The Ultimate Western Australia Travel Guide 2022

huge orange and black boulders on a white sand beach and calm turquoise ocean poster for western australia travel guide

Looking to travel to WA? There’s no need to look any further than this local’s Western Australia Travel Guide – we’ve included travel resources, information, destination guides and tips to help you plan your trip to Western Australia.

Western Australia is a vast and incredibly diverse state that is full of natural wonders and activities to explore. From forests and beaches to dramatic outback and wildlife, there’s plenty to see and do in this beautiful part of Australia.

Whether you’re looking for vibrant city life or an Outback adventure, this free Western Australia trip guide can help make planning your holiday easy. With detailed information on attractions, hotels, transportation, and more, you’ll be able to plan the perfect Western Australia vacation!

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Western Australia Travel Guide

autumn trees by the lake in hyde park perth

Western Australia is one of six states in Australia and its biggest. Covering a staggering 2.646 million km², it is only home to 2.6 million people. If it was a separate country, it would be the 10th largest in the world.

The capital, Perth, is one of the most isolated cities in the world. Adelaide, in South Australia, is the closest city at 2,131 km away as the crow flies but a whopping 2,700 km if driving. Perth is closer to Singapore than Sydney.

The landscape is varied with fertile soils in the South West region and the red dirt of the North. Western Australia has 12,889 km of coastline and 3,747 islands. The longest river is the Gascoyne River at 760 km and Lake Argyle is the largest built reservoir. The highest mountain is Mount Meharry in Karijini National Park (1,253m) and the highest waterfall is King George Falls in the Kimberley (80m).

The capital city, Perth, is blessed with mainly blue skies and an uncongested city. The white sandy beaches are uncrowded with some amazing surfing and snorkeling spots.

kangaroo in bushland at cascades pemberton

Plan Your Trip to Western Australia

When planning your trip to Western Australia, it is important to keep in mind all of the travel resources available. Here are a few tips on how to plan the best trip:

  1. Use our travel resources to find the right travel dates
  2. Determine your budget before planning your trip
  3. See our tips for booking flights, accommodation, car rental, and tours
  4. Find out about visas, customs, and currency
  5. Read safety information to keep you healthy and safe
  6. See what mobile sims are best for Western Australia
  7. Learn about Western Australia’s regions and plan your destinations
  8. Plan how to get around Western Australia
  9. Design an itinerary and things to do
  10. Book transport, accommodation, and tours
  11. Get a packing list for your trip

Weather and Best Time to Visit Western Australia

wooden steps leading down to a sandy bay with crystal clear water showing the reef and rocks

Western Australia is lucky to be a year-round travel destination.

The south west of the state has a Mediterranean climate with tropical conditions in the north.

Perth summer temperatures average a max of 30°C with very little rain and the winters are mild with maximum temperatures of around 12°C.

February is normally the hottest month and July the coldest.

The northern part of the state has two distinct seasons; wet and dry. Winter here is the best time to visit when the humidity is lower, the skies are blue and not much rain. Summer will see lower prices but heavy rainfall with the possibility of flooding and cyclones.

Marble Bar is the hottest place in Western Australia where it has 160 days over 37 °C and Bridgetown is the coldest with 33 days a year with a minimum temperature of 2°C.

The High Season (or Tourist Season) in the south is from Christmas through to the end of January, which coincides with the summer Western Australia school holidays. Expect high prices and difficulty in obtaining accommodation at short notice.

Western Australia Travel Resources

view of city and river from plane flight

Flights

Use a variety of websites to get the best possible deal on flights to Western Australia.  Matrix.itasoftware.com is a good place to start to see what dates are the cheapest and what airlines fly that route. You can’t book through this site, so compare the cost with Kiwi.com and the airlines direct.

Accommodation

To get the best price, compare prices with a third party site and direct. We mainly use Booking.com as they consistently have the lowest rates with free cancellation on most properties. For private rentals, we book through  Stayz as they are usually cheaper than Airbnb.

See our regional destination guides for recommendations on the best places to stay before booking your accommodation.

Car Rental

To compare rental car company prices, use Discover Cars, an award winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are highly-rated.

Drivenow is a good resource to compare campervan hire in Western Australia as it includes all the large companies like Britz, Maui, Jucy as well as smaller ones.

Tours

We use third-party sites ViatorGet Your Guide & Klook due to their free cancellation policies on most experiences, instant confirmation, price guarantees, and mobile ticketing. We occasionally book through Red Balloon too.

Essential Travel Information to Western Australia

Time in Western Australia


Western Australia is Western Standard Time – GMT/UTC plus eight hours – and has no daylight savings.


Arriving Into & Getting Around Western Australia

trees reflecting in the lake at big brook dam pemberton

Flights

Perth has an international and domestic airport, separated by a 15-minute drive.

The Perth airport train line opens on 9th October 2022, which takes you into Perth CBD in 18 minutes from T1 & T2. Alternatively, Bus Route 380 runs hourly between T1 and T2 and Elizabeth Quay Bus Station in the city.

From T3 & T4, catch Bus 292 (a circular service between Redcliffe Station and Terminals 3 and 4 with services every 12 minutes during peak), then the Airport Line into the CBD. Bus Route 40 operates between T3 & T4 and Elizabeth Quay Bus Station.

Taxi ranks are at the front of all terminals – the main two are are Black & White Cabs and Swan Taxis.

DiDiOla and Uber ridesharing services can also access Perth Airport.

Train

The Indian Pacific is one of the greatest train journeys, travelling across the vast country from Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide. This 3-day journey is the longest straight railroad in the world.

Road

The easiest way to get around WA is by road. Hire a car or campervan and explore all that Western Australia has to offer. Make sure that the hire vehicle has unlimited kms included if you are planning to go on a road trip. You can drive here with your own driving licence if it is in English and has a photo of you. If not, you’ll need an International Driving Permit.

Public Transport

If you are staying in the Perth metro area, the Smartrider card covers public transport including the trains, buses, and ferries. You can find all the information on the Transperth website.

Western Australia Regions

view of perth city and elizabeth quay with boats on the swan river

Perth Metro

The Perth metro region consists of Western Australia’s capital city and the areas surrounding it.

view of sugar loaf rock off the coast near dunsborough

South West

The South West, in the south-western corner of Australia, is Western Australia’s most popular tourist destination.

a trail leading high up a large hill on a peninsula with stunning beaches either side

Great Southern

The Great Southern region of Western Australia is located on the south coast, which includes a rugged coastline and tall timber forests.

view of beach and rocky coastline from red bluff lookout kalbarri

Coral Coast

The Coral Coast has over 1000 km of stunning coastline and one of the most accessible reefs in the world.

a white sand beach with calm turquoise water lapping onto it and green hills in the distance and a blue sky

Golden Outback

Goldfields-Esperance is the largest region in Western Australia and is located to the south east corner of the state.

the exterior of the sun pictures movie theatre

North West

Australia’s North West includes the Kimberley and Pilbara regions, including Broome. Get a real outback experience.

Where to stay in Western Australia

Click on the regions above for information on the best places to stay in Western Australia.

The Best Destinations in Western Australia

There are so many places to visit and things to do in Western Australia. From the white sandy beaches and wine region of the South West to the stunning gorges and waterfalls in the Kimberley and everything in between, there’s something for everyone.

the beautiful little salmon bay with cystal clear water showing reef and rocks with people swimming and snorkelling

Rottnest Island

Get the ferry over to Rottnest Island and see the Quokkas.

view of one of the kalbarri skywalks hanging over the cliffs

Kalbarri

Be amazed by the red landscape and views in Kalbarri.

red rocks in a canyon with views to the ocean

Exmouth & Broome

Take an epic road trip up the Coral Coast Highway to Exmouth and onto Broome.

huge hills covered in green grass rising above a huge lake

Kimberly

Explore the outback in Western Australia’s North West.

the inside of lake cave in the dark with formations reflecting on the lake

Margaret River

Drink world-class wine, explore caves and beaches in Margaret River.

view of coastline and green scrubland

Albany

Discover historic places, secluded beaches, hiking trails and whales in Albany.

Western Australia Bucket List Road Trips

Western Australia is home to some of the most beautiful scenic routes in the world. The best way to see them all? A road trip! Here are some of Western Australia’s bucket list worthy road trips that you need to experience for yourself.

the beautiful sandy bay of Gnarabup Beach in the Margaret River region of Western Australia with sun shining on the ocean and a jetty

Perth to Albany Road Trip

This road trip from Perth to Albany takes you through the best of Australia’s South West region where you’ll see some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the world.

a stunning sandy cove with urquoise ocean in esperance western australia

Perth to Esperance Road Trip

The Great Southern region of Western Australia has a unique blend of landscapes that attracts adventure seekers, wine lovers, hikers, and four-wheel-drive enthusiasts.

an aerial view oif the z bend gorge with red rocks covering it in kalbarii western australia

Perth to Kalbarri Road Trip

This road trip from Perth to Albany takes you through the best of Australia’s South West region where you’ll see some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the world.

a view of charles knife canyon with the red rocks and native bush from lookout

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

The Great Southern region of Western Australia has a unique blend of landscapes that attracts adventure seekers, wine lovers, hikers, and four-wheel-drive enthusiasts.

Hikes in Western Australia

If you enjoy hiking, then you will love the variety of trails in Western Australia. The epic Bibbulmun Track covers 1,003 km from Kalamunda to Albany. The Cape to Cape Track runs for 123 km along the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, between the lighthouses of Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin. These can both be walked in sections as well.

Of course there are shorter hikes ranging from day hikes to half an hour.

Diving and Snorkelling in Western Australia

There are lots of reefs and wrecks along the Western Australian coast teeming with fascinating marine life. The best places to snorkel are Mettams Pool, Rottnest Island, Yanchep Lagoon, and Exmouth.

Flora and Fauna in Western Australia

WA has the largest collection of wildflowers in the world with around 12,000 different species. It also has 141 mammal species plus 439 different types of reptiles.


Our Western Australia Wildflower Guide details where the best places are to see the wildflowers.

Tours in Western Australia

Best Places To Eat in Western Australia

The Perth food and bar scene has come a long way since I moved here in 2000. There are now some cool, funky bars to go with the venues that line the beach which are perfect for the West Australian sundowner.

You have a variety of restaurants to choose, from white linen fine dining to street markets.

The Margaret River region produce world-class wines, Truffles grow in Manjimup, seafood is found all along the coast and WA has excellent craft beers.

WA School Holidays

Use this WA School Holiday Planner, to find out when the school holidays are in Western Australia.

Events in Western Australia

January

Perth Cup – Perth’s answer to the Ascot races

ATP Cup – one of the largest men’s tennis events

Lancelin Ocean Classic – a 4-day windsurfling event

Fringe World – a month-long arts festival

February

Leeuwin Concert – a concert held by Leeuwin Estate

Perth Festival – theatre, music, film, literature and visual arts

March

Nannup Music Festival – a fun-filled weekend of folk, blues, and world music

May

Margaret River Pro – top surfing competition run by the World Surf League

August

Avon Descent – a 124 km white-water rafting race for powerboats, kayaks, and canoes

September

Kings Park Festival – a celebration of spring with a stunning display of wildflowers

October

Perth Royal Show – Western Australia’s biggest agricultural show

Blessing of the Fleet – a traditional Catholic festival to bless the crayfish fleet

November

Blues at Bridgetown – a blues, folk, and roots music festival in the country town of Bridgetown

December

Christmas Lights

What To Pack for Western Australia

You can find our detailed packing list here but the following items I consider a must for your trip to Western Australia:

  • Good Hiking Shoes
  • Rashie to protect from the intense sun
  • Hat and Sunglasses
  • Rain Jacket – it gets windy here and umbrellas don’t always work
  • Thongs (not underwear but flip-flops)

Tips for Travel to Western Australia

  • The sun is harsh and can burn in minutes. Ensure you apply sunscreen frequently and protect your face and body as much as possible with long sleeves, hat and sunglasses.
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Don’t forget to take a re-usable bottle with you when you go out.
  • Swim at patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags. Pay attention to the surf life savers and the notices on the beach. WA have some treacherous beach conditions.
  • Distances are vast in WA. Be prepared for long journeys and take plenty of breaks to avoid driver fatigue.
  • Roads in the northern regions can become flooded in the wet season and may be unpassable.
  • Try not to drive around dusk or dawn to avoid kangaroos and emus on the road (this is when they are most active).
  • Road trains can be as long as 53m and extreme care must be taken when overtaking them.
  • Read the Drive Safe Booklet before driving.
two boomerangs

Brief History of Western Australia

The discovery of ancient stone artefacts suggest that Perth, or Mooro as it was originally known as, was occupied around 40,000 years ago. The Wadjuk people, a subgroup of the Noongar people, tell the Dreamtime story of how the Swan River (Derbal Yaragan) was formed by serpent-like creatures. The two Wargals lived under what is now Kings Park.

English explorer, William Dampier, sailed down part of the coast in 1688. However, he noted that there wasn’t any fresh water source and abandoned the area.

The Swan River Colony was established by the British Government in 1829 and became the first free settlement in Australia. At first there was no hostility between the settlers and the Wadjuk people. However, the government started selling off land cheaply with no regard to the rights of the indigenous people and there became competition for resources.

Yellagonga, the Wadjuk leader, ended up moving his camp to Lake Monger and eventually to the swamp lands north. By the time he died in 1843, his people had been dispossessed of all their land.

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