WA South Coast

The region from Augusta to Esperance through Pemberton and Albany is one of the most magnificent stretches of untamed coast. A beautiful area full of shipwreck history, great 4WD treks, wineries and tall forests with a pleasantly cooler climate.
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Page Updated: 22 May 2014

Go to top Description

Australia's south-west corner is where the Southern and Indian oceans met. The small township of Augusta lies in the corner where it is lush, picturesque and peaceful. Augusta is only a 3½ hour drive from Perth and bus services run daily. Popular with tourists and fisherpeople Augusta is the third eldest European settlement in WA.

The nearby Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park offers walking trails along the river, sailing, fishing, scuba diving, surfing, water skiing, windsurfing, cycling and most sports. Within the region is Jewel Cave, where you can enjoy a spectacular underground caving experience.

Whale watching is the big drawcard in the region from Augusta to Albany from May to September when both Southern Right and Humpback whales gather for an annual rest during their northerly migration. Crafts and heritage activities are strong throughout the southern coastal and country areas, especially around Pemberton and Denmark.

This region is punctuated by giant karri pine and jarrah hardwood eucalypts, which you can enjoy in the many unpopulated bush areas. The D'Entrecasteaux National Park protects a strip of wild coast and coastal heath land scrub marking an area roughly from Augusta to Pemberton and can only be experienced by 4WD. Massive basalt cliffs rise out of the ocean with the most impressive being Black Point - a lesser-known, but excellent 4WD camping and fishing area.

The Pemberton region is a great drawcard with travellers, both local and foreign, the giant trees being the region's focus. A high-rise suspension walkway between the trees near Walpole enables visitors to get closer to the sky, to sense the height of these giants and to see into their foliage that supports an array of bird life. Giant Tingle trees with gaping holes where the natural growth of the trunk separates at its base, creating a triangular cubby-hole are another of the region's natural wonders.

The tops of these huge trees create a dense canopy allowing lush ferns and moist undergrowth to flourish. Walking and nature observation is delightful here. For the more adventurous or the history buffs there are a number of 60-70m trees once used for fire lookouts that are now open for public climbing.

Albany can be reached by following the coastal route from Pemberton, through Walpole and Denmark although for a short trip from Perth you can take a direct route via the Albany Highway making the one way trip just 400km. With a population of 28,500 Albany is a thriving city on a magnificent natural harbour. Albany has long been a favourite breeding and feeding ground for whales and is in fact the location of Australia's last whaling station (closed in 1978 but restored into a museum). Albany also offers fabulous lookouts, shipwrecks, scenic drives and natural rock formations such as the Blowholes and Natural Bridge set against the pounding seas of the Southern Ocean.

490km east of Albany or 725km south-east of Perth lies one of the most appealing coastal towns that you're likely to find in Australia. Esperance is well-known for the dramatic turquoise blue of its water, which together with its temperate climate, rolling plains and magnificent headlands makes it a family favourite for a holiday destination.Esperance is the only port in the south-east of WA and due to its proximity to Kalgoorlie exports over 3 million tonnes of products annually, including wheat, barley, oats, lupins, peas and minerals. Agriculture is by far the primary industry but tourism and fishing also play important roles.

The average summer temp in this region is 27.4 °C, with a winter average of 17.9 °C. In fact, freedom from scorching summer heat waves that can affect other parts of WA is one of the attractions of the southern coastline making it a popular summer destination for inland and Perth locals.

There are numerous National Park areas such as D'Entrecasteaux, Walpole-Nornalup, Shannon, Mt Frankland, Stirling Range, Torndirrup, Fitzgerald River, Stokes, Cape Le Grand and Cape Arid National Parks that all offer unique scenery, superb camping, abundant wildlife, a temperate climate and countless attractions. Cape Le Grand is probably the most popular of all these and as such can be fully booked out in school holiday and Xmas periods. To avoid disappointment plan your stay and make enquiries early.

March - May is the ideal time to explore Augusta, Pemberton, Albany and Esperance when skies are clear, nights cool and the seas calm.

Go to top Treks

Black PointBlack Point
The stretch of coast between Augusta and Pemberton is inaccessible to 2WD but if you've got a 4WD you will love this trek. Excellent camping, the magnificent basalt pillars of Black Point and Jasper Beach are the major highlights.
Cave Hill WoodlinesCave Hill Woodlines
This 4WD trek takes you back to the days when the gold mining industry needed timber as its main energy source. Thus, the vast network of tramway lines to carry it was created until the mid 1960s when it was no longer viable.
DEntrecasteaux NP - Eastern SectionD'Entrecasteaux NP - Eastern Section
Starting at Northcliffe, this trek features great coastal scenery with a taste of tall karri forests. The roads and tracks mainly vary from well formed gravel to soft sand. Windy Harbour is a charming hamlet with fabulous coastal outlooks from the drive around Point D’Entrecasteaux National Park. Also not to be missed is the short 30 minute walk with interpretive details up Mount Chudalup,
DEntrecasteaux NP - Western SectionD'Entrecasteaux NP - Western Section
Starting at Northcliffe, this trek features great coastal scenery together with large stretches of tall karri forest. The roads and tracks mainly vary from well formed gravel to soft sand. Key features are the extensive Yeagarup and Callcup dune systems, the track into Lake Jasper and on to Jasper Beach and Black Point,
Donnybrook to Augusta via Black PointDonnybrook to Augusta via Black Point
Starting at Donnybrook, this trek features great forest scenery, from jarrah/marri in the north to tall magnificent tall karri in the south, then continuing to spectacular basalt rock coastal scenery at Black Point and on to Augusta via peppermint lined coastal tracks.
Dunns TrackDunns Track
Dunn’s Track is a long forgotten route used by the early prospectors of the eastern goldfields of WA. The trek heads south to the abandoned town of Dundas, through Peak Charles NP and then onto Ravensthorpe.
Fitzgerald River National ParkFitzgerald River National Park
This trek takes you through one of Western Australia’s most significant bio-diversity areas. Enjoy the white beaches and access some of the best isolated coastal camping and fishing spots in the state.
Great Western WoodlandsGreat Western Woodlands
This route offers fascinating insights into the woodline operations that supplied fuel and pit infrastructure to the Coolgardie, Kalgoorlie and Norseman mining operations for the first half of the 20th century, as well as remnants of sandalwood cutting operations. It traverses arid temperate woodlands of outstanding diversity and ecological importance.
Holland TrackHolland Track
From Broome Hill to Coolgardie, the Holland Track was originally built in the gold rush days as a shortcut to the Goldfields. Hardly ever visited for nearly 100 years, it was re-cut as a 4WD track in 1992 and is a popular trip with locals.[Feature Story]
Hyden Norseman RoadHyden Norseman Road
Also known as the Granite & Woodlands Discovery Trail, this is a delightful journey with lots to see and do. Best of all it's suitable for all vehicles along a well maintained wide gravel road.
Lakewood WoodlinesLakewood Woodlines
The Lakewood woodline area is located south of Boulder and east of Norseman and has hundreds of kilometres of bush tracks. You will see the remains of old railway formations, lines of rotting sleepers and evidence of woodcutter's camps.
Norseman to Balladonia Overland Telegraph TrackNorseman to Balladonia Overland Telegraph Track
Follow a little known track that runs adjacent to the old telegraph line from Coolgardie to Eucla. Journey alongside pristine salmon and gimlet woodlands, salt lakes, and rocky outcrops, and explore the relics from WA's rich gold mining history.
Nuytsland Nature ReserveNuytsland Nature Reserve
This trek takes you through some very remote southern coastal country along Telegraph Track through the pristine Nuytsland Nature Reserve.
Toolinna CoveToolinna Cove
This trek takes you from Balladonia Road House, across the vast almost treeless grasslands of the Nullarbor, then through the thickly wooded areas to Toolinna Cove at the Baxter Cliffs. On the way you will visit Five Ways Well, a number of sink holes, ruins of a telegraph linesman’s hut, rock holes and a tank. Then you reach the spectacular 75 metre high Baxter’s Cliffs at Toolinna Cove.
Warren Beach DunesWarren Beach Dunes
This trek, which starts in Pemberton, takes you through the Brockman, D'Entrecasteaux and Warren National Parks and provides spectacular scenery ranging from towering karri forests to endless sand dunes reminiscent of the Sahara.

Go to top WA South Coast Weather & Climate

Closest Weather Station

Albany Airport at 24/09:00am WST
Distance from Albany 12.12km NW
TemperatureFeels LikeRel. HumidityDew PointPressureRainfallWind DirectionWind SpeedGusts

Closest Climatic Station

Distance from Albany 0.33km SW
Mean Max. °C22.822.922.220.918.616.615.716.317.218.420.421.9
Mean Min. °C15.215.514.712.710.
Mean Rain mm24.022.738.568.9117.1133.2143.6126.0101.778.845.229.9


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