Top class wine regions, a World Heritage Listed reef system, snow white sandy beaches and unique desert landscapes. Western Australia offers all the attractions of the east coast – just without the crowds!
For anyone wanting to explore Australia’s extraordinary natural environment, experience wildlife encounters and savour delicious local flavours, Western Australia serves it all with a relaxed vibe and unpretentious attitude. But just to warn you – it’s a BIG place so you’ll need to plan and choose what you want to see to get the most from Australia’s largest state.
1. Rottnest Island
Just a short boat trip from Perth sits Rottnest Island, or Rotto as it’s colloquially known, a spot popular with locals and travellers alike. While home to pristine beaches, stunning rock pools and a relaxed vibe, Rottnest Island is best known for its local wildlife – the smiley faced quokka. These cute little marsupials, only found on a handful of islands off the west coast, are friendly towards visitors who are eager to get a famous quokka selfie.
Rottnest’s proximity to Perth makes it a great day trip from the city and there is plenty here to see and do. A top activity is to rent a bike to cycle the 22 kilometres of path that circles the island and explore the untouched beaches including Pinky and Ricey Beaches. The island is virtually car free, so all riders can feel safe taking to the road. Or you can grab a snorkel and discover what lies under the water at popular spots like the Basin and Little Salmon Bay.
The Ningaloo Reef is the world’s largest fringing reef – that means you can snorkel right off the beach rather than taking a boat out to explore the fascinating underwater world. From Exmouth and Coral Bay there are tours on offer that will take you snorkelling, diving or swimming with manta rays, humpback whales and the famous whale shark. Whale sharks visit the area around March – July and humpbacks around June to November, so plan your trip to include one of these amazing experiences.
3. Broome and the Kimberley
Any exploration of the Kimberley will probably start from the pearling town of Broome, where you can experience one of the best beach sunsets around at Cable Beach. From there you can travel inland to discover the swimming holes and unique rocky landscapes that dot the region. Some of our favourites include El Questro Gorge, the Bungle Bungles, Emma Gorge and Bell Gorge. Most of these require some hiking to get to, and the heat in the area can be extreme so plan your trip and take plenty of water.
4. Margaret River
The whole South West region is worth spending a few days exploring, but if you are short on time, you can visit Margaret River on a day trip from Perth. The area is well known for world class wine production, so oenophiles will enjoy tasting their way around the cellar doors. Nature lovers will be impressed by the pristine beaches, famous surf breaks and towering karri forests.
- 1. The Pinnacles – enjoy day trip from Perth to explore the alien landscape of the Pinnacles.
- 2. Karijini National Park – inland from Exmouth is another region worth discovering for anyone who loves hiking.
- 3. Wave Rock – it’s a bit of a drive from Perth, but worth it for the photo of yourself “surfing” this strange rock formation.
- 4. Monkey Mia – an excellent stop on the way to destinations on the Coral Coast, where you can hand feed dolphins in the shallow waters on the beach.
- 5. Esperance – this small town is your gateway to the Cape Le Grande National Park and some of the best beaches in the world.