Most visitors to Western Australia tend to go for its wineries in Margaret River or to explore Rottnest Island. But don’t be fooled, there’s so much more to explore in the Wildflower State – particularly on the coast. WA has more than 10,000 kilometres of coastline (by far the longest in Australia) and the section between Perth and Broome is a jaw-dropper – ideal for an incredible road-trip that’s worth at least a week of your time. With wide open roads and deep red landscapes sitting alongside the bright blue of the Indian ocean, it’s the perfect chance to let your hair down and enjoy the view.
Day One: Perth
Made up of an intricate mix of cityscape and preserved bushland and with phenomenal dining and cultural experiences, Perth is a great place to kick off your journey. Fly into WA’s capital, then hire a car (for as little as $28 a day plus petrol), but don’t hit the road straight away – we suggest you take a day to explore the laidback city of Perth. Take it all in with a quick one hour segway tour, followed by the stunning City of Lights Dinner Cruise. Depending on how you’re going for time, notable mentions also go to the Little Creatures Brewery, Cottesloe Beach and the Kings Park & Botanic Garden.
Day Two: Perth to Kalbarri
The first day of the road trip begins with an early start. On your way to Kalbarri, check out the Pinnacles in the Nambung National Park or stop off at Jurien Bay for a sand boarding session. When you arrive at Kalbarri, the National Park, with Nature’s Window lookout and the Murchison Gorge, deserves some serious attention. It’s also one of the best fishing spots in WA, so grab a canoe or a boat tour and immerse yourself in the untamed bushland.
Day Three: Kalbarri to Shark Bay
Today the road will take you inland towards the seclusion of Shark Bay. Surrounded by natural wonders, the area is a wilderness treasure. Shark Bay includes the heritage-listed Shell Beach- where instead of sand, the waves wash up onto a shore made up entirely of seashells- and Monkey Mia, which is a haven for bottlenose dolphins that swim right up to the shallows. Nearby are the Hamelin Pool stromatolites, still-living fossilised structures that are the largest and oldest on earth.
Day Four: Shark Bay to Coral Bay
Hit the open road early to tackle the 6-hour drive from Shark Bay to the phenomenal Coral Bay, home to the Ningaloo Reef. The Ningaloo Reef is the only reef that you can walk to from land, and is home to an abundance of marine life including a shark nursery, manta rays and humpbacks. The town of Coral Bay is small so take some time out of the car to have a wander around the beachside destination and be sure to stop off at Bill’s Bar for a casual sunset drink.
Day Five: Coral Bay to Exmouth
With only a short drive to Exmouth, take the opportunity to fill your day. As another access point to the Ningaloo Reef, take a full-day scuba diving tour and swim with whale sharks or drift snorkel along Turquoise Beach. Head back to land and visit Vlaming Head Lighthouse for a spectacular sunset picnic, or check out the canyons of Cape Range National Park and then head to Mantarays Ningaloo Resort for a nightcap.
Day Six: Exmouth to Karijini National Park
This journey will quite literally take you off-the-beaten-track – a trip to the Karijini National Park is quintessential Western Australian outback. Rich in colour and experience, the deep red earth will lead you to Hancock Gorge, Fern Pool and Fortescue Falls, surrounded by seasonal wildflowers. Interwoven with hidden canyons, the Karijini National Park is a sanctuary for different wildlife, like red kangaroos, echidnas, rock wallabies and pythons.
Day Seven: Karijini National Park to Broome
The final leg of the road trip will take you to the pearling town of Broome. Situated right on the Indian Ocean, take a sunset camel tour on Cable Beach to experience unrivalled sunsets, crystal clear water and rolling dunes of white sand. With something for everyone, Broome has an outdoor cinema dating back to 1916, the Short Street Gallery featuring Indigenous artwork, or to heed the call of the great outdoors, head to Dampier peninsula. For a more relaxed day, take a self-guided tour through the town.
Header Photo by EAGiven / eyeem.com
*The hotel prices above are for double occupancy (including taxes and fees) and were found on KAYAK.com.au on 10 February 2017 for travel in April 2017. Prices are in AUD, may be subject to change and offers may no longer be available.
**The flight prices shown above are for one return economy seat (including taxes and fees, excluding baggage fees) and were collated on KAYAK.com.au on 10 February 2017 for travel in April 2017. Prices are in AUD, may be subject to change and offers may no longer be available.)
***The car hire prices shown above are for a small-size car with same-location pick-up and drop off, and were collated on KAYAK.com.au on 10 February 2017 for travel in April 2017. Prices are in AUD, may be subject to change and offers may no longer be available.
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