Back to home
in Travel

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Western Australia Part 2.

  • October 30, 2017
  • By 50 Shades
  • 2 Comments
Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Western Australia Part 2.

The weather had taken a turn for the worse, so once we departed Margaret River, we made the decision to head north and get around the city of Perth. We drove for a large part of the day, only stopping occasionally to eat, drink and go to the toilet. Although our initial plan was to spend a few days in Fremantle, where we had spent a week in 2007, we decided against it and continued on our travel around Australia in 185 days.

We covered a distance of around 360kms that particular day, but were determined to get as far north of Perth as possible. I guess the allure of the territory on the central to north coast of Western Australia was foremost in our minds.

DAY 97 – GUILDERTON

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: West Australia Part 2.

Moore River at Guilderton

Distance: From Margaret River 361kms

Where We Stayed: Moore River Bridge, 2 km SE of Guilderton

Cost: FREE

Rest Area Facilities:

  • Toilets
  • Picnic table & shelter
  • Riverside location
  • Shady trees

Local Attractions:

  • Moore River at Guilderton
  • Boating & fishing in Guilderton
  • Surf beach at Guilderton
  • Kayaking on the river
  • Bushwalking

HOT TIP: You need to arrive at these rest areas reasonably early (late afternoon at least) to claim a spot. The better rest areas like this one are very popular with travellers.

DAYS 98 & 99 – JURIEN BAY

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: West Australia Part 2.

Sandy Cape near Jurien Bay

Our focus this day was to visit the Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park. We found out that we could leave our dog at the National Parks Office in Cervantes for a half day and then backtrack to the Pinnacles, a distance of 22kms.

Distance: From Guilderton 141kms

Where We Stayed: Jurien Bay Caravan Park

Cost: $34 per night powered site

Caravan Park Facilities:

  • Camp kitchen
  • BBQ areas
  • Children’s playground
  • Laundry
  • Beachside location
  • Beachside cafe
  • Dog friendly

    Travel Around Australia: Western Australia Part 2

    The Pinnacles Desert In Nambung National Park

Local Attractions:

  • Four wheel driving to the Stockyard Gully Caves and Sandy Cape
  • The Pinnacles in Nambung National Park
  • The Wanddi Wildflower & Emu Complex
  • High Valley Farm
  • Offshore islands
  • Swimming
  • Sailboarding
  • Fishing
  • Diving

HOT TIP: If you’re not in a hurry stay at the camping area at Sandy Cape about 13kms north of Jurien Bay. We were pleasantly surprised by how great this campground was, located by a calm little bay with turquoise water, snow white sand and amidst massive sand dunes.

DAY 100 – DONGARA & GERALDTON

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: West Australia Part 2.

Irwin River in Dongara

We headed off towards the twin towns of Dongara and Port Denison and spent half the day here, prior to finding a spot to free camp for the night. We experienced our first epic fail as free campers because our intended free camp at Greenough Beach was not at all suitable and we had to keep driving into the darkness and pouring rain towards Geraldton. Here we spent the night in the carpark adjacent to a 24 hour McDonalds Restaurant. It was the best we could do under the circumstances.

Distance: From Jurien Bay 132kms/196kms

Local Attractions:

  • Dongara and Port Denison the lobster capital
  • Irwin River
  • Wildflowers in Lesueur National Park in season
  • Stockyard Gully Caves
  • The historical village of Greenough
  • The historical Russ Cottage & Denison House
  • Fishermen’s Lookout Obelisk
  • Stroll down the main street lined with Moreton Bay and Port Jackson Fig Trees
  • Walking trails
  • Beaches for surfing and swimming
  • Boating and fishing

HOT TIP: Not all free camp spots are suitable for camping when bad weather conditions prevail. The beachside camp spot we chose at Greenough had no shelter from the blustering winds or driving rain. Sometimes you need a plan B.

DAYS 101 to 103 – CORONATION BEACH, GERALDTON

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: West Australia Part 2.

Coronation Beach Camping Area near Geraldton

Distance: From Geraldton 35kms

Where We Stayed: Coronation Beach Campground

Cost: $8 per person per night

Campground Facilities:

  • Picnic shelters
  • Pit toilets
  • Cold shower
  • Communal gas barbecue
  • Large campground at beachside location

Local Attractions:

  • Fishing and cray fishing
  • Popular spot for windsurfing and wave jumping
  • Boating
  • Wildflowers in season
  • Birdwatching
  • Geraldton attractions

HOT TIP: The city of Geraldton has many great attractions, including a great Maritime Museum and the HMAS Sydney Memorial. It is also the gateway for the incredible Abrolhos Islands that lie about 60kms west of Geraldton.

DAYS 104 to 106 – KALBARRI

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: West Australia Part 2.

Murchison River Estuary Jetty in Kalbarri

Distance: From Geraldton 155kms

Where We Stayed: Murchison River Caravan Park, Kalbarri

Cost: $40 per night powered site

Caravan Park Facilities:

  • Central location in Kalbarri opposite the Murchison River Estuary
  • Camp kitchen
  • Children’s playground
  • Gas BBQs
  • Large grassy and shady sites
  • Fish cleaning area
  • Dog friendly
Travel around Australia in 185 Days: West Australia Part 2.

The spectacular Coastal Cliffs of Kalbarri

Local Attractions:

  • Boating & fishing
  • Kalbarri Coastal Cliffs
  • Hiking or kayaking the river gorges in Kalbarri National Park
  • River cruise on the Murchison River
  • Check out the beautiful birds at Rainbow Jungle
  • Swim or surf at one of the beaches
  • Snorkel in the sanctuary at Blue Holes

HOT TIP: Spend at least a day at the spectacular Kalbarri National Park hiking along the top of the river gorges. Plus hire a bike and ride along the Kalbarri Coastal Cliffs.

DAY 107 & 108 – SHARK BAY/HAMELIN POOL

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: West Australia Part 2.

Campsite at Shark Bay

Distance: From Kalbarri 385kms

Where We Stayed: Night 1. Fowlers Camp Area Free Camp (109km west of the turnoff at Overlander Roadhouse). No facilities, but a good size camp spot overlooking Whalebone Bay.

The next day we set off to explore Shark Bay and the town of Denham, the Marine Park and Monkey Mia.

Night 2. Hamelin Pool Caravan Park, Hamelin Pool

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: West Australia Part 2.

Hamelin Pool at Shark Bay

Cost: $22 per night unpowered site

Caravan Park Facilties:

  • Campers kitchen
  • BBQ area
  • Hot showers
  • Fresh water 10 Lt per site staying in each camp site
  • Tea rooms/cafe
  • Small shop with souvenirs
  • TV room
  • Swimming pool

Local Attractions:

  • Hamelin Pool Stromatolites
  • Old Telegraph Station
  • Old Shell Block Quarry
  • Visit Shell Beach made up entirely of shells
  • Visit Monkey Mia
  • See the marine life at the Shark Bay Marine Park
  • Little Lagoon
  • Eagle Bluff
  • Peron Homestead
  • Dirk Hartog Island

HOT TOP: We found our experience at Monkey Mia to be extremely disappointing. The dolphin feedings are between 7.30am and 12 noon, are very crowded and only one or two people are selected to feed them.

DAY 109 to 111 – QUOBBA

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Western Australia Part 2

Quobba Beach

We stopped in Carnarvon for a quick look around and stocked up with water and provisions as we were heading to Quobba for a few days, where there are no facilities at all.

Distance: From Overlander Roadhouse 280kms

Where We Stayed: Point Quobba Camping Area (83kms north of Carnarvon)

Cost: $11 per night

Camping Area Facilities:

  • Beachside location
  • One toilet at the nearby Blowholes (filthy)
  • Beach shelters

    Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Western Australia Part 2

    Red Bluff Beach at Quobba

Local Attractions:

  • Snorkel on the reef right off the beach
  • Fishing and boating
  • The Blowholes
  • Quobba Lighthouse
  • Drive to Red Bluff
  • Dramatic cliffs north of Quobba
  • Carnarvon attractions

HOT TIP: Quobba is a little piece of paradise with plenty of camp sites available and is definitely worth staying here for at least 3 or 4 days. We saw lots of marine life snorkelling right off the beach, including sea turtles and plenty of colourful fish.

DAY 112 & 113 – CORAL BAY

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: West Australia Part 2.

Coral Bay beach

Distance: From Quobba 272kms

Where We Stayed: Bayview Coral Bay

Cost: $43 per night powered site (additional $2 per night for dog)

Caravan Park Facilities:

  • 20l bulk fill freshwater included in site fee
  • Access to artesian bore water tap only on site
  • Coin laundry (bore water only)
  • Close to Coral Bay beach
  • Close to shops
  • Pet friendly
  • Tour booking office onsite

Local Attractions:

  • Explore the Ningaloo Reef
  • Snorkel off the beach
  • Scuba diving lessons
  • Snorkel and diving cruises
  • Explore the surrounding beaches by 4WD
  • Boating and fishing
  • Swim with the Whale Sharks (in season)
  • Whale watching (in season)
  • Walking

HOT TIP: Go 4WD’ing to nearby Skeleton Beach and the Reef Shark Nursery where there is direct beach access.

DAYS 114 & 115 – EXMOUTH

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: West Australia Part 2.

Sunset views from Vlamingh Head Lighthouse, Exmouth

Distance: From Coral Bay 150kms

Where We Stayed: Ningaloo Caravan & Holiday Resort

Cost: $35 per night powered site

Caravan Park Facilities:

  • Swimming pool
  • Some grassy and shady sites (but not in the pet area)
  • Recreation room
  • Tour booking desk
  • Restaurant
  • Central location in Exmouth 1km to shopping centre
  • Children’s playground
  • Dog friendly area

    Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Western Australia Part 2

    Turquoise Bay in Cape Range National Park Exmouth

Local Attractions:

  • Explore the Ningaloo Reef
  • Cape Range National Park beaches and gorges
  • Exmouth beaches
  • Swimming and surfing
  • Boating and fishing
  • Vlamingh Head Lighthouse
  • Jarabi Turtle Centre
  • Wreck of the SS Mildura
  • Naval Communication Station Harold E. Holt
  • Snorkelling and diving
  • Swim with the Whale Sharks (in season)

HOT TIP:  Don’t stay in Exmouth as there is little to do in the town. Stay out at Vlamingh Head Caravan Park near the nice beaches, Yardie Homestead Caravan Park or at one of the camping areas within Cape Range National Park.

DAYS 116 TO 122 – YARDIE HOMESTEAD, EXMOUTH

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: West Australia Part 3.

The old shearing shed at Yardie Homestead Caravan Park

We didn’t like the caravan park in town nor the barren area that we were forced into with our dog, so we moved camp to a fantastic caravan park around 26kms out of town towards Cape Range National Park.

Where We Stayed: Yardie Homestead Caravan Park

Cost: $38 per night powered site

Caravan Park Facilities:

  • A former working sheep station with shearing shed and shearer’s quarters
  • Office/shop with lots of supplies
  • Swimming pool
  • Tennis court,
  • BBQ area/camp kitchen
  • TV room
  • Seasonal restaurant
  • Laundry
  • Kayak and snorkel gear hire
  • Dog friendly

Local Attractions:

  • Explore the Ningaloo Reef
  • Cape Range National Park beaches and gorges
  • Exmouth beaches
  • Swimming and surfing
  • Boating and fishing
  • Vlamingh Head Lighthouse
  • Jarabi Turtle Centre
  • Snorkelling and diving
  • Naval Communication Station Harold E. Holt
  • Swim with the Whale Sharks (in season)

HOT TIP: This station was an amazing place to stay with fantastic facilities, friendly staff and plenty to do and see in the area. I would highly recommend staying here.

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: West Australia Part 2.

Diving into the Ningaloo Reef for a swim with the Whale Sharks

Since driving north of Perth we had covered a lot of territory (1,247kms) and we were starting to experience warmer temperatures and lovely sunny days. We were certainly in awe of what we had seen along the way; from the Pinnacles Desert, deep river gorges and steep coastal cliffs of Kalbarri, stromatolites to coral reefs and snorkelling with amazing marine life. West Australia was wowing us on every level.

Next up in the series of our travel around Australia is part 3 of West Australia, that covers the Pilbara, Eighty Mile Beach and Broome.

 

 

 

By 50 Shades, October 30, 2017 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 2

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

2 Comments
  • Jo
    November 9, 2017

    What some places you’ve visited. I’d love to go swimming with whale sharks. We really hope to get up to Exmouth and Ningaloo next year somehow someway. Kalbarri is lovely isn’t it? Such a varied town and area with its cliffs, the rivermouth and the gorges.

    • Kathy
      November 10, 2017

      The Ningaloo Reef was incredible Jo and the whale shark swim experience a must do. We could go back here for sure. We also loved Kalbarri too. There were so many amazing places on the WA coast and I imagine it would take years to do it justice as we only saw a snippet of the state.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe To Blog Via Email

Don't miss new posts! Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Find us on instagram

@50shadesofage