A little bit of rain doesn’t stop us from packing the car and hightailing it out of the city to the lush South West during winter.
In fact, winter down south is pretty darn beautiful, so we’ve teamed up with Australia’s South West for the ultimate guide to the best things to do in the South West and Great Southern regions this winter:
See the new underwater sculptures at the end of the Busselton Jetty
The 1.8km Busselton Jetty is the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere, and you can walk right to the end (or even catch a train) to explore the Underwater Observatory. Here you are treated to an unparalleled look eight metres below the surface of Geographe Bay, which has just had 13 Underwater Sculptures installed on the seabed. These sculptures will create a new immersive experience for marine life, as well as divers, snorkelers and swimmers.
Tuck into lunch at Black Brewing Co.
Black Brewing Co. and its sister brand Dune Distilling Co. in Wilyabrup offer an in-house brewery, distillery and restaurant experience for a leisurely session of beer and gin tastings alongside a long lunch. Sit and have a beer or cocktail overlooking the lake, enjoy an upmarket brewery feed by the fireplace or take part in a Dune Distilling Co. cocktail-making experience. Make sure you mention “Winter Down South” while you’re there to enjoy 15% off your order!
Camp in style at Olio Bello Lakeside Glamping
Olio Bello Lakeside Glamping offers safari-style bungalows on its 320-acre organic olive farm, where you don’t have to rough it at all. Your eco tent has a kitchenette, ensuite bathroom and deck for premium sunset views over the lake, and in winter you can make the most of the reverse cycle heating, indoor and outdoor fires and electric blankets, and get into the winter spirit with hot chocolates and board games. Dine at the onsite cafe and sample the range of olive oils before you head off to explore the nearby sights in Gracetown and Margaret River.
Wine and dine at St Aidan Wines
Nestled in the Ferguson Valley is the cellar door and restaurant St Aidan Wines. Start off with a wine tasting before settling in for lunch with views of the vineyard and rolling hills. It’s the perfect destination to catch up with mates and shake off the winter blues, and it’s only a short drive from Bunbury.
Catch a movie at CinefestOZ
Celebrate new and inspiring Australian films, stories and talent at CinefestOZ – Australia’s largest destination film festival, which will be held from 29 August to 3 September in the beautiful South West towns of Bunbury, Busselton and Margaret River. Featuring more than 200 film screenings and events at the region’s cinemas, wineries, restaurants, bars and galleries CinefestOZ is the perfect experience to add to your down south adventure.
Immerse yourself in nature thanks to the Capes Foundation
The Capes Foundation is a collection of immersive experiences that connect you with the incredible natural beauty of the Margaret River Region, featuring:
Explore underground caves
Head underground and explore one of the crystal limestone caves of the region, choosing between Mammoth Cave, Ngilgi Cave, Lake Cave and Jewel Cave. All are unique and breathtaking in their own way and offer a range of guided or semi-guided tours.
Climb a working lighthouse
After your underground adventure, make your way to one of the two working lighthouses in the region – Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse and Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse – and climb right to the top. You’ll be treated to panoramic ocean views and might be lucky enough to spot migrating whales.
Swing through the treetops at Forest Adventures
If you’ve packed your sneakers with you, book a session at Forest Adventures and let out your inner child by climbing and zip-lining through the treetops on a high ropes course. There are six courses to choose from, ranging from easy to advanced, so it’s an activity suited to all ages.
Eagles Heritage is a wildlife centre that rescues and rehabilitates owls and birds of prey. Experience up-close encounters with these majestic eagles, falcons, hawks and owls and be sure to plan your visit around the twice-daily flight shows.
We have a discount code for you if you visit any Capes Foundation experiences this winter – use the code “Winterdownsouth” to get 15% off (valid till 30 September 2023).
Tour Albany’s National ANZAC Centre
During your stay in Albany, make sure you pop by the award-winning National Anzac Centre, which overlooks the harbour from which soldiers left Australia for the First World War. Brush up on your history with the aid of interactive technology, artefacts and multimedia.
If you’re looking to get more bang for your buck in this part of the world, the Great Southern Flexi Pass gives you the opportunity to select three options from a wide variety of operators in the Great Southern region of Western Australia and save up to 25% off your chosen experiences.
Visit the new exhibition at Albany’s Historic Whaling Station
Discovery Bay is home to Albany’s Regional Wildflower Garden, Australian Wildlife Park and the Historic Whaling Station. It’s a precinct where you can learn more about the native flora and fauna of the region and Albany’s notorious whaling history. There’s a new exhibition called ‘The Art of Scrimshaw’ you can check out this winter, which showcases the old process of scrimshaw in the whaling industry (engravings on whale bones).
Take the fam to Manjimup Heritage Park
Manjimup Heritage Park is a family friendly recreational park conveniently located within the gorgeous town of Manjimup. It’s home to quite possibly the best playground in the south west, featuring the tallest dry playground slide in the southern hemisphere (!), along with being home to three museums, an historical hamlet, rail and relic exhibit and more.
Tear it up at the Koolambidi Skate Park in Bunbury
The award-winning Koolambidi Woola skate park has very quickly become one of the region’s most popular attractions. And it’s not hard to see why: part of the huge Youth Precinct on the Leschenault Foreshore, there’s the skate park, a multi-sports court, parkour, mini golf, beach climbing net and more. If this doesn’t tucker the kids out we don’t know what will!
Head to Australia’s South West and start planning your winter escape.