Western Australia is known for its pristine beaches, parks and rivers. Here is a list of 21 spots to visit, a must do for both visitors and residents of this beautiful state.
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Western Australia’s capital is known for its pristine beaches, parks and rivers. Located next to the Swan River, Perth is a fantastic spot to visit with many attractions stretching in every direction. Close to the city, Kings Park is a great place to picnic and enjoy the river views. Further inland, visit the Swan Valley with peaceful wineries, art galleries and festivals throughout the year, and the Hills district. With Fremantle and Rottnest Island on the coast, and coastal towns dotted in either direction, Perth is a fantastic holiday destination.
Fremantle is a trendy, port city located south from Perth. It is a must for a day trip or longer stay, with heritage buildings, markets, art galleries and fishing boat harbour all great for a wander and shopping spree. The Maritime Museum will give you a perspective on the region’s history, as well as the convict jail and Fremantle prison. You will love this attractive and interesting region and it is suggested you stay for at least a few days, if not more.
3. Rottnest Island
Located west of Perth, this is one of the most visited
attractions in the region. Your experience at Rottnest Island will never be forgotton, with coral reefs, white sandy beaches and cycling some of the drawcards. A unique marsupial called the Quokker also makes its home on the island, and there is plenty of underwater marine life for
everyone. There are daily ferries from Fremantle and plenty of accommodation on the island if you want to stay longer. Make sure you visit Rottnest if you can.
Mandurah is a tranquil, cultural city set on Mandjar Bay, where many of the locals and tourists flock to enjoy the views and waterfront café’s and restaurants. The Mandurah Ocean Marina is an experience, with incredible fishing vessels and parklands suitable for a great family outing. Located just south of Perth in the Peel region, it is perfect for a day trip with beautiful scenery along the way. Further out into the Peel inlet you might see some of the many dolphins, pelicans and water birds which frequent the area. There are plenty of water activities to choose from.
5. Swan Valley
Perfect for a getaway, Swan Valley has vineyards, bushwalks and fantastic restaurants to attract visitors from all directions. There are plenty of art galleries, and panoramic views of the valley which will make your trip worthwhile. You can also visit the valley on a cruise up the Swan River, or head into Guildford and take a horse drawn wagon, or jump on a horse to explore the region at a slower pace. The Darling Range is located further inland, with beautiful John Forrest National Park offering plenty of bushwalks, camping and canoeing activities.
6. Coral Bay
This seaside town is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the ideal coastal surroundings. Two hours flight from Perth, Coral Bay sits next to the Ningaloo Reef which is just off
the beach. Fantastic for keen snorkellers and scuba divers, there is an abundance of marine life here, with humpback whales, turtles, manta rays, dugongs and the impressive whale shark. As you would expect, fishing is a favourite past-time here, with coral trout, blue marlin and sailfish hooked regularly. You will always be glad you came to visit.[catlist id=22 orderby=title numberposts=7 order=date]
Known as the gateway to the Kimberley, Broome has an incredible history and spectacular beaches. The popular Cable Beach is the place to stay with resorts and long stretches of white sand and crystal blue waters inviting visitors worldwide. The waters are also home to South Sea Pearls, which can be seen mostly in Chinatown. Another natural attraction is the Staircase to the Moon, an illusion during full moon on the silver mudflats which lasts for most of the year. Located in Western Australia’s far north, Broome is a worthwhile two and a half hours flight from Perth, and a cultural, diverse and memorable place to visit.
One of Western Australia’s largest and prosperous cities, and an hour’s flight east from Perth, Kalgoolie is a fascinating place to visit. Being one of the world’s most important mining regions there are plenty of attractions and smaller ghost towns which make an interesting day trip. It also features the state’s largest indoor pool, great to escape the heat. September brings the Boulder and Kalgoolie Cup, a horse race with a difference! There is every type of accommodation available if you want to stay longer and enjoy all this top city has to offer.
9. Monkey Mia
Home to the bottlenosed dophin, and located on the world heritage coastline, Monkey Mia has to be on your ‘to see’ list. It is located 30 minutes north from Denham, and has a large number of animals and bird life which make it a haven for nature lovers. What makes it most attractive is the unique ritual performed by the wild bottlenosed dolphins. Every day they swim into the shallows of the bay to interact with thrilled humans, bringing tourists from all over the world to experience something so special. Denham also offers great accommodation and activities which will make your stay here an unforgettable experience.
Two hours drive from Geraldton, Kalbarri is one of the prettiest holiday destinations, with an abundance of wildflowers and perfect climate for most of the year. In Kalbarri National Park you will find most of the State’s wildflower bushland, with over 800 species blooming. There are spectacular cliffs, still blue waters, plenty of fishing spots and friendly dolphins and whales close to the coastline. The parrot breeding centre is a must see, and the daily pelican feeding is always great to watch. Visit he offshore Abrolhos Islands for a fun filled day trip. Located on the Murchison River, Kalbarri is recommended as one of the favourite top spots. Rent a car and experience this beautiful town.
Located on the North West Cape of Western Australia, Exmouth is the gateway to the Ningaloo Marine Park and Cape Range National Park. It is the perfect base to visit these incredible natural wonders. There is plenty to do within Exmouth, with extensive bushwalking, fishing and water sports available, it is a popular tourist destination. There are all species of marine life on the Ningaloo Reef, with the whale shark and sailfish the most sought after. There is every type of accommodation available, and with perfect weather, attractions and parks, it is an incredible destination for all travellers.
12. Ningaloo Marine Park
The Ningaloo Reef is one of the largest reefs in the world that can be reached just by stepping off the beach. Home of the whale shark, it is an incredible place to visit. You will find dolphins, manta rays, turtles, dugongs and humpback whales, and there are plenty of safe swimming beaches. Stretching from the Exmouth Gulf down to Amherst Point, this protected region is well worth visiting. There is plenty of accommodation at Exmouth and Coral Bay if you are planning a longer stay.
There is so much to see in the coastal town of Carnarvon, famous for its banana plantations. Located in the top end of the State, there is great snorkelling, fishing and swimming all year. The Rocky Pool and Chinaman’s pool are popular, and it has escaped the tourist crowds to keep the local, friendly atmosphere. There are all types of tropical fruits grown further out of town, and an abundance of seafood available. There are also a number of farm stays available if you would prefer a rural experience. For a relaxed, enjoyable holiday this is a great option.
14. Kennedy Range National Park
For those who want to get off the beaten track to the outback, the Kennedy Range National Park has everything, especially with excellent highways along the way. Drive through Meekatharra and Wiluna to meet the locals and enjoy a pub meal. With wildflowers blooming in every direction, and rocky outcrops dotting the horizon, it is an experience you will never forget. A great adventure is to hike the Murchison River, located three hours drive north from Geraldton. One of the great attractions is Mount Augustus, which is twice the size of Ayers Rock. With a sea of stars at night and incredible panoramic vistas at daybreak, your outback adventure will bring a lifetime of memories.
This is where outback adventure begins. Located in Western Australia’s far north region, Kununurra produces most of the states fruit and vegetables and has perfect year round weather. A beautiful place to visit is the ‘Hidden Valley’ or Mirima National Park. Other popular attractions are the Bungle Bungle, Lake Argyle, Gibb River, Mitchell Plateau, Ord River and the Argyle Diamond Mine. Due to the remoteness of the area it is best to explore the surrounding outback by four wheel drive or air. You will be rewarded by incredible scenery and rugged natural wilderness which is hard to match.
This is the ultimate destination for sun lovers. Either a one and half hour flight or nine hour drive south from Perth, it is located on the Esperance Bay, and one of its drawcards are the hundreds of islands which dot the coast making up the Recherche Archipelago. There are all types of adventure sports available, with island cruises, four wheel drive safaris and abseiling just some of them, and the four main National Parks in the area promise unrivalled beauty. One of the most popular spots is Lucky Bay, with Blue Haven Beach and Twilight Cove great for snorkelling. Tanker Jetty is ideal for fishing, with local seals an added attraction.
17. Margaret River
This is rich, fertile land at its best, with over 60 wineries in the area making it a popular location for an indulgent, relaxing getaway. Located three and half hours south of Perth, Margaret River offers incredible restaurants, cheeses, jams, olives and even a local chocolate factory. Natural attractions include a number of underground caves, beaches, forests and bushwalking tracks bringing you to magnificent lookouts. Augusta is the perfect spot for whale watching, and there are plenty of surfing competitions to watch along the beach. With such a diverse number of attractions, Margaret River is right on top of the list.
Situated on Champion Bay, just over 400km north from Perth, Geraldton is a popular coastal town and often known as the gateway to the north. There is every type of water sport available, and plenty of beautiful beaches. A great time to visit is July to November during wildflower season, and it is also a great base to visit the Kalbarri National Park, Murchison River gorges, Monkey Mia (famous for its friendly dolphins) and the Abrolhos Islands. Within Geraldton, there are plenty of museums, parks, lookouts and art galleries. The Point Moore Lighthouse is a well known landmark made from steel, and the Western Australia Museum is a recent attraction.
19. Shark Bay
Shark Bay encompasses over 1500 km of Western Australia’s coastline. It is a world heritage listed area and offers natural attractions such as Zuydorp Cliffs and the Wooramel Seagrass Bank. Another unique feature is Shell Beach, which is the ultimate beach for shell lovers with six kilometres of shells alone, over 10 metres deep. Travellers flock to the Shark Bay region to experience its marine and coastal wonders, and it is perfect for boating, diving and snorkelling enthusiasts. There are caravan parks and plenty of accommodation dotting the coast for those who want to stay here for a relaxing holiday.
20. Port Hedland
This is a friendly, coastal town known for its magnificent weather, fishing, crabbing and history. It is a two hour flight from Perth and has plenty of attractions. Within the city you can visit Dalgety House Museum, the Open Air Train Museum and the Koombana Lookout which promises beautiful views. The creeks at Pretty Pool and Six Mile Creek are also great for a day trip and the ever present wildflowers make this a pretty place to visit. You can’t miss the big ships and trains which are in and out of the Port, which make it a unique destination.
You won’t want to leave Albany. With its wild scenery, dark seas and rugged coastline it is steeped in history with convict jails, whaling ships and cottages dotting the landscape. On the south coast of Western Australia, Albany is a five hour drive from Perth. The Amity Trail is one of the best ways to see the city, which winds past historical buildings and interesting landmarks. The Torndirrup National Park is worth visiting, plus the Natural Bridge on the coast. There are whale watching cruises which bring you up close and personal with these gentle giants of the sea.
Jenny Brewer is a travel agent whose passion is writing. After spending her leisure time writing time writing childrens stories, she now enjoys writing about travel destinations. For more of her articles visit Car Hire Australia http://www.discovery-carhire.com.au/.
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The review "Western Australia – Top 21 Hot Spots" was last updated on 18/04/2015.