More than 3,000km of coastline stretches from the Pinnacles Desert north of Perth right up to Kununurra, bordering on the Northern Territory. This is surely one of the most unspoilt parts of the globe, containing the world's longest fringing reef and the wild Kimberley region, some of which remains untouched by non-indigenous people.
This wild and ancient land offers experiences that can't be found anywhere else, and will increasingly be a focus for our multi-day hikes, taking you right away from the stresses of city life.
Australia’s Coral Coast
If you're travelling north by road, you must catch the Pinnacles limestone formations at sunrise or sunset. These otherworldly pillars cast eerie shadows and make for a great photo opportunity.
Other highlights on the Indian Ocean Drive, which stretches from Perth to Port Denison, are Yanchep National Park for its koala sanctuary and crystal caves, and Lancelin for sand boarding down massive white dunes.
Geraldton is the next major town, and is a great place to stop, explore some significant maritime history, and perhaps do some windsurfing or catch a flight to the Abrolhos Islands - unspoilt and fabulous for snorkelling.
This is also wildflower country; you'll catch the best displays between June and October, which happen to be great times to travel north and escape the winter weather in Perth.
Kalbarri and Shark Bay are the next popular holiday spots along the coast. Walk through the gorges of Kalbarri National Park and stay in the town, which has some excellent fishing spots and rugged coastline. Shark Bay is famous for the Monkey Mia dolphins, yet there's a lot more to this protected area than a cute tourist attraction. The red cliffs of the Francois Peron Peninsular and sweeping landscape of Dirk Hartog Island are worth exploring.
From Carnarvon to Exmouth, a 300km stretch of the Ningaloo Reef from a marine park, where the reef is close enough into the shore for some incredible snorkelling. Exmouth is a good base from which to join scuba diving excursions, where you'll often hear experienced divers express surprise at the relatively undamaged coral, high visibility and array of marine life.
Between March and September, you can swim with whale sharks - these magnificent gentle giants will take your breath away in the experience of a lifetime.
For more information on the coastline between Perth and Exmouth, go to Australia’s Coral Coast.
Australia's North West
The Pilbara region in Western Australia’s north has some of the Earth's oldest rock formations, dating back two billion years and stretching over 502,000 square km.
The Pilbara is know for its abundance of Aboriginal rock art, secluded waterholes with plunging waterfalls, isolated rivers and billabongs. wildflowers, wildlife and mountain ranges with cliffs and ancient cavernous gorges. Millstream-Chichester National Park and Karijini National Park are the places to explore for exquisite scenery, and the Burrup Peninsular for rock art.
In far north of Western Australia is an ancient landscape covering hundreds of thousands of square kilometres. Remote, rugged, and undeniably beautiful, the Kimberley region is one of the world's most precious wilderness areas, with spectacular scenery spread over huge distances in striking colours. The Kimberley is a marvellous tapestry of vast boab-studded spinifex plains, spectacular palm-fringed gorges, pockets of lush rainforest, desolate mountains, magnificent waterfalls and cave systems.
Broome is the gateway to this extraordinary region, and the place to hear stories of the region's pearl diving heritage and rich history. It's also a fabulous destination to kick back and relax with the sweeping Cable Beach on your doorstep.
Among the many landscapes of the region, the famous Bungle Bungles of Purnululu National Park on the eastern edge are a must - these peculiar beehive formations have become a Kimberley icon, and the park is World Heritage Listed. North of Purnululu is the Lake Argyle, the largest man-made lake in the Southern Hemisphere at 18 times the size of Sydney Harbour. Here you can cruise the calm waters and spot freshwater crocodiles, or take a scenic flight.
Further west, Tunnel Creek, Windjana Gorge and Geikie Gorge, all part of an ancient barrier reef that developed during the Devonian Period, are essential spots for hikers to explore. And along the coastline are a series of thunderous waterfalls, accessible only by adventure boat or helicopter.
For more information on the Pilbara and Kimberley, go to Australia’s North West.