Western Australia, alternatively known as “the golden state” is a wonderful place filled with arguably the world’s most beautiful beaches and diverse landscapes with glorious summers spent in the salt and sand. WA’s northern end is warm and sunny and the more south you head the more the temperature heads in this direction too (relatively). The best of both worlds if you have a preference! There’s the beautiful beach resort town of Broome, the small beach town Esperance, the capital city Perth, Karinijini National Park, Rottnest Island, and so many more.
The sunsets in Western Australia are like nothing you have ever seen before. The sun sets over the ocean here, sit back and watch as the sky is painted in shades of amber and pink, no matter where you are. It is a state of adventure with lifelong memories made with loved ones and friends. Take it all in as you travel its windy roads and open your eyes wide to see all it has to show you.
Visit Rottnest Island (Wadjemup)
Rottnest Island is a small island just 19km off the coast of Perth, Western Australia. The island holds a deep cultural connection for the Wadjuk Noongar people and Wadjemup means the land across the sea where the spirits are. It boasts an abundance of beautiful flora and fauna including friendly stingrays and pelicans that love to say hello and the most famous Rottnest residents, the smiling Quokkas.
A visit to this magical island is non-negotiable if you are visiting WA, it truly is paradise. A quick thirty-minute ferry ride, departing from either Fremantle or Hillary’s will have you disembarking onto the island’s main jetty, Thompson Bay. The island is filled with holiday units sporting panoramic ocean views, delightful beaches and bays, superb restaurants with fresh seafood caught that morning and all the while the famous smiling Rottnest Quokkas are hopping around you, be sure to have your phone handy to snap that famous quokka selfie but please don’t touch.
The Island has 63 beaches and 20 bays so trust in knowing you will never run out of places to go or things to see with an abundance of activity choices of swimming, snorkelling, surfing, or simply laying on the beach. Did we mention the Island’s primary method of transport is bicycles?
Get Up Close With Stingrays in Hamelin Bay
Hamelin Bay is located in the southwest of WA between Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste. In the main bay near the old jetty and boat ramp, you may be lucky enough to encounter some of the friendly stingrays who love to come and wave hello.
The best time to see them is during the summer months but they do come out in Winter too occasionally. There is a combination of smooth stingrays, black stingrays, and eagle rays all hanging out together as one big blended family and they call Hamelin Bay their home.
They love to come close to the shore as they forage for buried molluscs and crustaceans around the jetty’s pylons. They are beautiful birds of the sea but do remember they are wild animals too. Be cautious and take in their beauty with your eyes, don’t touch, maintain a reasonable distance between yourself and the rays, and don’t feed them.
With a staggering 12,500 kilometres of coastline, it is no surprise that Western Australia is bursting at the seams with more breathtakingly beautiful beaches than any other Australian state or territory.
Here are the best ones to check out.
Cable Beach is a 22-kilometre-long beach in Broome, famous for sunset camel rides, south sea pearls and breathtakingly colourful sunsets. Cable Beach was named after the telegraph cable laid between Broome and Java in 1889.
The best time to visit is from May to September, during these months the temperature averages at 30 degrees Celsius, making it the ideal condition to enjoy the warm waters of Cable Beach.
Little Salmon Bay
This gorgeous little bay is located on Rottnest Island just a twenty-minute cycle from the main town. It is perfect for a swim or some snorkelling as the turquoise water is always calm. You can enjoy the water peacefully as the bay is protected by an outer reef so no unwanted sharp teeth visitors will be stopping by.
Lucky Bay holds the title of the official whitest beach in Australia so this is definitely one you will want to visit. It is located in the Cape Le Grand National Park, southeast of Esperance. To make it even better Kangaroos love to lounge on the sand at dusk and dawn so keep your eyes peeled.
Sunset Camel Ride Along Cable Beach in Broome
Watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean as you sit on the back of a Camel and walk down Cable Beach, this is one of WA’s most iconic experiences and a memory you will hold onto forever. There are a few different companies you can do this with. Including Broome Camel Safaris, Red Sun Camels and Sundowner Camel Tour.
Swim With the Whale Sharks at Ningaloo Reef
Dive right into the deep end and swim with the whale sharks at Ningaloo, the world’s largest fringing reef. The reef is located North of Perth between the towns of Coral Bay and Exmouth.
Whale sharks gather along this reef from late March through to July to feed on plankton and krill which are found here in abundance at this time.
To swim with these gentle giants, you’ll need to take a specialised whale shark day tour, either from Exmouth or Coral Bay.
Visit Kings Park and the Botanic Gardens
Kings Park is known throughout the world for its ground-breaking horticulture, conservation efforts, and public education and is home to the beautiful Western Australian Botanic Gardens which showcases more than 3,000 species of WA’s unique flora. It is rich in Aboriginal and European history and contemporary culture.
Your senses will be stimulated by the sounds of birds singing and the perfume of lemon-scented gum trees. It will completely slip your mind that you are in the heart of Perth City.
Two-thirds of the 400-hectare park is protected by bushland which serves as a sanctuary for indigenous biological diversity. Enjoy glorious views of the Swan and Canning River and the metropolitan skyline.
The giant boab tree is something you must be sure to visit whilst you are here. This tree can live for 2000 years and has come from the Kimberley to save it from roadworks. It looks almost ludicrous with its wide, bottle-like shape, green tufts, and tangled branches emerging from its top. Additionally, the suspended treetop bridge is something you must be sure to check out too. A curved bridge is suspended 52 metres above the trees with a glass bottom allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the beautiful flora.
Hang Out With Kangaroos on the Beach in Esperance
Esperance is one of Australia’s most visually appealing locations thanks to its pristine white sands, stunning blue waters, and natural terrain, it is an 8-hour drive or a one-and-a-half-hour flight from Perth.
There are many picture-perfect beaches along Esperance’s coastline however Lucky Bay holds the title of the official whitest beach in Australia.
To make it even better kangaroos love to hang out here and cool down by the water making it the most quintessentially Australian place to visit. As nocturnal creatures, kangaroos are most active at night and during the hours before and after so dawn and dusk are your best bets for spotting them.
Have Lunch at the Lobster Shack in Cervantes
Have the “complete lobster experience” by visiting the Lobster Shack, located 2 hours North of Perth in Cervantes.
The shack has a delightfully vibrant atmosphere and allows you to sit outside and enjoy your meal in the fresh air whilst you appreciate the panoramic ocean views. This family-owned business provides continuous passion and dedication so much so that they were awarded the Bronze Medal in the Tourist Attraction and Food Excellence in Food Tourism Award award in 2013.
With a menu filled with incredibly fresh seafood eats right from the Cervantes coastline and a glorious cocktail menu, you will not want to be leaving anytime soon.
If you want to find out more about the seafood process whilst you are here you can book a tour of the Indian Ocean Rock Lobster Factory.
Visit Lake Hillier
Lake Hillier is one of those places where you simply have to see it to believe it. This lake is a bubblegum pink colour and is quite the oddity. You can find it on Middle Island which is 11km from the coast of Cape Arid National park and around 150km from Esperance. As it’s located on this island it’s only accessible by boat or plane, something to keep in mind!
The cause for its pink colour is not entirely known by scientists however, they believe its high salinity level plays a crucial role along with the presence of algae called Dunaliella salina and pink bacteria known as halobacteria. Be sure to bring your camera!
Visit the Pinnacles Desert
These limestone formations can be found in Nambung National Park near Cervantes. The incredible Pinnacles are natural limestone formations and date back between 25,000 and 30,000 years. They formed when the water receded and left behind deposits of seashells. The pillars then became exposed to the elements and as a result coastal winds gradually removed the surrounding sand.
Surf the Earthy Granite at Wave Rock
Wave rock is a tall wave-shaped rock formation located near the Wheatbelt town of HydenLocated 340 kilometres southeast of Perth. This incredible rock is one of Australia’s most recognisable landforms stretching over 100 meters and a whopping 15 meters tall. This incredible creation is believed to have taken more than 2,700 million years to create.
There are two different accommodation options for your visit including the Wave Rock Hotel and Wave rock caravan park and resort. Cowabunga!
Winery Tour in the Margaret River Region
Margaret River is one of the best wine regions in Australia, located in the southwest corner of WA, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and other grape varieties are planted in these vineyards.
Leeuwin Estate Tour
Enjoy 5 hours of immersing yourself in food, wine and the arts as you are introduced to the Leeuwin Estate.
Upon arrival, savour a sumptuous morning tea while your host describes the Estate’s winemaking philosophy. Then, go on a guided tour of the Art Gallery, which features the impressive collection of contemporary Australian art that is featured on Leeuwin’s renowned “Art Series” labels. Learn about the family-owned winery’s love of the arts and its famed Leeuwin Concert Series, which features outdoor concerts by the best musicians and performers in the world, as you leisurely peruse the artworks.
The gallery visit is completed with a guided wine tasting before you eat at Leeuwin’s award-winning restaurant. There, the skilled Leeuwin culinary team will take you on a culinary journey with a decadent seven-course tasting menu of seasonal West Australian delicacies, perfectly paired with Leeuwin Estate Art Series wines.
Vasse Felix Tour
The Epicurean tour is a vine-to-table tour at Vasse Felix where you will learn about the worlds of food and wine and explore the beautiful vineyard and enjoy a five-course dining experience.
Starting on the oldest vineyard in the area, you’ll discover how Vasse Felix cultivates fruit in the most environmentally friendly manner. You’ll also learn about certified organic farming and the distinctive setting that makes Margaret River the best place in the world to grow and produce fine wine. Before you tour the winery’s production areas with special access, pass through Tom Cullity’s original Cabernet vines. As you tour the barrel room and chat with the winemaker, you can then join your host for a private wine tasting.
After that, explore the realm of food and wine pairing to learn about the regional ingredients grown in Margaret River and the principles that the chefs at Vasse Felix follow as they design dishes to complement the Estate’s wines.
Karijini National Park
Karijini National park is in the Hamersley range of Western Australia. This breathtaking crimson landscape has been carved out by erosion and is over 2.5 billion years old, the best time to visit is between April and October. There are a few accommodation options including Karijini Eco Retreat, Dale Gorge Campground and Tom Price Tourist Park.
Step inside the Fremantle Markets to experience the unique ambience of more than a century of thriving culture and heritage. The markets can be found on the corner of South Terrace and Henderson Street in the heart of Fremantle, they are open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday weekly.
The Federation Romanesque-styled Victorian building, constructed in 1897, houses the markets. In 1980, it was included in the state’s Heritage Council’s list and the National Trust of Australia. These Markets are one of the most visited places in WA
The markets feature more than 150 stalls selling wonderful goods of all kinds, such as handicrafts, speciality cuisines, dining establishments, and fish and vegetable markets. Be sure to set aside 2 hours minimum to get the most out of this magical place.