Larger and certainly quieter than its East Coast counterpart, Australia’s West Coast is a veritable paradise for nature lovers. Over 12,500 kilometers of spectacular coastline is more than enough to provide endless excitement and adventure for even the most tireless adventurer.
From top to bottom, this spectacular destination which covers about one third of the entire country caters to adventure lovers and fun seekers, without breaking the bank. You will find amazing landscapes, stunning beaches and impressive deserts on Australia’s West Coast, which also boasts some notable art galleries, museums and an exciting nightlife.
Want to know more about what to expect when you visit the West Coast? This article will serve as a short tourist guidebook that can help you explore the wonders of Australia’s West Coast.
Getting to Western Australia
There are many ways to get to the Australian West Coast. Several airlines offer flight services from different towns around the state, such as Albany, Esperance, Kalgoorie, Exmouth and Broome. Of course, you can also charter a flight, but this option is usually very expensive. You can fly direct to the West Coast if you’re flying in from outside the country or alternatively pick a connecting flight from Sydney or Perth.
Greyhound Australia runs coaches through most towns, travelling along the north coast from Perth via important locations to the West Coast, but this journey typically takes up to 34 hours. You can also hire a car and drive down by yourself, although you should be prepared for outback driving and be aware that the distances involved are huge. There’s also a limited train service that operates from Perth South through towns along the coast until Kalgoorie, from where you can drive westbound through the Outback.
The vastness of the region means that you can experience differing weather at any given time. For example, summer (between December and February) is usually warm in the south west, but very hot in the Outback. Meanwhile, the north is usually wet between November and April, but warm and dry between June and August. Expert movers AusMove suggest visiting in the Spring (between September and November) and Autumn (between March and May) when the weather is pleasant all round for most of the South and West Coast.
Places to visit on Australia’s West Coast
This small city by the seaside has earned a worldwide reputation as a result of its beaches. If you need a quiet place where you can just enjoy some sand, sun and sea – or on the lookout for a boisterous seaside party – Esperance is the place to be. Some popular beach spots in this area include Twilight Beach, Lucky Bay and Ten Miles Beach.
- Cervantes and The Pinnacles
Any visit to the West Coast is incomplete without a stopover at Cervantes. Also, make time to see the Nambung National Park, 245 kilometers north of Perth, famous for its Pinnacles. Some of the limestone pillars that make up The Pinnacles are roughly four metres high, making for an impressive and spectacular landscape. It’s a good idea to visit in the early hours of the morning, before the sun rises or at sunset in order to make the most of this beautiful vista.
- Shark Bay
In total contrast to its name, Shark Bay is one of the places on Australia’s West Coast where you can interact with dolphins (as opposed being notorious for sharks). At Monkey Mia in Shark Bay, you can play with dolphins, feed them, swim with them and even coerce them to perform tricks for you. Furthermore, you can also explore Eagle Bluff and Hamelin Pool Shell Beach to observe more striking fauna and flora of the Australian West Coast. In fact, this is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region.
- Ningaloo Reef
Though not as popular as the Great Barrier Reef, Ningaloo Reef is wilder and richer. Ningaloo Reef in Exmouth is one place on the West Coast where you will find the beaches of your dreams, with crystal clear waters, pristine sands and rich seabed. Depending on when you visit, you’ll be able to see all kinds of marine life, including whales, manta rays, sharks and dugongs.
- Karijini National Park
Referred to as the real jewel of Pilbara, Karijini National Park is famous for its gorges, chasms and glorious waterfalls. Of particular importance is the Fern Pool and Fortescue Falls. These areas attract many tourists and make for good photo backdrops. Not to be left out are sites like Kalimina Gorge and Hancock Gorge – both accessible via dirt tracks that can be fairly dangerous during bad weather.
Perth is the West Coast’s capital city and the sunniest in Australia. It is also one of the most isolated cities in the world. Among the numerous exciting features Perth has to offer are the many gorgeous beaches that litter the coastline. There are also the beautiful museums of Perth Cultural Center, the botanical gardens at King’s Park, as well as the colonial architecture and beaches of Freemantle, about 18 kilometers south of Perth.
About 20 kilometers from the coast is Rottnest Island, once a prison island for the Aboriginal people. This place is not a spectacular tourist attraction that draws thousands of visitors every year. Rottnest Island can be reached by ferry and offers more than 60 beaches, where you can swim, snorkel and even play golf.
Albany was one of the first places to be colonised in West Australia and offers many attractions for visitors. It remains a very interesting place today and is definitely worth visiting. Of special interest are The Gap, the Natural Bridge, the Blowholes and Two People Bay Natural Reserve, with its spectacular collection of beaches.
If you’re fond of food, Perth and the South West are two places you’ll definitely find to be a foodie paradise. Margaret River is also known for its gourmet dishes and exotic drinks. You will also find great seafood places along the coast, including crayfish from the south and barramundi from the north.
Much of Australia’s West Coast is absolutely stunning and you can enjoy an exciting visit for a surprisingly little amount of money.