Best holiday destinations in Western Australia

Best holiday destinations in Western Australia

The Gap Albany WA

Western Australia is the largest state in Australia and takes up one-third of the whole country. With so much space to cover there’s an incredible array of diversity to explore across the state.

From the rugged landscapes of the northwest to the greener pastures of the southwest and the incredible blues of the coastline, there are a lot of places to visit in Western Australia.

In this article, we’ve asked some of our favourite travel bloggers to divulge their favourite holiday destination in Western Australia along with the best things to do in each place.

Did we miss something? Let us know your favourite place to visit in West Australia in the comments below?

Exmouth

Western Australia holiday destinations

Exmouth was my favourite stop during my road trip on the west coast of Australia.

Between turquoise water beaches, orange sandy roads and magnificent natural parks, there is something for everyone in Exmouth. Do not miss the lighthouse at sunset and Cape Range National park, where is the magnificent Turquoise Bay beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia.

We went to Exmouth in summer (February) and if you like the heat, it’s perfect! If you prefer more appropriate weather for walks, I recommend going there in spring or autumn.

There is almost always sunshine so you will not be disappointed on this side. Try to spot some emus, it’s not hard, when we were there they were walking on the beach and even in the streets! Such a special animal!

For accommodation, we stayed in a very nice mobile home at the entrance of the town! There is a lot of choice for accommodation in Exmouth.  Exmouth is not big and it’s easy to get around so you will almost always be well situated.

If you only have to do one thing in Exmouth, go for a walk: “Mandu mandu gorge” or “Yardie creek” in Cape range national park. There is a wonderful view of the surroundings!

Contributed by Stephanie  from Parisian Abroad

Rottnest Island

Western Australia holiday destinations

With the proximity to Perth and Fremantle, Rottnest Island (also referred to as “Rotto”) is the perfect spot for a holiday in Perth. With the sun shining throughout the day, visitors have the opportunity to relax for a day or spend the whole weekend.

There are so many incredible activities on Rottnest Island. Beach lovers can choose from over 60 beaches to relax on and swim or snorkel in the clear waters.

Those who enjoy wildlife will meet peacocks and quokkas. Quokkas are native to the island and are adorable marsupials to see. Visitors also have the opportunity to learn about the island’s history by visiting the Wadjemup Lighthouse and taking a tour of Oliver Hill Battery and Railway.

To get to Rottnest Island, visitors need to take a ferry from Perth or Fremantle. The ride takes 35 minutes from Fremantle and about an hour if you’re departing from Perth city. Once on the island, there are no cars and the best option is to rent a bicycle.  Otherwise, there is a hop-on-off bus that tours the island.

While most people tend to visit Rottnest Island as a day trip, there are several options to stay overnight. Accommodation options for an overnight stay include the Rottnest campground, cabins, cottages, and dormitories.

We stayed at the Caroline Thomson cabins and enjoyed the amenities. The splurge option includes the Hotel Rottnest which has an oceanside view.

Contributed by Jackie and Justin from Life of Doing 

Broome

Broome Western Australia

Broome’s beauty and history make it one of the best holiday destinations in Western Australia. Located 2000 km from Perth in WA’s Kimberley, Broome has everything from amazing sightseeing adventures to iconic tourist experiences.

Two essential Broome activities are a sunset camel ride along Cable Beach and between March and October seeing the famous Staircase to the Moon.

The staircase appears as the moon rises above the exposed mudflats. The Moon Markets are held on Staircase nights and have a great vibe. On non-staircase evenings, visit the Sun Pictures outdoor movie theatre. Nothing beats relaxing in a deck chair with a drink and popcorn!

For something a bit different, try a hovercraft tour of Roebuck Bay. You’ll see dinosaur footprints at Gantheaume Bay and some famous Kimberley colour as turquoise water meets orange rocks.

Broome has many museums, galleries and shops that pay homage to the town’s history and pearl diving industry. Broome is also a great base for whale shark and Horizontal Falls tours.

The best time to visit Broome is between April and November. To avoid the crowds, try going early in the season. Many people visit Broome as part of a road trip. There are also flights to Broome from many capital cities in Australia.

There are Broome accommodation options for all budgets. We stayed on a powered site at the Broome Vacation Village Caravan Park and enjoyed our time there. If you do go to Broome early in the season, we certainly recommend staying somewhere with air conditioning!

Contributed by Natalie and Steve from Curious Campers 

Denham and Monkey Mia

Western Australia holiday destinations

831km north of Perth sits the Francois Peron Peninsula and the remote town of Denham and nearby Monkey Mia.

Denham is home to just 600 inhabitants. While the best adventures may be had with a 4×4′ don’t let that put you off because it is one of the most exquisite areas that Western Australia has to offer.

The town itself is small but the main drawcard is the natural surroundings especially the flat, calm and clear sandy bay that engulfs the town.  It is perfect for snorkelling, paddling and swimming and if you’re fortunate enough, you might bump into one of the resident dolphins that mingle in the area.

Of course, the main attraction on the peninsula is the small resort of Monkey Mia where dolphins come close to shore twice a day to be fed. Visitors can stand in the water alongside the dolphins and some are even picked out to feed them fish.

The waters up at Monkey Mia are spectacular and some of the clearest and bluest I’ve ever seen. The shores are lined with cheeky pelicans and harmless but sneaky, little ghost crabs.

If resorts are not your thing, don’t worry because Eagle Bluff is 10 minutes away and has an amazing view across the ocean. The waters encircling this bay attract rays, small sharks, turtles and dugongs that you can watch from the wooden boardwalk. Although you can’t swim here, you can pop along to Whalebone Cove which is perfect for snorkelling & canoeing. There are small reef sharks in the water but they’re totally harmless and the turtles frequently come up for air.

With a plethora of beaches and lagoons, this entire area is a nature lovers paradise. Take Shell Beach for example, it is 60km long and one of only two beaches in the world that are entirely made from shells. Along the roadsides watch out for emus, kangaroos and many varieties of native birds.  It is definitely worth a visit if you’re on a road trip in Western Australia.

Contributed Emma from Journey of a Nomadic Family

Bunbury

Western Australia holiday destinations

The town of Bunbury is situated about 2 hours south of Perth. It’s a great place for a holiday in Western Australia, and probably one of the least crowded options if you’re heading south for the beaches and lifestyle of the South West.

There are plenty of accommodation options ranging from luxury to basic and camping. You might consider the Quality Hotel Lighthouse, Bunbury Hotel Koombana Bay or The Quest apartments.

When it comes to things to do in Bunbury, one of the best is to go swimming with dolphins. Bunbury is renowned for its bottlenose dolphins and if you’re strolling along Koombana Bay you’re very likely to spot them frolicking in the shallow waters of the bay. The Dolphin Discovery Centre offers fabulous dolphin eco and swimming experiences in summertime, while in the winter months from June to November Bunbury offers some good land-based whale watching options.

Although termed a city, the centre of Bunbury is, for me, more like a small town with boutiques and a cappuccino strip of alfresco cafes in the main street. Two streets back and you can either be at the beach, or on the pretty Leschenault Inlet.

When it comes to beaches you have the choice of several, but generally speaking, Back Beach is where the surf is, and Koombana Bay is great for families and swimming.

There are wonderful bike and walking trails around the city, and a waterfront area featuring restaurants, cafes and bars. 

On the highway approaching the city, you’ll find the Bunbury Farmers Market where you can stock up on produce for your holiday. It’s not only a great place for fresh fruit and vegetables and open 7 days a week, but it’s also been touted as one of the town’s main tourist attractions! Yes, it’s that good!

Contributed by Jo from Lifestyle Fifty

Fremantle

Fremantle

For a holiday in Western Australia, the harbour city of Fremantle is hard to beat. Only 15 km from Perth, Fremantle is the official harbour of the West Australian capital city and so many more things.  Fremantle is a historic and cultural centre, mixing Aboriginal tribes, early settlers, European migrants and recent urban tribes. Fremantle has something to please everyone and make your holiday both exciting and relaxing: museums, markets, beaches and restaurants.

The port city has plenty of cafés and restaurants where you can enjoy its unique coffee culture. Historic buildings like the Prison, the Shipwrecks Museum or the Round House will introduce you to the early history of Western Australia. Port Beach is ideal if you want to get a taste of the ocean and relax on a pristine stretch of sand. The grand old pubs will welcome you for a “Sunday sesh” or “afternoon at the pub”.

Finally, a more recent and intriguing aspect of Fremantle is how it embraced street art. Indeed, many Australian and international artists have left their mark on buildings in Fremantle and there are many striking murals to search for. Fremantle is often referred as the cool version of Perth and a great place to be for a few days.

Contributed by Delphine from Lesterlost

Albany

The Gap Albany WA

Albany on the south coast of WA is a busy port city and regional hub that perfectly balances beaches, history and nature reserves along with an abundance of farm fresh food, wine, distilleries and breweries.

Although the warmest days are over the summer (where you can experience day time highs several degrees cooler than Perth), it can still be a beautiful destination year round. Autumn brings events such as Taste Great Southern and whale watching season from May to early October can bring some incredible visitors to King George Sound.

Although Albany has quite the reputation as a retirement city, it’s very family friendly offering a plethora of beaches parks, nature and animal experiences with a rich local history dating back to the 19th century, a walk up Mt Clarence and the National ANZAC centre are a must. Enjoy watching the busy harbour from Marine Drive, or catch a show at the Albany Entertainment Centre and enjoy the local Museum along with replica ship the Brig Amity.

Our favourite part of Albany and the Amazing South Coast is the Vancouver Peninsula and Torndirrup National Park. There are dramatic sea cliffs and stunning coves and beaches all along the southern WA coast. The most famous sites near Albany are the Natural Bridge and The Gap where you can see the Southern Ocean at its fiercest. A beautiful viewing platform has made this a much safer place for tourists to experience.

There’s a huge range of accommodation choices in Albany and Great Southern from seaside caravans and chalets to farm stays, family motels and camping options. Sitting a 4.5-hour drive south east from Perth, it’s a popular destination to stay for a week or two, or as part of a greater holiday “down south”.

Contributed by Keri from Our Globetrotters

Perth

Matilda Bay, Perth

If you are heading to Western Australia, you are probably going to end up in Perth at some point. This is a great thing as Perth is definitely one of the best places to visit in Western Australia.

The capital of this state, Perth has a population of about 2 million people which means there are many things to do here and a great range of places to eat and stay. Perth is a year-round destination although summers can be HOT. The best time to visit is September to November when temperatures are great and rainfall is low. As another plus, flying to Perth is easy with many flights from the rest of Australia, some international flights and great deals if you look out for sales.

When it comes to things to do, Perth is less about museums and more about nature. Make sure you head to Kings Park and explore the botanical gardens from the Lotterywest Federation Walkway, spend some time at gorgeous Cottesloe Beach and top it off with a sunset cruise on the Swan River.

Perth is also very close to Fremantle (less than 40 minutes by train) and Rottnest Island which are worth adding to your Perth itinerary. I also recommend a Swan Valley wine tour.

At the end of the day, a great place to lay your head is The Westin.

Contributed by Sharon from Baby Journey

Kalbarri

Kalbarri national park

The resort town of Kalbarri, located on Australia’s western shores 7 hours north of Perth is one of the best holiday destinations in Western Australia. Known for its namesake national park, opportunities to get out onto the water, and small town vibe, it’s a holiday destination you don’t want to miss.

Peak season is between December and May when the weather is at its warmest. It’s a great time to visit if you are looking to sunbathe and frolic in the Indian Ocean but if you are more interested in hiking in Kalbarri National Park we suggest you opt for September or October. During the spring you can witness the whale migration and world-famous wildflower season.

The unique four million-year-old landscape made up of massive gorges, red rock formations, and coastal cliffs at Kalbarri National Park is something you’ve got to witness with your own eyes. With varying landscapes, an abundance of wildlife, and plenty of hiking options it’s easy to spend a few days exploring the park.

Back in town, you can take tour operators up on their offer to go deep sea fishing, go kayaking on the estuary or just lounge on the town beach. If you are interested in an outdoor holiday, you’ll love Kalbarri.

Contributed by sustainable travel bloggers Oksana & Max from Drink Tea & Travel.

Mandurah

Mandurah Foreshore

Just fifty-five minutes directly south of Perth, Mandurah is a popular holiday destination and weekend away getaway from Perth. Perth to Mandurah is an easy drive, or alternatively you can go by train or a combination of buses.

Known for its beautiful waterways and relaxed atmosphere, Mandurah has a great deal to offer for a range of travellers. You can enjoy wandering through the centre of Mandurah, spotting dolphins which frequent the waterways; stop for a coffee, waterside or a bite to eat for lunch at the Mandurah Marina. Minutes out of the Mandurah hub, are great beaches for swimming, dolphin spotting, fishing and sunset gazing.

It is a good idea to have a car when you stay in Mandurah as there are lots of great things to see around the area. Be sure to see the thrombolites at Lake Clifton in Yalgorup National Park, explore Serpentine National Park and Serpentine Falls, as well as Lane Poole Reserve near Dwellingup.

Of course, if you enjoy a wine or beer, check out the Geographe Wine Region or the Old Coast Road Brewery, who serve great food.

Silver Sands is a great location to stay in Mandurah, however, if you are keen for a spot of camping, definitely look up Lane Poole Reserve.

Contributed by Erin from Go Camping Plus

Denmark

Denmark Western Australia

Hands down our favourite place in WA for a holiday is Denmark.  To clarify: Denmark Western Australia, not the Scandinavian country!  West Aussies in the know say that Denmark is “like Margaret River used to be” before it became a world famous and extremely popular.

Denmark has a laid back hippie vibe, where you feel connected with nature, but without being too rustic for the hipsters.  Great Southern Wines are growing in popularity and there are a number of fabulous restaurants and wineries to visit.   In addition to shopping at the gorgeous boutiques or doing some food tourism there are sensational beaches, an animal farm, and even a world famous Tree top Walk – we have covered all this and more in Things to do in Denmark WA with kids.

Travelling via the Albany Highway, Denmark is an easy 5 hour drive south of Perth; once you are there we would recommend seeking out some of the farmstay or forest style cabins to stay in… by doing so you can appreciate the stunning forests and plants of this south coast area.  We’ve got William Bay Country Cottages on our bucket list for our next visit!

The best time of year to visit Denmark is during the warmer, drier months, say from September through to April.   As Denmark gets a lot of rain, it can be quite wet during winter.  That said, cuddling up around a crackling fire and enjoying family time means that Denmark really is a year round destination.

Contributed by Ariana from World of Travels with Kids

Kununurra and the East Kimberley

Kununurra Sleeping Budha

Kununurra might be a long way from pretty much anywhere else in Australia – but this small town in the depths of the East Kimberley’s extraordinary landscape is a great base for an intriguing and varied vacation.

Topping the lengthy list of things to do in Kununurra is exploring that stunning scenery – natural attractions like waterfalls, rock formations, lakes, strange-shaped trees, lookouts and crocodile-infested billabongs, along with slightly less threatening wildlife such as snakes, fish and birds are plentiful in the region.

Add to that Lake Argyle, Australia’s largest body of freshwater; nearby Wyndham with some of its highest tides; a selection of its finest produce courtesy of the Ord River Irrigation scheme, along with a fascinating indigenous and colonial heritage; and a great annual agricultural show and yes, there’s something for everyone.

About 3,000 km north-east of Perth and 850 km south-west of Darwin by road, Kununurra can also be reached by plane or bus. It’s most accessible (and busiest!) during the dry season around April to October, when the weather is milder.

Among the many accommodation options, try the Kimberleyland Waterfront Holiday Park on Lily Creek Lagoon, a perfect location for awesome sunset shots – and freshwater crocodile spotting! Alternatively, the Hidden Valley Caravan Park is right next to the unusual rock formations of Mirima National Park. Stay a week, and you won’t want to leave!

Contributed Marion from RedzAustralia

Margaret River

Margaret River river

Margaret River is a beautiful town located a few hours’ drive south-west of Perth and is one of the best places to visit in Western Australia. Named after its most famous landmark, its river, the region is also popular for its wineries, beaches and rugged coastline.

Margaret River is a fantastic holiday destination for literally anyone, from families with kids to seniors to younger people seeking adventure activities such as hiking and surfing. The must-do hike is the Cape to Cape track which stretches between two lighthouses north and south of the Margaret River region. Make sure you visit the stunning limestone caves and sea cliffs of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park.

From June to November you should be able to spot the migratory whales passing by the coastline too. The winter months offer plenty of cosy retreats and the biggest swell of the year. The summer months are great for beach activities and enjoying the relaxed summer vibes.

If you’re looking for a relaxing holiday, touring the many vineyards in the region is an amazing experience for the natural beauty and of course the local wine.

If beer is more your thing, craft breweries have grown in popularity in recent years and there’s no shortage to indulge by sampling the many varieties produced by local artisans.

The best place to stay in Margaret River depends on your preference, whether you’d like to hide out in the countryside at a BnB or perhaps closer to the coastline for easy beach access. You’ll find accommodation in every price range, but remember the Xmas holidays will be the busiest time of the year and therefore a bit more expensive.

Contributed by Matt from Fittness.com.au

Save it for later

2 Comments

  1. Johanna says:

    Fabulous post Nina, and thanks for including my suggestion for Bunbury. There are definitely a few more places for us to discover and I cant wait to get on the road again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.