Perth and surrounds
Western Australia is simply stunning. The attractive city of Perth is Australia’s sunniest state capital and a luxury vacation here gives you spectacular Indian Ocean beaches, lush green spaces and fantastic local attractions, as well as gems in the surrounding area, such as Fremantle, which has a thriving cafe and micro-brewing culture, and national parks which provide a ready-made natural wonderland. Head south to Albany, where the first European settlers set foot in Western Australia, and Cape Leeuwin, where you can see whales right off the headland.
We also recommend a day trip to the mysterious Pinnacles Desert to see the appropriately-named Wave Rock, swimming with dolphins in Rockingham, taking the ferry to Rottnest Island to see the resident quokka colony or just hanging out on the lovely beaches.
The Margaret River is famous for its impressive wineries, and many have award-winning restaurants on site too - organic cheese producers, local seafood, olive groves and chocolate factories all add to the gastronomic experience, and as well as food and wine, there are also several craft breweries. In addition to some lovely boutique hotels, this region also has some of the top surf beaches in Australia, plus some great snorkelling and diving sites. There are numerous art and craft galleries, alongside adrenaline-fuelled activities such as scenic treetop walks and caving.
The Ningaloo Reef
Stretching for 280km along the west coast, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef is an extraordinary yet relatively unknown jewel. It’s a showcase of turquoise waters, pristine white sand beaches and marine life such as sharks, manta rays, sea lions and countless tropical fish, making this a fantastic spot for snorkelling and diving. In our opinion, the Ningaloo Reef is just as impressive as the Great Barrier Reef - with the added bonus of far fewer visitors.
Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs here in summer, and you can see and swim with giant whale sharks – the world’s largest fish. Dolphins and migrating humpback whales are a big draw in Monkey Mia too, and the Coral Coast is also home to endangered wildlife such as the distinctive dugong (sea cow).
The Kimberley region in north-west Australia is one of the world’s last unspoilt frontiers. Extending from Broome to Kununurra near the Northern Territory border, it is a vast ancient land of deep gorges, mysterious rock formations, white sand beaches and coral reefs. In Broome, enjoy a sunset camel ride on Cable Beach, and take a scenic flight over the mysterious domes of the Bungle Bungles.