Rottnest may be WA's biggest star, but there are many more islands to discover.
When you think of an island escape off the coast of Western Australia, Rottnest naturally comes to mind, but with almost double the number of islands of Queensland, Australia's vast western coast tops the sea charts in terms of diverse marine getaways. Here are six of the state's best.
Dirk Hartog Island
For history, conservation and health: WA's largest island is also a historic heavyweight. Traditional home of the Malgana people, Wirruwana saw the landing of the first Europeans to Australia in 1616 when Captain Dirk Hartog and crew disembarked at Cape Inscription.
Located within the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, Dirk Hartog Island is also a sanctuary for endangered wildlife. The National Park's Return to 1616 project is restoring flora and fauna to the way it was before European settlement, with rare native animals like dibblers and rufous hare-wallabies, returning in healthy numbers.
Human health is important here, too, with the island's sole residents - the Wardle family - hosting quarterly wellness retreats at their eco lodge home. With daily yoga, massage, excursions and nutritious cooking classes, the retreat also offers meditation sessions at the country's most westerly point, while taking in "Australia's last sunset".
For gourmet delights: Made up of 122 islands and coral reefs, the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, 60 kilometres off the coast of Geraldton, is known for its fishing and pearling industries, and with a multitude of marine life and historic ship wrecks such as the Batavia, it's also a top diving destination.
Geraldton's popular Shore Leave festival will return in April, too, with its Abrolhos Long Table Lunch on East Wallabi Island, helmed by chef Scott Bridger. The annual event on April 26 will feature sustainably sourced Western rock lobster and Abrolhos octopus. Alternatively, for a longer taste of the islands, join cruise operator Eco Abrolhos' five-day Abrolhos Islands Cruise.
Best seen from above with scenic flight operator, Goldfields Air Services, salty Lake Hillier is Middle Island's main draw, with its striking bubblegum-pink hues, while the island's murkier claim to fame is its reputation as the hideout of Australia's first known pirate, Black Jack Anderson and his murderous bunch of thieves in the early 1800s - the archaeological evidence of which is believed to rest in a limestone cave on the island.
For the eco-tourism experience: Also located within the Recherche Archipelago, Woody Island, just 15 kilometres off the coast of Esperance is a nature lover's paradise, with skinny-dipping bays, scenic summits and underwater gardens to explore.
With a range of excellent walking and snorkelling trails, there's plenty of opportunity to lose yourself in the landscape. An abundance of birdlife on the island will have twitchers spotting the likes of brush bronzewings and red-eared firetails, while wildflower enthusiasts will enjoy strolling in spring among the colour-popping flora.
For day tours that include a guided walk and morning tea overlooking Shearwater Bay at Woody Island's Visitor Centre, catch the ferry from Esperance's Taylor Street Jetty. Alternatively, Woody Island Eco Tours also offers basic camping, safari huts or fully furnished luxury style tents for those who want to treat themselves to a more immersive stay. Sit back on your deck and watch dolphins frolic in the bay below or white-bellied sea eagles circle the sky above.
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For marine diversity and ancient art: Rivalling the Great Barrier Reef in terms of marine biodiversity, Dampier Archipelago in the Pilbara region of WA's north-west is home to more than 650 species of fish, coral reefs, sponges and marine animals including dugongs, dolphins, turtles and whales.
Made up of more than 40 islands, including 25 that are reserves, the area might be popular for boating, fishing and diving but it's also where you'll find the largest and oldest outdoor art gallery in the world.
The ancient petroglyphs of Murujuga National Park - some up to 50,000 years old - depict sacred images, island wildlife and the arrival of European tall ships. Culturally significant to traditional custodians, the Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi people, Murujuga's rock art is an unprotected national treasure that's currently awaiting approval for a place on the UN's World Heritage List.
To combine the best of both, join Exmouth Adventure Co on its newly launched five-day sea kayak expedition.
For Indigenous culture: With rich cultural ties to Sunday Island and the network of islands at the entrance of King Sound at the south-western end of the Buccaneer Archipelago, the Bardi Jawi people are the traditional owners of this stunning section of West Kimberley coastline.
Located 200 kilometres north of Broome, Borrgoron (Cygnet Bay) is the starting point for an island-hopping adventure with WAITOC Board member and Top Tour Guide winner at the 2023 Australian Top Tourism Town Awards, Rosanna Angus.
The operator of Oolin Sunday Island Cultural Tours, Rosanna is a Jawi woman. Her Journey of the Tide Drifters tour retraces the Bardi Jawi people's tidal travels from Bardi Country on the mainland to the islands of Middle Passage and Sunday Island that make up Jawi Country.
Telling stories connected to the land, sharing history and explaining cultural practices, Rosanna takes you through the tidal currents and remote beaches of the marine reserve to explain how the saltwater people have lived and hunted for millennia.
Pictures: Tourism Western Australia; Tourism Australia; Australia's Coral Coast