Perth might be one of the most isolated cities in the world but there’s no need to feel stranded in the state of WA. After all it’s the biggest state in Australia with a huge variety of attractions to discover – something for everyone.
If you spent previous summer holidays flying to Bali or the east coast, you might be dreading the idea of staying within the confines of the state this year but don’t worry. West Australians are being urged to ‘wander out yonder in WA’ and support the local tourism sector that took an economic hit when WA closed its borders earlier this year. No one has seen all of what WA has to offer, so there’s no excuse not to choose a region and get out there during your summer break!
If you haven’t already made plans for somewhere to stay, you will need to call ahead and check availability, as popular spots get booked out quickly. If you can’t find anywhere to stay nearby, you might need to choose a location that’s a little more out of the way.
The South West
First on the list is the south west, the state’s summer holiday playground. The weather is a little cooler than Perth, the beaches are stunning, and there’s no shortage of things to do and see.
The region is world famous for its magnificent wines and surfing conditions. Check out the wineries and their award winning wines during a cellar door tasting or take in the views over lunch. There are plenty of restaurants, wine bars and pubs showcasing the area’s premium produce. And if you want to have a go at preparing your own food, you can buy fresh produce at the Saturday morning markets.
If you’re looking to do some exercise to work off the Christmas kilos, there’s the Cape to Cape Track, national park and state forest trails, the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse in nearby Augusta, the caves, a spot of golf, a swim or surf.
For years, Busselton has been a favourite summer holiday destination for many Perth families. Busselton is made famous by its 150 year old jetty and train that takes you 1.7 kilometres out to sea. Check out the Underwater Observatory, take an undersea walk or try scuba diving at the end of the pylons. Take a jet boat thrill ride or a more sedate canoe tour.
Away from the stunning beaches, you can take a drive or walk through the only pure tuart forest in the world. If you have bikes, you can ride along the cycle path to the town of Dunsborough. There’s no shortage of history in Busselton with the historical museum, pioneer cemetery, old courthouse, St Mary’s Anglican church and Wonnerup House.
A little further south and you can enjoy the stunning beaches and river of Denmark. Greens Pool with its elephant rocks are a popular drawcard in summer. The Mount Shadforth Scenic Drive gives you a look at the beautiful native trees, hills, farms, granite rocks of the Porongurup National Park and the Stirling Range National Park.
Albany is only a 40 minute drive for a look at the historic town that now houses the National ANZAC Centre. Check out the rugged coast including The Gap and Natural Bridge.
East of Perth can be pretty warm this time of year with no beaches to cool down at, but there’s plenty to see and do out in eastern WA.
Check out the impressive Super Pit, Australia’s largest gold mine right on the town’s doorstep. There’s a lookout or you can do a tour for a closer look at the operations. Kalgoorlie is steeped in history so be sure to learn about it at the Goldfields War Museum, Museum of the Goldfields and Signpost Goldfields Racing Museum.
After a short drive, walk the historic main street of Coolgardie and read about what life was like during the goldrush in the early days of the state.
Offshore from Perth
One of the most popular destinations in the Perth tourism region is the world famous Rottnest Island!
If you haven’t yet taken a quokka selfie, now is the perfect time. With limited transport options available on the island, it’s the perfect holiday for enjoying some exercise. Take the bikes and cycle between the beaches and bays or walk and take the occasional bus ride to get around the island.
If you can’t holiday this Christmas, Rottnest is perfect to fill in a day with the kids. Take off early on the ferry with the bike and snorkel and you’ll have an amazing time exploring the island and having a swim.
The North West
If you’re willing to brave the heat, there’s plenty to do and see in the north. You’ll find it far less crowded at this time of year than the other school holiday periods. During July and October school breaks, the north was packed with holiday makers who are now going south, so make the most of it and head in the opposite direction.
For a quick getaway north, you can’t beat Lancelin or Cervantes. Just 2 hours from Perth, there’s skydiving, swimming and fishing. Take a tour of the Lobster Shack or just stop for a crayfish roll for lunch.
Kalbarri is a popular family holiday spot all times of the year. There’s fish to catch, pelicans to feed and the natural wonders of the national parks to see. The new twin skywalks have been popular so visitors can enjoy the full view of the Murchison Gorge. Enjoy a variety of walking trails through the national park and along the rugged coastline.
Denham and Monkey Mia
Every young family will love a trip to Monkey Mia to see the dolphins come into shallow water most mornings for a feed of fish. The white sandy beaches are beautiful for swimming and watching the sun set. Take a boat tour out on the pristine waters to spot dugongs, turtles and whales.
Shell Beach is worth the 50 minute drive south of Monkey Mia to see a beach that has 50 billion shells instead of sand. WA’s largest island, Dirk Hartog, is just west of Monkey Mia and is perfect for scuba diving and snorkelling.
Denham is the main town for the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. In town learn about the historic and natural significance of the area at the Discovery Centre. Visit Eagle Bluff for a bird’s eye view of the area and Steep Point, the most western point of Australia.
Drive or fly to reach the gorgeous turquoise waters of Exmouth. For the full view of the Ningaloo Reef, take a scenic flight. The Cape Range National Park is an hour’s drive out of town and offers stunning red gorges and canyons to explore. If you enjoy fishing, you can try your luck from the beach or head out on a game fishing charter boat.
It’s the turtle’s nesting season and a perfect time to visit the Jurabi Turtle Centre to find out how the Ningaloo Reef helps protect these magnificent animals.
It’s a favourite destination for many holidaying West Aussies. There’s something about the allure of the blue sea and white sand. The perfect destination for snorkelling and a guided glass bottom boat tour over the inner reef of Ningaloo. Snorkel or dive on the outer reef to experience the gentle manta rays and turtles.
If you’re missing plane travel, jump on a flight up to the iconic town of Broome. Take a beach ride on a camel, discover the town’s pearling history or just enjoy the sunset at Cable Beach. It will be warm so make sure your accommodation has a pool.
Remember the north west is very hot this time of year, particularly if you’re walking or hiking. Always take plenty of water, protect yourself from the sun and tell someone where you’re going and the time you expect to return.
Wherever you’re heading for your summer holiday, enjoy! Wander out yonder and experience as much of the great state as you can.