Winter is here, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop – because Western Australia has a whole lot going on right now. From frolicking in a field of spectacular wildflowers to swimming with the gentle whale sharks in Nyinguulu (Ningaloo Reef), Western Australia really has something for everyone. Here are seven reasons why the west coast should be your next holiday destination.
Glide alongside the largest fish on the planet
The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef (Nyinguulu) is one of WA’s glittering gems and every year from March to August the world’s largest fringing reef becomes a natural habitat for our gentle giants, the whale shark.
Come face-to-fin with the largest fish in the ocean, as one of the few places in the world where you can swim by side. Guests can dive into a marine wonderland of colour and coral, filled with some 500 species of fish, pods of dolphins, and graceful manta rays and turtles.
Wallow in the biggest wildflower collection on earth
More than 12,000 species of flora burst into brilliant bloom across Western Australia each season, delivering a botanical display like no other. It’s a diverse and unique show, with 60% of the flowering species found nowhere else on the planet.
Wildflower season typically has a six-month window, starting in the Pilbara in June and moving across the atmospheric towns of the Goldfields and along the Coral Coast. By September, Perth’s (Boorloo) urban parks – including floral haven Kings Park (Kaarta Koomba), home to more than 3,000 wildflower species – and the rolling hills of the Swan Valley are bursting with colour.
The season comes to a vivid close in October in the biodiversity hotspot of the Margaret River Region, where wildflowers mingle with world-class vines. Join a wildflower tour such as Salt and Bush or Luxury Outback Tours for a guided journey to the best hotspots.
Visit the breathtaking Kimberley region and soar over the Bungle Bungles
Renowned for its distinct weather, the Kimberley is characterised by two prominent seasons: the wet and the dry season. The wet season takes place from November to April, while the dry season is from May to October.
As the wet season ends, the Kimberley is now enjoying warmer weather and unlocks a secret oasis of hidden waterfalls. A marvel nearly 20 million years in the making, soar over the ancient Bungle Bungles with an Aviair scenic flight, discover 120 million-year-old dinosaur footprints with Broome Dinosaur Adventures, or connect with the world’s oldest living culture in an Aboriginal Cultural Experience with Mabu Buru Tours under the twinkling velvet skies.
Wine and festivals in the Margaret River region
Cosy up by the fireplace in one of WA’s nine regions, as a crisp air settles over the winter wilderness of the Margaret River region.
Home to more than 150 wine producers, 100 cellar doors, and responsible for more than 20% of Australia’s premium wine, Margaret River is the ideal spot for a getaway in the brisker months to new luxury abodes such as Willow Wood Glamping Retreat and 8 paddocks, with more than 100 acres of serenity.
Winter also happens to coincide with some of the best festivals and events, with Cabin Fever’s fiery feasts, wild music, and delectable wine taking over in July, and Australia’s largest destination film festival, CinefestOZ, landing in August.
Forage for Manijump’s black truffles with cute puppies
Plan a decadent winter escape to the heart of Australian truffle country in Australia’s South West – with more of the prized ingredient found here than anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere. Discover why Manijump’s black truffles are so highly coveted by chefs across the globe for their indescribable taste, unmistakable earthy aroma, and consistent high quality.
Join a truffle hunt at Truffle Hill, one of the few truffières in the world that allows guests to participate alongside the goodest of boys. Or if you’d prefer to leave it the pros, rug up in June for Truffle Kerfuffle, a week-long celebration with long table feasts, free cooking demonstrations, and generous amounts of freshly unearthed truffles.
Sit back and watch graceful whales migrate along the coast
Encounter majestic humpback, southern right and blue whales as they perform their annual migration from May to December, travelling from the southwest of Western Australia to the Kimberley.
With a coastline extending through 13,000km of pristine ocean, Western Australia has a front-row seat on Australia’s longest whale migration and whale watching season – with some 40,000 acrobatic humpback whales congregating in the largest population on the planet. Catch a glimpse from the coast or get amongst the tail-slapping action on a whale-watching tour such as Naturaliste Charters and Live Ningaloo.
From Perth bars to adorable quokkas on Wadjemup (Rottnest Island)
Australia’s sunniest capital city has no shortage of indoor experiences to welcome the winter season. Perth’s city centre is bustling with new bars, restaurants, and hotels, from the beautifully nuanced Italian flavours of STAMPA!, to the elevated elegance of rooftop bar Folly.
Keep warm as gold melts before your eyes at the Perth Mint and if visiting in August, relish a rare chance to meet the cutest baby on earth a short ferry ride away – the adorable quokka joey on Rottnest Island (Wadjemup).
Find out more about the west coast by visiting the official Tourism Western Australia website.