Western Australia, which covers 2,532,400 square kilometres (977,765 square miles) is the largest state in Australia and the most diverse. Dense thick forests in the South and sparse vegetation with colourful earth and rock formations in the North, and originally populated with one of the oldest races in the world, the Australian aboriginal. Apart from Tasmania, it is the only state with a North, West and South Coast. Starting in the South, Esperance is a place for squeaky-white beaches, getting off the beaten track and bunking down under the stars. This place is so relaxed even the kangaroos sun bake on the beach.


Situated a one and a half hour flight or a nine hour drive from Perth, it's the ideal location for beach lovers and is a major Port for the region. The town is nestled on the shores of Esperance Bay with hundreds of islands dotting the coast making up the Recherche Archipelago. Four National Parks take you up close to pristine nature with beautiful seasonal wildflowers, granite headlands, rugged coastal scenery and views over the islands. Esperance has plenty to do including four wheel drive safaris, coach tours, helicopter tours, island cruises, diving charters, fishing, abseiling, skateboarding, sand boarding and canoeing.

Check out the museum, arts centre, art galleries and boutique aquarium with touch pool for kids. Esperance is an ideal swimming spot, while West Beach, Fourth Beach and Observatory Beach boast some of the best surfing. If snorkelling appeals, locals say the lagoon to the east of West Beach is good, as is idyllic-sounding Blue Haven Beach and Twilight Cove.


Heading West, Albany is another beautiful natural harbour and the old centre of whaling whilst it was still an industry in Australia. The whaling industry shut up shop in 1978 and whale watching has taken its place. It is in the southern section of the area known as the South West and is only a little over 4 hours drive from Perth. Prepare to be blown away by Albany's dramatic convict history, set against a backdrop of rugged granite coastline, green seas and a wild beauty. Step back in time and explore convict jails, old taverns, whaling ships and settlers' cottages and grand preserved homes in beautifully landscaped grounds. Discovered by Captain Vancouver in 1791 and settled in 1826, around 50 colonial buildings have survived - now housing museums, art and craft galleries and restaurants.

The best way to take it all in is to follow the Amity Trail, a 30 minute self-guided walk that takes you past historical buildings of note. Tour the old whaling station, jump aboard a whaling boat and don't miss the Brig Amity - a replica of the ship that brought Albany its first settler and convict cargo. Albany is also known for its natural attractions along the rugged coastline of Torndirrup National Park including the Gap, boasting a dramatic 24 metre ocean drop, nearby Natural Bridge, Dog Rock, Albany's towering wind farm, and walk the Middleton Beach boardwalk trail - a three kilometre trail with sensational views of King George Sound.

Watch from the shore or take a whale watching cruise to see magnificent Southern Right and Humpback whales close up. Albany also offers top notch fishing, sailing and hiking. Divers should make a bee-line for HMAS Perth, a prepared wreck which rests on the ocean floor offshore.

South West Region

Further north but still within this area known as the South West, liesamongst other things, one of Australia's best quality wine regions. Stretching from just north of Albany, to just south of Perth with Margaret River known as the heart. Augusta, Margaret River and Yallingup, the South Western most shores of Australia, provide excellent surf and pristine beaches. The drive is often through magnificent Karri and Jarrah forests, beautiful timbers native to the region. No trip to Western Australia is complete without a trip to this region which has evolved into the ultimate smorgasbord of good food, fine wine and spectacular scenery - just a three-and-a-half hour drive south of Perth.

There's a fine supply of world-class wineries, boutique breweries, and restaurants overlooking sweeping vineyards and surf breaks. All varieties of wine are available and although the region produces less than one per cent of Australian wine, it produces over 15 per cent of the country's premium wine. With 60 plus wineries to choose from, you won't be stuck for choice. Some of Australia's best chefs produce a feast of top tucker to be had - think exquisite cheeses, jams, condiments, olives, marron (freshwater crayfish). You can't beat this - there are even chocolate, fudge and ice-cream factories with free tastings. Teamed with a thriving arts scene it's the perfect place to soak up some West Australian culture and pick up a souvenir or two.

But don't let all that indulgence weigh you down - get set for some adventure. Explore networks of underground caves, a rugged coastline, squeaky-clean sandy beaches, turquoise water, towering forests and bush and coastal walk trails. Watching the locals take on awe-inspiring breakers at world-class surf break, Surfers Point, is gripping stuff. The more active can have a go at rock climbing, abseiling, canoeing, whale watching, or even throw in a line and try your luck catching some local fish. Accommodation-wise, there's something for all budgets, from 5 Star boutique accommodation and resorts throught to backpacker hostels.

Once around Cape Leeuwin, near Yallingup, Geographe Bay is a sheltered haven for yachts and is close to Dunsborough, Busselton and Bunbury, towns that provide interesting venues for food, arts, wine and accommodation and all part of the Margaret River Wine Region.


The weather is fantastic, the beaches are clean and uncrowded, and the city, situated on the banks of the Swan River, is in a postcard-perfect setting. Over 80 kilometres of white sandy beaches make Perth's coast ideal for swimming and surfing and a holiday lifestyle. Spending a few days in Fremantle is an absolute must. Just a 20 minute drive from Perth's city centre, Freo, as it's known by locals, is a vibrant port city you can't miss. Situated at the mouth of the Swan River, the multi-cultural city has a charm of its own, setting it apart from the rest of Perth. Fremantle has world-famous heritage buildings and a fascinating maritime and convict history and is one of the best preserved 19th Century cities in the world.

Essential stops on the history trail include WA's earliest convict jail, the Roundhouse, Fremantle Prison and WA Maritime Museum. Park your yacht in Fishing Boat Harbour and enjoy fish and chips fresh off the boat or a pale ale at an award winning microbrewery. Watch the town transform at night when the street cafes, bars and nightclubs crank up. Accommodation-wise, there are plenty of backpacker's hostels, Bed & Breakfasts, self-catering cottages and hotels to choose from.

Fremantle is the major Port of Western Australia servicing the city of Perth and its environments. Fremantle itself, was host to the America's Cup in 1986/87 and is a sea faring city. A number of small harbours provide sanctuary for any size yacht and the shipbuilding precinct is just 10 minutes drive south, known as the Australian Marine Complex at Henderson. This area was the home of Oceanfast, and now features a number of superyacht builders and a large cluster of equipment and service providers and has built more superyachts than any other region in the Southern hemisphere. There is an 8000 tonne shiplifter, plans in place for another 12,000 tonne floating dock and a purpose built SuperYacht Service Centre at the Australian Marine Complex. The Swan Valley is less than an hour's drive from Perth and our infamous Rottnest Island, a half hour ferry ride, is a natural island with it's own species of fauna, known as the Quokka, which is like a small wallaby or kangaroo.

Perth has beautiful warm summers, long days and a great lifestyle. Casual, relaxing but very prosperous with the huge rescources wealth. Just a little further up the coast is the area known as the Coral Coast. Beaches, exotic marine life, national reserves and the bluest ocean you'll see anywhere in the world is what you will find in Australia's Coral Coast. Swim with the world's largest fish the whale sharks, meet the dolphins of Monkey Mia and take in the unique rock formations of the Pinnacles. Name a water sport and it's here - from world class windsurfing at Geraldton to Ningaloo diving that rivals the Great Barrier Reef.

Our National Heritage

Western Australia's first World Heritage site - Shark Bay, is most famous for its smiling dolphins that come right into shore at Monkey Mia. The more secluded parts of this stunning peninsular are home to other incredible wildlife like manta rays, turtles and dugongs. Locals love Coral Bay - the small seaside settlement at the southern end of the Ningaloo coast. Head here to get away from it all and stay within metres of a beautiful beach and calm waters for safe snorkelling and swimming. The carefully preserved Ningaloo Marine Park is a bewitching marine experience. The untouched coral, amazing range of sea life and excellent visibility make for unforgettable diving and snorkelling.

North West Region

There are endless boat and beach fishing spots along the Coral Coast region coast, the hub of Western Australia's crayfishing industry. From Geraldton, fly or cruise to the Abrolhos Islands, where you'll find fascinating history, secluded beaches and sheltered snorkelling waters. Inland, the desert-scape of Nambung National Park is home to the strange limestone pillars called the Pinnacles. One of the State's most magnificent and accessible national parks is Kalbarri. Steep gorges, carved out of the rugged red terrain over millions of years, provide amazing trekking and awesome scenery to capture on film.

The mighty Murchison River winds its way through the park, hosting a plethora of birdlife along its banks, while dolphins play in the ocean reaches. This is where the river meets Kalbarri - the tranquil holiday town sandwiched between calm riverside beaches on one side and the thrill of the ocean surf on the other. Further North and you arrive at the huge region known as Australia's North West. Exmouth, part of this area and also known as the Pilbara, is thriving. Many of the resource industries are located near Exmouth and the town is booming. A new harbour has been developed for the charter, work and fishing boats that live there and expressions of interest have just gone out to extend this harbour and develop facilities for superyachts and larger vessels including cruise ships.

Australia's North West is one of the world's last true wilderness areas and the place to go for an authentic Aussie outback adventure. Take a scenic flight over extraordinary rock formations and magnificent waterfalls, or cruise through the inland waterways that permeate the region and Lake Argyle - large enough to be classified as an inland sea.

North East Region

Further North East, near Broome, also known as the Kimberley coast, dinosaur footprints preserved in rock take you back to the dawn of time. Or simply relax on the timeless stretch of glimmering white sand called Cable Beach. Pearling heritage runs through Broome's veins. Be thrilled by stories of the first deep sea pearl divers, explore pearl farms showcasing the modern industry, or indulge in the opportunity to buy locally made pearl jewellery.

This is where Australia's North West, the Pilbara or the Kimberleys shine. Some of the pristine, unique and awe inspiring places include Montgomery Reef, King George Falls, Prince Regent River and Kings Cascades, The Hunter River and Mitchell Falls, Sale River, Berkley River, Talbot Bay and the Horizontal Falls. Most of these are only accessible by boat or helicopter. If fishing is your thing - take your pick from some of the best barramundi fishing spots in Australia located in the northern coastal areas, or head out on a boat to the pristine Dampier Archipelago off the Pilbara coast. The North West region is rich in pioneer history and Australian Aboriginal culture.

Dampier boasts the highest density of rock art in the world, and there are pockets throughout the Kimberley. Look out for Aboriginal art galleries for more modern works. Mining is big business in this region. Visit some of the world's largest open cut mines and watch in wonder as the world's longest trains hurtle past.