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The Perth to Margaret River drive takes about 3 hours, and many people do it without stopping. However, we like making a drive into a journey. Let’s call this the best Perth to Margaret river road trip!
You could also consider this a Perth to Busselton route, as Busselton is also located in the Margaret River Wine Region.
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Perth to Margaret River Self Drive
If you are travelling with kids then Self Drive is totally the best way to travel from Perth to Margaret River! As a bonus, when you get to Margaret River you will find that a lot of the attractions are spread out and the only way to see them efficiently is if you are driving yourself!
If you are considering the Perth to Margaret River Road trip then please take a look at our Tips for Road Tripping with kids in order to have the smoothest possible trip with your children.
Did you know that Car Seats are legal for children in Western Australia up to 7 years old? So for non Australians, or even interstate visitors there is a lot to consider; please consider whether you should bring your car seat to Australia!
Places to stop – Perth to Margaret river Itinerary
1. Penguin Island – 45 Minutes South Of Perth CBD
Just 45 minutes south of the Perth CBD Penguin Island in the middle of Shoalwater Marine Park is absolutely worth a stop. Take the short ferry ride, and visit the Penguin Rescue Center, or take a walk around this rugged little island. Allow 2-3 hours. For more information read our post “A Day Trip To Penguin Island”.
2. Thrombolites In Yalgorup National Park – 1.5 Hours South Of Perth CBD
Also known as the Lake Clifton Thrombolites these strange ‘out of this world’ structures are very curious. They are stunning in the early morning or sunset light! Thrombolites are “living rocks”. Thrombolites are easily seen from a short boardwalk and make for a great break in the Perth to Margaret River drive.
Plus for little explorers, the science and history behind it can make a great lesson. The thrombolite-building micro-organisms are miniscule. They are impossible for the eye to see but – they look like the earliest forms of life on earth. Scientists have used thrombolites to understand micro-organisms, and understand the earliest forms of life on earth.
It is not known why the Thrombolites form at Lake Clifton, but it is possibly because the lake is associated with small shoots of fresh groundwater that is high in calcium carbonate.
To get to Lake Clifton, you have to take the Old Coast Road by going through Mandurah (not the new Bypass). Look for the turnoff 25km south of Mandurah.
If you feel like exploring a bit more there is a 5km, 2 hours return easy walk trail, around the edge of Lake Clifton
3. Bunbury – 2 Hours South Of Perth CBD
One of the state’s biggest regional centers, Bunbury, seems to be looked over in people’s rush to get to “Marg’s” (as Margaret River is affectionately known)! This is a mistake in our opinion as Bunbury has a lot to offer.
The Dolphin Center at Koombana Bay is a must stop place on your way from Perth to Margaret River. The summer season from December to March has frequent visits from Dolphins.
The center will be re-opening in December 2018, but if you are visiting before then, you can still do the Dolphin Cruises. Check here for more information on the Dolphin Cruises.
If you love street art, Bunbury is filled with it and we had an enjoyable break in the drive going for a walk in this big, country town. Y Travel blog have covered their top things to do in Bunbury here.
4. Take A Side Trip To The Picturesque Ferguson Valley
The Ferguson Valley is a beautiful rural area is filled with farms, cows, and the most amazing collection of Garden gnomes. We enjoyed a few days stay here, but if you don’t have the time, most definitely make a stop at Gnomesville, about 35 minutes drive from Bunbury.
If you are traveling with kids, we would then recommend continuing on the amazing Apple Fun Park playground in Donnybrook, 20 minutes from Gnomesville. The Apple Fun Park is a huge playground, touted as the largest free entry playground in all of Australia! Using your GPS, from here it is only 40 minutes into Busselton, going cross country.
Of course, if you were not on the Perth to Margaret river drive, you could spend much longer – check out “Things To Do In The Ferguson Valley With Kids”
5. Busselton Jetty – 2.5 Hours South Of Perth CBD
A must stop in any Perth to Margaret River itinerary is Busselton – and more specifically the Busselton Jetty! It is the longest wooden piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere and quite simply a hugely long jetty.
40 minutes south of Bunbury, or 2.5 hours south of Perth, the Busselton Jetty is one of Western Australia’s icons and an enjoyable visit for the whole family. You can choose to walk along the foreshore (there is a great kid’s playground under the Pines), have a picnic, or take the train out to the end of the Jetty! For those who are looking for something very unique, you can even visit the Underwater Observatory at the end of the Busselton jetty!
Note, if you were looking for Perth to Busselton things to do – then you have reached the end of your journey! Please enjoy our Things to do in Busselton.
Perth to Margaret River drive – the Verdict
Yes, you can drive this route in about 3 hours! However, if you follow our Perth to Margaret River itinerary you will discover there is a lot of interesting sites to see along the way! Your journey from Perth to Margaret River will be so much richer for having stopped along the way.
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