Australia Destinations

Geography

Covering a total area of 7.69 million square kilometres, mainland Australia is the world’s largest island – but smallest continent.

In distance, the continent stretches about 3700 kilometres from north to south and 4000 kilometres from east to west, making it the sixth-largest nation after Russia, Canada, China, the United States and Brazil.

Australia is also the only continent that is governed as a single country. It is sometimes informally referred to as an ‘island’ continent, surrounded by oceans.

Our ocean territory is also the third-largest in the world, spanning three oceans and covering around 12 million square kilometres. We also have one of the most urbanised and coast-dwelling populations in the world, with more than 80 per cent of residents living within 100 kilometres of the coastline. Australia currently has a population of almost 23 million people.

 

Australian Government

Australia has three levels of government – the federal Australian Government, the governments of the six states and two territories, and around 700 local government authorities. Australia has been a nation with a single national government since 1 January 1901. Although it is divided into states and territories which have their own state governments, we are all united as one nation.

Australia is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom as its head of state, which is why Australia’s national flag comprises the Union Jack (along with the Commonwealth Star and the Southern Cross).

The Queen appoints the Governor-General of Australia as her representative on the advice of the elected Australian Government. The Governor-General appoints ministers on the advice of the Prime Minister. Australia’s system of government is based on the liberal democratic tradition, which includes religious tolerance and freedom of speech and association.

The Australian Constitution sets out the functions of the Australian Government, such as foreign relations and trade, defence and immigration. States and territories are responsible for matters not assigned to the federal government.

There are two major political groups that usually form government, federally and in the states: the Australian Labor Party, and the Coalition which is a formal grouping of the Liberal Party and its minor partner, the National Party.

This majority party or coalition becomes the government, decided at an election by Australian citizens. The other major political party or coalition is called ‘the opposition’.

Multicultural Australia

Australian society is made up of people from a rich variety of cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious backgrounds, and this is a defining feature of modern Australian society. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have inhabited Australia for tens of thousands of years. Most Australians are immigrants or the descendants of immigrants who arrived during the past two hundred years from more than 200 countries. The most commonly spoken language in Australia is English, and the most commonly practiced religion is Christianity, although foreign languages and other religions are also common.

 

[Extracted from Tourism Australia website, Cities, States and Territories, 2012, http://www.australia.com/about/key-facts/cities-states-territories.aspx]

Queensland (QLD)

Queensland

Sun yourself on the golden sands of Surfers Paradise, snorkel through the technicolour treasures of the Great Barrier Reef and four wheel drive Fraser Island. Explore the magical Daintree Rainforest with an Aboriginal guide or charter a yacht to the pristine Whitsunday Islands.  Enjoy resort relaxation in Noosa, frolic on the beaches of the Capricorn Coast and see dinosaur footprints near Winton. Go diving from the gracious town of Bundaberg and bushwalk through national parks near Mackay. Visit wineries and rodeos in Southern Queensland Country and go horse riding on Townsville’s Magnetic Island. However you experience Queensland, the landscapes and lifestyle will never leave you.

Bike ride in the City Botanic Gardens or cruise down the Brisbane River while spotting pelicans. Laze next to the gardens and lagoons of South Bank Parklands or explore Fortitude Valley’s cafes and boutique shops.  For an adrenalin-pumping view of the city and its surrounds, you can do a bridge climb, abseil down Kangaroo Point Cliffs or coast over in a hot air balloon. On the clear waters and islands of nearby Moreton Bay, you can fish, boat, feed wild dolphins and toboggan down the world’s tallest sand dunes.

Frolic on the sand or in the world-class nightclubs of Surfers Paradise.  Then trek the World Heritage-listed rainforest of the Gold Coast Hinterland, where you can swim in crystal-clear rock pools, explore rainforest retreats like Mount Tamborine and see Australia’s largest glow-worm colony.  Of course, you can’t miss the Gold Coast’s famous themed attractions. See dolphin and sea lion shows at Sea World, mingle with Warner Brother’s Movie Characters, ride the world’s tallest and fastest thrill rides at Dreamworld or jump into a giant wavepool at Wet ‘n’ Wild Water Park.

Soak up sunny sophistication on Noosa’s Hasting Street or meet koalas in the coastal rainforest of Noosa National Park. Ride a mountain bike, abseil the volcanic peaks of Glasshouse Mountains or trek through rainforest in Kondalilla National Park. Browse cafes, country pubs, art and antique galleries in the sleepy mountain villages of Montville and Maleny, atop the Blackall Ranges. Feast on seafood on the Mooloolah River in Mooloolaba and relax on the wide beaches of Maroochydore. In family-friendly Caloundra, you’ll find great surf beaches and estuary creeks brimming with fish.

Base yourself in cosmopolitan Cairns and take a day trip to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel or dive in warm tropical water with rainbow coloured coral, sponges and fish. Or head to the magical, primeval Daintree Rainforest. Here you can cruise the Daintree River past birds, animals and crocodiles or cross it on a ferry to the four wheel drive country of Cape Tribulation.  See a performance by the world-famous Aboriginal dance theatre Tjapukai, then ride the Kuranda Scenic Railway to the rainforest village of Kuranda. Fish from tranquil Mission Beach, where the rainforest meets the reef, or sip cocktails in the vibrant resort town of Port Douglas. Pamper yourself in a Palm Cove spa or camp, fish and four wheel drive in the remote wilderness of Cape York Peninsula.  Explore the world’s longest lava tube system in Undara Volcanic National Park and a 1930s Spanish-inspired castle in Paronella Park.

You can sail, swim, snorkel, dive or just relax in the Whitsundays – 74 pristine, palm-fringed islands tucked inside the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea.  Enjoy five stars of resort luxury on Hayman Island and party on Daydream or Hamilton islands. Visit Whitsunday Island and walk the pure white, silica sands of Whitehaven Beach. Camp on the wilderness of Hook Island or get a natural holiday on South Molle Island. You can stay in the carefree, backpacker town of Airlie Beach or take in the tropical islands from a chartered sailboat.

Four wheel drive past coloured cliffs, rainforest and fresh water lagoons on World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island. Or visit Lady Elliot Island on the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Cruise next to giant humpback whales and their calves from Hervey Bay between early July and late October. See the gracious Queenslander and colonial homes in historic Maryborough. Follow a wine trail through the fertile South Burnett Valley, then camp and bushwalk amongst strangler figs and Bunya Pines in the Bunya Mountains rising up behind.

Central Queensland

Enjoy a mouth-watering steak in Rockhampton, Australia’s beef capital. Then venture north to the Capricorn Coast, which has 13 stunning beaches stretching from Yeppoon to Emu Park. Inland, you can see Aboriginal rock art in Carnarvon National Park and the picturesque Rainbow Falls in Blackdown Tableland National Park. Paddle along the Byfield River in Byfield National Park and fossick for gems in the Sapphire Gemfields, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest. Around the pretty port of Gladstone, you’ll find rainforest gorges, lakes and long white beaches stretching to the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Fish for barramundi at Lake Awoonga and camp and four wheel in Mount Castletower National Park at its base. Discover the majestic cliffs of Kroombit Tops or do a day trip to Fitzroy Lagoon, where you can dive, snorkel, fish and even walk on the reef.

Outback Queensland

See fossils dating back 25 million years in World Heritage listed Riversleigh Fossil Fields and the world’s best-preserved dinosaur stampede near Winton. Canoe the emerald waters of Lawn Hill Gorge in Boodjamulla National Park. Fossick for opals at Opalton, Quilpie and Yowah, amethyst near Cloncurry and moonstone at Moonstone Hill. Four wheel drive famous outback tracks like the Birdsville Track or Plenty Highway. Or tackle on-road adventure on the Matilda Highway, which stretches more than 1,700km from Cunnamulla to Karumba on the Gulf of Carpentaria. See bucking broncos at the Mount Isa Rodeo or learn to muster and shear on a cattle or sheep farm.

Mackay

You can feast on fresh seafood, tropical fruit and succulent beef steaks in the small coastal city of Mackay. Bushwalk and swim along the dramatic coastline of Cape Hillsborough National Park, then spot platypus on Broken River in the subtropical oasis of Eungella National Park. Sail or take a sea plane to a Great Barrier Reef island. Camp on the Newry Islands or stay a few nights on Brampton and bushwalk its many nature trails. Catch reef fish or snorkel around Bushy Atoll – a suspended lagoon of corals and marine life. See one of Australia’s largest coal mines in Blair Athol in the hinterland and huge sunflower fields in the Peak Range Mountains of the highlands.

Explore gracious old buildings and sugar and rum-making history in Bundaberg. Join a diving or fishing trip to Lady Elliot Island and Lady Musgrave Island, the southernmost coral isles of the Great Barrier Reef. See loggerhead turtles nest and hatch at Mon Repos Beach. Swim or fish at Elliot Heads, dive from Coral Cove and Innes Park or spot kangaroos in Woodgate Beach, just some of the beaches along the pristine 140-kilmotre long coastline. Visit Lady Elliot or Lady Musgrave islands on the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Stay in the postcard-perfect town of 1770, named after the year it was discovered by Captain Cook, or in the historic, character-rich towns of Gin Gin and Childers. Bushwalk the lush rainforest of Cania Gorge National Park and marvel at the ancient Mystery Craters in Eurimbula National Park.

Southern Queensland Country

Explore wineries, orchards and pretty, historic villages such as Nanango, Blackbutt and Yarraman in South Burnett. Stay in cosy guesthouses in the Southern Downs. Take in wide, rose-lined streets, old sandstone buildings and the Warwick Rodeo in Warwick. See panoramic views in Sundown National Park, towering granite boulders in Girraween National Park and the 40-metre-high Queen Mary Falls in Main Range National Park. In Bald Rock National Park, you’ll find the biggest rock after Uluru. Explore the historic streets, vivid flower beds and perfectly manicured lawns of Toowoomba, a garden city on the edge of the Great Dividing Range. You can enjoy their colourful Carnival of the Flowers each September.

Townsville

Don’t miss Townsville’s sensational sunsets, scenic beach promenade and balmy nightlife. Take a catamaran to Magnetic Island, where you can bushwalk through national park, horse-ride on pristine beaches, swim from secluded bays and snorkel colourful coral reefs. Here you can spot humpback whales in August and koalas in the Koala Park Oasis all year round.  In the living museum of Charters Towers, you’ll find country music, gracious heritage buildings and Australia’s first stock exchange. Visit the natural attractions of Saunders and Balgal Beach and Australia’s highest sheer drop waterfall at Wallaman.

[Extracted from Tourism Australia website, Queensland, 2012, http://www.australia.com/explore/states/qld.aspx]

New South Wales (NSW)

New South Wales

New South Wales has endless unspoilt beaches, breathtaking natural treasures and one of the world’s most famous and vibrant cities. Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge or take the ferry past the Opera House to Manly. Do a day trip to the Hunter Valley vineyards or the romantic Blue Mountains. Restore your zen on the beach in Byron Bay & see dolphins play in the clear waters of Jervis Bay. Bike ride and dive on Lord Howe Island and visit the world’s oldest ceremonial burial site at Mungo National Park. Horse ride, hike or hit the snowfields in the Snowy Mountains or head west for Tamworth’s country music and Moree’s natural artesian spas. Whatever you do in New South Wales will be an investment of time you definitely won’t regret.

 

Soak up the city’s gorgeous harbour, seductive outdoor lifestyle and great natural beauty. Kayak under the Sydney Harbour Bridge or wave at the Opera House as you ride a ferry across the harbour to Manly. Learn to surf at Bondi Beach or swim in the calm waters of Coogee. Lose yourself in the cobblestone cul-de-sacs of The Rocks or in the markets, boutiques, cafes and pubs of Paddington. As well as a world-famous harbour and more than 70 sparkling beaches, Sydney offers fabulous food, festivals and 24-7 fun. You’ll soon agree there’s no place in the world like Sydney.

 

Listen to jazz amongst the vines in the Hunter Valley, bush walk in the Blue Mountains or float down the Hawkesbury River on a houseboat. Watch dolphins from Port Stephens and Forster and lose yourself in the World Heritage-listed wilderness of Barrington Tops. Escape to the hills, forests, valleys and heritage villages of the Southern Highlands. Surf on the Central Coast or on the South Coast, where you can also see Kiama’s famous blowhole. These mountains, rivers, beaches, parks and rich tablelands are just a short drive from Sydney’s fringes.

 

North Coast

Hang-glide and spot humpback whales in the new-age beach paradise of Byron Bay. See the Big Prawn in the bustling holiday town of Ballina and scuba dive off the Coffs Coast. In the Tweed Valley, you can fish the Tweed River and see the southern hemisphere’s biggest eroded volcanic crater. On the rainforest-fringed North Coast, classic Aussie surf culture mingles with World Heritage-listed national parks, hinterland villages and great food and wine.

 

South Coast

Walk pearly white beaches and see dolphins frolic in sparkling water in Jervis Bay. Meet grey kangaroos and cruise the pristine Clyde River in Batemans Bay. Try award-winning cheeses at Bega and watch whales in Eden on the Sapphire Coast, near the Victorian border. The South Coast has 30 national parks, marine parks and reserves, as well as gorgeous beaches and rich Aboriginal history for you to explore.

 

Trek to the top of Mount Gower and bushwalk through native forests and over white sand beaches. Snorkel and dive in protected, temperate waters on the world’s southernmost coral reef. You’ll find more than 50 sites teeming with fish, colourful coral and green turtles. On World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island, bicycles are the best way to get around and there’s no mobile phone reception. Even better, its unspoilt beauty is less than two hours’ flight from Sydney.

 

Outback

Visit the world’s oldest ceremonial burial site at Mungo National Park in the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area. Stay underground in the quirky opal mining town of White Cliffs or see where exquisite black opal is mined and meet eccentric locals in Lightning Ridge. Discover distinctive light, desert landscapes and an oasis of lakes around Broken Hill, the former mining town known as Silver City. Don’t miss the characters, history and horizons of the New South Wales outback.

 

Hit Australia’s highest ski slopes at Charlotte Pass and climb Mt Kosciuszko, Australia’s tallest peak. At the top you’ll find a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with 20 species of plants found nowhere else in the world. In winter, carve up the snow at fields such as Thredbo and Perisher Blue. In summer, take in the trout-filled streams and wildflower-coated plains going cycling, caving, rafting, kayaking, four wheel driving, horse riding and hiking. Whatever the season, the Snowy Mountains has endless opportunities for outdoor adventure.

 

Country NSW

South of the Queensland border you’ll find Australia’s country music capital of Tamworth and Moree’s natural artesian spas. See the volcanic spires of Warrumbungle National Park & the World Heritage-listed national parks of Glen Innes. West to the outback, climb the red dunes of the prehistoric Perry Sandhills and explore the wineries and citrus orchards of Griffith. To the south, chug down the Murray River in a paddlesteamer from twin towns on the Victorian border – Echuca-Moama and Albury-Wodonga. Drive the Poacher’s Trail through the Yass Valley and check out captivating art galleries in Wagga Wagga.

 

With powder-fine sand and clear turquoise waters, the beaches of Jervis Bay on the New South Wales south coast are amongst the safest and most beautiful in the world. At its southern end, Jervis Bay is enclosed by the pristine wilderness of Booderee National Park. From Wreck Bay village in the park’s south, a walking trail circles the peninsula to St Georges Head, passing a succession of quiet beaches, cliffs and forests. Hyams Beach officially has the world’s whitest sand. The many beaches, lagoons, secret coves and hidden creeks of Jervis Bay are perfect for all types of aquatic activities.

 

[Extracted from Tourism Australia website, New South Wales, 2012, http://www.australia.com/explore/states/nsw.aspx]

Victoria (VIC)

Victoria

Whether you adore the arts or love the great outdoors, Victoria has something for you.  The state is packed with both scenic and cultural attractions – from striking public spaces and state-of-the-art museums to heritage sites and rare wildlife.  Discover the cafes and bars of Melbourne’s gothic laneways and drive the Great Ocean Road. Wind your way through the wineries of the Yarra Valley and chug down the Murray in a paddle-steamer. Swim with dolphins on Mornington Peninsula and see fairy penguins on Phillip Island. Trek the rugged Grampians then relax in a Daylesford health spa. Bushwalk Gippsland’s coastal wilderness, hit the High Country slopes or explore the grand architecture of a Goldfields town.

Melbourne

Sitting on the Yarra River at Port Phillip Bay, this stylish, vibrant city is a maze of hidden laneways, opulent bars, exclusive restaurants and off-the-beaten-track boutiques. Visit Federation Square, the city’s landmark cultural space, and enjoy a sunset beer on the St Kilda promenade. Shop till you drop on funky Brunswick Street or upmarket Chapel Street. Wander Southbank’s cafes, bistros and bars and get a world tour of cuisines in Carlton, Richmond and Fitzroy. Take an Aboriginal Heritage Walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens and cheer with a capacity crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges

Stay in Yarra Glen, the heart of the food and wine region and tour the acclaimed wineries of the Yarra Valley. Trek through the tall forests of the Dandenong Ranges National Park. You can stop amidst the fairytale mists of Sherbrooke Forest or take the Puffing Billy Steam Railway through the villages of Belgrave, Gembrook and Emerald. Visit the famous Healesville wildlife sanctuary and wander the gardens, waterfalls and forest of Marysville, also a gateway to the Lake Mountain ski fields.

Mornington Peninsula

Swim with dolphins and stroll the bay and surf beaches of the historic seaside village of Sorrento. Take in the cliff-top walks, stunning views and million-dollar mansions of Portsea at the tip of the Mornington Peninsula. Pick your own berries and visit wineries and galleries in Red Hill and Main Ridge. In Flinders, you’ll find great beaches, wineries and golf courses.

Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges

Sample the health-giving mineral waters of Hepburn Springs and explore Kyneton’s antique shops. Bushwalk past gardens and hillside estates at Mount Macedon and picnic at legendary Hanging Rock. This region is a fairytale at the end of a fast highway from Melbourne, filled with galleries, boutique accommodation and fine places to eat.

Phillip Island

See koalas and waterbirds in the wild at Rhyll and witness little penguins as they parade home at dusk on Summerland Beach. Marvel at Australia’s largest fur seal colony as you cruise amongst Seal Rocks and stay overnight in an array of beachside accommodation. For a different kind of wild life, visit the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, home to the Australian Motor Cycle Grand Prix and V8 Supercar 500. Just 90 minutes drive from Melbourne arrive in the gateway of San Remo – also a fishing and pelican haven- drive across the spectacular bridge and begin your Phillip Island adventure.

The Murray

Visit the home of paddle-steamers in Echuca-Moama and explore the pioneer history of Swan Hill. Indulge in fine food and wine amongst the citrus groves and vineyards of the vibrant outback oasis of Mildura. In the twin river towns of Yarrawonga-Mulwala, you can camp, bushwalk, play a round of golf, or fish and water ski on the local lakes and rivers.

Great Ocean Road

Discover beaches, bushland and kangaroos at Anglesea and see epic waves crash on Bells Beach, near the surfing town of Torquay. Swim, surf and fish in Lorne and walk through the waterfalls and lush rainforest of the nearby Otway Ranges. You can stand on Shipwreck Coast and marvel at the craggy limestone stacks of the Twelve Apostles in Port Campbell National Park. Sea kayak and surf in idyllic Apollo Bay and watch whales from Warrnambool. You’ll find fishing and an annual folk festival in historic Port Fairy.

Grampians

Stay in Halls Gap and trek the spectacular ridges of the Grampians, which rise dramatically from the flat expanse of Victoria’s west. Go bushwalking, rock climbing, fishing and canoeing in the rugged Grampians National Park. It’s also a haven for wildlife, wildflowers and Aboriginal art sites, such as the famous Bunjil’s shelter. You can fish on the banks of the Wimmera River in the tranquil rural town of Horsham. Visit the beautiful village of Dunkeld at the Grampian’s southern end and bustling, historic Stawell at the north.

High Country

Ski or snowboard at Mount Hotham, Australia’s powder capital, or on the steep slopes of the winter playground of Falls Creek. Tackle winter sports, biking or four wheel driving at Mount Buller and marvel at Mount Buffalo’s unique granite beauty. Visit wineries fringed by gum trees in Rutherglen and see the courthouse where Ned Kelly stood trial in the historic gold rush town of Beechworth. Go fishing, houseboating and waterskiing at Lake Eildon. Or base yourself in Bright for walking, cycling and easy access to snowfields and gourmet delights.

Gippsland

Trek the pristine coastal wilderness of Wilsons Promontory National Park and dive and snorkel with brightly coloured marine life in Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park. From Bairnsdale and the holiday haven of Lakes Entrance you can explore Gippsland Lakes and Ninety Mile Beach, where fine sands shelter the planet’s highest diversity of species. Stay in the pretty coastal town of Mallacoota and lose yourself in nearby Croajingolong National Park, which has eco-systems so precious they are protected by a World Biosphere Reserve. Explore an ancient honeycomb of caves at Buchan Caves Reserves and four wheel drive the Australian Alps in Alpine National Park. Enjoy fine wine and dining in Traralgon and fish and boat in the historic port of Sale.

Goldfields

Walk the Eureka Trail, pan for gold at Sovereign Hill and see the grand architecture of the gold rush boom in and around Ballarat. In Bendigo, another boom town, you can see opulent buildings, explore a rich Chinese heritage and drop the equivalent of thirty-storeys in the Central Deborah Gold Mine. Discover antiques, wineries and Aboriginal rock water wells in Maryborough. Experience Castlemaine’s wide streets, fine public buildings and historic homes on a heritage trail.

 

[Extracted from Tourism Australia website, Victoria, 2012, http://www.australia.com/explore/states/vic.aspx]

Western Australia (WA)

Western Australia

Western Australia is famous for long days of sunshine and diverse landscapes and climates. Cruise down Perth’s Swan River to Fremantle or the Swan Valley vineyards. Or visit wineries fringed by tall forests and crashing surf in the Margaret River. Dive with the huge whale shark on Ningaloo Reef and feed wild bottlenose dolphins at Monkey Mia. Ride a camel down Broome’s Cable Beach at sunset and four wheel drive along the remote, beautiful Dampier Peninusla. Fly over the Bungle Bungle ranges and boat down huge, man-made Lake Argyle in Kununurra. Get gold rush fever in Kalgoorlie or swim from the snow-white beaches of Esperance.  Don’t miss Western Australia’s huge spaces and unique natural beauty.

 

Perth and surrounds

Cruise the Swan River past parks and skyscrapers to 40 vineyards in the Swan Valley or the Perth Zoo. Visit Rottnest Island, where you can explore history, bike ride to secret beaches and kayak to secluded bays. Feast on seafood and soak up the carnival atmosphere in historic Fremantle. Discover the lookouts, landscaped gardens and Aboriginal heritage of huge Kings Park. Swim, surf, fish, windsurf and sail on clean and uncrowded beaches such as Cottlesloe or Scarborough. Then skip between the sunny boardwalks, beaches and marinas of the Sunset Coast.

Coral Coast

This coastal paradise stretches from Cervantes and the moonscape Pinnacles Desert in the south to Exmouth and Ningaloo Reef in the north.  Bushwalk past gorges, cliffs, winding river and white beaches in Kalbarri National Park. Four wheel drive in Cape Range National Park, where spectacular gorges, carved by ancient rivers, meet Ningaloo’s coral reefs, clear blue seas and sandy beaches. Swim with the docile whale sharks, the world’s largest fish, at Ningaloo Reef between April and June.  In the Shark Bay World Heritage Area you can feed wild bottlenose dolphins at Monkey Mia and get up close to sea lions, manta rays, dugongs and humpback whales.

Golden Outback

Tackle adventure on the rich red earth of the Gascoyne Murchison outback. Discover the national parks and snow-white beaches of Esperance and the South Coast.  See the rugged outback come alive with the colour of wildflowers in winter and early spring. Learn about the Aboriginal history of Mount Augustus and the Kennedy Range. Escape to the Wheatbelt’s small, friendly towns and geological wonders such as Wave Rock. Head to Kalgoorlie and the goldfields for goldrush history and unique flora and fauna.  From the sparkling Southern Ocean to Western Australia’s red outback heart, you won’t forget these diverse and theatrical landscapes.

North West

Ride a camel on Broome’s breathtaking Cable Beach and see dinosaur footprints preserved in rock. Four wheel drive the red-dirt road from Broome along the Dampier Peninsula, where you can stay in an Aboriginal wilderness camp and see the church with a mother-of-pearl altar.  Further north in Derby, watch the sun set over the King Sound and fly over the Horizontal Waterfalls on the islands of Buccaneer Archipelago.  From Kununurra, you can explore the beehive-shaped domes of the Bungle Bungle Range and boat down the Ord River and vast Lake Argyle. Get up close to a huge treasure trove of ancient Aboriginal rock on the Burrup Peninsula, near Dampier. Further south, don’t miss the spectacular red gorges, waterfalls and emerald swimming holes of Karijini National Park.

South West

Dive the Southern Hemisphere’s largest accessible dive wreck – the HMAS Swan – from Dunsborough. Visit world-class wineries, swim in the crystal-clear waters of Bunker and ride the waves of Surfers Point in the lush Margaret River region.  Here you can canoe through sun-speckled woodlands and relax on 75 spellbinding beaches.  See fossils in Mammoth Caves, mirrored underwater lakes in Lake Cave and straw stalactites in Jewel Cave.  Follow a fairytale drive through towering karri forests to Hamelin Bay, where you can snorkel with stingrays and walk the idyllic sands of Boranup Beach. Visit romantic Augusta, where lighthouse-tipped Cape Leeuwin parts the Indian and Southern Oceans. Swim with dolphins in Mandurah and Bunbury and spot whales from the towns of Augusta, Albany and Dunsborough from June to October.

 

[Extracted from Tourism Australia website, Western Australia, 2012,

http://www.australia.com/explore/states/wa.aspx]