Comprising an entire third of Australia, there’s plenty to do out West when it comes to travel adventures. Try these experiences for size …
Photograph the pinnacles
Where: Nambung National Park, 250km north of Perth
THOSE with a burning desire to capture the world through their camera lens will relish the chance to photograph the Pinnacles at sunset.
These dramatic limestone formations are up to five metres tall, having formed 25,000 to 30,000 years ago.
Wind, rain, sun and vegetation have sculptured these dramatic structures over time. Top photographer Ilya Genkin advises using polarising filter and a low level shooting point to achieve brilliant shots at any time of day, but avoid shooting on dark, moonless nights or extremely rainy or cloudy days.
“The Pinnacle formations are best photographed in the early morning or late afternoon as the play of light brings out the colours and the extended shadows of the formations delivers a contrast that brings out their features.”
It’s even worthwhile taking the scenic drive a few times to get a feel for the best morning, evening and night shots. August to October is the best time to visit, as the days are mild and the area’s gorgeous wildflowers blossom.
Visit the Bungle Bungle Range
Where: Purnululu National Park, east of Broome
EXPLORING the black and orange striped domes of the Bungle Bungle Range in the Pernululu National Park is one of nature’s gifts.
Check out the endless number of beehive-shaped rock formations, hidden valleys, rock pools, and gorges lined with palm trees. The domes stand between 200 and 300 metres above the woodland and grass covered plains, making it one of the Australian Outback’s great wonders.
The scenery is mesmerizing, yet perhaps the most mind-blowing thing is that Indigenous people have inhabited this area for generations and the rest of Australia and the world didn’t even know it existed until about 30 years ago.
Margaret River Discovery Tour
Where: 270km south of Perth
FOR the adventurous at heart there’s everything from caving and mountain biking to horse riding and cultural tours, but one can’t visit Margaret River and put aside a day for the Margaret River Discovery Tour.
The tour includes a 4WD journey through the bush, a stroll out to the Willyabrup Cliffs on the Cape To Cape Track, a paddle on a canoe down the beautiful Margaret River and a gourmet lunch at a magnificent winery.
The company’s Sean Blocksidge says it’s all about going off the beaten path and linking the area’s great outdoors with why the wines in the country’s south west are so special. Not only do visitors enjoy a unique wine and scenic touring experience but they uncover locations that most locals don’t even know exist.
Where: Walpole, 250km south east of Bunbury
BEING amongst the tree top canopy of some of the tallest timber giants in Australia truly is a breath of fresh air.
The Valley of the Giants treetop walk enchants visitors, taking them to the top of 400-year-old giant red tingle trees, which are only found within a 15km radius of Walpole.
The 600-metre walk leads over a deep gully, educating and allowing its visitors to explore the area’s most ancient, intriguing and majestic trees. The views that await once you’re 40 metres off the ground and watching over the forest as these giants have done for centuries are simply breathtaking. It’s no wonder why it’s the most visited place on the Rainbow Coast.
This tour offers the best of both worlds as afterwards the Ancient Empires Walk takes you beneath the canopy and you pass some giants which are over 15 metres round at the base. The path gradually ascends into the treetops, making it suitable for people and children of all ages, including those with wheelchairs and parents with strollers.
SCOTT PODMORE & BRIANNA PIAZZA