Experience Extraordinary in Western Australia

Bordered by the Indian Ocean, Western Australia is one of the oldest lands on Earth with a living Aboriginal history dating back more than 40,000 years.

The first recorded European visitors in WA’s history were the Dutch in the 1600s, but European settlement didn’t officially take place in WA until 1826, when the southern port of Albany was settled as a military outpost. However, the colonial headquarters were moved to the current capital of Perth.

WA’s history is unusual in that it was one of the few Australian states that wasn’t settled as a penal colony. The first major population surge came in the 1890s with the discovery of gold in the central and southern outback. The ensuing gold rush saw a massive influx of people from Australia and around the world. On January 1, 1901, WA joined the other Australian States to form a federation, headed by a Federal Government and supported by individual State Governments.

Today, the Indigenous cultures of WA provide a continuous and living link with ancient knowledge and the land, passed on through song, dance, visual arts, the reading of the seasons and ceremony. There are more than 250 Indigenous communities in WA, and around 16,000 people.

Home to 2.6 million people, the majority of whom (2 million people) live in the capital city of Perth, Western Australians come from over 200 different countries.  With 12 per cent of the population speaking a language other than English at home, our workforce communicates easily with countries and businesses around the world.

Western Australia is a world leader in the production of minerals and petroleum, wool, seafood, pearls, premium wines and gourmet foods, has a strong agribusiness industry, and a growing services sector, which includes scientific and medical research, tourism, education, architecture, ship building and defence, engineering construction, subsea development, film, fashion, music and writing.

Key Visitor Experiences

Western Australia is one of the largest States in the world. The landscape is inspiring in its beauty and grandeur and includes pristine beaches, rugged gorges, unique rock formations, towering forests and secluded waterfalls.

The climate is also varied, from the Mediterranean climate of the south, to the tropical climate of the north, meaning that you can find summer in Western Australia at any time of year.

WA has five regional tourism organisations (RTOs) that work with Tourism WA and tourism operators to market their region’s extraordinary destinations, experiences and events. The tourism regions are Experience Perth, Australia’s Coral Coast, Australia’s South West, Australia’s Golden Outback and Australia’s North West.

Experience Perth

Perth’s spectacular natural surroundings are rivalled only by its vibrant city life, which has been undergoing a rapid transformation that has seen the city embrace new hotels, bars, restaurants and public spaces. Nestled between the sparkling Swan River and one of the world’s largest inner city parks – Kings Park and Botanic Garden – Perth offers a unique blend of urban and natural experiences. Along the Perth metropolitan shoreline, you’ll find 19 beautiful beaches, while a 25-minute drive inland brings you to WA’s oldest wine region, the Swan Valley. Then there’s the historic and eclectic port city of Fremantle; the island paradise of Rottnest Island; and the opportunity to swim with wild dolphins at Rockingham.

Australia’s South West

Here, you’ll find world-class food and wine, beautiful beaches, surfing, cave systems, tall tree forests, whale-watching, wildflowers and one of the world’s most famous wine regions, Margaret River – home to more than 220 wine producers and 100 cellar doors. As one of only 34 bio-diversity hotspots in the world, the South West has thousands of plant species that are found nowhere else on Earth.

Australia’s Coral Coast

Home to awesome marine life, endless white sandy beaches and warm, turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean this region also boasts two World Heritage listed sites – Ningaloo Reef and Shark Bay. The underwater playground of Ningaloo Reef is just a short paddle from the beach. Come mid-March to the end of July, you can even swim with the ocean’s gentle giant, the whale shark. The region is also trialling humpback whale swims for the first time in 2016.

Australia’s South West

Here, you’ll find world-class food and wine, beautiful beaches, surfing, cave systems, tall tree forests, whale-watching, wildflowers and one of the world’s most famous wine regions, Margaret River – home to more than 220 wine producers and 100 cellar doors. As one of only 34 bio-diversity hotspots in the world, the South West has thousands of plant species that are found nowhere else on Earth.

Australia’s Golden Outback

Explore historic townships, scenes of spectacular desert wilderness, outback characters, gold rush history and the pristine beaches of the Southern Ocean. The region is home to the world’s largest outdoor gallery at Lake Ballard and one of Australia’s whitest beaches, Lucky Bay at Cape Le Grand National Park.

Australia’s North West 

A billion years in the making, the North West is one of the world’s last true wilderness areas. Here, you’ll find ancient gorges of Karijini National Park and the world’s only Staircase to the Moon and Horizontal Falls. It’s also where you’ll locate one of the best kept secrets on earth – the Bungle Bungle Range in World-Heritage listed Purnululu National Park.