Inspiration Destinations Australia 3 Bucket-List Destinations in Western Australia to Explore from Perth

3 Bucket-List Destinations in Western Australia to Explore from Perth

A woman swimming with a whale shark in Ningaloo Reef near Exmouth in WA, one of the bucket-list destinations to visit from Perth

Mammoth marine life, full-bodied wines and precious pearls – find your gateway to Western Australia’s most spectacular spots in Perth.

From quirky quokkas to vast desert landscapes and vibrant reefs, Western Australia presents a true natural wonderland. It is no wonder so many travellers put a trip to this state on their bucket list. Perth offers a unique and colourful culture while acting as the perfect launchpad for taking in WA’s far-flung sights. Be sure to add these must-see destinations to your next adventure out west. 

Ready to heed the call of Western Australia? Check out our Perth stays here.

Perth (Boorloo) & the CBD

Whether you’ve got your eye on an outback adventure or a beachside break, flying into Perth is the easiest way to kickstart your WA journey. So why not spend some time in town?

First thing’s first: book yourself in at the Alex Hotel Perth, your home away from home, and enjoy a welcoming sanctuary with creative contemporary design. For five-star indulgence, consider a stay at elegant COMO The Treasury, where you can appreciate modern creature comforts housed in the 19th-century State Buildings. Dine on cuisine inspired by the six Indigenous seasons at rooftop Wildflower or sink into serenity at the extensive wellness centre.

Once you’re settled in, it’s time to step out. Jump aboard the short 30-minute ferry to Rottnest Island for an audience with some locals – the famously cheerful quokkas. While you’re meeting these curious creatures, take in the incredible scenery, from glassy blue waters to weathered bush, all best seen on a leisurely bike ride.

Next head to the port city of Fremantle, just south of the CBD. Famed for its live music and lively markets, this artsy area has fascinating convict lore centred around imposing Fremantle Prison. History buffs will want to book a tour of the cellblocks and labyrinthine tunnels, while foodies will have no trouble finding a new favourite cafe along the renowned ‘Cappuccino Strip’.

Perth to the Margaret River Region

Australia has its share of wine regions. Thanks to a balmy Mediterranean climate, ideal for growing, Margaret River splashed onto the scene to almost immediate international acclaim despite being one of the youngest growing regions in the world. Accessible by three-hour drive from Perth, or via direct flight from Melbourne or Sydney, Margaret River is home to more than 200 vineyards and 180 wineries, many of which have made their name producing the region’s renowned cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and shiraz.

The second-oldest wine producer in the region, and the first to plant their vines, Cullen Wines is a true Margaret River institution. If it’s a tasting you’re after, visit the cellar door to sample their lauded Diana Madeline Cabernet Merlot, with its deep chocolate, cherry and plum notes. A tasting menu at the renowned Vasse Felix, Margaret River’s oldest winemaker, pairs umami mushroom and beef with a glass of signature cabernet sauvignon. Once suitably sated, walk through the sculpture garden and into the Holmes à Court Gallery to reflect on their seasonal exhibition of Australian art. Finish with a stop by Voyager Estate Wine and the chance to try a superbly fruity and bright chardonnay, made using Australian certified organic grapes.

Perth to Ningaloo Reef (Nyinggulu)

Farther north along the Coral Coast you’ll find the Ningaloo Reef – world-famous for spectacular marine encounters. Take the four-hour journey to Coral Bay via Exmouth, and a colourful aquatic kingdom awaits. Glide along in a glass-bottom boat for a window into the busy life of the world below as you pass over vibrant coral and dazzling fish in abundance. The showstopper? A chance to snorkel with a gargantuan manta ray or dive alongside the enormous whale shark. Between March and June, you can plunge into tranquil waters with these migrating mammoths of the deep.

Further north near Exmouth, on the Ningaloo headland, trek through the awe-inspiring wilderness of Cape Range National Park. Ancient canyons, limestone cliffs and uncharted caves mark an historically isolated haven for endemic species such as cheeky geckoes and brightly budding flowers, such as the crimson crowns of the Sturt’s desert pea. Set out on one of the trails or 4WD driving tracks, carving a path to sprawling Charles Knife Canyon and the peaceful stream of Yardie Creek.

Perth to the East Kimberley

For the ultimate WA adventure, hop a three-hour flight north to the Kimberley – an astounding expanse of wide gorges and rough wilds, dotted by dramatic topographic features, such as the unusual tidal flows of the Horizontal Falls or the distinctive Indigenous rock art found across the region. This ancient area with more than 40,000 years of human history is accessible from beautiful Broome (Rubibi), which is itself framed by white-sand beaches, turquoise waters and striking red rocks. Pay a visit to Gantheaume Point and see the prehistoric dinosaur tracks that mark its dramatic coastal cliffs, then dive into Broome’s colourful history as one of the most important pearling ports in the world on a tour of Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm.

Road trips are a great way to discover the Kimberley’s wide west. Hit the track on your way through Dimalurru, also known as Tunnel Creek, where a 750-metre cave system houses a fascinating history as a legendary outlaw hideout. And at the region’s easternmost reaches you’ll come to Purnululu National Park, where you can witness the incomparable beehive-shaped domes of the Bungle Bungle Range, formed over a staggering 20 million years.

Uncover even more reasons to visit Western Australia on Luxury Escapes' brand-new podcast, Travel in 20. Listen now on SpotifyApple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

This article is produced in partnership with Tourism Western Australia.  

About Finn
With an insatiable appetite for fine food, live music and the world's very best craft chocolate, Finn loves stumbling on the unexpected by taking the path less travelled (after meticulously planning the route, of course).

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