Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Why you should visit WA’s Great Southern region
Planning your next West Australian holiday?
For too long, WA’s Great Southern region has been overlooked. It has something for everyone — history buffs, nature-lovers, adventurers, and food and wine enthusiasts alike.
The coastal towns of Walpole, Denmark and Albany are reasonably close to each other — no more than a 90-minute drive — but with so much crammed into that space there are weeks worth of unique and exciting things to see and do.
We break down the must-sees of each town:
Tucked behind two picturesque inlets and home to giant karri and tingle forests, is Walpole. The first stop on the itinerary should be a visit to the famed Giant Tingle Tree, which is just a short drive from the town centre. Sightseers have easy access via a paved road and a pleasant 800-metre walk to the hollowed-out tingle. While already impressive enough, it is also thought to be the largest living eucalypt (by girth) in the world.
From here it is a short drive to the popular yet still tranquil Valley of the Giants. The trees in this forest can be up to 400 years old and soar up to 40 metres in height. For a unique bird’s eye view over the landscape, the popular treetop walk will have you ambling along at canopy height.
Our beautiful Walpole property, Chirriger on Inlet, is only a 15-minute drive from the treetop walk. With multiple living areas across two floors, the home is perfect for couples and groups alike.
Denmark boasts many gorgeous natural attractions, including the widely “instagrammed” Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks. Greens Pool is a pretty beach with clean white sand and calm blue waters — perennially so, thanks to the large rocks that shield it from the wilds of the ocean. Leap from boulder to boulder, sun yourself on top or swim the hidden nooks and crannies between them. And just around the corner, within walking distance, is the spot known as Elephant Rocks. Resembling a herd of elephants, this large collection of ancient boulders can be accessed easily by foot and there is a staircase that will take you down into the beach itself, Elephant Cove.
Our property, Woodstock, sits half way between Elephant Rocks and the Denmark township. Sleeping seven, and with three bathrooms, the house is particularly popular with families. The home has both views to the ocean, and tranquil forest surrounds, so is as relaxing as it is convenient.
Other notable attractions in the area include the scenic Southern End restaurant and the Denmark Animal Farm and Pentland Alpaca Stud. The latter is a family-friendly excursion, where you can get up close and personal with the resident animals. The sociable alpacas will happily follow visitors for food (the farm will provide food suitable for the animals) and you can cuddle a kangaroo joey while you’re there, too.
Blessed with world-class natural attractions, magnificent views, and of historical and cultural note, Albany should be on every traveller’s bucket list. Hugging the hills surrounding the impressive King George Sound, the town itself is charming and cosy. Further down towards the coast you’ll find the renowned The Gap and Natural Bridge, which has a newly-built walkway that juts out over the ocean. The Blowholes and the picturesque Goode Beach are a stone’s throw away from here. Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, with the postcard-worthy Little Beach, is slightly farther along but worth the visit. If you are going to see the Blowholes close-up, make sure you take decent walking shoes as the area can be slippery and windy and there aren’t many guardrails.
For history buffs, ANZAC Day commemorations are of great importance here. And with good reason. This is the port where 40,000 servicemen and women departed our shores for Gallipoli. The city also has links to the original “dawn service” in 1930, now commemorated annually on April 25. Some of the must-see attractions include the National Anzac Centre, the Princess Royal Fortress and the Padre White Lookout. From 2014 to 2018 are of particular significance, as this is the hundredth anniversary of World War I.
Of course, we can’t talk about Albany without mentioning one of our most impressive properties, Breaksea. With truly spectacular views across Frenchman’s Bay, staying at Breaksea means you’re constantly experiencing the stunning natural landscapes this beautiful region has to offer.
Special Regional Mention:
From 23 March through to 9 April 2017 foodies will descend on the area for the Taste Great Southern Festival. From Denmark to Albany, up to Mount Barker and Porongurup, this will be a fortnight of food, wine, coffee and happy stomachs. A number of renowned Perth chefs, including David Coomer and Russell Blaikie, plus celebrity favourites The Living Room’s Miguel Maestre and My Kitchen Rules’ Colin Fassnidge will be on site, delivering world-class fare.
There are too many individual events to mention here, but notable ones include the Albany Food & Wine Festival, Graze Mount Barker, garden parties, helicopter picnics, and whiskey and coffee master classes. The two-week event will no doubt be popular, so make sure you book your tickets ahead of time.
Why not plan your next short break in WA’s beautiful Great Southern region? Private Properties offers several luxurious homes in the area.
Complete a booking enquiry today to find out more.
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