Western Australia Travel Guide

In depth travel guides on destinations in Western Australia
plus honest reviews of attractions, accommodation, and restaurants.

sunset over an island granite rock off the coast western australia

Western Australia is one of six states in Australia and its biggest. Covering a staggering 2.646 million km², it is only home to 2.6 million people. If it was a separate country, it would be the 10th largest in the world.

The capital, Perth, is one of the most isolated cities in the world. Adelaide, in South Australia, is the closest city at 2,131 km away as the crow flies but a whopping 2,700 km if driving. Perth is closer to Singapore than Sydney.

The landscape is varied with fertile soils in the South West region and the red dirt of the North. Western Australia has 12,889 km of coastline and 3,747 islands. The longest river is the Gascoyne River at 760 km and Lake Argyle is the largest built reservoir. The highest mountain is Mount Meharry in Karijini National Park (1,253m) and the highest waterfall is King George Falls in the Kimberley (80m).

The capital city, Perth, is blessed with mainly blue skies and an uncongested city. The white sandy beaches are uncrowded with some amazing surfing and snorkeling spots.

Western Australia Regions

Where to stay in Western Australia

Click on the regions above for information on the best places to stay in Western Australia.

Best Things To Do in Western Australia

There are so many places to visit and things to do in Western Australia. From the white sandy beaches and wine region of the South West to the stunning gorges and waterfalls in the Kimberley and everything in between, there’s something for everyone.

Hikes in Western Australia

If you enjoy hiking, then you will love the variety of hikes in Western Australia. The epic Bibbulmun Track covers 1,003 km from Kalamunda to Albany. The Cape to Cape Track runs for 123 km along the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, between the lighthouses of Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin. These can both be walked in sections as well.

Of course there are shorter hikes ranging from day hikes to half an hour.

Diving and Snorkelling in Western Australia

There are lots of reefs and wrecks along the Western Australian coast teeming with fascinating marine life. The best places to snorkel are Mettams Pool, Rottnest Island, Yanchep Lagoon, and Exmouth.

Flora and Fauna in Western Australia

WA has the largest collection of wildflowers in the world with around 12,000 different species. It also has 141 mammal species plus 439 different types of reptiles.


Our Western Australia Wildflower Guide details where the best places are to see the wildflowers.

Tours in Western Australia

Best Places To Eat in Western Australia

The Perth food and bar scene has come a long way since I moved here in 2000. There are now some cool, funky bars to go with the venues that line the beach which are perfect for the West Australian sundowner.

You have a variety of restaurants to choose, from white linen fine dining to street markets.

The Margaret River region produce world-class wines, Truffles grow in Manjimup, seafood is found all along the coast and WA has excellent craft beers.

Events in Western Australia

January

Perth Cup – Perth’s answer to the Ascot races

Lancelin Ocean Classic – a 4-day windsurfling event

Fringe World – a month-long arts festival

February

Leeuwin Concert – a concert held by Leeuwin Estate

Perth Festival

March

Nannup Music Festival – a fun-filled weekend of folk, blues, and world music

May

Margaret River Pro – top surfing competition run by the World Surf League

August

Avon Descent – a 124 km white-water rafting race for powerboats, kayaks, and canoes

September

Kings Park Festival – a celebration of spring with a stunning display of wildflowers

October

Perth Royal Show – Western Australia’s biggest agricultural show

Blessing of the Fleet – a traditional Catholic festival to bless the crayfish fleet

November

Blues at Bridgetown – a blues, folk, and roots music festival in the country town of Bridgetown

What To Pack for Western Australia

You can find our detailed packing list here but the following items I consider a must for your trip to Western Australia:

  • Good Hiking Shoes
  • Rashie to protect from the intense sun
  • Hat and Sunglasses
  • Rain Jacket – it gets windy here and umbrellas don’t always work
  • Thongs (not underwear but flip-flops)

Tips for Travel to Western Australia

  • The sun is harsh and can burn in minutes. Ensure you apply sunscreen frequently and protect your face and body as much as possible with long sleeves, hat and sunglasses.
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Don’t forget to take a re-usable bottle with you when you go out.
  • Swim at patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags. Pay attention to the surf life savers and the notices on the beach. WA have some treacherous beach conditions.
  • Distances are vast in WA. Be prepared for long journeys and take plenty of breaks to avoid driver fatigue.
  • Roads in the northern regions can become flooded in the wet season and may be unpassable.
  • Try not to drive around dusk or dawn to avoid kangaroos and emus on the road (this is when they are most active).
  • Road trains can be as long as 53m and extreme care must be taken when overtaking them.
  • Read the Drive Safe Booklet before driving.

I would like to respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners, and First People of these lands. I would like to pay my respect to the Elders past, present, and future, for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture, and hopes of their people.

australian indigenous boomerang

Brief History of Western Australia

The discovery of ancient stone artefacts suggest that Perth, or Mooro as it was originally known as, was occupied around 40,000 years ago. The Wadjuk people, a subgroup of the Noongar people, tell the Dreamtime story of how the Swan River (Derbal Yaragan) was formed by serpent-like creatures. The two Wargals lived under what is now Kings Park.

English explorer, William Dampier, sailed down part of the coast in 1688. However, he noted that there wasn’t any fresh water source and abandoned the area.

The Swan River Colony was established by the British Government in 1829 and became the first free settlement in Australia. At first there was no hostility between the settlers and the Wadjuk people. However, the government started selling off land cheaply with no regard to the rights of the indigenous people and there became competition for resources.

Yellagonga, the Wadjuk leader, ended up moving his camp to Lake Monger and eventually to the swamp lands north. By the time he died in 1843, his people had been dispossessed of all their land.

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