When planning a trip to explore Western Australia it’ll be hard to decide where to visit over what to leave out; this vast area of the country – covering the entire western third of Australia – largely consists of the arid Outback and offers much to do and explore from spectacular natural landscapes to traditional city dwelling in its capital, Perth.
Ultimate road trip country
Your tour will obviously be governed by those areas you particularly wish to see such as the Bungle Bungle Range, with its amazing rock formations situated in the Kimberley region, and the historic food and wine region of Swan Valley, located further south towards Perth.
So book yourself a comfortable hire car as you’ll be covering a lot of kilometres, and get set to tackle this varied and spectacular part of Australia.
Some suggestions of what to see when putting together your Western Australia adventure:
You may well arrive in Perth to start your trip and collect a hire car, so kicking off with some time spent in the area’s capital is worthwhile. Sandy beaches line its suburbs and lovely views of the city can be experienced from the massive Kings Park and Botanic Garden on Mount Eliza.
Amongst other attractions within reach are Swan Valley, the Western Australia Museum and Freemantle Prison.
Yanchep National Park
Heading north from Perth, the Yanchep National Park offers cave exploration including the limestone Crystal Cave with its stalactites and stalagmites, and bushwalking to see the unique wildlife including a variety of birdlife and grey kangaroos.
The Pinnacles (Namburg National Park)
A spectacular desert area in the Wheatbelt region 200 km northwest of Perth featuring distinctive limestone pillars with plenty of observation vantage points and parking.
Continuing north, as its name suggests this spectacular beach in the Shark Bay region consists entirely of shells.
You’ll be some 900 km north of Perth if you visit Monkey Mia, a popular sandy bay still in the Shark Bay region and known for bottlenose dolphins venturing close to the shore.
Cape Range National Park
Just over 1100 kilometres north of Perth, this spectacular landscape consists of rocky gorges and remote beaches and provides opportunities for hiking, snorkelling and maybe spotting wildlife such as dingos and kangaroo.
Karijini National Park
Journeying inland from the coastal area into the Hamersley region of Western Australia, Karijini is a sprawling wilderness of spectacular gorges including the red rocks of Dales Gorge.
There’s plenty of wildlife including birds of prey and desert tree frogs.
Taking its name from the undersea telegraph cable that came ashore from Java, Cable Beach is very much a ‘signature landmark’ of Western Australia with its beautiful turquoise waters, gracefully curving bright white sand and superb Indian Ocean sunsets.
A great spot to relax after a long spell of driving. Maybe take a camel ride?
Purnululu National Park (contains the Bungle Bungle range)
A rough drive to get to from the highway but well worth it (you may need to hire a 4WD if Purnululu is on your itinerary), this arid area has many fascinating rock formations in vivid colours making for a spectacular spectacle.
Purnululu contains the remarkable ochre and black striped Bungle Bungle range – the sandstone rock formation sculpted into its distinctive ‘beehive’ shape by rainfall over millions of years
If your interests run to ornithology you’ll be rewarded with over 130 species of birdlife inhabiting the area.
Naturally an area as vast as Western Australia offers many more options:
More beaches such as Turquoise Bay with its powdery white sand much beloved of seasoned snorkelers; Murujuga National Park with the world’s largest concentration of rock art, and Mornington Wilderness Camp – part of the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.
To the south of Perth is the National Anzac Centre; a museum opened in 2014 commemorating the men and women who fought in the First World War, overlooking the body of water they left from.