The Ultimate Western Australia Travel Guide 2022

Travelling to WA? Make sure you have your G2G Pass. Find out about the latest information regarding travel into Western Australia on the WA Government site.

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

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Weather and Best Time to Visit Western Australia

the long sandy beach of cable beach in broome western australia

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 school holidays. Expect high prices and difficulty in obtaining accommodation at short notice.

Plan Your Trip to Western Australia

Find out how to get the best deals on travel to and within Australia with this free travel planner.

trees reflecting in the lake at big brook dam pemberton

Essential Travel Information to Western Australia

Find out about visas, customs, safety and health information, currency and other essential travel information.

the stunning willie creek with rurquoise water and mangroves

Arriving Into & Getting Around Western Australia

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

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.

The easiest way to get around WA is by car. 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.

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.

the green water of black diamond lake with trees in the background

Mobile Phone Coverage in Western Australia

The best mobile coverage in Western Australia is from Telstra, the main provider. If you are staying in the metro area, the Optus network will be cheaper and provides a great service.

In the regions, even Telstra can drop out and no service is available in remote areas.


Time in Western Australia

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


Western Australia Regions

a view of elizabeth quay in perth with boats in the swan river and buildings lining the city foreshore

Perth Metropolitan

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

Peel is 75 km south of Perth and has a diverse landscape including 50 km of coastline and urban, agricultural and horticultural land.

The rivers, streams, and creeks, provide an extensive wetland system that is of international and national significance as it supports diverse flora and fauna.

The region provides a variety of tourism experiences including historic Pinjarra, one of the oldest towns in Western Australia, and Serpentine Falls, one of Perth’s best waterfalls. 

the crystal clear ocean and sandy beach

South West & Great Southern

The South West, in the south-western corner of Australia, covers an area of nearly 24,000 square kilometres, and is Western Australia’s most popular tourist destination.

The towns of Augusta, Margaret River and Dunsborough are among the top destinations to experience award-winning wineries, spectacular beaches, national parks, tall timber forests and ancient caves in the region.

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

The area also boasts white sandy beaches as well as wineries for tourists to explore.

yardie creek in exmouth with red gorge walls

Coral Coast

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

kangaroo on the beach in lucky bay esperance

Australia’s Golden Outback

Goldfields-Esperance is the largest region in Western Australia and is located to the south east corner of the state. The land mass is an impressive 771,276 km2 and three times larger than Victoria, taking up one third of WA’s total size.

The Golden Outback stretches from Mt Augustus’ red earth into Esperance’s snow white beaches on the south coast, creating a stunning contrast between colours.

camel rides on cable beach in broome western australia at sunset

Australia’s North West

Australia’s North West includes the Kimberley and Pilbara regions, including Broome.

The Kimberley ,Western Australia’s most northern region, is in fact closer to South-East Asia than its capital city. The region features spectacular scenery including gorges, waterfalls and sandy beaches and is a beautiful example of the Australian Outback.

The Pilbara has over 700 historic Indigenous archaeological sites and 1,000,000 rock engravings. Explore deep canyons, pristine white beaches, incredible waterfalls and ancient natural landscapes.

Broome is a tropical oasis popular with West Australians trying to escape the cool south during winter. Visitors are drawn to the beautiful white beaches, turquoise water, red cliffs, and rich Aboriginal heritage.

Where to stay in Western Australia

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

The Best Things To Do 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.

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 hikes 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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