West Australian Tourist Destinations
Western Australia has a number of great tourist destinations. It is a huge state with a variety of attractions throughout its breadth and depth.
Cape Le Grand National Park is on the south coast of the state and is renowned for its pristine white beaches and blue, blue water. The area is 50 kms east of Esperance and a day's drive from Perth. Rocky headlands separate the sandy beaches and huge granite outcrops jut out of the gently rolling sandplain country. The highest peak is Mount Le Grand, more popularly known as Frenchman's Peak. From June to October the peak is a popular vantage point for watching the migration of humpback and southern right whales.
The area is a haven for native flora and fauna. Pygmy honey possums, the southern bandicoot and the western grey kangaroo can all be seen in the area. The kangaroos even sunbake on the beach.
Another wonderful attraction in the south of Western Australia is the Valley of the Giants' Tree Top Walk near Walpole. The Tree Top Walk is situated in the Walpole-Nornalup National Park. The Park of nearly 20,000 hectares features towering karri and red tingle trees as well as coastal heath. The rugged coastline, peaceful rivers and inlets provide some wonderful spectacles. A unique walking trail, the Bibbulman Track, passes through this area.
The Tree Top Walk rises 38m above the forest floor. The suspended walkway rises gradually until it is winding its way among the tree tops. The 400m walkway is wheel-chair accessible and suitable for children of all ages. Part of the same area has been developed to lead pedestrians over a boardwalk just above the ground through an 'Ancient Empire' of veteran tingle trees. These gnarled old trees have been hollowed out over the centuries by insects and fires. The swollen but hollow bases provide great opportunities for group photos.
Much further north in the Kimberley area, the Bungle Bungles are located in the Purnululu National Park. The massive size of the area can be best appreciated by taking a scenic flight in a helicopter. Today nearly twice as many see the marvel from the air than from the ground.The sandstone domes are tiger-striped and rise like giant beehives 300m out of the arid landscape. The tiger striping comes from layers of glossy orange caused by staining of the iron and manganese content and the growth of black algae on the more porous layers.
The 320,000ha area of the Bungle Bungles is protected and a separate park (the Bungle Bungle National Park) within the Purnululu park. The massif was discovered by white men only in the 1980s and ground access was almost not achieved.
To find a feasible route into the area, a spotter plane dropped sacks of flour to mark an accessible route for the 4WD vehicle to follow. Even today the 55kkm access road can take some three hours to traverse. It is an unsealed road and only suitable for large 4WD vehicles. The Bungles hide magnificent gorges, tropical rainforest pools and eerie caves. Access is from the Great Northern Highway 250km south of Kununurra. It is truly one of nature's most remarkable natural creations.
Ningaloo Reef is 260km in length and runs the length of the North West Cape. It protects a shallow, brilliant white, tropical lagoon. This is a rare example where you can walk straight from the beach onto a coral reef. Over 500 tropical fish species and 220 coral species make up this protected marine park. Multi-coloured fish swim around your legs in the knee-deep water. The easiest way to gain access to the reef is from Coral Bay in the south or Exmouth in the north.
These warm waters are home to the whale shark, the largest fish in existence. Dive tours are available which offer participants the chance to swim with the whale sharks. Divers are also likely to see manta rays, dolphins and even dugongs on these tours.
There are also a number of dive sites in the region which range from entry-level dive sites to advanced sites.
Karijini National Park, unlike the Bungle Bungles, is more easily accessible and the scenery is just as magnificent although very different. Deep gorges, emerald coloured pools and awe-inspiring waterfalls combine to create breath-taking spectacles. The Park is 310km from Roebourne and 1400km from Perth. But visitors are amply rewarded for their long trip. Some of the highlights are the Joffre Gorge Lookout where a curved wall forms a natural amphitheatre. At Oxer Lookout, the junctions of Red, Weano, Joffre and Hancock Gorges can be viewed. Circular Pool and Fern Pool have been aptly named and are little oases of coolness in a normally harsh, arid region.
Western Australia's second highest mountain, Mount Bruce, is 1165 metres high and is situated in the Park. Its aboriginal name is Bunurrunha and there are spectacular views all the way to the top.
These are just some of the wonderful tourist attractions in Western Australia but they are surely some of the best.