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Underrated WA Towns You Should Visit

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by Tom (subscribe)
Getting lost is the easiest way to have fun!
Published March 1st 2022
Time to plan your next holiday on the road less traveled
Broome, Margs, Exmouth and co are popular for a reason - they are great destinations which have for a long time marketed themselves very well to tourists. But there is so much more to WA than what's on the beaten path, and there's a host towns most of us have heard of but haven't visited which are well worth a holiday in their own right.

Where you have been: Broome, Exmouth, Coral Bay
Where you need to go: Karratha, Kununurra

Beaches to yourself? Check. Loads of islands to explore? Check. Waterholes and gorges on your doorstep? Check. Karratha ticks a lot of boxes but has struggled to shake public perception it is a mining town.
Karratha, Pilbara
Mangrove-lined beach in Karratha

Among other things, the Pilbara town boasts some of the best fishing in Australia, excellent camping, a natural landscape unlike anything you will find elsewhere, and a host of opportunities to connect well with Indigenous culture. It is also a modern town with plenty of cafes, bars, one of WA's best supermarkets and some impressive new architecture to ogle

When most West Aussies think of a Kimberley trip we think Broome, but truth be told Broome is far from the Kimberley we are sold in tourism promotions.

The common quip going in this part of the world is that Broome is the north Pilbara. Those striking ranges, the waterfalls, the gorges, the wild rivers - that is the East Kimberley and the best place to access it from is Kununurra.

The dining scene isn't as developed as Broome, but that doesn't mean you can't find a nice meal at the handful of eateries around. Kununurra is the gateway to the real Kimberley, and it is a town few who have visited will ever forget.

Where you have been: Margaret River, Yallingup, Albany, Esperance, Busselton, Dunsborough
Where you need to go: Bridgetown, Augusta, Ravensthorpe, Nannup

Ravensthorpe is full of quirky delights

The South West Coast is beautiful, but the towns in the past decade have slowly become carbon copies of Perth - big brand shops, McMansions and manicured public spaces.

The Southern Forests are a throwback to everything we loved about a douth trip growing up, and Bridgetown is the centre of it all. The main strip is flanked by beautiful heritage architecture and filled with thriving local and independent shops, and you are right on the doorstep of one of Australia's premier food regions.

It the kind of relaxed and unpretentious town visitors can quickly grow fond of.

Ravey may just be the quirkiest little town in WA. It is easily seen as a fuel stop on the way to Esperance, but it is worth a night or two for a visit in its own right.

The town has a brilliant little candy shop and surrounding it is one of WA's best farmgate art trails, and of course, you are right in the heart of the globally-significant Fitzgerald biosphere.

When we think of a down south trip, aside from the wine, we think of beaches, forests, and peace and quiet. Yet most of us opt for the big four - Busselton, Dunsborough, Yallingup and Margaret River - which these days are busy regional centres with traffic, trendy cafes and big brand shops.

Augusta is none of this. In many ways, it remains a throwback to the South West we all remember - something we should cherish.

Aside from the pub and a handful of tour operators, there's not a whole lot to keep you occupied but that was always the joy of these holidays - you go to a picturesque corner of the State to lose yourself and make your own fun.
The Nannup teahouse is brilliant

Chalk this up as another forest town with plenty of quirks. The small inland South West hamlet has a great little range of artisan producers, including my favourite tea shop.

It is hands down one of the best towns in southern WA for buying local produce too - several stores go out of their way to showcase all the great foods, drinks and wares made in the surrounding areas.

Where you have been: Kalgoorlie-Boulder
Where you need to go: Merredin, Toodyay

The Wheatbelt town halfway to Kalgoorlie has a great laidback vibe for anyone looking at doing a day trip or overnighter somewhere different.

While accommodation options aren't great, you can easily fill a day walking around town checking out the historic buildings and artefacts, catching a movie at its great little cinema and enjoying a stroll down the main drag.
Merredin's main street at night

Oh, and did we mention the Commercial Hotel in town does one of the best parmas in WA? That's worth the three-hour drive in itself.

An easy day trip from the city, and a great spot for a weekend getaway, Toodyay is a beautiful town nestled in the Perth Hills. Like many of the inland South West towns, Toodyay's main strip is lined with beautiful historic buildings filled with some cracking local stores, including WA's best bakery (in my humble opinion).

The walk around the river is a relaxing way to work off a hearty brekky pie, then make your way through the food and picnic trail network and local shops before settling in for the evening at the fantastic pub on the riverbank.
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Why? Uncover a new favourite holiday spot
Where: Western Australia
Your Comment
Great article, Tom, always good to get advice on roads less travelled ...
by Elaine (score: 3|8838) 83 days ago
Such an awesome article! Have always wanted to visit WA and you sold me on Karratha straight away. Will save your article for later when I can get there :)
by Chloe Doyle (score: 3|1444) 82 days ago
You must be well-travelled Tom. My one and only visit to Broome was in 1967. Main street unsealed, and only one café - Kim's café in a back street. The menu was either steak or fried rice.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|4054) 83 days ago
Many of these towns are new to me. Now that the borders are open, I expect they will receive many more visitors to this beautiful part of the world
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|4674) 83 days ago
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