Fly out to Perth on the remote west coast of Western Australia. The capital is a pleasant city of big parks and nearly two million residents. Take a cruise on the Swan River through wine country to the quirky old-timey beach town of Fremantle. If you’re looking to combine your watersports with the best collection of 19th century architecture in the hemisphere, Fremantle is the place.
90 minutes from Perth is the Margaret River valley, home to a fabulous array of vineyards and wineries.
To the north is a long stretch of golden outback. In the winter and early spring, the desert blooms, briefly turning the dirt into an awe-inspiring expanse of wildflowers.
Beyond lays Ningaloo Reef, a giant coral wonderland just a few awkward flipper steps from the sandy shore. Swim alongside massive whale sharks, bottle-nosed dolphins, dugongs (beluga whales) and sea turtles. Or hop aboard a boat to spot humpback whales.
Further north lays Broome where the desert meets the ocean and out on Cable Beach, a long stretch of white sand looks north toward Indonesia. Ride a camel along the beach at sunset here. Inland, catch a scenic flight over the unusual Bungle Bungle mountain range. Stunning red gorges, high-drop waterfalls, and if you voyage in, you’ll find delightful swimming holes.