Chapter 1: Ten Must-See Natural Wonders of Western Australia

Western Australia is a state encircled by the Indian Ocean, Southern Ocean and Great Australian Bight. With a thin population density, Western Australia has a Mediterranean climate throughout the year, perfect for adventurous caravanners. The highest temperature ever recorded in WA was 50.50C with the lowest being -70C.

It is not splashing your 4WD or toad past sparkling shallow brooks or enjoying the view of sky-high granites shaped as a huge wave that highlights Western Australia, but its impeccable variety of destinations and natural attractions.

Ten Dream Attractions You Must Not Miss When in Western Australia

1. The Pinnacles, Cervantes

The Pinnacles Cervantes

With geographical formations that look like folklore animals or aliens, the Pinnacles is the most idyllic natural attraction set along the coastlinenorth from Perth, in Western Australia. The limestone spires are formed from sea shells millions of years ago when the whole area was under the sea.  A most exciting historical fact about the Pinnacles is that it was undiscovered until 1967.

The heritage site charges entry fees of $10 AUD and is open from 09:00 until 17:00.

Flora and Fauna

Today the natural wonder, Pinnacles attracts about 250,000 visitors annually. The park inhabits mostly nocturnal fauna, but finding kangaroos, galahs and emus around the park is common too. In spring, the Pinnacles, is known for the wildflower carpet around the limestone statues.

Climate

The Pinnacle has its best mild days in spring and it is best to venture from August through October. The landscape owes its beauty to the wildflowers in bloom. The best time to visit Pinnacles is at dawn or twilight when shadows highlight the endless spires against a deep yellow desert backdrop.

Things to do

The infamous geographic formations are situated in the Nambung National Park, in the backdrop of yellow sand dunes. The best activities to do when visiting are walking along the scenic trails, visiting the close-by lake of Thetis and marine Stromatolites or Fossil Microorganisms. Camping is not permitted within the park and caravanners must lookout for parks closer to camp overnight.

The best trotting attraction when in Pinnacles is along the Indian Ocean, until the Ningaloo Reef.

Caravan Parks near the Pinnacles, WA

– Pinnacles Holiday Park
– Jurein Bay Tourist Park

2. Mount Augustus

Mount Augustus

Set in Australia’s Coral Coast, Mount Augustus is the biggest rock (monocline) on earth! Mt Augustus rises above the auburn landscape and has witnessed about 1,750 Million years of Earth’s history. The Wajarri Tribe surrounds the monocline that also ranges 4,795 hectares and colloquially, Mount Augustus is known as Burringurrah.

Flora and Fauna

Situated inside the National Park Mount Augustus, the area is renowned for sighting Galahs, Goannas, Red Kangaroos, Emus, Honeyeaters, Babblers and rare birdlife. Yet another attraction of world’s biggest rock is the Wedge Tail Eagle.

Surrounded by the Blue Kookburras and Corellas, Mount Augustus is also known for its Swans, Ducks and Pilbara Olive Python. Additionally, avoid wandering around Mt Augustus at night due to the high probability and risk of wildlife encounters.

Climate

Known for its drastic seasonal temperature changes ranging from 200C in Winter to 400C in Summer, you must be aware and prepared of the weather around Mount Augustus prior to the visit. Nevertheless, the nights are breezy and cold in winter, while they are highly comfortable and warm during summer.

Things to Do

Known for its varied gorgeous landscape, Mount Augustus Loop Drive is a star attraction for caravanners who love the open road. With a 49 km long circuit around the mountain, it is also the gateway to panoramically diverse scenery such as Aboriginal etchings, Creeks, Gorges and Water bodies around. Another attraction of Mt Augustus is the Yalaweerie lookout known for its breathtaking sunrises.

Caravan Parks near the Mount Augustus, WA
– Mount Augustus Tourist Park
– Cobra Bangemall Inn
– Tom Price Tourist Park

3. Bungle Bungle Range

Bungle Bungle Range

Known by its infamous tiger striped beehive domes, the Bungle Bungle Ranges come under the protected area with each dome rising as high as 200m. Situated in thePurnululu National Park, Bungle Bungle Ranges were the result of natural changes over 360 million years ago and was not discovered until 1983.

Made of layers of sandstone, the Ranges comprise of blue-green algae and iron oxide, responsible for the annual colour changes such as from grey to orange.

Flora and Fauna

The cone karst sandstone formation is known for its cynobacterium, in addition to the endless expanse of yellow Acacia flowers and Grevilleas encircling the Ranges. Offering a remote wilderness, the Range is encircled by the abundant wildlife of Purnululu National Park, consisting of marsupials, rainbow-bee eaters, nailtail wallaby and an extravagant birdlife of over 200+ species.

Climate

Open only during April to November, the best time to visit the Bungles is in May. During the months of June to August the Bungles remain cool and hence, this season is also the busiest. In October, the temperature can soar up to 500C. Late August is perfect for a calm holiday around the Bungle Bungle.

Things to Do

An area that is deeply linked to 20,000 years of aboriginal history, Bungle Bungle also has a creek called Picanny Creek which is ideal for water camping. Hiking and walking along the multi-coloured scenery is the best attraction of the terrain. Being a protected heritage site, the bungles are not allowed to climb.

Nevertheless, to make the most out of your Bungles trip, take a long gliding-ride over the landscape (scenic flight) as it is also a sought after bucketlist activity among caravanners.

Caravan Parks near the Bungle Bungle Ranges, WA
– Bungle Bungle Caravan Park
– Warmun Roadhouse Caravan Park
– Halls Creek Caravan Park
– El Questro Wilderness Park

4. Ningaloo Reef

Ningaloo Reef

The best snorkelling attraction in WA, Ningaloo Reef is set along the double-hued and striking Ningaloo Coast and is also home to biodiverse coral reefs. Located adjacent to the azure blues of the Indian Ocean, the reef is 260km in length and the only reef set so close to a landmass.

The marine paradise is a Heritage site set in 600,000 hectares on the Coral Coast, inclusive of the Ningaloo Marine Park.

Flora and Fauna

The star attraction of Ningaloo Reef is its Whales, Dugongs, Humpback Whale Sharks, Turtles, Manta Rays and Potato Cods. The reef consists of 520 fishes, 600 molluscs, 50 soft corals and 200 hard corals. The short nosed sea snake which was thought to have been extinct for 17 years was rediscovered along Ningaloo Reef in December 2015.

Climate

Set in Coral Bay, Ningaloo Reef hits the highest temperature at 300C to 380C while the winter months are picturesque with just a warm dash of sunny days. The coldest time to visit the celebrated reef is in June and July when the mean temperature is 240C.

Due to its close proximity with the Indian Ocean, Ningaloo reef has a mildly humid climate with rain solely in the months of February until June.

Things to Do

The best attraction of Ningaloo Reef is the reef itself, known for whale watching in March until June and other marine animals. The Marine Park next to the reef is a migratory path for the Manta Rays, Dolphins and Dugongs.
Humpback whales are seen in Ningaloo between June and November. The reef is also known for being a hatching pod for rare turtles in the months of January and February.

Caravan Parks near the Ningaloo Reef, WA
– Peoples Park Coral Bay
– Yardie Homestead Caravan Park
– Ningaloo Lighthouse Caravan Park
– Exmouth Cape Holiday Park

5. Karijini National Park

Karijini National Park

Surrounded by the glistening spinifex and wedge tailed eagles, Karijini  National Park is a complete holiday package with its stunning gorges, creeks, waterfalls, rock tunnels and caves. With camping and endless other recreational activities listed as must-dos in and around the park, the trip will surely be memorable.

Karijini National Park is known for its diversity of landscape alongside the wide array of flora as well as fauna within. There is a fee for entering the global heritage monument which stretches across 627,422 hectares.

Flora and Fauna

Set in the natural extravaganza of fig, mulga, lemongrass, silver cadjeput and Spinifex vegetation, wildflowers bloom in June until September which beautify the wilderness of Karijini National Park. The best animals to spot when in Karijini are Dingoes, Wallabies, Goannas, Lizards, Wedge-Tailed Eagle, Kangaroos and Dragon Lizards. More than 800 plant varieties, inclusive of acacia or wattle, grow in this area.

Climate

The most important thing to remember prior to diving to the picture-perfect scenery is its weather. During the colder months of April until September, hypothermia commonly occurs and one must check the water before taking a dip or swim outdoors. Conversely, summers are extremely hot reaching temperatures of up to 400C.

The best time to visit Karijini National Park is during the mild winter seasons. You must never drive at night. In addition, Frosty winters are common in the winter season as well.

Things to Do

Ideal for scenic road trips and voyages, the best attraction of Karijini National Park is a safari to every attraction within the Park. There are many 4WD trails and daring roads around the small town of Tom Prince where Karijini NP is located. Consisting of Western Australia’s three tallest peaksMount Frederick, Bruce and Meharry, hiking or snowboarding is definitely a must-do activity when in Karijini National Park.

Swimming and Bushwalking are some of the other major attractions around Karijini.

Caravan Parks near Karijini National Park, WA
– Loxton Riverfront Caravan Park
– Lameroo Lakeside Caravan Park
– Pinnaroo Caravan Park

6. Shark Bay

Shark Bay

The westerly point in the continent of Australia, Shark Bay is also the last refuge to more than 25 species of endangered mammals, including the dugong, and some of the oldest life forms on earth. An exclusive landscape that bears the intersection of three variant and distinct climatic scopes, Shark Bay is a Heritage site.

Flora and Fauna

Home to many endangered marsupials and mammals, Western Australia is also home to a plant known as tree sheath at the Freycinet Estuary. The best attraction of Shark Bay are the Shark Whales, Dolphins, Humpback Whales, Manta Rays and Turtles. Claiming 35% of Australia’s total species of birds, the place comprises of 70% marine life.

Shark Bay also has 100 different types of reptiles and amphibians in addition to 10,000 dugongs (12.5% of world population as well as 12 species of seagrass that covers 400 km2 of the bay.

Climate

With about 70% of the region covered in water, Shark Bay is one of the few regions in Australia with a higher ratio of carbonates which actually prevents coral reef formation. A typically hot, humid and sometimes even dry climate, Shark Bay is best for holidaying in June to September owing to its cooler temperatures of 140C to 320C.

Shark Bay is hottest in December and January with temperatures hitting up to 420C.

Things to Do

Surrounded by scenic islands and cliffs, the best attraction of Shark Bay is interacting with marine life forms such as whales and dolphins. With Shell Beach around the corner, swimming, snorkelling and sailing are also mesmerising when in Shark Bay.

Another enjoyable activity to engage in when in Shark Bay is hiking or walking along the picturesque trails surrounding the Bay.

Caravan Parks near Shark Bay, WA
– Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort
– Blue Dolphin Caravan Park
– Wooramel Roadhouse Caravan Park

7. Gibb River Road

Gibb River Road

Stretching 700 km through Kimberly, the circular shaped Gibb River Road has all the star attractions of the great Australian Outback that a traveller hunts. Known as a daring road trip for the adventurous off-road caravanners, the route also promises the dramatic (Windjana) gorges, (sparkling) Tunnel creeks, a 750m tunnel, renowned Limestone reefs, mighty Pentecost Rivers and rare Aboriginal history.

It’s not a public road, hence the owners’ permission must be sought before travelling through.

Flora and Fauna

With gorgeous multiple ecosystems and diverse life forms, Gibb River Road is an exotic road trip to take. Some animals that you might meet along the way are fresh water crocodiles, fruit bats, butterflies and countless variety of fishes.

The Gibb river Route is known for its 200 species of birds, of which three species are classified as endangered, namely Red Goshawk, Purple-crowned fairy-wren and Gouldian Finch.

Climate

When the wet season begins, flood and other natural disasters occur in the area. Caravanners are advised to avoid the wet months of November to April to avoid these dangers. All 4WD vehicles are required to have a snorkelling gear onboard, when the rain starts. Strong off-road trailers are fit for the legendary trip through the hinterland.

The best time to take that Gibb River road trip is in July and May.

Things to Do

The best attraction of Gibb River Road is its scenic view. Nevertheless, there are many interesting things to do when you take the Gibb River Road such as mountain biking, hiking, walking, swimming and enjoying the breathtaking wilderness around you. Additionally, scenic flights over the Gibb River Road is also a sought after activity for caravanners.
Another important thing to remember is be careful with your pets as aerial baiting is common in the area.

Caravan Parks near Gibb River Road, WA
– Wyndham Caravan Park
– Parry Creek Farm Tourist Park

8. Wave Rock

Wave Rock

A prominent feature of the Wheatbelt region is its Wave Rock, a granite cliff that is carved aesthetically, by nature in the shape of a giant wave.  The region is celebrated for its stunning geographical formations which also include The Humps and The Hippo’s Yawn. Attracting about 140,000 visitors annually, the tall break of this granite ocean wave stands in the Hyden Wildlife Park.

Wave rock stretches 110m and is a multi-faceted cliff with a variety of hues especially when the mesmerising wildflowers bloom afresh, after the rains.

Flora and Fauna

Known as the best natural wonder of Australia, Wave Rock is an exotic place to camp after the winter rains. It owes the title to the carpet of wildflowers around the giant wave rock. The vicinity of the rock is known for its white kangaroos, wombats, as well as koalas.

The best time to visit the natural monument is in the early spring, from September to December. Although the giant wave rock remained still for 2,700 million years, spring brings out the best colours to the region with its colourful carpet of wildflowers.

Things to Do

The 280 hectare reserve with a bushland setting promises many adventures, with the best being rock climbing and driving around the diverse landscape. Apart from its numerous bird species, Wave Rock in Hyden is also known for its 18-hole golf course that is open in winter as well as spring.

Set in the Golden Outback of WA, Wave Rock also offers many walking trails and picnic spots for a peaceful holidaying. Wave Rock is known for its annual Music FestivalWave Rock Weekender Event since 2005. Don’t forget to enjoy surfing on the scenic granite waves when you’re in Western Australia.

Caravan Parks near Wave Rock, WA
– Tressie’s Caravan Park
– Kondinin Caravan Park
– Kulin Caravan Park
– Corrigin Caravan Park

9. Jewel Cave

Jewel Cave
Image Source: trekearth.com

Set in the heart of the lush Karri Forest, Jewel Cave is a national monument being the world’s largest calcite stalactite with an eerie depth of 42m and spanning about 1.9km across. With a meagre entry fee of $22, Jewel Cave is not an easy trek as it can only be reached via 300 slippery steps past the countless giant limestone formations that hang in ornate angles within the cave.

The mesmerising cave is known for its extravagant and grand jewel-like calcite formations.

Flora and Fauna

With a surreal experience in Nature’s Palace, Jewel Cave has limestone Chandeliers and cobwebs all around as well. You will not find  fauna around the area, but the skeletons of the ones that lived here tens of thousands of years ago.

With the Karri Forest next to the cave, Jewel Cave trip also promises a complete wilderness experience.

Climate

With an average temperature of 170C, Jewel Cave has its own distinct temperature and atmosphere independent of the outside. The best time to visit the caves is in summer. An important fact that exhausted many visitors is the high level of carbon dioxide and 98% of humidity.

The cave remains open on all days of the week from 09:00 until 17:00.

Things to Do

Being an award winningspot, Jewel Cave is an underground paradise with the gems of Mother Nature. Jewel Cave is renowned for its daring trekking and hiking trails. With three jewel chambers inside, Jewel Cave is one like you’ve never seen before. However, be sure to carry enough water as there is no water source around the cave.

Caravan Parks near Jewel Cave, WA
– Molloy Caravan Park
– Hamelin Bay Caravan Park
– Alexandra Bridge Camping Ground

10. Horizontal Falls

Horizontal Falls
Image Source: kimberleyboatcruises.com.au

Popularly known as the ‘Horries’, Horizontal Falls is a unique natural phenomenon. Set parallel amidst the two gorges Talbot Bay and McLarty Range, the Horries is a ‘tidal flow’ and is a bucket list attraction for caravanners. The distinct characteristic of the Horizontal Falls is that the flow reverses with the variation in the tide.

With the sea tides shaping the striking look of horizontal waterfalls, Horries is splashed by seawater, but the interior is filled with freshwater from Poulton Creek.

Flora and Fauna

Offering the best of Broome, Horizontal Falls is surrounded by multi-coloured cliffs which owe their beauty to their composition of stromatolites, shale, quartzite and siltstone as well as native flora.

The fauna of Horries in WA comprise of crocodiles, a wide variety of marine and freshwater fish. Other activities to enjoy when in Horizontal Falls include dolphinwatching and recreational fishing. Birds are best observed in September to November, after the wet season.

Climate

Known for its unique ecosystem and tropical climate, Horries is at its best in the Dry season. With an average temperature of 320C, Horries has primarily two seasons. December to February is not the best time to come for a visit, but May to October when the temperature ranges between 180C (Night) and 340C (Day).

Things to Do

One of the best attractions at Horizontal Falls is rafting through the parallel gorges. A scenic flight over the Horries is also another sought after activity to make the most out of enjoying the natural wonder. Other activities to enjoy when in Horizontal Falls are Sailing, Fishing and waterboarding.

During the wet season, waterboarding is not permitted due to floods.

Caravan Parks near the Horizontal Falls, WA
– Broome’s Gateway
– Broome Vacation Village

 

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CHAPTER 2: Revisiting History And Culture In Western Australia

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