Western Australia is a vast and diverse land, home to spectacular natural wonders and vibrant metropolitan cities. For those willing to venture off the beaten path, there are plenty of hidden gems to be discovered. From the remote and rugged gorges of the Kimberley to the wildflower-strewn fields of the south-west, here are some of the best off-the-beaten-path destinations in Western Australia to explore.
1. Windjana Gorge National Park
Windjana Gorge National Park is a stunningly beautiful spot in the Kimberley region of northwestern Australia. The 3.5 km long gorge is lined with towering sandstone walls, and is home to a variety of wildlife including freshwater crocodiles, wallabies, and various bird species. The park offers camping, bushwalking and canoeing in the tranquil waters of the Lennard River.
2. Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse is located at the most south-westerly point of Australia, where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet. The impressive lighthouse, built in 1895, is one of the most significant landmarks in the region, and can be explored via a guided tour. The lighthouse is surrounded by pristine beaches and wildflower-strewn heaths, making it an ideal spot for a picnic or a leisurely walk along the coastal path.
3. Kalbarri National Park
Kalbarri National Park is located in Western Australia’s mid-north region, and is home to breathtaking gorges, spectacular coastal landscapes and an abundance of native wildlife. The park boasts a variety of walking trails, with the most popular being the Z-Bend Gorge Trail, a 4.2 km loop along the Murchison River. Visitors can also explore the rugged coastline via kayak or boat, and spot dolphins, seals and migratory birds.
4. Wave Rock
Wave Rock is one of Western Australia’s most iconic natural landmarks and is located in the Wheatbelt region. The 15m high and 110m long granite formation is shaped like a giant wave, and is estimated to be around 2,700 million years old. Visitors can explore the unique rock formation, which is surrounded by a variety of wildlife, including kangaroos, emus, echidnas and birds. The site also boasts a variety of Indigenous art works.
5. Purnululu National Park
Purnululu National Park is located in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and is home to the spectacular Bungle Bungle Range. The beehive-shaped sandstone domes, which are estimated to be around 350 million years old, are best explored via helicopter or four-wheel drive. The park also features a variety of walking trails, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape and an abundance of wildlife.
6. Monkey Mia
Monkey Mia is a remote beachside settlement located in Shark Bay, on the mid-west coast of Western Australia. The area is renowned for its wild dolphins, which can be viewed in their natural habitat from the beach. Visitors can also explore the nearby Francois Peron National Park, which is home to a variety of native wildlife, including dugongs, sea turtles and migratory birds.
7. The Pinnacles
The Pinnacles are an extraordinary geological formation located in Nambung National Park, in the south-west corner of Western Australia. The limestone pillars, which are estimated to be up to 30,000 years old, are best viewed from the park’s lookout points. The park also features a variety of walking trails, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape and an abundance of wildlife.
8. Karijini National Park
Karijini National Park is located in the Pilbara region of northwestern Australia and is home to spectacular gorges, waterfalls and rock pools. The park is best explored via four-wheel drive, which offers access to the remote and rugged gorges of the region. Other activities include camping, bushwalking, swimming, canoeing and abseiling.
Western Australia is a land of spectacular natural wonders and vibrant metropolitan cities. For those willing to venture off the beaten path, there are plenty of hidden gems to be discovered. From the remote and rugged gorges of the Kimberley to the wildflower-strewn fields of the south-west, these are just some of the wonderful off-the-beaten-path destinations in Western Australia to explore.