Introducing Western Australia
With its immense dimensions, meagre population and Perth’s distinction as the world’s most isolated capital city, Western Australia (WA) could be considered Australia's final frontier. It certainly makes a spectacular finale to what the country has to offer. ‘Up north’, you’ll encounter all manner of photogenic landscapes. There's stunning gorges and waterfalls at Karijini National Park, and flaming red sunsets on Cable Beach near the enigmatic pearling town of Broome. Meanwhile, tiny Coral Bay gives you protected white sand beaches and a reef full of marine life. The Southwest offers some equally impressive beaches, expanses of wildflowers and lush green forests teeming with life. At Margaret River, surfers carve world-class waves while vignerons craft world-class wines, complemented by the gourmet grub of the town’s restaurants.
Wherever you go, wildlife-watching opportunities are extraordinary. Spot the migrating whale pods off the coast of Albany, interact with dolphins at Monkey Mia, or simply enjoy the one-of-a-kind fauna that rules the russet-red outback. However, its not all fauna and flora. Perth and neighbouring Fremantle are both cosmopolitan cities, yet retain a languorously laid-back feel, perhaps inspired by having so many fantastic beaches and parks on their doorstep.
And, to top it off, WA is big enough to really get lost in. The driving distances are mind-boggling, the terrain can be challenging and the elements often unforgiving. The rewards, however, are obvious – jump in and see it before everyone else does.
Best places to stay in Western Australia
Australia - Perth & Western Australia (Chapter)
Western Australia’s south is a playground of white-sand beaches, lush green forests and world-class wineries. Perth and Fremantle are cosmopolitan cities with a languorously laid-back feel, and the Kimberley, up north, hides striking gorges, waterfalls and ancient rock formations.
Stepping out: the world's best long walks
Forget planes, trains and automobiles – the greenest and greatest way to travel is to use your own two feet. It immerses you in a country like nothing else. and, with time and a bit of fitness, you can traverse whole counties, countries – even continents. Here are a few trails to get your feet itching...
Western Australia destination guides
Laid-back, liveable Perth has wonderful weather, beautiful beaches and an easygoing character.
Living on the edge: the wildlife of southwestern Australia
Many of Australia’s mammals share a somewhat inconvenient trait for wildlife watchers - they’re nocturnal. So three cheers for the endangered numbat: it’s one of few that’s out and about during daylight hours, if you know where to look.
Central Rock and Canyon
Welcome to the Outback! Central Australia is a place of Dreamtime spirits, endless vistas and intense beauty. Our tour of the mythical Red Centre reveals the true spirit of Aboriginal history and culture. Discover the mystical history of majestic Uluru and marvel at the rugged expanse of Kings Canyon.
Central Australia is a rugged land of Dreamtime legends, endless vistas and immense beauty. Our exploration of this part of the Northern Territory takes in Indigenous history and culture topped with a large dose of wonder. Discover the legends of the multi-hued monolith Uluru, Australia's most recognisable natural landmark, and marvel at the pristine beauty of Kings Canyon.
A day at the races in Australia
Lonely Planet's Kerry Lorimer visits Derby, a remote outpost in western Australia, to experience the town's famous horse race, the Derby Cup.
Sights in Western Australia
Activities in Western Australia
Tours in Western Australia
Restaurants in Western Australia
Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Broome & the Kimberley
With just two opposing seasons, the Wet and the Dry, the Kimberley is a land of extremes – semi-arid plains dotted with spinifex and outback roads that flow like rivers, spectacular ranges cut by steep stony gorges and tiny pockets of tropical...