Ah Western Australia, the largest and arguably most diverse state in Australia. Covering nearly one-third of the country, Western Australia is a mecca for travellers both local and international, offering everything from gorgeous white sand beaches, rugged coastlines, lush forested areas and river valleys, as well as thriving cities and small towns. From its more famous locations like Margaret River, The Kimberley and the ever colourful Coral Coast, to National parks, hidden gems and ancient aboriginal sites, you could spend months finding fun things to do across this great state.
With so many things to do across Western Australia, the best way to make the most of your time, be it a week or a few months, is to explore the state by campervan. Hiring a campervan allows you to travel at your own pace, tick off bucket-list activities and truly get to more remote places that offer authentically Australian experiences. There are plenty of fantastic and free camping spots and holiday parks scattered around Western Australia, so you’ll never struggle for a place to park up for the night, or have to deal with the hassle of packing and re-packing your car.
In this guide we’re breaking down all the best things to do in Western Australia, so you can build your own WA road trip itinerary the way you want. Let’s get into it!
Before you plan a trip around Western Australia, there are some handy things to know.
Western Australia is well known for its hot, dry summers where temperatures average anywhere between 17.5 - 30°C. Winters are rather mild, with temperatures averaging between 8 - 19°C and quite often a fair bit of rain. If you want to avoid the rainy spells, it’s best to visit from November - March.
Due to being such a vast state, the roads will vary widely depending on where you are driving. Driving through Perth’s bustling city centre will be very different to driving the open back country roads. When it comes to van travel, safety should always come first. Be sure to always drive at a safe speed and research the driving conditions ahead of you and adhere to all the WA road rules. If you’re driving in the campervan with kids, ensure you have the right car seats and they’re properly strapped in. You should also be cautious of wandering livestock on the roads and keep track of any potential road closures in the area that may detour you. When travelling via campervan, it’s advised to stick to sealed, marked roads and avoid unsealed roads.
Preparation will keep your campervan trip running smoothly while cruising through Western Australia. Be sure to pack some wet weather gear - this is especially important if you’re visiting during winter when it can get particularly rainy. Also remember to bring some warmer layers, it can get chilly at night, even in summer. Sun protection is always important in Western Australia; bring sunscreen, hats and other methods of sun protection to stay shielded when outdoors. Even on cloudy days, the UV rays in Western Australia can still damage your skin. Swimwear and beach gear is another essential, Western Australia is home to some of the most beautiful beaches, so be sure to spend some time at them! Lastly, remember to bring outdoor gear for exploring - this could include a water bottle, hiking boots and a daypack.
If you’re up for a decent walk, the Kalamunda National Park is home to the start of the Bibbulmun Track which winds over 1,000km down to Albany. Pack your binoculars because you may be able to spot a kangaroo, echidna or even a bandicoot through the gaps in the towering gum woodlands. There are no facilities at the park but Jorgensen Reserve is located just south and has toilets and picnic areas equipped with barbecues.
Kings Park and Botanic Gardens are an absolute must-see while in the city of Perth. Covering 400 hectares of the city, it is one of the world's largest inner-city parks. The park boasts around 1,700 different species of flora and stunning views of the cityscape. The park is an important piece of Perth’s history and is full of wonders, both natural and man-made.
Mettam’s Pool is a popular coastal spot for a dip, known for its calm, ‘pool like’ conditions year-round. The 1.5-metre deep reef is an awesome snorkelling spot due to the massive amount of marine life that make it their home. Fish, molluscs, starfish and more can be seen just metres from the beach. Snorkelling here in the morning is best to avoid the crowds. Mettam’s Pool is also a great place to grab a coffee and just relax.
A great way to learn about Western Australia’s history is to head to Boola Bardip Museum in Perth. Boola Bardip translates to ‘many stories’ from the local Noongar language. The museum is an awesome experience for all ages, with guided tours, live performing arts and plenty of kid-focused activities such as VR tours and educational tours.
Just an eight-minute walk from the Perth Train Station is the Northbridge Piazza. The Piazza is known for putting on outdoor films, hosting festivals and pleasant Sunday sessions to park up and chill to. Its permanent LED screens always have an array of sports, music or art on display, keeping it bright and alive through all hours of the year.
Cottesloe Beach is the birthplace of surfing and surf lifesaving in Western Australia. The beach is perfect for snorkelling, swimming and surfing as well as ideal for a late afternoon picnic on the large grassed area above the water. It is a safe beach, with lifeguards patrolling the northern side of the beach for the summer months. Be sure to head down and soak in the sunset while eating from one of the many eateries nearby such as Amberjacks or Gelato Bar Cottesloe.
Image Source: Tourism Western Australia Image Gallery
Western Australia is a veritable playground for kids and those young at heart. Here are our top picks for things to do in WA with kids.
Taking the kids to the zoo is a favourite pastime for most parents, and Perth Zoo is no different. The zoo hosts giant residents like giraffes and elephants, big cats such as the Sumatran Tiger and lions, and Australia’s classic native animals like the kangaroo and the koala. Be sure to get to the zoo for a ‘Walk and Talk’ with a guide to take it all in, or catch one of the animals feeding times to see them in action.
Scitech is an epic science museum in Perth that includes a permanent planetarium. Scitech’s exhibits and programmes are designed for children from early childhood, all the way through to their final year of high school, with many of them tailored towards the primary school bracket. Check out some of the live performances at the Science Theatre, the Puppet Theatre or the Planetarium. There’s plenty to be learned for all and it’s certainly an awesome way for the kids to have fun while learning.
If you and the kids are after a more interactive and up-close animal experience to fit into your road trip itinerary, then head to the Sunflowers Animal Farm. The farm offers visitors the chance to bottle feed orphaned baby animals, grab a bucket to feed the other animals and some great photo opportunities. The animals are mostly farm animals like sheep, pigs and cows but you’ll also find kangaroos, emus and ostriches there, all just as friendly as each other.
Jetty Baths is a quiet beach near Bunbury’s city centre with shallow waters, making it perfect to take the younger kids along. The beach is perfect for building sandcastles, whilst watching out for passing dolphins in the bay. The kids can also keep busy on the playground facilities, with one slide that takes them all the way down to the beach. It’s a fantastic place to let the kids frolic and enjoy a picnic on the lush grass. Jetty Baths is also just below Marlston Hill, which offers amazing, uninterrupted panoramic views across the harbour. You’ll find Bunbury just 2 hours south of Perth, a spot well worth visiting in your campervan.
Natural wonders abound in Western Australia. Here are some of the best natural attractions to add to your itinerary.
The Pinnacles Desert of Nambung National Park is one of Western Australia's most visited natural attractions. Found about 2 hours north of Perth, the park itself covers an area of just under 17,500 hectares, home to an extensive array of native animals. The Pinnacles are natural limestone structures, about 25,000 to 30,000 years old. Over time, the pinnacles have been exposed to the elements, leaving these stunning structures to be looked at in awe. They range in height and width, with some standing as high as 3.5 metres.
Ningaloo Reef is one of Western Australia’s finest natural attractions. Swimming with manta rays and turtles is a routine for visiting swimmers, but the main act of the colourful coral reef is the whale shark population. Whale sharks are the biggest fish in the world, and swimmers feel dwarfed when swimming beside them. However, there is nothing to fear, whale sharks are filter feeders, mainly eating plankton and krill alike; their interactions with humans have nothing to do with food, but curiosity. It is estimated that only 1 in 3 million people ever swim with a whale shark - go ahead and become of those people!
Image Source: Tourism Western Australia Image Gallery
The largest show cave in Western Australia, Jewel Cave features three enormous rooms of breathtaking beauty. Of all the spectacular caves in the Margaret River region, this crystal-covered cave is the most recent to open. A very big stalagmite called "The Karri Forest," gorgeous specimens of flowstone like "The Frozen Waterfall," and "the Organ-pipes" are just a few of the exquisite examples of delicate helictites, cave coral, and pendulites that can be found in Jewel Cave.
Described by Sir David Attenborough as ‘one of the greatest natural wonders of the world’, the Horizontal Falls in Western Australia are sublime. Fast-moving tidal currents in Talbot Bay's turquoise waters, force the water into rapid-like formations that pour through the twin gaps of the McLarty Range at an incredible rate, creating waterfalls that are turned on their side. The water flows in two different directions every day thanks to the strong tides, which can rise by more than 10 metres. All year long, you can take a scenic flight to see the Horizontal Falls from the air, a truly spectacular experience.
Western Australia comes alive with colour in spring, and days are warm and sunny, making it an ideal time to take a campervan road trip. Here are some popular things to do in the springtime in WA.
The Humpback Highway is part of an ancient network of maritime routes that circumnavigate the globe and predate any road used by humans. Every year in April, over 35,000 whales migrate from the abundant feeding grounds of Antarctica to the warmer seas of the Kimberley, in Western Australia. They are significantly closer to Perth's shore on their return voyage from September to December, making it ideal for an encounter on an exciting whale watching cruise.
The Cape-to-Cape Track is a spectacularly scenic walk featuring amazing views, flora and rock formations. The trail follows the coast, displaying breathtaking cliff-top viewpoints and sections of pristine beach in an effort to put people in intimate contact with nature. There are loops that pass through the Boranup karri forest as well as some wonderful sheltered woodland areas. Old 4WD vehicle tracks, built walkways, well-graded tracks, gravel routes and sandy beaches all make up the vast trail. It would take five to seven days to complete the whole walk, but because of the numerous access points along the shore, it is possible to finish the route quickly in smaller sections. Tour operators offer fully-guided walks and with camping along the track and many types of accommodation close by, all comfort levels are catered for.
Explore Western Australia’s famous forest of gigantic tingle trees from a magnificent birds' eye view on the Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk. The walk is a lightweight bridge that gently ascends into the tree tops 40 metres above the forest floor. Once done looking from above, head down to the boardwalks and explore the Ancient Empire Walk, a group of old tingle trees, some over 400 years old, that give the forest its name. This attraction offers peace, tranquillity and also the opportunity to visit somewhere surrounded by extensive areas where there is little to no evidence of human activity.
Summer in Western Australia is perfect for those who love warm weather and playing in water.
Cable Beach is just another stunning and unforgettable Western Australian beach, with clear waters, white sand and amazing scenes. It is perhaps most famous for its sunsets that fill the skies above the Indian Ocean, with orange, yellow and pink creating a dazzling view as the sun dips below the horizon. Be sure to watch from the sand dunes, or take it in from a scenic boat ride or a calming camel train.
Swimming at Emma Gorge waterfall is peaceful and soothing due to its surroundings. Your reward after a one-hour scenic hike through the rocky terrain is a cool oasis with a 65-metre cascading waterfall, flanked by greenery-covered rocks. Swim to the waterfall in the deep pool of chilly, pure water, or simply refresh and unwind by the waterhole's shaded side. The flow of a little thermal spring may be heard near the Emma Gorge waterfall. Including the walk back and a swim, allow around three hours. If you want to make it back to the resort before sundown, you shouldn't start this walk after 2:30 p.m.
Image Source: Tourism Western Australia Image Gallery
Autumn in Western Australia is quiet and peaceful, making it the ideal shoulder season to take a road trip.
Rottnest Island is found just 19 kilometres off the coast of Perth. The island is a haven for Australia’s native fauna, especially the island’s resident friendly quokkas. With 63 of the prettiest beaches you’re likely to see anywhere, 20 beautiful bays and many coral reefs and wrecks, Rottnest Island is a marine paradise. After checking out the beaches and epic wildlife, head around some of the island's historic military placements and learn about the part they played in World War II.
On a wine trail, you can discover wonderful wine, delicious cuisine, and speciality brews. While the majority of the food and wine trails are drive-only routes, there are also some walking and cycling routes. The wine areas of Western Australia are known for their relaxed environment, delightfully fresh farm products, and some of the state's best chefs. You may spend a whole afternoon here wandering from restaurant to cellar door. Some of the best trails are the Southern Forests Wine Trail, Toodyay Food and Picnic Trail and the Mount Barker Wine and Food Trail.
The winter months between June and August are relatively cool in WA, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t excellent things to do!
Showcasing the best of the Margaret River region in winter, the Cabin Fever festival is an epic celebration of what really matters amidst stormy skies and open, roaring fires. The festival has over 40 events featuring fire, live music performances, food and drink (great wine from the Margaret River wineries) and massive parties. Head to the festival in the daytime with your kids for a kid's art class as you take part in the classic ‘art and sip’ workshop.
Northam is a town situated at the junction of the Avon and Mortlock rivers, in the Avon Valley. The valley is a beautiful area, which is seen better from above and conditions make it a coveted hot air ballooning spot. With either Liberty Balloon Flights or Windward Balloon Adventures, you can take an amazingly peaceful sunrise flight over the Avon Valley. While up in the balloon, you can truly understand what it means to be a part of the wind - it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Image Source: Tourism Western Australia Image Gallery
There really is no shortage of fun experiences to be had in Western Australia - this guide is merely a starting point! With a Mighty campervan, you can do more, see more and experience more of this beautiful state. Having the ability to stop when needed and continue to your next destination when you want, while bringing your home with you is a holidaying advantage you’ll truly understand while exploring the vast state of Western Australia. Book your Mighty camper today in a branch or online. Get more travel inspiration on our blog.