6 amazing bucket list destinations in Western Australia

 

West Australia is known as the sunniest State in Australia and it’s huge, taking up about one third of the whole country. There is no best time to go, because the seasons of the north are vastly different to the south, and when the north is too hot to handle then the Mediterranean climate of the south will be just right.  Here are 6 amazing destinations there that you really shouldn’t miss.

The North West and the Kimberley

The small pearling town of Broome with its feted Cable Beach that stretches for a sandy 22 kilometres, is the jumping off point for adventures into the vast, open outback and the Kimberley region. The Kimberley is remote and known for its spinifex, its boab trees, and its huge cattle stations which often cover more than one million acres. There are also towering gorges, ancient landforms, and cascading waterfalls which are often circumferenced by lush tropical plants and huge pandanus palm trees.

The Coral Coast

There’s so much to do on a trip to the Coral Coast, that you could spend an entire holiday discovering its towns, its beaches and its outdoor attractions. World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef near Exmouth is the Great Barrier Reef’s less touristy sister, and famous for whale sharks, while cute Kalbarri is renowned for its ancient gorges, and Monkey Mia is the place to see dolphins and dugongs (manatees). Don’t forget to stop off and view the weird rock formations of The Pinnacles at Cervantes as you head back to Perth.

Perth and King’s Park

No trip to Western Australia is complete without discovering cosmopolitan Perth, reputedly the sunniest capital city in the world boasting over 3000 hours of sunshine a year. Historic architecture dates back to the time of the gold mining boom in 1890 but it’s sleek modern character is visible in state of the art high rise buildings which soar over the beautiful Swan River like watchful guardians. The stylish bell tower on the waterfront houses the the twelve bells of St Martin-in-the-Fields from the UK, which are recorded as being in existence in England from before the 14th Century. Energetic holidaymakers can climb the tower and listen to the Swan Bells peel out, or perhaps a gentle walk around the stunning King’s Park (bigger than New York’s Central Park) is more to your taste?

The Margaret River wine region

Wine buffs will be amazed by the variety of wine produced in this region, and there are approximately 200 vineyards, many with their own cellar doors where you can taste wine for free. The region is regarded as one of the best Chardonnay producers in the world, but you’ll also find world class Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. When you’ve had enough of fine wine and fine dining, you could head to the beaches or the Margaret River caves over 100 of which are dotted along Caves Road on a limestone ridge that dates back 2 million years.

The beaches of the South West

Ask a local where their favorite beach is and you’ll get a selection of answers. Surfers prefer big waves, families enjoy the more paddle-safe beaches, and romantics will tell you about secret bays where few people set foot. For starters try Meelup Beach near Yallingup, Cottesloe Beach in Perth, Redgate Beach near Margaret River, Two People’s Bay in Albany and Elephant Cove near Denmark.

The southern forests

Pemberton, Walpole, Manjimup and Denmark are renowned for their forests (Karri, Marri and Tingle especially) and the ghostly grey barks of the towering Karri trees loom like giants as you drive south. Thrill-seekers can climb three huge trees which were once used as fire lookouts. There’s the Diamond Tree at 52 metres, the Gloucester Tree at 61 metres, and the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree at 68 metres high.

Johanna Castro is Owner of The Zigazag Mag.

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Comments (9)

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  1. I spent some time travelling the West Coast of Australia in a rented campervan. It’s such a great part of the country and vastly different to the east coast.

    I can highly recommend visiting Ningaloo, with amazing snorkelling just off the coast you can literally walk out into the water and see the coral, turtles and even the odd white tip or black tip reef shark.

  2. Johanna Castro says:

    Agree Chris, Ningaloo is amazing by all accounts – I can’t wait to visit. They say it’s The Great Barrier Reef’s less touristy sister :) Glad you enjoyed your trip to WA. A campervan is a great way to go.

  3. Liv says:

    Great list – I have been lucky enough to visit all the places on your list! You don’t mention Esperance. Did you get that far?

  4. Johanna says:

    Awesome Liv! And re Esperance, funny you should mention that, all I will say is watch my own blog over the next couple of weeks! Have you been?

  5. Pete R. says:

    Awesome list!
    Perth is definitely a must for travelers. It sure is one peaceful city.

    Thanks for sharing other places. :)

  6. Johanna says:

    Thanks for your comment Pete :) Yes, Perth is one of the most laid back cities there is, and it’s a real pleasure to get around. There are free buses in the city centre, and much of it can be explored by foot or on bike.

  7. Kate A says:

    Really enjoyed your article Johanna. WA is indeed an Aussie jewel; and Perth a precious part of a great country. I think your article summed up WA very nicely. I’ve not travelled the North West but I have ventured down South. Margaret River is idyllic and the Tree Top Walk at the Valley of the Giants in Walpole is worth anyone tackling their fear of heights! Like your blog too, by the way!

  8. Hi Johanna
    West Australia is our largest state and the very progressive. I lived in Perth for 17 years and want to return to spend time exploring the north.
    It is so sad that we do not seem to appreciate our own back yard … there is so much to see which I did not do while I lived in Perth.
    Great post.
    Cheers
    Bryan

  9. Absolutely loved West Australia. We landed in Perth with our 4 kids on our #rtw trip after our original destination of Brisbane was flooded out in 2011. Hired the biggest campervan we could find and headed to all the places on your list. After the three weeks of non-stop driving, we headed across the Nullibor thru South Australia and dropped the RV off in Melbourne. Driving on the left was not a problem, and we absolutely loved the rugged country. In January, up north, it was HOT. But still amazing. Thanks for highlighting Ningaloo. Certainly worth the drive.

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