The Road Trip To This Popular Spot In Australia Is As Stunning As The Destination

Blessed with a bountiful coastline that's dressed in lush flora and boasting dazzling ocean views, Western Australia has no rivals when it comes to visually appealing vistas. White-sand beaches backed by towering cliffs, an abundance of exotic wildlife, and quaint coastal villages make this side of the country an irresistible sensation among travelers. Near-perfect year-round weather means the landscape can be enjoyed throughout all seasons, giving rise to a thriving outdoor wilderness scene.

The road from Perth to Margaret River guides travelers through some of the region's most remote wilderness grounds before cutting through the heart of bustling, energetic towns. Yet, even the largest of these contains a relaxed element that allows them to stand out from Australia's popular tourist destinations, such as Sydney and Melbourne. But don't let that fool you into thinking they can't compete with more popular cities!

The state's capital, Perth, enjoys more sunshine than any other capital city in the country. Just south, Margaret River is an exciting and vibrant coastal town, offering just about anything visitors could desire. Foodies will be enthralled by the town's annual Gourmet Escape, a food and wine festival, while yoga retreats and exotic hiking trails cater to the outdoor enthusiast. The journey isn't long, easily completed in a day's drive at just over four hours. Despite its short distance, it's a road well worth traveling, if for nothing else than the scenic landscapes, which are rich in natural beauty.

Grab a cup of coffee and catch a ferry to Penguin Island

With a heritage steeped in colonial and gold rush history, Fremantle — the first major stop on the road from Perth to Margaret River — is one of those few and far between enchanting towns blending old and new into its cityscape. Roughly half an hour from Perth, this port side city is most fondly known for its alluring strip of coffee houses and al fresco eateries, nicknamed the Cappuccino Strip. Eclectic might be the best way to describe this part of town, as it contains everything from artisan markets and clothing boutiques to a thriving Italian culinary scene.

The Antarctic coasts aren't the only place where fluffy, adorable flightless birds are found. Located just off the coast of Shoalwater, Penguin Island hosts a colony of 300 little penguins — the smallest species of penguin. The Shoalwater Island Marine Park is also home to dolphins and sea lions, creating a unique wildlife sanctuary only 45 minutes south of Perth. The scenic ferry ride from the mainland to Penguin Island presents a picturesque panoramic view of Australia's captivating Shoalwater Marine Reserve and several indigenous species inhabiting the surrounding waters.

Two hours south of Perth, Banbury is a coastal city frequently visited for its enchanting Koombana Bay, where sightings of wild bottlenose dolphins are not uncommon. What was once an old port town has now been revitalized into a flourishing community of creatives. Edgy cafes and trendy boutiques characterize Main Street, while nearly every wall boasts a colorful canvas of street art designs.

Explore everything from coastal beauty to rolling vineyards in Margaret River

Travel just over an hour southwest of Bunbury along State Route 10, and you'll arrive at the edge of what many might consider paradise. Australia's Canal Rocks are a coveted obsession, with chiseled bluffs offering panoramic views of the glistening Indian Ocean. Narrow channels weave throughout the rocky bluffs, allowing the rhythmic waves to tumble along the granite cliffs. A wooden pathway snakes through the canals and over the cliff tops — the perfect place for a soulful sunset walk. Just across the way from the Canal Rocks, Cape Lavender is the perfect spot for a morning or midday pick-me-up. This airy tea house offers an elegant selection of unique sweets and beverages handcrafted in-house. Staying on trend with its moniker, lavender is the theme of this tea house, with everything from lavender lattes and purple scones to lavender-flavored ice cream. 

What better place to conclude a trip down Australia's stunning western coastline than in Margaret River? Draped in white-sand beaches and flourishing greenery, the scenic landscape is a revitalizing treat for voyagers who are weary from a long day's drive. Further inland, Margaret River's flourishing wine country is home to a collection of world-class wineries and sommeliers. Cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay are the region's specialties, and visitors can see the harvest brought to life through tours of some of the top-producing vineyards, including Vasse Felix and the Leeuwin Estate.