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Getting Around Western Australia

Exploring the great outdoors in Western Australia requires a little logistic planning before you meet the majestic whales in Ningaloo Reef or learn about aboriginal culture in Kimberley. Don’t let the vast lands of WA intimidate you, WA is well connected on air and through land. We’ve got you covered with all the modes of transport to help you reach your dream adventure.

Perth airport
Arrivals at Terminal 1 in Perth Airport | Credit: Perth Airport Facebook Page

Arriving in Western Australia

Any international travellers coming into Western Australia will first arrive at Perth Airport. The fourth busiest airport in Australia has resumed services post Covid-19 restrictions and serves 34 scheduled airlines to destinations within Australia and across the world.

A direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Perth will take you approximately 5 hours to 6 hours with AirAsia or Malaysian Airlines. Flights to Perth have now resumed services to Pre-Covid times, you can check with us to find the suitable flight times for you.

Perth Airport also operates interstate, domestic and charter flights to more remote locations of WA, which can be accessed from Terminal 3 and 4. Besides the regular flights to Perth from all major Australian cities, direct flights to Broome to reach the Kimberley region are available from Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne or Sydney.

All international flights arrive in Terminal 1 and you can either book a taxi in advance to take you to your accommodation, order a rideshare service, or take a bus from Terminal 1 into the city. Each of these rides will take about 30 mins to get into Perth city centre.

crowd Perth station
People on the go at the corner of William St & St Georges Tce in Perth, where public transports are easily available. | Credit: Tourism Western Australia

Getting Around Western Australia


Perth is relatively easy to navigate and coupled with great weather all year long makes walking and biking around the city a real breeze.

To use any form of public transport in Perth, you are recommended to purchase a TransPerth SmartRider card from TransPerth Info Centre or any SmartRider Retail Outlet.  The card entitles you a fare discount plus a daily maximum spend. A minimum of AUS$ 10 credit load is required in the card before you can use it on any mode of public transport. Fares vary according to city zones and time limits, which usually will cost you a few dollars when you are within the city zones.

transperth bus
Use your Transperth SmartRider card and hop on any of their buses in Perth. | Credit: Visit Perth website

Perth’s train network is well connected to reach the city and surrounding suburbs such as Fremantle. You can explore the city for free within the free transit zone which allows you to get to the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the Western Australia Museum and Northbridge. You can also easily reach Fremantle or Cottesloe Beach from any of the major stations in the city which includes Perth Station and Elizabeth Quay.

You can also enjoy free bus rides within Perth CBD, Fremantle and Joondalup daily from 6am to 7pm. The Central Area Transit bus services depart every 5 to 15 minutes and are extremely useful when getting around Perth and Fremantle. You can use the journey planner to plan your trip around the city to get to attractions like Kings Park & Botanic Garden and Perth Zoo.

Sightsee Perth through the Swan River by catching a ferry from Elizabeth Quay Jetty, a ferry departs for Mends Street Jetty every 15 to 30 mins from 6.30am to 11.30pm. You can use your SmartRider card on all public transport in Perth and free wifi is available on buses and trains.

caravan manjimup
Hire a campervan and drive to camp out at Fonty’s Pool Caravan Park in Manjimup, 3 hours south of Perth. | Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

Confident drivers with valid driver’s licence (doesn’t have to be an international one) can hire rental cars or caravans/campervans to get around the city or go on a driving holiday across the great coast of Western Australia. Numerous operators are available at Perth Airport offering lots of discounted deals for a longer hire period. Caravans and campervans are excellent choices to explore the great outdoors and most car rental operators will have recommended trails and guides for you.

Rottnest Island

No holiday to WA would be complete without a visit to the iconic Rottnest Island or affectionately known as “Rotto” by the locals! Visit the island with the friendliest animals on earth, the Quokkas, by taking a ferry from Fremantle or Perth with any of the following operators – Rottnest Express, Rottnest Fast Ferries, or Sealink Rottnest Island.

Frequent ferry rides are available all day from Rottnest Express daily and get to Rotto within an hour from Perth. | Credit: Rottnest Express Official Website

Each of these ferry companies provide transfers to the Island from Perth City, North Fremantle (Rous Head), Fremantle (Victoria Quay) and Hillarys Boat Harbour in Perth’s north. Rottnest ferries take approximately 25 minutes from Fremantle, 45 minutes from Hillarys Boat Harbour, or 90 minutes from Perth’s Barrack Street Jetty. Visitors are encouraged to book ahead as timetables vary according to different seasons and weather conditions.

The Swan Valley

The vineyards in Swan Valley are nearer than you think, just 25 minutes from Perth city centre and 10 minutes from Perth Airport. However, it isn’t accessible by foot or bike, so you will have to catch a train from the Midland train line and stop at Guildford Station. You can continue your journey from there through rideshare or pre-booked bikes or tours.

Margaret river highway
Rent a car to Margaret River and take a picturesque detour to Eagle Bay Beach, near Dunsborough. | Credit: Tourism Western Australia

The Margaret River Region

The food and drink capital of WA is a popular destination for visitors to self-drive to. Only three hours from Perth airport, rental cars can be hired at the airport or pre-book before your arrival. There are few route options; take a scenic route through the South Western Highway, an extra 30 mins but you will pass through the suburbs of Armadale, Pinjarra, Waroona before reaching Busselton, which is the gateway to Margaret River. Or you can take the Kwinana Freeway directly from Perth city onto Forrest Highway and drive towards Busselton.

It is not recommended to try and take any public transport to the Margaret River region. Instead, you can consider booking private tours offered by many local operators.

Coral Coast highway
Nothing quite like spectacular sunsets on Coral Coast Highway while you cruise down on your 4WD. | Credit: Tourism Western Australia

Ningaloo Reef

The fastest and the most comfortable way to reach the most beautiful coastline of WA, we’d advise you to take a Qantas Airways flight from Perth to Exmouth. Qantas Airways offers two flights daily from Monday to Friday and one flight daily on the weekends to Exmouth’s Learmonth LEA airport.

The airport is about 25 minutes from Exmouth town and you can book airport shuttle services by contacting Exmouth Bus Charter, for AUD$40 door-to-door service or choose to drive yourself around by hiring a rental car from Hertz Australia or Avis Australia.

Embark on a 13 hours drive or a 10 day road trip to Ningaloo Reef for an adventure in true Western Australia style witnessing the raw beauty and ancient landscapes of Western Australia. A spectacular driving holiday along the Coral Coast Highway, as you will drive along the Indian Ocean coastline and discover some of WA’s most stunning parks, Karijini National Park on your way up to Ningaloo Reef.

Broome & Kimberley

The Kimberley region is one of the most popular outdoor destinations of WA with visitors teeming to experience its wild natural beauty and learn more about aboriginal culture. The best way to get to this remote yet spectacular part of Australia is by air. You can access the Kimberley region by flying directly into Broome International Airport from Perth. The flight takes about 2hours and 30 mins and daily flights are operated by various airlines.

While flying might be faster, nothing beats getting around Kimberley by hiring a four wheel drive to truly absorb the unique and fascinating sandstone landscapes.

camping Kimberley
Hire campervans and caravans to go on your own adventure from Perth to all the way up north to camp out at extraordinary spots like in James Price Point, Kimberley. | Credit: Tourism Western Australia

With various modes of transport easily accessible and organised for visitors, exploring Western Australia will be seamless and worry free.

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