National Geographic thinks we’re cool (why you should visit Western Australia)



City Beach in Perth, WA

National Geographic recently named Perth as one of the “world’s most exciting destinations” for 2019, up there with both the Amazon and Kansas City, Missouri. My feelings about this are as mixed as the list; I imagine many West Australians had similar reactions of pride that our little city made the list, amusement that our isolation is suddenly a drawcard and the usual competitive feeling that occurs whenever New Zealand also gets a place in such a list.

Some questions I had about this list were:

  • Since when are we the ‘left coast’?
  • How have I never thought about how weird it is that states like Victoria and New South Wales have major cities outside their capital and we don’t?
  • Is Greenland the new Iceland?
  • Did they choose that photo of Galway because there’s a guy who looks like Ed Sheeran in it?

Questions aside, the article is correct- Perth is remote, the west is the wild side and we have the best beaches in the world. While part of me wants to keep those a hidden secret, because you don’t grow up in one the most isolated parts of the world and go to beaches for the crowds, in the interest of sharing (and a little bit of home town smugness) I’ll be writing a series of travel tips and guides to some of my favourite places around the state. Just in case you need further convincing, I’ll start off with a list of some more reasons to visit WA:


King George Sound in Albany, WA

  1. Variety- There’s something for everyone. The New York Times recently named Perth as one if its “52 Places to Go in 2019.” They point out that Perth has been through a development boom, leading to new locations such as Yagan Square and Optus Stadium; we have the usual bars, museums, art, etc, plus beaches, parks, wildlife, sport, camping and nearly any outdoor activity that doesn’t involve snow.
  2. Outdoors- On that note, while we do have an urban scene, I reckon it’s the outdoor life that makes Perth and WA worth a visit. If you visit in summer, be prepared for the heat, but there are outdoor markets, cinemas and events galore to make the most of it.
  3. Climate- There’s even a climate for everyone- we take up a third of the largest island on earth (leaving aside the island/continent debate) so take your pick from tropical, desert, Mediterranean, temperate; pretty much anything apart from Arctic tundra.
  4. Scenery- As above, our size makes the scenery pretty diverse. My heart belongs to the green forests down south, but the red dirt and miles of sandy beaches up north are also something to behold.
  5. Coffee- I realise you can get coffee anywhere in the world, but after visiting the UK last year I have to say our quality coffee per square metre is much higher than a lot of other destinations. We’re also apparently becoming a real food and coffee destination, and not just in Perth, but regional areas as well.
  6. People- I mean, we’re pretty great. Not at merging in traffic, but apart from that. If you need help/directions/opinions on the best beach, people in WA are pretty friendly.
  7. Location- I will forever envy those people who live in Europe and can just jet off to another country for the weekend BUT the benefit of Perth’s location in Australia is that it is quicker to get to from many places around the world than the east coast, and now that Qantas has non-stop flights from London it’s even quicker and easier.

Optus Stadium in Perth, WA

WA might have been nicknamed Wait A while but don’t wait anymore (see what I did there) until you visit the land of sunshine, beaches, forests, deserts and quality coffee. Stay tuned for more guides to travel around one of the most isolated but sunniest locations in the world.


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