Covering a third of the Australian continent, Western Australia is the largest state in the country. At the heart of it is the attractive capital city of Perth, home to three-quarters of the entire state’s small 2.3 million population. Beyond Perth, the vast isolated lands dazzle with desert landscapes, verdant forests, steep canyons and gold-mining towns.
Much of the state’s draw sits on its western coast, making it very isolated from the rest of the country. Perth, the capital itself, is one of the most isolated capital cities in the world, sitting closer to the Indonesian island of Bali than it is to Sydney. With this isolation comes a strong sense of identity that many locals proudly associate themselves with.
The striking mix of Outback wilderness and secluded beaches means this state is attracting an increasing number of travellers who are keen to break away from the crowds that accumulate in the east of Australia. Western Australia is also one of the few states where Aboriginal cultures are visibly present, opening you up to a wealth and breadth of new experiences.
Embark on a Western Australia tour and you’ll be guaranteed to be one of few campers stargazing in Nambung National Park, lounging on the white-sand coves and encountering stunning gorges and mesmerising waterfalls. There’s abundant beauty in choosing to explore the less travelled destinations like Western Australia!
The Best Time for Western Australia Travel
The beauty of Western Australia is that you can always find summer somewhere.
Being as large as it is, Western Australia has several types of climate. Most of the state is arid and dry, but the south-west enjoys a Mediterranean climate with winter rainfall and four distinct seasons. Desert covers the east and tropical conditions are what you’ll find in the north.
The mostly sunny climate has resulted in Western Australia being high on the list of the world’s best biodiversity hotspots. Because of this, Western Australia can confidently claim to be a year-round destination; something few destinations can boast.
The perfect time for a Western Australia trip, therefore largely depends on where you’d like to travel. If you are planning to visit the South (below the Tropic of Capricorn), then the best time is between November and March when rainfall is low, and temperatures are high. For the north, the best time to visit is between May and October, during the dry season when temperatures are mild.
For a Perth tour, the summer is the best as it is one of the few places in the state that enjoys an ocean breeze, bringing relief to the heat-stricken state.
The 10 Best Places to Visit in Western Australia
The capital of Western Australia, Perth, is a youthful, sunshine-blessed city with a laidback, tropical atmosphere. Isolated from the rest of Australia’s top cities, Perth is often left off the list when thinking about an Australia tour, but there is more to this remote city than one first assumes.
Surfing, sailing, scenic nature hikes, retreats, cultural heritage sites and wine tours are all things that Perth does well. This five-day Perth tour offers up a brilliant taste of all that the city has to offer.
Just a 30-minute drive from the centre of Perth, Fremantle is an old port with a rich colonial history. The town bustles with lively bars, hipster cafes, artisan markets and portside breweries.
Take a break from the portside action and hit the heritage trail on a Fremantle and Perth tour. You’ll visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Fremantle Prison, the Western Australian Maritime Museum and the state’s oldest public building, the Roundhouse.
Three times the size of England, the Kimberley is an incredible ancient landscape taking the title of one of the planet’s most precious wilderness regions.
Step into the Kimberley, and you’ll find the coastal resort town of Broome, incredible freshwater water holes to swim in, majestic canyons, numerous outback stations and some of the country’s best off-roading!
Ningaloo Reef & Coral Coast
Protected by the Ningaloo Marine Park, the Ningaloo Reef is the world’s largest fringing reef and also one of the most accessible reefs in Australia. Spanning 300 kilometres along the western coast, Ningaloo Reef is home to more than 250 species of coral and over 700 species of fish.
The best thing? Step off the white sands and before you know it you’re floating over the top of the stunning coral gardens of Ningaloo Reef. Make the most of this beautiful location on this four-day Ningaloo Reef tour!
Tucked away in Western Australia’s south-west corner, you’ll find Australia’s premium wine region, Margaret River. Known for its amazing underground caves, beautiful beaches and of course, its wine, it is the perfect place for an artisan-inspired indulgent escape just like this four-day Margaret River tour.
Margaret River wine tours are popular with those escaping from Perth and other coastal cities, but you can escape the crowds by visiting mid-week.
Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park
Nambung National Park, home to the famous Pinnacles desert which sits just two hours north of Perth, is one of Western Australia’s most distinctive natural attractions. Here, thousands upon thousands of limestone pillars rise from the sands, some as small as your little finger and some bigger than a truck.
When you’ve finished gawping at the Pinnacles Desert, the national park is also home to white sandy beaches which are perfect for a spot of swimming and snorkelling.
Affectionately known as Rotto to locals, Rottnest Island is home to stunning, soft sand beaches, abundant marine life and the happiest (and cutest) animals in the world, Quokkas. Affectionately tame, you can snap a selfie with a Quokka then head off around the island to swim in the crystal clear waters, enjoy the car-free roads and lounge on remote beaches.
A Rottnest Island day trip is the perfect escape from the city on a Perth tour. Alternatively, you can take the ferry from Perth to Rottnest Island if you wish to spend a night or two on the island.
Karijini National Park
Rugged scenery and an abundance of stunning gorges characterise Karijini National Park. Including this national park on your Western Australia tour will mean adrenaline-rush gorge walks, extraordinary scenery and sparkling water holes.
The most accessible sites –Fortescue Falls, Weano Gorge, Dales Gorge and Oxers Lookout– sit towards the north of the park, just below the famous Karijini Drive, one of the two roads running through the park.
While you may have seen pictures of ‘roos hanging out on the beach and assumed that it must be places like Kangaroo Island in South Australia, those scenes are actually most common in Esperance.
Not only can you capture iconic scenes like that, but Esperance is also where one of Australia’s pink lakes is found, Lake Hillier, arguably the most famous of them all. With or without kangaroos, the beaches are beautiful, and Esperance is perfect for nature lovers.
Shark Bay & Monkey Mia
UNESCO World Heritage-listed since 1991, Shark Bay is the coined name for two prongs of land and their lagoons. The rare flora and fauna, diverse landscapes and outstanding ecological processes in this area all contribute to the region’s World Heritage status.
Monkey Mia sits within Shark Bay as is famous for being home to friendly resident bottlenose dolphins that now visit three times a day to be hand-fed. The dolphins have been doing this for over 40 years, today, the feeding is supervised by professionals, and you are not able to swim with the dolphins. However, you can stand in knee-deep water close by while they are fed, which is an incredible experience alone.
How to Get Around the Western Australian State
Whenever you’re planning a Western Australia tour, it’s essential to bear in mind that the state is inconceivably huge. Before diving into the list of places to visit in Western Australia, it’s important to check the scale and the distances between them.
Flying to Western Australia
Regular flights operate from all major cities in Australia to the state’s capital, Perth. Flights from the east coast take around four hours on average. If you’re looking to head straight into the Kimberley region, you can fly direct to Broome from several destinations across Australia.
Flying within Western Australia is not recommended; the best ways to get around are detailed below.
Driving around Western Australia
Most people fly into Western Australia then hire a car or buy a second-hand car to get themselves around. Driving around Western Australia is a great way to explore as it gives you the flexibility and freedom to divert off your itinerary if you choose to. Four of Australia’s most epic 4WD trips are in Western Australia – Eyre Highway, Savannah Way, Gibb River Road and The Outback Way.
Hiring a car in Western Australia is very easy; however, if you’re not sure about driving yourself, you can always opt for a private Western Australia tour with a local driver and guide. Our Local Experts in Australia can take the hassle out of trying to organise a trip like this and design the perfect trip for you.
Other Transport around Western Australia
The roads are long in Western Australia, and the journeys can take hours, with long periods of not coming across a town or seeing any other people.
If you’d prefer company, hop-on hop-off bus tours run up and down the coast of Western Australia enabling you to move about to different places while having company. Of course, if you decide to hire a car and take a road trip with a group of friends or family, then you can split the driving.
Where to Stay on Your Western Australia Trip
There’s a wide range of accommodation options in Western Australia but two choices in particular ring out as the best – camping in caravan sites, and luxury hotels and lodges.
Camping in Western Australia
Imagine waking up the sound of the ocean, swimming alongside humpback whales and trekking in the Cape Range National Park – all of this and more is possible when you choose to camp like on this four-day Ningaloo Reef exclusive beach camp tour.
Caravanning and camping is a wonderful way to get in touch with nature in Western Australia and truly experience its beautiful landscapes and abundant flora and fauna. From a simple tent pitch in a national park to five-star glamping pods, there’s something for everyone in Western Australia.
Luxury Hotels in Western Australia
Perth travel has been refreshed in recent years by the rush of new luxury hotels that have been popping up in the central business district. If you’re looking for luxury accommodation in Margaret River, then look no further than the boutique bed and breakfast on this four-day Western Australia tour.
If you’re looking for something a little more luxe or even more in budget, then our Local Experts can help you find that perfect Margaret River accommodation or a stay in any other part of Australia.
Must-Try Foods & Where to Eat in Western Australia
Whether white linen tablecloth restaurants or quirky backstreet cafes are your thing, there is an abundance of options for places to eat in Perth. Beyond Perth, you’ll find fine dining in cellar doors in Margaret River, dining al fresco in the Western Australian countryside under a blanket of stars or picking fresh boab fruit from baobab trees in the Outback beyond Broome.
Western Australia has a rich agricultural presence and history; crops from wheat and barley to sugarcane, apples, macadamia nuts and lentils are grown in the state. In addition to plant-based foods, with over 10,000 kilometres of coastline, Western Australia is renowned for its fresh seafood which is perfectly accompanied by world-famous wines from its many wineries.
Truffles in Western Australia
Manjimup truffles are an exclusive variety of French truffles grown in Western Australia. The state is the key region for truffles in Australia as it produces 80% of the country’s truffles. When you’re by the coast, try some truffle toast with fresh seafood. Delicious!
Seafood in Perth
Fresh seafood, freshwater fish and waterside eateries are three things that characterise Perth’s food scene. Dine on fish and chips out of paper by the water or enjoy lobster in a fine dining restaurant, you’ll find something to suit every seafood lover in Perth!
Of course, the seafood hotspots don’t stop at Perth. Beyond Perth, Rottnest Island scallops, Exmouth prawns, Geraldton lobster and more compete for the title of best Western Australia foods!
Mangos in Broome
For a mango extravaganza, head to Broome, the gateway to Western Australia’s Outback, in the last week of November. Making the most of mango season, this yearly festival celebrates all things mango and is not to be missed!
Margaret River Wineries
Known as the wine hub of the country, Western Australia is home to award-winning wineries and is known globally as a major wine producer. At its heart is Margaret River; the wineries here have some numerous accolades for their produce.
With over 215 wineries, over 12,000 acres of vineyards and 7,000 tonnes of wine produced annually, Margaret River is the place to visit in Western Australia if you have a penchant for vino.
Lamb Chops & Lupins in Western Australia
Recently voted the signature dish of Western Australia, lamb chops and lupins are a match made in food heaven. Responsible for 80% of the world’s Lupin, as well as a majority of Australia’s livestock, this dish is a must-try when in Western Australia.
Cost of a Trip to Western Australia
Australia is often considered expensive to travel; however, there are a number of variables which can affect the cost of your trip:
- Length of your trip
- The season you go in
- Accommodation type
- How many places you visit
- Number of activities or tours you do
Factoring all of these variables in and trying to make sure your Western Australia trip is within budget can be a little bit of a headache. That’s where our Local Experts on the ground in Australia come in; they can take your budget, desired activities and places to visit and your travel style and design a trip that’s perfect for you and your travel companions, if any.
Our Local Experts are just that, experts in the local area. They can plan your trip based on your requirements, taking care of everything from rental car pick up to hotel reservations and guided tours. It makes planning a trip to anywhere in Australia, simple!
As an idea, this eight-day Western Australia wine and nature tour costs AU$2,195 per person and includes:
- Seven nights of 4-star accommodation
- Seven breakfasts
- Ground transportation (rental car)
- Entrance fees
- Licensed English-speaking guides on specified tours
Simple changes like changing the class of accommodation, the number of places you travel to and your transport method can make your trip into a more luxurious or more budget experience, depending on what you are looking for.
At Tripfuser, we know that everyone has different interests, priorities and preferences when it comes to planning a trip. Hence, tailoring your tour to any of your preferences is what our Local Experts do best!
Special Events & Festivals in Western Australia
Being the high produce region that it is, it would be mad not to expect some sort of celebration revolving around food and wine. Read on to see just how Western Australia celebrates its annual harvest;
The Western Australia Gourmet Escape
Each year, a collection of international chefs and Australia’s top producers head to the region where wine, fine dining and an epic surf culture collide. Together, they celebrate the great waves, fresh produce, incredibly fresh seafood and iconic Australian wines that the region produces.
For a long time, it has been and will continue to be, one of the most exciting and original events on the Australian calendar.
Mango Madness in Broome
Running for over 30 years, every year in November (around the same time as the Western Australian Gourmet Escape), thousands gather to celebrate the state’s mango harvest! With mango jamming, mango chutney, mango quizzes, mango cake and more, this festival truly makes the most of the mango season!
On the last day of the festival, you can attend an extravagant ‘mango tasting’ where guests vote for their favourite mango!
Regions Tours in Western Australia
Here’s our pick of the best Western Australia trips to take;
5-Day Perth Explorer
Expect Swan Valley wine tours, Penguin Island tours, sandboarding on the dunes and sampling the best of the city’s restaurants on this 5-day Perth tour!
4-Day Margaret River Adventure
Renowned for its outstanding natural beauty, verdant forests and wine wines, this 4-day tour with luxury accommodation in Margaret River is the perfect escape.
4-Day Perth & Rottnest Island Tour
Explore the state capital of Perth, the trendy coastal town of Fremantle and make friends with the cutest quokkas on this Perth and Rottnest Island tour.
4-Day Exclusive Beach Camp on Ningaloo Reef
Spend three nights in an exo-deluxe wilderness tent nestled in the dunes of the Cape Range National Park on this Ningaloo Reef trip.
Ready to Plan Your Western Australia Tour?
Take the hassle out of planning a trip with Tripfuser and leave it in the capable hands of one of our trusted Local Experts in Australia and over 60 countries across the world. Experts in their field, our Local Experts can take your budget, interests and travel style and design a tour that suits you perfectly.