Western Australia: Where the outback meets the sea

Size isn't everything. Just take a look at Western Australia. Sure, the state stretches over about a third of the country. But even more amazing is the fact that the outback meets the sea in this great land.

You can look forward to the horizon-bending Indian Ocean that turns translucent in the morning sun, and the powdery white beaches.

Whether you're feeling the warm sand under your feet on Perth's famous Cottesloe Beach or riding a camel as the sun sets over Broome's iconic Cable Beach, WA will redefine your opinion of what a truly amazing beach is.

In the city of Perth in summer, the outdoorsy locals love nothing more than a beer by the beach, tapas on an airy rooftop or coffee down a chic laneway.

With over 3,000 hours of sunshine annually, there's an understandable enthusiasm for the city's natural assets, blended with a lively and mature urban scene.

After mingling with the locals, you can take a detour to indulge in aquatic and coastal experiences in the region.

Over in the south-west, drink in the surrounds at Margaret River's wineries by the sea. Chardonnay and shiraz are the regional specialities, but don't pass up the other variant of wines.

And let's not forget about the waves. Pro-surfer Kelly Slater visits nearly every year to ride the towering green waves and compete in the Margaret River Pro held every April.

Then there are the whales - from humpbacks and southern rights to minke and blue whales - migrating past from June to November.

The rugged cliffs, some as high as 40m, form a fantastic landscape for great coastal walks.

The Cape to Cape Track, for one, leads hikers along the best stretches between the region's two lighthouses and includes dozens of untouched beaches. All this just three hours' drive from Perth.

Photo: Tourism Australia   

Can't get enough of the deep blue? Perhaps a swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef should excite.

The Coral Coast drive between Perth and Ningaloo Reef is filled with unforgettable experiences - carpets of wildflowers, wild dolphins, more seafood than you could possibly eat, and a rugged landscape of rusty red earth and shimmering aqua blue.

Apart from the whale sharks, Ningaloo Coast is also home to coastline edged by a rainbow of blues on one side, and a national park filled with canyons and gorges on the other.

While you're there, catch the drift at Turquoise Bay: A gentle current allows you to float over fish-covered coral with barely a kick of the flipper.

Photo: Tourism Australia

Before you head home, coast into Broome. Vibrant and multi-cultural, this beach town calms the soul with its glistening ocean views.

You can soak in the sights by taking leisurely strolls along the famous Cable Beach or go on camel rides at sunset.

For something more glamorous than camping, Broome offers "glamping", where you can sleep under the stars in a semi-permanent tent with timber floors.

It also offers modern essentials like hot showers and large, plush beds. This being WA, be rest assured that glamour goes hand-in-hand with true outback style.