Everything you need to do when visiting the Great Southern Region, Western Australia.
Discover the very best experiences to add to your Great Southern Region bucket list. From taking in the views from the Stirling Range’s highest peak to discovering the rich history of the Noongar people, Cornwall House Accommodation’s recommendations will remind you of the unique range of experiences only available right here in Western Australia’s Great Southern Region.
Coastal tourist attractions in the Great Southern Region
The Great South Highway stretches for just over two hundred and fifty kilometres and is one of the most famous, scenic drives in Australia. Stretching along a large chunk of Western Australia and dipping into several regions, including Albany, Denmark, Frankland River, Mount Barker and Porongurup.
The flexible route allows for some great opportunities to see the coastal scenery along the way where you can pull over to unwind and take in the sensational views along the outstanding stretch of coastline.
Little Beach in Two Peoples Bay National Park, Albany
Little Beach is a stunning white sand beach in the Two Peoples Bay National Park around a 35 km drive east of Albany. The beach offers the perfect location for viewing Mount Manypeaks and Waychinicup National Park.
Peaceful Bay in the Walpole-Nornalup National Park
Peaceful Bay is a calm but rugged location for those who want a relaxing time away as well as those who are interested in snorkelling and fishing. If you visit between July and October, you might just catch a glimpse of some whales as they pass by on their annual migration.
Elephant Rocks in William Bay National Park, Denmark
Elephant Rocks and Elephant Cove are two of the most popular places for visitors to the Great Southern Region’s coast. The area got its name because the rock formations look like a herd of elephants swimming in the turquoise waters.
Elephant Cove in William Bay National Park, Denmark
While Elephant Cove is a little difficult to get to as you need to descend some stairs to get onto the beach, it is worth it to see the stunning surroundings and wildlife such as the coloured crabs hiding in the water-filled cracks in the rocks.
Ocean Beach in Denmark
Ocean Beach is located along the Wilson Inlet to the south of Denmark and is considered one of the best spots for surfing in Western Australia. If surfing isn’t your thing, Ocean Beach is still well worth visiting to swim, sunbathe and relax while breathing in the fresh ocean air.
Historic tourist attractions in the Great Southern Region
While European settlement began in Albany on Christmas Day, 1826, and is regarded as the oldest European settlement in Western Australia, the Noongar people have lived on the land for tens of thousands of years.
There are many great historical sites to visit in the Great Southern Region to find out more about the communities and how life was in the past.
Kodja Place, Kojonup
The South West of Western Australia is the ancient home of the Noongar people so where better to explore their fascinating history than Kodja Place. The interactive museum will take you on a journey through Australian country life and features audio recordings, photographs, art and objects from Kojonup’s Noongar-Aboriginal and settler cultures.
Albany’s Historic Whaling Station
Albany’s Historic Whaling Station was the last operating station in Australia and is the only whaling station tourist attraction in the world. While there you can explore the whale processing factory and whale chasing ship of Cheynes Beach Whaling Company, which was the last whaling company to cease operations in Australia in 1978.
National ANZAC Centre, Albany
The National Anzac Centre is a must-see tourist attraction in Albany and is one of Australia’s most important cultural pilgrimages. The centre is located inside the Princess Royal Fortress near the harbour where 41,000 men and women departed Australia for the Great War.
In the centre you can follow their personal stories through technology, multimedia and historic artefacts as well as learn about Anzac legends.
Culinary tourist attractions in the Great Southern Region
No trip to the Great Southern Region would be complete without checking out the food and wine scene. The area represents one of the most diverse culinary regions you could imagine with fresh seasonal foods and exceptional drinks.
Wine tasting in the Great Southern Region
The Great Southern Region has garnered a reputation for its outstanding wine with its districts separated into five sub-regions based unique geomorphic and climatic conditions.
The sub-regions of Mount Barker, Albany, Denmark, Frankland River and Porongurup all produce fine wines, each with their own distinctive taste.
Some of the Great Southern Region’s specialities of wine include:
- Pinot Noir
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Sauvignon Blanc
Manjimup is the epicentre of truffle production in Western Australia. The fertile soil and cool climate of Manjimup create the ideal location for growing black truffles, which are paralleled to those in France and New Zealand.
While in the Great Southern Region, take a scenic drive through the countryside from Bridgetown, Nannup or Pemberton to taste Manjimup’s world-famous Superior Perigord Truffles.
Eating a seafood platter by the Southern Ocean is one of the pleasures of a trip to the Great Southern Region. Sample the freshly caught Geraldton rock lobster or some South West marron, yabby and trout.
Other seafood specialities in the Great Southern Region include:
- Mandurah crab
- Albany oysters
- North West barramundi
- Rottnest scallops
- Broome pearl meat
- Exmouth prawns
The craft beer scene in the Great Southern Region is booming. The amount of craft beers on the market has shot through the roof giving beer-drinkers an almost overwhelming selection that beer-lovers won’t be able to resist.
Here are the top 10 craft beer breweries in the Great Southern Region:
- Eagle Bay Brewing Co
- Old Coast Road Brewery
- Bremer Bay Brewing Company
- Rocky Ridge Brewing Co Cellar Door
- Cowaramup Brewing Company
- Colonial Brewing Co
- Denmark Brew & Ales
- Black Brewing Co
- Wilson Brewing Company
- Lucky Bay Brewing
Nature tourist attractions in the Great Southern Region
The Great Southern Region’s natural environmental features allow the area to make a great economic contribution to the growing ecotourism industry with unspoilt views of 100-year old forests and ancient mountain ranges.
The Great Southern Region’s National Parks
The Great Southern Region’s National Parks are home to some of the world’s rarest species of flora and fauna and the government has made a special effort to protect their habitat.
Some of the most popular National Parks in the Great Southern Region include:
- Stirling Range National Park
- Porongorup National Park
- William Bay National Park
- Walpole-Nornalup National Park
- Two Peoples Bay National Park
Yongergnow Australian Malleefowl Centre
Under the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act 1950-91, malleefowl are classified as “fauna that is rare or likely to become extinct”. The Yongergnow Australian Mallefowl Centre gives visitors the opportunity to see the endangered Malleefowl in the centre’s large natural bush aviaries and learn how the surrounding town of Ongerup is fighting to save its favourite bird.
The Granite Skywalk
Located 40 mins from Albany, the Granite Skywalk in the Porongurup National Park is a stainless steel lookout that has been bolted directly onto a granite boulder at Castle Rock. From the Granite Skywalk, you can take in the panoramic views of the tall Karri and Marri tree forest below as well as the surrounding countryside.
Bluff Knoll (or Pualaar Miialis) is the highest peak of the Stirling Range in the Great Southern region and measures 1098m above sea level. Located just outside Albany, Bluff Knoll is the perfect spot for those looking for an adventurous day out while taking in some breath-taking views across the Stirling Range as well as views of the Porongurups to the south and Mount Manypeaks to the southeast.
Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk
15 minutes east of Walpole, you can discover nature from above with a stunning walkway positioned 40 metres above the forest canopy of karri trees below. The Tree Top Walk sits within the Walpole-Nornalup National Park and meanderings through the treetops for 600 metres, offering remarkable views over the densely forested hills.
Enjoy your trip to Western Australia’s Great Southern Region
We hope this bucket list will help you to decide what to see and do either during your next trip to the Great Southern Region or as part of an amazing day trip while staying in Cornwall House Accommodation.