The Western Australia Bucket List

You haven’t truly “done” Western Australia unless you’ve done these 100 experiences.

#100 - Learning & Fun at the Gravity Discovery Centre

Where is it? Yeal, WA

Many educational attractions attempt the difficult task of "making learning FUN!", however the Gravity Discovery Centre to the north of Perth not only achieves this, but does it in a wholly unique and quite fascinating way. With an emphasis on interaction as opposed to passive learning, the Centre provides a wide variety of entertaining installations that demonstrate the principles of light, magnetism and - of course - gravity in a way that adults can enjoy as well.

Each of the exhibits are demonstrated in a relatively simple and easy-to-understand fashion; with a visit here you'll be able to weigh yourself on each planet in our solar system, view examples of levitation in action, climb a leaning tower that makes that of Piza pale in comparison, and various other insightful looks at this weird and wonderful universe of ours. Be sure to allot sufficient time to experience everything on offer here - and don't miss the 1km-long Solar System Walk that demonstrates the distances between planets in a real-world fashion. Image credit: Gravity Discovery Centre

#99 - Fun at Xscape at the Cape Fun Park

Where is it? Quindalup, WA

One of the best places for the family to cool off in the south-west, Xscape at the Cape is a hybrid water park/activity centre that presents surprisingly good value for the volume of fun returned - plus the fact that spectators aren't charged is an extremely nice touch. With a mixture of waterslides and dry activities including mini golf, a unique maze, train and various other fun attractions, it's a well-supervised park that allows kids to enjoy themselves while parents can relax in the ample shaded areas knowing they're in good hands.

There's something here to keep all ages under the age of roughly 15 occupied, and any visit to Xscape will no doubt turn into a full-day affair as the kids will be begging to stay. Food here is also of a surprisingly high quality as far as theme-park style attractions are concerned; the meals are more of a home-cooked style, and there's also lovely ice cream and coffee to be enjoyed on hot and cold days, respectively. Xscape is located just to the north of Dunsborough and is a well laid-out, clean and thoroughly enjoyable attraction for those with children - just try to avoid the school holidays if planning a visit. Image credit: Xscape

#98 - Explore on 2 wheels with Segway Tours WA

Where is it? Perth, WA

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There are plenty of potential ways to take in the highlights of Perth and Rottnest Island, but one of the most unique is by hopping aboard a 2-wheeled electric Segway vehicle and zipping from one sight to the next. These vertically-aligned contraptions are surprisingly stable, and offer a smooth ride for a sightseeing journey to take in the likes of the Swan River's waterfront areas and Perth foreshore, or even the beautiful and historic offerings of nearby Rottnest Island and its military heritage.

Segway Tours WA offer the chance to hop aboard and pilot your own futuristic vehicle, and while it might seem daunting at first to come to terms with how to control such a different machine, they combination of their ease of usability along with the friendly tuition provided ensures you'll be able to experience the weightless feeling they provide in short order. These Segway trips offer an additional level of insight and context to two of this part of Western Australia's most highly-visited locations, and is especially fun to enjoy with a group of first-time friends new to the region. Informative, fun and unique, it's a great spin on the standard Perth sightseeing adventure. Image credit: Segway Tours WA

#97 - Visit Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm

Where is it? Henley Brook, WA

Western Australia is home to many quality wildlife attractions, but in terms of both interactivity and a true "Aussie" emphasis for families, Swan Valley's Cuddly Animal Farm ranks amongst the best. What the attraction offers is largely in the name - you truly do get to "cuddle" the various animals as well as feed them as you wish, with many of the creatures on offer younger and thus leading to a veritable cuteness overload. The farm offers great variety in animals ranging from smaller species such as guinea pigs, rabbits and various birds as well as larger types including horses, emus and alpacas, all of which are kept in great, spacious enclosures leading to the animals being obviously happy and well cared for; they've all got plenty of food and shelter to go around.

Other side attractions for the kids are also on offer to help break up the visit such as a merry-go-round, bouncing castle and tractor rides, and there's always plenty of staff walking around who are both attentive and willing to help at a moment's notice. Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm also offers free picnic tables and barbecue facilities with which to cook up a meal and help keep costs down. This is not a "zoo", but a hands-on attraction where bottle-feeding, hugging and simply enjoying the animals' company up close is paramount, and it's also clean, tidy and relatively uncrowded, too. Image credit: Tourism WA

#96 - See the West Australian Symphony Orchestra

Where is it? Perth Concert Hall, WA

For an entertaining evening out in Western Australia that comes with a touch of sophistication to boot, the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra perform a variety of shows at a wonderfully high level throughout the year and in various locations within the state. While their primary venue is the Perth Concert Hall, the orchestra also performs in both other urban and more remote regional destinations, bringing their combination of highly skilled conductor and musicians to show off their world-class talent. As the largest performing arts organisation in the state, the orchestra conducts a number of wonderful shows that showcase both versatility and variety; tie-ins with various pop culture staples such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Back to the Future and other iconic media help spread the appeal to a younger audience, and discounts are offered to under-30's to help kind additional interest.

The Western Australian Symphony Orchestra also hold several free events in public venues, including parks that draw a massive crowd and make for a magical and buzzing atmosphere. The fact that a performance can be extended with a bite to eat beforehand or some drinks thereafter can make for a robust evening of dining and entertainment - so be sure to check the "what's on" calendar when visiting Perth and sample some of this musical pleasure for yourself. Image credit: Western Australian Symphony Orchestra

#95 - Take the Kids to Adventure World

Where is it? Bibra Lake, WA

Western Australia's only true theme park has been entertaining families in some form since the early 1980's, and do this day remains a popular source for both high-and-low-octane fun. Adventure World sits just a short drive from the Perth CBD and is laid out in a very open-plan style and offers a good variety of rides to suit the gamut of both age groups and levels of courage. These vary from the excellent Dragon's Kingdom dedicated section for the youngest children, up to higher levels of extreme culminating in the centrepiece Abyss (a heart-pumping roller coaster that's the only of its kind in Perth) and the Kraken (world record-breaking funnel slide that offers some extreme aquatic fun). Water areas at the park are well-patrolled by lifeguards allowing adults to relax while the kids enjoy their fun, and the option to rent a private cabana for the day offers your own little space in the park to unwind.

Adventure World also provides the chance for animal interaction courtesy of its mini-wildlife-park style Aussie Wildlife Experience where guests can get up close to Australian animals, as well as hold and take a picture with a koala. The park is staffed by professional people that actually seem to care for a relatively large-scale operation, while other touches such as being able to bring your own food into the park can help cut costs. Visiting on a weekday is highly advised to help avoiding the crowds and queues if possible; however if you're willing to spend more, the option for a "Fast Pass" exists to cut down on waits even further. Image credit: Adventure World

#94 - Ascend the Swan Bell Tower

Where is it? Swan River Foreshore, Perth, WA

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One of Perth's most distinctive architectural icons, the Bell Tower sides long the Swan River waterfront and has become a key feature of a newly-developed area around its Barrack Street Jetty. This is not your average historic bell tower, as it still looks ultra-modern despite having been built at the turn of the century, and is striking both visually and audibly - particularly at night time when it's lit up. The tower contains some truly historic bells that date back to the 14th century and were shipped from the United Kingdom to Australia, having been recast several times throughout their existence. This makes for a juxtaposition of sorts, as the modern design of the building contrasts with the grand old sound of the historic bells ringing.

Visitors to the Bell Tower can ascend to the open air observation deck at the top, which is reachable by both stairs and lift, and grants an excellent view of the city and neighbouring riverfront. In addition, visitors to the tower are encouraged to have a go at ringing the bells themselves - a quite unique and amusing experience. While it's not enormous in terms of sheer size, the tower is nonetheless quite beautiful in its design and there are no other buildings in Australia that combine raw history with modern styling quite like it. Image credit: The Bell Tower

#93 - Thousands of Gnomes at Gnomesville
serif">#93 - Thousands of Gnomes at Gnomesville

Where is it? Wellington Mill, WA

This intriguing shrine to all-things-Gnomish lies off the beaten track between Busselton and Perth in the Ferguson Valley started off as the result of a placement of a single solitary gnome, and has grown over the years to now feature over 5,000 of the mystical little characters all in one spot. Dotted throughout a portion of woodland, each of the thousands of gnomes is different in their own way, with some set out in incredibly imaginative little dioramas depicting a different part of both the real - and fairytale - worlds. Due to its increased popularity over the years, visitors now bring their gnomes from all over the world to place them here, serving as a sort of "dignified retirement" for the typically garden-dwelling characters.

Each gnome is equipped with a sign that indicates its origin, and it can be quite striking as to how far some of them have come. Children will find the attraction in particular, and will love taking a walk down the many paths looking at the various communities of gnomes - there's enough here to invest up to a couple of hours' worth of exploration. The added serene atmosphere of the surrounding tree-and-creek natural environment adds yet more wonder to the experience, and if visiting in off-peak periods you may find your stop at Gnomesville entirely deserted; making for an even more eerily enjoyable memory. Gnomesville's existence is proof that some of the best attractions are also often some of the most spontaneous. Image credit: oatsy40 via Flickr

#92 - Indulge at Margaret River Chocolate Company

Where is it? Metricup, WA

If you're the type with a sweet tooth, then there are few more comprehensive - and tempting - attractions in Western Australia than the seemingly endless array of chocolate on offer at the Margaret River Chocolate Company. All aspects of the chocolatey spectrum are covered here, and all of it is of a universally high quality - from fondues, to chocolate sauces, truffles, bars and anything else conceivable of light, dark and milk chocolates - so that if you can't find it here, it likely doesn't exist. The store slash factory that produces all of these wonders of taste sits in a relatively hidden but charming location surrounded by bushland, and is almost eternally busy - a reflection of its popularity.

The Margaret River Chocolate Company offers free all-day chocolate tastings from within huge bowls, while visitors can also view staff making the hand-crafted product through a viewing window. The chocolate on offer here is reasonably priced given the quality and effort taken to craft it, and there are some true standouts such as macadamia nut clusters and chocolate coated fresh honeycomb that are truly delectable; as a result it's one of Margaret River's best spots from which to buy gifts. There's also an enjoyable cafe that does great coffee and light meals such as fresh muffins, while it's also air-conditioned and thus makes for a nice stop for hot days. Your tastebuds will thank you for stopping here - although your dentist may not. Image credit: Tourism WA

#91 - The Aquarium of Western Australia

Where is it? Hillary's Boat Harbour, WA

Western Australia has some of Australia's most diverse aquatic experiences and marine life in the country, however one does not necessarily need to travel to far-flung parts of the state to view some of its best. The Aquarium of Western Australia is a standout amongst Aussie aquariums, with a number of features that help set it apart; the aquarium is home to one of the world's largest living coral reefs, and is teeming with highly attractive and colourful displays of fish and coral, seahorses and more. All of these are kept in tanks filled with crystal-clear water straight from the Indian Ocean, with their exhibits covering marine life from a number of different sections of the Western Australian coast.

Over 40 displays can be explored at AQWA, with a good mix of attractions both in and outdoors, highlighted by an expansive underwater tunnel-and-travellator combo that allows for viewing the likes of sharks, turtles and stingrays up close and in abundance. It's a great attraction for locals and visitors alike, and provides an excellent initial introduction for first-time travellers to the state who will be exploring further later on, offering background and insight to some of WA's distinctive creatures of the sea. Located at Hillary's Boat Harbour around 20 minutes to the north of Perth city, the Aquarium of Western Australia is one of Perth's best rainy day attractions that blends together entertainment, wildlife and education. Image credit: Renlok.com

Western Australia MapWestern Australia is not merely Australia’s largest state; its size leads to some of the greatest variety in both experiences and landscapes of any of the country’s territories. As a result, a trip across the massive state can encompass a drastically broad range of tableaus and vistas, people, foods and wines, and amazing landscapes and geographical features.

The northern and southern ends of Western Australia are thus drastically different; one is a ruggedly beautiful land of vivid reds, where ochre rocks clash with vivid blue waters, vast deserted beaches make for incredible escapes, and some unique natural phenomena unlike anything else in the country can be found. In this portion of the state, you’re as likely to enjoy a camel ride on the beach alongside a blazing sunset as you are to venture into the heart of one of Australia’s most intriguing National Parks.

Head south, and an intermingled land of beautiful beach-pocketed coastline, verdant wine producing regions and Australia’s sunniest capital city await. Perth serves as a laid-back, picturesque and enjoyable springboard for exploring many of the states adventures – it’s entirely up to you whether you choose to venture north, south, or even east where a taste of the Australian Outback awaits. Do epic marine adventures swimming alongside the world’s largest fish entice you? Exmouth and the Ningaloo Marine Park await. Are you wanting a picturesque island escape a mere ferry ride away from the capital? Look towards the beach-and-wildlife-rich Rottnest Island. Looking to sample some of the country’s best up-and coming wines and other fresh produce? Margaret River is only a couple of hours drive away.

From Broome to Albany and everywhere around and in-between, it’s this diversity that makes Western Australia such a vastly different experience for each and every traveller – one where each is free to craft their own amazing travel story. On this Western Australia bucket list, we hand-pick the 100 experiences that we feel best sum up the state’s many wonderful offerings.

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