Western Australia - The Road Less Traveled
Western Australia - planning your trip to Australia's largest State
At half the size of the USA and almost as big as India, Western Australia is the largest state in Australia. It's a great destination for those who like to travel off the beaten track and provides a whole range of holiday experiences from beautiful beaches and forests to deserts and even its own reef system. Perhaps its size and distance from the east coast keeps many visitors away but if you like to explore the road less travelled then this is the place for you.
Consider this page a bit of a taster on WA. I have touched on the main attractions and given you lots of links to find all the information you need to plan an amazing holiday down-under.
So let's take a look at some places I think you might like.
The Regions of Western Australia (WA)
Where are the main tourist sites in Western Australia?
Firstly because it is so large it is probably a good idea to get your head around the regions. Western Australia, or WA, as we call it here, can be divided into 5 main regions
- Perth - the state Capital, the Port of Freemantle and Rottnest Island
- The Coral Coast - Ningaloo Reef, The Pinnacles and Monkey Mia
- The Outback - Wave Rock , Aboriginal Culture, Kalgoorlie
- The North West - Kimberley, Broome and the Bungle Bungles
- The South West - Margaret River Wineries, Great surfing and Valley of the Giants Forests
I think the Coral Coast and the North West are the highlights but if you a keen surfer or a wine connoisseur you will probably prefer the South West.
Perth - Australia's sunniest capital city.
With over 3000 hours of sunshine a year there is hardly a bad time to visit Perth.
Top 5 things to do in Perth
- Visit Fremantle - The port town of Perth and a great place to hang out
- Swim at Scarborough Beach - about 10 minutes from town
- Take a day trip to the Swan Valley - food and wine trails to explore
- How about a stroll through the beautiful Kings Park
- Take the ferry to Rottnest Island - Stay overnight if you have time
Image by Thewinchester via Wikimedia commons
Travel guides for Perth
Ningaloo Reef - The only place in the world you can swim with the whale sharks
If you are a diver who likes to get away from the crowds to the less well-known spots then you might just love Ningaloo Reef. Said to have diving every bit as good as the Great Barrier Reef Ningaloo is becoming more and more popular with divers. Diving here is easy as the reef is often right off the beach. Oh and did I mention the beaches are crystal clear with beautiful white sand.
Ningaloo Reef is a good 2 day drive from Perth or a 1.5 hour flight.
Image by Jaontiveros via Wikimedia commons
Western Australia takes up one third of Australia
The Kimberley - The Landscape of the film Australia by Baz Luhrmann
Have you seen the movie Australia by Baz Luhrmann? It is set in Northern Australia and the Kimberley Region. The landscape of the Kimberley is every bit as dramatic as the film. The intense reds of the dirt and the cliffs mixed with brilliant blue skies are quite simply breathtaking. The region is vast, almost the size of California but with a population a little greater than Monaco.
While it offers an outback holiday the region includes one of the world's most beautiful beaches, Broome, known for its Staircase to the moon which is an amazing site to see and photograph.
Don't miss the horizontal waterfalls near Derby either.
If you have the budget for it El Questro Station should be on your list of places to stay while you are in this part of the world.
Have a read of some Kimberley Trip Reports by others who have made this journey - but I have to warn you - you will want to go too!
The Pinnacles - The "Rock Stars of the Desert"
These limestone formations are 250km north of Perth and, while it's a bit of a drive, they are worthy of your time. Most visitors say the place feels spiritual and describe it as how they imagine it would be to walk on the moon.
You can take a day tour from Perth - but it is a very long day. A better option is to hire a car and spend the night in the area visiting some other local sites too. Make sure you visit the discover centre for a great display on how these rocks, some of which are 5 meters tall, were formed.
There are some good self drive itineraries here
There is a great guide to photographing the Pinnacles that is worth a read if you are planning a visit to this area.
Image by Andrzej Kulka via Wikimedia commons
South Western Australia - Chosen by Lonely Planet as one of the Top 10 regions of 2010
This region provides the best of food and wine with great surfing and beautiful forests. Beginning only 1.5 hours south of Perth this is a great place for a short 2-3 day trip from Perth. The region is really best known within Australia for its fantastic wines. If you want to do a winery tour in Australia, I highly recommend this area.
Monkey Mia - Hand feed dolphins in crystal clear water
Monkey Mia is in the Shark Bay Marine Park, a world heritage area 800km north of Perth. Too far for a day trip but a great stop for anyone planning to explore the Coral Coast region of Western Australia. The bottle-nose dolphins have been coming to the beach here every day for feeding for decades.
If you want to spend a few days in the area the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort is the only accommodation. Luckily it's pretty great.
Image by Mark O'Neil via Wikimedia commons
So have I convinced you Western Australia should be on your bucket list?
Do you like the little Quokka above - you will find him on Rottnest Island in Perth
Would you like to visit Western Australia?
Need more help planning a holiday in Western Australia? - These websites are a great place to start
- Western Australia Tourism
The images on this site alone make it worth a visit. They also have great suggested itineraries.
- Kimberley Australia Guide
This site is brilliant - a must visit resource for anyone planning a trip to the Kimberley
- Travel Blogs by visitors to Western Australia
I love reading other peoples travelogues or travel blogs when I am planning my trips - it feels like a good way of checking if the tourist websites are marketing speak or if a place is as good as they say.