Western Australia

About Western Australia

Western Australia is the largest state in Australia, and the only one that extends completely north to south. The size of the state is reflected in its diversity of landscape – from the stunning white sand beaches of the south coast, to the vast red deserts of the Pilbara and the incredible rock formations in the Kimberley.

WA certainly has something for everyone, from the bustling metropolis of the capital Perth, to the abundant marine life of the Ningaloo Reef, and and excellent hiking throughout.

If you’re planning a road trip in Western Australia, be prepared for some long drives! Especially in the north, you can drive for days without seeing much at all, except roadhouses every few hundred kilometres. But when you get to where you’re going, the destination makes it worthwhile.

We spent nine months in Western Australia over 2022 and 2023, and while we got to know some of the areas really well, we still have a lot left to see next time we go back.

Getting to Western Australia

By Air

Perth is the transportation hub, but you will also find airports in all the main regional centres like Exmouth, Broome, Kununurra, Kalgoorlie and even Bunbury. Flights tend to be expensive to and from WA, probably due to the state’s remote distance from the rest of Australia.

By Road

If you are driving to Western Australia, you will probably arrive one one of the two main routes. If you’re coming from South Australia, you’ll cross the Nullarbor plain from Ceduna to Norseman. The northern route follows the Victoria Highway from Katherine to Kununurra. Both these roads are sealed.

There are a couple of other routes into WA from the NT – the Great Central Road from Uluru and the Tanami Road further north. Long stretches of both these roads are unsealed and suitable for 4×4 vehicles only. You will require a permit to drive through Aboriginal lands on the Great Central Road.

Western Australia border, wa border,

Quarantine

If you are arriving by road, you will be subject to a quarantine check when crossing the border. You may not bring fruit & vegetables, seeds, plants or honey into WA. For more information on quarantine restriction visit the WA government website.

Time Zone

All of WA is on Australian Western Standard Time which is 1.5 hours behind ACST. WA does not observe Daylight Savings.

When is the best time to visit Western Australia?

Western Australia is a huge state and you could easily spend a year here and still not see all the state has to offer. The state spans the country from north to south.

You will be best off planning your trip to visit the southern regions in the summer (November to March) and the northern regions in the winter (May to October). This way you will maximise seasonal opening of attractions. Some roads in the north may be unpassable during the summer (wet season).

Regions of Western Australia

The WA government has divided the state into 9 regions (10 if you include Perth). These regions are based on economic and development purposes. Tourism Western Australia recognises 5 regions. These are:

Perth and surrounds

This region encompasses the vibrant city of Perth, with its beautiful white sand beaches and expansive parks and gardens. The city has a rich history, especially around the port of Fremantle. No visit to Perth is complete without visiting Rottnest Island and the local residents, the Quokkas.

Fremantle day trip, things to do in Fremantle
Rottnest Island day trip itinerary, Rotto
Giants of Mandurah, Mandurah Giants, Thomas Dambo

South West

The South West of Western Australia is home to the world class wine regions around Margaret River. This area is also known for it’s natural beauty, particular the stunning coastline and the forests.

Australia's south west, Busselton,
dunsborough, Yallingup, Injidup spa,
dave evans centennial tree, climbing giant trees

Coral Coast

The Coral Coast stretches north from Perth and includes some of the most beautiful places we’ve seen in Australia. From the unique rock formations of the Pinnacles, to the abundant marine life on the Ningaloo Reef, this region has something for everyone.

western australia, exmouth, ningaloo reef
kalbarri, natures window, Western Australia,
Pinnacles, Cervantes,

North West

The North West of WA encompasses the Kimberley and Pilbara. This is vast open desert country, peppered with incredible natural beauty. The coastline includes the popular tourist town of Broome and Karijini National Park, which many say is their favourite national park in Australia.

We spent several months in the Pilbara in 2022 and fell in love with this red desert landscape. Even though we are still finding red dirt in our van!

Karijini National Park travel guide,
pilbara region, Western Australia
Kunurra to Broome road trip

Golden Outback

This is the largest tourism region and covers the beautiful coastline near Esperance, the Goldfields around Kalgoorlie and contains some hidden gems like Wave Rock.

Lucky Bay, Esperance, Cape Le Grande National Park
Wave Rock, Western Australia
Nullarbor Golf, worlds longest golf course,

Where to next?

If you’ve seen all you want to see in Western Australia, and you’re driving, you have two choices: the Northern Territory or head across the Nullarbor to South Australia.