We get it – it’s time to escape the big smoke – get away for that well-overdue break with a road trip down south, with a few fun-filled stopovers at RAC’s Parks and Holiday Resorts in Busselton, Margaret River and Karri Valley.
Perth to Busselton
We’ve always had a soft spot for Bunbury, and this is a perfect opportunity to drop in on our favourite places to fuel up en route. The Townhouse and Benesse both do some epic brunches, and you can’t miss out on a trip to the legendary Bunbury Farmers Market to stock up on fresh produce and some treats for the drive. From here take the scenic route via Collie if you want to check out some stunning inland swimming holes like Honeymoon Pool of course WA’s most-grammed destination, Blake Diamond Lake.
Once you arrive in Busselton, there’s so much to do! The Tuart Forest National Park is home to thousands of majestic (and massive) tuart trees – the largest forest of pure tuart in the world, filled with beautiful trees along with some special wildlife, like WA’s largest remaining wild population of the endangered western ringtail possum. Settle in for a relaxing brunch at the Good Egg, Urban Coffee House, freshly baked pastries from Merchant and Maker or something stronger at The Fire Station or Vasse Tavern.
Finally, set up camp for your stay at one of RAC Busselton Holiday Park’s accommodation options. Set amongst eight hectares of picturesque bushland, the park has everything from unpowered sites to two bedroom self-contained cabins available for your stay in Busselton – plus, it’s only 300 metres from the beach, and the water’s just getting warm enough for a cheeky dip.
The cabins and studio are completely self-contained with kitchens, making them an ideal place to stay if you’ve got a little more time up your sleeve, plus RAC Busselton Holiday Park is just a great place to hang out in its own right, with not one but two swimming pools, mini golf, a games room with pool and soccer tables, peddle cars and bikes for hire and more.
Busselton to Margaret River
Just a quick jaunt south of Busselton, Margaret River is full of plenty of delights of its own. We love stopping by some of the town’s top-tier coffee spots, or grabbing a pint at the Settlers Tavern. Margs’ restaurant game is also punching well above its weight, with favourites like Morries for tapas and cocktails, Italian from La Scarpetta or Pizzica, or South American from El Toro. There’s also wine, of course! We’ve rounded up 15 of our favourites over here, but there are dozens and dozens to choose from.
As well as eating and drinking, there’s plenty of exploring to do, as well. Just south of Margaret River you’ll enjoy some scenic driving through the tall trees of the Boranup Karri Forest, part of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. For the more adventurous, the 135km-long Cape to Cape Track is a hiker hotspot in spring, and Margs falls pretty much smack bang in the middle. The track is the perfect vantage point to spot whales and dolphins from the shore and is home to a whole variety of coastal wildflowers. Below ground, caves are another feature unique to the area, with the Mammoth, Giants, Lake, and Jewel Caves all each offering a unique geological marvel.
After all that exploring, you can rest your weary head at the RAC Margaret River Nature Park – although you might find you’ll be having just as much fun there too. The park itself is located right on some of the region’s best bike tracks (and you can hire some from RAC if you’re keen to tackle them and couldn’t bring your own), and there’s an epic communal fire pit perfect for marshmallow roasting while re-capping your south west adventure so far.
Accomodation-wise you’re spoilt for choice, with new eco safari tents sleeping up to six, while the 4-bedroom eco lodges and 2-bedroom cabins are all fully self-contained with their own fireplace – a down south springtime essential on those chilly nights. If you like to keep it simple the powered campsite options should do the trick, otherwise there are a few dorm room sizes to choose, sleeping from five up to 26!
Margaret River to Karri Valley
Just over an hour south of Margaret River you’ll find the spectacular karri tree forests that surround Pemberton. Test your mettle climbing the Gloucester or Bicentennial Lookout Trees, or take a leisurely cruise through the 85km Karri Forest Explorer Drive. Alternatively, the 4.5km Beedelup Loop Walk (which can be split up into smaller sections) will take you through the picturesque forest to the nearby cascades of Beedelup Falls.
Nearby you’ll find Pemberton Pool; a historic swimming pool constructed in the 1920’s for the families of timber workers. Surrounded by karri trees and nestled on the Lefroy Brook right in the centre of town, it’s an incredibly scenic spot for a summertime swim.
But if you’re staying at the RAC Karri Valley Resort, there’ll be plenty to keep you busy without going far. Situated on the shores of Lake Beedelup, the resort has activities and amenities for families, adventurers and romantic escapes. You can enjoy a lavish breakfast, lunch or dinner at The Lakeside Restaurant, overlooking breathtaking Lake Beedelup while serving up stellar local produce from the region including fresh from the river marron.
For the more active types there’s plenty on site to tucker you out in no time, including volleyball, basketball, tennis, mini golf and even archery. Kids will love visiting the animal farm, plus there’s heaps to get involved with on the water including canoes, row boats, pedal boats, kayaks, stand up paddle boards and fishing gear all available for hire.
The lake is the star of the show when it comes to the accommodation, too; with not only chalets with stunning waterfront views, but also rooms available that are perched right on the water. A little further back from the water and the forest and lakeview chalets make for a very cosy option, with their own private fireplaces and pre-chopped wood!
So there you have it, a not-too-shabby itinerary for a rip-roaring southwest springtime adventure if we don’t say so ourselves. And as we’ve outlined above, staying with RAC Parks & Resorts along the trip is a surefire way to enhance that experience, and open up a host of extra activities to make the experience even better. Plus, if you’re an RAC member you can save plenty of money over the journey, scoring up to 20% off their accommodation options along the way.
Head to the RAC Parks & Resorts WEBSITE to start planning your own road trip today.