11 Day Self Drive Tour - Perth Geraldton Carnarvon Exmouth Coral Bay Shark Bay Kalbarri
PERTH TO GERALDTON
Distance: 425 kms | Travel time approx. 4 hrs 15 mins
Travel north along Indian Ocean Drive on the first stretch of your road trip from Perth to Exmouth. This will take you through the coastal towns of Cervantes, Jurien Bay, Dongara, Port Denison, Greenough and the splendour of the Pinnacles Desert. The road into the Pinnacles is sealed, and there is a car park within walking distance of the limestone structures. After exploring the Pinnacles, head to the Desert Discovery Centre to learn more about these mystical formations. Enjoy swimming at Hangover Bay before continuing north. On arriving in Geraldton, treat yourself to some of the finest seafood in Western Australia, particularly the rock lobster. Enjoy Geraldton by eating out at one of the many restaurants and be sure to head up to the impressive HMAS Sydney II Memorial, commemorating the lives of 645 sailors who died in World War II, it provides sweeping views across the Indian Ocean. Take in the vast displays of wildflowers and individual species, many of which are only found in Western Australia.
GERALDTON TO CARNARVON
Distance 490 kms | Travel time approx. 4 hrs 30 mins
Travelling north to the town of Carnarvon. Sample the fresh flavours of the local mango and banana plantations, or take a detour from your Ultimate Road Trip and follow the Gascoyne Food Trail. Stopping at various producers, you can taste their delicious offerings, from fresh seafood to irresistible condiments. Take an evening stroll along the Fascine, enjoying the magnificent sunset views before heading out to dine on more fresh local produce.
CARNARVON TO EXMOUTH
Distance: 370 kms | Travel time approx. 3 hrs 30 mins
Heading north out of Carnarvon stop over at the Blowholes, watch the water spraying meters into the air as it surges through the rocks. Continuing along the North West Coastal Highway, you will complete your journey from Carnarvon to Exmouth, arriving at Ningaloo Reef with beautiful unspoiled beaches. Just metres from the shore, this reef is teeming with marine life. Swim with the whale sharks – the world’s largest fish (March to July).
Take a cruise to view the reef’s diverse marine life, or spend your day snorkelling the coral reef of the Ningaloo Marine Park. Cape Range National Park offers rugged scenery of deep canyons, limestone ranges and spectacular gorges. Explore the park and take a tour from Exmouth.
EXMOUTH TO CORAL BAY
Distance: 155 kms | Travel time approx. 1 hr 35 mins
The shortest leg of the road trip you will arrive at Coral Bay, a snorkeller’s heaven, with the calm, protected waters and hundreds of coral species. The reef touches the shore, creating an endless underwater garden of marine life. To explore further, take a glass-bottom boat trip tour. Spend the evening watching the sunset and dining at one of Coral Bay’s tasty restaurants.
Stay another day in Coral Bay for more swimming and snorkelling or even throw in a line and try your luck at beach fishing. Fishing charters head out to sea regularly and adventurous types can join a scuba diving trip, a Manta Ray tour or swim with the whale sharks (March to July). When it's time to dry off, take hire of a quad bike for some rugged adventure.
CORAL BAY TO SHARK BAY
Distance: 590 kms | Travel time approx. 9 hrs 5 mins
Head south on the Northwest Coastal Highway to Shark Bay, World Heritage Area. Follow the interpretive signage along the Shark Bay World Heritage Drive. The drive includes the remarkable Hamelin Pool Stromatolites, the oldest living fossils in the world, and the crystal waters of Shell Beach – a 60km stretch of beach made entirely of millions of tiny shells. Stop at Eagle Bluff for spectacular ocean views along a 100m walkway, where reef sharks, dugongs and rays are regularly spotted. If you’ve made good time, head to Peron Homestead, with its interesting history of the late-era around Shark Bay. Enjoy a drink on the foreshore at Denham or Monkey Mia and watch a magical sunset.
Spend some time at the water’s edge, meeting the friendly Bottlenose Dolphins of Monkey Mia. The dolphins are fed up to three times each day, which accounts for just one-third of their daily diet. The first feeding is at around 7.00am. Then in the afternoon, enjoy Monkey Mia’s facilities or take one of the many tours on offer. Relax on a sunset cruise aboard a magnificent catamaran before ending your day wining and dining by the beach. After dinner, join an astronomy or Indigenous cultural tour.
SHARK BAY TO KALBARRI
Distance: 400 kms | Travel time approx. 7 hrs 55 mins
The popular coastal holiday town of Kalbarri is located at the mouth of the Murchison River and is the last destination on your return journey along the Ultimate Road Trip from Perth to Exmouth. Enjoy the rugged coastal scenery as you approach the Kalbarri township. Take in Kalbarri’s famous sunset views from one of the many coastal walk trails. Or grab a surfboard and head for the renowned surf break Jacques Point before tucking into a fresh seafood feast for dinner at one of the many local restaurants. After dinner, sit back and relax under the stars at the outdoor cinema.
Wake up early and watch the daily pelican feeding on the foreshore at around 8.30am. Spend the day exploring the magnificent Murchison River gorges in Kalbarri National Park. Enjoy a fishing tour, river cruise or spend your day relaxing and taking in the sights of this unique coastline. Adventure lovers can join a range of extreme tours that take you abseiling, canoeing, sand boarding or touring the region on quad bikes.
KALBARRI TO PERTH
Distance: 600 kms | Travel time approx. 5 hrs 55 mins
Time to go home heading south for the final leg of your travels. Stop in at the Kalbarri coastal gorges on your way south, and be sure to stop in for a picture at the Pink Lake, incredibly pink in colour. Stop in at Northampton, declared a historic town by the national trust in 1993. Explore the sites around town before continuing your journey south to Perth.