As the biggest state in Australia, Western Australia (WA) is home to some of the most amazing and diverse spots in the country. With world-class wineries, vibrant forests of the south, rocky gorges, waterfalls in the north, gold mines, ghost towns and eye-catching beaches, it’s no real surprise that residents and visitors alike fall in love with this vibrant and magnificent region. Here are just a handful of the reasons why Culture Trip loves it so much.
Dive with whale sharks on Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth
Ningaloo Reef is one of WA’s most popular activities, and with good reason. It’s home to whale sharks, manta rays, sea turtles, dolphins and occasional humpback whales. Head to Exmouth and go on a diving or snorkelling trip for an unforgettable opportunity to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures.
From Exmouth to Broome, Millstream Chichester, Karijini and the Dampier Peninsula, the Pilbara is one of WA’s most impressive regions. Worthy of a few weeks to a month of exploring, you can see everything from 40,000-year-old Aboriginal rock art in the Outback and waterfalls cascading down ancient gorges to secluded tropical islands surrounded by mangroves and the Staircase to the Moon in Broome.
This sort of goes without saying, but if you can only do one thing while you’re in WA, then heading down south – or “douth” as the residents call it – for a few days probably tops the list. You can visit wineries in Margaret River, marvel at ancient caves full of crystals and tranquil lakes on the aptly named Caves Road, swim with stingrays at Hamelin Bay, relax in the natural Injidup Spa and catch some waves at Yallingup – all just a few hours’ drive from Perth.
WA’s national parks are some of the most amazing places on the planet. Nowhere else can you drive over the largest dunes in the southern hemisphere (D’Entrecasteaux), and see occasional snow in WA (Stirling Range). You can also find 400m-year-old fossils (Kalbarri) and marvel at the Bungle Bungle Range (Purnululu). Alternatively, you can walk alongside some of the tallest trees in the world (Walpole-Nornalup) and look down into an ancient meteor crater (Wolfe Creek). And don’t forget to have a drink with a kangaroo (John Forrest).
It’s next to impossible to choose just one amazing coastal area when they’re all pretty spectacular. However, Elephant Rocks and Greens Pool in William Bay National Park are up there with the best. Close to the town of Denmark and the giant tingle trees of Walpole, these beaches have become increasingly popular in recent years. Get here early to have them all to yourselves.
For something completely different, check out WA’s Public Silo Trail. This Australian phenomenon began right here in WA in 2015. Towering across rural towns, from Northam and Merredin to Ravensthorpe and Albany, these huge art pieces are more than just pretty things to look at. They’ve also helped rejuvenate struggling communities, provide a much-needed tourism boost to regional areas and give adventurers and road-trippers an excuse to get off the beaten track and go exploring.