An aerial view of the white beach and clear turquoise waters of Lucky Bay in Western Australia

Things to do in  Western Australia

Where the beach meets the bush

From beaches to bush and wine to whale sharks, Australia's biggest state has plenty to offer. Separated from the rest of the country by vast deserts—and the rest of the world by turbulent seas—this is open sky country, where endless horizons meet billion-year-old landscapes, coral-filled waters meet towering forests, and tens of thousands of years of Aboriginal history meet with the modern metropolis of Perth. With city, countryside, and coast in easy reach, great weather year-round, and no end of bucket-list things to do, Western Australia proves that sometimes west is best.

Top 15 attractions in Western Australia

Swan River

The liquid heart of Perth, the Swan River touches many of the city’s neighborhoods on its way to the Indian Ocean. The river passes through the Swan Valley wine region, Perth’s Central Business District and affluent suburbs, and the port city of Fremantle, and there are lots of recreational opportunities on the banks and in the water.More

Rottnest Island

Fringed with rocky coves, white sandy beaches, and sun-soaked shores, Rottnest Island’s natural pleasures are numerous—whale-watching, snorkeling, hiking and wildlife spotting along the coast, and taking in the ocean sunsets. At less than an hour from Perth, Rottnest Island, or “Rotto,” makes for an idyllic retreat from the city.More

Fremantle Markets

Housed in a Victorian marketplace more than 100 years old, the Fremantle Markets are a Western Australian institution. A visit to the markets offers not only the chance to shop for fresh food and unique gifts, but also to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the entertainment offered by a rotating schedule of street performers.More

Horizontal Falls

The Horizontal Falls were once described by David Attenborough as one of the “greatest wonders of the natural world.” Located in Talbot Bay in the Buccaneer Archipelago, the waterfalls are caused by the shifting of ocean tides through the rocks, and are one of Western Australia’s most spectacular sights.More

Pinnacles Desert

Although otherworldly in appearance, the Pinnacles Desert is 100 percent on planet Earth. Located along the Indian Ocean's Coral Coast in Nambung National Park in Western Australia (WA), this vast sandy expanse is filled with towering limestone pillars. Plus, at only a few hours' drive from the city of Perth, the site makes for a popular day trip.More

Turquoise Bay

The only way this bay’s name could be more perfect is if it was “Turquoise Bay, White Sand, Warm Water, Great Snorkeling.” In Western Australia’s Cape Range National Park, Turquoise Bay has repeatedly been voted one of Australia’s best beaches. Visitors come to relax, swim, and snorkel at the Ningaloo Reef, which is so near the shore you can just walk out to it.More

Busselton Jetty

At more than a mile (1.8 kilometers) in length, the Busselton Jetty is the longest timber-piled jetty found anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere. Ships no longer dock here, and instead the historic jetty draws visitors to the Western Australia coast to stroll its length and take in the views both above and below the water.More

Round House

The Round House, a historic 12-sided building, was built in 1831 and is the oldest public building in Western Australia. Travelers can tour this unique architectural destination and learn about the original settlement, as well as how this iconic building was once used to house local lawbreakers.Visitors can learn about the Fremantle Round House's colorful past and also get an up close look at the famous Whaler’s Tunnel—the oldest underground tunnel in Western Australia. Completed in 1838, the original tunnel spanned some 64 meters, but today measures just 46. And while the 1 p.m. sound call that once rang out daily to alert ships on sea to the official time no longer occurs, travelers can sometimes catch a reenactment ceremony put on by some of the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides.More

Margaret River

The Margaret River region is Western Australia’s food, wine, surfing, and leisure playground. It’s also one of the most scenic and lush regions in the state, graced with a mix of coastline, forest, vineyards, and farmland. Wine-loving visitors have more than 140 Margaret River wineries to choose from—its vintages are compared to those of Bordeaux in France—and the area also attracts surfers, whale watchers, spelunkers, and beachgoers to its nearby coastal landscapes.More

Jewel Cave

Jewel Cave is the largest show cave in the Margaret River region and part of Western Australia’s Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. Tucked beneath a forest of karri trees and filled with dramatic stalactites, helictites, and crystals, it’s also home to the largest straw stalactite in Australia—more than 17 feet (5.4 meters) long.More

Cable Beach

Cable Beach encompasses 14 miles (22 kilometers) of unspoiled white sand and turquoise waters. The beach is almost perfectly flat and therefore its calm waters are ideal for swimming. From the shore, you can see the occasional pearling boat—an industry that supported Broome before it was discovered by travelers.More

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse

Perched on Australia’s southwestern tip, the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse has been standing watch over the meeting point of the Indian and Southern oceans since 1895. The 128-foot-tall (39-meter landmark and its grounds provide scenic photo ops and the chance to spot dolphins and whales, depending on the time of year.More

Mammoth Cave

Visiting Mammoth Cave is a mesmerizing experience. This limestone cave in an ancient marri forest and dripping with stalactites and stalagmites. It's one of the largest in the Margaret River region, located in Western Australia’s Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park.More

Abrolhos Islands

With 122 almost entirely uninhabited islands and a vast expanse of coral reef stretching along the Coral Coast, the Abrolhos Islands are Western Australia’s answer to the Great Barrier Reef. Visit for world-class snorkeling, wreck dives, marine life, and bird sightings.More

Cape Range National Park

From rocky canyons to unspoiled beaches to limestone cliffs, Cape Range National Park on the northwest tip of Western Australia boasts a rugged and diverse environment right next to the Indian Ocean. The park is one of the natural highlights of this region, known as the Coral Coast.More
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All about Western Australia

When to visit

Divided by the Tropic of Capricorn, Western Australia has two very different climates—the hot and tropical north and the temperate south, which has all four seasons, compared to the north’s wet, dry climate. Australian summer—December to March—is the most popular time to visit Western Australia, but it can be hot and busy, especially over school holidays. However, if you’re planning to head up north, the best time to visit is between May and October, when the weather is cooler, dryer, and perfect for activities.

Getting around

The best way to get around Western Australia is by car, although, with extreme distances and travel times, flying and renting a car may be better than driving from Perth. Fly and drive trips are popular around Broome, Kununurra, Exmouth, Albany, and Esperance. Public transport around the state is limited, although there are options, with trains to Kalgoorlie and Bunbury and TransWA coaches servicing different country towns. To see as much as possible, try joining a tour.

Traveler tips

Depending on how much time you have and what season you visit, most travelers to Western Australia head either north or south from the capital, Perth. In the south, you'll find rolling vineyards surrounded by old-growth forests and quirky towns—plus beautiful beaches, national parks, and great food. Drive north instead and you'll find red dirt roads and desert landscapes, ancient gorges, rocky mountains, and crashing turquoise seas ringed by the Ningaloo Reef.

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People Also Ask

What are the best things to do in Western Australia?

Some of the best things to do in Western Australia include seeing the quokkas on Rottnest Island, going wine tasting in Margaret River, and swimming with whale sharks in Exmouth. Western Australia is a great place to go hiking, 4WDing, and camping and has many beautiful beaches and national parks.

How to spend 7 days in Western Australia

Depending on your interests, the best way to spend a week in Western Australia includes a day on Rottnest Island, a few days exploring Perth and Fremantle, a trip out to the Pinnacles, and a couple of nights around either Margaret River region or Kalbarri National Park.

How many days do you need in Western Australia?

Travelers should aim to spend at least two weeks in Western Australia. You may want even more time as most areas of interest are pretty far apart—for example, Karijini National Park is a 17-hour drive from Perth. Factor driving time into your plans or consider joining a tour.

Should I go north or south in Western Australia?

Going north or south from Perth depends on your interests. North of the capital, the Coral Coast Highway meanders along the Indian Ocean to Exmouth, with white sand beaches, red dirt landscapes, and national parks. The south is lush, with towering forests, rolling countryside, drinking and dining, and epic surf.

What food is Western Australia famous for?

Western Australia is probably best known for its rock lobster, locally known as crayfish. As the vast majority of the population lives within an hour from the coastline, seafood is especially popular, but there is more on offer—from beef and lamb to locally grown truffles and Indigenous herbs and spices.

Is Western Australia the biggest state in the world?

Western Australia is the second biggest state in the world, after Russia’s Sakha Republic. It encompasses a third of the country’s landmass and around 10 percent of the country’s population. Travelers to Western Australia often feel like they have the ancient landscapes to themselves—especially if traveling out of season.

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