Western Australia – The Biggest State

By Jace Sinclair

Western Australia is Australia’s biggest state, covering nearly one-third of the continent. Its capital city, Perth, is home to a vivacious bar culture and spectacular beaches. Here, you will also find the much-admired Margaret River wine region and the attractions around it. The isolated but beautiful Cape Leveque is also a must-see. Western Australia is where you will find the Bay of Jurien and the gorgeous Coral Bay. Don’t forget to also explore the town of Augusta and the striking Kimberley Region.

City Attractions in Perth – Western Australia

Western Australia

Australia is undeniably famous for its spectacular natural attractions but the country has more to offer other than these amazing gifts of nature. Perth is the place to go if you want to be in the midst of high-rise buildings. At the same time, it’s only minutes away from the sunny shores of enticing beaches and is also an island getaway. It is also home to some of the most remarkable engineering feats in the country.

Western Australia
© David Stanley

Perth, despite its metropolis vibe, remains amazingly clean and lovely; it also offers a variety of attractions that will make any tourists heart sing. Right smack in the city center is the verdant Kings Park and Botanic Garden whose size is a remarkable 400.6 hectares. It is located right beside the Swan River and the overlooking view of the city center. The meandering tributary makes it one of the best places to hang around for a relaxing afternoon and a pleasant picnic.

For a bird’s eye view of the skyscrapers and treetops, you can take a lazy stroll through the area on the towering Lotterywest Federation Walkway.

If your vertigo-inducing challenge at the walkway is not enough, there is DNA Tower and its 101 steps – another lofty structure to scale in the park. But if you are just looking for a nice afternoon view, you can sit back, and relax, at the botanic garden and claim it as your afternoon sanctuary.

If you want to see more of Australia’s beautiful parks, Burswood Park is just a few minutes away from Perth city center. It is ideal for a fun afternoon of jogging, cycling or biking and also features a beautiful fountain named after the city’s picturesque river. Wildlife watching is also possible within the park as it is home to several species of birds.

How about a piece of London right in the heart of Perth?

Western Australia

Then, London Court it is! It is a small pedestrian street that dates back to 1937. Handsome Tudor-inspired buildings quintessential to anyone’s picture of England can be found in the area. Add to this a charming line of shops and cafes you now have the perfect setting for a wonderful afternoon jaunt.

Western AustraliaCare for some musical bells?  Make sure to visit the Bell Tower whose physical outline alone is an attraction in itself. The spire is made entirely out of green glass and one side of it is protected by giant copper sheets shaped like sails. Inside you will find 18 bells that were gifts from a parish in the Field of London to the city of Perth.

If you want to see how gold coins are made, then you are off to the Perth Mint. Established in 1899, it is considered the country’s oldest mint and is still in operation today. There are plenty of eye-popping experiences inside. You will find the largest number of gold nuggets you will likely ever lay eyes on in your lifetime. Visitors also get the chance to walk through the whole minting process, from the melting of gold to the pressing into coins. You can even buy some from the Mint’s shop if you want souvenirs of your visit.

Want some fun under the sun? There are plenty of options to choose from. Perth has easy access to beautiful islands, pristine beaches and other natural attractions in the surrounding areas. So, you can just hop on the appropriate ride and be on your way to a perfect tropical day trip activity!

 

Day Trips for Fun and Sun Outside Perth – Western Australia

Western Australia
Swan River

Perth is one of the cleanest and loveliest metros you will ever see. The city center is a perfect marriage between high rise buildings and a verdant park with the charming Swan River completing the beautiful picture. What makes the city even more special is the easy access it provides to some of the most picturesque and exciting attractions in Australia. Here are just some of the day trip adventures you can try when visiting the city:

From Perth, you are less than an hour drive from one of Australia’s most remarkable engineering feats – the Mundaring Weir. It is an amazing 700 kilometer stretch of pipeline providing water to surrounding agricultural areas and the Kalgoorlie goldfields. The town is also pretty scenic and features about a half dozen heritage trails perfect for a day’s hiking, biking, and horse riding. If you happen to visit on a Sunday, don’t miss the Mundaring Sunday market. There are plenty of great items for sale such as scrumptious delicacies, fresh farm produce, and handcrafted goods.

If you feel most alive amidst verdant mountains, beautiful rock formations, and majestic waterfalls, then John Forrest National Park is a must visit. It is only a few minutes away from Mundaring and perfect for scenic hikes and mountain biking. The park also features recreational facilities. Must-see sights include the National Park Falls and Jane Brook. Don’t forget to drop by the charming tavern for some tasty fare.

How about visiting one of the world’s best beaches?

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Believe it or not, you are just 20 minutes away from a ribbon of pristine white sand and turquoise waters when visiting Perth. You can go full scale and take a drive along the coastal road past many attractions and breathtaking vistas. You can also take a short drive to the Sunset Coast and enjoy a plethora of exciting activities in a beautiful environment.

At Sunset Coast, you can drop by Hillary Boat Harbour for a lazy afternoon. Check out the marina and interact with the locals or hit the many cafes and restaurants crowding the seafront. For an adrenalin pumping ride, hire a 4X4 and take on the challenge of the sand dunes at Lancelin. You can also check out Yanchep National Park and be mesmerized by the cuddly koalas that populate the area. Yanchep also features several walking trails that provide fantastic views of the sea and the scarp. It’s a must-visit site especially for those who love nature and beautiful panorama.

The Moore River region is an ideal visit for those who love the outdoors and adventure.

Get yourself a canoe and paddle your way along the mighty waterway. You can also find a nice and quiet spot for a wonderful afternoon of fishing. Rely on your own two feet and go for scenic walks or rejuvenating hikes.

How about visiting a learning center? Don’t you worry; it will definitely not bore you. There is the amazing Aquarium of Western Australia, giving you a glimpse of the rich marine resources of the country – go underwater and be blown away by the awesome array of marine life! If you have kids in tow, then you should not miss The Gravity Discovery Center where the entire family can enjoy plenty of exciting activities that are not only full of fun but also educational too.

 

Savoring Wine in the Margaret River Wine Region, Western Australia

Western AustraliaThe Margaret River Wine Region is one of the dream destinations of any wine enthusiast. Situated on Western Australia, just hours from Perth, this wine region is relatively young.

It was only 45 years ago that the first grape vines were planted here.  However, this did not stop the region from quickly becoming recognized as not only one of Australia’s but also the world’s great wine regions. The region also features a sweeping landscape of farmlands, forests, vineyards, and beaches. Margaret River has also mastered gourmet cooking as a complement to its wine-making prowess. All these elements make up for an amazing wine tasting vacation in the region.

From Perth, you can drive to Margaret River Wine Region for a couple of hours. The region is compact, making it quite easy to explore. The major towns in the area are Busselton and Augusta.  Accommodation in the region is abundant and varied. You can stay in bungalows, eco-resorts or motels. There is also the option to experience the hospitality and comfort of boutique hotels.

Within the region, you will find amazing fruit-flavored wines particularly chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, Carbanet, Shiraz and Semillon Blancs, that come with so much character and complexity. The Margaret River region consists mostly of small boutique wine producers, which will make your wine-tasting holiday quite distinct from others. While there are larger wineries out there, they typically maintain an intimate appeal to their cellar doors for visitors.

Before hitting the road for a wonderful wine tasting experience, you may first want to visit the Wine Tourism Showroom at the Margaret River Visitor Center.

The showroom features various winemaking equipment, products, and related items, as well as, an interactive wine aromas seminar.  Another interesting activity within the Margaret River wine district is a wine appreciation course, which will help you learn how to properly judge a wine, and compare tastes. This new knowledge will really come in handy once you go for your wine tasting escapade across the region.

There are more than 150 wine producers in the region. Some of the notable wine estates in the region include the Leeuwin Estate Winery, Oceans Wine Company, Adinfern estate, Victory Point Wines, and Ashbrook Estate. Because of the wide array of choices, a winery tour comes highly recommended when visiting Margaret River. Fortunately, there are several companies that offer guided winery tours, which follow varying themes. Some of them are casual and allow you to make your own itinerary, while the others follow a classier and more sophisticated style.

Aside from showing visitors their cellar doors, some wineries and estates also feature restaurants, market gardens, galleries, shops, and exquisite building architecture. A number of organized tours not only bring you to the finest vineyards and estates, but they will also show you to the best gourmet restaurants, whose dishes perfectly compliment a particular wine. Wine tours can just last half day, or you can spend a couple of days visiting the wineries in different parts of the region.

A few of the touring companies that operate in the region include the Margaret River Taxi Tours, The Chauffeur Bus, Margaret River with Neil McLeod, Cape Mentelle Vineyard Tours and Margaret River Vintage Wine Tours, Top Drop Tours and Voyager Estate Tours.

Attractions around Margaret River – Western Australia

The wine region of Margaret River may not be as famous as Australia’s grand metropolises or spectacular outback. But its understated elegance and charm make it a perfect destination for those who are simply looking for gorgeous surroundings and an effortless good time. Its vineyards are ideal for visitors who relish this Dionysiac brew. It also makes for a romantic setting with its glorious view.  Stunning bays, superb surf breaks, and exciting natural attractions also abound in and around this beautiful area. It gives visitors plenty of leisure options while here.

Guided wine tours are a must for those who love to sip some wine. Or maybe, simply take in the lovely vistas the wineries vineyards afford. Most wineries will allow you to sample a wide array of wines such as sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, and cabernet to name a few. You can also easily enjoy a perfect glass of wine with a gourmet lunch or just a simple platter of fruits and cheese if you like. This excursion buzzes with romance so make sure to bring your loved one with you.

For more romantic excursions, why not visit the area’s lighthouses such as Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse © David Stanley from Nanaimo, Canada

These sailor’s allies usually evoke a special kind of romantic vibe to those who take the time to enjoy them. Moreover, the scenic drives that you have to take to get there also add to the charm of the whole experience. Do not be content with a view of these solitary structures from a distance. It’s worth climbing up to the top of the lighthouse for a breathtaking panorama of the surrounding area. There are also maritime museums here that you may want to check out.

Even if you’re looking for exciting adventures and traipsing along romantic vineyards and lighthouses are not your cup of tea, Margaret River will still not disappoint. The area has more tricks up her sleeves that you will be delighted to discover.

Caves are plentiful in the area and they are not just dark and musty caverns with nothing to see inside. Explore the Mammoth Cave and you will find an enchanting grotto of ancient fossils and magnificent underground chambers.

You can also take a ferry up the Blackwood River. Explore more historic caves that will take you back to prehistory.

Also, if you love to go for a hike, take advantage of the surrounding trails where you will experience an exciting array of plant and animal life. Bird watchers will be glad to take these walks. There is an abundance of bird species to watch for here – so bring your binoculars and camera!

Margaret River also provides a haven of secluded coves, splendid beaches, and crystal-clear water. To those who just love to stay by the water and enjoy Margaret River has to offer. If you are a beach person, then you better base yourself in Busselton town where you can take pleasure in its almost 20-mile stretch of immaculate beaches. Delight in its crystal-clear water and explore its dazzling underwater gardens. The town is also home to an underwater observatory where you can get up close and personal with the area’s underwater residents.

Cape Leveque – Western Australia

Remote, isolated, beautiful – these are just some of the descriptions that would fit Cape Leveque. As the northernmost spot on the Dampier Peninsula of Western Australia’s Kimberly region, Cape Leveque features stunning red cliffs coupled with pristine bodies of water. The Cape was once a campsite for ancient nomadic tribes in Northern Australia.

Cape Leveque’s coast is populated by secluded yet stunning sandy beaches. Despite having a few modern facilities, the beaches’ isolation gives you enough space to take leisurely walks and enjoy the surroundings. Here, you can go for a refreshing swim or relax on the sand, without being interrupted by a boisterous tourist crowd.

If you are into whale-watching, the gorgeous humpback whales come out to be seen offshore during the months of July and October.  You can also go for a glass-bottom boat excursion to get closer to the rich marine and coral life, and to the bird species frequenting the surrounding waters of the Cape.

Western Australia
© Rocket910

One of the highlight landmarks in the region is the historic Cape Leveque Lighthouse.

When you visit this beautiful 13-meter lighthouse, don’t miss the chance to climb up to its top to witness the most wonderful view of the coast and the cliffs of the archipelago. Other notable landmarks worth visiting are the Sacred Heart Church situated in the Beagle’s Bay and the One Arm Point Turtle Hatchery.  Cape Leveque is also an ideal access point if you want to explore the amazing Buccaneer Archipelago. The Buccaneer Archipelago is widely known for its horizontal waterfalls and powerful white-water rides.

Cape Leveque is also a perfect spot to explore the rich Aboriginal heritage in Western Australia. Such heritage has been maintained and celebrated for about 7000 years. Learning more about the indigenous communities is best done by participating in interesting cultural tours. It allows you to interact with the Aborigines. Learn about their lifestyle, art, natural medicinal methods, and their famous Dreamtime stories.  One of the best available tours consists of getting a local Aboriginal guide for a bush tucker tour. It includes doing some ancient traditions like spear making and catching fish.

Because Leveque is such an isolated area, reaching it is quite challenging and exciting at the same time. From the town of Broome, you have the choice to fly to the Cape or go by four-wheel drive vehicle. The drive will cover about 240km and will last around 4 hours. A 4×4 car/truck is the best type of vehicle to drive to the Cape as you will be passing through very sandy and corrugated terrain. However, flying across the peninsula to the Leveque gives you the benefit of viewing the amazing scenery, from thousands of feet from the ground.
 

The Cape is definitely a prime location for eco-tourism.

As a result, you will find a couple of great eco-resorts ideally situated in an incredible landscape. These resorts combine the comfort and luxury, sought after by travelers, with the advantages of camping close to nature. One of the more popular eco-resorts in Cape Leveque is Kooljaman. This stylish resort allows you to enjoy the wonders of the Australian Outback and the distinct culture of the Aborigines. Other accommodation alternatives for you to look into are: basic camping and staying in available beach shacks.

Jurien Bay – The Jewel of the Central West Coast Australia

Western Australia
© ZFizzle

Although Jurien Bay may not be as famous as other Australian beach towns, it has been steadily becoming a family vacation favorite in recent years. It is located on the Western Australia Coral Coast. This gorgeous beach spot is a versatile tourist destination with a plethora of activities to make a visit here an excellent and memorable vacation experience. It is no wonder that Jurien Bay has earned the title, “The Jewel of the Central West Coast”.

Jurien Bay’s accessibility to the Western Australian capital of Perth is also one of the reasons it makes such an ideal weekend getaway.  The beach town is only about 226 kilometers from Perth. It only takes a little more than two hours to reach Jurien Bay when you drive along the coastal Indian Ocean Drive.  This drive is a treat in itself because of the fantastic view of the coast you will enjoy all throughout the short journey.

Western AustraliaOne of the best things to do at Jurien Bay is fishing.

In fact, the town is ranked as one of the best fishing spots in all of Western Australia. If you would like to book for a charter fishing expedition, you only need to proceed to the Jurien Bay Marina.  This modern inland marina houses a huge number of fishing and charter boats.

If you want to stay near the coast, the Jurien Bay Tourist Park offers a range of accommodation and other facilities that will make your stay very comfortable. The park maintains chalets as well as powered and unpowered camping sites.  It also provides free entertainment and activities on a weekly basis.

The beach is, of course, the main reason people flock Jurien Bay. You can find one of the sandy stretches just in front of the Jurien Bay Tourist Park. This beach is long, sheltered by the inland harbor, and features beautiful turquoise water.  If you are a visiting family with small children, there is a well-maintained playground right on the beach where the little ones are free to run around and play in.  The beach also gives fantastic views of the sunset. Make sure to find a nice viewing area near the marina or the bay before the sun bids goodbye to the day.

Jurien Bay has other pristine white sand beaches worthy of exploring.

You can easily spend a couple of days just beach hopping if you are a true blue beach lover. The area is also home to the Jurien Bay Marine Park. You can find a wide range of amazing sea creatures in this area. And it is never a waste of time to go for some amazing snorkeling or diving adventures around the park’s waters. In addition, Jurien Bay Marine is known as the favorite dwelling place for very friendly Australian sea lions.  If you want to see these lovely animals up close and personal, consider booking a sea lion charter tour from one of the local operators.

And finally, if you have done all the activities mentioned, and you still want to marvel at the beauty of Jurien Bay in a distinct way then why not do it while free falling several thousand of feet above the ground? Jurien Bay skydiving is one of the most scenics in Australia. This may be the perfect Australian spot to grab the opportunity to soar like an eagle and overcome your fear of heights!

Gorgeous Coral Bay, Western Australia

Western, Australia

If you love the sun and the ocean, and you find yourself in the “Land Down Under”, then consider heading out to Coral Bay. At this settlement on the northwestern coast of Australia, the shimmering blue water of the Indian Ocean, the clear blue skies, the powdery sand, and the stunning Ningaloo Reef will ensure that you experience an amazing vacation.

The Ningaloo Reef is one of the main reasons Coral Bay is a special destination.

This reef system is one of the few that exist on the west coast of any continent on the planet. Ningaloo is home to soft colored corals that possess very pleasant shapes. Their spawning cycle is unlike anything else in the world in the world. Spawning of these corals usually takes place on the first full moon after Easter, at night. Ningaloo Reef also supports a plethora of sea creatures including tropical fish moral eels, sea turtles and manta rays.

Because of Ningaloo’s proximity to the town, Coral Bay makes an excellent base for snorkeling and diving expeditions.  The town also experiences a warm sunny climate for the majority of the year. This means that you can head out to Coral Bay at almost any given time and would still be able to explore its underwater beauty.

One creature that you may be lucky to meet and even swim with is the Whale Shark.

These gentle giants are the largest fish in the world. They swim their way to Coral Bay during the period of March through June. Even though they can stretch up to 18 meters long, whale sharks are harmless as their diet consists mainly of plankton. The presence of whales’ sharks’ filter feeding at the Ningaloo Reef is due to the reef is closeness to the continental shelf. It is believed to be the home of these giant creatures.

Anyone who has snorkeled at Coral Bay will attest that such experience is absolutely amazing. The reef system is less than 100 yards from the shoreline. The farthest point of the reef is approximately 8 kilometers from the shore. If you want to see Ningaloo’s coral gardens but would rather stay dry while doing so, book one of the cruises that use a semi-submersible boat. Fortunately, there are several operators that can organize such a tour along with other activities.

Aside from snorkeling, it is not surprising that fishing is a worthwhile activity at Coral Bay.

You can arrange a charter fishing boat to take you out onto the deep ocean to catch fish like tuna, mackerel, groper ad Red Emperor. And you can also try beach fishing, which is also fun and easy. Green, Loggerhead and Hawkesville turtle nesting is also a common site on the local beaches between the period of November through February.

You can reach Coral Bay by roads connecting to Perth. The closest airport is the Learmonth airport at Exmouth, but take note that it is about 140 kilometers away.  Coral Bay is a very simple and laidback town. You will not see much in the way of luxury accommodation. The beaches, although gorgeous, are most often not crowded. The laidback atmosphere and shallow waters make the Coral Bay beach ideal for small children. Aside from a resort hotel, there are also two caravan parks, which serve as accommodation options.  There are also houses in the area, which are available for short term holiday rentals.

 

Exploring the town of Augusta in Western Australia

© Orderinchaos

Looking to experience a Western Australian escapade featuring great weather and amazing attractions? The lovely town of Augusta should then be one of your stops. Situated in the mouth of the gorgeous Blackwood River. The town is your access point to some of the most beautiful waterways in the world.

While in town, one of the most important stops is the Augusta Historical Museum, and despite its small size, it is rated as one of the best in the region. The museum displays highlight the stories of European families who settled in Western Australia. Since Augusta is a part of the Margaret River Wine Region, this is also a great place for wine tasting excursions. It is abundant with wineries and vineyards. While you are here, do not forget to indulge yourself. Have a memorable meal at one of Augusta’s fine winery restaurants.

One of the town’s iconic landmarks is the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.

Thus, a trip to Augusta is not complete without stopping by this 115-year-old historic structure. The lighthouse is among the tallest in mainland Australia. It is set on a gorgeous peninsula, where the ocean waters meet, and rolling hills and coastal rocks are the primary scenery features. The lighthouse remains fully-functional, guiding the ships in navigating a quite difficult sea lane.

Taking a tour around the structure gives you a glimpse of its dramatic history and the opportunity to capture precious photographs. After a satisfying tour around the lighthouse, you can also head over to the Water Wheel. It is another historic structure built in 1895. It was used to provide fresh water to the lighthouse workers and builders.

Western Australia
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse WA © Amanda Slater via Flickr

Augusta’s coasts offer loads of activities for tourists to enjoy.

Here, you can go for a relaxing swim or learn how to surf. Fishing and canoeing are also popular activities for visitors. One reason why the town’s coastline is one of the favorites of wildlife enthusiasts is this is where you can get the chance to watch Southern Right and Humpback whales. They swim in numbers following their natural migration instincts. The perfect time to see these magnificent creatures is during the migrating months of June until September. In addition to whale watching, there are also dolphins, seals, and various bird species. They are clearly seen from the shore.

If you would like to spark your dormant adventurist side, experience a cave exploration in Augusta. There are several caves with distinct features to choose from in the area. So far, more than 150 caves are found in the town’s karri forest are and along the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge. The ridge can be accessed from the main road called Cave Road.

Most of the caves offer unbelievable beauty and highly distinctive features. Such as complicated karsts patterns created out of the fast underground water drainage. Jewel Cave is Western Australia’s biggest tourist cave, which also offers interesting rock and stalactites formations found in its chambers. While visiting the cave, you will also come across a splendid frozen waterfall. The other three popular show caves maintained by the Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association are also worth a look. The three caves are namely Lake, Jewel, and Mammoth. They are made famous by their accessibility and their unique and incredible karsts formations.

The lovely town of Augusta should be on your list of explorations. Visit it in Western Australia, it is well worth your time!

The Gorgeous Kimberley Region of Australia

Western Australia

The Kimberley, one of the nine regions of Western Australia, took billions of years to make. The result is picture-perfect and almost out of this world. No one could claim that they’ve experienced genuinely extraordinary outback adventures until they set foot here.

Not all places have vast cattle stations. True wilderness areas, pristine beaches that are worthy of a Survivor show setting. Ancient gorges and horizontal waterfalls (the only one in this planet!) are all packed in one 423,000 square kilometer piece of the earth. If you’re looking for an adventure that includes four wheels driving the red-dirt road and soaring over the towers of mountain ranges, get ready for Kimberley.

Key Attractions

The famous Staircase to the Moon is a natural spectacle to behold. It occurs in Broome only two days a month from April to October.

Don’t miss it. As the moon rises and the tide recedes. A stairway reflection appears on the exposed mudflats creating the optical illusion of a staircase reaching for the moon. Any minute from thereon, it feels like an ancient deity is scheduled to descend from the heavens through those stairs. There is a splendid night market on the town beach to accommodate the congregation of visitors who come from all over the world. Once you’ve already captured your best Staircase to the Moon photo, it’s time to shop for handmade clothing, local pearls, and a plethora of crafts.

Purnululu National Park is home to the Bungle Bungle Range.

350 million years in the making, it’s the most captivating range on Earth. Remember to carry your own food and water if you intend to camp for days as no provisions are available. Spending a day hiking here is like a day in a strange world, on another planet, in another sphere. With its huge expanse of striking banded beehive structures, sandstone cliffs, and towers, you’d definitely run out of space on your digicam.

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There are only two horizontal waterfalls on Earth. You can look open-mouthed upon both of them at Talbot Bay.

The stunning geological feature is the work of some of the largest tidal movements in the world. Remember that there is no road access. To see this rare gem, you will have to go through a tour operator with a turboprop or a helicopter.

Rowley Shoals Islands is home to shallow lagoons that harbor colorful coral, abundant marine life and even a shipwreck.

Given the opportunity to experience a diverse array of scuba diving environments, who could resist this massive underwater wilderness?

For that spiritual journey, troop to Cape Leveque. A sacred wilderness that has been under the protection of the Indigenous people for countless generations.

Against a striking backdrop of cliffs, pristine white sands, and clear turquoise waters, it’s easy to find life’s meaning. And get lost again while savoring life’s best here.

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How to Get There

The Kimberley is well serviced by both national and regional carriers (including Airnorth, QANTAS, Skywest Airlines, and Virgin Australia). Greyhound Australia coaches operate daily bus services connecting all major towns.

 

Which of these places in Western Australia would you like to visit? Comment down below! See you down under!

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