Hands up if you've seen more of Europe than you have of Western Australia. Guilty. Yes, you might be able to drive through three countries in one day in Europe while it takes three days just to make it to northern WA, but it's time to dedicate some of your annual leave to exploring your own backyard folks!
It's time to start ticking off these bucket list-worthy adventures you absolutely must do in WA.
Swim With The Big Three In Ningaloo
Whale shark diving has been a huge attraction in Ningaloo for a long time (and you should knock that off the list), but you can swim with humpback whales too. The pilot programme kicked off in 2016 and will continue until 2023 with plans to make it a licensed industry in 2024. Once you've ticked those two off your list, it's time to move on to manta rays.
Discover The Margaret River Wine Region
Majority of you have already done this, we know, but we couldn't leave it off a list of WA's must-do experiences now, could we? For the perfect holiday past time, rally up your mates and head out for a wine tour in Margaret River (or across any of WA's wine regions). Whether you do it with a fancy company or you manage to find a friend who is willing to drive, you'll start the day with the best intentions to learn as much as possible about our world-class wines and inevitably finish it somewhere been tipsy and smashed, but having tasted some of the best wines the world has to offer and eaten some delish food—may we recommend a degustation at Rustico for lunch.
Climb Bluff Knoll
If you haven’t done this one already, it’s time to get your hiking boots and optional cork hat for a little gander up Bluff Knoll. Best enjoyed while the weather’s cool, this one to three-hour hike features some of the best views of the Stirling Ranges, plus it's the only place in WA where you might find snow if it's really cold. Get more info about how to prepare and what to do here.
Walk The Bibbulmun Track
Another quintessentially West Australian trail, The Bibbulmun Track is one of the best ways to soak in the wonders of WA’s glorious coastline via a 1,000-kilometre trail from The Perth Hills to Albany. You won’t be able to do this one without some forward-thinking though, so we recommend starting with this trip planner to calculate your distance, find campsites and a checklist for the equipment and food you’ll need on the journey. Of course, you don't have to do the whole thing, just find a trail you can knock off in a day or a weekend if you're pressed for time.
One of WA’s best natural adventure zones, Karijini National Park is the place to go hunting for picturesque watering holes like the Hamersley Gorge or Fern Pool. Stay at Dales Campground and take a trail the next morning from the Fortescue Falls Carpark descending steeply along a staircase towards the Fortescue Falls, the parks only permanent waterfall that you can rely on all year around.
Sandboard In Lancelin
When the surf’s average or you’re looking to depart from your usual weekend activities, why not drive the 90 minutes up to Lancelin for a sandboarding session? Hire one from Perth Quad or bring your own and bob’s your uncle—just don’t forget to bring wax.
Go For A Camel Safari In Broome
No need to go all the way to the Egyptian desert when we have our very own camels right here in WA. Call these guys to book your cruise down the world-renowned Cable Beach at sunrise or sunset, either on your own or with a friend and learn about these beautiful creatures from Broome’s most respected and experienced camel whisperer Alison Bird. Broome is one of Australia’s most multicultural towns, so while you're there you best make the most of it by experiencing the booming food scene, go pearling at one of their many farms, sail across Roebuck Bay, and immerse yourself in one of their many Aboriginal experiences.
Fly Over The Bungle Bungles
The wonderfully unique Bungle Bungle Range of Purnululu National Park is best viewed overhead, with distinctive beehive-shaped sandstone formations poking out of the ground, the ranges look like a painting from above. You’ll find more info about how to book a flight over the breathtaking ranges here.
Watch The Sun Set And The Moon Rise At Yardie Creek Gorge
A short 500-meter walking trail up the Yardie Creek Gorge is the perfect vantage point to watch the sunset as the moon rises, colouring the entire creek with golden light for one of the best sunset’s you’ll ever see. This one’s best spent with a few good friends, an esky in hand and a pair of binoculars to spot the resident rock wallabies.
Surf Or Paddle Board In Esperance
The crystal blue waters and remote beaches in Esperance are a well-hidden gem and thanks to WA’s isolation, you won’t have to share the beach with too many other punters. Pitch an umbrella, bring a paddleboard, surfboard or just a pair of swimmers and hang out on the beach all day soaking up what’s sure to be one of the best beaches in the world.
Discover The Abrolhos Islands
A few hours off the coast of Geraldton, the 122 islands that make up the Abrolhos Islands are just waiting to be explored. A playground for fisherman, divers and snorkelers, we'd recommend jumping on one of Eco Abrolhos' three or five-day adventures. Even if you're not into fishing or diving, you'll get to eat your bodyweight in crayfish which is always a good idea.
Hot Air Ballooning Over The Avon Valley
If hot air ballooning isn't on your bucket list, then you need to add it right now, yes, right now. You will be in safe hands with the team at Windward Ballooning Adventures as you hot air balloon over the Avon Valley. Not only will you see an amazing sunrise, but you will have a panoramic view of the rural landscape with endless rolling hills, green fields and streams.
Immerse Yourself In An Aboriginal Experience In WA
WAITOC represents Aboriginal tourism in WA and promotes all Aboriginal cultural tours and experiences that are on offer. Some of the trips include touring the world’s largest collection of ancient Aboriginal rock carvings with Ngurrangga Tours, a Shark Bay Coastal tour where you will get to experience sacred and historic Aboriginal sites with a local Aboriginal tour guide, and so much more.
Swim With Wild Dolphins In Rockingham
If you want an unforgettable experience, you should go and swim with wild dolphins this season at Rockingham Wild Encounters. With over 200 local dolphins that live amongst Rockingham's sheltered waters, you know you won't be disappointed. Although these dolphins don't perform tricks, you will get to spend time with them in the water the right way.
Want more? Check out all the top things to do in Esperance!
Image credit: Brandon Cole