Greenough

Historic, windswept Greenough was once an active administrative centre in its 1860s heyday. Its traditional stone buildings have been preserved at the charming Central Greenough Historic Settlement (0 99261084 Brand Hwy adult child family 5 2.50 12 S 9am-4pm), which also serves as a visitors centre. Buy the Greenough Walkaway Heritage Trail booklet ( 4) to get the most out of your meander around the atmospheric hamlet. Allow an hour to explore the renovated old schoolhouse, jail, courthouse,...

Green Head Leeman

Get away from it all at the laid-back fishing villages of Green Head (population 300) and Leeman (population 680), where there's little to do besides swim and fish in secluded bays. Both are pretty but Leeman's picturesque old wooden jetties at Pioneer Park give it the edge. Sea Lion Charters ( 9953 1012 seallonchartersg) hotmail.com 24 Bryant St, Green Head half-day tours adult child 75 30) offers tours to interact with friendly sea lions living offshore on Fisherman's Islands. Travellers who...

Sights Activities

Take a dolphin-spotting cruise through the estuary, Peel Inlet and Murray River with Mandurah Ferry Cruises (0 9535 3324 www.mandurah ferrycruises.com Estuary Boardwalk adult child 15 8 S hourly 10.30am-3.30pm summer, 10 30am-2 30pm rest ofyear). You can also do a half-day trip, adult child 52 24 with lunch on board. These depart at 10am bookings recommended. You don't need your own boat to go crabbing and fishing. Simply bring your own gear down and head to the accessible estuary for blue...

Getting There Around

Dongara-Port Denison is accessible via the Brand Hwy (National Hwy 1) or the Indian Ocean Drive from Cervantes, or via the Midlands Rd (State Hwy 116). Jo Greenough (41km) V Geraldton (65km) Visitors Fisherman's Lookout Obelisk 3 A5 Irwin District Museum (see 2) Live Lobster Logistics Centre 4 B4 Royal Steam Flour Mill 5 C1 Russ Dongara Denison Tourist Park 8 A5 Dongara Hotel Motel 9 D5 Lazy M id coast Don gara B ack pack ers .11 C5 Port Denison Holiday Units 12 B5 Priory Coffee Tree Book Caf...

Dampier Peninsula

Stunning scenery of aquamarine waters, white-sand beaches and red rock formations, along with the opportunity to learn about the indigenous culture and country of the Ngumbarl, Jabirrjabirr, Nyulnyul, Ni-manburru and Bardi peoples, your hosts and guides, are great reasons to visit the remote Dampier Peninsula. Access to the isolated Aboriginal communities is by 4WD only, along the rough, corru gated, red pindan 200km-long Cape Leveque Rd (turn-off 9km east of Broome). You must plan your trip in...

Embassies Consulates Australian Embassies Consulates

The website of the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (www.dfat.gov.au) provides a full listing of all Australian diplomatic missions overseas. They include Canada ( g 613-236 0841 www.canada.embassy.gov.au Suite 710,50 O'Connor St, Ottawa, Ontario KIP 6L2) Also in Vancouver and Toronto. France ( g 01-40 59 33 00 www.france.embassy.gov.au 4 Rue Jean Rey, 75724 Cedex 15, Paris) Germany ( 030-880 0880 www.germany.embassy.gov .au Wallstrasse 76-79, Berlin 10179) Also in Frankfurt. Indonesia...

Tours

Fun tours from Exmouth include swimming with whale sharks, whale-watching, wildlife-spotting, scuba diving, sea-kayaking, fishing, and coral-viewing from glass-bottom boats. There are many more tours than those listed here - see the visitors centre. Capricorn Kayak Tours ( 1800 625 688 www .caprlcornseakayaking.com.au) Offers a range of coastal and camping tours by sea kayak from April to October. Tours include paddles with barbecue (adult 49), half-day Coral Coast ( 68), full-day lagoon...

Volunteering

Year-round opportunities exist for travellers to do volunteer work across WA. Overseas travellers can organise a volunteer arrangement but should first apply for a Visitor Tourist Visa. See the Department of Immigration (www .immi.gov.au) website for more information. Volunteers can work in the areas of environment and conservation humanitarian aid animal welfare home help for the aged, frail, and disabled youth and families arts, culture and heritage tourism sport and recreation and marketing...

Cunderdin to Southern Cross

Sleepy Cunderdin (population 1255), 156km from Perth, is a fine spot to stretch your legs. The visitors centre is handily situated in the museum (Ig 9635 1291 100 Forrest St entry by donation S 10am-4pm), a restored steam water pumping station on the old goldfields pipeline, with exhibits on farming, gold mining and the 1968 Meckering earthquake, plus an original bush school and a Tiger Moth biplane. If you're looking to rest your head, do it with your tongue firmly in your cheek at Cunderdin's...

Transwa

The largest operator in the mid-west and southwest is the government-operated Transwa ( 1300 662 205 www.transwa.wa.gov.au), with services that run in conjunction with limited rail services. Transwa destinations and fares (one way from Perth) are as follows Albany ( 48, six hours), Augusta ( 40, eight hours), Bunbury ( 25, three hours), Busselton ( 29, 41 2 hours), Dunsborough ( 31, five hours), Esperance ( 72, 10 hours), Geraldton ( 50, six hours), Hyden ( 42, five hours), Kalbarri ( 63, 7Yi...

Health

Insurance 275 Required & Recommended Vaccinations 275 Jet Lag & Motion Sickness 276 Availability & Cost of Health Care 276 Australia is a remarkably healthy country in which to travel, considering that such a large portion of it lies in the tropics. Tropical diseases such as malaria and yellow fever are unknown, diseases of insanitation such as cholera and typhoid are unheard of, and, thanks to Australia's isolation and quarantine standards, even some animal diseases such as rabies and...

Cocklebiddy To Eucla

The journey between Cocklebiddy and Eucla is around 270km. Some 83km east of Cocklebiddy is Madura, close to the hills (yes, hills ) of the Hampton Tablelands. At one time, horses were bred here for the Indian army. You get good views over the plains from the road. The ruins of the Old Madura Homestead, several kilometres west of the new homestead by a dirt track, have some old machinery and other equipment. If you need a cool night's sleep, the standard rooms at the Madura Pass Oasis Inn (...

The Southern Outback

Welcome to iconic outback Australia, where the searing red sandscapes of summer give way to clear, cold winter days and an inland horizon that reaches forever. Along the coast, wild dune country fronts up to the lonely waters of the Great Australian Bight where, fringing it, the relentless Nullarbor Plain leads on (and on and on) to South Australia. This is remarkable wilderness country, more so because of its long history of human settlement by the Aboriginal people, whose lands stretch in...

Farm Station Stays

For a true outback experience, some of the state's farms and stations offer a rural getaway. The Gascoyne, Pilbara and Murchison areas of WA are popular spots for station stays. At some you can kick back and watch other people raise a sweat, while others require you to pull your weight. Most accommodation is very comfortable - in the main homestead (B& B-style, many providing dinner on re quest) or in self-contained cottages on the property. Other farms provide budget options in outbuildings...

The Culture

If Australians are shaped by their isolation from the rest of the world, Western Australians are removed an additional step from the majority of Australians living along the eastern coasdine, more than 3000km away. This isolation has moulded Western Australians into a hardy, self-sufficient and innovative people, staunchly independent and parochial to the point that the notion of seceding from the rest of Australia occasionally surfaces. First mooted soon after Federation in the early 20th...

Kanowna Broad Arrow Ora Banda

Kanowna is the most easily accessible of the goldfields ghost towns, 18km from Kalgoorlie-Boulder. In 1905 it had a population of 12,000, 16 hotels, two breweries, many churches and an hourly train service to Kalgoorlie. Today the population is zero, and apart from the train station platform and the odd pile of rubble, nothing remains except a grid of dusty streets and some information signs. A couple of kilometres south of the township site is the interesting and isolated old cemetery, which...

Western Australia Outdoors

If you love exploring the great outdoors you've come to the right place. Western Australia's (WA's) extensive coast and immense interior make it a perfect playground for outdoor enthusiasts, with coundess tracks to follow, mountains to climb, waves to surf and reefs to explore. WA is blessed with some stunning bushwalking terrain, from the cool fertile forests of the southwest and the seemingly endless walking trail of the Bib-bulmun Track (see the boxed text, p38) to the national parks of the...

Environment

The first naturalists to investigate Australia were astonished by what they found. Here the swans were black - to Europeans this was a metaphor for the impossible - while mammals such as the platypus and echidna were discovered to lay eggs. It really was an upside-down world, where many of the larger animals hopped, where each year the trees shed their bark rather than their leaves, and where the 'pears' were made of wood (a woody pear is a relative of the waratah). It's worthwhile...

Dangers Annoyances Animal Hazards

Australia is home to some seriously dangerous creatures and critters. On land there are poisonous snakes and spiders, while in the sea the deadly box jellyfish awaits and the theme tune from Jaws plays constantly as white pointer sharks cruise up and down the coast. Just so you're not safe anywhere, the saltwater crocodile spans both. However, in reality you're unlikely to see many of these creatures in the wild, much less be attacked by one - you're far more likely to suffer the consequences...

Dweiiingup

Dweiiingup is a small, forest-covered township with character. Primarily it's a base for hiking, cycling, swimming, and canoeing on the Murray - the surrounding area is filled with adventure. It's 97km south of Perth. The Bibbulmun Track (www.blbbulmuntrack.org.au) passes through this timber town on its journey southwards, and the Munda Biddi (www.munda blddl.org.au) bike trail passes through here to Collie (and will eventually reach Albany). The Hotham Valley Tourist Railway terminates here...

Broomes Booming Art Scene

Broome's lively art scene is a wonderful surprise for visitors missing city culture and for those travellers wanting to learn more about the Kimberiey's indigenous culture and art. There are quality art galleries all over Broome, with several on Short St, Chinatown, that have brought some big city sophistication to town, with regular changing exhibitions and inclusive champagne openings. Each gallery has a special area of focus and represents particular artists or work with just a few...

Canning Stock Route Gunbarrel Highway

Wiluna is the start or finish point of two of Australia's greatest 4WD adventures - the Canning Stock Route and the Gunbarrel Hwy. Canning Stock Route -A Traveller's Guide by R amp E Gard 2004 is the drivers' bible for the Canning, and HEM A maps' detailed Great Desert Tracks - North West Sheet is a must for both. The Canning Stock Route runs about 1800km southwest from Halls Creek to Wiluna, crossing the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts. As the track has not been maintained for more than 30...

Crossing The Nullarbor Bicycle

The Nullarbor Plain is a real challenge to cyclists. They are attracted by the barrenness and distance, certainly not by the interesting scenery. As you drive across you'll often see cyclists, at all times of the year, lifting their water bottles to their parched mouths or sheltering from the sun. Excellent equipment is needed and adequate water supplies must be carried. Cyclists should also know where all the water tanks are located. Adequate protection hats, lotions etc from the sun should be...

Cottesloe Swanbourne Scarborough

Ocean Beach Backpackers Map pp54-5 93845111 http oceanbeachbackpackers.com cnr Marine Pde amp Eric St, Cottesloe 6- 8-bed dm with bathroom 21, d with bathroom 63 This is not just a big, bright, surfie hostel. It's so close to the beach you're almost on the sand no other hostel in Perth gets this close , and the dorm rooms have ocean views. However, the train line doesn't come up here from the city the bus does , so this is best for those focused on the beach and happy to take things slow....

Stirling Range National Park

This 1156-sq-km national park consists of a single chain of peaks including Bluff Knoll, at 1073m, which is the highest in the southwest , 10km wide and 65km long. Running most of its length are isolated peaks towering above broad valleys covered in shrubs and heath. The range is widely noted for its spectacular colour changes through blues, reds and purples and was named, in 1835, after Captain James Stirling, first governor of the Swan River Colony. Due to the altitude and climate there are...

The Kimberley

With just two opposing seasons, the Wet and the Dry, it makes sense that the Kimberley is a land of extremes - semiarid plains dotted with spinifex and outback roads that flow like rivers, spectacular ranges cut by steep stony gorges and tiny pockets of tropical rainforest and tranquil waterholes. It's these dramatic contrasts that make a trip here so compelling. But despite the region's many attractions, from the pristine Dampier Peninsula and splendid Cape Leveque, to the magnificent gorges...

Budget

So long as you have your own vehicle, the three caravan parks are fairly accessible. Fremande Village is only about 3km from the centre of Freo, and Coogee and Woodman Point only a few extra minutes' drive down Cockburn Rd. All three are pleasantly located along the shoreline. Old Firestation Backpackers 9430 5454 www .old-firestation.net 18 Phillimore St 6- amp 8-bed dm 4-bed dm d 18 20 50 D The brawny firemen have long left the building, but there's still plenty of entertainment in this...