Although most people visiting Australia are most likely to stick with popular tourist destinations around the east coast of Australia, like Sydney or Melbourne, Western Australia is a treasure trove filled with adventure, gastronomic delights, and enchanting cultural experiences from the modern charm of Perth to the famed Australian Outback region of Kimberley. Whether you are a nature lover, foodie or history buff, Western Australia beckons tourists to take the road less travelled and revel in its hidden gems.
Dive into our practical Western Australia travel guide, your gateway to an incredible Western Australia holiday that will lead you to the best places, top things to do and much more!
western australia holiday: Extraordinary Things To Do In Western Australia
Perth – Vibrant Urban Oasis and Coastal Gem
As one of the most isolated capital cities in the world, Perth is the perfect place to escape the crowds and explore everything from the largest inner-city park to pristine beaches and unique culinary delights.
Experience the scenic views of Perth from the sky onboard Swan River Seaplanes, which will take you on an exciting journey over the skyline of Kings Park and Botanic Garden to Perth’s incredible coastlines. Choose from a range of flights and tours specially curated for every kind of traveller, from solo travellers to group or family travellers that will even take you to Rottnest Island, famous for idyllic beaches.
If you enjoy exploring Perth by foot, head to Perth’s largest inland park, Kings Park and Botanic Garden, located on the western edge of Perth’s central business district. Have a picnic and immerse in the panoramic views of more than 300 native plant varieties and various bird species nestled within the city skyscrapers and more expansive than the famous Central Park in New York. Be sure to climb the spiral staircase of the DNA Tower for fantastic views of Kings Park over to Swan River and Rottnest Island.
Indulge in scrumptious pastries, including a gluten-free range, and create lasting memories of culinary delight at Corica Pastries, an underrated bakery in Northbridge, north of the central business district in Perth. The pastry shop exudes a cosy and welcoming atmosphere. Whether you prefer to enjoy your treats in the charming café or pack them to go, the friendly staff make the experience even more enjoyable.
With a rich history in the pastry business dating back to the mid-1950s, Corica’s world-famous apple strudel will not disappoint. The homemade artisanal flaky puff pastry, and flavourful custard filling, topped with fresh apples and cream, is both a treat to the senses and Muslim-friendly! Other baked delights to sample at Corica’s include freshly baked Portuguese tarts with a perfect balance of creamy filling and caramelised top.
Apart from a thriving Asian culinary scene, great cafes and brunch spots, art galleries, vintage stores and museums, Northbridge is also famous among tourists for its vibrant nightlife with electrifying bars and nightclubs like Geisha Bar, an exclusive club that takes music seriously featuring modern contemporary music from pop artists, upcoming and international DJs against a cool urban décor within a relaxed and intimate setting.
If you want to dance the night away, head to Air Nightclub, a stylish 2-storey venue with a large dance floor, state-of-the-art sound and LED lighting, and a beautiful balcony area. A striking feature of this club is that it does not have a fixed cocktail list, so go ahead and ask the bartender for recommendations!
Adrenaline seekers looking for a unique and exhilarating experience in Perth should experience the Matagarup Zip + Climb for stunning views of Perth and the Swan River. Combining Perth’s longest zipline at 400 metres long and a suspended obstacle course, conquering the Matagarup Bridge takes climbing to the next level as travellers climb and slide past the bridge beams to reach the SkyView, an open-air viewing platform 72 metres above the river.
A hot air balloon ride at Avon Valley is another must-do to tick off your Western Australia holiday bucket list. Begin your journey before dawn and head to Northam, just over an hour from Perth. Float in the wind as the sun rises and witness Avon Valley’s picturesque landscapes of lush green hills and glorious winding rivers. After the ride, enjoy a hearty breakfast at Northam to cap off the magical experience!
From Perth to Monkey Mia, stop at Shell Beach and stroll along the shores comprising tiny white shells from the Fragum erugatum, a species of marine gastropod that thrives in the hypersaline waters of the area. Go swimming or snorkelling at this captivating beach spanning 110 km, with shores forming a dazzling white carpet against the clear blue waters of the nearby Shark Bay, making it an iconic and unforgettable experience for wildlife and nature enthusiasts.
Next, encounter Monkey Mia’s Dolphin Experience. Renowned for the daily feeding of bottlenose dolphins that swim close to the shore, travellers have the extraordinary opportunity to hand-feed these friendly dolphins under the supervision of park rangers. One of the best places to go in Western Australia, offering close human interaction with these intelligent marine creatures, has been taking place for over 50 years.
western australia holiday: South West Edge
Fremantle – Quaint Port Town with Historic Charm
Move away from the norms of the vibrant city of Perth, and check out the idyllic neighbouring coastal town of Fremantle, where the old meets the new.
Fremantle is a hub for artistic and creative expression with numerous museums and cultural centres. Visit Japingka Aboriginal Art, showcasing captivating indigenous artworks from various Aboriginal communities across Australia, allowing visitors to explore and purchase artworks featuring diverse artistic styles, techniques, and cultural narratives. The typical features of Australia’s famous Aboriginal art include dots, cross-hatching, maps of circles, spirals, lines and dashes, which is the long-established pictorial language of Australia’s First Nation People. With an extensive collection of Aboriginal art from paintings to sculptures and limited-edition prints, each art piece at Japingka tells a story, depicting the artist’s connection to the land, ancestral traditions, folk stories, and the ongoing preservation of Indigenous cultural heritage.
On the other hand, street art enthusiasts will enjoy a stroll along South Fremantle, filled with vibrant street murals adorning the city’s walls. From the giant numbat to the Alice in Wonderland wall, the secret entrance of the Monk or the massive mural at East West Designs by various international and local artists, Fremantle’s street art will blow your mind that adds a dynamic and vibrant touch to the streetscape.
Good ol’ Freo is also home to a UNESCO World Heritage site. Join a tour of Fremantle Prison and return to Australia’s British colonial era. Built by convicts in the 1800s, Fremantle Prison is one the most-intact prison establishments in the world. Choose from a range of guided prison tours like the Tunnel tour to explore the labyrinth of underground tunnels built by prisons or the Torchlight tour of the prison at night with a guide recounting grim tales of torture and suffering of prisoners and rebels from a bygone era echoing through the prison walls.
Located adjacent to Fremantle Prison is The Roundhouse, regarded as Western Australia’s oldest public building. Built in 1831, it served as a jail and a police lock-up. Explore the unique round-shaped architecture, limestone walls, cells, gallows, and intriguing artefacts on a guided tour around the Roundhouse. The panoramic Fremantle skyline views over Bathers Beach meeting the expansive Indian Ocean from the rooftop of the Roundhouse, are indeed Instagram-worthy.
Boasting a lively port scene with busy fishermen and various fishing vessels, Fishing Boat Harbour is the perfect place for a relaxing day out enjoying the sea breeze, indulging in scrumptious fish and chips and fresh seafood or enjoying Fremantle’s signature craft beer at Little Creatures Brewery surrounded by scenic ocean views.
Learn more about the process of producing Freo’s signature beer made from ingredients like malt and hop. Be sure to taste the full range of beers during the tasting session! Next, check out Freo’s renowned maritime history at the Western Australian Maritime Museum – Shipwreck Galleries located just outside Fishing Boat Harbour on Cliff Street and discover Australia’s oldest ship wreckage as early as the 17th century and other significant relics, including the original timbers from the Batavia (wrecked in 1629). The Western Australia Maritime Museum located nearby also pays homage to the region’s sailing heritage with various artefacts, including the 1983 America’s Cup-winning yacht, Australia II and Jon Sanders’ Parry Endeavour.
Chill out by the beach or have a relaxing swim at Bathers Beach, accessible through ramps from the Fishing Fishing Boat Harbour and near the Roundhouse. Go swimming, kite surfing or paddling in the calm waters. Catch the Indian Ocean sunset along 300 metres of white sandy beach shores or enjoy evening cocktails at the Bathers Beach House to complete your trip around Fremantle.
Rottnest Island – Tranquil Island Getaway, Pristine Beaches and Stunning Wildlife
Acknowledged as the land belonging to the Whadjuk Noongar people, Rottnest Island or Wadjemup, located 20 km off the coast of Fremantle, is a sunny island paradise surrounded by the Indian Ocean with some of the best beaches in Western Australia and spectacular wildlife.
An exciting way to explore this sunny Island is by joining a Segway tour, a unique and eco-friendly two-wheel mode of transportation suitable for travellers of all ages. Choose from the historic Settlement Tour that will take you across scenic views of Thompson Bay, pristine beaches like The Basin, a popular hangout for family picnics, and Bathurst Lighthouse, a tourist hotspot for a memorable photo-op. If you are up for an adventure, go on the Fortress Adventure that beckons travellers to go off-the-road and explore Rottnest Island’s rich maritime history like Bickley Battery and Jubilee Hill, a historical naval gun emplacement during World War II.
With over 60 fascinating beaches and 20 beautiful bays, Rottnest Island is one of the best places to go in Western Australia for a serene beach getaway. Head to Little Salmon Bay, popular among locals for family outings like swimming, snorkelling, or extreme air sports like sky diving. The calm turquoise waters of the sheltered beach make it ideal for an underwater snorkelling adventure to discover captivating corals, seagrass and over 400 species of fish or encounter friendly bottlenose dolphins. If you are lucky, you might even spot Australian sea lions lounging on the beach and soaking in the sun!
Another must-do on your Rottnest Island travel to Western Australia is wildlife spotting. As an essential bird sanctuary, you will be thrilled to discover a variety of nomadic and rare species of birds, like Fairy Tern, Banded Stilt, Wedge-tailed Shearwater, and Red-necked Stint, throughout the Island. Further, Cathedral Rocks is a famous spot to catch a glimpse of the dark brown and pointy-nosed New Zealand Fur Seal, cousins of the native Australian Sea Lion.
A Rottnest Island wildlife encounter is not complete without meeting Quokkas up close, adorable marsupials from the kangaroo family and native residents of the Island. Found mainly near the Settlement area, Georgie Bay and under trees throughout the Island, Quokkas approach humans easily. However, travellers are advised to proceed cautiously as these rare species are wild creatures, so it is best not to touch or feed them. Be sure to get a snap of photogenic Quokkas snoozing or eating fig leaves, or better still, wait until they approach you for a Quokka selfie.
Since the Island lends its existence to the First Nation people of Noongar, the Wadjemup Museum is worth a visit to learn more about the Island’s deep aboriginal history and cultural influences. Explore over 40,000 artefacts that depict the life of native settlers of the Island, including whale bones, an old lighthouse keeper’s jacket and intricate seaweed collages. Coupled with interactive and audio experiences, you will leave Rottnest Island with a newfound appreciation and respect for the life and contribution of the aboriginal natives of Western Australia.
Margaret River – Wine Lover’s Haven and Gastronomic Wonderland
Famous for award-winning wineries, breweries, bush food and surfing, Margaret River is one of the best places to go in Western Australia for foodies and nature enthusiasts.
Home to over 100 wine producers and over 200 vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay, and Shiraz are the most common types of wine produced in the Margaret River region. Get started on a wine tour around the family-owned Leeuwin Estate Winery, founded in the 1970s. With international accolades and exports markets to 30 countries, spend a lovely afternoon wine tasting Leeuwin’s signature Art Series Chardonnay and indulge in a three-course lunch meal or take a tour around the Art Gallery Cellar and dive into the Leeuwin philosophy of winemaking and appreciation for the arts.
If you prefer craft beer to wine, head over to Bootleg Brewery. As one of the region’s famous hangouts for beer lovers, the brewery produces premium ales, lagers, ciders and seasonal brews, from the bold flavours of the Raging Bull and West Coast IPA to the more subtle New World Lager and Session Ale. Enjoy six different varieties of handcrafted Bootleg beer and a juicy burger or graze on some salty snacks with panoramic views of the surrounding estate and lake.
Chocolate is one of life’s exquisite indulgences. At Margaret River Chocolate Company, travellers of all ages can satisfy their sweet cravings. Among Australia’s leading companies producing delectable varieties of premium handmade chocolates, you can sample and purchase endless chocolatey goodness, from chilli chocolate and ruby chocolate to chocolate-coated redgum honeycomb, walnut and ginger bars or pistachio nougats that will even make Willy Wonka proud! Cleanse your palate with tasty savoury snacks and drinks at the Chocolate Cafe next door.
The icing on the cake for any food travel to Western Australia is Margaret River’s bush food tour. As the traditional land of the Wadandi Noongar people, you will be taken on a guided tour to forage seasonal bush plants like saltbush, lemon myrtle and honey ants. Learn more about the common types of traditional bush plants also used for medicinal and healing purposes.
From culinary adventures to rare encounters with fantastic sea creatures, whale watching is another top thing to do in Western Australia around June to August. A great place to go in Western Australia to view rare and majestic whale species like the Humpback, Southern Right, Minke, and Blue Whales from the land is Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse in Augusta.
Margs is also popular among local and international surfers for its dynamic surfing culture. Whatever your surfing ability, you will feel at ease with diverse surfing spots, from gentle beach breaks to more challenging open ocean big wave spots. Go surfing at Gnarabup Beach, also among the best beaches in the winery region for swimming. Walk along the trail leading up to Surfers Point for beautiful ocean views, cliffs and surrounding vegetation like wildflowers in full bloom around October or during the wildflower season from September to November.
Pemberton – Majestic Forests and Nature Escapes
Popular among locals as the town of towering timber trees, national parks, and waterfalls, Pemberton is one of the best places to go in Western Australia for a great outdoor experience.
Explore the Karri Forest and neighbouring national parks on a Karri Forest Explorer Drive. Visit the Gloucester National Park and admire the Gloucester Tree, the massive world-renowned Karri Tree and hike along the walking trails throughout the Karri Forest. With facilities like picnic tables, treat yourself and your loved ones to a relaxing picnic surrounded by lush greenery.
Thrill seekers should not miss the golden opportunity to climb the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree in Warren National Park. Not for the faint-hearted, the climb up to the top is a mammoth task at 65 metres high. With only 165 pegs drilled into the side of the tree, creating a spiral ladder for climbing, the path becomes almost vertical and narrower as it reaches the top. Travellers are generally not advised to climb the tree in wet or rainy conditions.
Next, head to the Beedelup National Park and marvel at the Beedelup Falls. Witness the best view of the 100-metre waterfall cascading over big granite rocks accessible through a 300-metre loop trail, which takes you across a 25-metre suspension bridge. Other panoramic sights along the path include the Karri Valley Lookout, with expansive views of the Karri forest. Go kayaking or canoeing at Lake Beedelup and immerse in Pemberton’s tranquil atmosphere and calm waters that will rejuvenate your soul.
western australia holiday: Luxury Accommodation
Intercontinental Perth City Centre
Located at the heart of Perth’s thriving central business district, you can enjoy some of the best city views from the luxury of guest rooms or suites with contemporary furnishing, premium linen and bedding, and luxury amenities, including a Nespresso machine for a quick caffeine fix.
This 5-star inner city accommodation also boasts exquisite Spanish restaurants. Dine al fresco on the corner of King and Hay Street at Heno & Rey and revel in the energetic ambience of Spanish tapas dishes like Yellow Fin Tuna Tartare, an assortment of tapas, desserts, wines, and the housemade Heno & Rey White Sangria.
Meanwhile, Ascua, set in an open kitchen style, highlights the best Western Australian produce with Spanish influences. Witness artisanal chefs preparing dry-aged meats and seafood or tending to the sizzling wood fire grill while sipping the finest Australian and Spanish wines, cocktails and other non-alcoholic beverages.
Chill out in style at The Loft Lounge and Bar with a modern and cosy atmosphere with an outdoor terrace overlooking Perth’s historical buildings, like His Majesty’s Theatre and the bustling Hay Street. With the help of Intercontinental’s beverage connoisseurs, you are bound to learn a thing or two about Western Australia’s famous wine region and winemaking. Pair your selection of Western Australia’s high-quality sparkling wine, white wine, champagne, and red or rose wine or handcrafted beers like Beer Farm Asam Boi Gose Salted Plum Sour with an array of tasty small bites, locally sourced seafood, meats and cheese.
To explore the surrounding areas of Perth, from making reservations at exclusive dining establishments to recommendations for the best local hangouts, the 24-hour Concierge team will be ready to cater to your needs and make your stay in Western Australia memorable.
The Ritz-Carlton, Perth
Widely recognised as Western Australia’s luxury riverfront hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, Perth, offers an ultra-luxe abode overlooking the scenic Swan River and neighbouring urban parks. All the guest rooms and suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows and cosy seating areas to soak in the Perth skyline, coupled with in-room luxury amenities, including a spacious bathroom with dual vanity and a standalone tub.
The dining options here will take you on a culinary adventure of Western Australia’s best and seasonal produce. The Hearth Restaurant features a contemporary dining experience that celebrates fresh local produce from Western Australia’s Kimberley to the Great Southern regions paired with an array of exclusive wines.
Indulge in memorable afternoon tea with your loved ones overlooking the beautiful Elizabeth Quay and nibble on savoury delights, scones, and desserts, paired with Seven Seas Tea, sparkling or Champagne menu packages. For late evening cocktails, head to the Songbird Bar & Lounge for modern classic cocktails and admire golden sunsets over the Swan River.
Burn off those extra calories gained indulging in Perth’s culinary scene at the Fitness Centre. Featuring state-of-the-art fitness equipment like exercise bikes, weights, treadmills, and cardio machines, you can stay fit and healthy throughout your travel to Western Australia.
What is a Western Australia holiday without indulgent self-pampering? Check out the Ritz-Carlton Spa, one of Perth’s exclusive urban spa retreats. Choose from bespoke day spa rituals in idyllic treatment rooms with a touch of nature, separate vitality pools for gentlemen and ladies, and saunas to the outdoor infinity pool overlooking the panoramic Swan River and city skyline.
Cape Lodge, Margaret River
As one of Western Australia’s premier wine retreats, guest rooms at Cape Lodge exude a rustic vibe surrounded by lush greenery and lakeside views. Close to stunning landscapes, the Lakeside Room is spacious and bright, with a king-sized bed, luxurious in-room facilities and direct access to the courtyard.
The famous Cape Lodge Restaurant features a farm-to-table concept, focusing on three or five-course French-inspired tasting menus, including a vegetarian menu that highlights the finest local produce sourced directly from the kitchen garden and neighbouring farms with premier wines by the glass, beers and ciders.
Join in a hands-on gourmet cooking class with one of Australia’s most loved and recognised chefs, Tony Howell or go on a two-hour private tour to Cape Naturaliste, marvel at the native flora and fauna, and stroll along the spectacular coastal walk along the iconic Cape to Cape Track.
Stonebarn Lodge, Pemberton
Located in the heart of Australia’s truffle destination, Manjimup, just over 20 minutes from Pemberton, Stonebarn Lodge is a 2,000+ tree truffiére and luxury lodge founded by Dion and Sharon Rangé. Apart from cosy and rustic guest rooms with great privacy and tranquillity, one of the main highlights of this fantastic retreat is truffle foraging with Dion Rangé and his friendly dogs for Stonebarn’s signature premium French Périgord Black truffles.
Dining at Stonebarn is an intimate affair, and their three-course menu features some of the finest truffles sourced onsite that have graced the menus of Michelin-starred restaurants around the globe.
Join a walking tour to the Karri Forest in Pemberton and hike along the Pemberton trail while immersing in the cool morning breeze surrounded by tall timber trees. A wine tour to the Pemberley vineyards of Pemberton is also a top activity for guests to discover the history of Pinot winemaking, indulge in wine-tasting sessions and pairings, and have the exclusive opportunity to meet the founders of the Pemberley farm back in the 70s, the Radomiljac family.
Western Australia Travel Guide: 5 Things To Know Before You Travel to Western Australia
1. Best Time to Visit
The ideal time to visit Western Australia is spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May). The weather is pleasant, and you can enjoy outdoor activities without extreme temperatures.
2. Getting Around
Western Australia is vast, so renting a car or camper van is recommended to explore the region comfortably. Public transportation is limited outside major cities. Joining a guided tour allows you to reach remote areas and experience stunning landscapes, fascinating wildlife, and unique gastronomy.
3. Essentials to Pack
Apart from your passport and important travel documents, pack lightweight and breathable clothing suitable for warm weather, a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses to protect against the Australian sun. Don’t forget sturdy shoes for outdoor activities and a jacket for cooler evenings.
4. Travel card
It is advisable to have a travel card or contactless payment options like a credit or debit card. Western Australia is well-equipped with modern infrastructure, and cashless transactions are widely accepted.
Western Australia boasts diverse and unique wildlife. If you are exploring remote areas of the region, be cautious when driving to avoid collisions with wildlife and respect their natural habitat by not feeding or approaching them.
Western Australia truly offers an unforgettable adventure for every traveller seeking a unique and diverse experience. This travel guide has unveiled an array of exciting destinations and things to do in 2023. Whether you’re an avid nature lover, an adrenaline junkie, or a culture enthusiast, Western Australia has something to offer you. Get ready to discover a world of awe-inspiring landscapes, friendly locals, and unforgettable moments in this captivating corner of the world.
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