A Backpacker’s Photo Guide To Western Australia
Backpacker itineraries for Australia are usually filled with the most iconic destinations and landmarks; New South Wales’ Sydney Opera House, Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef, Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. In fact, all of the experiences I was recommended as a first-time backpacker to the country are found on the East Coast. Poor old Western Australia, seen as too remote or not quite spectacular enough to warrant the additional cost of a domestic flight, rarely gets a look in.
It wasn’t until my second trip to Australia that I made it to WA, and I was completely blown away by the sheer beauty of this side of the country. I loved it so much, that it’s become a personal mission to inspire other travellers to venture away from the usual trail of Cairns down to Melbourne, and visit West Australia either instead, or as well.
My number one reason to include Western Australia in your tour of Aus is that so many of the sights and activities are either free or super cheap. As a budget-conscious backpacker, I found Perth to be much more affordable than Sydney or Melbourne, especially if you’re thinking of staying put for a few months (I rented an apartment in the CBD, complete with swimming pool, sauna, gym, and games room in the building, for just $120 per week).
So, as part of my little ‘everyone should visit Western Australia’ project, I’m sharing a handful of my favourite photos, as quick tips for what to see and do when you backpack this side of the country on a budget.
The ultimate view, 100% free – WA sunsets
Meet stingray in Hamelin Bay, another completely free activity
Take a tour of Fremantle Prison, built in 1850
Enjoy walks along pristinely white beaches, right near Perth city
Find wild penguins in Shoalwater Marine Park
Get a photo at Perth’s blue boathouse on the Swan River
Take a picnic to Mundaring Weir, in the Perth Hills
If you’re feeling risky, explore Red Hill Quarry
Make it your mission to see all of the waterfalls in Perth and beyond
Grab fish and chips and watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean
Tour natural wildflower collections in regional WA
Find an actual shipwreck at Coogee Beach
Be surprised by colourful art, like this rainbow in Fremantle
Take scenic drives along WA’s 12,913 miles of coastline
Get your adrenaline fix by going quad-biking in Kalbarri
Yes, that is a pink lake. The ultimate reason to visit WA in my opinion!
Greet wild dolphins as they swim right up to shore in Monkey Mia
Add a gnome to the collection of approx. 7000 at Gnomesville
Take a hike in Kalbarri National Park, alongside the Murchison River
Wake up early to watch the sun rise
Experience the surreal landscape of The Pinnacles
Fuss over native koalas at one of the wildlife parks
Ride a bike from winery to winery in Margaret River
Play around at Canal Rocks in Yallingup
Clamber over King Neptune in Perth’s northern suburbs
Grab a drinks deal at one of the bars at Elizabeth Quay
Witness the Indian Ocean meet the Moore River
Walk through the spooky tunnel at John Forrest National Park
Feel like an ant at the Stonehenge replica in Esperance
Be astounded by just how blue the water is in WA’s south west
Head inland to explore Wave Rock
Grab your climbing shoes and venture to the top of Frenchman’s Peak
Even in winter, WA has incredible sights to see, like this orchard
It wouldn’t be Aus without a BBQ, and all public BBQs are free to use!
Hire a campervan and find deserted places, like Herron Point
For the record, the above photos only cover as far north as Monkey Mia! Carry on further than this and you’ll reach Exmouth, the Kimberley Region, Broome, and Ningaloo Reef. I’m mega excited to be visiting northern WA as part of an epic four-month road trip around Australia, beginning in October.
No doubt the number of reasons to visit, unbelievable sights to see, and unique things to do will only increase once I make it further north, so if this post hasn’t quite got you convinced enough to jump on a flight yet, sign up to receive notifications when the next batch of recommendations goes live.
Is Western Australia on your bucket list? Let me know in the comments below, and if this post has got you all wanderlusty, share this post and tag your backpacking friends! 😊