Resources

Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/australia/western-australia) Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.

Tourism Western Australia (www.westernaustralia.com) Official tourism site.

Tourism Australia (www.australia.com) WA transport, event and destination information.

West Australian (www.thewest.com.au) Online version of WA's main newspaper.

Parks & Wildlife Service (https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au) Details on the state's national parks. Some camp sites can be prebooked.

Top Tips

  • The WA sun kicks like a mule, even in spring and autumn: slap on sunscreen, some shades and a hat.
  • WA is MASSIVE: if you're driving anywhere, don't expect to get there in a flash. Even a trip to the supposedly local Margaret River Wine Region from Perth takes at least three hours.
  • A cooler box (called an 'Esky' in Australia) is a top idea for storing cold drinks on long drives. They're also good for stashing local artisan produce from local farmers markets.
  • We know this is WA and everybody wears flip-flops ('thongs' in the local parlance), but pack some half-decent walking shoes if you want to tackle forest and clifftop trails.
  • Listen to the lifesavers: plenty of people drown every year on WA's beaches, so swim where it's safe.

What to Take

  • Decent walking shoes.
  • An international driving permit and your valid local licence: there are a lot of long, empty kilometres out there...
  • A 'rashie' swimming top to combat sunburn on WA's glorious beaches.
  • Broad-rim hat and sunglasses (see sunburn, above).
  • Umbrella for rainy-season downpours in the north.

What to Wear

Western Australians aren't the planet's most stylish cohort: the weather is usually pretty good here, and the locals dress as if they might head for the beach given the slightest provocation (T-shirts, shorts, thongs...not to mention full-sleeve tattoos, which are ubiquitous and totally acceptable in pubs, bars, restaurants etc). That said, dressing up for high-end restaurant meals, theatre events and hitting Perth's cocktail bars is usually a good idea. Layering is the way to go in the southwest, as the weather here can be quite changeable: stuff a raincoat in your day pack. It's usually too humid and sticky to wear a raincoat in the northern rainy season (summer): head for the pub instead!

Pre-Departure Checklist

  • Check whether you need a visa to visit Australia.
  • Check that your passport has at least six-months' validity.
  • If you're flying into Perth, check which terminal you'll be landing at: there are four, with different domestic/international transfer and public transport considerations.