Western Australia (WA) is Australia’s largest state. As its name suggests it is located on the west coast of Australia. The state’s capital city is Perth.

WA Facts 

  • The famous Australian author, Tim Winton, was born in Western Australia. Tim Winton has won numerous awards and in 1998 he was declared a National Living Treasure.
  • The famous film and television stars Heath Ledger, Melissa George and Gemma Ward are from Western Australia.
  • Western Australia is home to the Argyle Mine, the world’s largest producer of diamonds.
  • Until Dutch explorers came to Western Australia, Europeans did not know Black Swans existed and thought that all swans were white.
  • The corner where the Western Australian, South Australian and Northern Territory borders meet is called Surveyor General’s Corner. Interestingly enough, fewer people have been to this point than have visited the South Pole!
  • The town of Broome has the world’s oldest open air cinema, which has operated since 1916.
  • Rottnest Island in Western Australia was originally named ‘Rotte nest’ meaning ‘rat nest’ in Dutch. This is because the early Dutch explorers who named the place thought that the quokkas (small marsupials) that inhabited it were types of rats.
  • Western Australia’s Mount Augustus is twice the size of Uluru. Although only one third of Mount Augustus is visible above the surface of the earth, stretching to a massive 8 km in length, this is the world’s largest rock.

WA State Flag 

As with all Australian state flags the Union Jack appears in the top-left corner of the flag of Western Australia. It also pictures the State Badge: a yellow circle with a Black Swan at its centre.

WA Coat of Arms 

Western Australia’s Coat of Arms was granted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1969. The shield pictures a Black Swan on rippled water. The shield is supported by a Kangaroo on either side, each holding a Boomerang. Above the shield is a Royal Crown surrounded by Kangaroo Paw flowers.

WA Emblems 

The floral emblem of Western Australia has been the Red and Green Kangaroo Paw since 1960. The flower is named for its shape which looks like a furry paw.

Western Australia’s animal emblem is the Numbat. The striped marsupials have sharp claws and long tongues which they use to eat termites.

The bird emblem of Western Australia is the Black Swan. The Dutch navigator, Captain Willem de Vlamingh, gave the Swan River its name, due to the large number of Black Swans he found there in 1697. Indigenous Western Australians have a story that says that the ancestors of the Nyungar people were Black Swans who became men.

Western Australia even has a fossil emblem: the Gogo Fish. The long-extinct Gogo Fish lived on a barrier reef thought to have existed along the Western Australian coast 375 million years ago. The Gogo Fish has been Australia’s fossil emblem since 1995.