A ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE
Western Australia is very, very big. Australia’s largest state by far, WA covers one third of the country but don’t be intimidated by its size. If you focus your time well, Western Australia offers up one amazing experience after another, all on the shores of the Indian Ocean. You’ll find every imaginable landscape you can think of here. From the red dirt of the largest expanse of Outback in Australia, to the epic underwater paradise of the Ningaloo Reef. Sip on some of the best wines in the world or chill on one of thousands of stunning beaches that line the coast. And there’s much more besides.
WA is big, diverse and never boring. Here are our top 10 sights you simply cannot miss in WA.
Top 10 places to visit in Western Australia
Giving Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef a run for its money, the Ningaloo is a stunning example of a healthy coral reef teeming with marine life. Its turquiose waters are home to the largest group of whale sharks in the world, and its the opportunity to swim along side these huge gentle giants that draw visitors to the area. But it’s not just the whale sharks that hang out here. Expect to see manta rays, turtles and humpback whales during their annual migration, and much more besides. Located in the north west of the state, the Ningaloo Reef is a natural wonder not to be missed.
Covering hundreds of thousands of miles, the remote beautiful expanse of wilderness known as the Kimberley region is WA at its wildest. Covering most of Australia’s north west corner, the Kimberley is a dreamscape of canyons, swimming holes, outback stations and diverse wildlife. A camel ride on Cable Beach in Broome is a must do, as is a 4WD road trip through the remarkable landscapes to be seen here. If you can afford it, a helicopter ride over the “beehive rocks” of the Bungle Bungles is a once in a lifetime experience!
If you like your wines with a touch of surf, then Margaret River is the place for you. A stunning coastline with some of the best surf in the state gives way to rolling hills and a wine region to top any in Australia. Surf and spot dolphins in the morning then spend the afternoon touring a few wineries in the green, lush hills of the hinterland. The perfect combination.
Quokka selfies abound on this pristine island located just 19km off the coast of WA’s capital, Perth. “Rotto” is home to the cute as a button quokka and much more. Escape the city and swim and snorkel your way through crystal clear waters. Head back on land for a hike through protected nature reserves then hang out on the beach, or say hello to a little quokka. Friendly and extremely sweet, the quokka is the island’s most famous resident.
Perth is WA’s gleaming capital and it really does feel like it has it all. Gorgeous beaches and lush, green parks rub shoulders with cool bars, restaurants and street art, festivals and more. Laid back and cosmopolitan, spending a few days in Perth is a great way to experience WA’s urban centre before you head out to explore further afield.
The Coral Coast
One of the best roadtrips in the state is to be had on the Coral Coast. Covering a massive 1,100km (we told you WA was big!) the beaches here are some of the best, and most remote, in the state. But it’s not just azure waters and squeaky white sand on offer. Head inland to the Outback desert and explore remote towns and learn more about the area’s history. Or just hang out at a local distillery and sink a few beers with the locals. The Ningaloo Reef is located on this stretch of coast which is reason alone to extend your time here.
The Nullarbor Plain
Vast, iconic and unforgiving, crossing the Nullarbor Plain has become something of a pilgrimage for hard core roadtrippers. Covering the southern edge of Australia from WA to South Australia, the Nullarbor is the longest, straightest road in Australia. Semi-arid scrubland accounts for most of the land here but a stunning array of wildflowers can be seen after rains. Spot wild camels, kangaroos and emus, drive past seemingly endless cattle stations and watch out for random pieces of space junk! An epic adventure awaits.
Beautiful Esperance on the south coast is one of the most scenic towns in WA and a great place to base yourself for a few days. Watch roos laze on the beach at Lucky Bay and witness the weird and wonderful pink waters of Lake Hillier. Chill by the beach and go star gazing at night, Esperance is a relaxed town with plenty of charm. The Recherche Archipelago just offshore is home to sea lions and fur seals and a great day trip.
Karijini National Park
WA’s second largest national park is home to stunning gorges up to 100 metres deep, waterfalls and plenty of remote swimming spots. Australia’s second highest mountain is also located here. Mount Bruce is a stunner and best seen from Oxer Lookout which sits atop four red earthed gorges. Take a 4WD and explore this beautiful park.
For something urban but a little more chilled than Perth, head over to Fremantle. Known for its boho vibe and awesome markets, Fremantle is Perth’s cool port town. Brimming with history too, “Freo” was the first settlement of the Swan River colonists back in the late 1820’s and has a fascinating maritime history and Edwardian buildings well worth a tour. Listen to live music or shop in one of its hip boutiques. A great day out.
Western Australia is sunny and warm all year and is best described as having a Mediterranean climate in the south and a sub-tropical climate further north. It can get very hot in Perth during the summer so head down to the coast during the hotter months. Winters are mild.
Western Australia is an outdoor enthusiasts dream state. Full of national parks and remote coastline, and top class diving, most people you encounter here will be happy to recommend many of WA’s stunning natural wonders. Perth is well known for being an ex-pat haven too so listen out for more than one British accent!
Visit Western Australia during the winter months for cooler but still warm temperatures, and fewer crowds. Time your visit to coincide with one of Perth’s many festivals, and take your swimmers – you’ll never be far from the ocean during your time in WA.