Adventure to Mount Augustus
Found roughly 1,000kms north of Perth in the Gascoyne Murchinson region of Western Australia, Mount Augustus is the world’s biggest rock. It is located within Mount Augustus National Park, a lush outback paradise with swimming holes, ancient rock art, a small but buzzing tourist park and the cutest outback bar you’ve ever seen.
The adventure is recommended for a 9 day trip, however you can take as much time as you like, even add it on to make a bigger road trip!
Leg 1: Perth to Mount Magnet 563 kms 6 hours
Begin your adventure through the Swan Valley.
Refuel at Dalwallinu and check out the general store.
This will be your first glimpse at wildflowers on the roadside.
Stop for lunch at Payne’s Find at the outback roadhouse.
Leg 2: Mount Magnet to Cue 80 kms 1 hour
Take your time and enjoy the stops along today’s short drive.
First stop at The Granites – a striking set of rocky outcrops reaching 15 metres high, and s site of great cultural significance to the Badimia people.
Aim to arrive for a beautiful sunrise and try and spot a shy kangaroo among the boulders.
Explore the town of Cue. In the early 1890s there were more people in Cue than in Perth due to the gold rush, today it is a decidedly quieter place. The grand facade of the buildings remain, head to the Queen of the Murchison to check out the classic Art Deco – high ceilings and decorative wooden architraves that make up this fantastic bed and breakfast.
Next stop is the abandoned ghost town of Big Bell. Established in 1935 for those who came to work in the adjacent mine.
Continue on to discover the rock formation that has been nicknamed ‘Uluru’s little sister’. At nearly two kilometres in length, Walga Rock is amazingly similar in structure and appearance to Uluru, and is the second largest monolith in Australia.
Stay at Cue Tourist Park.
Leg 3: Cue to Meekatharra to Mount Augustus 469 kms 7 hours
You’re off to see the world’s biggest rock!
Before you depart Cue, be sure to check out the Bell & Co emporium which today operates as a general store and working museum, with an original flying fox still in operation.
Meekatharra is home to lovely architecture and is your last chance to refuel and grab any food or drinks before you head off road for today’s ultimate destination.
Admire the unusual colour of the earth, which flows continuously between chalky white solids, field of olive-coloured srub and a dark red dirt. Stop and look for Mount Gould Lock-Up – an abandoned police station from the 1800s, be sure to check out the floor made of rocks of quartz!
This is a fantastic area to spy some of WA’s famous wildflowers during the spring.
Start by taking the 40-minute Loop Drive around the base of the rock. As you edge around it’s northern face, you will begin to see the resemblance to Uluru and just how enormous it is.
Settle in at an open-air bar or take the 15 minute drive to Emu Hill lookout, from which it’s not hard to understand how Mount Augustus came to be a place of spiritual significance to the Wadjarri people.
Stay at Mount Augustus Tourist Park with a choice of powered and unpowered campsites.
Explore Mount Augustus
Explore Mount Augustus starting with Flintstone Rock Walk, a short trail at 500 metres to a set of ancient Aboriginal petroglyphs (carvings in rock) hidden under a large slab of rock that bridges a creek.
If it is warm enough take a swim at Cattle Pool or head off on one of the several walking trails in and around the rock.
Mount Augustus is a monocline: the type of rock formation that leans, or ‘dips’ in a single direction. At 1700 million years old, it is three times older than Uluru and twice it’s size, making it the largest rock in the world.
Hike to the peak of Mount Augustus. This is a challenging six-hour return adventure but it is well worth it. Make sure you prepare lunch and water the day before and head off before dawn to make your way around the rock to the entrance of the Summit Trail.
Leg 4: Mount Augustus to Gascoyne Junction 299 kms 4.5 hours
Refuel at the tourist park before you go and set off towards Temple Gorge, located within Kennedy Range National Park.
If it’s spring, prepare your camera… the road to Kennedy Range National Park heads west towards Australia’s coastline and is carpeted with wildflowers of yellow, white, purple and red.
Stop off for a walking trail from Honeycomb Gorge or the other trails before heading for the town of Gascoyne Junction.
Stay at Junction Tourist Park with a choice of powered and unpowered sites with access to water and ablution facilities.
Leg 5: Gascoyne Junction to Wooleen Station 339 kms 5 hours
Refuel at the roadhouse onsite and begin your adventure south to the famous Wooleen Station.
At nearly half a million acres in size, this breathtaking outback property made it’s way onto Australian TV after it’s change of ownership to David Pollock and Fances Jones in 2007. David hosts a Guided Sunset tour that concludes at Tanjimook, an Indigenous sacred site found on the property, which is similar to Australia’s famous Devils Marbles.
Camping sites are unpowered on Wooleen Station, campfires and pets are welcome in some areas.
Explore Wooleen Station, head off on a trail or to Yewlands Pool or Wooleen Lake, or if it is warm enough to the Murchison River.
Leg 6: Wooleen Station to Perth 640 kms 8 hours
Depart early and head for Coalseam Conservation Park – an absolute treat. This sheltered valley with mineral-rich soils has created the ideal conditions for WA’s native everlastings.
Total Kilometres: 3,487
Total Travel Hours: 44
Travel times are estimated based on an average speed of 80km p/h. While the maximum legal speed while towing is 100km p/h, the travel times indicated should allow for delays due to road works, traffic and fuel / food / 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 & Itinerary: Courtesy of Australia’s Golden Outback