mandalay Beach.
Western Australia's south coast has some beautiful beaches, and Misery Beach is one of my favourites despite its completely inappropriate name.
Mt Frankland is a granite dome looming large over the forest north of Walpole in Western Australia. At 411m above sea level it is not big even by Australian standards, but it is enough for some great views over vast tracts of barely disturbed karri and jarrah forest. It is also accessible to anyone able to walk up a steep path with lots of steps.
Back in the old days before the Bibbulmun Track, one of the main south coast walks near Walpole was the Nuyts wilderness track. With the Bibbulmun now getting most attention, the Nuyts track has become less used and overgrown, in keeping with its wilderness status. For anyone prepared for a little scrub bashing and happy to look out for snakes, this track is a rewarding way to access secluded coves and some awesome coastline on a long day-walk.
Cold, wet, miserable ... words used by some people to express their reluctance to visit Western Australia's south coast in winter. But is it really that bad? I don’t think so. With words and pictures I illustrate some of the positive things about winter on the WA south coast.
The Stirling Range in the south of WA is an impressive collection of mountains rising abruptly from the surrounding flatness. It can be visited in day trips from Albany, or smaller towns within an hour drive. But to really soak in the environment I can recommend staying at the Stirling Range Retreat, near the highest peak in southern WA.
When I first visited the Esperance area of Western Australia in the 1990s, I thought Thistle Cove was close to perfection. That is, if you like charming secluded bays with gorgeous beaches and picturesque rocky backdrops. All unspoiled by humans. I returned more recently for a closer look, to see if it really is as lovely as I remembered it.
Fancy an interpretive eco-cruise into the Walpole wilderness area and marine park? That's how the brochure describes this small boat trip in one of the most unspoiled inlets on the Australian coast, and it really is a beauty. The guide is pretty amazing too.
Albany on the WA south coast is known for its gorgeous coastline, but many of its beaches are exposed to boisterous seas and winds. One beach which is reasonably sheltered and safe in the right conditions is Whaling Cove - its scenery and views across one of the world’s great natural harbours put it among my favourites.
The coastal wind farm near Albany attracts visitors; mainly to view the turbines. If you time your visit right, it can also be an excellent spot to view and photograph the sunset over a great stretch of unspoiled coastline.
Location map - WA south coast
The symbols on this map mark the locations of places I've written about.
- Clicking on a symbol makes a label pop up
- Each label contains a link to my web page about that place