Western Australia offers plenty to do, from its beautiful coasts to its exhilarating outback.
WITH its colossal size (the entire western third of the country), Western Australia offers a multitude of sights and sounds. There’s the beautiful outback that meets the blue sea. Let’s not forget about the food. Truffles, wines and gastronomical events like the annual Margaret River Gourmet Escape are not to be missed.
Nature lovers should visit the national parks, state forests and marine parks that provide the opportunity to see some of the world’s most diverse flora and fauna. The icing on the cake is interacting with all the friendly locals.
Tag along as we bring you on a voyage across this magnificent state.
Encounters of the coastal kind
The waters here are some of the most pristine in the world.
Ningaloo Reef, for instance, is a great place for exhilarating marine experiences with whale sharks (March to July) and humpback whales (August to October). Tours from Exmouth or Coral Bay will take you into the reef ’s turquoise waters for an unforgettable encounter with the gentle giants.
If you want to swim with dolphins instead, two day-trip options from Perth – Rockingham Wild Encounters (45 minutes by car) and Bunbury’s Dolphin Discovery Centre (two hours away) – offer the chance to swim with wild bottlenose dolphins.
Another easy day trip is to Penguin Island, where you can see and learn about Western Australia’s largest colony of adorable little penguins.
In Esperance, on the southern coast, Lucky Bay’s local kangaroos like to sunbathe on the white sand, while nearby Woody Island is a heaven for New Zealand fur seals, Australian sea lions, sea eagles and dolphins.
For surfers, the Margaret River region is home to more than 40 surf spots ranging from powerful reef breaks to fun beach surf. If you’re into different types of boards, an easy 90-minute drive north of Perth takes you to the windsurfing mecca of Lancelin. Other surfing hotspots include Esperance, Kalbarri and Rottnest Island.
At Rottnest Island, you will have the pleasant dilemma of choosing from 63 beaches and 20 secluded bays – or being enchanted by the island’s unique marsupial resident, the quokka. The car-free island is 11km long and 4.5km wide, so it’s easy to explore by bike, Segway, bus or on foot.
From March to November, when conditions are just right, visitors to Broome are treated to a breathtaking natural spectacle – the Staircase to the Moon. The phenomenon occurs around three times a month at extremely low tide when the full moon rises over the exposed mudflats of Roebuck Bay, creating the optical illusion of lunar stairs.
Home to Earth’s oldest rocks, Western Australia is perfect for seeing historic landscapes and ancient cultures, and spectacular stargazing in the outback.
The vast terrain here makes it an ideal spot for camping and caravanning all year round. It has over 100 national parks and reserves, with many campsites available for booking online.
Camping goes along with stargazing, and this state is a stargazer’s mecca. With lots of space and few people, very little artificial light intrudes into the night sky – showcasing the Milky Way in high-definition clarity. Pitch a tent and enjoy meteor showers at Karijini National Park in the Pilbara, or soak up the sight of the stars and sea along Shark Bay coast or the Kimberley’s Dampier Peninsula.
For an authentic taste of outback life, stay at some of Western Australia’s huge sheep and cattle stations. Some options include Home Valley and El Questro in the Kimberley, to Wooleen Station in the Murchison, and Bullara between Coral Bay and Exmouth.
The Kimberley, in the far north, is one of the world’s last true wilderness areas. The region is home to the Bungle Bungle Range’s unique beehive formations at Purnululu National Park and the world’s only horizontal waterfalls at Talbot Bay.
Experience the gold rush at Kalgoorlie, where you will find charming colonial buildings, fascinating gold-rush history and the Super Pit lookout over Australia’s biggest working open-cut gold mine
If you think all that sparkling beauty is impressive, wait till you see the collection of wildflowers here. Be surrounded by stunning blankets of everlastings in early spring in the Golden Outback and Coral Coast regions. In the northwest, vibrant floral shades contrast with the dusty red earth and golden spinifex grass, and the south-west is home to delicate orchids.
This article is brought to you by Tourism Australia, Tourism Western Australia and Malaysia Airlines. Malaysia Airlines flies daily from Kuala Lumpur to Perth.
Culinary stars make a beeline to the state’s south-west in November for the annual Margaret River Gourmet Escape.
You can find the world’s only horizontal waterfalls at Talbot Bay in the Kimberley region.