From the Western Australian capital of Perth to Broome way up in the north of the state is a distance of 2240 kilometers. There’s nothing like a trip where you have the freedom to stay in each place for a time determined by you and to see and do the things that you wish to see and do. If you’ve been looking for a great way to see the fantastic west coast of Australia, a Hop on Hop off pass is the ideal solution
Head north from Perth by Coach and things will begin to become even more isolated and remote than they already are.
Just up the road from Perth is the small, coastal town of Lancelin, a place famous for its beautiful white sand dunes. It’s fast becoming a top destination for adventure seekers, as while the huge sand dunes look spectacular, they are also perfect for sand boarding.
The Pinnacles are a bizarre collection of pointy rocks in the middle of a desert which forms part of Nambung National Park. They are impressive because they are so oddly out of place and numerous, but they are not as large as the Australian tourism industry would have you believe.
Not far from The Pinnacles and a good place to spend the night is Jurien Bay. During the Summer Season, the water here is perfect for snorkeling, with great visibility and excellent marine life to be found just off the shore.
From Geraldton, things become much more remote, and places will become much further apart. The city itself is a pleasant place to spend a day exploring, with a lovely beach and harbor sidewalk, excellent fish and chips and a moving memorial to HMAS Sydney.
Next move to Kalbarri by coach which is known for its dramatic cliffs. Miles of rugged, weathered cliffs tops drop sharply down to the crashing waves far below. The town is a little touristy, but just outside you will find the Kalbarri National Park where away from the cliffs long, deep gorges wind their way through epic scenery.
That’s right, a 300 Kilometre round trip by coach. It’s well worth the added mileage though, as the Shark Bay Peninsular is spectacular. Head to Monkey Mia to see the dolphins.
Drive by coach to the city of Carnarvon is the next big place to stock up on supplies. It’s not exactly big as such, but just the biggest place for a few hundred kilometers population approximately 5000 people. Carnarvon is known for its fruit and vegetable farms, and there’s plenty of opportunities to explore these and to buy fresh produce.
Move onto the Kennedy Range National Park by coach which is a spectacular short detour off the highway. It’s inland from Carnarvon and comprises a collection of ridges and mountains that rise from the otherwise unfaltering flat red earth around them. It’s a beautiful place, but the real beauty lies in the fact that you might just be the only people there, as almost no one takes the time to detour off the highway to visit.
Then move onto Mount Augustus National Park is a huge 900-kilometre detour by coach off the highway from Carnarvon. It’s worth the journey to climb Mount Augustus itself, a huge rock- the largest rock in the world, bigger even than Uluru that can be hiked in around 6 hours return.
Next, arriving at Coral Bay is essentially just a resort town. There’s not much apart from Caravan Parks and Hotels. But the reason everyone visits is because the beach and the coral are absolutely pristine and absolutely stunning. This is where the Ningaloo Reef, the world’s largest fringing reef, really begins.
Exmouth is the best base to really explore both the Ningaloo Reef and the beautiful Cape Range National Park, which is your next stop. The National Park backs onto the reef itself, allowing you start snorkeling right off the coastline, and if you are there in the right season, whale sharks migrate through the waters and sightings are pretty much guaranteed daily between March and June.
Karijini National Park is for many the highlight of the journey from Perth to Broome. Away from the coastline of Western Australia and a few hundred kilometers inland, this is the best detour by coach you will make on the road trip north. It’s the second largest National Park in the state and it will leave you simply astounded by its intricate network of gorges, natural swimming pools, and high mountains.
Port Hedland is a big industrial port area built to serve the Pilbarra mines. It doesn’t sound like a charmer, but after a few hundred kilometers of not seeing shopping centers or fast food outlets, you might enjoy the trappings of the modern world when you arrive in Port Hedland up on the coast.
80 Mile Beach
80 Mile Beach is more or less the halfway point on the last 600 kilometer stretch of road from Perth to Broome by coach. As the name would suggest, it’s a really long stretch of beach, just uninterrupted white sands for miles, spectacular sunsets and beautiful scenes.
After thousands of kilometers of detours by coach, it’s time to relax on the white sands of Cable Beach and get used to the slow pace of life way up in the north of Western Australia.