'Awesome'. An overused and often misused word. But how else to describe the sensation of swimming with a whale shark, the biggest fish in the sea, when they visit the Ningaloo Coast between March and July each year? Or witnessing a humpback whale calf leap almost clear of the water as it makes it's first migration down the coast from the breeding grounds in the north between August and December? Or being surrounded by a dazzling display of colourful wildflowers that, between June and November, can carpet what for the rest of the year may appear an almost barren landscape?
The last thing we want you to hear, particularly if your visit is once-in-a-lifetime, is 'you should have been here last...', so you'll find seasonal events such as these highlighted throughout this website.
Weather and climate
Across our big state there are big variations in climate so there is no single peak visitor season. Each region has it's own best time or times to visit and, for some, periods where sometimes extreme conditions mean that extra planning and preparation and a frank assessment of your own capabilities is essential before you make the decision on when to visit. We’ve included a brief description of the climate for each destination, and the Bureau of Meteorology publishes detailed climate and weather information including forecasts and warnings.
Almost all parks across the state, for at least part of the year, can be very hot and very dry. Water and shade can be scarce. We indicate locations of drinking water in parks on this website, but in most cases you will need to treat it to make it safe to drink and we cannot guarantee it will always be available. You must always carry enough water for your own requirements and protect yourself from the sun, especially during the hottest parts of the day.
Hot, dry and windy conditions mean that the risk of fire can be severe. As preventative measures fire bans, seasonal or year-round, are enforced and we operate a program of prescribed burning. Alerts for fires, smoke and prescribed burning in parks are available from the 'Alerts' menu and general information on fire management is available on DPaW's main website.
When checking climate conditions do not overlook minimum temperatures: the variation in temperature through day and night, particularly away from the coast can be high. To many visitors' surprise, it does get cold, below freezing even, and not just at altitude or in the state's southernmost areas.
School and public holidays
With one of the lowest population densities anywhere in the world we do have plenty of space but, even here, places can and do get busy. Parks are busiest during Western Australia public and school holidays. If you’re travelling during these periods you should book accommodation and tours early and, where booking is not available, try to arrive early.
Most parks are open throughout the year but it is sometimes necessary to close facilities or entire parks to visitors for safety or conservation reasons. Closures for programmed conservation, maintenance and development work are scheduled to minimise impact on visitors as far as possible and when closures are unplanned, reopening will take place at the earliest opportunity. Notices of closures can be found from the 'Alerts' menu.