Here are some maps that may help.
South-west Western Australia map (pdf1.7mb)
Western Australia seems to have an endless supply of bitumen and do we love laying it down! One of the latest projects, and the biggest the State has ever undertaken, involved the creation of a divided four-lane highway that bypasses about everything worth seeing on the way to Margaret River.
The so-called Perth Bunbury Highway is an extension of the Kwinana Freeway that snakes out of central Perth along the riverfront headed south. The route you want is Highway 2.
|To keep you awake on the new highway south you may like to play a guessing game on how to pronounce the many Aboriginal names of locations. The one I loved best is the Noongah people's name for what became Mandurah: ‘Mandjoogoordap’, pronounced man-joo-goord-daap. As you thunder past it's a real challenge to get your tongue around that one.
Apparently one of the pioneers had difficulty too and shortened it to Mandurah. Sure fits better on a street sign ;-)
Once on it just sit back and you can travel at 110km/h for about two hours until you arrive at Bunbury. Well you bypass Bunbury of course, along with Mandurah and later Busselton, all interesting places to visit.
The highway passes some of the mostly God-forsaken sandy country you can imagine and at the time of writing this, December 2011, I could not find a toilet or somewhere to stop for food nor petrol on its entire length. Never has such a desolate highway been built so near to Perth, but it sure gets you down south quickly!
The new highway meets the old highway north of Bunbury and it heads around the capital of the South-West and on to Busselton, mostly still divided, but more scenic and interesting…and you can get some tucker!
There are two other highways that can be taken to arrive at Margaret River, one called The Coast Road and the other the South Western Highway, or inland route. (Both are marked on the Perth map.)
The Coast Road is the more popular and heads south from Fremantle as the Rockingham Road and is part of the major national route known as Highway 1. It initially heads for the coastal town of Rockingham, but veers south toward Mandurah.
Mandurah is an attractive estuary town and is a good stopping off place for morning tea or lunch. Restaurants and takeaway places line the banks of the river that are shaded by huge Morton Bay fig trees.
You can bypass the town by staying on the highway, or follow the signs right that take you to the town centre.
The next major town is Bunbury, which is the capital city of the South West. It is a small, constantly evolving city, with an interesting central area that contains many fine old buildings and a great Victorian hotel, The Rose, that serves a good old fashioned lunch.
It takes about two hours to reach Bunbury from Perth.
The next town is Busselton, about half an hour away. It is a busy coastal town with a beautiful waterfront and some very special cafes and restaurants.
You are now half an hour away from your destination of Margaret River.
If you decide to visit Busselton you can either find your way back to the bypass road, or take Bussell Highway.
The South Western Highway heads south from Armadale and is known as Highway 20. It passes through some interesting old towns such as Pinjarra, Harvey and Brunswick and meets with the Coast Road in Bunbury.
If you intend driving back to Perth from Margaret River returning by the South Western Highway makes for an interesting diversion and the scenery is more rural than the Coast Road and the new highway.
South West Coach Lines conducts a daily service between Perth and Margaret River.
Timetables are subject to change. These are the contact details:
Busselton Booking Centre 08 9753 7700
Bunbury Booking Centre 08 9722 7800
Perth Booking Centre 08 9261 7600
Book Online www.southwestcoachlines.com.au
The Australind train makes daily trips to Bunbury from Perth. It connects with the Westrail bus service that takes passengers south through Margaret River.
Details of timetables can be found at: