The Southwest, Western Australia
Uncrowded beaches sinking into the beautiful Indian Ocean, immense trees you can walk amongst, myriad day walks and mountain bike trails, and the chance to spot whales (in season) make WA’s southwest region a favourite adventure escape.
Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park is a brilliant marine-based weekend destination, with diving, surfing and paddling (sea kayaks, SUP or ocean skis) some of the popular activities. The neighbouring cave systems along the spine of the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge – Lake, Mammoth and Jewel Caves – provide an easy way into caving, with the aptly named Mammoth Cave well worth exploring.
For hikers, you have two of the most famous respective long-distance tracks in Australia to experience. The immense Bibbulmun Track (965km) starts in southern Perth, and winds its way down the WA coastline, with plenty of access points for day walks in the southwest region. The other big track is the slightly shorter (175km) Cape to Cape Walk, which starts at the historic Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and finishes at Cape Leeuwin, also with plenty of day-walk options along its length.
For cyclists, the big one is the Munda Biddi Trail. This is a 1000km epic that takes three weeks-plus to complete from end to end but is also ideally suited to day rides. The mix of flat terrain and 4WD-based tracks make bike-bound family day rides or overnighters (there are camp shelters spaced a day apart on the track) a no-brainer. Then, it’s off to the beach