01 Feb

Western Australia - Great beaches, stunning coasts and the iconic outback

Holidaymakers will fall in love with the golden beaches of Perth, miles of stunning coastlines and landscapes, world-class wine regions and the Ningaloo Reef. And with the journey time significantly shorter than ever before, following Qantas’ introduction in 2018 of a non-stop, 17-hour flight to the state’s capital Perth, there are many reasons Western Australia features in ABTA’s 12 destinations to watch list 2019.

Western Australia’s population is only 2.5 people per square mile compared to the UK’s 650 people per square mile. So if you’re looking for wide open spaces, jump on a flight to WA. 

Perth – a city transformed
Perth has always prided itself on its laidback charm, and it is easy to fall in love with the lifestyle here; a young, vibrant and cosmopolitan city, with exciting bars, restaurants and nightlife. When you land stay in Perth for a couple days - you could explore it 48 hours renting a bike to cycle along the Swan River to the city centre and around the world's largest urban park. Why not visit its neighbouring port of Freemantle which has a raffsh, bohemian charm and some lovely Victorian buildings dating from its time as the gateway to the interior for the thousands heading inland during the gold rush of the late 19th century. Perth has plenty of bars and cafes to soak up the vibrant atmosphere along the way too.

Broome and The Kimberley

There is so much to see and cover in WA and one way to guarantee to see the unique landscape is to hire a four-wheel drive to see some of the enormous state's coastal routes on the Great Northern Highway. 

Driving through the landscape, you’ll see majestic canyons, freshwater swimming holes and stunning coastal towns at Wyndham and Broome. If you stay on the coast, there are various boat tours you can take to discover more of the dramatic coastline such as the horizontal falls.

To get from Perth to Broome, you should take an internal flight as its such a long drive. After all, The Kimberley is three times larger than England.

No visit to WA would be complete without a visit to the awe-inspiring, iconic outback, leading to the startling and dramatic Karijini National Park in The Kimberley, located in the Pilbara in the North West region. You’ll learn about the landscape, culture and see prolific and varied wildlife. Wallabies, Kangaroos, lizards, birds such as Rainbow Bee-eater and Kookaburras. A guided tour is well worth your time and money, both to pass through this tough terrain safely and not miss any of the amazing animals which live here.



Ride the horizontal falls

There are two “have to be seen to be believed” horizontal waterfalls in WA which can also be found in The Kimberley on the Buccaneer Archipelago, Talbot Bay. Their white waters are thrilling to ride by boat and awe-inspiring to view from the air. Take a scenic flight or sea safari to the waterfalls from Kooljaman in Cape Leveque, Broome or Derby. These incredible natural wonders are the work of some of the largest tidal movements in the world. As the tide ebbs and flows, a huge volume of water is forced through two narrow cliff passages, creating a variation in ocean level of up to four metres and this unique upwards waterfall effect.

Camping in the outback

Western Australia’s ‘Camping with Custodians’ is a project which welcomes tourists to Aboriginal communities who run campgrounds, art galleries and guided tours on their own land. The first campground opened in 2016 at Imintji on the scenic Gibb River Road which is on a four-wheel drive route. In 2017, another site opened in The Kimberley at Mimbi, near the Kimberley caves which have great spiritual significance to indigenous people. See also Pilbara in the north-west of the state, known for its ancient landscapes and iconic red earth. The next campground to open in 2019 will be at Violet Valley 30km south of Warmun also in The Kimberley region.

See the ‘Big 3’ on Ningaloo Reef

Another highlight not to be missed is diving or snorkelling on the Ningaloo Reef, a world heritage site and the only place on earth where you have the chance to see the 'Big 3' in one day - whale sharks, manta rays and humpback whales. In July, visitors can snorkel surrounded by whale song as the Humpback Whales start migrating past on their way to the calving grounds off the Kimberley. From March until the beginning of August, visitors can swim with whale sharks nicknamed the ‘gentle giants of the sea’, and with humpback whales from August until mid-October. Find out from your travel company about special tours to Ningaloo Reef.

With so much to see in do in WA, after your 17 hours in the air, we recommend you stay long enough to make the most of everything it has to offer; it will truly be it a trip of a lifetime.