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, coral reefs and brightly coloured fish on 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.

The Kimberley

There is so much to see and cover in WA and one way to guarantee to see the unique landscape of this enormous state is to take a 4 wheel drive road trip along the Great Northern Highway to reach Broome in The Kimberley, the state’s northwestern region.

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.

If you don’t have time to drive all the way from Perth to Broome, you can always take an internal flight. 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. You’ll learn about the landscape, culture and see prolific and varied wildlife. Wallabies, Kangaroos, lizards and snakes, 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

On your way back to Perth, be sure to go diving or snorkel 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. Visitors can swim with whale sharks nicknamed the ‘gentle giants of the sea’, from March until the end of August 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.