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Heading to WA, otherwise known as the state of Western Australia? Perth is the capital and biggest city, but you can also drive around the southwest of the state, see Margaret River, visit the national park of the Karijini, drink wines from the Swan Valley,or go scuba diving on Rottnest Island

Western Australia (WA)
Wildflower State/Golden State/Whole Lotta Nothing But Minerals State

"If you like driving vast distances and seeing nobody and nothing and eating foul fried cholesterol-packed snacks, then you'll have a party (with only yourself attending) in Western Australia."  Doug Knell, Doug's Republic

Western Australia is Australia's largest state by far.  In fact, Western Australia so large, it's slightly larger than Sudan, the world's tenth largest country by area.  But here's the difference.  Sudan has over 42m residents.  Western Australia only has 2.2m, a population density of not even 1 person per square kilometer.  Again, stats can be deceiving.  1.6m or 70% of the state's population resides in Perth, the capital, packed to around 300 people per square kilometer.  Subtract out Perth's area and population from the state totals, and the rest of the state contains only about a quarter person per square kilometer.  Actually, even that figure is on the high side.  Most of the rest of the state's population outside Perth is concentrated in the southwestern part of the state near Perth.  Travel several hundred kilometers north of Perth or into the interior, and the state is bare.

Well, bare except for wild flowers and minerals.  The gross state product per capita is the highest -- about 30% higher than the next contender.  A third of Australia's exports come from Western Australia.    These exports aren't software development, RAM memory, airplanes, or television entertainment.   Think more along the lines of liquefied natural gas, iron-ore, gold, nickel, alumina, sheep, cattle, wheat, wool.  Western Australia is like a microcosmic extreme of the entire country:  a small population targeted in capital cities mainly dependent on raw materials which are found in abundance. 

Western Australian flag

Western Australia is another one of Australia's uncreative state names, and its moniker shows the British weren't being consistent with their own lack of creativity.   To be consistent, Western Australia's next door neighbor should be called Southern Australia, not South Australia.  Or Western Australia should be referred to as West Australia.  There's actually a Western Australian newspaper called The West AustralianWhy the state's not called West Australia can probably be attributed to something as simple as a bureaucrat getting drunk and forgetting to leave the 'ern' off Western. 

The populated parts of Western Australia contain some of Australia's gems.   Perth is a cowtown noted for its pleasant beaches, all within easy train-riding distance.  Those in the nightlife know stick to the suburbs.   One of Australia's prime wine growing areas, Margaret River, is here, in the southwest.   The hippie center of Denmark is here, too, and one of the world's most well known beaches, Cable Beach, is found in Broome, in the far northwest of the state.   There are plenty of near-deserted beaches all over the state.  

In a survey conducted among over 12,000 Australians, Western Australia ranked third as favorite state, after Queensland and Victoria.  Among foreign arrivals, Western Australia's isolation doesn't cater to the skint backpacker crowd.   As most foreigners arrive via Sydney, Queensland and New South Wales remain the perennial traveler favorites.  The tourist literature boats that relatively few (foreign) tourists visiting Western Australia, and while that's true, the reduced number of attractions here and places to stop for rest & relaxation, means that all these visitors tend to congregate in a limited number of spots, making Western Australia seem, at times, very touristed. 



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The Harry Dandruff Universe

 WA or Western Australia is a sparsely populated state. Perth has a large population. Not many people drive up the coast to see the lovely Pinnacles. Karijini National Park is must see. Want to try grapes from Margaret River or the Swan Valley. The Bungle Bungles is a world renowned park.