Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef may get all the press, but the opera house and Nemo aren’t the only things that will surprise in Australia, and that’s why a look at the other half is exactly what every Oz lover needs.
Western Australia is full of exciting adventures, upscale entertainment, and lush places to rest your weary feet so grab your backpack, your appetite for great food and new things, and be on your way!
The draw you feel pulling you to Exmouth is started by tiny air bubbles—escaped from the oxygen tanks of the many scuba divers who can’t get enough of the Ningaloo Reef and the other adventures (can you say whale sharks) in the Ningaloo Marine Park. While hiking along the Cape Range National Park sports incredible views and is definitely awesome, it’s undeniable that under the sea is where everything is happening.
Treat yourself to a snorkel with over 500 fish species, a boat tour to see humpback whales in their natural habitat, and a stay at Ningaloo Bed & Breakfast ; it’s modest, yet quaint accommodation is sure to charm its way into your heart.
Perth is undoubtedly for the city lover. Bustling art galleries, cutsy hipster eateries, and gorgeous beaches with a full events calendar to boot, there is so much more than just one thing to keep you coming here to Western Australia's coastal metropolis, and that’s why the urbanite traveller will love this locale.
I suggest staying at the divine COMO The Teasury, it’s a world class hotel built inside a renovated government building and you’ll fall in love with the historical architecture and modern luxuries, but if you’re look for something a little different, try your hand at any of these. Take a walk through Fremantle Markets for cool, locally made chotskies, sun it up on Cottesloe Beach and stay to catch an Indian Ocean Sunset, and make sure you wander through Kings Park for a gorgeous pano skyline of the city centre.
Winos, it’s time to unite. Unite, and get on a plane bound for Margaret River. While you can leave the wandering and exploring to the more outdoorsy types, in Margaret River you can really treat yourself to the high life with wine and dine tours that satisfy the call of refinement and need for elegance in yourself. For a full day of gourmet tastings, and a stop at Voyager Estate Restaurant try the Maragaret River Wine Tours.
For a full-on wine and dine, try the Bushtucker Tours, they include canoe and cave tours, as well as river and brewery tours, in Margaret River as well as Ferguson Valley.
Fish and chips here have no comparison; it’s why the lovers of this dish must come here to catch a crunchy, crisp bite of one of the Aussie’s favorite meals. Take a taste tour along the coastline of the city for a chance to taste the culinary prowess of all the chefs in the area. Try AJ's Fish & Chips for a taste of a classic in-and-out chip shop, and head to Aristo's Waterfront for good food and excellent beachfront view. If you want the same perfect dish with a little out of the box twist, try the shark and chips entree at Wollastan Fish and Chips —if you can’t tap into your adventurous spirit in Australia, where can you right?
Stay at the Lighthouse Beach Resort for modern style and a convenient location near great coffee (it’s situated just steps from the Cappucino strip) and make sure you head to the Bunbury Music Festival if you’re in the area while it’s going on; with one-day and three-day ticket options, you can go as little, or as often as you like, to hear the great alternative, indie, and just-under-the-radar talent edging to break into the mainstream.
For true history buffs, no stop is better than Kalgoorlie Boulder. With a history rich in mining, one of the best things to do in the region is take part in the Goldnen Quest Discovery Trail, and map yourself all over the Goldfields of WA with a dive into the history and and scenery of the area.
I also suggest heading for a couple of other historical sights, like the Questa Casa Bordello, but it’s best for historians with an open mind and might should include an age requirement. For things the whole family can also do, head for the Green Trails and the Boulder Town Hll for a walk into wildlife and a taste of local architecture. Just make sure you head to Hammond Park if you’re a fan of castles; the miniature Bavarian castle remake here is a fun place to visit!
Karijini National Park
Karijini is a bonafide temple for photographers, nature lovers, and anyone seeking the rugged beauty of an untouched scene. The Gorges here are spectacular, as are the bottomless rock pools, sparkling waterfalls, and nature trails, so no trip here is complete without extensive hiking; take only you’re bravest adventurers!
Also a hotbed for conservation, you can do your bit by staying in the Karijini Eco Retreat and cutting down on your driving back and forth between adventures. But just because they call it ecommodation doesn’t mean it’s sparse; the glamourous, luxury tents on the property will have you wanting to spend every night out under the stars, especially because you don’t have to leave your bed to do it!
This destination is definitely for the person in your family that digs Shark Week like no other, if you couldn’t tell by that name alone. Not only is it Tiger Shark Haven, it’s also a World Heritage site because it’s been inhabited by Australian Aboriginals for over 22,000 years. For a short stay, head to Ocean Park Aquarium for a shark feeding, or to Monkey Mia to play with the world famous dolphins, and don’t forget to venture into Francois Peron National Park for incredible dune views and a chance to trek through the scenery. If it’s an extended stay, I highly suggest a scenic flight to really get a look at everything!
I say kip at On the Deck @Shark Bay; this B&B has only been open since May 2015 but the hosts know how to treat their guests and you’ll just love the layout and breakfast.
Head to the Land Down Under (and a little bit to the West) to check out sceneries, locales, animals, and more than nowhere else in the world can offer, and then report back here with your own suggestions!