Whales that are sharks, waves that are rocks, cattle stations bigger than European countries – Western Australia is a rule unto itself. But thumbing your nose at convention is kind of your prerogative when you're the world's second-largest state.
Want to walk over desert? Snorkel the world’s largest fringing reef? Weave your way through gorges? Feed dolphins by hand? Sure you do… From the contrasting hues of the Kimberley coastline to the raw beauty of the Margaret River region, the freestanding rock spires of the Pinnacles to Karijini’s shaded rock pools, Western Australia’s natural beauty is always bound to astound.
Western Australia travel highlights
Believe the beauty of Esperance
With its crystalline waters, chalky white sands, bloated granite bluffs and ‘mobs’ of western grey kangaroos, the coastline around Esperance is some of Australia’s most stunning.
Purnululu National Park
Weave through the narrow corridor of Echidna Chasm and sound out the acoustics of Cathedral Gorge while exploring the Bungle Bungles.
Meet the bottlenose dolphins of Monkey Mia
Hand feed the world’s friendliest dolphins their fishy breakfast while wading the shallows of Monkey Mia.
Wade out to Coral Bay’s sandbar from shore, flap your flippers a few times, and you’re in a world of manta rays, dugongs, sea turtles and whale sharks. Situated midway between Carnarvon and Exmouth, this one-street town is the most accessible point from which to enter Ningaloo Marine Park.
Soak up the stupendous vistas of Recherche Archipelago from the top of Frenchman’s Peak, a 262-metre high granite rise in Cape Le Grand National Park.
Eighty Mile Beach
It’s not eighty miles long (it’s more like 140), but Western Australia’s Eighty Mile Beach hosts some of the Indian Ocean’s greatest sunsets, is a prime spot for fishing and an important stopover for half a million shorebirds making their annual migrations south from the Arctic.
Sitting on the eastern side of WA’s Northwest Cape, Exmouth serves primarily as a launching pad for expeditions into Cape Range National Park and the Ningaloo Marine Park but is also a great place to wile away a few days fishing or beach-bumming.
Karijini National Park
If pixies and goblins exist anywhere in Australia, Karijini would be the place. Emerald, freshwater pools; fern-shaded glades; mossy rock grottoes; misted waterfalls – Karijini is a little patch of paradise in the heart of the famously harsh Pilbara.
Cape Le Grand National Park
Turquoise seas, seasonal flourishes of wildflower, oodles of wildlife and quartz-based sands twice voted the whitest in Australia.
Fitzgerald River National Park
Internationally recognised under the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program, Fitzgerald River National Park is home to 22 species of mammal, 41 species of reptile, over 200 species of bird and approximately 20% of Western Australia’s total flora species.
Kalbarri National Park
Follow the Murchison River from the Indian Ocean through worlds of river red gum, gnarled sandstone structures and seasonal wildflower blooms so scenic nature created her own window for it.