Ask the average person who has visited Australia which parts they have seen and inevitably Sydney will be one of the first places, if not the only place, they mention. But Australia is so much more than just Sydney. In fact, iconic Opera House aside, Sydney is just another big city, albeit with an Australian flair. But the majority of Australia is wide open spaces and lush green rain forests and beautiful tropical birds and unique wild animals and some of the very best beaches you’ve ever seen.
Western Australia is an overlooked gem
Anyone who visits only Sydney and environs on a trip to Australia is missing out on so much of what makes Australia one of the best destinations in the world. And of all the other places to visit in Australia, Western Australia is an often-overlooked gem due to its distance from the rest of the country.
Perth, the capital of Western Australia, is over two thousand miles from Sydney and the flight time is over 4 hours. Also, flights to Perth are generally much more expensive than other destinations around Australia. Tourists who are looking to stretch their money as far as possible will usually opt for a cheaper flight to Melbourne or Brisbane before booking a flight to Perth. Perth is usually relegated to a very last resort after all other destinations have been explored and that is a shame because Perth and the surrounding areas offer such fabulous places to explore. A west coast road trip in Australia should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Should you head north?
After deciding to visit Western Australia, the question then is whether to head north along the coast after arriving in Perth, or south. Both options offer fabulous destinations. If you head north from Perth you have miles and miles of unspoiled and pristine beaches as well as several great national parks.
You can visit places such as Ledge Point, Lancelin, Cervantes, Green Head, Geraldton, Kalbarri National Park, Denham, Monkey Mia, Shell Beach, Francois Peron National Park, Coral Bay and the incredible Ningaloo Reef that people in the know claim is better than the Great Barrier Reef (shhh, don’t let out that secret!) If you have the time you can continue on and head up to Exmouth and all the way to Broome. In my experience, every single stop is worth it when you are in Western Australia. The place is unrivaled when it comes to natural beauty.
Or should you head south?
If you head south from Perth you also have some fabulous options. No trip to Perth would be complete without a stop in Fremantle, which is right next door to Perth. And also, no Perth trip would be complete without a trip over to Rottnest Island. From Fremantle or Rottnest you can stop in Cape Peron, Mandurah, Bunbury, Busselton and Margaret River. After those stops, continue on to Denmark and then Albany which is a cute city with a lot of history. From there you can stop in Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, Little Beach, Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks.
Finally, continue on to Esperance and Cape Le Grand National Park. Esperance and Cape Le Grand are not to be missed on a trip to Western Australia. Both of those places flaunt Australia’s beauty in a way that must be seen to be believed.
I consider myself the luckiest girl in the world to have had the chance to spend 6 months of my life living in Western Australia. I would move back there in a heartbeat should the opportunity arise. If this place is not on your bucket list it should be!