Western Australia captures one-third of the Australian continent. It spans over 2.5 million square kilometres (965,000 square miles) bordered largely by desert to the East, and on the West by 12,500 kilometres (7,813 miles) of coastline.

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Bungle Bungle Range, © Christian Fletcher

The State is connected to the world: its geographic proximity to the Asian region and a shared time zone with Beijing, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Singapore and Taipei offers convenience and practicality.

Known as Australia’s sunniest State, Western Australia is renowned for its long periods of clear blue skies and clarity of light, with its capital city Perth enjoying on average nine hours of daylight a day in winter and up to 11 hours a day in summer.

Many attractions and film sites can be found within 25 kilometres (15 miles) from the centre of Perth: white sand beaches, natural bush land, world-class wineries and Jarrah forests. Perth boasts a lively and creative food and drink scene, and is complemented by one of the biggest inner-city parks in the world, the 400 hectare Kings Park and Botanic Garden as well as the graceful Swan River and nearby beaches.

The sister city of Fremantle is only 20 minutes away. The site of the original port, Fremantle is a lively location for alfresco dining and shopping.

Rottnest Island is situated 19 kilometres (11 miles) off the coast of Fremantle and is named after the local marsupials known as quokkas. The island covers 19 square kilometres (7.3 sq mi) and has a small permanent population. There are daily ferry services to and from the island.

Outside of the metropolitan area, Western Australia is home to some of the world’s most unique natural phenomena: the only two horizontal falls in the world at Talbot Bay in the Bucaneer Archipelago; the 350-million-year-old Bungle Bungle range; the world heritage Ningaloo Reef and Shark Bay; the lunar-like Pinnacles in the Nambung National Park; the towering forests of the South West and Lucky Bay, voted Australia’s whitest beach.

For more detailed information on Western Australia and Perth visit the Tourism Western Australia website www.westernaustralia.com.

Accessibility

With more than 35 access routes via land, sea and air, travelling to Western Australia from overseas and the eastern Australian states is easy.

Perth is Australia’s western gateway and is well-serviced by 18 international airlines, 12 domestic and regional and eight general aviation companies that operate at Perth Airport, connecting travelers to more than 110 destinations around Australia and overseas. There are direct flights from the Middle East, South Africa, Indonesia, New Zealand and Asia, and regular flights operate from all major Australian cities. Broome, in the state’s North West, is a major gateway to the Kimberley region with good air access from all capital cities.

Perth is the western terminus for the Indian Pacific rail services, spanning the entire continent from coast to coast.

Connecting Western Australia to the rest of Australia, the Eyre Highway extends from Port Augusta in South Australia across the Nullarbor Plain to Norseman; or the Savannah Way links Cairns in Tropical North Queensland with the historic pearling town of Broome.

Local time in Perth is eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Western Australia shares the business time zone with 60% of the world’s population.

For more detailed information about flight durations, road distances and time zones, go to the Welcome to Perth and Western Australia booklet.

Climate

Known as Australia’s sunniest State, Western Australia boasts near-perfect weather conditions which create optimal shooting conditions day and night all year round.

Western Australia’s capital city of Perth enjoys an average of 9 hours of sunshine per day with a total of 131 perfect blue-sky days every year, making it officially the sunniest capital city in Australia. These sunshine hours increase up to 11 hours per day in summer. The average maximum summer temperature is 29°C (84°F), and February is generally the hottest month. The average winter temperature in winter (June to August) is 12°C (54°F).

For more information about Western Australia’s climate, visit the Bureau of Meteorology website, or download the Welcome to Perth and Western Australia booklet.

Transport

Driving in Western Australia

Australians drive on the left-hand side of the road and use the metric system of distances and speeds. If you are a temporary visitor to Australia you can drive on a valid overseas drivers licence as long as it is written in English. If not, you must carry an English translation or an International Driving Permit. Driving in Perth is straightforward though at peak times in the morning and afternoon arterial roads and freeways can become congested. If you plan to travel further than the CBD, you may need a hire car.

Fuel prices vary on a daily basis FuelWatch and traffic alerts are posted on the MainRoads website.

Taxis and Rental Car Services

It is best to call and book a taxi if you are not in the CBD or at the airport, although there are plenty of taxi ranks throughout the city.

Many of the larger rental car services are located at the Perth International Airport, and service counters are available in the baggage claim area. These include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Redspot and Thrifty. Additionally, rental cars are available throughout the city of Perth. It will take about 20 to 30 minutes to travel from the airport to the CBD. Small charter vehicles (similar to private taxis) are available on a pre-booked arrangement, and whhile more costly than taxis these vehicles can be pre booked to meet and greet.

Public Transport

Public transport is provided in the main by Transperth, which operates buses, trains and ferries in the Perth metropolitan area. For travel around the CBD, Fremantle and Joondalup areas there are free bus services running several different routes. Hours vary by day and route, but most services end between 6:00pm and 7:30pm. The Central Area Transit (CAT) buses are free and operate high frequency services in the Perth CBD. All CATs are colour-coded and operate around the Perth CBD as follows:

Further information can be found on the Transperth website www.transperth.wa.gov.au, or download the Welcome to Perth and Western Australia booklet.

Utilities

Mobile Carriers

Optus, Telstra and Vodafone are currently the only mobile network providers in Australia, all providing 4G services, and use 900MHz and 1800MHz GSM bands. Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in Australia lease wireless telephone and data services from the three major carriers for resale.

Landline

  • 0011 is the International Access (Dialing) Code for within Australia
  • 61 is the International Country Code for Australia
  • 8 is the area code for Western Australian

Electricity Supply

Australia’s electricity supply runs at 240V 50Hz, with a uniquely configured three pin plug. Appliances from countries using electricity of a similar voltage, including most European countries and New Zealand, will run successfully in Australia, although you will need to use an adapter. Notable exceptions to this are Japan, USA and Canada which use 100/120V 50/60Hz. If your country does not use appliances within the 230V 50Hz mains voltage range, you will need to purchase a voltage converter. You will also need a power adapter.

For more information download the Welcome to Perth and Western Australia booklet.