Cosmopolitan and defiant
Australia is not only Sydney, Melbourne or Queensland; not just koalas or kangaroos. Western Australia is the other side of the continent, it is quieter and wilder, it is the paradise of Nature lovers.
Taking a tour of the west side of the country means understanding that Australian Aborigines have lived in harmony with nature, have obtained food, shelter and medicine; They have also shared their wisdom to survive in the most difficult climates. It’s one of the oldest surviving cultures on Earth, with legendary stories and some of the oldest rock art in the world.
We will discover other species of marsupials that may seem insignificant such asquokkas -considered the happiest animal because of its smile on its face- or wombats that have been heroes in saving other species from the terrible fires in their burrows.
Learn about the legends of the Dreamtime, the traditional bush and cultural customs, join the celebrations of traditional music and dances. Meet a gigantic wave where you cannot surf and enjoy the natural beauties in a cosmopolitan environment.
Is the sunniest capital of Western Australia. Cosmopolitan and modern, always in development; Many call it the city of sunshine or the purest city, and it is precisely the metropolis that has most hours of sunshine per day. With white sand beaches and some of the best sunsets in Western Australia, it effortlessly blends urban coolness with natural beauty. It’s perfect for practicing sports such as windsurfing or kitesurfing, as it is an area where the wind blows quite frequently.
One of the largest urban parks in the world is Kings Park with 400 hectares. Even bigger than Central Park. By climbing 101 stairs, you can see a panoramic view of the entire city of Perth, the “Darling Range”, “Perth Water” and “Melville Water” on the Swan River. Surrounded by the best flora and fauna, it is home to more than 300 species of native plants and around 80 species of birds.
Swan River is a natural beauty to be able to recharge energy. This is a huge river through which you can navigate, the natives of the city use it to make cruises to nearby islands. The silhouette of the city contrasts with the tranquility of the river.
In Perth there are characteristic and essential neighborhoods to visit such as Northbridge, the cultural zone of the city where the most important museums zone The Western Australia Museum (WAM) was established to cultivate public interest in the state's environmental, geological and cultural history; The museum has more than four and a half million objects, from fossils and diamonds to marine specimens, aboriginal artifacts and household objects from the first European settlers such as: ancient dresses, war medals, uniforms and inventions; the Earth Science and Planetary Science Collection exhibits a 25 meter-long whale skeleton, giant-tooth fossils, and statues of prehistoric animals; Due to the traditional mining history of Western Australia, WAM features amazing rocks and minerals such as: pink diamonds and precious gems that have been taken from the earth, several meteorites have survived through Earth's atmosphere and have fallen to the ground of the sprawling state; In the aquatic and terrestrial zoology room you can see rare fish, hairy spiders, crabs and starfish that were found throughout the state. The Western Art Gallery of Australia houses an impressive collection of Australian Aboriginal art, and the Perth Insitute of Contemporary Arts is housed within the Perth Cultural Centre. Handicraft markets, the State Library and at night there are plenty of restaurants, clubs, bars and pubs with an ideal atmosphere to dance and listen to music.
Street Mall is a perfect street for shopping, as it is full of all kinds of shops, where you can also visit the Wolf Lane area where there are a variety of cafes, restaurants and boutiques; Oxford Street is extraordinary for finding antiques.
One of Perth's most iconic buildings, is the the Swan Bell Tower which is located in the central Barrac Square. It has 18 bells and its architecture is modern and distinctive. Commemorating Australia's bicentenary in 1988, the twelve bells of the St Martin in the Fields parish as well as five specially cast bells were presented to the University of Western Australia, the City of Perth and the people of Western Australia. The additional bells cast in 1988 include two from the cities of London and Westminster, which gave one bell to the project, and a total of three bells bestowed by a consortium of British and Australian mining companies. Completing the eighteen campaigns, the Western Australian government commisioned a sixth to commemorate the second millennium. It’s a musical instrument 82.5 meters high, the bells can be run for an hour. To observe a demonstration with the bells, to know the art and techniques of ringing, it is necessary to arrive one hour before noon on Wednesdays or Fridays. You can also live the experience of ringing the historic bell and obtain a certificate to prove it. Going up the glass elevator you will reach the highest platform to have a 360 degree view of Perth, the Swan River and the Darling Range.
Elizabeth Quay is a waterfront precinct on the banks of the Swan River. The excellent beachfront location makes it a space where you’ll find the island's children's playground, the BHP Billiton water park, public works of art, walks, open spaces and a great variety of bars and restaurants. There are 24 short term public boat moorings available. Scenic river cruises sail from Barrack Street Jetty to Swan Valley, Fremantle and Rottnest Island.
The Swan Valley wine industry is located 25 minutes from the city of Perth, it’s the oldest wine region in Western Australia. You can dine outdoors in a restaurant among the vineyards, or cycle the historic route Swan Valley Heritage Trail.
It’s a small colonial city 25 thousand inhabitants situated 19 km South West of Perth. “Freo” stands out for its history, linked to the 18th century convicts. The Fremantle Arts Centre, a former psychiatric hospital, traces the history of the city. The Western Australian Maritime Museum is located by the sea at Victoria Quay, dedicated to maritime discoveries; they are exhibited from shipwrecks and fishing boats to racing yachts, as well as stories about maritime commerce and naval missions. The Indian Ocean collection features reproductions of boats and tools, to understand the Aboriginal tribes that have sailed for thousands of years. Outside, you can visit the HMAS Ovens, an Oberon-class submarine of the Australian Royal Navy. It was one of the six Oberons built by the Scottish Scotts Ship building and Engineering Company, which entered service in 1969.
The old prison, built in 1850, used as a jail for English and Irish prisoners for almost 140 years. The historic building, currently preserved as a world heritage site, recognized internationally. Today, you can experience the living conditions of former prisoners; walk through the cell block and examine the small spaces where the inmates lived. At night you can explore the prison and listen to the stories as you watch the post where the inmates were whipped to get to the morgue. Observe the high barbed wire walls, the shooting range and turrets, while paying attention to anecdotes about the most ingenious escapes from the prison.
It’s a destination just 72 kilometers south of the state capital. The Perth-Mandurah railway line has consolidated the connection, is the second largest regional city in Western Australia, Mandurah has become an alternative way of life, which is why it has many gourmet restaurants and cafes overlooking waterfront, museums, theaters, galleries and seasonal events, including the annual Crab Fest in March.
Different types of birds can also be observed; the Mandurah waterway includes more than 130 different species of birds and one of Australia's healthiest populations of wild dolphins. If you prefer to do sports, we recommend canoeing, kayaking, cycling, fishing, sailing, snorkeling, surfing or swimming. A survey on housing affordability rated it as the most expensive city in the country.
Twice considered Western Australia's Top Tourism Town. Its jetty, built in 1865, is iconic considering that’s appears in the National Heritage List. In the bay you can travel by train on the longest wooden pier in the southern hemisphere and the second largest in the world, with an extension of 1.8-kilometers, which crosses the Indian Ocean. Below the waves, you can see the best artificial reef in Australia by entering the Underwater Observatory or preparing to do activities such as: fishing, water skiing, scuba diving, windsurfing, or sailing in the calm waters of Geographe Bay. The port is one of the first settlements in Western Australia.
Busselton's main street is renowned for having luxury boutiques, designer housewares, surf gear and antiques. Fig Tree Lane is a quaint little corner of books, fashion, jewelry... Take a coffee or glass of wine, while watching the world around by resting under the old Fig Tree, making the entrance from Kent Street.
To take a tour of the culture, the Heritage Butter Factory and the Busselton Museum have ten exhibition rooms with photographs, equipment and souvenirs that trace the family, social, civic, commercial and maritime history. In this site we can find the agriculture of the region, the whaling; crockery, clocks, cameras or sewing machines, there is also a historical route of travel and transportation. ArtGeo is a cultural complex of visual and performing arts, has an art gallery and a historic Courthouse, being one of the oldest buildings in Busselton that played an important role in the town’s settlement and growth as a port in 19th century.
The city is named after the river that runs through it, which itself comes from Margaret Wyche, cousin of John Garrett Bussell (founder of Busselton) in 1831. It It is known around the world for its top quality wines and food. This area of the West Coast is renowned for producing the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the country and produces more of 20% premium’s wine. The transformation of the wine industry in the late 80’s and early 90’s benefited the territory economically. The region's wines are exported worldwide and some varieties have achieved considerable fame. There are more than 120 world-class wineries to explore, including Vasse Felix or Leeuwin Estate, a winery that has earned international prestige for producing exceptional wines with varieties of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Among the many vineyard tours there are also tours that take you back to the scenes to meet winemakers, have a barrel room testing, and even blend your own bottle of wine, along with a gourmet lunch.
The Western Australia Gourmet Escape, held annually in late November, you can taste amazing wines, eat top quality local produce, and mingle with more than 50 world-famous chefs at the Leeuwin Estate vineyard.
Margaret River is also home to a range of craft breweries and distilleries. In addition, the region is known for its surfing beaches, mountain biking along the old forest trails, and kayaking upstream.
Several hundred caves are located near Margaret River, all within the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park and six of them are open to the public: Lake Cave has a suspended table, a limestone crystal decoration – weighing several tonnes – that hangs from the ceiling and hovers just above the surface of the cave’s permanent lake. It's believed to be the only formation of its kind in the world. Mammoth Cave was discovered by European settlers in 1850 and has more than 10.000 ancient Australian Megafauna fossils dating back 46.000 years, incluiding a 50.000-year-old zygomaturus jawbone embedded in the cave wall. Jewel Cave is the biggest cave in Western Australia and is home to the longest straw stalactites in any tourist cave in the world. Stories are heard that the extinct Tasmanian Tigers fell into the cave and perished. Ngilgi Cave is found 45 meters below the earth's surface. It has the Ancient Riverbed, and incredible stalactites and stalagmites, lava-like flow-stone, as well as, pillars and columns of bright cream-colores calcite glass. Giants Cave is an adventure cave, physical condition is required to descend 86 meters and climb a series of vertical ladders and rocky climbs, at the entrance torches and helmets are provided to visitors. Calgardup Cave is 27 meters deep and forks into two branches, each 150 meters long, which you access via a boardwalk with 30 steps and a further 26 stone steps on a steep pathway. Inside the cave you’ll see stalagmites, curtains, spires, spikes and other decorations by torchlight.
It is by karri trees, the most high ELIMINAR in Western Australia and one of the tallest hardwoods on the planet. Located between the Jarrah and Karri forests east of Margaret River. 80% of the region is dedicated to forests and national parks. The richness of the soils and the cool climate here are ideally suited to growing premium grapes and black truffles, similar to those in renowned truffle destinations in France and New Zealand. Australia's truffle season extends from June to September with an annual event, Tuber Melanosporum, which people together from all over the world to showcase the region's export-quality rare black winter truffles. This celebration shows the uniqueness of the black truffle and other culinary delights from the surrounding area and gives you the opportunity to join in a truffle hunt with trained sniffer dogs.
Many heritage buildings have been relocated and restored to create the historic village, which houses a steam museum and a blacksmith's forge, the Dingup Church, the Pioneer Cairn and the One Tree Bridge.
This city marks the place where the first European settlers set foot in Western Australia, much of its legacy remains with around 50 colonial buildings standing proudly as museums, galleries or restaurants. From whaling ships and taverns to typical cottages and large residences.
The National Museum of the Australian and New Zealand Armed Forces (National ANZAC Center) is home to the original heritage of the Princess Royal Fortress Military Museum, built in 1897. To navigate and interpret the exhibits, visitors acquire the identity of one of 32 men who served and follow their experience in the Great War: from recruiting, through training and boarding, life in the ships, the conflicts in Gallipoli, the Middle East and the Western Front, even the lucky ones who survived, their return home and the difficulties they faced in adapting to society again.
The fortress buildings have been restored and through the avant-garde interactive screens of the Anzac National Center visitors will be able to explore the weapons and the Convoy Walk memorial, which culminates in a viewpoint with panoramic views of King George Sound, where the first convoy of ANZAC departed for the battlegrounds of the First World War. Actually is a dive location, there are several interesting shipwrecks to explore including the former Australian navy warship HMAS Perth. The 133m long former guided missile destroyer was scuttled and now sits on the bottom of King George Sound, creating one of main artificial reefs in the state.
It is a natural rock formation located east of the small town of Hyden in Western Australia. The granite cliff is 15 meters high and 110 meters long, formed 60 million years ago. Its rounded shape has been caused by weathering and water erosion from the springs that run down the rock during wettest months, this dissolves minerals and adds color to the wave. In 1960, crystals from Hyden Rock were dated at being 2.7 billion years old, which are amongst the oldest in Australia.
The city itself was established in 1962 to accommodate workers in the local crab fishing industry and got its name from the American whaling ship 'Cervantes' that was wrecked here in 1844. You can still taste the flavors of the local fresh crab.
The most Spanish town in Australia, with a sculpture of Don Quixote and the street names are from Spanish provinces. Cervantes is famous for being the entrance to the Nambung National Park and for the Lobster Shack restaurant that has been dedicated more than 60 years to lobster farming. You can visit the fish farm and the lobster production process.
Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre in Nambung National Park is a top spot for emu and kangaroo spotting and offers an amazing wildflower show in spring.
South of Cervantes is Lake Thetis, famous for stromatolites. This lake has salinity levels twice as high as the ocean, creating perfect conditions for the formation of the oldest living fossil in the world.
Located on the Batavia coast, all year round, Geraldton's constant wind and waves make it the perfect place to enjoy water sports and it’s at the height of the top destinations for surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, diving, snorkeling, sailing and fishing in Australia. From July to October it is one of the best spring wildflower displays, with some intriguing indigenous, maritime and Spanish missionary history to discover along the way.
Tragic stories revealed by shipwreck relics are displayed at the Western Australia Museum - Geraldton. Have a moment of silence in the magnificent HMAS Sydney II memorial to remember the 645 crew members lost in 1941, or go back in time to the Spanish missionary era with the impressive architectural work of Monsignor John Hawes in St Francis Xavier's Cathedral.
A hundred miles away, we will find the Pink Hutt Lagoon. This unusual color is due to Dunaliella salina microalgae or red halophilic bacteria, it hasn’t known adverse effects on humans. At 14 kilometers long and only 2.3 kilometers wide, it’s separated from the Indian Ocean by just a barrier of sand mounds; the lagoon is not connected to the sea and access is through Port Gregory. Athletes from all over the world arríve to the place to practice kitesurfing, due to the strong wind currents that exist in the area.
Text: Mónica Sánchez Miguel ± Photo: shutterstock