Popular destinations in Western Australia
Here you will find an introduction to some of the most popular destinations and activities in Western Australia. For more inspiration and valuable tips on your dream destination, simply follow the links under each destination. But first, the most popular top-ten destinations in Western Australia followed by a range of more detailed and inspiring destinations, as well as good-to-know advice on when planning a trip here, or for when travelling in the area.
- Ningaloo Reef Marine Park, Exmouth, Coral Coast; Easily accessible coral reefs with the chance to see hundreds of fish species and giant turtles. During the right season you can swim with whale sharks (wotif.com/things-to-do/whale-shark-swim-experience.a259861.activity-details).
- The Pinnacles Desert, Nambung National Park, Coral Coast; Golden-coloured limestone pillars shooting up among wavy sand dunes. A visit here will feel like a walk on the moon among eerie pillars (wotif.com/things-to-do/search?location=The+Pinnacles%2C+Cervantes).
- Bungle Bungles, Purnululu National Park, Kimberley; Visit the World Heritage-listed dome-shaped mountain range of sandstone. With its dark grey to glowing orange horizontal streaks, the domes resemble gigantic beehives. A landmark, synonymous with Western Australia (wotif.com/things-to-do/bungle-bungles-and-lake-argyle-scenic-flight.a577986.activity-details).
- Karajini National Park; With its red desert sand, white eucalyptus bark and bouncing kangaroos beneath a merciless sun – this is the Australia you’ve seen in the movies. Experience hiking trails of varying degrees of difficulty. The hikes take you through deep valleys and wide gorges, to ravines with fabulous views or to waterfalls and icy freshwater lakes to cool off in.
- Perth; The world’s most isolated metropolis with a unique multicultural character. There is a wide range of family-friendly attractions, restaurants inspired by food from all corners of the world, green parks and beaches for all (wotif.com/discover/australia/western-australia/perth.d180013). From Perth you can take a daytrip to the natural rock formation Wave Rock in Hyden. The rock looks like a wave of orange- and grey stripy sand that once got petrified in the midst of its movement (wotif.com/things-to-do/wave-rock-day-tour-from-perth.a173911.activity-details).
- Cable Beach, Broome; Four-wheel drive vehicles are racing on this flat and packed sandy beach with the sand spraying out behind them. The sight of the dark red ground in contrast to the light blue sea is a sight not often seen. At low tide, you can climb down the slippery boulders and explore ancient dinosaur footprints. Or try camel riding at sunset. Perhaps a visit to Broome Museum where you can learn about the pearl industry and the city’s history may interest you (wotif.com/discover/australia/western-australia/broome.d6130647).
- Gibb river road, Kimberley; An adventurous car trip of 660 km between Derby and Kununurra well suited for four-wheel car enthusiasts. The trip takes you to lush national parks where you can swim in icy lakes and explore deafening waterfalls. There are over 300 types of birds in all the rainbow’s colours and world-class fishing here. You are guaranteed to see kangaroo, dingo and reptiles in all shapes and sizes, as well as both fresh- and saltwater crocodiles.
- Margaret river and surrounds; Try surfer friendly sand beaches or continue inland for wine tasting and locally produced gourmet cuisine, test cheese and chocolate and come home with the shopping bag full of treats and local products (wotif.com/things-to-do/harvest-full-day-wine-tour.a474402.activity-details). Make a stop at the Mammoth Caves, an handicapped accessible limestone cave full of ancient fossils from extinct gigantic Australian animals (wotif.com/things-to-do/mammoth-cave-self-guided-audio-tour.a488421.activity-details).
- Rottnest island; An island with paradisiacal beaches ideal for snorkelling or swimming. Get around via small roads on a bike and take a break at one of the two lighthouses. You are guaranteed to encounter the curious little animals Quokkas on the way. The island is a protected nature area, still important to the Aboriginals who believe that it is a place full of spirits (wotif.com/discover/australia/western-australia/perth/rottnest-island.d3047).
- Monkey Mia Wild Dolphin Reserve, Coral Coast; An early visit to the Dolphin Reserve in Monkey Bay might give you the chance to hand-feed the wild dolphins.
Experience the state of which one half consists of wilderness and desert including long distances and sparsely populated areas, an area covered by golden sand; The Golden Outback in Western Australia. For the nature photographer, colourful flowers pop-up in the most unexpected of places in a lush splendour when spring arrive. Capture the country’s unique wildlife in its natural environment with unforgettable views as a backdrop; Simply, a dream place where to take photos. There is a lot to discover for those who like challenges. Visit ghost towns, towns abandoned when the former gold rush ended, see Aboriginal paintings in fascinating cave settings or experience the desert’s red hot floor beneath your feet. Test yourself, let the adventure begin and be self-sufficient while you drive through the desert areas between magnificent national parks until you lack the comforts of civilization and seek your way back towards more vibrant areas.
For meetings with new people, all the comforts of city life, shopping, cafes, culture and partying, the state capital, Perth, or one of the smaller coastal towns is a great starting point. From there, make a short trip to the wine district, Swan Valley east of Perth, for wine tasting or for exploring one of the many hiking trails.
On the coast all sorts of activities awaits; In addition to swimming you can snorkel, rent a kayak, surf in various forms, or why not make a visit to car-free Rottnest Island where the marsupials called quokkas lives. If you are interested in seeing penguins, sea lions or to get a chance to see the bottlenose dolphin, the South East Coast is the place to be. If you have the binoculars with you, you might be able to spot several of the 130 different bird species that lives in the Mandurah wetlands south of the capital. North of Perth is a unique animal life of a different kind – the Coral Coast and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed coral reef, displaying its colourful world beneath the water surface.
Destinations in Western Australia
Getting to and getting around the state
When it comes to getting to and getting around in Western Australia, there are options for all budgets. Public Transport is somewhat limited but offers trains, buses and boats/ferries. However, the departures are fewer to some destinations, especially inland, so check carefully what fits your travel plans. Consider that, due to great distances, it takes time to get from one area to another. For those with limited time, there are many airports to choose from, but none in the very innermost of the state since this area is too sparsely populated for commercial air traffic. There are a great range of guided tours or bus tours for different activities. You can get far without access to your own vehicle. More specific information can be found under each region and destination. Many, however, choose to drive in Western Australia due to the long distances to cover. Quite simple, more flexibility. For those who plan to drive along the coast through Western Australia in a mobile home, it is recommended to drive counter clockwise to have the winds of “The roaring forties” in your back.
If you get tired of driving, you can switch to train or bus. If you study the map, you quickly realize that there are only a few major roads in the state and that the distances between the cities are long, especially if you get around via the hinterland. Sooner or later one is forced out towards the coast. Except for the state’s upper north end, you can basically get around Western Australia via coastal roads. Important to keep in mind, however, is to have plenty of time – it is a very large state, the largest one in Australia. If you have limited time, you should target some destinations and occasionally travel by plane. If you rent a car, there are several companies with different solutions to find what suits you and your budget.
Keep in mind
The hot summer is best done in avoiding. Avoid the rainy season of January to March. No special permit is required to drive through the state but, on the other hand, admission tickets are needed for national parks and sometimes a suitable four-wheel drive is a requirement for driving into some of them.
Look up the weather and pack, accordingly, alternatively stay at home! You don’t want to get stuck on the roads during monsoon rain. If you are travelling on a longer trip, you must be self-sufficient. Mobile coverage, TV and the Internet are luxury and nothing to take for granted in some regions. For those seeking utmost comfort, Perth and major cities is where to go (hotelscombined.com/Place/Perth.htm).