Western Australia - wheatbelt and Perth coast
Below is a list of all the pages on this website which are concerned with the wheatbelt and adjacent Perth coastal region of Western Australia. See map at bottom of page for locations.
If you're exploring the drier parts of Western Australia's wheatbelt outside of the brief winter, you might wonder where people get water in such a dry area. Part of the answer can be found at Beringbooding Rock. There you can enjoy an interesting granite outcrop with caves, balancing boulders, and a fine example of how early settlers made the most of the limited rainfall.
If you explore the back roads of Western Australia's wheat belt long enough, you may notice a number of wave-shaped rock formations resembling the famous Wave Rock. The best of them is probably Elachbutting Rock - the wave structure may not be as big as Wave Rock, but it is similarly striking - and there is a cave and other features making this more remote monolith worth a visit.
It's a long drive to Wave Rock, whichever route you take. If approaching from the north, a pleasant bit of journey-breaking and leg stretching can be had by stopping at Hidden Hollow - a secluded rock amphitheatre in the side of one of the granite monoliths that pop up unexpectedly in WA's wheatbelt.
Finding internet access is easy enough in cities and popular tourist spots, but what if you need to check your e-mail in less-visited country areas, where tourist facilities may be scarce? In Western Australia, Community Resource Centres are a useful solution.
The internet attracts criticism, but praise is also warranted for the good it can do. For example, it can help a desperate coffee enthusiast find an oasis of quality coffee in a desert of coffee ordinariness in rural Western Australia.
Everybody would know that Australia's biggest single rock is Uluru, or Ayer's Rock ... but not so many would know which of Australia's monoliths is the third biggest. That honour goes to Kokerbin Rock, in the wheat country east of Perth. It's not nearly as large or dramatic, but is far less crowded than it's more famous cousin - and worth a look for anyone who enjoys exploring unique rock formations.
Lake Grace is a small town in Western Australia's southern wheatbelt. While it doesn't boast major tourist attractions (or many tourists), it does have a unique and very well presented hospital museum which provides a glimpse of how the Australian Inland Mission brought medical care to the outback nearly a century ago.
The Malleefowl is an intriguing Australian bird, but also very endangered and unlikely to be seen in the wild. You don't need to be a birdwatcher to enjoy learning about these amazing creatures, especially if you get to see them at the excellent Yongergnow Malleefowl Centre at Ongerup in southern WA. They do a good presentation, and make a good lunch too.
Many country towns have small historical museums, and standards vary. One which I found to be rather interesting and well done is in the Western Australian town of Merredin, and although it focuses on railway history there is more to it than train memorabilia.
The Western Australian country town of Merredin looks fairly average at first glance, the sort of place most travellers might stop for food and fuel before moving on. But it's far from average, and boasts a town tour that is surprisingly worthwhile.
Visiting small out-of-the-way towns can sometimes lead to pleasant surprises. This happened to me in Mukinbudin, near the fringes of Western Australia's wheat belt, where I found some cheap but unexpectedly good accommodation in the town's caravan park.
Not long ago I was passing by Wave Rock, one of Western Australia's well known attractions, and so I dropped in for a look. But the famous rock wasn't the highlight of that day for me: instead it was a less-visited site not far away, known as Mulka's Cave.
New Norcia in Western Australia is definitely not off the beaten track, but it offers some accommodation which is truly out of the ordinary. It is Australia's only monastic town, and the accommodation is a guesthouse run by the monastery following a fifth century tradition. I recently stayed in this unique place.
Well known natural features are often promoted as being unique, but that isn't always true. Sometimes the most visited attractions are just the best examples out of many, such as the rock wave formations in Western Australia. Wave Rock is the famous one, but there are all these other versions scattered around ...
Where is a good spot to watch planes taking off and landing at Perth Airport? In the past, officially sanctioned viewing was limited to the international terminal's observation deck, or the windows in the domestic departure lounges. Or else you could look through a fence and hope not to look suspicious. However in December 2011 Perth Airport opened an outdoor public viewing area close to the end of the main runway. Since then I have road-tested this new viewing area many times to see whether or not it is a plane spotter's dream come true.
Just about every visitor to Perth photographs the famous view of the city and river from Kings Park. For those looking to capture the city skyline from other, different angles, here are some of my favourite alternative viewpoints.
The stromatolites of Shark Bay, on Western Australia's north western coast, are well publicised in the tourist literature. However you don't need to go to such a remote place to see these pre-historic living rocks. Their close cousins - thrombolites - can be seen just south of Mandurah, within 100km of Perth.
If you want to enjoy some impressive creativity and chuckle over quirky artwork, the Tin Horse Highway is worth a look. This otherwise ordinary stretch of country road in Western Australia's wheat belt has become a delight for travellers ... thanks to many delightful horse-themed sculptures made out of junk by local farmers. I visited in late winter to see if a non-arty person like me could like it.
Location map - WA wheatbelt and Perth coast
The symbols on this map mark the locations of places I've written about.
- Clicking on a symbol makes a label pop up
- Each label contains a link to my web page about that place