Quiet, winding karri tree-lined roads, rolling green hills and ever-changing scenery mean driving around the picturesque Denmark countryside is as much about enjoying the speccy views and bucolic scenery as it is about getting from A to B.
Below are some of the best scenic roads and touring routes for you to discover from Denmark town: (Jump Down ↓)
Part 1: Three Short Scenic Touring Routes to Follow When Exploring the Denmark Area:
1. A Short Scenic Drive Taking in the Main Sights Close to Denmark Town
The drive itself takes less than half an hour, but you could easily spend half a day or longer stopping at the lookouts, beaches and walk trails along the way.
2. Mount Shadforth Scenic Drive
Some of Denmark’s prettiest views and vistas of all are to be found along this scenic drive, which follows Mount Shadforth Road west from town about 15km along a ridge.
While some sections of the winding road are lined with tall graceful karri trees, you still get good clear views out over green rolling hills and dairy pastures, stands of karri forest and vineyards – all the way down to Wilson Inlet and the Nullaki Peninsula and the Southern Ocean beyond.
On a clear day you also get beautiful views of the deep blue sea in William Bay and Point Hillier looming above on the horizon.
Mount Shadforth Road is sealed near Denmark town but turns to gravel further west about two-thirds of the way along.
3. Scotsdale Tourist Drive
The Scotsdale Tourist Drive follows Scotsdale Road north and west from town through verdant farmland, rolling green hills, orchards, vineyards and areas of karri forest.
A large number of Denmark’s attractions of the food and wine variety are to be found along this picturesque scenic drive, plus a plenty of art galleries and other things to see and do. The alpaca farm on the corner of Scotsdale and Mount Mecleod Roads is a big hit with kids (it also happens to be very popular with some adults I know!), and the meadery offers something a bit different.
For a short bushwalk and a picnic about half-way along Scotsdale Road, stop at Harewood Forest. This regrowth karri forest is a peaceful and pretty place to be, with a babbling brook and lots of birds, especially wrens.
The Tourist Route leaves Scotsdale Road with a left-turn onto Mcleod Road, which in turn meets up with South Coast Highway very close to the entrance to the eastern half of the William Bay National Park. The meadery and William Bay turn-off are considered the end of the Scotsdale Tourist Route.
A Map of Denmark’s Scenic Drives:
- Red: The Denmark Town Scenic Drive
- Orange: Mount Shadforth Scenic Drive
- Blue: Scotsdale Tourist Drive
Part 2: A Couple of Longer Day Trips From Denmark Incorporating Scenic Roads
4. Denmark to Walpole along South Coast Highway via Valley of the Giants Road
Walpole is the next town over to the west, about a 45 minute drive from Denmark. Although not considered a “tourist route” as such, the section of South Coast Highway between the two towns passes through some incredibly beautiful – and quintessentially “Denmark” – scenery.
Leaving Denmark town, the road is tree-lined and winds its way through forest and farm land before straightening out not long after the William Bay National Park. A long straight section through flat pastures with the richest, most emerald-green grass you’ll see anywhere in WA (quite a novelty for many Australians!) changes into dense karri forests as you get closer to Walpole and the wilderness area. The tall karri trees form a tunnel of greenery high in the air above the road.
There are a few wineries and touristy food and craft shops along the highway, though not as many as closer to Denmark along Scotsdale Road. Although you don’t get any ocean views on this drive, there are several points along highway from which you can make a side trip down to the coast:
- The main turn-off into William Bay NP (Greens Pool, Elephant Rocks)
- Parry Beach (western section of William Bay)
- Boat Harbour (4WD track)
- Peaceful Bay and Conspicuous Beach
If you’re heading back to Denmark at the end of the day, take Valley of the Giants Road as an alternative route between Nornalup and Bow Bridge. It passes through beautiful mixed karri and tinglewood forest and more green fields before meeting back up with South Coast Highway.
5. The Drive From Denmark to Albany (With a Couple of Detours Down to the Coast)
Albany is a big town about a half hour drive east of Denmark. It’s a great place to visit as a day trip from Denmark, but there’s so much to do around Albany that you should really give it a few more days!
There are two roads to Albany from Denmark: South Coast Highway, or Lower Denmark Road, which is a slightly longer detour off South Coast Highway that also ends in Albany.
The green grassy scenery between Denmark and Albany is pretty similar, whichever road you choose to follow. But Lower Denmark Road is the one to take if you wish to explore some of the coastline between the two towns.
Optional: Detours into West Cape Howe National ParkDetouring into the West Cape Howe National Park down to Lowlands Beach, plus Shelley Beach and Cosy Corner, you’ll be driving on twisty-turny potholed gravel roads through farmland, sections of karri forest and coastal heath.
The beautiful beaches and dramatic rocks and cliffs down on the coast make all the bumps, corrugations and potholes well worth while!
If you have a 4WD you have many more opportunities to explore West Cape Howe National Park along tracks that lead down to more beaches and cliffs, including Torbay Head, the southernmost point of Western Australia.
Last Updated: 29th May, 2015.
First posted on 29th December, 2013 by Bonny.
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