Kalbarri National Park Western Australia

With its vast open spaces and glittering night skies, Western Australia’s emptiness is all part of its appeal. Along the coast you’ll find beaches, cities and reefs to rival any of those along Australia’s eastern shores, while inland, it’s the dusty desert and twisted rock formations that make this state unique. When planning your visit to Western Australia, these are the stops we recommend:

Chill out in Perth and Fremantle

A relaxed place, state capital Perth is where you’ll find Western Australia’s liveliest bars and restaurants, with a smattering of parks, museums and galleries thrown in too. Meanwhile nearby Fremantle, just 14 miles away, is your seaside getaway. Here, you can chill out in a deck chair with an ice cream, tuck into fish and chips or sample the coffee along the famous Cappuccino Strip. Alternatively, head down to the suburb of Cottesloe and relax on the fine sands.

How to do it: Embark on Flight Centre’s South West Highlights holiday, which includes three nights in Perth and one night in Fremantle, giving you plenty of time to hit the beach.

Pose for a selfie with Rottnest Island’s quokkas

Just 90 minutes by ferry from Perth stands Rottnest Island, a wild, beautiful and peaceful place with some fabulous beaches and a long history of viniculture. The island makes a lovely spot for a relaxing day or two away from the city and, better yet, its diverse (and protected) wildlife includes the delightful quokka, a cute and furry, happy-go-lucky creature who just loves to flash his cheeky grin for many a Facebook profile photo.

How to do it: Set off on our Western Australia’s Coral Coast holiday, which includes a Discover Rottnest Island tour. Bring your camera and meet the quokkas!

Swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef

One of the world’s most pristine reefs, Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef is home to half of all Indian Ocean coral species, 738 types of fish and over 600 different crustaceans. It’s also World Heritage listed, offering world-class diving and snorkelling among turtles, octopus, sharks, rays and some of the most striking coral you have ever seen. Here you can dive or snorkel right off the beach (no need for a boat) and, if you visit between mid-March and July, you can swim with 12-metre-long whale sharks, the world’s largest fish.

How to do it: Flight Centre’s Reef to Reef itinerary includes three nights in a private cabin on board a boat, exploring the corals and coves of Ningaloo Reef.

Sip fine wine at Margaret River

Margaret River is blessed with a warm Mediterranean climate, its sunny days and blue skies making it the ideal spot for grape growing. It’s no surprise then that the region produces some of the best wines in Australia, as well as offering mouth-watering local produce and top-notch coffee. You’ve got 215 cellar doors to choose from, so make a day of it and try the local Cabernet Sauvignons and Chenin Blancs, perhaps accompanied by some deliciously creamy cheese.

How to do it: Take a look at Flight Centre’s South West Highlights holiday, which includes three nights in Margaret River as well as a Margaret River Wine Tour.

Meet wild dolphins at Monkey Mia

Legend has it that sometime in the 1960s, a fisherman returned to the shores of Monkey Mia at the end of a hard day at sea. When approached by a pod of dolphins, coming in unusually close to shore, he and his wife fed them some of the day’s catch. The dolphins cottoned on fast, and soon began to come back daily for their meal. News spread, and today seeing the friendly cetaceans up-close and having the chance to feed them is the highlight of Monkey Mia’s beaches.

How to do it: Spend two nights at the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort on Flight Centre’s Western Australia’s Coral Coast itinerary, giving you plenty of time to see the dolphins.

Watch the sunset over the Pinnacles

In Nambung National Park, just minutes from the town of Cervantes, the jagged limestone Pinnacles protrude dramatically from the desert landscape. After an explosion in popularity in the 1960s, over 150,000 people per year come to view these unique rocks, which look their best between August and October when the wildflowers are in bloom. Come in the morning or evening when the golden light casts long shadows and creates an eerie atmosphere among the sands.

How to do it: Take a look at Flight Centre’s Western Australia’s Coral Coast holiday, which includes a night in Cervantes at the Pinnacles Edge Resort.

For more ideas on things to do in Western Australia, see our Western Australia holidays or talk to one of our Experts today.