10 Things to Do in Western Australia for Your First Trip to the Region

10 Things to Do in Western Australia for Your First Trip to the Region

From stargazing in the middle of the desert to swimming with giant whale sharks, there's just so much to do!

Image Credit: Matt Brand

Spanning 2.6 MILLION square kilometres, the broad and beautiful state of Western Australia is full of undiscovered gems that are worth checking out! With so much to do, you’ll definitely be spoilt for choice, especially if it’s your first time visiting the region. But not to worry! Here are our top 10 picks for must-do activities in the five regions across Western Australia. The regions include Perth & its surrounding areas, Southwest region, Coral Coast region, Northwest region as well as the Golden Outback.

Ready for an amazing adventure?

Perth & its surrounds

1. Snap selfies with the quokkas on Rottnest Island

19 kilometres off the coast of Perth is this idyllic island paradise packed with family-friendly activities and delightful wildlife! Besides stunning sea views and beaches, prepare to be enthralled by a multitude of water activities: snorkelling over coral reefs and shipwrecks, fishing, surfing, and basically all other water sports under the sun.

Quokkas at Rottnest Island, Perth, Western Australia

Image credit: Jin Xiang (left), Barney Moss (right)

There are no cars on Rottnest Island, so the best way to get around is via bicycle. As you peddle around the island, look out for migratory birds and of course the adorable smiling quokkas!

Address: Rottnest Island, Western Australia 6161
How to get there: Via ferry from Fremantle (25min), Hillarys Boat Harbour (45min), Barrack Street Jetty (90min)

Southwest Region

2. Embark on a gourmet trail in the Margaret River region

Margaret River, western Australia

Image Credit: Dan Dickinson

Wine and gourmet food connoisseurs won’t want to miss this! Not only does Margaret River boast a mesmerising rugged coastline, it’s also home to vast vineyards that stretch as far as the eye can see. Drop by one of the area’s many award-winning craft breweries and wineries for a wine-tasting session and a delicious gourmet lunch made with fresh local produce. The Margaret River township with its charming alleys and lively farmers’ market is well worth checking out too!

Address: Margaret River, Western Australia 6285
How to get there: Take the Kwinana Freeway out of Perth, follow signs to Busselton via the Bussell Highway

3. Feed Eagle Rays at Hamelin Bay

Hamelin Pool, Western Australia

Image Credit: Donald Hobern

Get up close and personal with Eagle Rays at Hamelin Bay, one of the Southwest Region’s finest beaches. It’s also a popular fishing spot! The rays here, which can have a ‘wingspan’ of up to 1 metre, are typically gentle and friendly – even though they’re all completely wild! They’re seen circling the boat ramps and jetty at intervals throughout the day, hoping to be fed some food scraps.

Eagle rays at Hamelin Bay

Image credit: Ken and Nyetta

Address: Hamelin Bay, Western Australia 6288
How to get there: From Margaret River, drive south to the end of Caves Road; alternatively, from Augusta, head north and turn left at the junction of Bussell Highway and Caves Road

Coral Coast Region

4. Explore the Pinnacles Desert

Pinnacles Desert, Galactic Core, Western Australia

Image credit: dylan_odonnell

These bizarre rock configurations arose from the calcification of ancient forests in what is now Nambung National Park near the town of Cervantes, 200-kilometres north of Perth. At dawn or sunset, the Pinnacles Desert turns into a landscape like no other as thousands of limestone formations cast shadows against the spectacular backdrop of sand dunes. Once night falls, this spot turns into a prime stargazing spot, offering an utterly unique photo opportunity.

Apart from admiring these incredible natural structures, keep an eye out for kangaroos, cockatoos and emus that wander the park too. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water and sunscreen!

Address: Pinnacles Drive, Cervantes WA 6511
How to get there: Via Cervantes Road from Indian Ocean Drive

5. Frolic with dolphins at Monkey Mia, Shark Bay

Swimming with dolphins at Shark Bay

Image credit: Shark Bay Tourism

The Shark Bay World Heritage Area was the first site in Western Australia to be awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1991. There’s no shortage of wild and wonderful activities for all ages!

Animal lovers will want to visit the Monkey Mia Dolphin Reserve to see and feed wild bottlenose dolphins (under the careful supervision of expert park rangers) or spot dugongs, turtles, manta rays and even humpback whales from coastal vantage points like Eagle Bluff!

Shark's Bay Shell Beach, Western Australia

Image credit: Shell Beach | Peter boer

Alternatively, chill on spectacular beaches like Shell Beach, which has sparkling turquoise waters that are home to a variety of marine creatures. You might want to leave your mark at The Thong Shack too; it’s a beach with a tall wooden structure adorned with plenty of flip-flops (which Australians affectionately call ‘thongs’)!

Address: 1 Monkey Mia Road, Monkey Mia WA 6537
How to get there: Take a skipper plane from Perth to Monkey Mia airport, OR drive there via the North West Coastal Highway

6. Snorkel at Ningaloo Reef

A Green Sea Turtle comes up for air on the beautiful, World Heritage Listed, Ningaloo Reef off Western Australia

Image credit: Nicole McLachlan

Another of Western Australia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Ningaloo Reef has astoundingly clear waters that are home to a vast array of marine creatures. Swim alongside Manta rays, turtles, colourful fish and even gentle giant whale sharks on a Ningaloo Reef Dive! It’s every bit as breathtaking as its more famous counterpart, the Great Barrier Reef.

Swimming with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

Image credit: Ningaloo Discovery

Check out the surrounding Ningaloo Coast too! Quobba Station is a great place for glamping, while at Coral Bay you can wade in water just a couple of metres from dazzling corals.

Address: Coral Bay, Western Australia 6701
How to get there: Drive north from Perth to Exmouth or fly up to Learmonth and drive down to Coral Bay

Northwest Region

7. Experience native life at Kooljaman

Image Credit: Sharon McKellar

Kooljaman at Cape Leveque, at the tip of the picturesque Cape Leveque Road, is a wilderness camp run by the indigenous Bardi Jawi Communities. We highly recommend staying here for a couple of days to experience life on the native lands!

Learn more about the fascinating local history and customs, go mud crabbing, take a scenic flight over the Buccaneer Archipelago or just laze on the beach and soak in the tranquillity of the surroundings. In addition, you’ll be able to dig into specially prepared food made using unique local ingredients that you won’t find anywhere else!

Address: PMB 8, Cape Leveque, Broome WA 6725, Australia
How to get there: Fly from Perth to Broome and drive north to Cape Leveque

8. Take a seaplane over the Horizontal Falls

Horizontal Falls, Western Australia

Image credit: Robyn Jay

Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like! Tidal variations between two gorges create the impression that the waterfall is flowing horizontally. David Attenborough once described the “Horries”, as the phenomenon is known, as “one of the greatest wonders of the natural world”. Need we say more?

Located in the pristine and remote Kimberley region, this tidal illusion is only observable by air or sea. Consider taking a seaplane or a scenic helicopter ride for an experience like no other!

Address: Poulton Creek, Western Australia
How to get there: Via seaplane or helicopter from Broome or Derby

Golden Outback

9. Marvel at Wave Rock’s intricate patterning

Image Credit: Alan Lam

This granite cliff is 15 metres tall and 110 metres long, intriguingly patterned with stripes from years of weathering and erosion. It’s impressive on its own, but you’d be wise to visit Wave Rock during the wildflower season from July to November, when the magnificent prehistoric rock sits in the midst of a riot of colourful blooms including orchids, Verticordias, Blue-eyed Smoke Bush, Tinsel Flower and Flame Grevillea!

Address: Wave Rock, Hyden, Western Australia 6359
How to get there: Drive south-east on the Brookton Highway, turn left past Kondinin and follow the road signs

10. Hang out with thousands of garden gnomes at Gnomesville

Image Credit: Gnomesville

Legend has it that the garden gnomes started appearing in what is now known as Gnomesville as a form of silent protest over the proposed annexation of land for a new T-junction. Today, a collection of 7000 gnomes in various poses and settings resides in Gnomesville, lovingly tended by locals.

This adorable village is a must-see for lovers of all things quaint and quirky, especially if you have your own fond memories of garden gnomes populating your childhood home! Check out the suburb of ‘RedHatsville’, or the ‘Busty Gnomettes’.

Address: LOT 4059 Wellington Mill Rd, Wellington Mill WA 6236
How to get there: Drive along the South Western Highway from Bunbury. Turn right onto Boyanup-Picton Road and then left on Wellington Mill Road.

Whether you’re a history buff, animal lover, beach bum, avid photographer or otherwise, Western Australia has something for you! Your first visit is sure to be so exciting, you’ll want to come back again and again. However, don’t just take our word for it and book your tickets now to experience it for yourself!

Brought to you by Tourism Western Australia and Singapore Airlines.

About Author

Rachel Lee
Rachel Lee

Rachel loves to write, travel, and of course, write about travel. She believes that you can find beauty and wonder in the little things, in any little corner of the world. If you can't find her at a desk with her head stuck in a book or up in the clouds, she is probably dancing or even more probably checking the fridge.