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Our A to Z of WA – a locals list of things that are truly WA

Call us biased, but we think it’s pretty clear west is best.

There’s the weather and the beaches, wildlife, countryside and a lifestyle that’s a little different from the rest of the country (in the best way possible).

There’s a lot to see and do in the 2.5 million square kilometres of our home state, but for starters here are 26 unique locations, quirks, attractions and experiences.

As WA locals for over 60 years, we like to think we’ve picked up a few insider tips along the way.

Our A to Z list of what we think is truly WATruly WA - Albany beach

Albany 

From the National ANZAC Centre to the Whale Museum, there’s much to appreciate about Albany’s history, including that it is the oldest permanently settled town in WA.

Avid hikers embrace this area, especially with the 1,000km Bibbulmun Track starting and ending here.

Local’s tip: For a different vantage point, hike the 5km Point Possession Heritage Trail on to Vancouver Peninsula where you’ll be rewarded with views of Albany Port and the King George Sound.

Burrup Peninsula

Visit the world’s oldest outdoor art gallery and appreciate ancient Indigenous art.

Located just 35km from Karratha, over 10,000 rock engravings can be found on the Peninsula, depicting people, animals and birds. Truly WA - aboriginal rock art

Coastline

We can’t talk about WA without mentioning our stunning 12,000 km coastline, the longest of any state or territory in Australia.

The best way to view it all? Hit the road.

The Derby

It’s the question that divides the state: Eagles or Dockers?

This local AFL rivalry has been played out since 1995, when WA’s best and brightest football stars slog it out each year for the ultimate bragging rights.

If you’re yet to witness a Western Derby live at Optus Stadium, you’re missing out.

Eliza sculpture

Eliza may be one of WA’s most fashionable women.

The statue of a 1940s swimmer was unveiled to commemorate the Crawley Baths, once located where Eliza stands today.

Local larrikins regularly dress her up for various occasions, so keep an eye out near the Blue Boat House on Mounts Bay Road.

Fremantle Prison

Now a World Heritage-listed site, Fremantle Prison housed convicts for longer than you’d think – it was in continual use from 1855 to 1991.

The tours offer a fascinating insight into the role of convicts in WA’s development.

Gnomesville Truly WA - Gnomesville 

Why does a Gnomesville even exist?

No one knows for sure, but it has become one of Ferguson Valley’s most famous attractions – a 10,000 strong gnome community constantly growing as visitors bring new additions to the village.

Hi-vis

Our mining industry is big business – supporting over 70,000 jobs – which is part of the reason high visibility (hi-vis) workwear has become the WA workers’ unofficial uniform.

You’ll see a sea of hi-vis-wearing FIFO workers flowing through Perth Airport daily, each supporting a local industry that each year contributes tens of billions of dollars to the national economy.

Inside Australia

A collection of 51 black steel sculptures by world-renowned artist Antony Gormley eerily dot the open, flats of Lake Ballard.

It’s a 40-minute drive from the town of Menzies, in the Goldfields. Check it out. Truly WA - Lake Ballard

John Butler Trio 

American-born Australian singer John Butler started out busking in Fremantle before forming roots and jam band John Butler Trio in 1998.

Five studio albums later (three of which topped Australian charts) they’ve toured Australia and the world, picking up ARIAs along the way.

Other local music groups who’ve made it big include The Waifs, Eskimo Joe and San Cisco.

Kambarang

October welcomes Kambarang, one of the six seasons in the Nyoongar calendar, marked by an abundance of colours and flowers exploding all over WA’s South West.

It’s also known as the season of birth with flowers, birds and animals undergoing a transformation in the warmer weather.

Long Mac topped-up

Place a coffee order like this anywhere else in the world (or even anywhere else in Australia) and chances are the barista will be looking back at you in confusion.

It’s the quintessential West Aussie coffee order that some argue is really just a double-shot latte!coffee culture truly wa

Marron

Native to Western Australia, the freshwater crayfish is prized for its sweet, delicate flavour.

Marron fishing has long been a WA tradition but due to its popularity, recreational fishing is now tightly-controlled with a limited season in which permits are required and minimum sizes enforced.

Ningaloo

Lying off the Exmouth coastline, this World Heritage-listed site is a local bucket-list destination.

Spot dolphins, manta rays, turtles, humpback whales and whale sharks at different times of the year, with snorkelling tours bringing you up close and personal with the local marine life.

Outdoor dining 

Each year, WA averages nine hours of sun each day – which may explain our love for picnics and barbecues.

Fill up the esky and head to one of the many local barbecues or picnic spots in WA.

Looking for barbecue recipe inspo? We’ve got you coveredtruly wa - whalesharks in ningaloo

Pink lakes 

We have several ‘pink lakes’ in WA, but Lake Hillier near Esperance and Hutt Lagoon near Gregory (pictured in our blog feature image) are two of our more well-known, naturally occurring pink lakes.

Lake Hillier maintains a bright pink all year round while the pink hues at Hutt Lagoon fluctuate in vibrancy throughout the year.

Quokka

The quokka has achieved worldwide celebrity status, with a quokka selfie now a must-have during any visit to Rottnest Island.

Known as the world’s happiest animal, quokkas are native to WA with the largest population living on Rotto.truly wa - kangaroo paw

Did you know? Rottnest has the quokka to thank for its name. In 1696, a Dutch sea captain mistook them for giant rats and named the island ‘Rotte nest’, after the Dutch word Rattenest, meaning ‘rat nest’.

Red and Green Kangaroo Paw

The striking flower is our State’s floral emblem. It gets its name from the cluster of flowers that resembles the forepaw of a kangaroo.

It’s one of the many stunning wildflowers that can be found on the hiking and wildflower trails throughout WA.

Stromatolites

The oldest living creatures on Earth may not look like what you pictured.

Hamelin Pool in Shark Bay is one of only two places in the world to see living stromatolites – dating back 3.5 billion years.

Tin Horse Highway

It’s a 15km stretch of road paved with equine sculptures made out of, you guessed it, tin.

Swing by for a look on your way to Wave Rock and appreciate the creativity of Kulin locals in promoting the annual Kulin Bush RacesTruly WA - tin horse highway

Useless Loop, Shark Bay

A French navy officer coined the term Useless Harbour after mistakenly thinking a large sandbar was blocking ship access.

It was actually a white salt mountain offering some of the world’s purest salt, so not so useless after all. W

hile there’s no public access, a 4WD will get you close – or see it from a scenic flight over Shark Bay.

Valley of the Giants

Between Denmark and Walpole, you’ll find the Valley of the Giants, home to the famous Tree Top Walk.

Climb 40m up into the forest canopy for a bird’s eye view of this incredibly unique tingle forest. It’ll give you the tingles.

Wave Rock

With a name like Wave Rock, you might expect this natural wonder to be by the coastline.

But no, this multi-coloured granite rock can be found inland near the Wheatbelt town of Hyden.

This isn’t the only ‘wave rock’ you’ll find in WA either, follow the Granite Loop Trail to find another.

Xantippe Nature Reserve

It’s the only place in Australia with a name starting with ‘X’, and just three hours north of Perth it was once a thriving farming community.

Now, you might pass through this area and stop to spot wildflowers in springTruly WA Zebedee thermal springs

Yum cha

WA’s reason to get up early on a Sunday morning.

Family and friends gather around the table while plate after plate of delicious dumplings gets trotted out.

Try making your own for a homemade Sunday brunch with a recipe from WA’s own dumpling guy.

Zebedee Springs

You’ll find the Zebedee thermal pools at El Questro, a 700,000-acre station in the East Kimberley.

These springs are naturally-occurring and offer weary travellers a soothing, warm soak surrounded and shaded by Livistona and pandanus palms.

Tell us your A-Z of WA for the chance to WIN a $5,000 local travel voucher!

We all know west it best – but what are the local people, places and experiences that make WA truly great?

Share your pick for the A-Z of WA and you’ll be in the running to WIN a $5,000 local travel voucher* to see more of our beautiful home state.

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43 Responses to “Our A to Z of WA – a locals list of things that are truly WA

  1. September 17, 2020 at 12:33 pm
    Anne-Marie Southall said:

    Ellis Brook Reserve has an exhilarating walk, very popular with families and their canine companions. It is a short but steep climb to the top of the spectacular Sixty Foot Falls, affording magnificent views of the City and the valley along the way, before descending past the old Barrington Quarry where old workings provide a window into the geology of the area.

    • Courtney
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      September 17, 2020 at 3:46 pm
      Courtney said:

      Thanks Anne-Marie, we agree, Ellis Brook Reserve does offer a great hike! Great to hear you’re enjoying the local area. If you haven’t entered yet, fill in the list via the link above for the chance to win! Good luck!

  2. September 17, 2020 at 6:55 pm
    Andrea Miller said:

    Smiths Beach amazing walking the beachfront and part of the Bibbulum Track . Watching the surfers and having a coffee at the lookout at sunset and sunrise .

  3. September 18, 2020 at 10:16 am
    Maryellen Dunn said:

    Albany is stunning! My now fiancé and I spent our first weekend away together down there. Every time I have been to Albany it has rained on and off. I prefer the warmer weather but gee I love visiting Albany! 😍

    Also highly recommend anyone to visit the valley of the giants! The great southern region from Pemberton down is a wonderful drive! Something about driving through the Karri forests that is incredibly satisfying and relaxing.

  4. September 18, 2020 at 10:17 am
    Edel Geoghegan said:

    Fishermans Bay in Albany is beautifully picturesque and so peaceful with its white sandy beach and gorgeous view.

  5. September 18, 2020 at 10:20 am
    Edel Geoghegan said:

    Bettys beach near Albany, mind blowing views on the short walk from the carpark.
    Its natures rawness at its best.

  6. September 18, 2020 at 10:38 am
    Jessica Strauss said:

    The Valley of the Giants takes your breath away. Hiking through these old giant trees makes you reflect in awe at the beauty of nature.

    • Courtney
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      September 18, 2020 at 5:41 pm
      Courtney said:

      The Tree Top Walk is a definite must when roaming around the Great Southern! Thanks for your comment Jessica, if you haven’t entered yet, fill in the list via the link above for the chance to win! Good luck!

  7. September 18, 2020 at 10:48 am
    Manbir singh said:

    Albany, what a beautiful place surrounding with beautiful beaches and history of AUSTRALIA . King george, ANZAC CENTRE , wind farm, Tornddip national park , green pool , monkey trial they all amazing destination in Albany . Would like to go gain with family.

  8. September 18, 2020 at 10:50 am
    Stuart said:

    Eliza sculpture is great fun day out on our Dinghy from Ascot. The boathouse and Crawley bay are magnificent from the water too. Stuart

  9. September 18, 2020 at 10:51 am
    Treacy Meyer said:

    Ningaloo is my favourite destination. There”s something for everyone. In saying that, all of WA is amazing! :)

  10. September 18, 2020 at 10:54 am
    Joy Coatalen said:

    Kings Park in Perth is unmistakenly the crown of WA. With so much to see,, outstanding views of Perth city below, the memorial, and a tree walk second only to the Valley of the Giants tree walk. Manicured lawns, picnic areas, beautiful flowers, rest areas and restaurant and cafeteria. A whole day is required to see everything this Park has to offer.

  11. September 18, 2020 at 11:12 am
    Viv said:

    A visit to Fitzgerald National Park out of Bremer Bay is a fantastic place to visit . Beautiful views of the ocean , lots of short and long walks ,some spots for four-wheel driving and absolutely beautiful and unique wild flowers.One of the places you can see glorious Hakea .

  12. September 18, 2020 at 11:13 am
    Susan said:

    Maureen, and everyone else, to enter the competition you need to click on the orange “Enter now” button and fill in the form. Commenting here won”t put you in the draw. 🙂

  13. September 18, 2020 at 11:15 am
    Christine Bailye said:

    The different vegetation from the beautiful beaches of Esperance, to the wheat belt sleepy towns, to the magic of the Pilbera and the Kimberley”s. I can”t wait to start exploring again, an amazing state.

  14. September 18, 2020 at 11:17 am
    Christine Bailye said:

    Love the Kimberleys

  15. September 18, 2020 at 11:20 am
    Judith Cousins said:

    I was recently out at Lake Ballard, which is a long way from anywhere, but worth the effort. The stick-like sculptures are well separated but this gives the lake a rather eerie feeling, rather as though these are the remaining people from a strange occurrence. If it has rained the lake is mushy but on our visit it was bright sunshine and quite a hard surface and we could stroll to the figures and take photos with long shadows. Stop at Menzies for good coffee and more interesting metal sculptures depicting historical activities.

  16. September 18, 2020 at 11:24 am
    Sue Conway said:

    From our stunning South West to the splendour of our Kimberley and Northern Coast and East to the grandeur of Wave Rock and the Goldfields, Western Australia has everything for an extended wandering holiday.

  17. September 18, 2020 at 11:30 am
    Dawn King said:

    We have camped and caravaned all over WA and we keep doing it. All of the gorges are amazing, the outback, stunning red earth, sunsets, magnificent night sky, the ear ringing silence . Stunning beaches, pink lakes, wild life, song birds, wild flowers, shrubs and trees, such a stunning variety. National Parks and friendly people in every country town. Anything you want in travel experiences you have it in WA – except snow. Roll on any season , we enjoy every day.

  18. September 18, 2020 at 11:33 am
    Greg said:

    The Bigurda Trail just south of Kalbarri is a stunning and exhilarating walk along coastal cliffs. Rainbow coloured rocks, deep blue ocean vistas and passing whales….what”s not to like?

  19. September 18, 2020 at 12:23 pm
    Brigita Squibb said:

    Perth is the ultimate Golfing destination for it”s weather and internationally rated courses. When you couple this with the outstanding accommodation and restaurants available at places like The Vines, Joondalup and Araluen just for example, the opportunities for entertaining short weekend/golfing family stays around Perth and regionally are very authentic and hard to beat.

  20. September 18, 2020 at 12:34 pm
    Amanda Fox said:

    I have fond memories of Broome the warm weather, relaxed people & way of life, Boab & mangrove trees, crocodiles, pearls and the most beautiful beaches in the world! One regret I have is that I didn”t do the sunset camel ride. ☀️🐪🐪🐪

  21. September 18, 2020 at 1:06 pm
    Roberta Chapman said:

    Marron and where they are located mainly in the Warren district, of which Pemberton is a major town and is in the centre of the district with great access to many other areas of interest including the valley of the giantas and the Southern coast.

  22. September 18, 2020 at 1:08 pm
    Shirley Radford said:

    W.e are very lucky to live in WA, we have beautiful beaches for swimming or surfing . We have wineries close to Perth also in metro area theme parks, golfing beautiful picnic areas .It doesnt matter what direction you travel to you wont be disappointed South or North our state is huge and so are our attractions .People are friendly .

  23. September 18, 2020 at 1:09 pm
    john rennie said:

    just love Jurien bay lovely beaches great place to unwind

  24. September 18, 2020 at 1:12 pm
    allen pittman said:

    love to go on a holiday, have not had one since I left the navy in 84, would have to purchase a bag or two, very un prepared

  25. September 18, 2020 at 1:24 pm
    Sue Warren said:

    It”s all gorgeous WA nothing else to say 🥰

  26. September 18, 2020 at 1:37 pm
    Viv said:

    A wonderful place to visit is Fitzgerald National Park out of Bremer Bay. Lots of short and long walks,lovely views to the ocean, some tracks for four-wheel drives and an abundance of wild flowers. It is probably the only place you can see the magnificent Royal Hakea with it”s colourful, variegated leaves.

    • Courtney
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      September 18, 2020 at 5:39 pm
      Courtney said:

      Sounds magic Viv, the Great Southern is a beautiful and pristine part of WA! Thanks for your comment, and if you haven’t entered yet, fill in the list via the link above for the chance to win! Good luck!

  27. September 18, 2020 at 2:06 pm
    Inez Stemp said:

    Ophthalmia Dam, Newman WA, is an oasis in the East Pilbara, formed when a branch of the Fortescue River was dammed in 1981. Located in a drinking water catchment, the Dam captures seasonal rains which replenish the underground aquifers from which groundwater is extracted. While you can”t camp, swim or fish there, it”s a lovely place for birdwatching and canoeing, and there are barbecues and picnic tables along the edge. The access road in is corrugated gravel, so a 4WD is recommended. The Dam is managed by BHP, the Shire of East Pilbara and the Department of Health WA, and can be viewed from the top of Radio Hill, which offers an excellent view of the town of Newman and surrounding mountainous ranges on the edge of the Little Sandy Desert.

  28. September 18, 2020 at 2:18 pm
    Tracey Johnstone said:

    Nothing beats a drive up the coral coast, a Ningaloo staycation. An overnight stay in an outback station like Cheela Plains, Bullara, Quobba or Wooramel. Then a trip to Karijini eco retreat, sleeping under the milkyway at night, climbing and swimming the Gorge-ous gorges during the day!!! Love WA

    • Courtney
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      September 18, 2020 at 5:37 pm
      Courtney said:

      Sounds pretty perfect Tracey, Thanks for your comment, and if you haven’t entered yet, fill in the list via the link above for the chance to win! Good luck!

  29. September 18, 2020 at 2:33 pm
    Irirangi Hammond said:

    Would love to go to Albany

  30. September 18, 2020 at 2:42 pm
    Fred Schafer said:

    No doubt, once you have travelled the Gibb River Road, visited the Mitchell Falls and spent a few days tracking through the gorges of the Karijini National Park, you will have gathered fantastic Western Australian travel experiences that you will talk about again and again for the rest of your life.

  31. September 18, 2020 at 2:47 pm
    Anne Ivan said:

    We live in an amazing place – we have the best weather in the country and a lay back lifestyle that should be the envy of many. The southwest, Rottnest to the Pilbara,Kimberly – we have endless possibilities here in WA – ven our city the beautiful Swan River endless short breaks or longer holidays – plenty to see & enjoy.

    • Courtney
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      September 18, 2020 at 5:36 pm
      Courtney said:

      It is a pretty special place here in WA! Thanks for your comment Anne, and if you haven’t entered yet, fill in the list via the link above for the chance to win! Good luck!

  32. September 18, 2020 at 3:35 pm
    Zoya Gridneva said:

    Hamelin Pool Stromatolites is must to see. Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve is one of the only two places in the world with living marine stromatolites, or ‘living fossils”- you feel that you are connecting with thousands years of history.

  33. September 18, 2020 at 3:40 pm
    Kym Chivers said:

    Guilderton (Moore river) is truly beautful. Dwellingup forest is beautful.
    Albany is gorgeous.
    All driving distance from Perth

  34. September 18, 2020 at 3:43 pm
    Tristan Viscarra Rossel said:

    City skyline. Stroll along the South Perth foreshore. Perfect for a picnic on a sunny day. Cycling and roller skating too. It”s the most breathtaking sight at night after dinner at a nearby restaurant. Don”t forget to take your camera.

  35. September 18, 2020 at 3:51 pm
    Hadi said:

    One of the things we are gifted in our lives is the nature, it important to see it, feel it cherish it and enjoy it. I have seen a few places as result I have a feeling that I have seen the entire world. Enjoy.

  36. September 18, 2020 at 3:55 pm
    Hadi said:

    Love to see more and more and more nature Is beautiful. Enjoy.

  37. September 18, 2020 at 5:22 pm
    Mat Hew. said:

    Kenwick. It”s a beautiful suburb with exceptional amenities and great people to boot!

  38. September 18, 2020 at 5:28 pm
    Aileen Norman said:

    I think our state is the best. I have been all over Australia but we have the most diverse countryside of all. The magnificence of the north to the beautiful green of the south. One of my favourite places is Nannup. Such a peaceful and charming town especially when the tulips are in bloom.

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