Why do we love living in Western Australia? Because it’s huge, it’s remote and it’s mostly untouched, plus it’s pretty uncrowded in the general scheme of things. It’s a big State full of amazing natural wonders and vibrant cities, incredible beaches, fantastic things to do and places to see 9 of which, with the help of other travel bloggers, we’ll introduce to you today.
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Dream Destinations Western Australia
If you’re looking for places to visit in Western Australia come on a journey with us and enjoy bite sized tasters about Ningaloo Reef, Francois Peron National Park, Hamelin Bay, Rottnest Island, Geraldton, Elephant Rocks, Kalbarri, Broome and Esperance.
Exploring the Ningaloo Reef
One of my very favourite parts of my beautiful home state of Western Australia is the top half of the Coral Coast region around Exmouth and Coral Bay. Centred on the stunning Ningaloo Reef – which to my mind is just as mind-blowing as the Great Barrier Reef, but easier to access (you can walk there from the shore at Coral Bay) and without all the tourists – there is so much to see and do there.
Of course, a lot of the activities are water-based, but fortunately there is some pretty consistently good weather to be had. I spent a day on a snorkelling trip seeing sharks (friendly ones), sea turtles and many kinds of fish, although the manta rays we had hoped to see were elusive that day, giving me a really good excuse to head back some day. They have also recently started running trips to swim with humpback whales, which would be incredible.
My very favourite way to see the Ningaloo Reef, though, is from above – I took a microlight flight for an hour and although I was a bit terrified at first to be “flying like a bird”, as my pilot said, I soon relaxed and realised this was indeed the best way to look at the reef and the Cape Range National Park right next to it.
Amanda Kendle is a travel-loving Aussie who is based in Perth, Western Australia after living in Japan, Slovakia and Germany. She has published her travel blog Not A Ballerina since 2005 and is now also the host of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast.
Need a place to stay in Exmouth? Check out the top hotels and the best prices Here.
Francois Peron National Park
Situated in the most northern point of the Peron Peninsula, Francois Peron is one of the highlights of Western Australia. The national park is part of the Shark Bay World Heritage area. And for good reason! The coastal scenery and wildlife in Francois Peron NP are stunning and unique.
I spent one day with a 4WD guide to explore the beauty of the park. While driving over the sandy roads, the car leaves red clouds of dust behind us. Our guide tells about the aboriginal language, the pearl camp, nature and animals.
Thinking back of Francois Peron NP, the breathtaking red sand and rock formations immediately come to mind. As a wildlife lover, I couldn’t be happier with the emu’s, eagles, cormorants and the turtle we saw. But there is one special moment that gave me goosebumps: a group of dolphins playing with a stingray right in front of us.
Maartje lives in Amsterdam and loves to travel to adventurous places. On her blog Quokka Travel she shares her stories with the world.
Tourism to Geraldton drops off outside of wildflower season (which is during July to September). Visiting outside of these months makes it a perfect time to visit this city.
Open to the public, the HMAS Sydney II Memorial sits upon a hill overlooking both the city and the sea. It honours the crew or the HMAS Sydney II, the only Australian ship that lost its entire crew in an attack during WWII. The image shows the “Dome of Souls” with 645 birds, one for each crew member who died. In front of it, the “Wall of Remembrance” lists the names of crew and officers in alphabetical order as there is no rank in death.
In Geraldton, you won’t want to miss St. Francis Xavier Cathedral. If you have been to La Mezquita in Cordoba, Spain you will recognise the architectural influence.
Also worth a visit in the town is the beach, the Rubik’s Cube public toilets, the old gaol (jail), the old police station, and the Western Australian Museum.
Capturing the essence of travel through photography, Rhonda Albom is the primary travel writer and photographer at AlbomAdventures.com.
Check out the best hotel prices in Geraldton Here.
Elephant Rocks – William Bay National Park
Have you ever seen a herd of Elephants bathing in the ocean? No? Well if your travels in WA take you south then be sure to add Williams Bay National Park to your itinerary. This stretch of coastline running along the south-west tip of the country is well worth the drive. In fact, we felt it was even more beautiful than the showstopping beaches of Margaret River.
Here the turquoise waters of the Southern Ocean are home to a large number of unique metamorphic rock formations, some of which look remarkably like a herd of elephants heading in for an afternoon swim. If you arrive in summer, you may have to share the beach, but on our visit, in late March we were lucky enough to be almost alone.
Along with the beauty of the area, we felt a calmness here. A leaflet from the national park says this cove was once a place of birthing for aboriginal women, and you can certainly sense a feeling of something special. There are plenty of walks in the park if you have a full day but even a 30 minute pit stop here bring you joy and give your camera a good workout!
Paula and Charles are a pair of just turned 50 travel addicts who have spent the last ten years combining full-time work with part-time travel. On their blog, Expert Abroad they share their journeys and offer advice and tips for planning your own big adventures.
Ed’s note: We love staying in Denmark when we visit Elephant Rocks. For your next holiday to South West Australia check out the best hotel prices in the beautiful regional town of Denmark Here and discover more of the attractions in south west WA.
In 2014, we did a huge Australian road trip, and we loved Western Australia most of all. We discovered many things to do in Western Australia but one of our favorite destinations was Kalbarri National Park, which encompasses both amazing, desert-type landscapes and imposing coastal cliffs.
The inland park has some fantastic sites boasting epic views. One of the most famous is the iconic “Nature’s Window” which is a rock formation framing a view out over a wide gorge with red rocks. But for us, the highlight of Kalbarri was the cliffs. These unexpected coastal drop offs are genuinely breathtaking, and they give Australia’s more famous Great Ocean Road a real run for its money.
Amy & Nathan are a newlywed pair of couples travel bloggers. They love exploring the world hand in hand, and believe that they can journey farther, together.
For some great ideas about places to stay in Kalbarri check out the best prices Here.
We recently visited Broome and it is fabulous. It is one of the most stunning places I have been with its aqua water, white sand, red soil and unique attractions like “Staircase to the Moon”. This takes place when the moon rises above the exposed mud flats and looks like there is a staircase to the moon.
It is much more than a beach destination. I loved learning about Broome’s pearling past as it’s basically the story of the town. Broome has a unique history thanks to not being part of the White Australia policy and big events like being bombed by the Japanese in World War II. Plus, learning about pearls is the perfect excuse to bring home a lovely souvenir.
The camel ride is the stereotyped attraction in Broome but it really is worth the effort. It was a highlight for us. We also loved hanging out on the big balcony at Matso Brewery and eating a meal with a tasting platter of beer. Just perfect!
Sharon Gourlay is a travel writer and internet marketer. You can read more about her family travels, hotel reviews and in depth destination guides on her blog Where’s Sharon.
Hamelin Bay, South West Australia
South of Margaret River, almost at Augusta is a very special beach: Hamelin Bay.
Not only is Hamelin Bay a stunningly beautiful beach with soft white sand and crystal clear water –it also offers something very special that you will rarely find at any other beach in the world – stingrays! Big, beautiful sting rays that come right into the beach and swim around your feet. This is definitely one of the fun things to do in south west WA.
When you arrive at Hamelin Bay, make your way to the boat ramp where the fishing boats come in and you will see several sting rays and eagle rays, all hoping to score some fish scraps off the fishing boats. Stand in ankle deep water and shake your fingers on the surface of the water and the rays will swim up to you in search of food and tickle your feet. An amazing experience.
(Ed’s Note: We love this aspect of Hamelin Bay – but Please be careful. Though fascinating Stingrays are not domestic pets and their tail barbs can be lethal to humans. I’ve seen some silly people doing very silly things in the water with Stingrays.)
Marianne is the writer/editor of family travel blog Mum on the Move. She travels regularly to the Margaret River region with her two kids, checking out all the family-friendly wineries and attractions.
Rottnest Island, often called “Rotto” by locals is a car-free, turquoise water and white sand beach paradise. Just a 19km ferry ride from Perth, Rotto makes a great day trip from the City or spend a week holidaying on this beautiful island.
The best way to see the island is by renting bikes and cycling around the island stopping off whenever you fancy. You will have a hard time choosing which beach to unwind at. If you want even more adventure, the turquoise waters are perfect for snorkeling, surfing, fishing and diving. Make sure to keep a look out for the island’s famous inhabitants, the quokka, a small, tame mammal native to the island. Join thousands of others by grabbing your #quokkaselfie.
Dawn Nicholson loves traveling and blogging about her adventures traveling and living overseas with her three kids at 5 Lost Together. She has visited over 50 countries and believes strongly in traveling now with kids by whatever and any means possible – backpacking, sailing or living as expats overseas.
Around 720 kms and about a 7 hour drive from Perth you’ll come to the coastal town of Esperance. When I think about Esperance the colours of blue and white are foremost in my mind. The ocean is often the most gorgeous glacial blue, and at some beaches the sand is squeaky and almost pure white.
We loved driving the Great Ocean drive which takes in Rotary Lookout on Wireless Hill, goes on pastpasses wind farms, Observatory Point Lookout, and runs on to Twilight Cove, a spectacular swimming beach. Along this road you come to Pink Lake an unusual attraction about 5kms out of the town. At certain times during the year the Algae in the lake turns it a pastel pink colour.
Between July and November the huge but gentle southern right whales visit the bays to calve, and they can often be viewed from land based viewing points around Esperance. But there’s so much more to see and do in and around Esperance and you could choose to go fishing or walking, cycling, birdwatching, four wheel driving on some incredible beaches, swimming, diving, or just stick to scenic driving.
Not to be missed is Cape Le Grand National Park for stunning beaches and hikes, and a cruise out to Woody Island Nature Reserve (we’ve done this twice) which is just one of more than 100 islands in the magnificent Archipelago of the Recherché. It’s the only accessible island close to Esperance in the archipelago and is serviced by the catamaran MV Seabreeze which stops there for morning tea and a short guided walk on a daily 3.5 hours Bay of Isles Wildlife Cruise. Well worth doing.
Jo Castro is a world traveller and the founder of ZigaZag. She also writes over at Lifestyle Fifty , her fashion and world travel blog.
Choose from 26 places to stay in Esperance Here.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means I stand to earn a little commission if you purchase from them – this is at no cost to you, but will help keep the lights on at ZigaZag central 🙂
What’s your favourite place to visit in Western Australia?