Three Sisters, Blue Mountains, NSW

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Three Sisters, Blue Mountains, NSW

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Point Samson, Western Australia

Point Samson

Western Australia

The tranquil fishing hamlet of Point Samson puts you within easy striking distance of top beach casting and deep water fishing spots, including the 42 islands and islets of the Dampier Archipelago. Famed for being one of the most biodiverse marine environments known in Australia, this group of pristine islands is a snorkeller's paradise too. Sitting on its own peninsula, 20 minutes north of Roebourne, 50 minutes east of Karratha and two and a half hours west of Port Hedland by road, Point Samson is easily reached within a few hours from Perth on a direct flight to Karratha. However, travelling by road is a far more enriching experience when you follow the Warlu Way - a 2,480 kilometre interpretive trail that reveals the mysteries of Indigenous legends and the iconic landscapes of Western Australia's Gascoyne, Pilbara and Kimberley regions. Here, you'll find yourself at the eastern gateway to the marine-life-rich islands and reefs of the Dampier Archipelago - an area of such incredible biodiversity, it's regularly compared to the Great Barrier Reef. Join a guided tour and pull on a snorkel, mask and fins to see this underwater wonderland for yourself. You may also spot whales on their migration south between July and October. On Point Samson Peninsula, you'll see nature has blessed the area with an equally fine string of beaches for swimming, snorkelling and fishing, including John's Creek and Honeymoon Cove - that's just as romantic as its name suggests. Keen deep-water anglers will also find a few opportunities to cast a line from the rock groins and boat launching ramp at the marina, which also provides shelter for Point Samson's large fishing fleet. A feast on their catch of the day is a must - Point Samson's reputation for fine seafood restaurants and fish and chips stretches far and wide and can be enjoyed with a glass of something cool beside the Indian Ocean. With plenty to lure you into lingering a while, Point Samson offers a good range of accommodation, including

Kambalda, Western Australia

Kambalda

Western Australia

Make Kambalda East and Kambalda West two must-stops on your Golden Outback adventure. Take time to stroll through the region's native bushland, or enjoy this timeless natural landscape at a more thrilling pace, trying rock climbing and land sailing. You can take an extended road trip to the twin towns of Kambalda, which are seven hours east of Perth and 40 minutes southeast of Kalgoorlie, following the Golden Quest Green Trail. This detour off the Golden Quest Trail is a great way to discover local flora, fauna and outback landscapes, exploring reserves, conservation parks, walking trails, ancient caves, granite outcrops, native bushland and culturally significant Indigenous sites. Head to Red Hill Lookout and hit the easy walking trail that takes you to the summit and rewards your efforts with views across the vast expanse of Lake Lefroy - one of the region's most spectacular shimmering white salt lakes. Lake Lefroy is widely recognised as one of the world's best locations for land sailing, due to the sheer size of the dry salt pans. It's been the location of many Australian land speed record attempts and if you're lucky you might even get to witness one yourself. Watch as land sailors achieve hair-raising speeds of up to 100 kilometres per hour just centimetres from the ground, or satisfy your need for speed by hiring a land yacht and booking some lessons. To experience local life at a slower pace, pay a visit to Kambalda's Memorial Garden, which commemorates the town's gold and nickel miners. Enjoy a quiet moment in the beautiful grounds, pondering the town's mining history which stretches back to 1897when Kambalda was briefly established as a gold mining hub, before the nickel boom of the 1960s reinvigorated the town. Flora enthusiasts should also stop by the Kambalda Herbarium - the largest collection of regional flora displayed in the Goldfields. The camping areas at local reserves and conservation parks offer the perfect opportunity to pitch your tent under a star

Dryandra, Western Australia

Dryandra

Western Australia

Dryandra Woodland is a nature lover's dream. This wild wandoo wonderland is the largest remnant of original woodland in Australia's Western Wheatbelt and is known to be one of the world's flora and fauna hotspots. It will only take you two and a half hours to drive from the bustle of Perth city to the scenic serenity of Dryandra Woodland. When you get there, be sure to tune your radio to 100FM for fascinating commentary and insights into the forest's history and ecology. In spring, the forest is ablaze with the blooms of more than 850 floral species, making it a popular wildflower day trip from Perth. Year round, you may also encounter some of the reserve's 25 species of mammals on a quiet torch-lit walk through the bush at dusk. Look out for the rare and endangered bilby, woylie and numbat, the common grey kangaroo, echidna and Tammar wallaby and the cutest mini-marsupial, the pygmy possum. For a closer look at these curious furry natives, head for the Barna Mia animal sanctuary where you can join a guided spotlight tour of the animal-viewing enclosure. By day, a drive, stroll, cycle or horse ride along Dryandra's many trails will also reward you with glimpses of native birdlife. The forest is a haven to more than 100 species of birds, including the Carnaby's cockatoo, bush stone curlew and malleefowl. For a true wandoo wilderness experience, set up camp at the Congelin campsite and listen to the sounds of the forest as you gaze up at a star-filled outback sky. If you need your basic creature comforts, book into one of the heritage-listed forestry cottages, or head for the nearby towns and farmstays for more options.

Dowerin, Western Australia

Dowerin

Western Australia

Dowerin has long been a popular stop for visitors to the Wheatbelt. Head to Tin Dog Creek for a cooling dip, as the Goldfields prospectors once did. Delve into pioneering history, marvel at modern agriculture at the Machinery Field Days, meet Rusty the dog who stands guard over the town, or explore myriad natural attractions against a backdrop of colourful spring wildflowers. The two hour and 10 minute drive east of Perth along the Pioneers Pathway will bring you to Dowerin. This scenic self-drive tour winds through Wheatbelt farmland and towns, passing wide open vistas and nature walks, lakes and granite outcrops, pioneering heritage buildings and museums. While you're retracing the footsteps of pioneers, stop at nearby Tin Dog Creek. A vital watering hole for prospectors in the past, today it offers a great spot for a picnic, a refreshing dip or a stroll through pristine bushland to discover a wide variety of native flora and fauna. Visit between July and October and you'll be dazzled by the blooms of colourful wildflowers - Namelcatchem Reserve and Minnivale Reserve are also top spots to view this seasonal phenomenon. Head back to the town and step back to the late 1800s with a walk through Dowerin's pioneering heritage along the Heritage Walk Trail, making time to visit the furnished 1915 cottage and artefacts at Dowerin District Museum, which paints a vivid picture of settler life. For a 21st century view of Dowerin, catch the Machinery Field Days at the end of August - a popular event showcasing the very latest in agricultural machinery, technology and rural services. To make Dowerin your base, choose from the town's hotel, motel and caravan accommodation.

Badgingarra, Western Australia

Badgingarra

Western Australia

With a diverse landscape of high breakaways and undulating sandplains, Badgingarra bursts with the vibrant blooms of spring wildflowers, making it a highlight of the largest collection of wildflowers on Earth. Take a scenic drive or grab your camera and hit the Badgingarra Nature Trail on foot. If you're travelling in wildflower season, between July and late September, the best way to reach Badgingarra from Perth is via the Everlastings Wildflower Trail, following the path of the Brand Highway. The journey takes just two hours and makes a great alternative route on your way to discover one of Australia's most unique natural landscapes, the Pinnacles. Renowned for its dazzling 13,108 hectare show of wildflowers, Badgingarra National Park is home to some of Western Australia's most extraordinary and rare species, from yellow and black kangaroo paws to mallee, mottlecah and verticordia. The best way to view and snap these beauties up close is to take a two kilometre stroll along the Badgingarra Nature Trail. Allow at least one hour and 45 minutes to walk the whole trail, including the optional one and a half kilometre detour. If you're exploring the bush in the early morning or late afternoon, you may also be treated to glimpses of emus, kangaroos, reptiles, bustards and the majestic wedge-tailed eagle. Pick up a trail guide and map from the nearby roadhouse. Head up to Lang Lookout for expansive views of the surrounding plains, watch a sheep shearing demo, or time your visit to coincide with the Badgingarra Shearers' Competition or the Central West Coast Golfing Carnival. To take it all in at your own pace, stay a night or two. Your options in and around Badgingarra range from budget-end at the caravan park, including chalets and cabins, to bed and breakfasts, bush resorts and farmstays. You also have a choice of a la carte dining, fast food and takeaways.

Boddington Rodeo Statue

Boddington

Western Australia

Boddington is just under two hours drive from Perth, nestled on the banks of the picturesque Hotham River and surrounded by undulating hills. It is the ideal location for a day drive or a pleasant overnight stay. Boddington is a prosperous area with agriculture, bauxite mining, blue gum plantations, viticulture, orchards, fish and marron farms and one of the world's largest producing gold mines providing income and employment. Half the Shire of Boddington comprises state forest. The town is an excellent base from which to go hiking, wildflower sighting, bird watching or picnicking. A two kilometre walk trail along the river provides wheelchair access between the caravan park and Ranford Pool, a favourite fishing, bird watching and picnic place. Another favourite picnic and fishing spot is Lions Weir closer to town. Fishing is great in spring or autumn in the deep pools of the river. Redfin perch and cobbler (catfish), along with marron (freshwater crayfish) are caught in season. The Bibbulmun Track (a world class 1,000 kilometre walking trail) passes through the Boddington Shire. Some of the area's tourist attractions include: Bacchus - Lord of the Grapes statue, Tullis Bridge, Hotham River Foreshore and Long Gully Bridge. The caravan park on the banks of the Hotham River is a lovely place to stay, just two minutes walk to the town centre. In the Boddington area you will also find Farm Stays and Bed and Breakfast accommodation.

Purnululu (Bungle Bungle) National Park

Purnululu

Western Australia

The Bungle Bungle range in the World Heritage Listed Purnululu National Park is one of Western Australia's most fascinating landmarks and the ultimate place for outback adventure. Here you camp out under the stars, four wheel drive across rugged terrain and hike through gorges millions of years old. The area in the East Kimberley region also has great Indigenous cultural significance which dates back 20,000 years. From the air, the Bungle Bungle range is an awesome site, rising 300 metres out of the plain. The orange and black stripes of these massive sandstone structures are breathtaking best seen from above in a scenic flight. As you sweep over the range, a hidden world of gorges and pools is revealed with fan palms clinging to walls and crevices in the rocks. The park covers nearly 240,000 hectares. Despite being made of soft sandstone the range has survived for more than 350 million years. Tours, including scenic flights, are available from Kununurra and Broome. Camping in Western Australia's natural areas is a special experience. Selected campgrounds from across the state are now bookable online for a trial period.

Ravensthorpe, Western Australia

Ravensthorpe

Western Australia

In the ancient ranges and rugged river valleys of Ravensthorpe, wildflower season is every season. To the west, you can marvel at more than 1,800 beautiful and bizarre species of flowering plants and one of the best whale watching shows on Earth in Fitzgerald River National Park. Make Ravensthorpe a must-stop on your outback-to-coast adventure. It's just over six hours' drive south east of Perth and two hours west of Esperance. From here, you can follow myriad trails leading to breathtaking vistas of pristine bushland. Meander through the salmon gums of the Ravensthorpe Range, following the Archer or Ethel Daw scenic drives to the lookout. Hit the four wheel drive Range Top Drive. Or, if you'd prefer to pull on your hiking boots, follow the Mount Short drive to start of the summit trail. These trails are also a great way to view the region's wildflower wonders, which are at their best between August and November. Time your visit to coincide with the town's annual wildflower show in September, and you can put names to the dazzling faces of over 800 local wildflower species. Ravensthorpe has been mined for gold, copper, silver, nickel and other minerals, leaving behind many mining relics - some of which can be viewed at the Dance Cottage Museum. This marks the start of the Cattlin Creek Heritage Trail, leading you through local history via the architecture of the early 1900s. Beyond town, the Railway Heritage Walk follows the route of the former railway that once linked the remote mines of Ravensthorpe to the port of Hopetoun. Head to the coast to fish or fossick Hopetoun's beaches, or to Fitzgerald River National Park for a day of bushwalking, four wheel driving, canoeing, swimming, surfing and fishing. It's one of only three places in Australia where southern right whales come to calve in large numbers. You can watch these gentle giants from the cliffs at Point Ann in the winter months. Whether you're dining or over-nighting, Ravensthorpe offers a good choice, from a la

Cape Leveque, Western Australia

Cape Leveque

Western Australia

Cape Leveque invites you on a spiritual journey to see some of the Kimberley's most stunning coastal wilderness through the eyes of the Indigenous people who welcome you to their country. Venture a little further north by air and you'll also be rewarded with a bird's eye view of the world's only horizontal waterfalls. Located on the tip of the Dampier Peninsular, the road to Cape Leveque is all part of the adventure, following the four wheel drive track or joining a guided tour for the three and a half hour drive north from Broome (sometimes closed during the green season - November to March). A quicker scenic route is available by air aboard a full or half day tour departing from Broome or Derby. Against a striking backdrop of pindan cliffs, pristine white sands and clear turquoise waters, immerse yourself in one of the oldest surviving cultures in the world, joining the locals for an authentic Indigenous bush tucker tour, tag-along four wheel drive tour or even a mud crabbing experience. While relaxing in the region's remote wilderness camps you'll be tempted by many more opportunities to enrich the mind. Hop aboard a scenic flight to take in the exclusive spectacle of the Horizontal Waterfalls at Talbot Bay - created by some of the largest tidal forces on the planet - and the 1,000 plus island paradise of the remote Buccaneer Archipelago. Snorkel the reef, visit one of the world's largest populations of humpback whales (June to October), join a bushwalking tour, or let a local fishing charter give you a taste of world-class game fishing - putting you within casting distance of mackerel, tuna, cobia and sailfish. Your accommodation options range from camping to glamping, with basic camp sites and beach shacks at the budget end, to fully-equipped safari tents overlooking the sea. If you're travelling by road, stop at Beagle Bay to visit the Nyul Nyul people who've lived in harmony with this pristine environment for thousands of years. Step inside their Sacred Heart Churc

Lake Grace, Western Australia

Lake Grace

Western Australia

The historic town of Lake Grace provides an authentic taste of the outback, from panoramic views of vast salt lakes, to glimpses of early settler life at the Inland Mission Hospital and intimate encounters with native flora and fauna. A popular stop on the Perth-Esperance route, Lake Grace is approximately four hours south east of Perth. Be sure to include the Tin Horse Highway on your self-drive itinerary - an entertaining and scenic drive 20 kilometres north of town, passing a quirky collection of brightly coloured sculptures in the paddocks of local farms. Once you reach Lake Grace, head to the visitor centre in the old Stationmaster's House for more information about the area's attractions. Top of the list is Lake Grace itself, the shallow salt lake that gave the town its name. Head 12 kilometres west to the lookout for panoramic views of this immense lake system and Lake Grace, which stretches 50.5 kilometres long and up to 7.25 kilometres wide. In contrast, you may spot some of Western Australia's tiniest mammals at Lake Grace, including the western mouse, white tailed dunnart, Mitchell's hopping mouse and the ashy-grey mouse. From August to late November, you can also marvel at the delicate wildflowers that blanket the outback landscape after good winter rains. For some intriguing insights into outback life and history, visit one of Lake Grace's two Australian Inland mission hospitals. The Lake Grace Australian Inland Mission Hospital at the west end of town was established in 1926 and has been restored as a hospital museum, charting the role of the hospital in caring for a population spanning a vast area, from Kukerin to Ravensthorpe. While you're in town, take a moment to admire the historical mural that celebrates the region's female pioneers, or head to the tranquil Lions Park or Apex Park - both ideal spots for a picnic or rest break. If you're looking for an overnight break from the road, take your pick from the town's motel, hotel and caravan park accommoda

Information provided by the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse