Western Australia, covering the entire western third of the country, is made up mostly of the arid Outback. Its population is concentrated in its fertile southwest corner, home to the Margaret River wine region and the riverside capital, Perth.
In the far north, the Kimberley region is home to ancient Aboriginal rock art, the Bungle Bungle sandstone domes and Broome, with Cable Beach camels and a pearling industry.
The first Europeans to visit Western Australia belonged to the Dutch Dirk Hartog expedition, who visited the Western Australian coast in 1616. The first permanent European settlement of Western Australia occurred following the landing by Major Edmund Lockyer on 26 December 1826 of an expedition on behalf of the New South Wales colonial government, although Wiebbe Hayes Stone Fort—the oldest surviving European building in Australia—was built 197 years prior in 1629 on West Wallabi Island in Western Australia by survivors of the Batavia shipwreck and massacre.
Western Australia achieved responsible government in 1890 and federated with the other British colonies in Australia in 1901. Today, its economy mainly relies on mining, oil and gas, services and construction. The state produces 46 per cent of Australia's exports.Western Australia is the largest iron ore producer in the world.