It’s often overlooked by backpackers in favour of Queensland or New South Wales, but we reckon Western Australia is the delicious cherry on Australia’s metaphorical sundae.
Ten times the size of the UK, Western Australia is the largest state in the world whose landscapes showcase a whole lotta colour. Hue knew?
From long stretches of white sand, aquamarine oceans, bush-land covered in wildflowers to that iconic red of the outback. It seems like Australia’s wild wild west ticks even the most discerning of backpacker’s boxes and here’s why.
Monkey Mia, Coral Coast
Go for a dip in the dreamy blue waters of Monkey Mia (deceptive name) and make a splash with the locals – dolphins! The bottlenose variety visit the beach three times a day to feed, and if you’re in the water at the time, you’ll get to have a swim with them. Amazing! Even better, these are wild dolphins, so the experience is totally free.
Turquoise Bay, Coral Coast
As the name suggests, this perfect arc of white sand in the Cape Range National Park is a turquoise dream but the colours aren’t just incredible above the water. Drift from one end of Turquoise Bay to the other on a gentle current which sweeps you over Ningaloo Reef’s vibrant tropical fish and coral. A wonderfully lazy snorkelling experience that is still action-packed.
Rottnest Island, Perth
Who said you had to go to Fiji for an island escape in the southern hemisphere? Western Australia’s very own Rottnest Island does the job pretty nicely, thank you very much. A short ferry ride from Perth, Rottnest boasts over 80 secluded beaches and bays and is home to the cutest mini marsupials, quokkas (only found in WA)– not bad for somewhere that’s only 6.8 miles long.
Rock it in Red
Karrijini National Park, Pilbara
Embrace the secret side of Australia with towering red rock gorges, natural showers in waterfalls, bathing in sheltered lagoons and camping under a blanket of twinkling stars.
Take to the waters on a sunset cruise of Lake argyle, catch a glimpse of fresh water crocs, then it’s time to get high with aerial views of Bungle Bungle’s striking sandstone domes which, amazingly, only the locals knew existed until the 1980s. If you’re looking for a real outback Australia adventure this area will deliver.
Cable Beach, Broome
You may feel like you’re in the Middle East rather than Western Australia, but the largest population of wild camels are also found in the Aussie Outback, don’tcha know. Hitch a camel ride along the beach at sunset for a perfect, if slightly surreal, end to the day. Don’t just come for the camels, though. Any decent western Australian will tell you that the west side is where it’s at when it comes to beaches. And, looking at Cable Beach, I think they may have a point.
Pretty in Pink
Lake Hillier, Esperance
With water so bubble-gum pink you’d think it was designed by Barbie, Lake Hillier’s vibrant colour has hooked both tourists and scientists alike. Located off the southern coast of Western Australia, take to the skies and appreciate all its striking glory contrasted with leafy surrounds and neighbouring blue ocean.
Valley of the Giants
Get a birds’ eye perspective of the Valley of the Giants on a treetop walk. A bridge will take you 125 metres above the ground for a stroll amongst the ancient trees that make up this forest. If you thought all trees looked the same, think again. This walk will change your perspective and provide a truly serene experience. You may want to stay amongst the trees forever, but, sadly, tree houses are not allowed.
Kings Park, Perth
Ok, maybe not purely green, but if you’re craving you’re very own slice of botanical paradise in the city then head to Perth’s Kings Park, the largest inner city park in the world. Soak up the sunshine with a picnic on lush lawns, wander among 3,000 of WA’s unique flora, catch a movie at the open air cinema and marvel at one seriously old baob tree (750 years old in fact).
Not so mellow yellow
Coalseam Conservation Park, Coral Coast
Get lost in flower power as you dance amongst the millions of bright yellow wildflowers in Coalseam, one of the most botanically diverse bush areas in WA.
So there you have it – proof that you really can paint with all the colours of Western Australia! And a fine painting for the memory mantelpiece that would be.
Start planning your own adventure in WA with our Travel Guide.