Australia's largest state occupies the western third of the continent and has an area of 2,525,500 km². It has a population of about 1,800,000. The capital, Perth, is located on the southwest coast, where most of the people live. The Aboriginal population lives mainly in the vast outback region.
The Western Plateau, covering most of the state, is a shield of ancient rock with an elevation generally between 230 and 460 metres. Three climatic regions can be found in Western Australia: the southwest, which has warm to hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters; the hot, monsoonal northern fringe; and the vast interior, which is hot and arid. Annual rainfall averages 635 mm near the coasts, but most of the interior receives less than 255 mm a year.
Western Australia stretches from the temperate region around Perth to the remote coast of the Kimberley in the south, from the cold waters in the Great Australian Bight to the "hottest town in the country", Marble Bar in the Pilbara region. There are ancient meteorite craters and forests of Karri trees, among the tallest in the world. It is truly, as it says on the number plates, a "State of Excitement".