Itineraries

These are some suggested drives to help you explore the Great Southern region.

Our full drive trail is just over 800km long and connects most of the towns you find on this site. Enjoy the whole trail, or come back time and again, and linger in the Great Southern. Along the trail you will be entertained and delighted by the changing landscape, friendly faces and unique experiences.

FULL LOOP MULTI DAY DRIVE TRAIL

Perth – Kojonup – Frankland – Cranbrook – Mount Barker – Porongurup National Park – Stirling Range National Park – Ongerup – Pingrup – Nyabing – Gnowangerup – Tambellup – Broomehill – Katanning – Woodanilling

Coming south from Perth along Albany Highway, enter Kojonup, and stop in first at Kodja Place and learn about the history of the region. Get a copy of the historic walk trail map, and enjoy the scenic hills and lovingly maintained historic sites. Hop aboard the Kojonup Tourist Railway and if you love nature, don’t miss the Myrtle Benn Flora and Fauna Sanctuary.

Heading south to Frankland River, you begin to enter wine and orchard country. Lush and welcoming, the winding roads have a surprise at every turn. Several lakes are popular for cooling off in summer and offer beautiful photo opportunities.

Then along to Cranbrook to enjoy the wildflower walk, Sukey Hill Lookout and Bob’s Lake Bird Hide. If your trip is short, don’t miss out on the Stirling Range National Park, one of the world’s top 10 biodiversity hotspots, great for walks, wildflowers and scenic vistas.

Continue on to Mount Barker and enjoy their museums and many sights, with a great selection of cafés to enjoy and plan your trip across to the Porongurup National Park, where you can’t miss the Granite Skywalk and Castle Rock lookout. Take your time and visit some of the many award-winning wineries in Mount Barker and Porongurup.

Head north through the Stirling Range National Park and check out the renowned and challenging climb at Bluff Knoll. The National Park is another of the world’s top 10 biodiversity hotspots and is great for walks, wildflowers and scenic vistas. Rest up and refresh in Borden at Pub Borden and then head north east to Ongerup to discover the amazing Yongergnow Australian Malleefowl Centre, which tells the story of the conservation of the endangered Malleefowl by this passionate farming community.

Pingrup and Nyabing really epitomize small town Western Australia, with their close-knit communities and unique heritage. Learn about the fascinating pink lakes, and unlock the heart of wheat-and-sheep country by looking throughthe historical sheds and working CBH bins. Why not pop into the Nyabing Community Hub to have a meal and a chat with a local or grab a coffee at The Store Café in Pingrup.

Gnowangerup is a community that treasures its past but embraces the opportunity for renewal and growth. You can utilise their Community Resource Centre, modern recreation centre and swimming pool and experience the beautiful Gnowangerup Aboriginal Museum and Keeping Place, which is not to be missed.

Tambellup has a number of delightful walks and the historical Toolbrunup School Site and is a short drive to Broomehill, which is the start of the historic Holland Track, a 600km journey to Coolgardie. See if you can spot Boot Rock on your way into town.

Just a few kilometres north of Broomehill is Katanning, one of the most multi-cultural rural communities in Western Australia, with approximately 40 different cultures represented. Stop in at the famous All Ages Playground and meander under the ‘Fly Your Flag’ display with 20 flag poles. In the heart of town there are a number of unique sightssuch as the Mosque and Kobeelya, the 1902 home of the influential Piesse family.

As you head home, don’t skip past the unique and welcoming Woodanilling. Take the time to explore the restoration of Richardson’s Store, completed by the community Men’s Shed.

Safety Tips

LIFE THREATENING EMERGENCIES
Phone: 000

POLICE
Phone: 131 444

  • Drive with care on gravel
  • Look out for wildlife and livestock especially at dawn and dusk  Be aware of and give way to large roadtrains, trucks and agricultural machinery which frequent these roads
  • Do not light fires. Check with the local Shire first if there are restrictions in place
  • Some smaller towns may not serve fuel after hours so check ahead
  • Take you rubbish with you

Useful information

trailswa.com.au
wikicamps.com.au

Treasures Loop 4 day drive trail

Perth – Kojonup – Frankland – Cranbrook – Ongerup – Pingrup – Nyabing – Gnowangerup – Tambellup – Broomehill – Katanning – Woodanilling

On this trail you have the opportunity to take in all the treasures we have to offer in the Great Southern, including Kodja Place, wineries, olive groves, wildflower walks, national parks, the Granite Skywalk and Castle Rock lookout, the Gnowangerup Aboriginal Museum and Keeping Place, the start of the historic Holland Track the beautifully restored Premier Mill and Dome Café in Katanning. Use the towns page to plan what you want to see and where you want to stay.

Early Settlers & Great Southern Railway 2 day drive trail

Wagin – Woodanilling – Katanning – Broomehill – Tambellup – Cranbrook – Albany

Follow the route of the Great Southern Railway, which was completed between Perth and Albany in 1889. Wonder at the abilities and tenacity of our early settlers and the architects of the day, as well as experiencing our natural heritage. Plan ahead and book a guided tour, available in Katanning, Broomehill and Tambellup, or hop out of the car and take a walk on one of the many heritage trails on offer. The best point of entry is along the Great Southern Highway.

Lakes War Settlement 2 day drive trail

Wagin – Dumbleyung – Nyabing – Pingrup – Ongerup – Jerramungup – Bremer Bay -Albany

Be amazed at one of nature’s largest lakes in Western Australia, situated just outside Dumbleyung. It’s so big that in 1964 Graham Campbell attempted to break the world land speed record on it. You will travel east through some of the best open rural plains in the Great Southern. Travellers will touch the tip of the ancient river system, running north/south from Pingrup to Lake Grace, now only a series of salt lakes. As you near Jerramungup you will be coming into some of our most recently settled rural areas. After World War II, the government of the day opened large tracts of land in a bid to repatriate returning soldiers and you can see just how well our ‘diggers’ adapted.

National Parks & Biosphere 3 day drive trail

Albany – Bremer Bay – Jerramungup – Ongerup – Borden – Cranbrook – Perth

Travellers should be aware that there is a lot of dirt and some very rough ground to cover on this drive trail. We recommend 4WD touring, otherwise it is best to travel in the dryer months. The Great Southern is home to two unique National Parks: the Stirling Range National Park, which includes one of the only ranges that regularly experiences snow in WA, and the Fitzgerald River National Park, one of the largest parks in Australia, forming a large part of the Fitzgerald Biosphere. With over 180 plant species, 75 of which are not found anywhere else in the World, this is a must-do trip.

WILDFLOWER DRIVES & WALKS

Each spring, the Great Southern region of Western Australia comes alive as Mother Nature breaks out the paintbrushes and splashes the landscape with blossoming wildflowers. It’s a sight worth travelling for – as evidenced by the influx of visitors to the region, many of whom choose to take the trip at their own pace and head out on a self-drive tour. This vast area extends from Frankland in the southwest, the Porongurups in the south, across to Ongerup, and as far north as Pingrup, Nyabing and Woodanilling so there are plenty of options for doing short trips between two or three locations or taking on a longer drive through the region.

A great time to experience its wonders is during our Bloom Festival in spring and most of the local towns in the area will have activities on for wildflower, nature and gardening enthusiasts. It’s a big time of year, and even without established nature reserves in some areas, the wildflowers still bloom close to town. However, to get the most from the experience, you’ll need to get behind the wheel and drive out to some of the better sites. For the most part, the roads in the area are either sealed, or well-maintained gravel roads suitable for two-wheel drive vehicles and caravans. If you come to a piece of bushland by the side of the road, it’s most likely a reserve. You can usually tell it’s a reserve because they’re not fenced. Some of our suggestions to get you started:

Myrtle Benn Flora and Fauna Sanctuary, near Kojonup

Located on Tunney Road, north of the Frankland River-Cranbrook Road, the Myrtle Benn Flora and Fauna Reserve is  prime place to go wildflower spotting. It’s a wellestablished reserve, with a carpark out the front and maps to help you find your way around.

Farrar Dam Reserve, near Kojonup

The dam is another great spot recommended by Di and easy to find as well. From the Kojonup Visitor Centre, head for Albany Highway, take an immediate right onto the Boyup Brook – Kojonup Road and follow it for about 8km. The reserve is welI signposted.

Stirling Range National Park, near Borden

As you’d expect, the national parks in the region are home to plenty of wildflowers. The Stirling Range National Park is no exception. The access roads from Cranbrook (Salt River Road) and Borden (Chester Pass Road) are sealed but the roads within the park are not – Stirling Range Drive and Red Gum Springs Road are gravel – regularly graded and in good condition at the appropriate speeds. There is an entry fee per vehicle for the park.

Fitzgerald River National Park, near Bremer Bay

Another scenic spot to enjoy, The Fitzgerald River National Park is a wellsignposted, easy drive. Some roads are unsealed and you should call ahead to the range to make sure the roads are in good condition before heading in. There’s an entry fee per vehicle for the park.

Lake Magenta Nature Reserve, in the Shire of Pingrup

About 35km East of Pingrup or approximately 30km north of Jerramungup (depending on which way you’re travelling), Lake Magenta Nature Reserve is home to all manner of furry and feathered beasts. Being a reserve, it’s also a haven for wildflowers and well worth driving out to see. This is the most out-of-the-way recommendation, but definitely worth it.

Corackerup Nature Reserve

Located between Jerramungup and Ongerup, on the Boxwood-Ongerup Road, this 4,500-hectare nature reserve is ideal for wildflowers. The roads into the reserve are unsealed, and can get a little rough after heavy traffic.

Broomehill Golf Club & Boot Rock Reserve

Follow the Tie Line Road out of the centre of Broomehill and you’ll hit the turnoff to the golf course. Take a stroll between the fairways and you will be surprised by the treasures nature has on show. Boot Rock Reserve is on the edge of town, just off the Great Southern Highway. See if you can find the Boot! If you time your visit right, you may even catch a guided tour during the Bloom Festival.

Cranbrook

On the outskirts of Cranbrook is the well set-up Cranbrook Wildflower Walk, an easy, signposted wander through the area. There’s also a self-drive wildflower route you can take. Check in at the shire office in town for guidance on where it begins.

Chinocup Lake

A short hop northwest of Pingrup is Chinocup Lake, Lake Dorothy, Lake Pingrup and the Chinocup Nature Reserve. It’s a relatively untouched parcel of land, home to all manner of local fauna. The area also comes alive with colour when the wildflowers are in full bloom.

Along The Banks Of The Gordon River

Part of the Tambellup Heritage Trail and just on the edge of town on the Tambellup West Road you’ll find a small picnic area and a signposted walking track along the river. It’s a great place to stop for a bite to eat and to see an incredible array of water birds, including a huge family of black swans, as well as wildflowers.