Did you know that Western Australia is the biggest state in Australia? We claim 32.9 per cent of the country’s total landmass!
But did you also know that our great state is home to some of the biggest landmarks in the southern hemisphere and, sometimes, the world?
Many of these landmarks are only a few hours’ drive from Perth – and have even been the basis of some feature films - so why not hop in the car and tick a few things off the ‘WA’s biggest and best’ list we’ve put together for you!
Pannikin Plains Cave This cave - and the true events associated with it - inspired a feature film! All across WA’s Nullabor region are numerous world-renowned cave-diving sites, including Pannikin Plains Cave – one of the longest underwater cave systems in the world, measuring more than 3km in length. Already well-known amongst cave-divers, the cave was made famous around the world in 1988 when a freak rainstorm trapped 15 divers inside. Don’t worry, they all survived.
Busselton Jetty No visit to the South West of WA is complete without stopping at Busselton Jetty, which measures in at 1.84km long – the longest timber-piled jetty in the southern hemisphere. It was an operational port for more than 100 years, resulting in regular extensions to the length of the jetty to provide enough depth for the ships to dock. You can easily walk the length of the jetty (taking approximately 20-25 minutes at a brisk pace), or you can take the electric train out and back.
Wolfe Creek meteorite crater You may have heard of this one from a certain horror film… the Wolfe Creek meteorite crater was formed around 300,000 years ago when a meteorite crashed into earth, leaving an almost-circular depression in the earth. Measuring 880m across and extending 25m below the surface, it is the second largest crater in the world. The best way to view this spectacular natural phenomenon is at the observation deck.
Mount Augustus You’ve heard of Uluru in the Northern Territory, but did you know that Western Australia actually has a rock twice as large? Mount Augustus is located in WA’s Gascoyne region, is approximately 1000 million years old, and stretches 8kms in length. There are many short walks you can do around Mount Augustus, and you can even climb to the top (a 12km return journey).
Bart the Giant Ram, and other ‘big mascots’ The small town of Wagin in WA’s Great Southern region is home to The Giant Ram (named Bart), the second largest in the southern hemisphere! Western Australia has a number of other ‘big’ mascots too including, but not limited to: The Big Apple (Donnybrook), The Big Banana (Carnarvon), The Big Crocodile (Wyndham), and The Big Prawn (Learmonth).
Lake Ballard sculptures Look out into the salt-crusted surface of Lake Ballard outside Kalgoorlie and you might just see a figure on the horizon. You’re not imagining things – that’s actually part of Australia’s second largest outdoor gallery! The ‘Inside Australia’ art installation by Sir Antony Gormley features 51 metal sculptures which were originally modelled off inhabitants of the nearby town.
Lake Argyle Containing nearly 20 times the volume of water contained in Sydney Harbour, Lake Argyle is one of the largest manmade lakes in the world. In addition to providing a safe haven for native fauna – including 35,000 freshwater crocodiles – it provides year-round irrigation for area’s agricultural pursuits.
Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree Are you good at climbing? Maybe you want to try climbing the tallest climbable tree in the world, down in Pemberton! One-hundred-and-sixty-five metal bars wind around the tree trunk, allowing you to climb 65 vertical metres into the air. Not one for the faint-hearted… as this is also known by some as Australia’s scariest tourist attraction, due to the lack of harness.
Kings Park Okay, technically this one doesn’t require a road-trip! This local attraction, famed for glorious views of Perth’s city skyline and home to over 3,000 species of WA's unique flora, is the largest inner city park in the southern hemisphere!
Have you visited any of these places already? We’d love to see your photos – tag @studyperth on your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter posts so we can see your happy snaps!