Perth to Broome. It's the Western Australian road trip to end all road trips; an epic ride from south to north, taking in some of the country's most jaw-dropping scenery along the way.
Discover the highlights of WA's Coral Coast and beyond. Hire a car in Perth and hit the highway to Broome for the road trip of a lifetime.
Set off north towards Geraldton on the Indian Ocean Drive and stop at the ancient Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park. A curious site that is more reminiscent of the surface of the moon than a beachside retreat, take a scenic drive amongst the thousands of rugged limestone pillars that rise from the sandy dunes. Be sure to hang around to watch the desert colours change in spectacular fashion as the sun goes down.
Next, freshen up in the turquoise waters off Cervantes or Jurien Bay, both famous for their fishing and beautiful family friendly beaches. Work up an appetite in time to reach your destination of Geraldton and feast on the delicious fresh rock lobster that this area is famous for.
On your way to the pretty beach town of Kalbarri, stop off at the Hutt Lagoon, a salt lake known for its pink hue. Aside from pink lakes, white sands and turquoise waters are par for the course in this part of the country, and Kalbarri shows them off perfectly. Head into town in time for the morning pelican feeding on the foreshore, before spending some time in or on the water, swimming, kayaking, cruising or fishing.
This coastal town has more than perfect beaches up its sleeve however. See a majestic slice of Outback scenery at Kalbarri National Park, where you can explore the breathtaking Murchison River gorges and indulge your thrillseeker with abseiling and quad biking tours.
Next, head north towards Shark Bay, a World Heritage Area that's famous for ancient rock formations, native marine life and idyllic beaches. Make your first stop Hamelin Pool, a protected nature reserve that's home to the world's most diverse examples of stromatolites. These "living fossils" are thought to be over 3.5 million years old, providing scientists with important ancient records of life on earth.
Base yourself at Monkey Mia for the night, an untouched paradise where the red sands of the Outback meet the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Although famous for its resident dolphins, an abundance of other wildlife can be found here, from sharks, dugongs and manta rays to kangaroos and emus that stroll casually throughout the resort. Take some time to learn about the indigenous heritage of this ancient land with Wula Guda Nyinda Eco Adventures and let expert guide Darren "Capes" Capewell take you on a fascinating exploration of the real Shark Bay.
Back on the vast stretch of Highway 1, head into the fruit bowl of Western Australia in the Carnarvon region. There are plenty of sights and activities to be had here, from the dramatic Carnarvon blow holes to an abundance of swimming, windsurfing, fishing and trekking opportunities. One of the best things to do in Carnarvon, however, is eat. Take a detour onto the Gascoyne Food Trail and sample seasonal specials such as tropical fruit, fresh seafood and meat and a range of tantalising titbits from local producers and roadside stalls.
Continue north from Carnarvon and cross the Tropic of Capricorn, stopping at the roadside to take an obligatory photo of this travel milestone. On your way to Exmouth, take a detour to Coral Bay, a beautiful beachside settlement with calm waters and colourful corals lying just off the beach in prime snorkelling territory.
If you can stand to tear yourself away from Coral Bay, continue to Exmouth in the heart of the Ningaloo Reef. At 260 kilometres long, this is Australia's largest fringing reef, a much quieter and closer-to-shore alternative than its famous cousin in the east. Boasting 250 species of coral and over 500 species of fish, Ningaloo and Exmouth are best known for the migrating whale sharks that habitat the area between April and June every year.
It's time to leave the sea breeze behind and head inland to a whole other world. The Western Australia Outback is vast, with miles of clear road and clear skies to match. Wind you way to Karijini National Park, a ruggedly beautiful getaway with miles of walking trails and hidden spots in which to relax and soak up the scenery. Explore the gorges, waterfalls and pools and keep an eye out for resident native wildlife, including dingoes, kangaroos, wallabies and echidnas.
Lying on the north-west coast between Port Hedland and Broome, Eighty Mile Beach isn't actually 80 miles long – it's 140 miles long. That's 220 kilometres of secluded sand and sea to play with. Take in unforgettable sunsets, relax with a spot of beach fishing or simply enjoy camping, sunning and swimming in the warm, turquoise waters. The area is also an important conservation spot for large numbers of shorebirds who stopover during their migrations southwards from Alaska and northern Asia – meaning there's plenty of wildlife spotting to be done here, too.
Known all over Australia and the world for those famous Cable Beach sunsets and the Staircase to the Moon phenomonon, Broome is a town that will pique your adventurous spirit. Discover its exotic pearling history, take an iconic camel ride along the beach, visit the Bungle Bungles and get ready for your next adventure into the wilderness – Broome is the gateway to The Kimberley region, after all…
Ready to see the best of the west? Pick up a car rental at Perth Airport and see everything the Coral Coast and Broome has to offer.