advertisement

The forests, coastal scenery, and vineyards of the South and Southwest make for pleasant driving; otherwise you should fly, given the distances and the mostly monotonous countryside.

If you do hit the road, remember that gas stations and emergency help are often far apart. (Keep the gas tank full!) Road trains (convoys up to 53m/174 ft. long) and wildlife pose more of a threat than elsewhere. Try to avoid driving at night, dusk, and dawn -- all prime animal-hopping and feeding times.

The Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia, 832 Wellington St., Perth, WA 6000 (tel. 13 17 03; www.rac.com.au), is a good source of maps and motoring advice. For a recorded road-condition report, call Main Roads Western Australia (tel. 1800/013 314 in Australia).

Skywest (tel. 1300/660 088 in Australia; www.skywest.com.au) is the state's major regional airline. Qantas (tel. 13 13 13 in Australia; www.qantas.com.au) also provides service from Perth to some smaller centers.

One of the great train journeys of the world, the Indian Pacific provides a passenger service once or twice weekly on a continent-covering 66-hour trip from Sydney via Adelaide and Kalgoorlie to Perth. Greyhound Australia (tel. 13 14 99 in Australia) has one interstate coach service, from Darwin to Broome to Perth.

Inside the state, passenger trains run only in the southwest. They are operated by Transwa (tel. 1300/662 205 in WA; www.transwa.wa.gov.au) from Perth to Bunbury, south of Perth; and to Kalgoorlie. Transwa also runs coach services from Perth, north to Kalbarri and Geraldton; to the wine and forest regions of Margaret River, Augusta, and Pemberton; south to Albany; and southeast to Esperance.

All major car- and motor-home-rental companies have offices in Perth.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.