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Waroona, Western Australia

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Find your own idea of escape in the diverse landscapes of Waroona - white water canoeing, water skiing, power boating and fishing, bushwalking, wildlife spotting and searching for living fossils, or enjoying local arts and dining. Just one hour and 20 minutes south of Perth by car, the country town of Waroona is nestled on the slopes of the Darling Range, in a region that stretches to the Indian Ocean coast. Choose from a host of nearer-to-nature experiences. Go bushwalking or horse riding in the hills, exploring forests rich in native fauna. Drink in the expansive views over rolling farmland to the coast, with brilliant wildflowers carpeting the countryside in spring. For some water-based adventure, head to Waroona Dam, Lane Poole Reserve or Drakesbrook Weir. Waroona Dam covers 145 hectares and is a popular camping, picnic and barbecue spot, with a range of activities on offer, including water skiing, power boating and fresh water fishing for trout, perch and marron (in season). At Lane Poole Reserve, the still pools and contrasting rapids of the Murray River offer canoeists a challenge, while at Drakesbrook Weir you can also canoe, swim, fish or stroll through the bush where thousands of monarch butterflies mass on the blossoms of native trees (December to April). The inland waters of Lake Clifton, in Yalgorup National Park, are an internationally significant habitat for water birds and one of the few places in the world that support thrombolites - living fossils built by some of the oldest known organisms on Earth. Here, you're just a short drive from the golden sands of Preston Beach - a top spot for beach fishing and four-wheel driving. Back in Waroona, you'll find galleries, antique shops, boutiques and myriad eateries, along with a range of accommodation options, including a motel, guesthouse, caravan park, campsite and forest retreat. If you're a motoring enthusiast, time your stay to coincide with Australian Car Day (April) or the British Auto Classic (October). Alternatively, come along to the Waroona Agricultural Show in October and join the locals in celebrating the area's agricultural roots.

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