The best of Western Australia is found in the south

Even the most thrifty and money-savvy vagabond Wanderers will tell you that travelling is expensive. Even if you manage to plan your trip ahead and snatch up some fantastic deals on Skyscanner and land a cheap as chips hostel; it all adds up, especially Down Under where the cost of living is pretty darn high. Experiences cost money. It’s that simple. Luckily for you, the best things in life are free, and that is certainly the case when it comes to exploring the deep south of the west.

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Anyone who has been or read about Western Australia will know there is a tonne to do in this region. What you may not know, however, is that there is a tonne of free things to do as well, and that is exactly the niche we are about to explore. Oh, yeah, we’re talking how to holiday on a budget in one of the most breathtaking places anywhere on earth.

  1. The Scotsdale tourist drive is one of those incredible tours that everyone in this region needs to explore at least once in their life. What’s more, all you need to do is hire cars in Perth, head down to the picturesque seaside town of Denmark and the rest is yours to enjoy. Strolling through the forests that are rich with wildlife, snorkelling in the calm waters of the Southern Ocean, curl the white sands of Madfish Bay between your toes and enjoy a treetop walk 120 ft above the floor. It is all part f the tour and it is all free to enter.
  2. Slightly west of Denmark is one of the most enticing natural swimming pools you are able to find anywhere on Mother Earth. Not only that, but Greens Pool is also one of the most iconic beaches is in Australia too. The hot white sand running off into the tranquil waters the colour of expensive emeralds, the waters never getting too much thanks to the barrier of rocks. It is the perfect place to relax, swim, snorkel and dive. Once here, you also have a myriad of amazing walks, treks and beaches to choose from; each of them as mind-blowing as the other.

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  1. When in the south, the one thing you won’t want to miss out on is rubbing noses with one of the friendliest creatures of Koombana Bay; the bottlenose dolphin. You see, in Bunbury, there is a world-renowned Dolphin Discovery Centre that is home to a pod of around one hundred wild dolphins. Here you can tick off that bucket list dream of being able to snorkel and swim with these incredible creatures, all under the direction of the amazing marine biologists that work here. Not only is this just a short hour and a half drive south of Perth, but it is also, yup, you guessed it, free to enter.
  2. There is a word, vemodalen, which is the fear that every single photo has already been captured by somebody else. Well, that is certainly the case when it comes to the Sugarloaf Rock of Western Australia. It is just one of the most staggering rock formations you will ever see. The good news is, no photograph can ever do it justice, which is why you need to go there for yourself. This is especially a place to go if you have an interest in wildlife; whether it be birds or humpback whales because both can be found here and both can be found for free.
  3. If you are wanting to see the famous Blackwood River, then the best place to this is from either Bridgetown or Nannup. These not only offer the best access but also the best tours. It is just up to you whether you fancy a walking tour along the banks or the chance to jump in a canoe and see it from the water itself. Of course, you don’t need to walk or canoe or exert any energy if you don’t want to. You can just pack a picnic, take a sunbrella for shade and enjoy the scenes from the banks; a little bottle of local wine to make it that little bit more special.

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  1. The giant red tingle trees of south-west Australia have become somewhat synonymous with the area over the years, and for good reason too. These things are amazing. Their sheer size can only be believed when seen in person. Of course, the best way to experience this forest of beasts is to head to Valley of the Giants in the Walpole-Nornalup National Park and enjoy the treetop walk through the canopy. That isn’t all there is to see in this National Park either because it is a 5000-hectare space of bushland, rugged coastline, rivers and karri trees too. Time your visit right and you may just see the annual salmon migration too, which happens between February and April usually.

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Believing that knowing on its own is not good enough, "you have to share what you know, too", Mikee dela Cruz gladly shares through his writing. A (BA) Communication Studies graduate, he had stints with UNAIDS, UNICEF and Ford Foundation, among others, writing "just about everything". Read on as he does some sharing through Zest Magazine.

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