Western Australia Travel Guide
In depth travel guides on destinations in Western Australia
plus honest reviews of attractions, accommodation, and restaurants.
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.
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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
Perth Cup – Perth’s answer to the Ascot races
ATP Cup – one of the largest men’s tennis events
Lancelin Ocean Classic – a 4-day windsurfling event
Fringe World – a month-long arts festival
Leeuwin Concert – a concert held by Leeuwin Estate
Perth Festival – theatre, music, film, literature and visual arts
Nannup Music Festival – a fun-filled weekend of folk, blues, and world music
Margaret River Pro – top surfing competition run by the World Surf League
Avon Descent – a 124 km white-water rafting race for powerboats, kayaks, and canoes
Kings Park Festival – a celebration of spring with a stunning display of wildflowers
Perth Royal Show – Western Australia’s biggest agricultural show
Blessing of the Fleet – a traditional Catholic festival to bless the crayfish fleet
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.
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.
Western Australia Articles
Bunbury is a coastal port city in Western Australia, located near the mouth of the Collie River. This town has much to offer for travellers looking for an enjoyable time with plenty of outdoor activities. For those looking to explore, many trails take you through wetlands and along the shores of the Indian Ocean. Read…
If you’re looking for Bunbury accommodation, find out what we rate as the best accommodation options, including hotels, motels, self-contained, accommodation with spas, beachfront locations and caravan parks. Bunbury hotel & motel accommodation Unfortunately Bunbury doesn’t offer any 5 star accommodation but these are my picks for hotel stays. Bunbury accommodation self contained Stayz Bunbury…
Despite being one of the most isolated cities in the world, Perth has so much to offer its visitors. The sunny climate allows the city to show off its world-class pristine white beaches, outdoor dining, hiking trails, and water activities. Perth is regularly listed in the Top 10 most liveable cities in the world and…
The Pilbara region WA, located in Australia’s North West, is one of the most fascinating places on earth. This post will take you through some of the best things to see and do in this amazing part of Australia. From exploring ancient Aboriginal rock art sites to taking a scenic flight over Karijini National Park,…
The Kimberley in Australia’s North West is one of the most breathtaking places in the whole world. There are so many things to do in the Kimberley region WA that it can be hard to decide where to start. In this post, we will give you 10 ideas for things that you should make sure…
Australia’s North West is a true gem of the Outback. This stunning region boasts some of Australia’s most untouched and dramatic landscapes. It is a vast, wild and rugged area where you can experience the power of nature in its purest form. The Kimberley and Pilbara are like nowhere else on Earth – special, soulful…
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