I did not visit Western Australia while living in the country but spent my entire second Australia trip exploring the state. And during that trip, I got to see a seemingly endless number of places to visit in Western Australia that I want to revisit again and again.
It is a state full of incredible natural sights that are of breathtaking beauty. There are many national parks that are full of stunning beaches, gorges, and unique geological features. Therefore, Western Australia is the ideal destination for outdoor lovers and those looking to reconnect with nature.
However, there are also a plethora of amazing and charming towns that are well worth a visit. For that reason, this state is an ideal road trip destination that combines everything one could want to see. And even after several road trips, you will likely still find great new places to visit in Western Australia.
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Exploring these Places to Visit in Western Australia
As previously mentioned, Western Australia is a road trip state, so of course, the best way to explore the WA holiday destinations is by planning a road trip. In fact, locations 1 to 11 can be combined into one long road trip. You can find a Perth to Broome itinerary here.
While it is possible to explore them in a regular car, a 4WD is best, as it allows you to access some of the best camping spots and other more remote locations at these places to visit in Western Australia. If you want to visit Purnululu National Park, a 4WD is required unless you want to fly there. Find your rental car on rentalcars.com.
1. Rottnest Island
Visiting Rottnest Island is an easy day trip from Perth as it is located a mere 18 km off the coast of the city. The island is the home of the quokka, which is often called the happiest animal in the world. Quokkas look like they are always smiling, so taking a #quokkaselfie has become a tradition when visiting this island paradise.
With its 20 bays and 63 beaches, it is a great place to visit in Western Australia if you love watersports. You can swim in the crystal clear water, snorkel around wrecks and even scuba dive.
Cars are not allowed, so be sure to rent a bike if you want to visit every single corner of this picturesque island. There is a small shuttle bus, but it has fixed stops, so relying on it means you cannot just stop to take in a great view. Therefore, the best way to explore Rottnest Island is by bike.
2. Kalbarri National Park
Kalbarri National Park is split into a coastal and an inland river gorge part, and both areas offer plenty of stunning sights and trails.
Check out the coastal cliff formations like Island Rock and the Natural Bridge by walking along the Bigurda Trail and relaxing at hidden beaches after following a trail down the cliffs. And if you love snorkeling you should also check out the Blue Holes Fish Habitat Protection Area.
After a day of exploring the coastal part, you will be amazed by the sweeping views of the Murchison River Gorge and the great hiking trails. Be sure to hike to Nature’s Window after checking out the Kalbarri Skywalk and to hike the Z Bend River Trail.
It is one of the most beautiful national parks in Australia and is a great road trip destination if you only have a limited amount of time and want to see some of the best places in Western Australia. Read the Perth to Kalbarri itinerary if you are interested in that 4 days road trip!
Book a Scenic Flight over Kalbarri National Park
3. Ningaloo Reef
The Ningaloo Reef is a World Heritage Site and the west coast equivalent of the famous Great Barrier Reef. While it is much smaller in size, it is just as amazing and has some of the best dive sites in Australia.
Thankfully, the Ningaloo Reef has been much less affected by warmer water temperatures and therefore coral bleaching, so diving into the Ningaloo Reef is a vibrant adventure during which you see pristine reefs and a large number of fish.
If you are a shark lover, you will be happy to know that whale sharks frequent the Ningaloo Reef from March to July. And if you want to see other sharks, you should dive in the outer reef.
During their annual migration, whales stop in the Ningaloo Coast area, so the Ningaloo Reef is also one of the best whale watching destinations in the world.
4. Karijini National Park
Karijini National Park is a real hidden gem in Australia, and therefore one of the best places to visit in Western Australia if you want to venture off the beaten track. Located 340 km inland of Port Hedland, it is more remote than other great places to visit in Western Australia, but the inland detour is well worth it.
With its towering gorges and natural swimming pools, this national park has some of the most impressive sights you will see in Australia. There are plenty of things to do in Karijini National Park, but the very best ones are swimming in Fern Pool in Dales Gorge just as the sun is setting, climbing down to the foot of Joffre Falls, and hiking through Weano Gorge to the Handrail Pool.
During the wildflower season, the plains are full of colorful flowers, so it is an epic adventure to camp at one of the camping grounds.
5. Hutt Lagoon
Hutt Lagoon is one of Australia’s stunning pink lakes, and likely the best one to visit, as it is easily accessible and maintains its color year-round. Located near the fishing town of Port Gregory, it is a great place to stop and to splash around in the bubblegum pink waters.
The best time to visit is around midday on cloudless days, as this time is when the color is at its vibrant peak. A coloration that makes it stand out among the best pink lakes in the world.
You can see it from the ‘Pink Lake Lookout’, but there are also several spots where you can safely pull over along George Gregory Drive. If you want to see it from a different perspective, you should book a scenic flight over Hutt Lagoon. Some scenic flights also include flying over the Abrolhos Islands.
6. Shark Bay
The Shark Bay area is a UNESCO World Heritage site and full of shunming natural sights. However, most people visit the area to see the wild dolphins of Monkey Mia that come incredibly close to the shore and have developed a rather peculiar hunting technique.
But seeing them is far from the only reason to visit the area as there are plenty of things to do in Shark Bay. Visit Shell Beach, which is made up entirely of small white cockle shells, swim in Little Lagoon and try to spot sharks, dugongs, and rays from Eagle Bluff.
And if you are fascinated by our planet’s history, you will love the Hamelin Pool Stromatolites, the oldest ‘living fossils’ on earth. If you are up for an epic adventure, you can also explore the pristine Francois Peron National Park in a 4WD or explore Dirk Hartog Island.
7. Lancelin Sand Dunes
While there are a lot of sand dunes in Australia, the Lancelin Sand Dunes are the best ones if you want to go sandboarding. The white sand dunes are the biggest in the state and have incredibly soft sand, which makes it the ideal WA holiday destination if you want to race down the dunes.
Aside from sandboarding, you can also join a guided quad tour through the dunes, ride a dirt bike and explore them in your 4WD. You can hire a sandboard for a few hours at the ‘Have a Chat Store’.
The town of Broome is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Western Australia, and flying there makes you feel like you have finally arrived on the red continent you know from movies.
In the 1860s, Broome became known as a pearl farming town. This led to a wave of immigration from Asia and is the reason why Broome has a bustling Chinatown that is the multicultural center of the town.
Other highlights in Broome include watching the spectacular sunset from Cable Beach – a beach that is known for its camel rides. Visit Gantheaume Port to see dinosaur footprints during low tide or check out the flying boat wrecks from WWII. Aside from those places, you can also kayak in Roebuck Bay and in the turquoise Dampier Creek with its curved side arms.
Broome is also one of the places to visit in Western Australia, if you want to see the natural phenomena ‘Staircase the Moon’. It can be seen in the three days around full moon from March to October, when the moonlight reflects on the mudflats and the ripples on the water’s surface create the illusion of steps.
9. Pinnacles Desert
The Pinnacles Desert in WA is home to thousands of up to 3.5 meters tall limestone pillars, and walking through the desert can feel like exploring another planet. Located in Nambung National Park, this area has deep yellow sand that makes it stand out from the white dunes of the national park.
You can explore this otherworldly environment by walking along the 1.5 km long track or by driving along the 4 km long driving loop. Both are great ways to explore these unique geological formations, so choose whatever is best for you or do both. Either way, you should check out the two viewpoints that give you an amazing view of the Pinnacles and the surrounding area.
If you want to go for a swim after walking through the desert, you will love the nearby Hangover Bay and Kangaroo Point.
10. Cape Range National Park
Cape Range National Park has incredible beaches that have some of the best snorkeling spots in WA. Oyster Stacks and Turquoise Bay have reefs that start just at the shorelines, so no long swimming out is required to see a lively underwater world.
However, you can also swim out if you want to, as the left corner of Turquoise Bay usually has a circular current that allows you to glide over the reef without much effort. Be sure to stop at the visitor center on your way there, to get the latest information about the currents and tides!
If you are up for a hike, you can also explore Charles Knife Canyon Gorge in the inland part of the national park. Alternatively, you can also go on a boat ride on Yardie Creek. If you love camping, you will be happy to know that this great place to visit in Western Australia has 11 camping spots. Kurrajong Campground is amazing, and if you love glamping, you should stay at the Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef Safari Camp.
Visiting Western Australia’s capital is a must, as Perth has a lot to offer. There are interesting buildings like the Bell Tower, Elizabeth Quay, and Saint Mary’s Cathedral, but also astonishing parks.
You can spot kangaroos right next to the city center on Heirisson Island, and see the diversity of Western Australian wildflowers when visiting the Botanic Garden in Kings Park. And if you visit the State War Memorial in Kings Park you will also have a great view of Perth’s skyline.
And of course, Perth also has a lot to offer to street art lovers, as amazing murals can be found throughout the city center.
More Bucket List Destinations in Western Australia
While I have been fortunate enough to see a lot of what Western Australia has to offer, there are also a bunch of places that are still on my bucket list. All of them are incredible and more than deserve to be on a list of the best places in Western Australia, so I decided to include them in this bucket list section that will be updated once I have had the chance to see these WA holiday destinations with my own eyes.
12. Purnululu National Park — This national park is where you will find the striped Bungle Bungle Range. Explore the stunning domes at Cathedral Gorge, check out Echidna Chasm, and take in this unique landscape. You need a 4WD to get there or you can fly there.
13. Esperance — Esperance is home to Twilight Beach, which is considered one of the prettiest beaches in Australia. Walk along the esplanade or visit the Pink Lake Lookout (to see if this lake is once again pink or still looks rather white). Or book a helicopter flight to the Recherche Archipelago to see the vibrant pink Lake Hiller. Be sure to plan a road trip to Esperance!
14. Cape Le Grand National Park — This national park is the location of famous Australian beaches like Hellfire Bay, and Lucky Bay with their kangaroos. If you like hiking, you can climb Frenchman’s Peak.
15. Horizontal Falls — The ‘Horizontal Falls’ are a natural phenomena that is caused by the tides that are some of the highest in the world. The tide pushes a large amount of water through two small gorges and creates what looks like horizontal waterfalls. You can only get there by seaplane or by boat.
16. Lake Argyle — Lake Argyle is Australia’s second-largest freshwater reservoir and home to around 30.000 freshwater crocodiles, and a lot of other animals. Go kayaking and go for a swim in the insta-famous infinity pool of the Lake Argyle Resort & Caravan Park.
17. Margaret River — The Margaret River region is famous for its wineries and craft beers. It has a long Aboriginal history, so find out more about it while there and enjoy a large variety of outdoor activities.
Planning a trip?
Check out these useful websites and resources I use to plan my own adventures.
Rental Cars: Discover Cars
Day Trips & Tours: Get Your Guide, Viator —or— Klook
Travel Insurance: SafetyWing
Airport Lounge Access: Priority Pass
Roundup: Western Australia Attractions
There are many more stunning places to visit in Western Australia, but those listed above are the very best WA holiday destinations. Be sure to visit as many of them as you can when given the chance, and you will learn just how much this often underrated state has to offer.
If there is one thing to be certain of, it is that you will have an amazing time while exploring these unique locations.
More about Australia
If you are planning an Australia trip, you might also be interested in these Australia travel guides:
Western Australia Photos
Which is your Favorite Place to visit in Western Australia?
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4 thoughts on “The Best Places to visit in Western Australia”
Great picks, they’d be up there with mine as well. Purnululu National Park is well worth visiting, I highly recommend the scenic flight if you don’t have a lot of time and for a pretty amazing perspective. Horizontal Falls I would also rate as one of my must do things in Australia, not just WA. It’s such an awesome experience! I did an article on it a while ago here https://stillaslife.com/darwin-to-perth-day-6-horizontal-falls-full-day-tour-from-broome/ which I now notice needs the images all updated to a decent size and a general clean up, so better get to that.
I have planned for Melbourne and Sydney so many times, but I have not been able to visit Australia as I am waiting for the right time when I can spend 12-15 days there, and can cover Perth as well.
Some great places on this list. Would love to visit some of them myself!
It looks like a dream! Western Australia is very high on my travel list and I would love to visit all of this places. Can’t wait to do this trip!