Whilst Australia is home to thousands of beautiful places, a handful have been recognised further for their brilliance and have been awarded a World Heritage Listing. Selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as holding cultural, historical or scientific significance, World Heritage Listed Sites are most definitely worth a visit. Within Western Australia, there are three World Heritage Listed sites: Shark Bar, Ningaloo Reef, and Purnululu National Park. Each of these magnificent sites holds different significance within Western Australia, but all share a common astounding beauty.
Purnululu National Park
Spanning almost 600 000 acres, Purnululu National Park was officially classified as a World Heritage Listed Site in 2003. The Park was listed due to its geological brilliance – geologists claim that the examples of cone karst found within the Bungle Bungle Range are unrivalled across the globe.Purnululu National Park is found about 300-kilometres south of the town of Kununurra, and offers a range of exceptional tourism experiences ranging from camping to bushwalks to guided tours and scenic flights. One of the most comprehensive and stunning ways to experience Purnululu National park is on Aviair’s Bungle Bungle Wanderer day tour, which operates from April through to October. This tour begins with a thrilling scenic flight departing Kununurra which touches down at a remote airfield in the Purnululu National Park. You will then be met by your local guide, who will guide you on walks amongst the famous eroded towers and black and orange banded domes, as well as walks into both the phenomenal Cathedral Gorge and awe-inspiring Echidna Chasm. After a fantastic day of walking and exploring, you will take a return flight to Kununurra, passing over the fascinating Argyle Diamond Mine. There is also the option to stay the night at Bungle Bungle Savannah Lodge, located within the Park, or else add a scenic helicopter flight into your itinerary to gain intimate views of the Bungle Bungle Range. No matter how you choose to explore Purnululu Park, it’s obvious why it has been listed as a World Heritage Listed Site!
Further north, you will find the breathtaking Ningaloo Coast, home to the famous Ningaloo Reef. This reef is one of the world’s longest near-shore reefs – at some beaches, you can swim a mere ten metres into the water before finding Ningaloo Reef. The World Heritage Listed Site spans over 600 000 hectares and is home to beautiful and fascinating sea life. Of course, the Reef is also renowned for the presence of the world’s biggest fish, the whale shark, which inhabits the Ningaloo coast for large parts of the year. The mind blowing biodiversity of the Reef led to its listing, but its sheer beauty is equally as impressive.
The stunning stretch of coast known as Shark Bay is found at the most westerly point of Australia, and is famous for its extensive sea-grass beds, impressive dugong population and its stromalites. The sea-grass beds of Shark Bay are the largest in the world and cover almost 5000 square kilometres. These sea beds are home to a number of endangered marine species, and were a major factor contributing to the bay’s listing in 2007.