The largest of Australian states, Western Australia has the smallest portion of the country’s population, but pars with other more populated areas with sights and activities. The region has it all — vibrant cities with urban buzz and nature consisting of sweeping landscapes and diversified ecosystems. Many come here for the wilderness and marine adventures where you can encounter famed and rare Australian wildlife.
If you want to experience the magic of Western Australia, here is what you can discover that will have you fall in love with it forever.
Meet the aquatic life of the Ningaloo Reef Marine Park
Ningaloo Reef is a UNESCO Heritage site and the largest fringing reef bustling with marine life. If you come here between March and August, you can swim with whale sharks, something only possible in a few spots in the world. Manta rays, turtles, dugongs, and humpback whales are among some of the 500 fish and 300 coral species living here.
Turquoise Bay is a favorite snorkeling beach, while a shipwreck near Point Cloates attracts hundreds of divers every season. Exmouth, a town on the Coral Coast is perfect to have an afternoon lunch and fish, as well as to use it as a base to discover the area. Additionally, those wanting to be more active will love an opportunity to explore the canyons, cliffs, and dunes of the Cape Range National Park.
Discover magnificent rock formations of the Purnululu (Bungle Bungle) National Park
Discovered and open for visitors in 1983, the rock formations of the Purnululu (Bungle Bungle) National Park seem like they are out of this planet. It’s no surprise then that this natural landscape has found its way on the UNESCO World Heritage list, as well as the National one. Once home to Aboriginal tribes, the area includes ceremonial sites, a burial ground, and rock paintings left after their thousands of years-long occupation of the region.
Sandstone dominates here and you will notice the carvings made by heavy monsoon rains on the chasms and gorges. Hiking is the best way to explore the park, walking and climbing through Cathedral Gorge and Echidna Chasm. If you are not much of a hiker, you can hop on a sightseeing flight at Halls Creek and Kununurra and see the rock formations from above.
Experience the beauties of Perth and its surrounding area
Capital of the Western Australia, Perth, has something for everyone — from exploring wildlife to a rich cultural scene. The city has one of the largest parks in the Southern hemisphere from where you have a good view of the skyline and Swan River. Whether you decided to relax on the beach or go whale watching in Perth, you will enjoy its sunniness and comfortable temperatures for outdoor activities.
The Perth Concert Hall is known for its perfect acoustics, rivaling those of the famous Sydney Opera House. If you are interested in the city’s historical background, you can join one of the many tours that will show you its most prominent landmarks. Most of the day trips outside the city won’t take more than half an hour by car and will show you some of the fascinating sights of the area. For example, you can go to Fremantle, a seaside port that once served as a prison full of 19th-century architecture and great craft beer.
Hang out with quokkas on the Rottnest Island
Not far away from Perth by car, the Rottnest Island is home to one of the cutest marsupials in the world — the quokkas. One can even go as far as to say that these adorable animals are the mascots of Western Australia, attracting ordinary people and celebrities to the area, like Chris Hemsworth and his family. However, there is more than just this one reason to come to the islands, like pearly beaches where you can snorkel and swim.
History buffs will want to stop by the Wadjemup Museum including relics from shipwrecks and 40,000 years old artifacts, displayed in the former threshing mill. The houses in the harbor are made from limestone and were built by the convicts when it was a penal colony. To take the whole view in, hike to the Vlamingh Lookout, or you can enjoy some relaxing time on the golf course or boating.
Go on a wine tour in the Margaret River Region
Margaret River is among the best wine regions in Australia, attracting many visitors with numerous cellars and tours. When it comes to wine tasting, you can join an available tour, or organize your own by appointing someone as a designated driver. If you want to avoid driving, you can go on an eco-friendly tour that includes exploring wineries on an electric bike and riding through colorful landscapes.
Surfers and surfing enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the Margaret River Pro, a championship taking place in March or April that gathers spectators and participants from all over the world. Those that are more interested in adventures can go exploring the underground lake and crystal formations of the Lake Cave. Another popular activity here is kayaking, best done in the morning when you have the most chances to spot animal life and swim.
All in all
When it comes to what you can discover in Western Australia, there are no wrongs and rights — only how to see as much as possible. Full of wildlife, picturesque landscapes, and cultural heritage, the exploration will take you bushwalking, diving, hiking, and caving in one trip. That’s the magic of Western Australia that can conquer the hearts of every type of tourist, even the ones that want to stay under city lights, like Perth’s.