While places like Sydney, Melbourne, or the Great Barrier Reef tend to be the most well-known destinations in Australia, the state of Western Australia has plenty to offer as well. From the state’s capital city Perth, and the wine region of the Margaret River, to pretty Rottnest Island or the port city of Bunbury, there is much to see and do in this western state. Read on for seven top spots you can visit on your next holiday in Australia.
The largest city in Western Australia is home to a variety of things to see and do, while retaining a laid-back and friendly atmosphere that makes vacationing a breeze. Many of the city’s natural attractions are free and fun to explore, such as the inner-city Kings Park. At 400 hectares in size, the park is a perfect place to enjoy a picnic or to go for a walk. When it comes to witnessing the famous WA sunsets, Perth’s Cottesloe Beach is also a great spot to head as the sun goes down.
For history lovers, a visit to the Perth Mint is a must. This venue is the oldest mint in Australia that’s still in operation (it was established in 1899) and these days produces limited-edition coins, as well as housing the biggest collection of natural gold nuggets in the country.
Another historic landmark that’s popular with architecture fans is The Old Mill. Built in 1835, the restored tower mill has gone through numerous incarnations over the years, including being a poultry farm, wine saloon, hotel and private residence, but today is protected by the National Trust and a much-visited tourism site.
If you’re looking to indulge in plenty of quality wine tasting, purchase a flight to Perth and then stay in the Margaret River region at this amazing hotel. Known around the world for its award-winning wineries, the Margaret River is also the only wine area in the country where you can enjoy not only food and wine but also time spent on pristine beaches, in secluded rainforests, or in ancient caves. The region is also very popular with adventure lovers, since there are a myriad of experiences for thrill seekers available, such as mountain biking, rock climbing and abseiling.
For lovers of the sea or of animals, a trip to Ningaloo Reef is an experience not to be missed. Travelers have the chance to swim with whale sharks (the world’s biggest fish species) between the months of March and July when the massive creatures come close to the shoreline for the coral spawning. The World Heritage–listed Reef is also home to a huge number of other sea creatures, and is the perfect place to enjoy water-based activities such as snorkeling, swimming, surfing, and boating.
Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park
If you’re more interested in history and geology then take a trip to the Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park, around 2.5 hours’ drive away from Perth. Known in Australia simply as “The Pinnacles,” the site’s massive limestone formations (which reach up to five meters tall) are a natural wonder and need plenty of time to be explored, since the large pillars cover close to 200 hectares. There is also an on-site Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre for tourists to utilize in order to learn about the formations and their history.
Bunbury is a port city in Western Australia that’s situated around 175 kilometres south of Perth. The regional city is the third-largest in the state and is known locally as the “City of Three Waters”, due to its location on a peninsula that has the Indian Ocean, Koombana Bay, and Leschenault Inlet as its surrounds. While visiting Bunbury, travelers can try out many activities that involve the water and the outdoors. Some of the most popular experiences include a scuba dive near The Lena shipwreck; a visit to the Dolphin Discovery Centre; or a walk along the Mangrove Cove boardwalk.
Less than 20 kilometers off the W.A. coast, right near Perth, is a scenic island getaway. Rottnest Island is one of the state’s most popular tourist destinations and attracts more than 500,000 visitors each year. The scenic spot is famous for its pristine beaches and bays; indigenous flora and fauna; and large array of birds, marsupials, reptiles, and marine life that live in the area. The small island is only 4.5 kilometers wide and 11 kilometers long, and is easily cycled around in just a couple of hours. Rottnest Island, or “Rottie” as it is colloquially called, can be accessed from Perth via ferry.
Another interesting city to visit in W.A. is Rockingham. Located less than 50 kilometers from Perth, it features a local wine trail, a variety of white, sandy beaches, and the nearby Shoalwater Islands Marine Park to explore. The Park is located 500 meters offshore from Rockingham and is an ideal location to skydive, kayak, swim, or snorkel. The Rockingham Regional Environment Center, an educational and animal rehabilitation facility, is also popular with visitors.