Travel to Western Australia

Travel to Western Australia

The great outdoors has never looked greater than in Western Australia. Outback, ocean and desert all come together here, from the largest fringing reef on Earth to towering forests, dazzlingly beautiful beaches, world-class surf breaks and a fantastic foodie and craft beer scene. The locals are also pretty special: expect spine-tingling encounters with whales, gentle whale sharks, kangaroos, smiley quokkas, dolphins and more. Wild interactions are the stuff of daily life here.

Start your Australian adventure in Perth. Aside from the obvious reasons (lush beaches, road trip goals, #quokkas), Perth is Australia’s sunniest city and the fastest growing one too. That means it is full of new rooftop bars and beachside cafes to soak up the rays as well opportunities to work. Perth is just a hop from SE Asia – 5 hours from Singapore or less than 4 from Bali. From here the West Coast is your oyster: explore pristine beaches, untouched forests and one of the last great wildernesses in the world. Come and see a side of Australia that’s still being discovered. Want to combine it with the East Coast? No worries, check out our great Virgin Australia deals to make your Coast to Coast dreams a reality.

What to do in Western Australia

Wildlife and nature in Western Australia

World-class wildlife encounters are the stuff of daily life in Western Australia. Ningaloo Reef, the largest fringing on earth, offers unbeatable marine encounters, where you can snorkel amongst 500 species of fish and 300 varieties of coral, or make a splash alongside gigantic whale sharks (from March to July). Other unforgettable locals include manta rays, turtles, and dugongs. Monkey Mia on the coast is a popular dolphin reserve where you can observe them being fed, and Rottnest Island is famous as the home of the insanely cute quokka. Oh, and don’t worry, there are kangaroos pretty much everywhere.

Coastal attractions in Western Australia

Western Australia is an unspoiled, uncrowded place full of extraordinary experiences. Highlights are dotted up and down the whole coastline. Snorkel from the shore to see majestic manta rays, ponderous turtles and tropical fish at Ningaloo Reef. Discover the glorious South West, including the Margaret River Region famous for its foodie scene, pristine coastline and world famous surf breaks. Go off the beaten track and explore the Golden Outback, whose lures include Australia’s whitest beach (and sunbathing kangaroos). Wherever you go, expect a welcome as warm as the weather. Just buckle up and enjoy the ride...

Western Australia working holidays

Australia is a perfect country for UK youth and student travellers to embark on a working holiday, and Western Australia has plenty of paid opportunities in this regard. There are plenty of jobs to be picked up in the towns and cities, like Perth, whether skilled or unskilled, and there are also some really exciting opportunities in the Outback regions, from harvesting grapes at an award winning vineyard or farming pearls in Broome to swimming with whale sharks in Ningaloo Reef or learning to be a Mixologist in Perth

Road trips and off the beaten track

Western Australia’s stunning, rugged beauty was made to be explored by car, whether you’ve got a few days, a few weeks or more (you lucky thing) to play with. Road trips here unlock thrilling experiences and a dizzying diversity of cinematic scenery. Picture belief-defying candy-pink lakes, pristine coastlines, premium wine regions, the lunar landscapes of the Pinnacles and the awe-inspiring Kimberley: the ruby-red heart of one of the last great wildernesses on Earth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Perth boasts its own international airport, so anybody flying into the region will likely arrive there. The airport is only a 15-minute drive from the city centre, putting you right at the heart of the action. If you’re driving from elsewhere in Australia, prepare for a marathon journey – the Great Eastern Highway cuts right through the middle of the state, the Great Northern Highway trails down from the Northern Territory, and the Eyre highway enters along the south coast. All of them are really long. Bring snacks.

The different climates across Western Australia mean it doesn’t make too much difference when in the year you visit. The centre is dry year-round, and the south also experiences low rainfall. The exception is the north of the region, which goes through a dry and a wet season – hot and dry from April to November, humid and frequently stormy the rest of the time. December to February is the region’s hottest period, temperatures often pushing toward 50 degrees Celsius.

Western Australia doesn't have any of the country's more famous sights, but a region this big isn't short on things to do. Ningaloo Reef, a World Heritage Site home to incredible sea life like whale sharks, manta rays, and a range of turtles is unmissable, while Karijini National Park to the north-west is characterised by dramatic red rock formations and picturesque waterfalls. Wave Rock, an uncannily curve formation shaped like a breaking wave, looks great in photos, and the beach resort town of Broome on the northern coast is the ideal place to unwind.

Everything?! A really long time. Did we mention that Western Australia is huge? It depends largely on how much time you have for your whole Australia trip. If you want to tick off the major sights at a leisurely pace, driving and making frequent stops, it’s doable in three-four weeks. If you have a little more time and really want to explore - and we recommend you do - there’s enough here to last for months.

If you’re not an Aussie or from neighbouring New Zealand, you need a visa. There are a few available depending on what you're planning on doing during your visit. If you’re visiting as a tourist, you need to apply online for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). This costs around £15. If you’re planning to stick around for a while and work, you must apply for an Australian Working Holiday Visa. These must be arranged well before you’re due to travel, as they can't be acquired once you're there.

Realistically, you’re going to be hitting the open road. Although it is possible to catch domestic flights within Western Australia, the vast majority of sites are nowhere near an airport. There are some buses available, but driving is definitely the best way to get around Western Australia. You can hire a car and travel independently, or go as part of an organised tour. The size and remoteness of Australia means solo travellers should do their best to buddy up.

It really depends where in Western Australia you’re planning to go. The southwest coastal area has a Mediterranean climate, the middle is arid, while the north has a hot, monsoonal climate. We recommend packing for hot weather, and picking up anything else you need once you’re there. Don’t bother packing sun cream – it’s much cheaper to buy it once you're there.