This article will help you discover the best places to visit in Western Australia. Being wilder and less touristic than its easterly brother, this coast stretches along more than 4000km of the Indian Ocean. West Australia is Australia’s largest state, representing a third of the island’s entire surface, but is only inhabited by 2,5 million people, so less than 10% of the total population of the country!
If you plan on doing a road trip in Western Australia, here are the ten spots you cannot miss on your way!!
Best time to visit Western Australia
The West Coast of Australia is huge, stretching for thousands of kilometres. The climate can, therefore, vary between the North and the South of the coast. Perth has a Mediterranean climate with average summer temperatures of 29°C but it can rise to 40 or 45 °C in February. Between June and August, temperatures hover around 12 ° C. The Coral Coast (between Broome and Perth) enjoys a warm climate all year round. Finally, Broome and the North-West benefit from sunny days during the “dry season” (April to September), with temperatures around 29 ° C. However, from October to March, there are tropical rainstorms, high humidity and temperatures around 30 ° C.
The best times to visit the West coast is the mid-season, between April and June, or between September and November.
The best places to visit in Western Australia
Being a small city by the seaside, Esperance has mainly earned a reputation for its beaches. Don’t miss out on Twilight Beach, Ten Miles Beach or Lucky Bay with its white sand and crystal-clear waters.
If you want to discover one of the best places in Western Australia you shouldn’t miss the pink lakes. Only 3 km east from Esperance (take the Pink Lake Drive) you can visit the Pink Lake! The lake got his pink colour from a bacteria (Dunaliella salina) that lives in the salt crusts. There are plenty of pink lakes in Western Australia so try your best to explore all of them!
Albany was the first city to be colonised Western Australia and still continues to be worth seeing today. We would recommend the Natural Bridge, The Gap, the Blowholes and Two People Bay Nature Reserve with its amazing beaches.
Margaret River & Surroundings has a reputation for its superb wines and dishes, while being a spot for surfers as well. Also, a stop at Gracetown Bay is also recommendable. If you head a couple of kilometres inland, you could visit the limestone caves. This area is also great for spotting majestic whales during their migration from June onwards.
Perth and its surroundings
As the Capital of the West Coast in Australia and also known for the sunniest city, Perth is one of the most isolated cities in the entire world. Amongst other things, you will be able to discover gorgeous beaches as well as the museums of the Perth Cultural Centre. King’s Park, the city’s botanical garden, is not to be missed, especially because of the view it offers of the city’s skyline. Perth is a must-do and is definitely one of the best places to visit in Western Australia
Don’t forget to visit Freemantle, 18km south of Perth, known for its beaches, its colonial architecture and especially its prison, which has been transformed into a museum.
19km from the coast, Rottnest Island, previously a prison for Aboriginal people, is a very touristic island today. It is accessible by ferry and offers 63 beaches, where you can snorkel, make friends with quokkas and even play golf!
Cervantes & the Pinnacles
Don’t miss Nambung National Park and its famous Pinnacles, which is 245km north of Perth. Some of these limestone pillars are up to 4 meters in height and make up an incredible landscape. We recommend visiting the park in the early morning during sunrise or sunset in order to make the most of the site’s beauty.
Kalbari National Park
The city of Kalbari is mainly known for its national park of the same name. Here you can see impressive cliffs and incredible landscapes, especially when visiting Nature’s Window and Z-bend, the park’s most famous spots.
Contradicting its name, Shark Bay is actually mostly known for the possibility to interact with dolphins at Monkey Mia. But you can also visit Hamelin Pool Shell Beach or Eagle Bluff, which is perfect for observing marine fauna. One of the most-dos and must-sees of Australia’s West Coast!
Exmouth and Ningaloo Reef
Being less known and wilder than the Great Barrier Reef, Ningaloo Reef is considered to be the GBR’s little sister. There you will find the beaches of your dreams, crystal-clear water and abundant seabed, which are accessible from the beach. Depending on the season, you might be able to be stunned by dugongs, whales, manta rays and whale sharks.
Karijini National Park
This park is a real jewel of Pilbara, known for its gorges, waterfalls and chasms, located in the northern part. We would especially recommend the Fortescue Falls as well as the Fern Pool. Some other sites, such as Hancock Gorge or Kalimina Gorge, are accessible via dirt roads that can be in quite bad condition depending on the weather.
You don’t really have a choice but to stop at Broome’s famous 22km long Cable Beach with its white sand and turquoise water. There you can ride along the beach on a camel’s back or discover dinosaur footprints at Gantheaume Point. Broome is a must-see place.
Bungle Bungle Range
Located in Purnululu National Park the sandstone massif is a must-see. Accessible only to four-wheel-drive vehicles and located 300 km South of Kununurra. If you have a conventional vehicle you can only discover the park with a helicopter.
Gibb River Road
It’s a 660-kilometre adventure through the vast Kimberley! This legendary dirt track is only accessible with a 4×4 and winds through gorges, rivers and waterfalls in sometimes extreme conditions. It is the wildest and least accessible area of Australia, but for all looking for a special adventure it is definitely worth it. It is one of the most adventurous things to do in Western Australia.
Here are some practical tips for your Western Australia trip:
- Protect your skin as much as possible. The sun is very strong in Australia, it is not for nothing that it is the country with the highest rate of skin cancer in the world.
- Wear mosquito repellent, especially after its dark.
- Start your day’s early. In Australia, it gets very hot in the afternoon and it quickly becomes unbearable.
- Never drive at night. The lack of light makes roads dangerous and wild animals are present and can come out of nowhere at any time. Car rental companies even ban night driving for these reasons.
- On the road, remember to buy fuel regularly or have reserves because the distances are long.
- Fill up with water regularly, you might not have a chance to do this often on the West Coast.
Download the West Coast Guide for Free
Download the Complete Guide for a West Coast Road Trip
Our FREE 40-page guide brings together all the info you need for your West Coast Road Trip in Australia:
- Prepare your trip (seasons, budget)
- All the best spots to do on the Coast
- Tours & activities recommendations
- Spots to park and sleep in a campervan
Updated on the 2nd of July 2020. First published on the 22nd of December 2017