SO you’ve jumped in a Perth car rental for an adventure in Western Australia. The problem is, you’ve just lobbed in Australia’s biggest state, with an area of more than 2,500,000sq/km, a 12,500km coastline and spanning 2400km from north to south.
For an entire state being a third the size of a large continent, quite simply you’ve got to know where to go and we’ve hand-picked five unmissable natural attractions while you’re on the road in WA.
1. Cable Beach (pictured, photo James Morgan)
Could there be a better way to catch a sunset than by cruising along on the back of a camel on pristine white sand stretching 22km? We think not. The beach is steeped in beautiful Broome’s history, earning its name from the telegraph cable laid between Broome and Java in the late 19th century that connected Australia’s secluded North West with the world. Stay at one of the resorts near Cable Beach or visit for the day from Broome, take a swim, jump on a boat cruise or just meander on one of the planet’s most beautiful beaches and catch a stunning sunset.
2. Ningaloo Reef
When you get a chance to go swimming with whalesharks in the gorgoues waters of the Ningaloo Reef on the mid north coast, you grab the opportunity with both hands – and your flippers! This part of the earth is home to whalesharks between April and July and tours from Coral Bay or Exmouth provide the opportunity to take a dip and float with the whalesharks, which are the biggest fish in the world. But that’s not all. You can also swim with manta rays, dolphins, colourful tropical fish and see rare turtles and migrating humpback whales.
3. Valley of the Giants
Such a name might turn any unsuspecting road tripper completely around and heading in the other direction, but fortunately these giants are peaceful, tranquil and beautiful. The Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk puts you in the sky to see some of the tallest timber giants on Earth – Western Australia’s tingle trees. Climbing 40m into the forest canopy and wandering through the treetops for 500 metres, the walk trail is set up to maximise views and minimise impact. Just a four hour drive from Perth, this experience is 15 minutes east of Walpole, on Western Australia’s south coast.
4. The Pinnacles
They say this place is “like walking on the moon”. A two hour drive from Perth, the lunar-like Pinnacles form one of Australia’s most interesting natural landscapes that evolved over millions of years. Tall limestone spires rise out of the yellow desert sands of Nambung National Park, just outside the coastal town of Cervantes.
5. Rottnest Island
Rottnest is a short ferry ride from the mainland from Fremantle, Perth’s Barrack Street Jetty and Hillarys Marina. It boasts 63 beaches, 20 beautiful bays and many coral reefs and wrecks to enjoy some of Australia’s best swimming spots, snorkel trails and surfing. A good idea is to cycle around the island where you’ll encounter the world renowned quokka.