Take a look at what's new in January 2016
Rottnest Island, just a short ferry ride from Perth, feels a world away from city life. Rottnest Island was separated from the Western Australian mainland around 7,000 years ago when the sea level rose. The first records of human occupation of Rottnest Island date back more than 6,500 years, when the Nyungah Aboriginal people inhabited the area. Known to local Aboriginal people as Wadjemup, the island is of great spiritual significance to Aboriginal communities.
Valley of the Giants
It's easy to be awe-struck by the towering forests around Walpole, a tranquil township around four and a half hours drive south from Perth. Giant red tingle trees, which grow as high as 40 metres, are unique to the Walpole wilderness areas. Get a bird's eye view of these sky-scraping trees the Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk, then see their massive, gnarled trunks on the Ancient Empires boardwalk below. Afterwards, you can cruise Walpole's peaceful rivers and inlets and discover the great walking tracks and pristine white beaches of Walpole-Nornalup National Park.
It's a true desert landscape in Nambung National Park, where the weathered rock spires of the Pinnacles rise out of yellow sand dunes. Yet the park sits on the deep blue Indian Ocean, along an idyllic stretch of coast three hour's drive north of Perth. After experiencing the eerie Pinnacles, stay in the fishing village of Cervantes, with its white beaches, coral reefs and Lake Thetis, a salt lake teeming with living fossils. Get up close to a rich array of wildlife in Badgingarra National Parks and discover Jurien Bay's national parks and idyllic sandy beaches.
The WACA, nestled in the suburb of East Perth, has been the home of cricket in Western Australia since the early 1890s. WACA are the initials of its owners and operators, the Western Australian Cricket Association. Throughout its history, the ground has also been used for a range of other sports, including athletics carnivals, Australian Rules Football, baseball, soccer, Rugby League, Rugby Union and International Rules Football as well as major rock concerts.
Perth's City Precincts
Beyond its tranquil river and spacious beaches, Perth has lively city precincts humming with great shopping, nightlife and dining. Soak up business chic in Perth’s city centre, browse boutiques along Leederville’s stylish Oxford Street and catch live music in Mount Lawley. Discover hip bars and trendy eateries in Northbridge or visit the theatre along the leafy streets of Subiaco. Clustered around the northern banks of the Swan River, these urban pockets are places to meet the locals and experience its vibrant culture.
Stirling Range National Park
Rare Western Australian nature is on show in Stirling Range National Park, home to the craggy, 65km-long Stirling Range, and an astonishing array of seasonal wildflowers, many of which grow only here. This bushwalking and biodiversity hotspot lies just over an hour’s drive north-east of Albany, and is a destination on the South West, Beaches and Goldfields Drive from Perth.
Immerse yourself in fine food and fascinating history in Fremantle. Food is always a festive affair in the historic port of Fremantle. This is a city where you can eat in heritage-listed streets buzzing with buskers or on winding alleys lined with art. Your next meal is as close as the music floating out of a colonial pub or the breeze blowing from the harbour.
Cape Range National Park
Around 1100 kilometres north of Perth, Western Australia’s Cape Range National Park is a landscape of rugged limestone ridges, deep rocky canyons, pristine beaches and one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. The nearest town is Exmouth, gateway to the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef Marine Park. Cape Range National Park’s traditional custodians are the Baiyunga and Jinigudira people.
Karijini National Park
Be humbled by nature in Karijini National Park, in Western Australia’s Pilbara, where the earth has been cleaved and carved over two billion years. Discover the spectacular chasms, marbled rock tunnels, cool rock pools and sparkling waterfalls. Beneath the bright blue Pilbara skies, the craggy red landscape shelters abundant native vegetation, animals and birds. Camp here beneath the vast outback sky or enjoy back-to-nature luxury in an eco-retreat.
Margaret River: Wine, Waves and Caves
With many world-class wineries and award-winning restaurants, Margaret River is one of Western Australia's most famous food and wine regions. Tour the cellar doors and taste local brews at the boutique breweries. Here you can eat fresh crayfish straight from the ocean or dine on the local organic beef and truffles. Visit the farmer's markets and try the artisan cheeses. Indulge in local handmade chocolates and delicious fudge. When you've finished your culinary journey, take time to explore Western Australia's Great South West. In a few hours you can go from wineries to stunning beaches with world-class surf breaks, snorkelling and diving or walk amongst ancient forests and caves.