Perth to Broome Itinerary including the Coral Coast and Karijini National Park
Traveling north in Western Australia will take you along the Coral Coast. The Coral Coast extends over 1100 kilometres of white beaches and offers the opportunity to swim with whale sharks, dolphins, humpback whales and manta rays. For the water sport lovers, there are countless opportunities including windsurfing, kitesurfing, diving and snorkeling. If you visit the Coral Coast in Spring, the coast is alive with colourful displays of wildflowers.
If time allows, why not head to Karijini National Park, which is a day drive from Exmouth? Karijini is the jewel of the Pilbara with splendid waterfalls and emerald coloured rock pools.
These are the top places that Red Dirt 4WD Rentals recommends not to miss during your trip along the coast of Western Australia, whether it is a small trip or whether is it part of a bigger adventures for our customers who will return their 4WD to Broome or Darwin!
Leg 1: Perth to Cervantes 247 kms 3 hours
On the way to Cervantes, stop at Yanchep National Park. This is a great place for the kids, offering a koala viewing area, caves and an Aboriginal experience.
Cervantes is well-known for its Pinnacles Desert. You can learn all about those strange structures at the Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre. Just a kilometre from the town centre lies Lake Thetis, where you can observe stromatolites, most commonly known as ‘living fossils’. Which have been dated to about 3370 years old!
Further north of Cervantes, you will find Sandy Cape, a nice little spot where you swim and watch the sunset.
Stay at Sandy Cape Recreational Park.
Leg 2: Cervantes to Kalbarri 378 kms 4.5 hours
Kalbarri is a popular stop over for people on their way to Shark Bay or Monkey Mia.
There are many natural attractions to visit such as the Kalbarri Sykwalk offering soaring views of the Murchison Gorge and surrounds, Natures Window and the Z-Bend Lookout located in Kalbarri National Park.
You can also go whale watching as the humpback whale migration happens between May and August.
Stay at Lucky Bay campground.
Leg 3: Kalbarri to Monkey Mia 397 kms 5 hours
Monkey Mia is world-famous for its dolphins. A group of wild bottlenose dolphins come to the shore nearly everyday to be fed by humans.
South of Monkey Mia, you will find Denham and Francois Peron National Park. This National Park offers diverse experiences, including four-wheel-driving. Fifty minutes away from Monkey Mia, you will arrive at Shell Beach, where shells replace the beach sand and stretches over 100 kilometres!
There are four coastal sites south of Denham: Eagle Bluff, Fowlers Camp, Whalebone Bay and Goulet Bluff.
Leg 4: Monkey Mia to Coral Bay 580 kms 7 hours
In contrast to other locations, the coral reef starts right at the water’s edge. Coral Bay is a very popular holiday destination for Western Australians. It is recommended to book well in advance when traveling during school holidays.
This place is a marine paradise where visitors have plenty of activities to choose from: snorkeling, fishing, swimming with whale sharks…You can even visit the reef shark nursery between October and March, which is only a 20 minutes walk from Main Beach.
There are powered and unpowered sites available in Coral Bay.
Leg 5: Coral Bay to Exmouth and Cape Range 152 kms 2 hours
The Ningaloo reef is a long coral reef swarms with turtles, tropical fish, manta rays, humpback whales and even whale sharks. No wonder that Ningaloo Reef is listed as a World Heritage Site! Whether you like snorkeling, diving or swimming, you will not be disappointed! Cape Range National Park supports a range of unique wildlife habitats from existing ocean reef to ancient reef, rugged limestone, gorges and cave systems. Throughout the park, there are ample opportunities to view wildlife.
You can camp within Cape Range National Park.
Leg 6: Exmouth and Cape Range to Karijini National Park 674 kms 8.5 hours
One of the big attraction of Karijini National Park is its accessibility. Simply walk 50 metres and peer straight into a deep gorge to see waterfalls and rock pools below. There are many walk trails available to further explore the gorges. Karijini’s main highlights are Fortescue Falls, Circular Pool and Fern Pool.
Leg 7: Karijini to Millstream Chichester National Park 207 kms 3.5 hours
Millstream compared to Karijini, is a more peaceful place. Nonetheless, it boasts tranquil gorges and hidden rock pools. The most popular site is Python Pool. It is one of the most important Aboriginal sites in Australia!
Stay at Miliyanha Campground.
Leg 8: Millstream Chichester to Eighty Mile Beach 476 kms 6 hours
The place where majority of people stop at Eighty Mile Beach to camp – it’s a beautiful beach that you can drive on (not past the high tide mark) and very popular for fishing.
Leg 9: Eighty Mile Beach to Broome 376 kms 4.5 hours
Broome is a compact town to explore and attractions are all within 15 minutes drive.
Must see & do:
- Camel ride on Cable Beach
- Matso’s mango beer brewery
- Whale Watching
- Pearl tour
Total kilometres: 3,487
Total travel hours: 44
Travel times are estimated based on an average speed of 80km p/h and should be adjusted to suit road conditions and weather. The travel times indicated should allow for delays due to road works, traffic, fuel, food and bathroom stops. Travel times and distances are approximate and we recommend using as a guide only, along with a published map book or GPS navigational system.
Images: Courtesy of Western Australia