5 Must-Sees of Western Australia – Alex Johnson
As I have spent a wonderful time in Australia, I can tell you all about the East side. However, the country is large, and in a bit over a year it was impossible to truly visit all of it. Luckily my Aussie contact was willing to enlighten you on that. Happy reading! If you want to read more by Alex, check his info and a link to his blog below the story.
Mind-boggling in size, Western Australia makes up roughly a third of the continent of Australia. With its rich history and diverse landscape of dramatic coasts, vast outback, and everything in between, Western Australia is home to a number of unmissable attractions.
Great Ocean Drive & Twilight Beach, Esperance
The Great Ocean Drive is one of Australia’s most scenic driving routes. The drive follows a 40 kilometre loop bordered by Pink Lake in the north and the coastline near Esperance to the south.
Considered by many to be the highlight of this route, Twilight Beach is located midway between Rotary Lookout and Observatory Point. With impossibly white sand and water that borders on turquoise, it’s easy to see why Twilight Beach has previously won the title of “best beach in Australia”.
The bay also features a huge, flat rock formation as a centrepiece; on sunny days, you’ll often see locals climbing it before jumping into the crystal clear waters below.
The surrounding cliffs also offer spectacular whale-watching opportunities; if you’ve got enough time on your hands, walking or cycling between Twilight Beach and Rotary Lookout is a great way to soak up the views.
National Anzac Centre, Albany
One of post-colonial Australia’s most important sites, the National Anzac Centre is a must-see attraction for anyone with an interest in history. Located within Princess Royal Fortress in Albany, this award-winning war museum overlooks the actual harbour from which more than 40,000 servicemen and women set sail for World War I.
The museum’s collection includes a wide range of memorabilia, from artefacts and machinery of war to letters, journals and other personal effects. The exhibition uses state-of-the-art technology and interactive displays, as well as volunteer tour guides, to tell the ANZAC story through immersive experiences. Both educational and moving, the National Anzac Centre is a worthwhile visit for all ages.
The Gap and Natural Bridge, Albany
Located in Torndirrup National Park, The Gap is an impressive natural channel carved through coastal granites by the Indian Ocean. Just last year, this attraction received a game-changing upgrade with the addition of a multimillion-dollar viewing platform.
Visitors can now walk 10 metres out from the cliff face and gaze down to see the waves crashing against the cliffs almost 40 metres below. From here, you can also spot Natural Bridge, another stunning rock formation that draws its own oohs and aahs, especially when the seas get rough.
With their combination of fascinating geology, sweeping sea views, and incredible photo opportunities (particularly around sunset), The Gap and Natural Bridge are two must-visit attractions in Albany.
Built by convicts in the 1850s, Fremantle Prison was one of Australia’s longest running prisons until its closure in 1991. Today, the 15-acre prison is a World Heritage Site where you’ll find cellblocks, staff cottages, tunnels and, of course, formidable walls around the perimeter.
The prison has dark yet fascinating history, and was the site of more than 40 executions by hanging. Take a guided tour around the complex to learn about daily prison life, meet some of the prison’s most colourful characters, and to hear tales of the daring escapes that were attempted (and occasionally achieved) over the years.
If you’re looking for adventure, consider taking an underground tour of the prison’s maze of tunnels, or wait until nightfall and put your courage to the test on an eerie Torchlight Tour.
Jewel Cave, Deepdene
Hidden beneath the Margaret River region near Deepdene, Jewel Cave is Western Australia’s largest show cave. The cave consists of three massive chambers, each of their features enhanced by dramatic interior lighting.
Venture into the cave on a guided tour and learn about its stunning stalactites, helectites and pendulites, as well as its beautiful shawls and cave corals. Although Western Australia has no shortage of caves to explore, Jewel Cave has the longest straw stalactite currently found in any public cave, and even contains several fossils of the long-extinct Tasmanian Tiger.
Outside, the Jewel Cave Centre also features an interpretive area that will take you on a visual journey through the discovery, exploration and changes that turned Jewel Cave into the popular attraction it is today.
Alex is a 23 year old lover of life, brunch & adventure. After moving to Sydney when finishing a journalism degree, he began his blog Inspire A Better Life to positively influence others to get out there and see all life has to offer. Join Alex as he discovers this life one day at a time, documenting his thoughts and other along the way!