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Western Australia travel guide

About Western Australia

The largest state in the country, Western Australia also makes credible claims to being the most handsome. Occupying the entire western third of this vast nation, it stands in stark contrast to its eastern counterparts: coastal development hasn’t occurred at the same furious pace as it has on the eastern seaboard, giving full billing to its raw national parks, relaxed coastal towns and rugged outback horizons. Western Australia’s vastness is a large part of its appeal – this is a destination that occupies travellers at length.

State capital Perth is isolated from the rest of Australia’s urban centres (and the rest of the world, come to think of it), but its laidback demeanour and ultra-modern skyline is much as you’d expect from a prosperous, cosmopolitan city. Close by is the energetic port town of Fremantle, where you can come calling for the weekend markets, excellent seafood restaurants and ubiquitous cafés.

Highlights elsewhere in Western Australia are nothing if not diverse. Travellers can sail with whale sharks on Ningaloo Reef, explore the majestic karri forests of Tall Timber Country, head into the stirringly feral lands of the Kimberley, sample the delicious fruits of the Margaret River wine region, take a scenic flight above the Bungle Bungles or gaze out along the never-ending sands of Broome’s Cable Beach.

Western Australia as a whole is a vast and physical region, somewhere layered with millennia of human history and endless wraparound panoramas. It’s not somewhere you’ll want to rush through.

Key facts

Area:

2,529,875 sq km (976,790 sq miles).

Population:

2.6 million (2015).

Population density:

1 per sq km.

Capital:

Perth.