Picking the best drives around Perth and WA is like asking a kid in a candy store to choose a favourite. It’s impossible. Some people say that Perth is so beautiful that even their daily drive to work feels like an exotic holiday!
Whether you’re after a leisurely Sunday afternoon exploring WA’s pristine coastline, a road trip through the stunning south west or a quick tour of the city to give visitors a taste of what makes Perth special – you’ll never run out of options.
To whet your appetite, here are some of the best-loved scenic drives around Perth and WA.
Sunset Tourist Drive
This is the quintessential Perth coast road trip. Start at Cottesloe beach where you’ll find the iconic Indiana Tea House and head north along Marine Parade and onto West Coast Highway. Stop at Bold Park, a 437-hectare urban bushland area in the suburb of City Beach and take in the sweeping 3600 views from Reabold Hill, the highest natural point on the city’s coast. Turn into West Coast Scenic Drive and meander up the spectacular coast where you can pop into the many bays and beaches, take a refreshing dip in the warm Indian Ocean, enjoy a gentle stroll along pristine white sands or enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine at one of the many oceanfront cafes and restaurants. Don’t forget your camera as you’re sure to have plenty of photo opportunities. Hillary’s Boat Harbour is a vibrant and fun place to stop, shop and eat with great picnic areas and an array of restaurants and bars.
Scenic Swan River
This is the perfect drive for a whistlestop appreciation of Perth’s beauty. Start at the Treasury Buildings in the cultural and historic heart of the city, travel down Barrack Street for a stunning view of the Bell Tower and Elizabeth Quay and back up to the city entrance of King’s Park for jaw-dropping panoramic views from Fraser Avenue. Head to Mounts Bay road for an up-close-and-personal drive along the river (look out for the iconic Crawley Boathouse) and turn into Hackett Drive at UWA. Wind your way along the Swan River through the exclusive Western suburbs where you can ogle at the millionaire mansions while sipping on a cappuccino at one of the many riverfront cafes. Take in the breathtaking views from the Mosman Park high point, then continue along through the suburbs until you reach the charming port town of Fremantle. Enjoy a drive through the narrow laneways fronted by historic limestone buildings and return along the scenic coastal drive through Leighton Beach to Cottesloe.
One of the most scenic drives in WA is the 45km stretch along the Blackwood River that joins the towns of Balingup, Nannup and Bridgetown. It’s a truly beautiful road trip and you don’t want to rush this one (and not just because it’s a narrow, winding road). There are plenty of beautiful view points, interesting sights and natural attractions, trails, local shops, arts and craft centres and other things to do along the way.
The majestic tall-tree country around Pemberton in the South West makes for another breathtakingly beautiful drive. The 48km scenic route starts just to the north of the South Western Highway and continues through soaring forests of age-old marri, karri and jarrah trees and rugged outcrops of weathered granite. Don’t miss the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk for a birds-eye view of the majestic tingle trees.
Captivating Caves Road
World-class wineries. Boutique breweries. Chocolate and cheese factories. Historic lighthouses. Top surf spots. An abundance of cafes and restaurants. Stunning scenery. Magnificent limestone caves. The 111km scenic route along Caves Road which connects Dunsborough to Augusta has all of this – and more. It’s one of WA’s most famous drives and it’s everyone’s favourite. Winding through natural forests, vineyards, rolling farmlands and quaint historic towns, the Caves Road drive should be on everyone’s bucket list.
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