Passion Points: Active/Adventure
The intrepid traveler is always foraging for the next destination—the untouched, untraveled, unknown—where the experience of a visit feels completely new and invigorating. In our ever-flattening world, these spots are becoming more and more rarified, what with even the Amazon, Patagonia and the Galapagos drawing crowds. Thousands of miles from the beaten path, Western Australia is still one of those places—its nature stupendous, pristine and undisturbed.
The Aussie state occupies the entire western third of the continent, with nearly 13,000 miles of coastline. Locals speak volumes about the white desolate beaches in the south and the burgeoning wine region of the Margaret River Region, but the most unique travel itineraries are centered around the north. Every year from March to mid-July, whale sharks migrate up the western coast, drawn to the Ningaloo Reef, which hugs the coast of Cape Range National Park for over 400 miles. Ningaloo is one of the only places in the world where you can experience these vast creatures up close, where boat captains take instructions from hovering spotter planes above and humble snorkelers swim ten feet away from fish the size of school buses (they are non-meat-eaters, of course). On land, the limestone gorge gives way to an arid plain, where kangaroos frolic and emus run through the brush. The red earth gives way to sandy dunes, and the piercing blue water of the Indian Ocean breaks against the reef.
As in many of the world’s most remote nature spots, accommodations in this stunning part of the world are first and foremost eco-friendly and low-impact. Hotels are focused on the great outdoors, not on the amount of marble in the bathroom or thread-count on the beds. One incredible—and upscale—way to visit is by boat. The northern Kimberley, a region three times the size of England, is famous for its tropical climate, rugged mountain ranges and roaring emerald waterfalls.
The intimate True North, part of North Star Cruises Australia, was built to access the wilderness. There are multiple expedition vessels that take guests around in small groups and some cruises feature a resident helicopter for aerial sightseeing, which is particularly scenic in this region that is bordered by the Indian Ocean, the Timor Sea, the Great Sandy and Tanami Deserts and the remote Northern Territory. Daily excursions are led by an expert crew passionate about Western Australia and beyond (North Star also has cruises that travel to Indonesia and Papua New Guinea).
Swimming with whale sharks, exploring caves with ancient rock art, discovering deserted coves and beaches and lunching atop a peak so high that the curvature of the earth is visible: it’s all in a day’s adventure. Western Australia will surely top traveler’s bucket lists one day, but—for now—it remains the beautiful, well-kept secret of an intrepid few.
When to Go: The Kimberley cruises run from March through September.
Search By Keyword
The group of islands has gorgeous beaches, perfect weather, fabulous...
The Dutch capital is the kind of city where you'll...
New on Indagare
Give the Gift of Indagare The perfect present for travelers: a membership to Indagare. Buy now
Indagare Insider Trips: Cuba, Myanmar and India: We’re planning trips throughout the year. Contact Indagare (212-988-2611) to be added to the wait list.
- Community: Share advice with fellow members asking about your favorite travel discoveries.
- Indagare Insiders: Three-day itineraries for families in London and art lovers in Vienna. Plus, fashion insider Chiara Ferragamo’s picks on what not to miss in Florence, Bonnie Gokson, owner of Hong Kong’s lofty Sevva on Hong Kong, Culinary Insider: Budapest.
- Rant & Rave: Indagare members can share their advice with the community by logging in first, then clicking here: Rants & Raves.
- Give the Gift: Indagare: Give the gift of travel intelligence with a membership to Indagare. For details or to order, call us at 212-988-2611 or click here: Gift Membership.
- Indagare Plus: Remember that hotels marked by an Indagare Plus symbol offer preferential rates and benefits to members.
- Indagare Share Feature: Share articles, postcards and reviews with family and friends on such networking sites as Twitter, Facebook and Delicious. Simply click on the three small dots that symbolize our connect icon, at the end of every article, and follow the link to the networking site of your preference.
- Sample Indagare: With free bi-weekly email blasts on new hot spots and insider tips when you sign up for our mailing list.
- Profile feature: Members share your profiles, comments, favorite articles and IQs. Just click on the Profile tab on the upper right of your screen and look for the Edit My Profile blue tab.
- Indagare means to discover, explore, seek, scout in Latin.