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Western Australia

General   Weather   Airports   Attractions   Activities  

Introduction

Big Grove, Western Australia ©Adon Buckley

The state of Western Australia is big, bold and beautiful, and despite covering one third of Australia has a population of fewer than three million. It has miles of coastline washed by the Indian Ocean and a range of climatic zones from tropical through to temperate. The northern area is raw and harsh; the south is characterised by rolling green pasture; to the west is the ocean; while to the east lie golden wheat fields.


The true richness of Western Australia lies in its huge mineral deposits: gold, diamonds, iron ore, bauxite, nickel, natural gas and oil provide employment for much of the population. The goldfields of Kalgoorlie still produce a couple of thousand ounces of gold a day. The young and vital state capital, Perth, was built on the mineral wealth of the state and offers a leisurely, beach-orientated lifestyle for its large immigrant population.


Western Australia is one of the most diverse floral regions in the world, boasting something like 8,000 species of wildflower. Its rugged, rocky coastline has been responsible for plenty of tragedy: more than 700 vessels have come to grief here since the first Dutch sailors arrived on the shores of the state in the 17th century. The varied, sometimes harsh beauty of the landscapes gives Western Australia the allure of frontier country, and the multi-cultural population bears out this feeling. The vastness of the state and sparseness of the population also add a sense of freedom.


Climate Info

Due to its large size, Western Australia has one of the most diverse climates in the country, with the land divided into three main climatic zones: tropical, semi-arid and Mediterranean. The north is tropical, characterised by a sunny dry season (April to September) and a wet season (October to March) with high humidity, heavy rains and thunderstorms. The dry season has ideal temperatures, with hot days and mild evenings. The central part of the state falls within the semi-arid zone and consists mostly of deserts. A temperate, Mediterranean climate characterises the south, where the summers are warm and dry and the winters mild and wet. Perth lies within this zone and the hot summer days are cooled by the strong afternoon sea breezes. Perth has a very low rate of humidity. Winters (June to August) are mild, with the wettest month being July.


Getting Around

Perth has a very efficient and convenient public transport system called Transperth, which operates buses, trains and ferries. Passengers can hop from one to the other on a single ticket, and obtain information on all the services at booths set up for this purpose at strategic points like Plaza Arcade, the railway station and bus stations. Buses in the central area are free, covering a number of colour-coded routes, while suburban bus services and trains link to the outer districts day and night. Ferries operate on the Swan River; fares are based on zones and tickets can be bought from newsagents and vending machines. Metered taxis can be hailed in the street in Perth, found at taxi ranks or booked by telephone. All major car hire companies are represented in Perth and driving in the city poses no problems. Cycling is a popular way to get around, and there are numerous designated cycle routes.


Perth International Airport (PER)

LocationThe airport is located seven miles (12km) from Perths city centre.
Time DifferenceGMT +8.
Contacts

Tel: +61 (0)8 9478 8888.

Transfer terminals

A free shuttle bus links all four terminals, operating 24 hours a day.

Getting to city

Bus 40 runs daily from Terminals 3 and 4 to the Elizabeth Quay Bus Station via the Great Eastern Highway. The journey takes approximately 55 minutes. Bus 380 runs daily from Terminals 1 and 2 to Perth city centre via Elizabeth Quay Bus Station, Belmont Forum Shopping Centre and Victoria Park Transfer Station.

Car Rental

Avis, Budget, Thrifty, Hertz, Redspot, and Europcar are all represented at the airport.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are available outside the terminals, and a trip to central Perth will cost approximately A$43.

Airport Facilities

Facilities include a selection of bars and restaurants, various retail stores and a duty-free shop. ATMs and bureaux de change are also available. There is also an information centre, internet access and mobile phone rental. Access to all terminal facilities is provided for disabled visitors.

Car Parking

Short-term parking is free for the first 10 minutes, then charged at A$7.40 for 30 minutes, A$12.60 for 60 minutes, A$18 for two hours, up to A$3 per hour thereafter and A$46.50 per day. Long-term parking is about A$25 per day for the first three days, and A$12 per day thereafter.

Websitewww.perthairport.net.au/


Monkey Mia Resort


At this remarkable resort, situated near the town of Denham, about 525 miles (830km) north of Perth in the Shark Bay Heritage area, visitors have the opportunity to interact with and even hand-feed the local wild dolphins who visit the shore each day. Several bottlenose dolphins regularl
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Monkey Mia resort ©Robert Young



Karijini National Park


Karijini is the second largest national park in Western Australia, situated in the Pilbara region. It features breathtaking gorges, crystal clear rock pools, waterfalls and stunning scenery. A system of walking trails designed for hikers of various levels of fitness, from beginner to exp
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Karijini National Park ©Michael Theis



Wildflower Region


The mid-west section of Western Australia is known as the wildflower region, particularly between late July and early September after the seasonal rains, when the spectacular fields of yellow, pink and white everlasting daisies emerge. The most popular site for wildflower viewing is the
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Kangaroo Paws, Wildflower Region ©denisbin



Goldfields


Goldfields, to the east of Perth, is a region steeped in history and legend, where visitors can see relics of the gold rush and the mines that have made the area famous. It is possible to tour the Super Pit, Australia's biggest open-cut-mine, which is an impressive sight at more than 853
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Goldfields Super Pit ©aussiejeff



Margaret River


Southwest of Perth, the Margaret River Region is an area characterised by dairy farms and wineries set within a picturesque landscape, and is Western Australia's most popular holiday destination. The area was initially discovered by surfers, but now holidaymakers of all kinds head here b
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Vineyards in Margaret River ©Robert Young



Fremantle


Despite having been absorbed into Perth's urban sprawl, Fremantle, affectionately known as 'Freo', retains its own strong identity and is a popular destination for day-trippers from Perth. Its harbour was built in 1903 by CY O'Connor, who also constructed the Goldfields pipeline before k
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Fremantle Sunset ©Daniel Lee



Kings Park and Botanic Garden


Comprised of more than 400 hectares (988 acres) of parkland and gardens, Kings Park and Botanic Gardens is one of Perth's most popular attractions for locals and tourists alike. Set on Mt Eliza, the park offers breath-taking views over the city and Swan River, while more than 80 species
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Kings Park and Botanic Garden ©Mel Patterson



London Court


Built in 1937, Perth's London Court is set among modern skyscrapers in the heart of the city. The small pedestrian 'street' is located between the Hay Street Mall and St Georges Terrace, and is reminiscent of the Tudor style buildings of England. Walking through London Court, visitors ca
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London Court ©Sheila Thomson



Nambung National Park


Located in the Swan Coastal Plain, just 150 miles (245km) north of Perth, the Nambung National Park is home to one of Australia's most incredible natural attractions - the Pinnacles Desert. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of Oceania, the Pinnacles Desert consists of thousands of limesto
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Nambung National Park ©fzhuo



Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk


A wonderful example of nature-based tourism, the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk is a must for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. The 0.4 mile (about 600m) walk takes place along a specially-constructed boardwalk, 130 feet (40m) above the forest floor, and winds through the heart of a m
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Tree Top Walk, Valley of the Giants ©Amanda Slater



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