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South West

WA's South West offers an amazingly diverse range of experience for visitors. Some of Australia's best wineries, local produce, stunning beaches and majestic forests can be found throughout the region.

Albany is the oldest town in Western Australia and was first settled in 1826, three years before Perth was founded. The town boasts many beautiful historic buildings as well as Australia's last operational whaling station which closed in 1978.

Albany Forts are known as the Princess Royal Fortress houses a fascinating military museum including a section on the Australian Light Horse which left for Gallipoli from Albany.

Albany Old Gaol was built in 1852 for convicts who were brought to WA to help build the state. The gaol has some great displays and tells some exciting and chilling stories. Open daily from 10.00 - 4.00.

Bijou Theatre was built in 1896, and is the oldest purpose-built theatre still operating in Western Australia. After major repairs and restoration in 1971 by the Guild, the State Heritage Listed theatre has been revitalised and continues to draw in the Esperance community for its performances, and theatre tours.

Bridgedale House is the oldest remaining building in Bridgetown being built by a pioneering pastoralist, John Blechynden in 1862. and is managed by the National Trust.

Bridgetown Old Gaol & Police Headquarters was built in 1880 and is open to view every Saturday from 10.00 - 2.00.

Brig Amity on the Albany foreshore is a replica of the ship that sailed from Sydney in 1826 carrying Major Edmund Lockyer who was ordered to create a settlement in King George Sound. The Amity is an excellent experience and gives the visitor a very realistic view of what life on one of these ships might have been like.

Busselton Jetty's construction began in 1865 to service the local timber industry and as the ships got larger the jetty got longer. It is now nearly 2km long and is the longest wooden piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. At the end of the jetty there is an amazing underwater observatory giving visitors a unique view if the beautiful marine life found in this very special place.

Busselton Museum is housed in the old Butter Factory that was first opened in 1918 and is open every day except Tuesday from 10.00 - 4.00.

Busselton Old Courthouse Art Complex is made up of a number of heritage listed buildings which began construction in 1860. The site is now an important centre for arts and culture in the region. The complex includes galleries, studios and a shop.

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse is situated on the most South Westerly point of Australia. This is the place where the Southern Ocean and the Indian Ocean meet and the views from the top of the 39 metre tall tower offers the most fantastic views, including the possibility of seeing whales during the season. The site also has a great museum, cafe and shop. Open daily from 8.45 - 5.00.

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse is located about 13 km from Dunsborough and the site offers a fascinating museum beautiful views of the Geograohe Bay Coastline.

Dardanup Heritage Park is located about 15 minutes drive from Bunbury and has a large collection of working agricultural and industrial machinery. In addition to the collection there is a shop and tearoom. Open Sundays and Wednesdays from 9.30 - 4.00 with the steam powered saw mill in operation on the first Sunday of the month.

Dwellingup Forest Heritage Centre is the home of the Australian School of Fine Wood and has some wonderful pieces of locally made furniture and artefacts on display and for sale. They also offer guided tours of the forest

Ellensbrook was built in 1857 by Alfred and Ellen Bussell early settlers to the region. The site is now managed by the National Trust.

Greenbushes Discovery Centre gives a fascinating insite into the life of the local community. It has a great mining and timber display and is managed by a team of dedicated volunteers. Open Wednesday, Friday Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 - 2.00 - you will be amazed.

Kodja Place in Kojonup tells the story of the local farming community from a number of fascinating perspectives including the local Noongar Aboriginal people. Kodja place will give you some very unique perspectives on the story of the town including a tale told through a rose garden. There is a cafe and shop on site.

Margaret River Caves - Mammoth, Jewel and Lake offer the visitor some stunning guided and self guided experiences. Lake Cave was discovered in 1867 by Francis Bussell daughter of John Bussell an early settler, it is located next to the Caveworks Eco Interpretive Centre. Jewel and Mammoth caves offer different experiences and a range of guides and self guided tour experiences.

Ngligi Cave was discovered in 1899 and provides a unique and exciting view of the Western Australian landscape. Beautiful caves formations and the history of the caves is shared with visitors by experienced guides. Open daily 9.30 - 4.00.

Strawberry Hill Farm was the home of the first Government Resident in Western Australia, Captain Sir Richard Spencer RN. The site is managed by the National Trust and is open daily from 10.00 - 4.00.

WA Museum Albany is located near the Brig Amity on the Albany foreshore overlooking the Princess Royal Harbour. The museum has a number of displays relating the settlement of Albany and interaction with the local Noongar Aboriginal people.

Whaleworld was the home of the Cheynes Beach Whaling Company between 1952 and 1978. Whale world tells the story of commercial whaling and gives visitors an insight into what it was like to work here at the height of the whaling industry.

Working Life Heritage Trail offers an insight to a range of exciting sites throughout the South West.

For more information visit Western Australia- South West or Australia's South West

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