Every day’s a great day to take a road trip in Western Australia, with its year-round sunny skies and holiday climate offering the perfect excuse (if you really need one!) to take a break. For this trip I’m heading from Perth to Bunbury on the southwest coast, with the option of a pit stop at Mandurah for a coffee, walk, swim or even a bit of crabbing along the way. So, buckle up, check those tyres (Maxxis of course!) and join me and the Maxxis Team for this awesome weekend ride.
A few basic directions
From Perth, head south via the Kwinana Freeway/State Route 2 – with the trip to Bunbury an easy-going 175km. Mandurah, which is just under an hour into the journey, is a destination in itself. While you can easily get side-tracked by all that it has to offer, beautiful Bunbury is calling — so be sure you don’t forget to get those wheels back on the road again!
The all-important question of vehicle and tyres
If your vehicle’s a 4×4, what better time to try out some new RAZR AT811 All-Terrains and see what all the buzz is about? Cutting-edge in every way (just ask those who can’t stop raving about them), they’re winners both on- and off-road, with superb traction and roadholding, puncture resistance and outstanding comfort all part of the winning Maxxis deal. If your wheels are something magnificent and sporty, wind down that sunroof, get those sunnies on — and make sure you’ve got some high performing Maxxis VS5’s to match!
Stopping in at Mandurah will get you well into a holiday mood. The magnificent and expansive Peel-Harvey Estuary (twice the size of Sydney Harbour) is home to the bottlenose dolphin – and you probably won’t have to look too far to see some swimming by! It’s also the ultimate place to do a bit of crabbing, with the estuary and surrounds teaming with native blue swimmer crabs in season. Plus, Mandurah is a bird lover’s paradise abounding in migratory (and other) birds. Take a guided walk through the Peel-Yalgorup or Creery Wetlands or one of the other walking trails — or simply stop in for a sensational seafood lunch to get your weekend break started.
Bunbury will take your breath away
As WA’s third largest city with loads of character and plenty to do, Bunbury pulls out all the stops when it comes to finding exciting or equally relaxing ways to fill your weekend itinerary. Here are just a few of the places to go and sights to see…
Brilliant beaches: There are a number of spectacular sandy beaches in the area (including renowned Koombana Bay and Back Beach on Geographe Bay) for swimming, snorkelling, kayaking… or just sitting and soaking up a sensational sunset!
Swim with the dolphins: Famous for its bottlenose dolphins, at Koombana Bay you can have an up-close encounter for yourself. Book in for a swim or Eco Cruise at the Dolphin Discovery Centre.
Meet and greet a Quokka: If coming face-to-face with a quokka is on your bucket list — Bunbury Wildlife Park is a place that can make this happen! Along with Western Grey kangaroos and dingos, wallabies, wombats and a wide range of other native Australian wildlife and birds on display, there’s also a playground and BBQ facilities – which makes a family outing all perfectly sorted!
Go for the Art: Bunbury’s art scene is a happening place. Set in a distinctive very pink convent building, you can’t miss the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery — always abuzz with exhibitions and other events and activities. Street art is also very much part of Bunbury’s character, with murals and other artwork throughout the town.
Light up your Instagram: The impressive, black-and-white patterned Bunbury Lighthouse (25m high) is a landmark in the town and can be seen for miles around. While you can’t go inside, it’s a very worthy (not to mention impressive) backdrop for your Bunbury road trip Insta post.
Walk or cycle the Leschenault Inlet trail: Put on your walking boots or enjoy a bike ride around this 5km walking trail past the Mangrove Boardwalk. You’ll see plenty of birdlife and if you’re lucky you may even spot a dolphin or two making their way to the ocean!
Farmers Market: No weekend road trip to Bunbury is complete without a visit to the Farmers Market. Full of freshly grown produce from “just down the road local” – load up your esky for your homeward journey or enjoy a “market made” lunch while you’re there.
Where to stay: From character cottages to beach-inspired motels and apartments with water views, Bunbury has a range of accommodation to suit your style. If camping or caravanning is your idea of holiday fun, there are various holiday parks, including one situated right on the foreshore.
Anything else to know before you go?
With an average March daily temperature of 250C and nine hours of sunshine pretty much guaranteed, timing for a road trip to Bunbury doesn’t get any better than this! So, get your sunnies ready, esky on board and those Maxxis tyres checked and ready to roll! And of course, travel safely!