As an international student, it’s crucial to make the most of your time in Western Australia - both in and out of the classroom. When you study at South Regional TAFE‘s Bunbury or Albany campuses, you’ll have no trouble doing exactly that. In addition to the high-quality facilities and training you’ll receive on campus; you’ll also have a range of amazing activities and experiences right at your doorstep. TAFE International Western Australia (TIWA) can assist you to start your education journey.
Studying in regional WA can provide you with a unique opportunity to experience the amazing natural beauty of WA. The Western Australian (WA) Regional TAFE International Student Bursary 2023–2024 gives international students a chance to experience life in regional and remote Australia while receiving high quality education and training. You will also receive help to find suitable local accommodation and support to find employment in the region!
How to get to the South West
As one of WA’s most popular tourist destinations, there are many easy ways to get to the South West. Bunbury(opens in a new tab) is about 180km away from Perth – a two hour drive. Transwa(opens in a new tab) offers everyday train services connecting the two cities, or you can hop on a coach.
About 420km away lies Albany(opens in a new tab), which is a four and a half hour drive along the convenient Albany Highway, or about six hours on a coach. A flight takes an hour, with Virgin Australia and Rex Airlines offering direct flights.
Known for its dolphins, calm waters and green mangroves packed with wildlife, Bunbury(opens in a new tab) is perfect for students who want to be close to nature. South Regional TAFE’s Bunbury campus offers a range of courses for international students, including commercial cookery and early childhood education and community services. With the fine dining Epicure Training Restaurant and on-campus child care centre, there are a range of opportunities to gain real-world work experience.
Based in a friendly and culturally diverse town South Regional TAFE’s Albany campus is an incredibly welcoming place to study with students from all backgrounds. It’s the perfect place to live and study for those seeking a relaxing seaside destination. This campus offers courses in early childhood education and community services.
Five things to see and do in Bunbury area
Get up close and personal with local wildlife
Australia is home to a diverse range of native animals. Many of which you can see first-hand in South West WA. To see some of the ocean’s most playful creatures, head to the Dolphin Discovery Centre(opens in a new tab) in Bunbury. Here you can visit the Interpretive Centre, the Interaction Zone, go on a Dolphin Eco Cruise, or even swim with the dolphins!
You can also head to the Bunbury Wildlife Park(opens in a new tab). You’ll see iconic Australian land animals, from kangaroos and wallabies to koalas and dingoes. The park also offers interactive experiences to help you make the most of your time there. The Bunbury Wildlife Park is open every day of the week except Monday and concession tickets are available for students.
Explore Ferguson Valley
Less than a 20 minute drive from Bunbury you’ll find the beautiful Ferguson Valley(opens in a new tab), famous for its rolling green hills, leafy forests, and colourful wildflowers.
If you’re into your food, make sure to visit the area’s amazing wineries or breweries. You’ll find plenty of cellar doors offering drink tastings and delicious cheese boards to enjoy with friends. For those who love nature, go for a walk though Crooked Brook Forest. If you’re looking for something totally unique, a must visit is Gnomesville(opens in a new tab), a section of bushland home to over 7,000 garden gnomes!
Visit Busselton, Dunsborough and Margaret River
One of the best things about living in Bunbury is how accessible nearby landmarks are. Every weekend, you can explore somewhere new! Busselton is only a 40-minute drive away, and a visit to the iconic Busselton Jetty is a must. It’s the second-longest jetty in the world, stretching almost two kilometres! Make sure to check out the Underwater Observatory(opens in a new tab), where you descend eight metres to the ocean floor to explore the colourful marine environment.
A short drive from Busselton is Dunsborough, another bustling coastal town. Head to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse(opens in a new tab) for the incredible views or jump on a charter boat and go whale watching.
Just inland, you’ll find Margaret River(opens in a new tab), WA’s world-famous wine region. Once you’ve finished visiting the wineries, head to the town centre, which is packed with art galleries, cafés and specialist stores. Some of the region’s top surf breaks are only a ten minute drive away; the World Surf League championships are held at Surfer’s Point each year, where you might spot Kelly Slater!
Five things to see and do in Albany area
Relax at some of the world’s best beaches and enjoy natural wonders
If you like the beach, then you’ll love South West WA. The region is home to an array of breath taking beaches. These include Little Beach(opens in a new tab), Middleton Beach(opens in a new tab) and Jetty Baths(opens in a new tab). Not far from Albany(opens in a new tab), you’ll find Little Beach(opens in a new tab). This is a stunning oasis with bright turquoise waters and crisp white sands. This quiet spot offers views of the sea and an escape from the hustle and bustle of regional city living.
If you’d rather stay closer to Albany, you can also check out Middleton Beach(opens in a new tab). Known as Albany’s most beautiful seascape, Middleton Beach is a popular destination among locals and tourists. Whether you prefer to lounge in the sand, swim in the sea or have a picnic at the beach’s barbecue facilities, you’re guaranteed an incredible day.
South of Albany is one of Australia’s more incredible natural wonders: The Gap and Natural Bridge(opens in a new tab). This is a spectacular channel in the 40m-high granites of the Torndirrup National Park(opens in a new tab). These offer unforgettable views of the coast from Bald Head to West Cape Howe. A raised pathway allows you to walk over the stones with ease, while a lookout point with see-through floors offers a bird’s eye view of the Southern Ocean’s waves.
Explore Australia’s history
As the oldest settlement in WA, Albany(opens in a new tab) has an incredibly interesting history. It was the first European posting, becoming an important port for ships travelling to Europe and Australia’s eastern states during the gold rush. It is also home to the Menang Noongar people(opens in a new tab), and archaeological excavations show evidence of sites dating back over 18,000 years. Getting to know more about Albany’s history, and how it has influenced Australia at large, is a wonderful way to spend your time.
You should also join a Kurrah Mia tour(opens in a new tab), which immerses you in traditional stories of Menang Country, where Albany sits.
Immersive and interactive, the National ANZAC Centre(opens in a new tab) is an award-winning facility that you can also visit. It commemorates the Australian and New Zealand soldiers of the two World Wars. The museum is in Albany, which was the final departure point for the first ANZAC troops headed to the battlefields of the First World War.