Just 22 photos that prove the North West is the best part of Western Australia

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Crowds gather at Hearson Cove to watch the supermoon rise over the mudflats.
Camera IconCrowds gather at Hearson Cove to watch the supermoon rise over the mudflats. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr.

Western Australia’s South West may be the best known spot in WA for tourists and most-frequented by Perth’s concrete cowboys, but those who live in and/or love the North West know the vast expanse above the 26th parallel is truly the best part of this great State. Let these photos explain why.

1. Cathedral Gorge, Purnululu National Park

If you were ever in doubt about nature’s status as the world’s best architect, a visit to this remote Kimberley beauty spot will put those thoughts to rest. From the Bungle Bungles to Echidna Chasm, this place is inspiring. Cathedral Gorge is the jewel in the park’s crown.

Cathedral Gorge, Purnululu National Park
Camera IconCathedral Gorge, Purnululu National Park Credit: Tom Zaunmayr

2. Bullara Station, Exmouth

If you ever want that genuine country hospitality, look no further than Bullara at the bottom of the Exmouth Gulf. The station managers are the most fantastic people and it’s isolated beauty is a perfect escape from the world. Cheela Plains Station out towards Paraburdoo is also well-worth checking out for the same reasons.

3. Zebedee Springs, El Questro Station

Nestled in one of many picturesque gorges of the working cattle station/tourist magnet are these plam-covered thermal pools. Get in early to find a pool to sit around in and forget the outside world exists for a while.

Zebedee Springs, El Questro Station.
Camera IconZebedee Springs, El Questro Station. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr

4. Nickol Bay, Karratha

Serene salt flats to wander, creeks to explore and fishing galore: the bay is also home to the Pilbara’s biggest town, Karratha.. Walk among 40,000-year-old petroglyphs and take in the view over Nickol Bay from the Yaburara Heritage Trail or lookouts at Murujuga.

5. Dirk Hartog Island, Shark Bay

A true adventure out to what seems like the edge of the earth. Dirk Hartog Island features towering cliffs, pristine beaches, world-class fishing, sand dunes and fascinating pastoral history. You even get to put your car on a barge to get over there.

6. Lake Argyle, East Kimberley

The man-made Lake Argyle, built to feed the Ord Irrigation Scheme, is 18 times the volume of Sydney Harbour. You can take it all in at the caravan park’s Insta-famous infinity pool.

7. Mangrove Creeks, Dampier Archipelago

There are so many inlets to explore in the Dampier Archipelago and Nickol Bay, and a stand-up paddleboard is the best way to do it. Cruise along in silence and watch for wildlife in the clear waters below and mangroves around you

8. Turquoise Bay, Exmouth

This outback stretch of sand needs to introduction. A regular on best beaches lists, it is not hard to see why it is a bucket list destination for travellers far and wide.

9. Marble Bar, East Pilbara

The small historic mining and pastoral hub comes alive one weekend every year for the Marble Bar Cup, home of the infamous undies run at the end of the day. It is a perfect chance to show off your best underwear in the Pilbara sun.

The infamous Marble Bar mixed breed undies race.
Camera IconThe infamous Marble Bar mixed breed undies race. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr.

10. Mount Augustus

Uluru eat ya’ heart out, WA is home to the world’s biggest monolith hidden away in the inland Gascoyne region. Standing 1,105 metres high, Burringurrah dwarves the Northern Territory’s iconic rock.

11. Emma Gorge, El Questro

Another El Questro gorge with a waterfall at the end. This one is the best though. A decent hike is rewarded with one of the most picturesque spots in WA.

12. Martumilli Gallery, Newman

The inspiring Newman gallery houses work from the famed Martu Artists of the remote Pilbara communities.

13. Dales Gorge, Karijini National Park

Karijini’s best gorge features three main swimming holes linked by a scenic and somewhat challenging hike.

14. Ningaloo Reef

Famed for giving people the chance to get up close to friendly underwater giants, Ningaloo isn’t just a place to swim with whale sharks. There’s also manta rays, humpback whales, orcas, turtles, sharks, sea snakes and more fish than you can poke a stick at.

15. Python Pool, Millstream-Chichester National Park

A plunge pool nestled at the base of a big red cliff in the inland Pilbara, what’s not to love! This is a great place for a refreshing dip. If you’re lucky you might even spot the creature this place is named after.

16. James Price Point, Dampier Peninsula

Red cliffs meet the turquoise waters of the west Kimberley in this remote oasis. Come at the right time of year and you can watch whales breach by day and gaze at the milky way by night.

17. Boab trees, Kununurra

Let’s be real, boab trees are the best trees, and Kununurra is home to plenty of them.

A boab tree in Kununurra at sunrise.
Camera IconA boab tree in Kununurra at sunrise. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr

18. Mimbi Caves, Mueller Ranges

A fairly new and little known Indigenous tourism venture, this is a great stopover on the drive between Broome and Kununurra.

19. Mitchell Falls, Mitchell Plateau

The super remote four-tiered waterfall off the Gibb River Road is well and truly worth the trek through the Kimberley wilderness.

20. Karijini Experience, Karijini National Park

Every year Karijini National Park comes a love for a week with festival of Indigenous food, arts and music. Complemented with bushwalking photography tours, yoga and plenty more, it is a perfect way to find yourself and learn about the relationship between nature and culture.

21. Denham, Shark Bay

A quiet hamlet nestled in the World Heritage-listed Shark Bay, Denham serves as a central point to eat, drink and learn about the culture and history of the area, as well as a launching pad to visit the likes of Shell Beach, Monkey Mia and Francois Peron National Park.

22. Gascoyne Growers Market, Carnarvon

Mangos, bananas, melons, grapes, dragonfruit, veggies... there is so much great produce grown in Carnarvon and these weekend markets are the perfect place to fill a box. For a truly gourmet experience, visit during the annual Gascoyne Food Festival.

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