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Western Australia - The Road Less Traveled

Updated on November 6, 2014

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.

view of Perth from Kings Park
view of Perth from Kings Park

With over 3000 hours of sunshine a year there is hardly a bad time to visit Perth.

Top 5 things to do in Perth

  1. Visit Fremantle - The port town of Perth and a great place to hang out
  2. Swim at Scarborough Beach - about 10 minutes from town
  3. Take a day trip to the Swan Valley - food and wine trails to explore
  4. How about a stroll through the beautiful Kings Park
  5. Take the ferry to Rottnest Island - Stay overnight if you have time

Image by Thewinchester via Wikimedia commons

Ningaloo Reef - The only place in the world you can swim with the whale sharks

Whale Sharks Ningaloo Reef
Whale Sharks Ningaloo Reef

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

Ningaloo Reef

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"

The Pinnacles Western Australia
The Pinnacles Western Australia

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

Feeding Dolphins at Monkey Mia
Feeding Dolphins at Monkey Mia

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?

A Quokka from Rottnest island
A Quokka from Rottnest island

Do you like the little Quokka above - you will find him on Rottnest Island in Perth

Would you like to visit Western Australia?

See results

Did you find this Western Australian travel guide helpful? - Is there anything else you wish I included?

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    • bluewren56 lm profile image

      bluewren56 lm 

      6 years ago

      I've been several times, a beautiful place to visit.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      6 years ago from Canada

      I love your pictures, and if I wasn't so afraid of flying, I would take a trip to western Australia.

    • orange3 lm profile image

      orange3 lm 

      6 years ago

      Great information and beautiful photos!

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 

      7 years ago from Valencia, California

      Love the lens, so colorful and informative, many thanks for posting this and sharing

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Yes, and I would love to visit the wine country. So much to see and do in Australia.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      8 years ago

      Gorgeous, I have always wanted to visit Australia. Two more pages for Giant- you can do it- I'm rooting for you!

    • justholidays profile image


      8 years ago

      What a beautiful area! I'd definitely would like to go there, if money wasn't the main trouble and... flying. Oh, yes, I don't want to enter an airplane. Hard to travel long distance by foot, uh ;)

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      8 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I've always equated Western Australia with our State of California -- the coastline, the wine country, the sunshine. Is the weather in WA similar to that Californians are familiar with? Would be lovely to visit!

    • TapIn2U profile image


      8 years ago

      Beautiful! I hope I can visit Down Under again soon. Very helpful guide for people wanting to visit Australia.Thanks for the information. Hey, Iâve just finished my second lens on a 3-step plan to achieve your Goals and New Years Resolutions.When you have a moment, I would love to hear what you think. If you have a suggestion- please let me know. Iâm learning as I go and so appreciate your help. Sundae ;-)


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