Inspiration Explore Cellar Doors to Sunsets: How to Discover Western Australia Your Way

Cellar Doors to Sunsets: How to Discover Western Australia Your Way

A pair of people walking down a dirt road with a rock formation in the background in the desert in Western Australia - Luxury Escapes

If your spirit craves adventure, natural wonders and great food and wine, venture west to dreamlike Western Australia.

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Whatever type of traveller you are; a gourmand, nature lover, cultural explorer or a wannabe marine biologist, Western Australia’s dreamy landscapes and epic experiences are bound to impress. From wine tasting in the Margaret River region to swimming with whale sharks along Ningaloo Reef (Nyinggulu), discover the magic and vastness of Western Australia your way.

For the foodies

A waiter in a restaurant serves a dish to a woman in a pink shirt as part of Western Australia's diverse culinary scene - Luxury Escapes
Western Australia's culinary scene is rich and diverse.

Perth (Boorloo) is packed to the brim with top-notch restaurants and bars. If you’re craving a classic pad Thai, don’t pass up Baan Baan. For gastro-pub meals with a side of history, sink your teeth into juicy burgers at The Royal in the heart of the city, which first opened as a hotel in 1882. Sip Margaret River pinot noir along with a charcuterie board at Pep’s wine bar in Peppermint Grove. And this is just a taster of what you can expect.

Take a three-hour drive south of Perth and arrive in the Margaret River Region, Western Australia’s food bowl, home to some of Australia’s best winemakers and boasting more than 100 cellar doors. Spend a day popping into some of your favourites and enjoy a tasting of top-notch cabernet sauvignon. Some must visit wineries include Cullen Wines, Leeuwin Estate and Vasse Felix.

For the nature enthusiast

A close up of a quokka's face, one of the best animals to spot while exploring Western Australia - Luxury Escapes
Seize an opportunity to spot quokkas in Western Australia.

Western Australia is no stranger to natural beauty. In a six-month window between June and October, more than 12,000 species of wildflowers create spectacular contrasts of colour across the dream state. Stretching from the Pilbara region down to Margaret River, you can time your visit to see the wildflower hotspots. If you’re keeping close to the city, just 45 minutes east of Perth you’ll find the Perth Hills, where a variety of walking tracks lead hikers through stunning bushland and past wildflowers and waterfalls.

For a splash of coastal appreciation, visit Rottnest Island (Wadjemup), Perth’s relaxed island playground located just a short journey from the mainland by ferry or scenic flight. The best way to experience this car-free paradise is by hiring a bicycle and pedalling across to perfect beach nooks through serene bushland and to panoramic lookouts (check out Vlamingh Lookout for 360-degree views). Along the way, spot resident quokkas, who are more than happy to pose for a cheeky selfie.

An easy day trip from Perth will take you into the mysterious moonscape of the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park. Here you’ll walk among a collection of natural limestone structures that formed over 25,000 years ago, which have since been eroded by coastal winds and sands.

For the culturally curious

A man in a white tshirt looks up at the stalactites on the ceiling of Ngilgi Cave in Western Australia - Luxury Escapes
The stalactite clad ceiling of Ngilgi Cave, Western Australia.

There’s over 60,000 years of history shared by the oldest living culture on Earth right here on the west coast, across all corners of the state. Discover ancient traditions and gain a newfound respect for the land
when you are guided by a Traditional Custodian through sacred sites.

Listen to the soul-stirring sounds of a digeridoo being played in Ngilgi Cave in the Margaret River Region on a cave tour with Koomal Dreaming. Taste a variety of bush tucker, from quandong to native limes and honey ants, and learn about their medicinal properties on a bush tucker tasting experience.

Connect with culture on the doorstep of Perth city too, as you traverse Kings Park and Botanic Garden (Kaarta Koomba) – one of the largest inner-city parks on Earth – with an Aboriginal guide. For those
journeying to the Kimberley, marvel at chasms, gorges and beehive-like dome formations in Purnululu National Park to the sound of ancient stories told by your experienced guide.

For surfers, swimmers and sunseekers

A woman swimming with a whale shark along Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia - Luxury Escapes
Swim with whale sharks along Ningaloo Reef (Nyinggulu), Western Australia.

With the Indian Ocean lapping at its heels, Western Australia’s ocean-bound adventures are in abundance. Ningaloo Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, is located 1,200km north of Perth, off the red shores of Cape Range National Park. It’s here you can swim alongside the world’s largest fish – the majestic whale shark – as they make their annual migration through the reef (between March and September). The rest of the year, be dazzled by a rainbow of tropical fish, manta rays, turtles, dugongs and bottlenose dolphins. If you find yourself further up the coast in Broome (Ruibi), settle in at Cable Beach (Walmanyjun) and watch the sun melt into the Indian Ocean from the back of an unhurried camel.

Further inland (just under an hour’s drive from Kununurra (Goonoonoorrang)), discover the southern hemisphere’s largest manmade lake, Lake Argyle. The lake is classified as an inland sea and at its peak holds a colossal 10.7 billion cubic metres of water. Take a boat tour, or if you’re feeling active hire a stand-up paddleboard, kayak or canoe and explore the lake at your own pace, looking out for rock wallabies.

This article was originally featured in the third issue of Dream by Luxury Escapes magazine. Get your copy here.

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