Other destinations Edit
Pinnacles Desert in Western Australia
- Kalbarri National Park — explore vibrantly coloured gorges and cliffs sculpted by the Murchison River as it flows to the sea
- Coral Bay and Exmouth — 1250km from Perth, are gateways to the magnificent Ningaloo Reef
- Karijini National Park — a major destination in the Pilbara. featuring huge canyons and gorges, and nice hikes through majestic scenery
- Margaret River — a fine winery and surfing region about 250 km south of Perth, a weekend playground for Perth.
- Mount Augustus — rivalling the better-known Uluru in Northern Territory for size, it’s often claimed to be the largest monolith on Earth
- Pinnacles Desert — an eerie landscape of limestone pillars rising from the sand about 100 km north of Perth
- Purnululu National Park — a UNESCO World Heritage Site features the enigmatic Bungle Bungle dome formations
- Shark Bay — on the westernmost point of Australia, the small town is known for stromatolites and the dolphins at Monkey Mia
- Southern Forests — get among lush ancient forests around Denmark and Pemberton where towering karri and marri trees fringe the rugged coastline of D’Entrecasteaux National Park
The large majority of the the 2 million inhabitants live in the southwestern part of the state, in or close to Perth . the capital and the most isolated city of this size anywhere in the world. Outside of the Perth area there are less than 500,000 people, hence the demoynm Sandgropers. The largest towns outside Perth metro are Albany and Geralton. only about 30,000 population each depending on seasonal fluctuations. Beyond the coast, Western Australia’s vast interior is very sparsely populated, with only a handful of townships with over a few thousand residents. Mining settlements and cattle stations are thinly-spread so it is all to easy to find yourself alone in a 100 mile radius.
Mount Augustus is widely claimed to be the world’s largest monolith
Western Australia covers about third of the total land mass of Australia. It encompasses climatic zones from the monsoonal and tropical north, to the temperate and mediterranean south, and the desert and barren inland. Apart from the south-western coast, the majority of the land is extremely old, eroded, flat, arid and infertile.
The population centres are extremely isolated from one another, and from the other populated zones of Australia. This and the tough environment may account for a more independent spirit than in the eastern states.
The vastness of the state is certainly not to be underestimated when planning your trip. If it were a country, it would be in the top 10 by area, as large as Argentina. larger than any African or European country, and twice the size of Alaska. It is the largest statoid in the world (sub-national body) besides the Sakha Republic in Russia.
Perth and the south-west corner including the Margaret River and Albany are easily accessible, as is Broome. Visiting much of the rest of the state requires some planning, and will probably require some long drives. Never plan on doing a road trip, without clearly telling either the authorties or someone else, on you’re planned route, as you could be buggered if you break down. Make sure you always have lots of water (and spare gas) with you.
Western Australia was discovered by the Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog in 1616 while en-route to what is now known as Jakarta. In the following decade, other Dutch explorers would encounter the land here, but with no apparent natural resources to exploit, left as quickly as they came. During the late 18th century, the British and the French began to explore the more Southern regions of Western Australia and in 1826 the British decided that King George Sound would be a suitable location for a settlement. Three years later the Swan River Colony was established and this would later become the city of Perth. The state grew slowly until the discovery of gold in Kalgoorlie in the 1890s, which led to a huge influx of pepole.
Western Australia is the only state to never have been part of New South Wales and is the only Australian state to have tried to leave the federation, voting to secede in 1933. A delegation was sent to Britain to petition parliament to pass the legislation needed to enable independence, but it was determined that the British parliament did not have the necessary powers to pass such legislation. The suggestion of secession still appears in the Western Australian media from time to time, and there are many Western Australians who support the idea.
Time Zone Edit
Western Australia is in the Australian Western Standard Time zone, 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+8). It doesn’t observe daylight savings time, and is two hours behind the east coast of Australia during winter, and falls three hours behind New South Wales. Victoria. and Tasmania when they move to daylight savings. Note that not all of W.A. is in the same time zone! Residents of towns east of Caiguna on the Eyre Highway (including Eucla. Madura. Mundrabilla and Border Village) in the south-east corner near the South Australian border do not follow official Western Australian time. Instead, they use what is unofficially known as Central Western Standard Time, which is halfway between Western and Central time–UTC+8:45.
Get in Edit
By plane Edit
Perth has the only airport in Western Australia with regular international flights.
The vast majority of interstate flights also land in Perth. However there are a small number of interstate flights to Kalgoorlie. Kununurra. Karratha and Broome. Skywest has a weekly flight from Kalgoorlie to Melbourne, however it may still be cheaper to fly Kalgoorlie – Perth – Melbourne depending on the travel dates desired.
The price of flights from other Australian capital cities to Perth fluctuates wildly. The red-eye overnight flights can often be obtained at a discount over the more civilised flight times.
By car Edit
Considering the huge distances, driving into Western Australia from anywhere else is an experience by itself.
There are only two sealed roads into Western Australia: in the south, the Eyre Highway is the most direct route from Adelaide to Perth. In the north, the Victoria Highway connects the Kimberley region with the Northern Territory up to Darwin. Both involve extremely long drives. Perth-Adelaide is at least 3 days of driving with stops only to sleep, and much of the drive is across the extraordinarily barren Nullabor Plain. Darwin-Perth is at least a week.
It is often possible to organise one-way car hire without additional fees from Adelaide to Perth. Shop around, and check conditions carefully, as some cars hired in Adelaide cannot even be driven into Western Australia.
The unsealed Great Central Road, Tanami Track and Gunbarrel Highway run between the Northern Territory and remote Western Australian towns.
By rail Edit
There is one railway connecting Western Australia with the eastern states. The Indian Pacific  train service runs between Sydney and Perth via Kalgoorlie. Adelaide and Broken Hill. Prices are generally more expensive than air travel, but you can put your car on the train. The train ride is a unique experience in itself, as it can take 3 nights to get to Sydney at the other end of the line and you see a lot of rugged beauty along the way.
There are quarantine rules  if you are coming from other states in Australia. You cannot bring fruits and vegetables (including seeds and cuttings) into Western Australia. Frozen fresh food is also not allowed but you will be OK with commercially packaged foods, except honey and bee products. There are quarantine checkpoints set up on the state borders and rules are strictly enforced. Inspectors board trains into the state to check passengers, and there are checkpoints at all airports.
If you are arriving directly from overseas, additional quarantine rules apply. See the Australia article for details.
Get around Edit
By car Edit
If you want to travel across WA by road, be ready to drive a lot to get from point A to point B. There are only a limited number of sealed roads (any map of the state will probably show you all of them), if you plan to leave them to get to more remote areas you will need to consider renting a 4WD. Contact the company to which you rent the vehicle to check the policy concerning driving on unsealed tracks, as you might have to get their authorization. Driving a rented conventional (non-4WD) vehicle on an unsealed track may breach your rental contract and void your insurance. Check with the local depot before arriving.
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