Western Australia is a world of its own. Comparable in size to Alaska, the state is home to giant gorges, vibrant coral reefs, deserts, mountains, and some of the best beaches in the country.
Karijini National Park
Come to Karijini to swim through hidden pools that carve through gigantic gorges, or hike out to catch the most spectacular sunrise in Western Australia.
The hikes available range in difficulty, with various levels of accessibility to attract hikers of all abilities. You can spend five hours scaling Mt. Bruce, or take an easy stroll along the cliff edges and enjoy some of the park’s greatest views.
Part of the magic of Karijini is its remoteness. An oasis deep in the western desert, the park is an eight-hour drive from the nearest city, Exmouth, 14 hours from Perth or nine hours from Broome.
Francois Peron National Park
One of the most diverse enclaves on the western coast, this one is a package deal. This strip of pristine coast lies within the Shark Bay World Heritage area. Watch dolphins skim along the shallow waters at Monkey Mia, go four-wheeling over dunes, or enjoy a sunset cruise.
The park is also one of the country’s best for wildlife spotting. Families of emus trot in line, giant monitor lizards meander slowly across your path, and kangaroos and wallabies leap from the bushes. That’s before you get out to the ocean, where dugongs, sharks, manta rays, dolphins, and turtles are easy to spot. The local town of Denham is just over eight hours from Perth.
Cape Le Grand National Park
Cape Le Grand is ideal for lovers of quiet white-sand shores, turquoise seas, bushwalkers, rock climbers, campers, or fishers. Whether you want to lie back and relax or be as adventurous as possible, there’s a great option in this national park.
Only 40 minutes from the southern city of Esperance, the park is easily accessible for those traveling around the southern part of the state.
Murujuga National Park
Just off the dramatic Dampier Highway, Murujuga’s bright orange rock faces are representative of the color scheme that defines northwest Australia.
The park is home to the oldest known petroglyphs in the world, carved roughly 40,000 years ago, depicting many of Australia’s surviving and extinct species. It is also close to the Horizontal Falls, off the coast of The Kimberley, which have been described by David Attenborough as one of the greatest wonders of the natural world.
The park is only a 35-minute drive from the mining city of Karratha, or nine hours of scenic driving from Broome.
Nambung National Park
More popularly known as The Pinnacles, Nambung is one of the most popular parks in Western Australia, partially due to its proximity to Perth. Only two hours from the state capital, you’ll find yourself among the otherworldly limestone stacks scattered amongst the desert’s amber sands.
The towers are the remnants of the Palaeolithic sea floor, once barriers for the gigantic dinosaurs that roamed the seas. Today you can walk for hours and see thousands of the existing structures, or take a scenic driving route past some of the highlights.
Cape Range National Park
Cape Range is one the the best places in the world to get a glimpse at the life cycles of sea turtles. As well as turtle-spotting, Cape Range's empty white beaches offer excellent snorkeling and diving spots.
It's also located near Ningaloo Marine Park, which is home to the best conserved, and arguably most beautiful, reef in Australia. Buy a snorkel from a local shop and set out from the beach, or opt for one of the many tour providers offering trips.
Cape Range National Park is right next to Exmouth, which has a small airport. Alternatively, it takes around 13 hours to drive from Perth, or 14 from Broome.
Yanchep National Park
Another of the most popular parks in Western Australia, Yanchep is only a 45-minute drive from Perth. The park is perfect for anybody interested in some light bushwalking through the cool forests, exploring some of its 400 caves, or koala and kangaroo spotting.
The park has camping facilities for anybody hoping to extend their stay overnight.
Purnululu National Park
On the cusp of the Northern Territory, the striking mountains of Purnululu were totally unknown to the outside world until 1983. The Kimberley remains one of the wildest regions of Australia, and Purnululu’s curious limestone landscapes are a testament to its unique beauty.
Make the best of your trip by taking a helicopter ride over the Bungle Bungle ranges, explore the expansive Cathedral Gorge, and spend a night in the heart of the less-traveled Outback.
It takes nine hours to drive from Broome, or two hours from Kununurra airport.
Kalbarri National Park
A short hike up from the Kalbarri’s car park, you’ll find yourself perched inside "Nature’s Window," where you'll be rewarded with sweeping canyon views.
Kalbarri National Park has a number of hiking routes, with options suitable for all levels of accessibility. You can clamber over rocks and down ladders leading into hidden rivers, or take an easy stroll along the gorge’s edge or the cascading cliff faces over the ocean. It takes six hours to drive to Kalbarri from Perth.