My top 10 recommendations for Western Australia

West Australia – A Must Do!

Western Australia is something that so many tourists to Australia miss.

We are a HUGE country and I understand the need to try and keep things condensed, however WA is by far our most incredible hidden gem.

From Dunsborough, to Kalbari, to The Pilbara, to Broome the coastline is stunning, the people are real the landscape changes dramatically and its one of the few places in the country where you can be on the coast at a beautiful beach and be on your own.

I know we can't travel now, but you can start planning your assault on West Australia now.

My Recommendations:


1. South West Coast

A road trip from Perth down to Augusta down the coastal highway and then back in via Bridgetown to Bunbury. Allow at least a week but 10 days will give you time.


  • Bussleton and its heritage feel
  • Dunsborough & Yallingup
  • Cowaramup the dairy area of WA
  • Margaret River and its wineries
  • Mammoth and Giants Caves near Boranup.
  • Caves Road – a wonderful drive through Kauri forests
  • Hamelin Bay – stop for a few nights at the camp ground for some RnR
  • Deepdene Beach – white sand and azure water for miles.
  • Augusta and Cape Leeuwin.

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2. The Nullarbor

If you are crossing the Nullabor to get to WA, turn left at Norseman and head down to Esperance first. You can then make your way through to Albany and on up through Margaret River to Perth or turn off onto the highway 40 at Ravensthorp and head up to Perth that way.

Just check for cyclones coming down the WA coast and the government doing roadworks on the Nullabor so you don't get stuck for days like we did in 1994.

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3. The Coastline Between Perth and Geraldton

The coastline between Perth and Geraldton has been available for some time now.

Yanchep, Lancelin, Ledge Point and Cervantes are reasonably well known in WA. It's only been the last 10 years that you can continue on the coastal highway up past Jurien Bay through the old fishing camps of Green Head & Leeman.

The Pinnacles at Cervantes are worth seeing and while the water is usually cool, head down to any boat ramp mid morning or early if you are up to catch a local coming in from pulling their pots or going out and you never know you might get to buy some fresh crayfish.

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4. Ningaloo Reef

We spent months heading up the remote WA coastline about 25 years ago and one memory that never fades is being followed by a Djugong (Manatee) for about an hour while I was snorkeling on Ningaloo Reef. It was one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had, and I'm smiling like a fool thinking about it now.

Ningaloo isn't colorful coral like The Great Barrier Reef, but the fishlife is amazing. It is protected and should be for all time!

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5. Coral Bay

If you do decide to do the northern coast, make sure you book yourself a few days in Coral Bay. It is a great place to relax and rejuvenate for the next leg. Bookings will be essential though and don't even think about Easter!

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6. The Pilbara

Get inland through Parabadoo, Tom Price and Newman. Ask the locals for their best spots and you will find some incredible watering holes and desert landscapes. Karijini National Park is a must do and Karijini is the local Banyjima name for the Hamersley Range. They do have a two night camp restriction from June to September, however if you get in there early there is an overflow area where you could leave your van and spend the day exploring giving you at least two more days.

There is also the Karijini Eco Resort a privately owned retreat. They offer glamping tents and have a bar and restaurant on site.

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7. Broome

I'm not a fan of Broome. We used to go up sometimes when we were living in Karratha but Broome will always be a dirty little town to me.

Cable Beach however is beautiful.

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8. The Bungle Bungles

Almost as good as Uluru and Kata Tjuta, the Bungle Bungles are some incredible rock formations close to the Ord River. There are camp sites and an eco lodge on site and you should have at least one full day exploring it.

Alternatively you could stay at The Bungle Bungle Wilderness lodge or do a Station Stay.

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9. The Kimberly

The Kimberlies. From Lake Argyle to Kununurra, the Kimberlies covers a large expanse of the northern most WA zone before you hit the NT border.

The Kimberley is very sparsely settled and is known for large area of wilderness that has deep gorges, dramatic colours and in season thundering waterfalls. Drive the Gibb River Road through the middle of the Kimberly and make sure you spend time at Windjana Gorge National Park. The locals will tell you it's OK to swim where the “freshies” are but you can make your own mind up about swimming with the crocs. After living in area's with those nasty salties, I just can't bring myself to do it but plenty do!

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10. Perth City and Rottnest Island

Perth is a very pretty city and has embraced the cafe culture whole heatedly. Split into “north of the river” and “south of the river” the competition between the locals is fierce! North of the river is represented by beaches for miles, ocean side restaurants and easy access to the city center.

South of the river is traditionally a much older area of Perth, however south of Fremantle the building boom has taken over and new subdivisions are almost completely to Mandurah without a break now. Perth was always beautiful with the Swan River running through its heart, however there was always a grungy side to the inner suburbs that gentrification has squashed. I miss it I must admit but you can still get what I consider to be the best souvelaki in Australia in Fremantle.

Rotto is an island just off Perth which is home to what might be the cutest marsupial ever. The Quokka has gathered a cult like following in recent years and finds itself front and centre of many instagram posts. I lived in Perth in the 80's and Rotto was the Australia Day long weekend destination of choice most years. I remember riding home from the pub (there are no cars on the island) and having to play “dodge a quokka” to make it home safely. I'm not saying I did crash avoiding Quokka's but I do have some scars that might be from road rash after a push bike fall.

There is of course heaps more to see in Western Australia. No matter what you do in WA, it is well worth planning at least a month in our largest state. Try not to spread yourself too thin and plan on visiting multiple times to see more than a tiny portion.

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Jenny Marsden - Charge The Globe
About the author

Meet Jenny, a passionate Australian travel blogger who has explored 101 countries to date. With over 30 years of travel experience, Jenny has a wealth of knowledge to share with her readers about the cultures, landscapes, and people she has encountered on her journeys. She's always battling unfashionably frizzy hair and you will never catch Jenny in anything but comfortable shoes.

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