Western Australia is the second-largest country subdivision in the world! With a total land area of 2,529,875 square kilometres and a population of about 2.5 million inhabitants, it is no wonder why people say it has some of the most famous and thrilling four-wheel drive tracks in the world.
The state is defined in nine regions:
92 % of the population lives in the south-west corner of the state. With its mediterranean climate it is most of the year warm and sunny. That’s why the capital city of WA, Perth, is also called ‘sunshine city’. With in average more than 3000 hours of sun per year, it enjoys the best weather of all capital cities in Australia.
Originally, the south-west coastal area is heavily forested. One of the tallest trees in the world, called karri, can be found about 300 km south of Perth. If you pass Pemberton on your road trip it is worth having a stop at one of the climbing trees or to explore the forest on a top tree walk through the Valley of the Giants, located between west of Denmark and east of Walpole.
Being the agricultural region of Western Australia the south-west is in the top nine terrestrial habitats for terrestrial biodiversity, with a higher proportion of endemic species than most other equivalent regions.
Beautiful beaches and wineries invite for relaxed holidays. Especially in summer time, when it’s too hot to stay in Perth region, people escape down south and enjoy the fresh breeze.
Central Western Australia
The central two-thirds of the state is arid and lightly inhabited, with the only significant economic activity being mining. With slightly any rain during the year, except of cyclone events in summer months, it is important to prepare well before you start your 4WD trip through the outback.
Long, red dusty roads are waiting to get discovered. The Great Central Road is the most direct route from Perth to Alice Springs in Northern Territory. The route also passes directly into Aboriginal reserves and it is a legal requirement for travellers to hold a valid transit permit at the time of travel, even when staying on the Great Central Road. Two permits are required and they are available from the West Australian Department of Indigenous Affairs. The permits are free.
Like pretty much everywhere in the Australian outback, there is no mobile phone reception. It is recommended to carry at least an UHF radio combined with one emergency long-distance voice communication device on the road.
Where ever you travel in the Western Australian outback, bring enough water, food, spare parts and fuel with you. There might be a roadhouse and service station about every 350 km, but you never know what happens. If your car breaks down, it could take a while until you get help. Especially if you are planning a 4WD trip and leave the main roads it is extremely important to prepare well. These 4WD handy hints might help you to prepare your holidays.
If you want to combine your outback adventure with the most amazing beaches and crystal water, I highly recommend to travel along the North West Coastal Highway. The nature in this part of Australia is incredible beautiful. Many people say they prefer to travel the east coast because there is nothing in Western Australia. For me, the road trip from Perth up to Exmouth was the best ever. Amazing national parks like Francois Peron NP, Kalbarri NP or the Cape Range NP at the Ningaloo Reef guarantee great adventures and an unforgettable outback experience.
The north-tropical region of Western Australia is great to travel from May to October. It is sunny and dry at this time of the year, whereas roads are closed and crocodile danger is given during the wet season.
Broome is a colorful town with golden beaches, red rocks and turquoise water. Some good pubs, horse races and natural wonders make sure you don’t get bored. It is the gate to the Kimberley and a great opportunity to enjoy beach lifestyle and upper class accommodation before you hit the road for a while.
The Gibb River Road is a 660 km long dirt track which connects Broome/Derby with Kununurra/Wyndham. Travelling through the heart of the Kimberley, you will find real wilderness.
If you decide to camp a night in Wyndham, don’t miss out to drive on the top of the lookout point before sunset, have a BBQ and stay there late. It is the place where the five rivers meet. A spectacular sunset can be watched from here, which changes the scenery dramatically. And as soon as it is getting dark, there are so many shooting stars, it’s unreal. I was so close to the stars, I thought I could touch them. If there is any place on earth where you could see them all, it must be Wyndham lookout point!
Want to learn more about Australia?
Don’t miss out some good Australian entertainment! These are my personal recommendations:
More Aussie Adventures here.
If you want to learn how to become a ‘real’ Australian, this YouTube series is also worth to watch: