Published: Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Just a 3-hour drive from Perth, Margaret River is an undoubtedly beautiful destination, and it's one of Western Australia's favourite spots for a good reason! But what about all the interesting places you could be taking in along the way? There's plenty to see, so make sure you don't miss out!

Luckily we've got all the details about where to visit on your Margaret River road trip from Perth, so check out our list of destinations and tips below.


Driving from Perth to Margaret River


Cappuccino strip Fremantle

Cappuccino Strip in Fremantle, Western Australia.

Along your trip, it's worth stopping off at this little port town in Western Australia, known as Fremantle. Only a half-hour drive from Perth, the cosy and historic town of Fremantle is a sight to see with its streets full of restaurants, museums and more.

South Terrace, in particular, is commonly known as Cappuccino Strip for its famous selection of cafés, bars and restaurants. It's the perfect spot for wine lovers and café-hoppers alike!


Penguin Island

Cute little penguin at Penguin Island, south west of Perth.

Just 45 minutes south of Perth, making it an easy drive, the next place we recommend you stop at is Penguin Island.

The rescue centre is located in Shoalwater Marine Park, and with it being just a short ferry ride away, you could happily spend a few hours observing the wildlife before getting back on your road trip.


Lake Clifton Thrombolites

Lake Clifton Thrombolites, also known as 'Living Rocks' in Western Australia.

The Lake Clifton Thrombolites, also known as living rocks, is another great stop-off point on the way to Margaret River. These curious structures are a great sight to see for the kids, especially because they can double as mini science lessons!

No one really knows why the Thrombolites are there, but scientists have used these to understand some of the earliest forms of life on Earth.

How cool would it be to see that in person?


Bunbury

View over the town of Bunbury in Western Australia's south west.

One of the first big stops you'll find once you've left Perth is Bunbury, an overlooked spot as everyone rushes towards Margaret River. In fact, we'd even recommend that you book ahead and stop at one of the many hotels available so that you're able to really explore all the things Bunbury has to offer.

From a town tour of Bunbury by local experts to the ethical dolphin centre, Bunbury has plenty to offer!


Koombana Bay Dolphins

When in Bunbury, the Dolphin Discovery Centre is a must-see for all. The centre doesn't showcase dolphin circuses, but instead, it has a more ethical approach, choosing to educate and share awareness about marine life.

December to March is a particularly good time to see dolphins. And the 90-minute Wild Dolphin Cruise is a treat to see too, with marine biologists playing with the wild dolphins in their natural environment.


Mangroves Boardwalk

A two-hour drive from Perth, Mangrove Boardwalk lets you have a look at the remains of the mangroves that grew in the area about 20,000 years ago. If that isn't impressive, we don't know what is!

Not only that, but you can also see the sort of vegetation that's growing in its place now, as well as watching over 60 species of water birds.


Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre

En route from Perth to Margaret River, it's worth picking up a bit of history about how Western Australia was developed, and the Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre is a great place to do just that!

Discover the struggles of those who first settled there, convicts, Bunbury port, and shipwrecks to understand just some of the things that have made Bunbury the lively and vibrant place it is today.


Ferguson Valley - Gnomesville

Unique gnomes at Gnomesville holding a welcome sign.

A sight you don't get to see every day after leaving Perth to Margaret River is Gnomesville Western Australia, which features an entire collection of garden gnomes in one place. A quirky and unique spot, it's a great little break for you and the family!


Busselton Jetty

View down the long Busselton Jetty in WA's south west.

Famous for being the longest wooden piled jetty in the Southern hemisphere, Busselton Jetty is the next stop we'd recommend after Gnomesville along your journey to Margaret River. About 2.5 hours from Perth, there are plenty of activities to choose from, including a visit to an underwater observatory!

Have a picnic, take a train out of the region, and stay at Busselton Lazy Days Caravan Park to relax and enjoy yourself amongst stunning surroundings.


Dunsborough

Overlooking the scenic Geographe Bay, your next stop after Busselton is Dunsborough, north of the Margaret River region. An especially popular spot with divers, it's home to one of the most accessible dive wreck spots in Australia.

If diving isn't your thing, there's also the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, known for not only its excellent nature trails but also the last manned lighthouse in Western Australia.


Cowaramup

An unusual but equally unmissable spot is Cowaramup, just 12km north of Margaret River. Try Miller's ice cream, visit the Brewery and be sure to stop by the legendary Candy Cow! Stocking up on delicious treats is a must to make sure you're well prepared until the end of your Margaret River road trip.


Margaret River

Views on a sunny day over a beach in Margaret River, WA.

You’re made it to Margaret River!

Get in early and book your stay at one of the two central Margaret River caravan parks - Margaret River Tourist Park and Riverview Tourist Park. Our family-friendly tourist parks will provide a comfortable and well deserved rest stop as you plan out all the tours, attractions and eateries you’re hoping to visit during your stay.

Need help planning? Try out these things to do in Margaret River.


Driving back from Margaret River to Perth


Canal Rocks

Unique rocks forming 'Canal Rocks' in Margaret River, WA.

Once you've completed your Perth to Margaret River road trip, you'll have to make the drive back to Perth too. Why not make the journey back just as memorable with a few stops on the way?

If you didn't get a chance to visit Canal Rocks on the way from Perth to Margaret River, then it's definitely worth stopping at on your way back. Part of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, these rocks jut out into the sea, forming a natural canal.

It's not only a great beach fishing spot but also features great hiking trails to explore too.


Cape Lavender

Originally located in the Margaret River region, Cape Lavender is one of Western Australia's most unique spots to visit for the delicious purple ice cream alone! The teahouse features local produce like lavender scones and chutneys, to aromatherapy products for you to take home.


Swings and Roundabouts winery

The Margaret River wine region is home to some of the most excellent wines in all of Western Australia, so stopping by Swings and Roundabouts is only fitting!

Located in both Yallingup as well as Margaret river, make sure to taste their delicious wines as well as grab a bite to eat.


Cheeky Monkey Brewery

A top spot that you should definitely have on the agenda with the kids is the Cheeky Monkey Brewery located in the Margaret River region. Fitted with a big playground as well as a dam and creek, kids can make the most of the outdoors while the adults try the various beers and ciders that the brewery has to offer.


Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.

This lighthouse is special like no other, what with it being the last manned lighthouse in all of Western Australia. While you're there, it's worth visiting Bunker Bay at the end of Cape Naturaliste Road.

You might even be lucky enough to spot some whales!


Sugarloaf Rock

Views over Sugarloaf Rock in the south west of WA.

Known as one of the most photographed landmarks in Australia, it's well worth seeing this special rock in person! Prepare to be mesmerised by the shifting colours of the rock at sunset.


Ready to plan your trip?

Whether you're after a gorgeous white sand beach, a great spot for lunch, a swimming pool for the kids or just want a scenic walk along the sea, we're confident that you'll find something that fits your agenda along the way to Margaret River.

As fun as it is to visit the popular destination, it's always a good idea to change it up a little, and what better way than to extend a short road trip than by staying the night at a new location? With so much to do and see out of Perth, you'll be struggling to fit it all in one go!


Perth to Margaret River FAQs

Why is it called Sugarloaf Rock?

The unique name comes as a result of the shape of the rock, which is similar to an old sugarloaf, giving it a very distinct look. It is one of the most photographed coastal locations in Australia and has even appeared on the cover of Australian Geographic magazine!

What is Bunbury known for?

It's difficult to narrow it down to just one thing, but the city is a bustling spot for aquatic activities in particular, like surfing, canoeing, and paddleboarding, to name just a few!

How much is the ferry ride to Penguin Island?

The five-minute ferry ride costs $35 for adults and $25 for children aged 3 to 12. Those under 3 can visit free of charge, and family passes are also available, as well as concessions for seniors and students.

Are there toilets at Gnomesville?

Yes, public toilets are available during your visit amongst the quirky gnomes, as well as picnic tables for you to stop at as well.

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