You’re about to journey along leg three of our ultimate Aussie road trip, through the country’s largest state, and one whose popularity is soaring year on year: that’s right, you guessed it, today we’re travelling through Western Australia.
Facing up to the Indian Ocean’s incredible allure, and backed up by formidable outback landscapes, and thick, lush, green forests of the temperate southwest; Western Australia is revered for its natural beauty, its unique cultures, and its access to some of the world’s most interesting and diverse wildlife.
There’s nowhere on earth quite like it! And don’t forget, we’re offering you the chance to win a working holiday in Western Australia, including return flights, a 12-month visa, and a paid job at an award-winning brewery!
But first, let’s get the engine warmed up, by continuing the journey over the border from South Australia, to the breathtaking sights of its mighty neighbour, Western Australia.
Buckle up, this is going to be one hell of a ride!
Grab a Western Australia ‘Six Pack’!
If you need any more information about travelling in WA, throw us a comment or two below, or check out the travelling in Western Australia pages of our website.
But first up, let’s get to grips with Australia’s big and beautiful, in Western Australia.
1. Visit the city of 19 beaches
Did you know, Perth is Australia’s sunniest state capital? And did you also know, that within the Perth metropolitan area, there are a 19 beaches?
The beach to-be-seen-to-be-seen, is undoubtedly Cottesloe; its community of friendly bars and restaurants make it a favourite hang-out of Perth’s most buff-bodied and well-heeled residents.
For some great surf, hit Trigg Beach, north of the city. One thing all of Perth’s beaches have in common — is that they’re the perfect place to watch the sun melt silently into the Indian Ocean, for an unforgettable start to your road trip through Western Australia.
2. Cycle on a car-free island paradise
West Australians have been using Rottnest Island (‘Rotto’ for short) as a recreation destination since the early 1900s.
It’s now one of the state’s most iconic locations (annually attracting close to 500,000 visitors). Just a short ferry ride from Perth or Fremantle, Rottnest Island offers picturesque scenery, marine life and unspoilt bays and beaches.
Plus, other than a hop-on hop-off bus service, there are no vehicles on the island! Most visitors choose to get around by bicycle (wheels can be hired for under $20 a day); and you can ride the entire circumference (24km) of Rottnest in about 2.5 hours.
3. Take a trip to the moon
The Pinnacles Desert might only be 270km north of Perth, but it feels like another planet.
Best visited at sunrise or sunset, its otherworldly ambience is undeniable; spend just a few hours at the site and you’ll almost certainly find yourself fantasising about piloting your own spaceship or becoming a Jedi Knight.
The landscape here is strictly a one-time deal — a freak of climatic and geological circumstance having combined to form thousands of individual limestone pillars, some reaching as high as five metres.
4. Ride a camel into the sunset
Egypt may have cornered the market on pyramids, but Australia remains home to the world’s largest population of wild camels.
In WA these ‘ships of the desert’ roam the outback in herds up to 100-strong. Head up to Broome, a resort town in WA’s tropical northwest and you can ride a domesticated camel, and take a sunset ride along the famous white sands of Cable Beach.
5. Share a beach with a kangaroo
No visit to Australia would be complete without some quality time spent in the company of a kangaroo (or two) – and WA won’t let you down.
‘Skippies’ are abundant state-wide, both inland and on the coast. At Lucky Bay in Esperance, a day’s drive south of Perth or 90 minutes by air, the local ‘roo population can often be found sunning themselves on Australia’s whitest beach.
6. Swim with the world’s biggest fish
Annually, from late March to early July, WA’s World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Marine Park lays on an ‘all-you-can-eat’ buffet for whale sharks.
The world’s largest fish congregate here to chow down on the local zooplankton, giving snorkellers and divers a chance to experience the thrill of looking them in the eye as they mooch by, propelled by a gentle swish of their supersized tail fins.
Whale sharks can grow up to 18m long and weigh up to 30 tonnes, but they pose no threat to humans; their giant mouths (large enough to accommodate a family hatchback without collapsing the wing mirrors) are primarily designed for filtering microscopic nutrients.
Boat and snorkel tours are operated out of Coral Bay and Exmouth, and run daily when the whale sharks are in town. During the height of the season it’s not unusual for tours to encounter multiple sightings – which is good news if, like many visitors, you’re just too excited to operate your underwater camera when the first whale shark comes looming at you from out of the blue!
Pull up in WA
Let’s pull over on the side of the road, for just a moment.
In the weeks ahead, we’ll cross the border into the enigmatic landscapes of the Northern Territory, but take a moment to let this all sink in — what a journey through WA this has been!
And it’s little surprise; as a destination, Western Australia consistently delivers premium adventure on a great budget.
Expect to see some of the world’s oldest landscapes, be inspired by some rich and fascinating culture, histories of pirates and castaways, and chow down on some of the most delicious food this side of mum’s kitchen.
We’ve enjoyed our journey through WA, but onwards we roll…! Let us know if you have any questions about Western Australia. Maybe see you there some day?