View Full Version : Travelling tips for Western Australia (Perth region)

Jerry van Dijk
01-03-2012, 01:34 PM
Hi all, I'll be travelling to Western Australia in July this year and was wondering if you had any tips for visiting nature/wildlife areas. I'll be flying to Perth and will be travelling from there and back either by car or motorhome for 3-4 weeks. From there one, there are no definite plans yet, although I'm contemplating visiting Ningaloo Reef. I'll be travelling with my wife and 2 kids, aged 5 and 8, so some touristic infrastructure would be welcome (especially since it is our first visit to Australia and we're not used to much here in Europe :t3).
Any advice is very welcome!

Don Railton
01-19-2012, 11:42 PM
Hi Jerry

I have been living in Perth for the last 30 years so I am happy to help if I can. Feel free to ask me any questions, and I will try and answer the questions you asked above although they are of a general nature and not really specific. First tip is that July is winter here and the weather will not be at its best. Heading north is good as the Northern half of Australia is in what's called the 'dry season' where the weather is mild (25 to 30 c) and the humidity is at its lowest while Perth at this time may have temperatures more like 10 to 15 C and rain if we are lucky. The downside is that its peak tourist season for that very reason and a large number of retired people head north at this time to get the good weather. So the tourist parks will likely be crowded. Suggest you make bookings if you have 'definite locations' you wish to visit. Broome is a bit of a mecca for many at this time, the last time I Visited there with a motorhome (~july) I had to sleep in the 'overflow' which was on the local sports ground. All the campsites were full! Broome is one of the migration entry points for birds into Australia.

I terms of specific locations for bird/nature photography, There are a few lakes/swamps just north of Perth city (Herdsman & lake Monger) which are worth a visit for bird Photography. I an still searching for good spots myself. We also have a number of parks within the city and a range of colourful galas and parrots that Perth that are always here so they will entertain. When travelling outside of Perth you will find the country side very different for any of the Europe I have seen and there are plenty of photo opportunities available. Bring wide angles lenses and cir pol filters. The last thing I want to point out is that there is a LOT of space/country between the towns and you need to careful that you have sufficient fuel and drinking water if you decide to venture off the beaten track (and even if you stay on it sometimes) Also I suggest you have a look at the Karrijini national park and its surrounds. you can find this on the Web...


Jerry van Dijk
01-20-2012, 03:38 AM
Hi Don, thanks a lot for your response, that is already a lot of useful information! I'll send you a pm if we have some more definite plans, if that's OK.

Don Railton
01-21-2012, 03:39 AM
Hi Jerry,

yes, PM by all means... There is a lot more I could say but its best that you talior your holiday as you think you want it, let me know your plans if you like and then it will be easier for me to make suggestions that are relevant...
I would suggest you look up 'Monkey Mia' also. This is a place where wild dolphins come into a beach and are fed by tourists. Its controlled by a government department (DOC department of Conservation), the amount of fish is strictly limited to ensure they dont become dependent on 'hand outs' and physical contact is also limited. Very popular however. This is in an area 'on the way' to Exmouth where Ningaloo reef is located. Also, exmouth had Emu's walking through the main street last time I was there... There is also a river cruise you can take (run by DOC also I think...) in a river gorge about 20Km past Exmouth in a National park. Lots of birds nesting in cliff faces, ospreys, Sea eagles, cormorants etc.. all quite visable from the small boat.

Finally, you might consider doing a big loop, from Perth go up the coast to Port headland and then back to Perth down the inland route from Port Hedland via Meekathara back to Perth.(check a map to see what I mean). You would take day trips off this loop to go to places like monkey mia, karrijini Nat park, Exmouth/Ningaloo, Coral bay, etc. Its a Long drive that could easily take the whole 4 weeks to do, and it does not include Broome, but you get to see the coast and the inland...

I have included a picture of Mount Nameless (its real name...) which is close to a mining town called Tom Price. You might base yourself in Tom price to visit the Karrijini Nat park (or camping sites are available at the park itself, bit rougher living however). The image shows the sort of country you are in. You can drive to the top of Mount Nameless, might be a bit tough in a camper van however (good sunset spot). We took 4WD's, its the default vehicle type in this region if you get off the sealed roads. I have alot of images that could help 'make up your mind' also. I will leave it at that for now


Jerry van Dijk
01-21-2012, 02:22 PM
Thanks Don. Judging from your suggestions I doubt that those four weeks will be long enough! Looking forward (much more so now!) to visiting your beautiful country!