Heart-racing action, brilliant wildlife and sigh-inducing scenery – it's elements like these that make for the ultimate weekend away. Where to go to experience it all? Set your sights for wild and wonderful Western Australia.
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If you're based in Perth (or have just touched down here), there are some seriously incredible sights to see, not too far out from the city. For a road-trip experience, head out to the vast Nambung National Park, approximately three hours north of Perth. Here you'll discover otherworldly landscapes and one of WA's most fascinating sights: the Pinnacles Desert. Featuring thousands of giant limestone pillars, the desert makes for amazing bush-walking (or desert-walking) trips and provides the perfect setting for an impressive holiday snap.
If you're big kids at heart, make your way to the beautiful coastal town of Lancelin (approximately 90 minutes north of Perth). Easily its most notable attraction is its sand dunes, with the town earning a reputation as Australia's premier sand boarding destination. Hire a board (or fashion one from whatever is on hand) and hit the dunes just off Bootoo Street for thrilling on-land surfing.
We couldn't talk about Western Australian adventures without mentioning one of the state's most beloved destinations: Rottnest Island. A place of unique landscapes and friendly creatures that's surrounded by shockingly turquoise waters, the island is the stuff of daydreams. Catch the ferry for a 90-minute scenic trip to the island and explore it all on foot or on the back of a bicycle. Whatever you decide to do here, be sure to get a photo with a quokka. Rottnest's most famous residents, these sweet-faced creatures always appear to be smiling and are no strangers to a cheeky selfie (please respect the quokkas, though, and use a selfie stick). While on the island, enjoy all that its waters have to offer and go snorkelling, catch a wave or see spectacular marine life when you go diving.
You don't have to venture too far out of Bunbury for a memorable adventure. Located in the city's centre, Dolphin Discover Centre allows visitors to swim with the fun-loving creatures on an exhilarating tour. You'll head out to the bottlenose dolphins' own environment in Koombana Bay for a refreshing dip, along with an experienced guide.
Want something a little more heart-stopping? Take to new heights when you scale the Gloucestor Tree in Pemberton's Gloucestor National Park (just over two hours' drive south of Bunbury). Climb the challenging 58-metre peg ladder to reach the canopy of the karri forest and take in its brilliant views. Just maybe don't look down if you're not great with heights.
Only in the Kimberely...
You really can't visit Western Australia without exploring its magical Kimberley. A harsh yet beautiful destination with hidden treasures, this breathtaking region is brimming with things to do. Cool off in turquoise freshwater pools in Kununurra, see bright Crayola red cliffs along the Kimberley's coastline and watch the Milky Way come into view at night from pretty much any spot along the way. Or, for a romantic mix of luxury and adventure, go glamping at El Questro Wilderness Park's Emma Gorge Resort. With 60 safari-style tented cabins and access to a spectacular gorge walk, it's the ultimate way to top off a Western Australia getaway. But be warned: you’ll want to stay for more than a weekend.
Images courtesy of El Qustro Wilderness Park Emma Gorge Resort and sourced via www.australia.com
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