State of Western Australia

Western Australia is Australia’s largest state, covering the western most third of the mainland, bordering South Australia and the Northern Territory. A range of experiences, from wilderness adventures in the arid outback or diving on coral reefs, to fine dining in world-class restaurants or a night at a casino, attract a wide variety of visitors.

Guide to Western Australia

Top destinations

Capital City: Perth
Perth is known for its wonderful white, sandy and uncrowded beaches, a sunny climate, friendly and hospitable atmosphere, great parks and gardens, National Parks and excellent dining.
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  • Margaret River
    Originally a quiet surfie town, Margaret River has evolved into the ultimate smorgasbord of good food, fine wine and spectacular scenery.
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    • Coral Coast
      An area of contrasts where the desert literally meets the ocean, creating fascinating landscapes. Here you can swim with the world’s largest fish – the whale shark, snorkel from the beach to the stunning Ningaloo Reef, and meet the dolphins of Monkey Mia.
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      • The Kimberley Region
        A vast largely untouched region, the ancient Kimberley landscape is punctuated with astonishing gorges and waterfalls, spectacular cave systems, lush rainforest patches and abundant wildlife. It is like nowhere else on Earth.
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        • Karijini National Park
          One of Australia’s most spectacular national parks, Karijini is haunting in its rugged, red beauty. The park is famous for its sheer gorges, waterfalls and cool swimming holes.
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          • Albany
            Western Australia’s oldest town, Albany is renowned for its rugged coastal scenery. It is the perfect base for exploring WA’s Great Southern region.
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            • Esperance
              Known for its attractive beaches, offering surfing, scuba diving and swimming. Nearby Cape Le Grand National Park boasts a picturesque coast of largely granite terrain, and sheltered white sand beaches.
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              • Broome
                It is from this old pearling town that most travel into the Kimberley region begins. Not just a stepping off point to bigger and better things however, the town is a tourist destination in its own right, with some resort facilities.

Getting There

By Air:
All of Western Australia’s international and interstate air traffic passes through Perth International Airport. The airport has immigration and customs processing facilities. The main flight routes are:

Hobart – Perth: from 6 hours 44 minutes
Launceston – Perth: from 6 hours 15 minutes
Perth – Sydney: 4 hours 40 minutes
Perth – Darwin: 3 hours 25 minutes
Perth – Alice Springs: 2 hours 40 minutes
Perth – Adelaide: 3 hours 30 minutes
Perth – Melbourne: 4 hours 10 minutes

By rail
Western Australia is linked to the eastern states by rail via the Indian Pacific, which departs from Perth and stops at Kalgoorlie before proceeding on to Adelaide and then Sydney. Between April and August and During the month of December, the service operates once a week in both directions. Between September and the beginning of December, and January to March, two services a week operate in both directions. The Indian Pacific’s terminus is at East Perth.
Perth – Adelaide: 1 day 19 hours (via Indian Pacific) Perth – Sydney: 2 days 20 hours 10 minutes (via Indian Pacific)

By coach (road)
Numerous operators provide coach services between Perth and Darwin via Geraldton, Carnarvon, Exmouth, Dampier, Broome and Kununurra. TransWA provides coach services to a large number of localities with the southern section of Western Australia. Many of these services link with trains. 

At the time of publication, there were no regular scheduled coach service across the Nullarbor Plain between Perth and Adelaide. People wishing to travel by road may wish to consider one of the adventure oriented tours that include camping and sightseeing.

Self drive
Western Australia’s towns are linked to each other, and to towns and cities in other states by a network of well signposted, well maintained sealed highways and major roads which allow for easy travel between localities.

The major highways out of Western Australia are The Eyre Highway, which travels east from Norseman across the Nullarbor Plain to South Australia, and Great Northern Highway which links Perth to the Northern Territory via Meekatharra and the Kimberley region of Way. It joins the Stuart Highway at Katherine. All these highways are sealed (bitumen, surface, not gravel) as are connecting roads between them in developed areas. In outback regions beyond the sealed highways, most roads are unsealed and a 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended if travelling off the major roads is planned.

Getting Around

Self drive
In Western Australia, the speed limit on the open road is generally 110 kilometres per hour. A drivers licence from your home country or another Australian state will usually suffice for up to three months, as long as it has photo identification and its for the same class of vehicle you intend to drive. If you re staying more than three months, you ll need to get a Western Australian drivers licence. Be aware that some areas require you to surrender fruit and vegetable matter at a South Australian border on the Eyre Highway to prevent Fruit Fly infestation, that could decimate the fruit industry.

By Rail
TransWA operates a number of regional rail series: The AvonLink and MerredinLink provides a rail passenger service between Perth and town in the Eastern Wheatbelt. The Australind provides two train services each way each day, including Sundays, between Bunbury and Perth. The Prospector provides daily rail services between Perth and Kalgoorlie.
Perth – Kalgoorlie: 6 hours 35 minutes (via The Prospector)
Perth – Bunbury: 2 hours 30 minutes (via The Australind)

By Air
Air Travel: Regional
Perth – Broome: 2 hours 25 minutes
Perth – Kununurra: 3 hours 25 minutes
Perth – Kalgoorlie: 1 hour
Perth – Geraldton: 1 hour 20 minutes
Perth – Exmouth: 1 hour 55 minutes
Perth – Esperance: 1 hour 40 minutes

By coach (road)
Numerous operators provide coach services between Perth and Darwin via Geraldton, Carnarvon, Exmouth, Dampier, Broome and Kununurra. TransWA provides coach services to a large number of localities with the southern section of Western Australia. Many of these services link with trains. 

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