W is for Western Australia. It occupies the entire western third of and is the largest state in Australia, and the second largest national region in the world. It measures 1500 kilometres from west to east and 2400 kilometres from north to south and has a coastline of 20 781 kilometres. A large part of the state is arid desert and the population is concentrated in the south west. Below is a map of Australia to try and give some perspective on the size of the country (France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Ecuador would roughly fit into Western Australia).
Some of the different regions in Western Australia
We have visited quite a few places mostly along the coast of WA. This post is taking you on a (shortened) virtual road trip through the parts of WA we’ve been to. Some of the photos will be familiar as I’ve used them before. Starting in Perth we’re heading south west to the winery region around Margaret River. The area is also famous for its forests, surfing beaches and caves.
Forest in south west Australia
Ngilgi Cave near Yallingup, south west Australia
Yallingup, near Margaret River in south west Australia
From there we head further south east to Denmark, Albany and Bremer Bay. Along the way we’re making a short detour via the Porongorup mountains and the Stirling Ranges.
View of Ocean Beach and the Wilson Inlet at Denmark
Green’s Pool, Denmark
Old lighthouse keeper’s house in Albany
Bluff Knoll, Stirling Ranges which we’ve hiked a few times (start of the path can be seen to the left at the bottom of the photo)
Beneath My Feet: A Skywalk, Granite Outcrop and West Australian Farmland
Bluff Knoll the following day
From Bremer Bay we head further east along the coast to Esperance – which is 800 kilometres from Perth via the most direct route – and past Esperance to Cape le Grande National Park, and also hopping over to Woody Island for a day trip. Woody Island is one of 105 islands that make up the Recherche Archipelago south of Esperance.
Twilight beach in Esperance, WA
Hellfire Bay, Cape le Grande National Park where the sand is so fine and clean that it squeeks when you walk on it
Woody Island with view towards the mainland and Frenchman’s Peak
From Esperance we’ll head back towards Perth driving through some vastly beautiful wheat belt (farming) country past Wave Rock, stopping at a working farm to see a Kelpie (an Australian sheep dog) at work and detouring via Kalgoorlie – a gold mining town which is home to the Superpit – Australia’s largest open cut gold mine.
Wheat belt at sunset
Kelpie in action mustering sheep
Wave Rock, 14 metre high and about 110 metre long granite rock southeast of Perth, Western Australia
A section of the Superpit at Kalgoorlie (note the trucks driving along which are actually massive)
Back in Perth we’ll go to Rottnest Island (about 40 minutes away by ferry) for a day trip.
Rottnest Island taken from the west. The mainland can be seen in the background.
Thomsons Bay and the eastern tip of the island.
View over Longreach Bay towards Perth
The Basin, Rottnest Island
Salmon Bay, Rottnest Island
Then we’ll head north to the Coral coast, Ningaloo Reef and Coral Bay (about 1200 kilometres), stopping at the lookout to Shark Bay and Monkey Mia on the way. In Coral Bay we can snorkel and go on different glass bottom boat tours to see turtles and manta rays.
Shark Bay and Monkey Mia lookout, south of Carnarvon
View of Coral Bay, northwest Australia, with its turquoise waters
View towards the south of Coral Bay (and Paradise Beach).
Green sea turtle popping up for a look and then to take a breath. Taken on the glass bottom bout tour.
Cauliflower, staghorn, lavender and other coral taken on the glass bottom boat tour. The quality isn’t great due to the reflection of the glass.
From Coral Bay we’ll head another 1200 kilometres away north east up to Broome in the Kimberley region, known for its beautiful contrasting colours and red (pindan) sand. In Broome we’ll swim at Cable Beach, do a sunset camel ride and take a helicopter trip up to Willie Creek Pearl Farm.
The road north of Broome (not a great photo as it was taken out of a moving bus) showing the red discolouring of the road where vehicles have travelled after driving on the red sand
Broome, Western Australia
Camel rides on Cable Beach in Broome, WA
Going on a helicopter ride north of Broome
Helicopter ride north of Broome
North of Broome and the rest of the Kimberley is one area (of WA) our family hasn’t explored yet and are planning to do as soon as we’re able to. From Broome our virtual road trip will head back to Perth which will be a two day trip of driving 12 hours each day. Towards the end of the first day we’ll pass Karijini National Park and the Hamersley Ranges, another spot to visit on a different trip. There are beautiful gorges and rock pools there.
Edge of the Hamersley Ranges, Karijini National Park, north west Australia
Back in Perth we’ll stop to visit a local beach, see the sights and sounds and go to the city.
View of Perth, the Swan river and Perth hills from Kings Park
Panorama of Perth and Elizabeth Quay
Swan River and South Perth taken from Kings Park
Waterman’s Beach north of Perth