The vast west is filled to the brim with natural wonders and some of the most exciting adventures and experiences you can have in Australia.
From the city centre of Perth, to the vineyards of the Margaret River, the coastal terrain of the Cape to Cape track, and the breathtaking sights of the world-renowned Kimberley region – Western Australia caters to all.
Some of these incredible locations still have restrictions in place, but we just had to include them for the near future when locals will be able to travel regionally across Western Australia again. For the best up-to-date information on restrictions, check in with this page here.
With those formalities out of the way, let’s get cracking with the best campsites, hiking trails, towns, road trips, 4WD tracks and more that WA has to offer for its local residents. Hopefully restrictions continue to ease and the rest of us can visit soon too.
If you just want to read up on certain activities, then you can skip ahead here:
Camping & sightseeing
Located in the Southwest of WA and only 3 hours drive from Perth, the Margaret River is a great long weekend destination. It’s got a bit of everything, catering for the adrenalin junkie, nature aficionado and 4WD owner, right through to the foodie and wine connoisseur, avid fisherman, craft-a-holic or local produce enthusiast.
Camp at an unpowered site, go glamping, stay in an apartment, bed and breakfast or even a resort – you can go as high end or as simple as you like.
Known around Australia for its culinary delights, this region presents fresh produce and wine that are guaranteed to impress even the toughest of critics.
Foodies and wine lovers will have a great time at the Margaret River. Image: Aaron Schubert
Providing excellent year-round camping, with opportunities for canoeing, white water rafting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking and only an hour and a half from Perth – Dwellingup won’t disappoint when you need to get away from the big smoke.
Dwellingup is packed with activities to do. Image: Aaron Schubert
While WA certainly has a huge range of fantastic public campsites, if you want to try something different why not book a station camping trip instead?
There’s Lynton Station, a small property located 5 and a half hours from Perth and is down the road from the Pink Lake.
If you’re up near Kalbarri, Murchison House Station sits a little further north and with 350,000 acres, this historic working station offers ample room to set up camp while you fish, swim or laze the days away.
If you want to camp near the stunning Ningaloo Reef, then look into staying at Gnaraloo station for all the fishing, snorkelling and surfing you can handle.
Exploring Gnaraloo Station. Image: Aaron Schubert
Other incredible places to camp in WA
There are so many places in WA that are on many traveller’s bucket lists but if you’re seeking a shorter stay in a more secluded camp that’s away from the crowds, check out the details here for the best of the best.
The choices range from Thomas River, Waychinicup National Park and Yeagarup, to Waroona Dam, Sandy Cape, Little Bay in Horrocks, or Cleaverville.
There are a heap of other places to camp all over WA. Image: Aaron Schubert
Day hikes & overnighters
The Bibbulmun is one of the most iconic and world renowned long-distance walking trails that stretches from Kalamunda to Albany and is over 1000km long. There’s an array of options for exploring the track, whether you prefer trailblazing independently or with a group on a guided tour.
There’s the choice for camping along the way or staying in towns, you can take it on as a multi-day hike or break it up into sections for day walks. There’s even the option to make it family-friendly!
For up-to-date information on the track, head to the Walk the Bibbulmun website here.
Get out and explore the Bibbulmun. Image: Michelle Ryan
Cape to Cape track
With stunning rugged coastal terrain as far as the eye can see, the Cape to Cape will have you walk over 130kms of coastline between Cape Naturaliate and Cape Leeuwin. You can just do day walks or you can walk the whole track if you have a week up your sleeve.
The track is currently closed but touch base with the Friends of the Cape track website here for the most recent information and updates on its reopening.
Take on the challenge of the Cape to Cape. Image: Michelle Ryan
Day hikes near Perth
If you’ve only got a Saturday or Sunday to spare and you’d like to grab your day pack and head for the hills, there are a few different options you can check out here that will give you some inspo.
4WDing & road trips
Located in the north-east corner of WA, the Kimberley is one of the top regions in Australia and in the world. Starting near Broome, it then ventures north to the coast and east towards the WA/NT border.
Encompassing spectactular coastline, ranges and gorges, the region includes Broome, Cape Leveque, Windjana Gorge National Park, and the Gibb River Road.
Similar to some of the other areas already mentioned, there are currently some restrictions on local travel in the Kimberly, so head here for updates on when this iconic Australian region will be available again to visit.
Mitchell Falls in the Kimberley. Image: Aaron Schubert
Gibb River Road
Located in the northern part of WA in the Kimberley, the Gibb River Road is a 4WD enthusiasts dream. Technically it’s 660km from start to finish, but in order to camp and explore everything that this track has to offer you will need to venture between 20-50km off the main track to visit each attraction.
Speaking of attractions, with so many breathtaking areas of natural wonderment, such as Tunnel Creek, Bell Gorge, Mornington Wilderness Park, Mannin Gorge, Mount Elizabeth, and El Questro – you can spend anything from a week to two weeks exploring.
The Gibb River Road provides breathtaking scenery. Image: Aaron Schubert
If you want to be awestruck by Mother Nature, then plan a visit to the one and only Karijini National Park. Regarded among the most scenic locations in Australia and set in the heart of the Pilbara region, this park is 1400km north of Perth. Access is by either 2WD or 4WD and the best time to visit is May to September.
It’s recommended you allow at least 3 days to experience everything it has to offer including wildlife, gorges, creeks and the red rugged rocks that span the park.
The gorges at Karijini. Image: Aaron Schubert
North of Broome, Cape Leveque is more off the beaten track and despite being one of the most visited areas of the Kimberley and boasting a few new facilities, it remains largely untouched. With bright blue skies contrasting the red sand, if you’re looking for serenity, this is where you’ll find it!
Cape Leveque includes places such as Middle Lagoon, Kooljaman, Beagle Bay, Willie Creek Pearl Farm, Cygnet Bay, One Arm Point and Hunter Creek and has camping options at Willie Creek Pearl Farm, Quandong Point, Middle Lagoon, Kooljaman, and Cygnet Bay. As it’s part of the Kimberley region, you’ll need to wait until restrictions ease to visit – but it’s still worth putting on your bucket list for a later date.
The blue sky and red sand of Cape Leveque. Image: Aaron Schubert
Although El Questro Station is now closed until 2021 at this stage, we still thought it was worth mentioning for those who are planning a bit further ahead with a trip. You can keep up to date with the latest information on the station by taking a look at their website here.
El Questro Station is located in the northwest, covering 700,000 acres with the closest town being Kununurra. Visit the thermal pools and waterfalls at Zebedee Springs, the turquoise waters at Emma Gorge, and explore the area by foot on the El Questro Gorge hike.
With all kinds of accommodation from luxury homesteads to free camping, you’ll be all set for your adventure.
Zebedee Pool at El Questro. Image: Faye Martin
Another fantastic town to add to your list of places to explore once restrictions have fully eased in WA is the stunning resort town of Broome. Watch the sun go down at Cable Beach, check out Middle Lagoon, the scenery at Kooljaman, and camp out at Gumbanan or Quondong Point.
Check in with the Shire of Broome to get the latest information when they’ll be able to welcome visitors once again.
Cable beach is not to be missed. Image: Faye Martin
Featuring the World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth is the perfect base to experience marine life close-up.
Why not book a couple of nights stay at Osprey Bay and sign yourself up for a whaleshark tour or snorkel the waters of Turquoise Bay? You could then paddle Yardie Creek, hike Charles Knife Canyon and cap it all off with watching the sunset at the old lighthouse.
For up-to-date travel info on this spot, check in with the Shire of Exmouth.
Paddle up Yardie Creek. Image: Faye Martin
Carnarvon to Coral Bay
Take a road trip from Carnavon to Coral Bay and soak up everything the coral coast has to offer. Stop at the Wooramel Riverside Retreat for a dip in the hot springs, or stay at Quobba homestead, Red Bluff or Waroora Station before finishing up at Coral Bay.
Head over here for accurate travel info from the Shire of Carnarvon.
Diving in Coral Bay. Image: Faye Martin
The resort town of Kalbarri is situated at the mouth of the Murchison River, and is around a 6-7 hour drive from Perth. While in Kalbarri, check out the stunning Pink Lake and take a wander through the Kalbarri National Park to admire the views.
Plus don’t forget the rock pools of Eagle Gorge and the calm waters of Chinamans Beach before heading home or onward to your next destination. For up to date info on travelling through the coral coast area, head here.
Tour through the gorges at Kalbarri. Image: Faye Martin
Other 4WD tracks in WA
Whether you’re looking for a casual day trip, or a couple of days exploring a lesser-known route, then head here for a breakdown on the five best 4WD tracks that are all worth exploring in WA.
A river crossing near the Duke of Orleans track. Image: Aaron Schubert
What part of Western Australia is on your bucket list?
About the writer...