I think we can all agree that Western Australia is overall a pretty beautiful state. But too many people just stick to Perth, Rottnest Island, and the Margaret River wineries. If you venture further north, you'll find some amazing experiences that you just can't get anywhere else.
1. Marvel at Purnululu National Park.
Also known as The Bungle Bungles, Purnululu is like Australia’s Grand Canyon. Whether you admire it from a helicopter, or just walk around on the ground, it’s one of those breathtaking places you have to see to believe.
2. Ride a camel at sunset.
Surely you’ve seen iconic photos like this one before, with camel silhouettes meandering down Cable Beach at sunset. It’s the perfect way to top off a long day and to get a camel selfie for your collection.
3. Watch a film in an historic setting.
I bet you had no idea that the world’s oldest outdoor cinema is in Broome. Well, Sun Pictures has been open since 1916 and has survived cyclones, bombings, and floods. It’s pretty nice, sitting in the warm evening breeze and imagining all the people who have been there before you.
4. Say hi to some wild dolphins at Monkey Mia resort.
This area might be called Monkey Mia but it’s the local bottlenose dolphins who will have you itching to visit. The wild animals come right up to the shore and hang out with you in the shallow, crystal clear water.
5. Or see these unique snubfin dolphins.
These little guys are only found in the northern parts of WA and look like some kind of hippo/dolphin hybrid. They’re actually kinda adorable and you can go spot some off the coast of Broome.
6. Cool off in deserted rock pools.
It gets pretty damn hot in the north, especially when you’re inland and away from a cooling sea breeze. The cool, freshwater pools, like this one near Kununurra, are like blessings from above on a stinkin’ hot day.
7. And catch the spray of a cascading waterfall.
What’s even better than swimming in a cool rockpool? Swimming in one that’s at the base of a waterfall. Karijini National Park has some pretty spectacular waterfalls just waiting to be explored, as does Mitchell River National Park.
8. Or see for yourself a rare horizontal waterfall.
Seeing these by seaplane can definitely be on the pricier end of the spectrum, but it’s an undeniably cool and unique thing to do. Two gorges in the Bucaneer Archipelago (near Broome) run parallel to each other up to the coast, and the tides cause a gushing, waterfall-like effect.
9. Discover remote beaches that you'll have all to yourself.
The WA coastline is dotted with seriously amazing, white sand beaches with water so clear you won’t believe it. Whether you stop at one to cool off on a road trip, or camp somewhere like Kooljaman, you’d be a fool not to take advantage of the stunning coast.
10. Snorkel the drift at Ningaloo.
Ningaloo Reef is known for giving tourists the opportunity to dive with whale sharks. But the waters around Ningaloo are filled with turtles, coral fish, dolphins, and (harmless) reef sharks. You can “snorkel the drift”, which entails swimming out to a mild current which will carry you for a while over the coral gardens and deposit you back on the beach up north.
11. See paintings that are 60,000 years old.
The Gyorn Gyorn tribe created a series of ancient rock paintings, spread out over the Kimberley region. There are around 100,000 art sites in total so you have no excuse.
12. Stargaze like you've never stargazed before.
The remote areas of WA, with the lowest amount of light pollution, are worth visiting just for the amazing star-viewing opportunities. Whether you camp out under them, or just take a short trip out of town to look skyward, you won’t regret it.
13. Explore Knox Gorge.
While there are hundreds of gorges spread out over the state, Knox Gorge might be one of the best. If you’re there in the morning or afternoon, you’ll be rewarded with amazing panoramas when the light slants through the rock formations.
14. Camp in The Kimberley.
While it might not be a good idea to venture out on your own, there are a couple of tours that’ll take you through the Kimberley on a 4WD and camping trip. There’s nothing quite like unplugging from real life and just enjoying the ruggedness of the Aussie outback.
15. See a naturally-occuring pink lake.
WA is home to a couple of pink lakes, tinted by bacteria caught in the water’s salt granules. This one in Kalbarri is slightly closer to Perth than the northern end of the state, but it’s definitely worth checking out. Whether you see it by land or air, you’re going to get some amazing views.
16. Be brave enough to try chilli beer.
If you’re a beer fan, you can’t go past Matso’s in Broome. The craft brewery has some pretty awesome house beers, but also mixes things up with mango beer, lychee beer, and their famous ginger beer. If you’re brave enough, try their chilli beer, which they claim is the hottest in the world.
17. Lose yourself in nature (not literally) at El Questro.
El Questro is a HUGE homestead, spread out over 700,000 acres in the Kimberley. With gorges, mountains, mud and salt flats, thermal springs, and rock pools, you’ll truly never want to leave. You can take advantage of their luxurious accommodations or you can rough it in a tent, the choice is yours.