Adventure and fun in Australia in never complete without roadtrips around the country. Travelling down south from Western Australia is definitely one route not to miss if you want an escape from the buzzing city life into a calm and more relaxing lifestyle.
To help you get started, we've gathered a 4D3N Muslim-friendly itinerary for your road trip down south!
Here are some things to organise before embarking on the journey:
Car rental: Car rentals are generally cheap in Australia and there are even a couple of car rental booths in the Perth Airport arrival hall. Some car rental companies to check out would be Europcar, Avis, Thrifty, Budget and Hertz - make sure to reserve a car in advance if possible, especially if you're visiting during a busy tourist season! There are usually deposits held for renting a car in Australia. Hence, make sure you have a valid credit/debit card before reaching the booth.
Fuel: It is important to note that the further out the city, the fewer petrol stations there might be. It would be good to have a full tank at the start of the journey to avoid breaking down in the middle of nowhere. To help you budget for your trip, you can check fuel prices in Western Australia here.
Day 1: Perth to Esperance (720km, 7 hours)
Start your trip with a long drive to reach Esperance. As it can be quite taxing, remember to take a short 15 minutes break every 2 hours or so at little towns along the way to prevent lethargy and backaches!
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Esperance is situated in the Goldfields-Esperance along the Southern Ocean coastline. That is right, you would expect to see a lot of beaches in the area! A MUST visit in Esperance would be the Cape Le Grand National Park. This area about 30-minutes east of Esperance by car is filled with beautiful beaches and granite mountains. Take the gentle 3 km hike up Frenchman Peak for some breathtaking views of the park.
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Then head down to Lucky Bay and if you are lucky enough, you might find kangaroos bouncing around on the beach. You can’t find it anywhere else, only in Australia!
#HHWT Tip: It is best to head back to town before the sun sets, so time your first leg of the journey carefully. Driving in the dark can be dangerous if you are not familiar with the dark and deserted road.
Day 2: Esperance to Albany (480km, 4-5 hours)
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Get up bright and early and enjoy the Australian sun in Esperance. If you have not had the chance to visit the original Stonehenge in the UK, there is a replica of the “Stonehenge” in town that you can see. Tickets cost AUD$10 for adults, AUD$5 for children and a family with 2 kids costs AUD$25. It is worth a visit especially during the sunrise on the 22nd of December and the sunset on 21st June, coinciding with the Summer and Winter Solstices. On those dates and times, the sun rays will align and shine through the Station Stones and Altar Stones - it is an incredible view not to be missed!
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After captivating the beauty of the Stonehenge, it is finally time to continue our journey. The next big and popular town we would head to would be Albany. Albany is a historical town for its role during World War 1, where it was the last port of call for troopships departing Australia. Hence, there are a few heritage buildings to be found in Albany.
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While in Albany, don’t forget to visit some natural landforms along the coast. These places are close to one another and are only 15-20 minutes drive apart. The view from the Salmon Holes will definitely take your breath away.
P.S. The Holes are notoriously known for sweeping visitors off the rocks when a huge wave comes along so be very careful and avoid walking on the rocks!
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The Gap is another natural fixture that's been renovated with a viewing deck that extends 10 metres off the cliff. Definitely not a view to be missed!
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Two Peoples Bay is a majestic beach for sun and surf. Enjoy the soft white sands on the beach.
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Finally, Wind Farm in Albany is an exceptional wind farm that is connected to the Albany electrical system. The turbines are one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and are designed to withstand strong winds that Albany experiences.
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Before the sun sets, head back to York Street, the main street in Albany’s City Centre. Indulge in halal Turkish Kebabs found on the main street for your dinner. As it is a small town, there are not many halal food options around. Alternatively, there is a supermarket nearby where you can get some food supplies and cook your own meal if your accommodation allows for it.
Day 3: Albany to Margaret River (350km, 3-4 hours drive)
The time has come to leave Albany and explore along the South Coast of Western Australia. Spend a night at Margaret River before heading back to Perth the next day. There are many places you can stop on your way to Margaret River.
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As you travel along the coast, stop by the Elephant Cove and be awed by this view.
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Spend some time at the Valley Of The Giants where you will be greeted by huge tall trees found in the region. You can also complete a tree top walk that lets you walk through the dense forest.
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Spend some time in Augusta to visit Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse is situated at the most South-westerly point of Australia. There is an entry fee if you wish to climb up the lighthouse. Otherwise, you can still enjoy the view of the tallest lighthouse in mainland Australia from afar. It's still magical and worth the visit. As you walk around the area of the lighthouse, there is signage to show where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean. It's pretty incredible to see how 2 seas meet but don’t mix with one another!
P.S. It is also a good location to spot whales between May and September ?
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For you adventure seekers, over 100 different caves lie beneath the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge. However, there are 3 caves you can explore as you continue your journey towards Margaret River. Jewel Cave lies 42 metres beneath and is the biggest show cave in the whole of Western Australia. It houses the longest stalactites found in any tourist cave in the State! It is definitely one not to miss but do remember to wear comfortable clothing as you'll be climbing hundreds of steps along the way.
#HHWT Tip: Despite being awed by all the natural landforms, remember to arrive at your hotel before it gets dark and rest up for your return to Perth the next day!
Day 4: Margaret River to Perth (270.5km, 3-3.5hrs drive)
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It is the final day of the amazing road trip! Spend some time and visit the alcohol-free Margaret River Chocolate Factory before you leave for some of their gooey, yummy products.
#HHWT tip: If you're short of time, you can always skip the chocolate factory as they have 2 branches in Perth itself ?
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Start the journey and begin your drive back towards Perth. Stop by the second longest jetty in the world, Busselton Jetty. It is a 50km away, a half an hour drive from Margaret River. Take an 1841-metre long walk on the jetty to take in the view, or you choose to take the Jetty train instead. Admission costs $4 to walk through jetty and additional cost would be charged if you take the Jetty Train. At the other end of the jetty, there is also an underwater observatory that you could explore. It is one of the 6 underwater observatories in the world.
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As you continue the journey back to Perth, stop by Mandurah Boat Harbour which is 1.5 hours away. You can try a once-in-a-lifetime experience of becoming a skipper on a boat, by renting a boat for an hour and navigating through the cove. You will pass by homes around the cove and if you are lucky, you might even spot some dolphins in the water! Afterwards, indulge in the best Fish & Chips in Western Australia at Cicerello’s.
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For some dessert before you leave Mandurah, walk around the town centre and stop by for desserts at San Churros Chocolateria. It is one of the most popular dessert places around Australia! They have vegan-friendly options on the menu in case you are wondering!
After soaking in the sun and views at the cove, it is time to drive back towards Perth City. There are plenty of Halal food options around the city area if you are looking for dinner. There is also a famous ribs and biryani halal shop, Charcoal Chicken Express, 20 minutes away from the city. Charcoal Chicken Express is located in the suburb of Dianella.
That ends a memorable 4 days of road tripping around the Southern region of Western Australia. Hopefully the breathtaking views make it an unforgettable journey!