Now, nature lovers just cannot leave the region without heading south. The landscapes and coastline around Augusta and Cape Leeuwin are some of the wildest and most untouched that the region has to offer! Start the day early, with a self-guided tour of Mammoth Cave as it opens at 9am. Take in the majesty of the cave’s chambers, check out the fossil remains of long-extinct megafauna, and finish up with a leisurely wander through the beautiful marri forest. Here, you are truly immersed in nature. You can also head to neighboring Lake Cave, featuring a tranquil lake which reflects the chamber’s delicate formation. Guided tours throughout the day take about 40 minutes – so aim for the 10am or 10.40am tour to keep the day open.
Heading further south, it’s time to visit the incredible Boranup Karri Forest, home to the third tallest tree species in the world. This can be done in your car or on foot (or a bit of both!). A cruisy drive along Boranup Drive will allow you to see multiple spots of interest, including the Boranup Lookout which allows you to take in both the forest and ocean views. From the lookout, you also have access to some walking trails, which for birdwatchers are particularly great. You may see purple-crowned lorikeets, fairy-wrens, white-breasted robins and golden whistlers, among many others! This is a great picnic spot, so we recommend bringing your own lunch to enjoy before setting off again.
From here, your next stop might just make your entire trip. A visit to Jewel Cave is absolutely non-negotiable on a nature lover’s itinerary of the region. With three massive chambers and the longest straw stalactites found in any cave in Australia, it’s easy to see why it’s considered the jewel of all caves! With guided tours only, aim for the 1.30pm slot because there’s still so much more to see.
Continuing down into Augusta, you’ll see why it’s becoming more and more popular as a nature and adventure mecca. Look out for dolphins, birdlife and fish at the Hardy Inlet, or drive down Green Hill Road to the Augusta Look Out where you get 360-degree views of ocean, forest and farmland and, in the right season, a beautiful array of wildflowers. Another great place to see wildflowers in season is at Flat Rock, which hosts a Flora Bushwalk right at the mouth of the Hardy Inlet.
But, you’re not done until you’ve ventured right down to the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, perched at the southwestern-most tip of Australia where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet. The views from here of the often-treacherous coastline are spectacular, and also offer the best on-land opportunities to see whales migrating from May – September! This Lighthouse, the tallest on mainland Australia, is still a vital working lighthouse for vessels navigating the cape. With guided tours of the lighthouse available every half hour daily, you can learn about the area’s maritime history and get some incredible views at the same time.
For the adventure seekers, today is the day to get out on the water and see the whales up close! All Sea Charters will get you front row seats to the action, departing from the Augusta Boat Harbour throughout winter to spot Humpback whales, Southern Right whales and maybe even fur seals. Don’t forget your camera – or your wet weather gear.