Make your winter tour of The Great Southern more memorable with these tips.
The Great Southern Region, the biggest and most diverse region in South West Australia, is composed of 11 local government authorities, namely:
The Great Southern Region is growing in popularity with tourists and travellers thanks to the locals’ appetites for organising memorable festivals and exhibitions. The Great Southern Region is also known for its natural as well as man-made tourist attractions. Winter time is the best time to visit – from June to August – because it’s a quitter time, the weather is cooler, and boasts some fantastic adventures that aren’t available all year round.
What activities are there to do in the Great Southern Region?
First-timers to the region may be unsure which of the local attractions to visit first, as so many excellent options to choose from. Here are some top recommendations:
1. Experience excellent food and wine
The Great Southern Region is geographically the largest wine-producing region in the country, consisting of 5 sub-regions: Mount Barker, Denmark, Porongurup, Frankland, and Albany.
The Great Southern Region is known to produce a large range of quality wines and grape types, including cool climate wines, so you can enjoy a sumptuous bottle of vino with freshly caught local seafood and local produce – a perfect recipe for the holidays.
2. Get up close and personal to some amazing whales
South West Australia’s whale watching season is one of the lengthiest in the world, occurring from May, when the whales go north looking for warm waters to calve, to December when they return South-bound with their young.
The right timing and location can help you catch a glimpse of the whales, so the winter season in Albany is a great time to watch whales. Some awesome spots in the Great Southern Region are:
Ocean beach Denmark: You can choose any of these two excellent vantage points: Lions Lookout and Wilson Head. Albany also has a historic whaling station 22 km away. It offers spectacular views over King George Sound. You can also learn about whaling and its conservation in West Australia.
Torndirrup National Park: – Take a stroll along the coast where ancient rock formations are found. The Gap and Natural Bridge gives easy access to great lookouts. It is only 300m long, which makes it an ideal location for seeing whales.
3. Go to the beach
We usually consider the beach as a summer spot, but it’s equally satisfying to watch the waves roll in during winter. You will indeed feel rejuvenated as the big ocean pounds against the coast. The additional clouds in the skyline make winter sunsets unforgettable. Some sunset spots you might want to visit include:
- The Gap and Natural Bridge
- Surfers’ Point
- Leeuwin Lighthouse
- Windy Harbour
4. Explore inland
The winter rains transform the South West inland farmlands into lavish green paddocks of grass. This is also true for the Great Southern Region. You can go on a road trip and try these activities:
- Travel south from Perth to Albany via Albany Highway and stop almost halfway in Kojonup. Visit Kodja Place, a museum that shows the tradition and history of The Great Southern Region’s Aboriginal people.
- Take a detour through the Porongurup Range. Try local produce like Devonshire tea along the way.
- If the weather is uncooperative, you can spend time at the National Anzac Centre. You can learn more about Albany’s Anzac history.
- Denmark has a charming art community with several local galleries.
- Take a refreshing stroll amongst the treetops of the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk.
Tips to make the most of the Great Southern Region
Do you want to explore the region and find some escapism? Sounds like a plan! Here are some winter travelling tips for you:
1. Practice making a campfire
Several places allow you to make a campfire during winter. Some sites even give firewood for free. If you want to savour the warmth and comfort of your own fire, you must learn how to build one. There are several instructional videos on the internet to guide you. Just don’t forget to bring thee marshmallows!
2. Bring the right clothes
Wet, cold, crisp, exhilarating – these are some of the words people use to describe winter in Western Australia’s south coast. The maximum daytime temperature from Albany to Walpole is usually 13-20 degrees during winter. It will definitely feel chilly during cool and windy wet days, and that’s all part of the enjoyment, although the coastal parts seldom encounter frost, so it won’t get that cold.
There’s no need to worry as long as you come prepared. Make sure that you bring gumboots, an umbrella, rain jackets, warm coats and plenty of spare coats.
3. Plan your itinerary ahead of time
Travelling in winter Down South can a few disadvantages, if you’re unlucky. The Wilderness on Walpole boat trip, for instance, is not open for a few weeks after the school holidays in July. Daylight hours are also shorter, but if you can tolerate a closure or two and cope with less daylight, you’ll still enjoy your trip.
4. Check out the visitor centre
In addition to planning the itinerary ahead of time, it’s also beneficial to check out the visitor centre. Some businesses use the holidays to have a well-deserved break. The local visitor centre can provide information about which shops or locations are open.
The locals know well the events in their town. They can also tell you about exciting events and how to go there.
5. Prepare indoor activities in case of bad weather
If you’re travelling in winter, there will be a chance of rain so, aside from having the right gear and attire, it’s also a good idea to prepare indoor activities. In case you need to stay in your WA accommodation you’ll still enjoy the company of your family or friends. A game of cards, charades, or Pictionary is good to lighten the mood.
Maximise your stay with great accommodation from Cornwall House Accommodation
Choosing an accommodation strategically located near tourist sites is an effective way to save time and take in the atmosphere of a place. Cornwall House Accommodation is a modern 10 room motel conveniently situated on Albany Highway.
We are in the heart of Kojonup. We provide clean and comfortable accommodation to ensure that you get plenty of rest for your adventures. All you need to do to start planning your winter WA escape is to get in touch with us to book your stay, and the rest is a piece of cake!