coral bay


A trip across Australia’s biggest state, taking in the pristine beaches, turquoise waters and rugged Australian outback, is a must for any outdoor adventurer worth their salt. There is no shortage of natural beauty and the isolated terrain gives a real sense of roughing it and personal satisfaction and pride.

Last year I took in the sights and sounds of Western Australia on a 10-day overland trip from Perth, all the way up the coast to Broome in the northern corner of the state. Here are my thoughts on why this trip is one of the greatest road trips Australia offers.


Upon departing Perth, the rugged, bush terrain unfolds in front of you without anything to break the horizon. The coast on one side meets with the bush on the other with almost a clearly visible line between the plains, bush and sand dunes. One of the first places to stop is Nambung National park to take in the impressive limestone Pinnacles. These ancient rocks litter the landscape and are large enough to dwarf a human. We finished the first day taking in the sunset at Lucky Bay and watching the sun disappear over the rolling dunes.

The second day saw us hiking in Kalbarri National Park and exploring the Z Bend Gorge, followed by a trip to Shell Beach – a beach entirely made up of tiny shells. On day 3 we got up early to head to Monkey Mia. The park rangers in the bay feed the dolphins, so they are friendly and approachable and come close to the shore to feed. We took loads of photos of the dolphins and paddled alongside them. Then we headed to Hamelin Pool to close out the third day with the stromatolites.


On the fourth day, we drove to Coral Bay to do some snorkelling on the Ningaloo Reef. After a few pictures with the Tropic of Capricorn sign, we made camp close to Exmouth, in the Cape Range National Park.

The following day we wanted to go diving to try and see some whale sharks. Although we didn’t see any whale sharks, there was plenty of other marine wildlife to see, including some impressive stingrays. We flitted away the rest of the day on the beach at Turquoise Bay.

Day 6 saw the terrain change to the deep red colour of the Pilbara desert, as we headed towards Karijini National Park. We stopped and made camp just before the Hamersley Range.


We spent the following 2 days gallivanting around Karijini National Park. It was the absolute highlight of the trip. Scrambling up and down gorges to find swimming holes and waterfalls in Weano Gorge and exploring Dale Gorge was a spectacular experience. The natural beauty of the turquoise waters and the fish gently biting your feet was like being in nature’s very own spa. There were some small aboriginal kids playing in the water who were delighting us with their acrobatics, flipping off each other’s shoulders into the water.

On day 9 we left Karijini and headed north towards Broome, stopping in Port Hedland to explore the region’s iron ore mining history. The final day saw us make the final drive into Broome. We called in for a picnic at Eighty Mile Beach. Someone on the beach had caught a shark fishing and it was quite the spectacle for everyone on the scene. We finally arrived in Broome on the tenth day of the journey. What an awesome trip.

To get the most out of any camping trip around Australia, you should be aware that you will be staying inside national parks, like we did, a lot of the time. As travellers and visitors, it’s our job to be informed and know the rules. Different government bodies manage different parks in each state. They all provide extensive services online to on the ground. Make sure you know the requirements and rules of each national park before you enter. If you do need to pay to stay, for example, that can normally be done online too.


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Jake Taylor

Jake is a global traveller who has recently called Australia his home again. If he's not travelling, he is writing about it and his experience.