The state of Western Australia holds all the romance and mystique of the old frontier tales: wide open spaces, old colonial and mining towns, and hundreds of thousands of miles of pristine flora. With stunning beaches, deserts, salt lakes, rock formations, and vibrant forests, the state is any outdoorsman’s fantasy come to life. Those looking for a quieter and less strenuous holiday will be well taken care of here as well, from whale watching in Pilbara to wine tasting in Margaret River. Take a trip to Western Australia, and prepare to find enchantment around every tree and rock.
Western Australia was discovered in the 17th century by Dutch tradesmen, who would quickly find the desert landscape void of natural resources unpalatable and move on. The British and French, however, decided to settle the area in the 19th century, and the area became flooded with migrants after the discovery of gold in the 1890s. The span of the state means that the climate between the north and the south differs, with the north having a more temperate climate with regular rainfall and the south warmer and more arid.
The city of Perth sits on the Swan River and is a shopping and entertainment mecca in the state of Western Australia. Even among Australia’s famously easy-going locals, the residents of Perth have a reputation for being particularly friendly and laid-back. Easy access to beaches, parks, rivers, and entertainment hot spots thanks to its convenient transportation system makes it a diamond in the not-so-rough.
The top northernmost region of the state, Kimberley is a wilderness-filled wonderland that is double the size of the United Kingdom, but only 40,000 residents call it home. Popular cities here include the chic Broome, the Fitzroy River fishing town of Camballin, and the relaxed village of Kununurra. Favorite activities are riding camels at sunset, birdwatching in the bush, and the many national parks with their mountains and unique rock formations.
Covering an area of 195,000 square miles (505,000 square kilometers), the Pilbara region has fantastic coastal areas to snorkel, dive, and surf, and you can even hop a ride to the Mackerel Islands. The land here is estimated to be over 3 billion years old and has been mostly untouched by human hands. Consider taking a port tour, or seeing some of the amazing local marine life including whale sharks, loggerhead turtles, manta rays, and humpback whales.
For any nature-lovers, the region of Goldfields-Esperance will be your outdoor paradise. The area is rife with opportunity for camping, fishing, hiking, and golfing, as well as stunning scenery filled with fragrant wildflowers and salt lakes. There are four different national parks to explore, including the Cape Le Grand National Park where divers will find the challenging Sanko Harvest wreck, the second largest diveable wreck in the world.
Wine connoisseurs will adore the Margaret River region, brimming with vineyards and wineries. This area of Western Australia is famous for not only its wide varieties of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, and more, but also its fantastic cuisine perfectly crafted for wine pairing. Those looking to work off their delicious meal can take a bike tour, swim along the beaches, or explore some of the local caves to burn those calories.
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