The best places to watch the sunrise around Western Australia
Whether you’re a snooze button enthusiast or the early-bird-gets-the-worm type, or maybe just somewhere in between… No matter what side of the fence you sit on, we can all agree on one thing: who doesn’t love a sunrise?
Be it bright clear mornings in the summer months, or subtle flashes through swollen storm clouds in the winter, there’s nothing like watching the first light of dawn peep above the horizon. The fairy floss pink and fresh oranges are worth setting the alarm for – even if you just do it once.
We’ve put in the leg work – so you don’t have to – and rounded up a collection of the best places to watch the sunrise in Western Australia:
Nature’s Window, Kalbarri
Picture perfect. Literally. This popular Kalbarri tourist destination-cum-social media sensation is a spectacular spot to watch the sun come up through a natural picture frame. The wind-eroded layered sandstone features an opening, which effortlessly frames the beautiful landscape of the Murchison River. For dramatic views and fascinating geology, a hike to Nature’s Window is worthy of a gander. The one-kilometre return walk takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes and begins with a flight of stairs at the carpark lookout.
Vlamingh Head Lighthouse, Exmouth
Built in 1912, Exmouth’s Vlamingh Head Lighthouse is one of the state’s best sunrise sites. It is one of a small handful of places on the Australian coast where you can observe both sunrise and sunset, and you’ll enjoy exquisite panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and Ningaloo Reef. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a whale or two during the migration season. Take your perch on the car bonnet with a cuppa, picnic rug, or with the heater blaring if it’s chilly!
Pinkies Beach, Wadjemup
Located only 19 kilometres off the coast of Perth, home to the quokka, snow white beaches and opalescent sheltered coves, Rottnest Island (Wadjemup) is hands down one of the best sunrise joints going – if you’re lucky enough to snatch up accommodation, that is! Pinkies Beach is the best vantage point – in our humble opinion – and is one of the rare Perth destinations where you can watch the sun rise over the ocean! While you’re there, spend the day beach-hopping by bike, learn about the island’s Aboriginal heritage, take the snorkel for a spin or navigate the tides with a surfboard.
Kings Park, Perth
Kings Park is one of the world’s largest and most beautiful inner-city parks, home to 3,000 species of unique flora, bush trails and immaculate gardens. So, it probably comes as no surprise to be gracing this list. The Botanic Garden is the perfect place for a picnic, so shake out the picnic rug, pack the car with cushions and rugs, and enjoy the spectacular views of the Swan River, Perth city skyline and Darling Ranges.
Lake Argyle, Kimberley
Boasting the title of WA’s largest – and the country’s second biggest – freshwater man-made reservoir, Lake Argyle is located near Kununurra in the Kimberley region. And the infinity pool overlooking tumbling ranges and crocodile infested waters at Lake Argyle Caravan Park is where you’ll want to be sitting as the sun climbs from behind the red rock, reflecting fiery auburn tones.
South Perth Foreshore, Perth
Sporting spectacular scenes of the Perth city skyline and the Derbarl Yerrigan (Swan River), the South Perth Foreshore is one of the best places to watch the world wake up. Whether you’re going solo, with friends or dragging a hesitant partner out of bed, plant yourself on the grass with a picnic rug, a few pillows and a throw to keep toasty. Bring along a flask of tea, or buy yourself a coffee and from one of the local cafes. If you’re feeling spritely, follow your morning escapades up with a sunrise river walk!
Meelup Beach, Dunsborough
Known for its serene glistening turquoise water and native flora and fauna, the generally subdued shore of Meelup Beach is a great place to watch the sunrise. Meelup is the Aboriginal word meaning “place of the moon rising” because the moon appears to rise from the sea at certain times of the year. As it faces the northeast, the beach is sheltered from westerly to southerly winds. It’s a stunning, family friendly beach at any time of the day, but especially beautiful as the young hues of the morning dance across the sky and the sun rises over the ocean.
Stick around after sunrise for a bush walk along the “Meelup Foreshore Walk Trail” which takes you along the coast for four kilometres from Meelup to Dunsborough. And don’t forget to check out Castle Rock and Curtis Bay along the way!
Observatory Point & Lookout, Esperance
At this Esperance favourite, you’ll watch the sun bounce from the horizon and islands in the east. As the colours of dawn transform the sky, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view from above, over the town of Esperance. The town’s Aboriginal name is “Kepa Kurl,” which means “where the water lies like a boomerang,” and it is home to some of the whitest beaches and clearest water in Australia, and the world. With a drive time spanning just over seven-and-a-half hours from Perth – or a 90-minute flight – the coastal mecca definitely worth the time, kilometres and fuel for the sparkling waters, five surrounding national parks, rugged landscapes and scenic sunrise destinations.
Roebuck Bay, Broome
From pristine and uncrowded beaches and vibrant red dirt tracks to sapphire seas and tropical air, Broome (known as Rubibi by the Yawuru people, Broome’s traditional owners) is a destination with much to offer travellers. Roebuck Bay is considered one of Broome’s most magnificent natural attractions, comprised with a blend of vibrant sand a mix of auburn and red, turquoise waters and a coastline dotted with emerald shrubs. Its English name derives from the vessel of explorer William Dampier, termed by the crew of the HMS Beagle, who visited the location in 1840. The Aboriginal name is Yawuru Nagulagun, which means Yawuru sea country.
Header Image Credit: Alexandra Casey