A trip along the Coral Coast for 10 days
During this breathtaking trip along Western Australia’s Coral Coast, visitors will have the opportunity to explore white beaches, coral reefs, quaint fishing towns, and rugged national parks.
By Alissa Jenkins
Drive north from Perth along Western Australia’s Coral Coast and take in the sparkling Indian Ocean, trek the bewilderingly gorgeous gorges of Kalbarri National Park, swim with whale sharks, see dolphins and return to Perth calm and invigorated.
What may be anticipated
Ningaloo Reef is the place to go to swim with gorgeous whale sharks.
Visit the strange rock formations of the Pinnacles and hike through the breathtaking gorges of Kalbarri National Park. Quick Facts
Time: 10 days
Distance: 2,800 km (1,740 miles)
The closest significant city is Perth.
DAY 1: PERTH TO GERALDTON
After you have left Perth in your rental car, get on the Brand Highway and head in the direction of the north.
After traveling for an additional hour to the north, stop for a leisurely lunch in the twin coastal towns of Dongara and Port Denison (try the charming beach shack Seaspray Beach Cafe At Seaspray Beach Holiday Park or family-friendly Southerlys Tavern).
Before proceeding the remaining thirty minutes to Geraldton, you could take a tour of the Illegal Tender Rum Company and purchase some of their award-winning spirits.
Head directly to the beach for an afternoon swim, or get out on the water with a jetski, flyboard, waterski or stand-up paddleboard trip with Ultimate Watersports.
After, purchase supper from the Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-Op. Sleep at Ocean Centre Hotel, a four-star accommodation in the center of town with coastal views and a coast-inspired design.
DAY 2: GERALDTON TO CARNARVON
Visit the HMAS Sydney Memorial before you leave Geraldton. This memorial is a testament to the ship HMAS Sydney, which was lost in action off the coast of Western Australia in 1941, taking the lives of 645 servicemen on board.
After that, start the trip north, which will take you five hours and will take you through Kalbarri National Park (you will stop here on your way back).
Continue on through the Monkey Mia Dolphin Sanctuary (which will also be visited on the way back), and you will arrive at Carnarvon, an area known for its abundant banana, mango, and papaya plantations thanks to the rich ground in and around the Gascoyne River.
If you have a passion for tropical fruit, you should go on a tour of one of the plantations or shop at the Gascoyne Growers’ Market for some fresh food.
You can take a stroll along the length of historic One Mile Jetty, which is located in the heritage precinct of Carnarvon, or you can go to a museum.
The Gwoonwardu Mia Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre displays the artwork and culture of the five Aboriginal language groups that are native to the Gascoyne region.
Spend the latter part of the day snorkling in Carnarvon’s tranquil coral-filled lagoon, which is surrounded by a white sandy beach and is rich with fish and shells (local stores offer snorkelling equipment hire). Would you rather remain dry?
Make a reservation with Coral Coast Helicopter Services to see the area’s natural splendor from above. At Coral Coast Tourist Park, you may choose to stay the night in one of the luxurious luxury suites that are available there.
CARNARVON TO EXMOUTH ON THE THIRD DAY
Continue traveling north for another four hours until you reach the municipality of Exmouth, which is located between the crimson cliffs of Cape Range National Park and the turquoise seas of Ningaloo Marine Park.
You may get some much-needed rest and relaxation at the beach, where the Ningaloo Reef, which is on the list of sites that are protected by the World Heritage Committee, is only a short swim (or snorkel) away from the water’s edge.
Swimming with whale sharks, which are the largest fish in the world, is the activity that draws the most tourists.
Between the months of April and July, the Ningaloo Reef is home to a gathering of these enormous marine mammals, which may reach lengths of up to 59 feet (18 meters).
Take a trip on a boat with a glass bottom between the months of May and November to observe schools of manta rays and get a bird’s eye view of the activity below.
In any case, you should go on a sea kayak excursion where you may see dolphins, turtles, and dugongs. In the evening, go to Exmouth’s yachting marina for dinner.
The canals that run around the marina are lined with restaurants, shops, and wine bars. In Exmouth, you may choose from a wide variety of places to stay, such as the Mantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort or the Sal Salis, a beautiful glamping eco-retreat.
EXMOUTH TO CORAL BAY ON THE FOURTH AND LAST DAY
Devote three quarters of a day to exploring the rocky terrain that Cape Range National Park has to offer. If you aren’t up for trekking, you may drive to the lookouts at Shothole Canyon and Charles Knife Canyon instead of taking one of the numerous beautiful treks that are available here.
Consider going on the Badjirrajirra Loop Trail if you’re looking to get some exercise and stretch your legs. During this eight-kilometer (five-mile) trip, which is considered to be moderate, you will climb the top of Cape Range, taking in rocky gullies and colorful gorges.
Keep a look out for kangaroos, emus, and echidnas along the way. Ningaloo Safari Excursions provides guided 4WD tours of the region as well as boat cruises along the gorgeous Yardie Creek. These tours are available for anyone interested in having an organized adventure.
Drive to Coral Bay in the afternoon, where you may swim again at one of the town’s dazzlingly white, protected beaches or snorkel on Ningaloo Reef just off the coast.
Coral Bay is located in the southern part of the island. You may stay in town at Bayview Coral Bay, or if you are traveling with children, you may want to consider driving the about 45 minutes to Bullara Station to spend the night there.
CORAL BAY TO DENHAM ON THE 5TH DAY (SHARK BAY)
Following an early morning swim, begin your journey to the Shark Bay World Heritage Area by driving south. Take a detour off the highway to see the incredible Hamelin Pool, which is home to some of the world’s oldest and biggest living fossils.
These fossils, which are called stromatolites and take the appearance of dome-shaped rocks, have been around for billions of years.
Drive a little further to reach Shell Beach, which, as the name suggests, is made up of billions of tiny shells instead of sand. Admire the beach’s beautiful aqua water and bright white curve of beach, which stretches for more than 70 kilometers in total length.
Shell Beach is located in the northwestern part of the island of Bali (43 miles). Spend the night in the adjacent town of Denham, where you may eat seafood that is very fresh at a restaurant called The Old Pearler, which is also the name of the town. Make your accommodations at Oceanside Village.
DAY 6: DENHAM (SHARK BAY) TO MONKEY MIA (SHARK BAY)
It is a thirty-minute drive from Denham to Monkey Mia, which is well-known for the free-ranging bottlenose dolphins that frequent the area’s shallow waters on a daily basis.
Anticipate to feed the dolphins, or even swim with them in the bright aqua waters of the bay, since after years of being fed by local fisherman, the dolphins swim onto shore to interact with people. Because of this, you may expect to feed them.
You may see whales, manta rays, turtles, sharks, a vast assortment of fish, and ten percent of the world’s dugongs when snorkeling, scuba diving, or taking a tour on a glass-bottomed boat at Monkey Mia, which is also home to dolphins.
The opportunities to interact with animals do not stop there; you may choose to feed pelicans every day or go fishing for whiting, cod, snapper, mackerel, and tuna.
During the evening portion of the Didgeridoo Dreaming Night Tour, participants will get an understanding of the local Aboriginal culture while also preparing bush tucker over a campfire.
You may either return to your accommodation in Denham or stay in a more central location at the RAC Monkey Mia Resort, which is great for families and offers beachside camping in addition to nice hotel rooms.
DAY 7: DENHAM (SHARK BAY) AND SURROUNDS
You will be picked up from your lodging this morning and taken on a four-wheel drive trip to Francois-Peron National Park. This park is home to red sand dunes that stand in stark contrast to the dazzling white beaches and clear blue water.
It is also a home for a diverse array of animals, such as uncommon reptiles (including prickly devils and thoroughbred goannas) and exquisite birds (such emus and fairy wrens), among other species.
After spending the morning at Skipjack Point searching for manta rays, turtles, and sharks, drive south to the dugong breeding area of Eagle Bluff.
Here, there is a boardwalk that extends over the ocean and offers great views of grazing dugongs (also known as sea cows for the hours they spend peacefully munching sea grass), sharks, dolphins, fish, and coral.
After that, you could stop by the ancient Peron Homestead, which was once used for farming but has now been transformed into a museum.
The museum offers a particularly interesting and illuminating look into the pastoral history of the region. You are also welcome to relax in the property’s on-site hot baths, which get their hot mineral water supply from an artesian well located nearby.
The tour will return to your lodging at roughly 4:45 p.m., just in time for dinner at Shark Bay Hotel (often referred to as “the old pub” by the locals), where you may sample kangaroo, more fresh local seafood, or vegetarian alternatives.
DAY 8: DENHAM (SHARK BAY) TO KALBARRI
Take a detour to Steep Point, which is the furthest westerly point on mainland Australia, if you have a vehicle that can handle four-wheel drive.
It offers a breathtaking panorama from the edge of the Zuytdorp Cliffs, which are a collection of sea cliffs that are around 580 feet tall and 170 meters high.
These cliffs span for over 150 kilometers (93 miles).
If you have the time, consider adding an additional day to your road journey and taking the barge to Dirk Hartog Island with your four-wheel drive vehicle to explore the island’s dramatic sea cliffs, remote white beaches, and world-class fishing.
In any other case, keep going until you reach the picturesque town of Kalbarri, which is located around four hours to the south by road and is a popular tourist destination in Western Australia.
Because Kalbarri is situated at the mouth of the scenic Murchison River, which flows into the Indian Ocean, there are a variety of water activities available here.
At Chinaman’s Beach, visitors may go swimming or surfing, or they can kick back on the sand and watch people feed the pelicans.
Take a trip to Rainbow Jungle, one of the most stunning parrot habitats in Australia, and while you’re there, take a walk around the tropical gardens to witness amazing examples of parrots such as eclectus parrots, purple-crowned lorikeets, and macaws.
Next, retreat to Kalbarri Edge Resort or Kalbarri Seafront Villas after finishing the day with a twilight bush boat down the Murchison River (which includes on-board beverages and snacks).
DAY 9: KALBARRI
Spend the day hiking in the breathtaking Kalbarri National Park, which is known for its craggy hills, rust-colored rock canyons, and the Murchison River, which runs through all of these features.
This park is adorned with over 800 different varieties of flowering Australian wildflowers between the months of July and October. Some of these species include banksias, grevilleas, kangaroo paw, and red-blossomed eucalyptus trees.
Although there are a number of shorter walks that may be taken, the 8.5 kilometer (5.2 mile) Loop Hike is one of the alternatives that offers the most beautiful scenery.
The road descends down to the banks of the Murchison River before ascending back up to the top of the sandstone cliffs, and it begins and ends with the most Instagrammed site in the park, which is a wind-eroded rock arch called Nature’s Window that frames the river vista below.
Idinggada Yina, also known as the Four Ways Trail, is another one of the locals’ favorites. It begins at the scenic Z-Bend overlook.
Consider taking a beautiful helicopter trip over the park, the coastline, and the stunning Abrolhos Islands to get a bird’s eye perspective of everything. Or, for a bird’s-eye perspective that is easier on the wallet, check out the Kalbarri Skywalk.
This is a platform that extends over the edge of the canyon rim and provides a view of the 100-meter (328-foot) plunge below.
This evening, we recommend that you dine at a bustling restaurant in Kalbarri. There are a variety of activities available to choose from, such as a seafood shack, a waffle house, and a pizza restaurant.
DAY 10: KALBARRI TO THE PINNACLES
You will need to get up early today because you will be traveling four hours south to Stockyard Gully National Park.
Once you arrive, you will be able to wander through a series of limestone caverns that lead to an underground river system. As you make your way through the incredible caves, you may look up and see colonies of sleeping bats hanging from the ceiling.
From here, it is just a one-hour drive south to the stunning Jurien Bay, where you can discover even more white beaches and coral reefs that are ideal for snorkeling.
Prior to arriving at the day’s ultimate destination, which is just twenty minutes away, you have the option of refueling at any one of a number of unpretentious dining establishments, such as Sandpiper Tavern and Pizzeria.
A fishing community, Cervantes is well-known for the quality of its seafood. Check into the Pinnacles Edge Resort, your accommodation for the evening, and when the sun begins to set, take the 15-minute drive to the Pinnacles, a much-Instagrammed desert in Nambung National Park.
The Pinnacles are comprised of thousands of ancient rock pillars that rise from the sands like weathered tombstones. Naturally, you can go to the Pinnacles at any time of the day, but watching the sun go down is one of the most breathtaking views there is to take in.
Have a delicious meal at the restaurant that is located on the premises of your lodging. Stay the night (or longer if you’d like!) before making the trip back to Perth; it will take you around two hours.
Topic: along the Coral Coast
I am arguably the most popular Australian writer of all time. I am from the town of Karrinyup in rural Western Australia. When I was young, I was fascinated by the unique landscape of Australia, and I decided to support himself by writing books about the Australian landscape.
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