WA is home to some of Australia’s – and the world’s – best beaches, wildest nature, and covers a good third of the country. With its vast space and 12,000km coastline, you’re sure to discover sections that are completely deserted. Four hours isn’t that far when you get to enjoy your own private paradise, now is it? To top it all off, the days are long and almost always sunny (everyone knows about WA’s awesome weather, right?), making it the perfect place to adventure outdoors.
In many regards, Western Australia is more affordable than ever. There’s amazing boutique accommodation for a steal, good value dining and drinking, and lots of deals on flights. But how far your dollar will get you is definitely not the only reason to visit. You can checkout cultural attractions in the capital, such as the WA Museum, and picnic in Kings Park with a spectacular skyline view (fun fact: this is the world’s largest inner-city green – trumping Central Park in NYC). And when you take to the wide-open roads, you’ll find fabulous regional spots with sandy shores met by aqua waters, cellar doors just back from the surf, stunning rivers, red rock gorges and more. So what are you waiting for? Get amongst the Sandgropers and see for yourself what’s to love.
The architect-designed apartments of Esperance Island View were constructed with two aims in mind: 1. Stunning views of the Bay of Isles for all 2. Fun and stylish interior design. And they definitely nailed it – these crash pads by the beach overlook one of the country’s best coastlines; sliding glass doors access huge balconies, so you can enjoy the scene inside or out; and each comes with bright, breezy décor, the bones an enticing mix of timber, terracotta and glass. The surrounds are pretty spectacular too – complete with perfect white sands, blindingly blue waters, secluded coves for swimming and islands to castaway to.
See and do: Over 100 untouched islands make up the Archipelago of the Recherche (known to locals as the ‘Bay of Isles’) off the coast. Cruising to Woody Island for a day of snorkelling lagoons and hiking beautiful trails is a day well spent.
Midway between Fremantle proper and South Beach you’ll find Coral Street Cottage and Silver Street Studio. Once a 19th century fisherman’s cottage, then an artist’s space and gallery, and now two hideaways with cool bohemian vibes. All heritage charm on the outside and eclectic décor on the inside, a mix of antiques and oriental designs decorate the spaces. There’s a sunny north-facing balcony, and just outside the doors of the former kiln-room-come-mediation-room sits a clawfoot tub with courtyard views.
See and do: Grab the mountain bikes that come with the house and take a spin around town or along the coast, and then return to chill out in the open-air bath with some bubbly.
Everybody loves a beachfront retreat. Add five-star resort facilities – including lap pools and spas overlooking the ocean – and of course Aqua Resort Busselton has us looking twice. Here, you can step onto the squeaky clean sand of Geographe Bay from the foreshore just outside your door. For the ultimate in coastal luxury you’d be lusting over their houses with private plunge pools and unbroken bay views. Throw in a few Margaret River winery visits, and you have yourself one excellent WA escape.
See and do: If you’re a keen hiker, take on the 135km Cape to Cape Track – your reward will be spectacular coastal scenery, secluded beach swims, and a whole lot of Margaret River eating and drinking when you’re done.
Hippie Denmark has everything required for you to get your Zen on, with its plentiful organic cafes, food co-ops, and yoga sessions on the beach. And Woodstock makes for a fitting base. Hidden away in five-acres of native bushland, this stilted timber home sits seamlessly within its surrounds. Floor-to-ceiling glass frames leafy branches around the house, and a huge wraparound deck invites grilling-up something delicious on the barbeque, kicking back in the sun, and taking in the Southern Ocean through the trees. Bliss.
See and do: As far as swimming spots go, Greens Pool is about as good as it gets. A crystal clear bay framed by pure white sands and dome-shaped boulders, the paradisiacal scenery – and swim – is not to be missed.
Freostay, White Gum Valley
Yes, Perth is a bit of a flight, but at Freostay you’ll feel like you’ve actually travelled to another part of the world. Just a fifteen-minute walk from Fremantle’s hub, this getaway is designed to give you a taste of African village life. Set amongst huge old Tuart trees are two suites that share access to a ‘Shebeen’, where there’s a kitchen, BBQ, and bar with stools to perch. Each of the cabins is completely separate, and each has its own private outdoor area decked out with daybeds. All of the spaces are designed in exotic style, their patterns and hues invoking the spirit of savannah landscapes.
See and do: Ferry across to Rottnest Island for a day of swimming, cycling and underwater exploring.
Aquatic Visions sits alongside the incredible breaks of Prevelly Beach, and in its surrounds are the Margaret River's top-notch cellar doors. As the name suggests, these two apartments come with whitewash views in every direction. Even sinking into the double spa lends a front row seat to the sparkling Indian Ocean. What could be more indulgent than that? Perhaps putting together a platter of gourmet food bits, opening a newly acquired bottle of regional wine, and enjoying it on the deck. Need we say more?
See and do: Of course you’ll catch waves and drink wine, but how about something a little different in between – a visit to Caves Road. As you might have guessed, here, you can explore underground. Beneath a limestone ridge at Leeuwin–Naturaliste National Park are four caves open to the public.
There’s something whimsical about sleeping amongst the treetops; it’s the stuff childhood dreams are made of. And even though we’re all grown up, the fascination still remains; hence why we love the Skyhouse Retreat. This home surrounded by tall Karri trees has walls of windows capturing greenery around the house, with sunlight filtering through stained glass details adding another magical element to the space. Eclectic Denmark is chock full of clean-eating cafes and healthy delis to hit in between ocean swims. And your host is a yoga instructor, his classes just a short stroll away. We feel relaxed just thinking about this stellar combo.
See and do: While you’re sleeping within the treetops, why not try walking above them? Denmark is home to a long list of natural beauties, and the Walpole Treetop Walk sits right near the top. Because it was the first of its kind. In the world.
Unspoiled by urban inhabitation, Kimberly Coastal Camp has no roads, no pollution, and no airstrip. Your options for arrival are floatplane landing directly onto the waterfront, or light aircraft followed by helicopter transfer to the beach. Either-way, you’ll be arriving in style – and that’s just the start. With cabins decked out in Sheridan linen overlooking the azure waters of the Admiralty Gulf, this is one chic campsite. Better still, it’s all-inclusive; with meals and customised activities prepared for you each day.
See and do: Swim, fish, indulge in gourmet food and explore ancient rock art on this one-of-a-kind adventure.
At the highpoint of Gnarabup – a town known for its scenic beaches, world-class surf breaks, and proximity to wine country – this divine beach house has all the makings of an excellent retreat. The elevated position of this multi-level limestone home means you can enjoy ocean views wherever you are. Lift your head from bed to the sight of the sea, check the surf while brunching at the island bench, and get lost in the blue horizon while bathing. Sip sundowners on the deck in the salty air, and when you’re ready to move past the glass and off the balcony to the beach beyond, it’s an easy 10-minute walk away.
See and do: If the timing is right, the Margaret River Food and Wine Escape is a must. With everything from beach barbecues to long lunches hosted by a lauded line-up of chefs and vignerons, this is a food and wine lover’s dream.
Clem and Tines Vintage Beach House is just that – coastal style meets antique flair, within walking distance to the beach. There are two sleeping options to choose from: the house with its wraparound verandah overlooking the garden, and the studio secluded at the bottom of the stay. And the best bit? The location gives you the opportunity to combine a seaside holiday with exploration of WA’s best-kept secret – The Ferguson Valley – where rolling hills join a string of historic towns, wineries and breweries.
See and do: Of course you’ll want to hangout on the peaceful shores of Binningup. But it'll be worth your while making a trip to the Geographe wine region for cellar door samplings, chats with the makers, and a long lunch with views of the vines. And if you want to work up an appetite beforehand, there are a number of great bushwalks around the Valley.
Wilderness Island, the name says it all. A far-flung atoll on the eastern fringe of the Exmouth Gulf, the only habitation in this rich marine environment is the retreat itself, which means total seclusion, and a near untouched landscape. Five lodges have been spaced out along the headland for privacy, and each is within paces of the water’s edge. You’ll spend days swimming, snorkelling, fishing and wandering the empty beach, and nights cooking up fresh seafood and dining under the stars.
See and do: If you’re game, travel to the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef to swim with Whale Sharks. Another option is to head inland to Karijini National Park, where you can hop on amazing trails through ancient gorges.