12 June 2013 by Luke McCormick
Western Australia is an extraordinary destination for food lovers, with a wonderful array of gourmet options on offer. What better way to build up an appetite than with a menu of ready-made experiences.
1. Go for a walk in the sky
The Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk in Walpole is a must for your WA ‘to-do' list. Suspended 40 metres above ground in the canopy of a giant tingle forest, its walkway spans a total of 600 metres, giving you a unique perspective from which to admire the foliage, the abundant birdlife and the view (and secretly pretend you're Indiana Jones on a brand new adventure). Towering forests abound in the south west of the state; in the national parks around Pemberton visitors can walk among (or even climb) giant karri trees rising to over 60 metres in height.
2. Learn to ride the WA waves
Surfing is to many West Australians what ice fishing is to Eskimos: a way of life. It's not a sport you can master quickly, but you can certainly have a lot of fun trying. Visitors can sign up for lessons at licensed surf schools up and down the coast but Margaret River is the state's undisputed wave-catching capital. There are conditions to suit every skill level - from gnarly tubes for the experienced rider to friendly beach surf for beginners.
3. Marvel at nature's colour pageant
For six months of the year WA comes alive in a blaze of colour and fragrant scents - an exhibition laid on by its native wildflowers. Over 12,000 species come out to carpet the state, from lollipop-shaped everlastings to jewel-coloured orchids. See them at their best on a walk along the Bibbulmun Track between September and November. This epic trail stretches through many of the most beautiful national parks of the south west, with many sections easily accessible for day walks.
4. Test your pedal power
The Munda Biddi Trail, which opened in May 2013, is one of the longest off-road cycling trails in the world. It stretches over 1,000km from Perth through a lush and untouched natural corridor to Albany on the rocky southern coast. The long distance cycling track, whose name means "path through the forest" in the local Noongar Aboriginal language, winds through magnificent jarrah forests, river valleys and ancient bushland as well as along the dramatic southern coast's cliffs. Expect to meet quintessential Aussie wildlife in this biodiversity hotspot including western brush wallabies, emus, kangaroos, and possums especially at the lush rock pools along the trail.
5. Whale watching
The south west is home to some of the best land based whale-watching in the world. Approximately 30,000 humpback whales swim along the coastline each year on their migration from Antarctica to calving grounds in the north west (May to December). Top lookouts include Flinders Bay in Augusta and Albany's King George Sound, where you can also spot blue whales and learn about the town's whaling history in an oceanside museum.