Western Australia is home to dramatic, unspoilt scenery, and you don’t have to venture too far from Perth to find it! The following scenic drives allow you to get out into nature and enjoy the diverse landscapes that this part of the country is famous for, from mountain brush to ocean beaches.
Zig Zag Scenic Drive
The Kalamunda Zig Zag makes the top of the list for featuring not only stunning views over the Western Australian countryside, but also a series of winding curves and tight switchbacks that make it fun to drive. You’ll wind slowly through Gooseberry Hill by way of Lascelles Parade, before cutting down the Darling Escarpment. The road can be narrow and steep at times, so it’s best to take it slowly as you zigzag along. However, you’ll most likely want to take your time anyways to enjoy the scenery.
Another journey up into the Darling Mountain Ranges, following Padbury Avenue will take you out of the comfort zone of a sealed road into a crunchy gravel forest. Although you can handle the Padbury Avenue drive in a car with 2WD, it’s more manageable if you have 4WD. This scenic tour allows you to enjoy the natural flora of the forest in the Darling Ranges, including low shrubbery and towering trees.
Gidgegannup Wildflower Drive
The period between August and November is a wonderful time to visit Perth, when the countryside surrounding it is filled with gorgeous wildflowers. One of the best places to view these distinctive blue and yellow flowers is around the village of Gidgegannup, which is located about half an hour to the east of Perth. The Gidgegannup Wildflower Drive takes you through woodlands and meadows, providing a glimpse into the varied agricultural life of Western Australia. You’ll see cows, sheep, and goats; along with more exotic animals including emus and alpacas. Pick up some fresh produce and enjoy a picnic in the flower-studded fields.
Rev your engines and tackle the hills surrounding Perth with a drive up the long, winding Canning Road. This stretch of road links the larger Roe and Brookton motorways, passing through old growth forest along the way. As you climb through the hills, you’ll also drive by the Korung National Park, which is home to the Araluen Botanical Gardens and the Victoria Reservoir. Stretch your legs and enjoy the crystal clear creeks and nature trails on a short hike.
Naturally, one of the most appealing drives outside of Perth is along the coastline. The sunny West Coast Highway begs to be explored with a convertible or motorcycle, and you can find out more about different models before beginning your journey. No matter what type of vehicle you choose, you’ll want to stop at viewpoints like Reabold Hill for panoramic views of the city and coastline. Colourful Scarborough Beach is a popular weekend getaway for Perth residents, while Hillary’s Boat Harbour offers a tranquil swimming spot. Drive up to Mindarie Marina in the north where you can stroll along the boardwalk, before making your way back down to the city.