Southern Western Australia
The south-west area of Western Australia is huge. It includes a number of main regions: the Goldfields and Esperance region, Margaret River which includes Albany, and of course, the Great Australian Bight including Eucla, Forrest and some of the Nullarbor. Our Australian Air Adventure perfectly captures the wonderful regions of the Pilbara.
Kalgoorlie is situated in the region of Western Australia known as the GoldFields-Esperance region. There is nowhere in the world like Kalgoorlie. Nestled amongst majestic architecture, this buzzing community of around 30,000 people maintain their outback lifestyle with pride and energy.
Experience both past and present here, by exploring an old mine shaft and touring the awesome Super Pit covering eight square kilometres — Australia’s largest open cut mine.
During the wildflower season (July to September), the rugged goldfields scenery puts on an unrivalled floral display. The area’s salt lakes, granite formations, and Aboriginal rock art add to the natural drama throughout the year.
Esperance is a beautiful coastal town located 720 km south-east of Perth and about 4.5 hours from Albany. Featuring the most stunning coastal scenery, visitors can enjoy squeaky white sand and turquoise water.
Roughly translated, Esperance is French for hope, and it’s the French who are credited with the town’s discovery, naming, and other local landmarks whilst sheltering from a storm in this area in 1792. Ten years on, Matthew Flinders sailed the glorious waters of the Bay of Isles, discovering and naming gems such as Lucky Bay and Thistle Cove. Whalers, sealers and pirates followed, as did pastoralists and miners, keen to cash in on free land and the gold boom to the North at Kalgoorlie. Today, tourism, agriculture, and fishing steer the economy of this stunning coastal community.
There are five national parks around Esperance. The Cape Le Grand National Park is only 56 km from the town centre, and this is where you can see kangaroos lazing on the beach. Further east is Cape Arid, also a popular spot for camping, fishing and hiking.
Margaret River is a town in the south-west of Western Australia, located in the valley of the eponymous Margaret River, 277 km south of Perth. Margaret River is the foremost Geographical Indication wine region in the South West Australia Zone, with nearly 5,500 hectares under vine and over 138 wineries as at 2008.
Albany is a port city in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, some 418 km south-east of Perth. As of 2009, Albany’s population was estimated at 33,600, making it the sixth-largest city in the state of WA. The city centre is at the northern edge of Princess Royal Harbour; itself a part of King George Sound. The CBD is bounded by Mount Clarence to the East and Mount Melville to the West. The town has an important role in the ANZAC legend, being the last port of call for troopships departing Australia in the First World War.
Cape Leeuwin is the most south-westerly mainland point of the Australian Continent. The St. Alouarn Islands extend further to the South, and Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse stands at the most south-westerly tip of Australia, at the point where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet.
Great Australian Bight
The coastline of the Great Australian Bight is characterised by cliff faces (up to 60 m high), surfing beaches, and rock platforms — ideal for whale-watching. The waters of the Great Australian Bight, despite being relatively shallow, are not fertile. While most continental shelves are rich in sea life and make popular fishing areas, the barren deserts north of the bight have very little rainfall, and what there is mostly flows inland, to dissipate underground or in salt lakes. It is probably best noted for the large number of sharks that frequent its coastal waters, as well as the increasing numbers of Southern Right Whales that migrate within the region.
Eucla is the easternmost locality in Western Australia, located in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia along the Eyre Highway, approximately 11 km west of the South Australian border. Eucla was established in 1877 as a manual repeater station for the Overland Telegraph.
A jetty and a one km tram line was constructed for offloading supplies to this remote area. At the time, both the South and Western Australian colonial administrations operated out of Eucla’s telegraph station. Before the invention of Morse Code, South Australian staff employed what was known as the 'Victorian Alphabet', and Western Australian telegraphers used what was known as the 'Universal Code.'
Forrest is a small settlement and railway station on the Trans-Australian Railway in Western Australia. At the 2006 census, Forrest had a population of 18. The township consists of six cottages once used by DCA staff and personnel operating the Bureau of Meteorology weather station.