An expansive (albeit sparsely populated) area, Western Australia encompasses 1/3rd of the continent of Australia. Mostly arid outback, this stark state offers adventurous travelers unique experiences away from the crowds of the east coast’s tourist traps. Western Australia’s 9 distinct regions offer a variety of different ecosystems to explore. From the rugged and dramatic beauty of the northernmost Kimberley, to a more Mediterranean climate in the southwest near Perth (the capital of Western Australia), no two regions are alike.

Begin in Perth, where the locals soak up more sunny days than in any other Australian capital city! Visit nearby Rottnest Island, stroll leafy Kings Park or tour Swan Valley vineyards. For local culture, wander the nearby city of Fremantle's winding portside streets and Perth city center’s museum and gallery precinct.

On the far side of the state, Kimberley spans thousands of miles and offers up a scenic wilderness frontier for people who want to get off the grid. Like the state, the region contains various ecosystems ranging from rocky coastlines to ancient mountain ranges to wooded grasslands to craggy canyons and dramatic waterfalls. This is the perfect place to lose yourself… and it is easy to do so! Kimberley is one of the most remote regions in Australia, which explains why European settlement didn’t take hold in earnest until the 1800s and there is still so much to uncover. For example, the beehive-striped Bungle Bungle Range in Purnululu National Park was only ‘discovered’ in 1983. Hike or camp near the geological wonders or opt for a scenic helicopter flight instead. If you fly though, you’ll miss the large, looming Wandjina, spirit figures drawn on thousands of cliffs and cave walls. The aboriginal culture is beyond rich. Here, human habitation dates back over 30,000 years, making this an even more magical place to explore!

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Lara Ray