Western Australia is a diverse state making up much of the western side of Australia. There are pristine surf beaches, deserts, natural wonders and vibrant cities. There is also plenty of wildlife to get up an close with. Imagine having a selfie with with a Quokka or swimming with Bottlenose Dolphins and Whale Sharks! How special would that be? With all that Western Australia has to offer how do you choose what to see and do? Well, here are my top 11 things to see and do in Western Australia to help you.
Take in the views of Perth City From Kings Park
If you are going to visit Western Australia don’t miss out on visiting the capital city, Perth. Depending on your time frame take the Perth Tram Explorer, a hop-off hop-on bus that takes you to all the best sites to see. Definitely visit Kings Park with its natural bush setting and panoramic views over the city. Or maybe take a cruise on the Swan River, the river along which Perth is built. If feeling relaxed, why not spend your day lazing at one of Perth’s 19 beaches to swim, snorkel or surf. If shopping is on your agenda, Perth has many great shops to explore in it’s inner city neighbourhoods so you can shop in till you drop. Or you could easily catch a train to Fremantle, situated on the mouth of the Swan River and walk along the waterfront to see the yachts in the harbour. Visit the Maritime Museum, the Fremantle Prison and the Round House. Then end your days in Northbridge, a vibrant part of Perth town with many retail stores, restaurants, bars, pubs and accommodation.
READ MORE: How To Spend 2 Days In Perth
See Limestone Spires in The Pinnacles Desert
About a 3.5 hour drive north of Perth you will encounter the Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park. Here, limestone spires rise several metres out of the sand. All you can do really is stare in awe at them. To make the most of your time here drop in at the Discovery Centre and enjoy a guided tour through these amazing limestone formations.
Take a Selfie With a Quokka on Rottnest Island
What a cutie!
Rottnest Island is a short boat ride off the coast of Perth and is an island lovers paradise. With 63 beaches to enjoy you can snorkel and swim all day. But there is one natural attraction you must not miss, and can’t miss for that face, the famous little Quokkas. Looking a little like rats, don’t let that put you off, these fury marsupials are an inquisitive lot and are mostly happy to have a selfie with you. Though be careful as you are not meant to touch them as they are a protected species. The island is a car free zone so rent a bike or go on an organised tour around the island. You can even stay overnight in your choice of accommodation available on the island that ranges from camping to hotel style apartments.
Spend time with Dolphins at Monkey Mia
The World Heritage listed Shark Bay Marine Park stretches some 1,500 kilometres of Western Australia coastline. Monkey Mia, in the marine park, provides the opportunity to see wild Bottlenose dolphins. Every day, at different times of the day, numbers of wild dolphins swim into the clear shallows to interact with humans. What an experience!
Ride the Camels on Cable Beach At Sunset
Speaking of experiences like swimming with dolphins or whale sharks how about riding a camel along Cable Beach at sunset. It’s just one of those things you must do when you are in Broome.
Discover the natural wonders of the Golden Outback
Wave Rock, just one of the natural wonders west of Perth
Head east from Perth and you will arrive in what is referred to as the Golden Outback in Western Australia. Many natural wonders exist out here including Wave Rock. Australia’s biggest wave, made from hundreds of thousands of years of natural erosion to make the wave formation. Visit some of the areas large gold mining towns like Kalgoorlie. Why not stay in one of the town’s historic pubs.
Why would you want to see a jetty? Well this jetty extends 1.8 kilometres over Geographe Bay and is the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. So well worth a look. Why not jump aboard the train and travel along the jetty. The view is pretty incredible. And then you will see just why this is a World Heritage Listed Site.
The Kimberley Region
The Kimberley Region is found in the northern region in Western Australia. If you love rugged ranges, semi-arid savanna, dramatic red rock gorges and sometimes an isolated pristine coastline, then you will love being in this area of Western Australia. Particularly in the region’s heart you will find the Windjana Gorge National Park where you will experience towering limestone cliffs, majestic canyons, Aboriginal rock and, bushwalking trails and refreshing freshwater water pools where freshwater crocodiles can gather. Freshwater crocodiles ‘Freshies’ are the nicer of the crocodiles. I was told that when I visited Kakadu in the Northern Territory. It is the saltwater crocodiles ‘salties’ you must watch out for which are bigger.
Swim with the Whale Sharks at Ningaloo Reef
Ningaloo Reef stretches some 260 kilometres from near the town of Coral Bay to Exmouth. It is one of the largest fringing reefs in the world and you can reach it by just stepping off the beach. You could spend your time here diving with hundreds of tropical fish and the world’s biggest fish, the whale shark. But it is only between April and July do these majestic animals visit the World Heritage Listed Ningaloo Reef. So if you want to swim with the whale sharks aim to be there at that time. You can book here.
Explore and Enjoy Wine, Local Produce and Surfing in the Margaret River Wine Region
Head south from Perth via Mandurah and Bunbury and a couple of hours later you will arrive in Margaret River. Once known for being a chilled out surfy town, and still is with world-class surf breaks, this area is now also a thriving smorgasbord of fine food, wine and scenery. If you don’t have your own vehicle don’t worry as you can rent one or your can join a tour through beautiful vineyards, visit many cellar doors and taste gourmet delights. One of my favourites is the Margaret River Chocolate Factory. If wine and food isn’t your passion check out the caves in the region. Lake Cave, Jewel Cave, Mammoth Cave and the ancient Ngilgi Caves.
Cape Leeuwin – where Two Oceans Meet
If you love light houses then you will love the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. And what makes this lighthouse so special is that it has two oceans to watch over as this is where the Great Southern Ocean meets the Indian Ocean.
So there you have it, if you are thinking of holidaying in Western Australia there are some must-see things. Too many really to list here but I am sure my list of 11 things to see and do in Western Australia will get you started. I’d love to hear about your favourite places to visit and things to do from your adventures in Western Australia in the comments following.
Sharyn McCullum has travelled all of her life thanks to her dad who worked for an airline. She is the creator of Live Work and Play in Australia. She loves coffee, chocolate and parmas and currently calls Melbourne home. Read More.