Skip to Content Skip to Navigation Show Trail Map Show About the Trail Show Important Trail Details Read Trail Reviews
Support Our Trails

The South West Edge

2WD inGolden Outback

(+10)
South West, Gascoyne & Desert Country, Esperance & Fitzgerald Coast, Kalgoorlie & Goldfields, Wheatbelt & Wave Rock, Blackwood River Valley, Bunbury Geographe & Collie, Great Southern, Margaret River Region, Southern Forests

  • Multiple day
  • 3000 km

Experience Western Australia’s extraordinary landscape, in one great road trip along the edge. This 11 day attraction itinerary gives visitors the option of covering the full route in an action packed 11 days with plenty of walk trails.

The bay was named in May 1801 by French explorer Nicolas Baudin; Baudin named the bay after his ship, Géographe. The bay is a wide curve of coastline extending from Cape Naturaliste past the towns of Dunsborough and Busselton, ending near the city of Bunbury. The bay is protected from the rough seas of the Indian Ocean by Cape Naturaliste
Earn 1 Point

Trail Start

Get directions

Perth

The thriving south west town of Harvey, which is situated on the Harvey River, enjoys a unique Italian heritage. This cosmopolitan influence has resulted in a vibrant community with a relaxed and friendly lifestyle. In 1829, Captain James Stirling (later to become the first Governor of Western Australia) selected a quota of fertile land and called it the Harvey River Settlement, later named Harvey. Harvey is nestled on fertile, irrigated plains beneath the rolling foothills of the Darling Range and is approximately 20km from the coast.

We have some of the best beef production, citrus growing, dairy farming and viticulture in Australia.

https://harveyvisitorcentre.com.au/harvey-visitor-centre.html

Collie is a coal mining town near to Wellington National Park. Wellington National Park consists of 17 000 hectares of Western Australia's unique jarrah, marri and yarri (blackbutt) forests. The icon and central feature of the park is the beautiful Collie River Valley with its ancient valley gorge. It offers camping and a range of recreational activities including fishing, swimming, rafting, canoeing and bush walking.

Experience the breathtaking views across the calm waters of Wellington Dam and down the picturesque valley from the dam lookout. Get more from your visit by camping at beautiful Honeymoon Pool or recently upgraded Potters Gorge.


http://www.collierivervalley.com.au/collie-visitor-centre/

https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park/wellington

Originally a timber mill settlement on the banks of the Preston River, Donnybrook became the scene for one of the nation's smaller gold rushes in the late 19th century. Disappointed miners who remained after the excitement had died down turned their skills to growing fruit, giving birth to an industry that saw Donnybrook and the Preston Valley come to be established as the apple capital of the west. Others recognised the beauty of the local sandstone, which has subsequently graced not only local buildings, but landmarks including the GPO in Perth, and Federation Square in Melbourne.

Visitors can enjoy fine wines rivalling the best in the country, or slake their thirsts on crisp, refreshing ciders and apple juice. Culinary delights on offer include farm fresh marron, organic beef, rich olive oil, local fruit & vegetable produce, nuts and the sweet taste of sun dried fruits. A backdrop of natural jarrah and marri bushland remains, abounding with wildlife, with clear running streams in Winter and wildflowers in Spring.

http://www.donnybrookwa.com.au

With its close proximity to Perth, Bunbury and the Geographe Region is an ideal place for a well-earned getaway. Bunbury is the central hub of the region and as Western Australia’s third largest city, it has plenty of options for dining out, shopping, swimming and accommodation.
Bunbury is most well-known for the pods of wild bottlenose dolphins which frequent the shores of Koombana Bay regularly, allowing visitors the opportunity to wade, cruise or swim with them.


https://visitbunbury.com.au

The life of the city is fuelled by the 1.8 kilometre long Busselton Jetty and the amazing waterfront precinct which has developed around it.

With the jetty as a focal point, the waterfront is brimming with activity. Seaside cafes, kiosks, bars and restaurants give way to bike paths, large shady grassed areas and a calm tranquil white sandy beach. Take a walk or train ride to the end of the Busselton Jetty, which is one of the main Busselton attractions, to the Underwater Observatory where you can see amazing marine life.
The bustling main street has a cosmopolitan atmosphere with superb alfresco restaurants, cafes and pubs and boutique shops.

https://www.margaretriver.com/members/busselton-visitor-centre/

Yallingup is splendidly nestled on a ridge, surrounded by the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park with spectacular views over Yallingup Beach out to the Indian Ocean.

Yallingup has bred some of the world’s greatest surfers and you’ll soon see why with a visit to Yallingup Beach, Smiths Beach and Injidup. They’re awesome places to watch the surf (and the surfers!). The tranquil crystal clear lagoon at Yallingup Beach is lovely for snorkelling and swimming and one of the main Yallingup attractions. And a swim is especially deserved if you’ve explored a bit further along the pristine white sandy beach to the rugged cliffs or on the Cape to Cape Track.

https://www.margaretriver.com/towns/yallingup/

Come and explore this tranquil little town set on the lovely Cowaramup Bay. Gracetown beach is a great spot for families and beach goers alike. Rocks at either end of the beach provide a fun place to explore, while the relatively calm bay will suite all swimming abilities.

https://www.margaretriver.com/members/gracetown-beach/

This quirky, picturesque little town has humour and cheek at its roots.

The locals call it ‘Cowtown’ and if you like a bit of fun and uniqueness you’ll be in your element here.
There are plenty of things to do in Cowaramup. Have your photo taken with the 42 life-sized fibreglass Friesian cows and calves that have taken over the town and wander the streets, parks and shops. Get the kids to look for Molly Moo Cow, hidden in their spots and adults will have a chuckle at the ‘Roast on a Post’ – a local artist’s tongue-in-cheek imitation of Laurance Winery’s ‘Chick on a Stick’.

https://www.margaretriver.com/towns/cowaramup/

After a journey surrounded by premium wineries, extraordinary architecture and amazing vistas of undulating vineyards, it is the lush forest, the river and the surf breaks that add an extra dimension to Margaret River.

On your approach to town, down by the river a picturesque forest and park with fabulous walks is a great place to stretch your legs. After crossing the river the town appears, sweeping up its one long street lined with cafes, gourmet and curiosity shops, boutiques, galleries and more.
During the day the town is bustling and at night town comes alive with a totally different scene of fantastic foodie restaurants, wine bars and pubs with live music. Decadent food, premium produce, internationally renowned wine, surfing, art and a love for nature combine to be the soul of the town and some of the main Margaret River attractions. Stunning walking and cycling tracks meander along the river or through the surrounding forest to the vineyards and farms. The world-famous Margaret River surf is only 10 minutes from the centre of town.

https://www.margaretriver.com/towns/margaret-river/

A favourite for family fishing holidays and sightseeing, Augusta is now also becoming a mecca for adventure.

World-class windsurfing, kite-surfing, paddling, snorkelling and whale watching are some of the main Augusta attractions. The town is sheltered by Flinders Bay and overlooks the tranquil Hardy Inlet.
Outlying the town is spectacular rugged coastal scenery with the treacherous seas of the Southern Ocean. Augusta is the most south-western town in Australia and is nearby to Boranup Forest, Jewel Cave and Hamelin Bay. Augusta attractions also include the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse which stands as a guardian for the passing ships. It is a working lighthouse offering tours to the top where there are amazing views of the Southern and Indian oceans. The lighthouse marks the start (or end) of the coastal walking trail, the 135km Cape to Cape Track and is nearby to the fossilised water wheel.
Augusta whale watching in Flinders Bay is fantastic from June to August as it is the first stopping point for many southern right and humpback whales that come to feed, breed and play. Other nearby attractions include Jewel Cave, Hamelin Bay and the Boranup Forest.

https://www.margaretriver.com/towns/augusta/

The little town of Nannup (Noongyar for “stopping or resting place”) has often been described by its residents as an inspirational place - for artists, tree changers and visitors alike.

Surrounded by lush pastures and some of the most productive soils in Australia, Manjimup is fast becoming known as the Food Bowl of WA. A diverse range of high quality produce surrounded by a pristine environment makes Manjimup a must do on anyone’s culinary bucket list.

https://www.manjimupwa.com

Pemberton, Northcliffe and Windy Harbour, the green jewels in Australia's South West, with their towering Karri forests, rich agricultural lands and stunning Southern Ocean provide rich experiences and adventure options for every visitor. The region features the famous Gloucester, Bicentennial and Diamond fire lookout trees and diverse National Parks.

Mountain biking, bush walking, swimming, canoeing, 4WD tours, fishing and family activities along with the world renowned Munda Biddi cycling trail and the Bibbulmun walking track make this region an attractive, affordable holiday destination. Enjoy some of the 80 varieties of fruit and vegetables, truffles, fresh milk, marron and local products from the Southern Forest Food Region. For the connoisseur, the Pemberton Wine Region is recognised worldwide for the popular Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir wines.
http://www.pembertonvisitor.com.au

Walpole Western Australia, is surrounded by the Walpole-Nornalup National Park and the Walpole-Nornalup Inlet System. There is so much to see and explore in the Walpole region - experience the vast spreading views from Mt. Frankland, the mirrored reflections in the quiet rivers, the glory of the wildflowers, the majesty of the trees and the world famous Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk, the beauty of the inlets and the rugged grandeur of coast and islands. There is so much to do - boating and sailing, fishing, bush walking, scenic drives and climbing.

https://www.walpole.com.au

Denmark - located in Western Australia's stunning Great Southern region, is a popular holiday destination offering some of the state's most dramatic coastlines and stunning forests. Make Denmark and the Great Southern your next short break destination and discover the jewel in Western Australia's tourism crown - idyllic golden beaches, turquoise waters, lush green forests and farmlands, extraordinary tours and attractions, award winning wineries and restaurants, outstanding accommodation, and amazing natural wonders.

http://www.denmark.com.au

Albany, the thriving cultural and administrative hub of the Great Southern region of Western Australia, is less than an hour away by air from WA’s capital city Perth, and a mere 4.5 hours by road.

Albany sits on the south coast of WA, widely regarded as one of the most incredibly beautiful and diverse coastlines in the world – in equal turns stunningly gorgeous and fearsomely rugged. The region boasts beaches which are routinely named among the best in Australia, such as the incredible Little Beach, the aptly-named Elephant Rocks in Denmark and of course our iconic Middleton Beach, just minutes from Albany’s CBD.

There truly is something for everyone in Albany, from gourmet wine-lovers, to intrepid 4WD explorers, to backpackers – and everyone in between. World-class wine, food, fishing, surfing, swimming, diving, hiking, mountain biking, four-wheel-driving, camping and myriad other activities are all on offer within minutes of town.

Experience the legend that shaped a nation at the National Anzac Centre, a state-of-the-art interpretive museum overlooking King George Sound. Walk with the ANZACs and experience the Great War through their personal stories. Follow them from Albany in 1914, to the Middle East, to Gallipoli and across the Western Front, and, for too few, home to Australia and New Zealand.

Witness one of the most fearsome and formidable rock formations on the south coast – The Gap – just minutes from town in the Torndirrup National Park. Check out our striking 18 turbine wind farm overlooking the spectacular Sandpatch beach – a testament to Albany’s aspiration to be a green city. Learn about our somewhat grim history as a whaling town at Discovery Bay, and see the gentle giants up close on a whale tour in our magnificent King George Sound.

Head slightly further afield (less than an hour’s drive), and our beautiful neighbours Denmark, Porongurup and Mt Barker offer stunning scenery, yet more top-notch restaurants and wineries, and a wealth of activities and attractions. Why not take a day trip and climb Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Range National Park, the highest peak in WA and one of the only places in the state which experiences snowfall.

https://www.amazingalbany.com.au

Gateway to the Amazing South Coast, just four hours from Perth, Mount Barker abounds with tourist attractions and experiences! The spectacular Stirling and Porongurup National Park Ranges, awesome, award winning wineries and vineyards, an abundance of flora and fauna and accommodation for every taste and budget.

http://www.mountbarkertourismwa.com.au

The Fitzgerald Coast is an Undiscovered wilderness where wildflowers, farming and agriculture meet the pristine coast with white sand that squeaks.

It is a gateway to the Fitzgerald River National Park one of the most botanically significant parks in Australia. You will find 1,800 species of wildflowers, ancient mountain ranges, rocky hills, rugged river valleys, estuaries and large inlets provide the area with a wealth of natural beauty.

Take in the stunning scenery, swim at the most beautiful remote beaches and watch the vivid sunsets. Hopetoun lies on the shores of the beautiful Mary Ann Haven on Western Australia’s Fitzgerald Coast overlooking the East Mt Barren in the Fitzgerald River National Park.

Experience the history Ravensthorpe has to offer, or go 4WD or trail bike riding on the famous Ravensthorpe Ranges surrounding the town while discovering a variety of Wildflowers significant to the area (especially in spring).

http://www.fitzgeraldcoast.com.au

Hopetoun lies on the shores of the beautiful Mary Ann Haven on Western Australia’s Fitzgerald Coast, a 45-minute drive away from Ravensthorpe or seven and a half hours from Perth. Once a thriving port for the Phillips River Goldfields, today it’s a peaceful holiday destination with a string of pristine white beaches and the unspoilt wilderness of the Fitzgerald River National Park to the east.

http://www.australiasgoldenoutback.com/travel-destinations-outback-australia/esperance-fitzgerald-coast-nullarbor/Hopetoun

Esperance is a picturesque town nestled on the south coast of Western Australia, about 8 hours’ drive from Perth. The year-round temperate climate, beautiful beaches and pristine coastal landscapes, including the famous Cape Le Grand National Park, make it a popular holiday destination.

Follow the coastal roads out of Esperance and within minutes you’ll be passing a string of unspoilt white sand beaches, perfect for a picnic or a photo stop. Off the coast, a necklace of 110 islands known as the Recherche Archipelago has earned the town its title as the ‘Bay of Isles’. You can take a cruise around the archipelago, stopping at Woody Island for bushwalks and snorkelling.

For many visitors, the untouched beaches and bushland of the outback coast's national parks, such as Cape Le Grand National Park, are a big drawcard. Follow one of the many coastal walk trails and take in the stunning views of white sandy beaches, rust-stained granite headlands and rugged islands.

http://www.australiasgoldenoutback.com/travel-destinations-outback-australia/esperance-fitzgerald-coast-nullarbor/Esperance

Walking through a carpet of wildflowers, under a bright blue sky, listening to the wind in the Sheoak trees, you will come across a magnificent, prehistoric rock formation. You will marvel at the size and shape, eroded by the weather over millions and millions of years. This is Wave Rock.

Climb to the top and enjoy the view of the surrounding farm land, shiny salmon gum-forests, and the beautiful salty scrubby bush. This is Australia at its finest. Take a short walk to Hippo's Yawn, offering spectacular views of the orchids and wildflowers in spring.

Enjoy a brewed coffee and home made food at the Wildflower Shoppe Cafe. Here you will also find the entrance to the Wildlife Park, home to koalas, wombats, white kangaroos and an array of beautifully coloured birds.

http://waverock.com.au

Corrigin is situated in the Central Wheatbelt, 225kms east of Perth (approx 2.5 hours). The kind of atmosphere you can expect to experience in Corrigin is one of relaxed friendliness and pride, as well as the hustle and bustle of farming activities and daily life.

Established in 1974, the Dog Cemetery is a tribute to Mans Best Friend. With over 200 loved ones now buried, the cemetery is unique to Corrigin and worth a visit. Take time to read some of the headstones of beloved pets in their final resting place.

Housing the history of our days gone by, a worthwhile visit whilst in Corrigin. View the collection of tools and restored farm machinery, including tractors in working order, see the blacksmiths shop, the one room school, the shearing shed, old district photographs, clothing and other pioneer memorabilia.

http://www.corrigin.wa.gov.au/visit-corrigin/what-to-do/attractions.aspx

Nestled on the banks of the Avon River in the gently rolling farmlands of the beautiful Avon Valley, the district offers unique insights into Western Australia's rich and colourful past, both before and following European settlement in 1831.

York was the first inland settlement in Western Australia, and the town has many historic, heritage listed Victorian and Federation buildings. An abundance of local activities and facilities make it an attractive destination and a fantastic place to live.

http://visit.york.wa.gov.au

Situated at the junction of Highways 1 and 94 and in the centre of the Great Western Woodlands, Norseman is at the crossroads to everywhere. It is the main town of the Shire of Dundas which covers an area of some 93,000km2, stretching all the way to Eucla on the WA/SA border in the East and 198km towards Hyden in the West. It extends some 45km towards Kalgoorlie in the North and 50km towards Esperance in the South.

Although the main industry is gold mining, in 2016 a significant nickel/copper mine went into operation in the Fraser Range area East of Norseman. There are also vast sheep/cattle properties along the Eyre Highway and these along with tourism also contribute to the economy of the Shire.

https://norseman.info

Located in the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia, Kalgoorlie Boulder is situated 590 kilometres inland of Perth. The name Kalgoorlie is derived from the Wangai word Karlkurla, meaning
"Place of the silky pears".

Kalgoorlie Boulder is Australia's largest Outback City with a population of more than 30,000 people. It is the largest urban centre in the Goldfields region and the fifth largest in Western Australia.
http://www.kalgoorlietourism.com
Logo for Leave no Trace Initiative

Trails WA supports the seven principles recommended by Leave No Trace Australia for minimising your impacts when using the trails.

Learn more

Drive one of Australia's most fascinating landscapes between Perth and Esperance. The unique region comprises many contrasting landscapes, from ancient mountain ranges and rugged granite headlands along the south coast, to the towering karri trees in the Southern Forests and a network of spectacular caves further to the west.

The regions best attractions are dotted in and around pretty country towns and vast national parks harbouring some of the world's most unique flora and fauna. 

With so many walk trails along the route you might want to add on a couple of days to give yourself time to walk one or two of them!

Be trail ready for The South West Edge

Here is everything you need to know before visiting this trail.

Time / Duration

12 days

Length

3000km whole trip

What To Pack

Group A (Urban trails or short trails near facilities) required.

Trail Start

Perth

Get directions

Trail End

Facilities

Facilities vary along the length of the route.
  • Access with assistance for the Disabled
  • BBQ Facilities
  • Cafe
  • Camping
  • Car Park
  • Interpretive Centre
  • Kiosk
  • Lookouts
  • Picnic Area
  • Public Telephone
  • Public Toilet
  • Shaded Area
  • Sheltered Area
  • Shop
  • View Platform
  • Visitor Information Centre

Best time of year

All year round

Trail Access

Drive from Perth to Esperance

Edge shaped like mountain horizon
topography pattern

Complete The South West Edge to earn badges and points!

Earn points and badges and become a "TrailsWA Expert" by completing trails and leaving reviews.

Earn 1 Point

Earn 1 point towards
your TrailsWA level

Edge shaped like mountain horizon
Alt text

1 trail goers have rated The South West Edge as 3 out of 5!

We love to hear from people who've been on our Western Australian trails, so it would be most appreciated it if you wanted to leave a review.

Chris Pye

Reviewed 24 Oct 2019, 1:23pm

This is a fantastic trail - perhaps the most enjoyable trail in Australia in terms of the product to see and experience along the way. My favourite WA Trail and one that is not to be missed/

Supported by great organisations

Trails are free and bring so many benefits to our community by providing opportunities to have fun, get fit, socialise, explore and challenge yourself. But they also have to be managed and maintained which only is made possible through terrific sponsors, donations and/or volunteering.

topography pattern