One of the best holidays in Western Australia is doing a Perth to Exmouth Road trip. The 1200km drive takes you along the Coral Coast to Ningaloo Reef. Along the way you’ll see sand dunes and deserts that look like they belong on another planet. Explore deep river gorges and wildflower-dotted national parks. Stand on a beach made entirely of shells and swim with everything from sea lions and manta rays to whale sharks.

‘If you could go to one place right now, where would it be?’ Between trips, this question gets asked a lot in our house. Neither of us ever give a one place answer, but somewhere between Perth and Exmouth is always on the shortlist. Jurien Bay, Kalbarri, Denham, Coral Bay, they are all some of our favourite spots. Sure, they’re a long way away.  But, if you make the effort to go, we guarantee you’ll be planning your next trip there before you get home.’

Natalie & Steve

Curious Campers

Itinerary

Day 1Perth to Jurien Bay
Day 2Jurien Bay
Day 3Jurien Bay to Geraldton
Day 4Geraldton to Kalbarri
Day 5Kalbarri
Day 6Kalbarri to Denham
Day 7Denham
Day 8Denham
Day 9Denham to Quobba
Day 10Quobba - Coral Bay
Day 11Coral Bay
Day 12Coral Bay to Exmouth
Day 13Exmouth
Day 14Exmouth

Route Map

To get the most from you Perth to Exmouth road trip stick to the coast. Indian Ocean Drive gets you to Lancelin, the Pinnacles, Jurien Bay and Geraldton. Beyond Geraldton, follow the North West Coastal Highway to Exmouth via Kalbarri & Shark Bay.

See Ningaloo Reef’s Big 5 Marine Animals

See the best spots and best months to see Western Australia’s marine life.

Whale Sharks

Exmouth
Mar – Sept

Coral Coast Snorkelling

Manta Rays

Coral Bay
All Year

Coral Coast Snorkelling

Turtles

Exmouth
All Year

Coral Coast Snorkelling

Humpbacks

Exmouth
June – Oct

Coral Coast Snorkelling

Dugongs

Monkey Mia
All Year

Coral Coast Snorkelling

But that is just the beginning…

Sea Lions

Jurien Bay
All Year

Coral Coast Snorkelling

Reef Sharks

Exmouth
All Year

Coral Coast Snorkelling

Dolphins

Monkey Mia
All Year

Coral Coast Snorkelling

Potato Cod

Exmouth
All Year

Coral Coast Snorkelling

Sting Rays

Exmouth
All Year

Coral Coast Snorkelling

If you put Perth to Exmouth into Google, you’ll get a distance of about 1250km. To cover all the highlights on the way, including turn offs to Kalbarri and Denham, add a couple of hundred more kilometres to the total.

The best time to visit the Coral Coast is from April to October. The days are warm, the evenings are mild and whale sharks and humpback whales are in the area. In the off season, while it is quieter, expect high temperatures and humidity, lots of flies and there’s the chance of a cyclone. 

Yes. Some places like Coral Bay and Jurien Bay can be very busy, particularly in school holiday periods. We recommend booking your accommodation. We also suggest booking whale shark tours before you go. They can get booked out for weeks in advance at peak season.

No! The main roads are all sealed as are many of the roads in the National Parks along the route. The main exceptions are Francois Peron National Park, Steep Point and Dirk Hartog Island in Shark Bay. If you have a 4WD, there are plenty of tracks to explore along the way but a 2WD car or campervan will get you to most places.

Yes, it is safe. There are no stingers and shark attacks are extremely rare. You will see reef sharks and rays on Ningaloo Reef, but they aren’t interested in getting near you. Between April and October, the water can be cool so a shortie wetsuit is a good idea.

In 2 weeks, you can get a great overview of the area and see a lot of amazing things. In the end it depends how busy you want to be and what you like doing. Our last trip was for 2 weeks in a campervan. We like being busy so did and saw lots. In two weeks, you have time to tailor a great itinerary for your Perth to Exmouth road trip.

You will need a National Parks Pass. Get it online through the WA Parks and Wildlife website. Holiday Passes are available for 4 weeks, and 5 or 14 days. You need a pass for the Pinnacles, Monkey Mia, Cape Range National Park and Kalbarri National Park. Get it online so it is there when you need it as you explore the region.

DAY 1

Perth to Jurien Bay

Drive: Indian Ocean Drive – Perth to Jurien Bay – 217km – 2 hours 20 minutes

Things to do along the way to Jurien Bay

Perth to Jurien Bay

Lancelin Sand Dunes

125km from Perth – Allow 3 hours

You will see plenty of sand on this road trip bit nothing like the inland dunes at Lancelin. They might look like snow but forget about skis! Hire a buggy or a sand board to explore these sandy peaks.

Perth to Jurien Bay

The Pinnacles

192km from Perth – Allow 2 hours

Walk or drive through this unique desert landscape. These limestone pillars dotted across the yellow sand are an extraordinary sight. Do a 4WD tour to learn about the park’s natural and geological history.

Perth to Exmouth

Lake Thesis Thrombolites

198km from Perth – Allow 30 min

Step back in time when you visit the Lake Thetis Thrombolites. These prehistoric lumps of ancient bacteria are an amazing and thought provoking sight. The lake is also a haven for bird life.

EAT

BREAKFAST

  • On your way out of Perth stop at Gipsy Boy in Joondalup

LUNCH

  • The Lobster Trap in Lancelin for a gourmet burger, lobster slider or steak.

DINNER

STAY JURIEN BAY 2 NIGHTS

CAMPING & CABINS

MID HOTEL/MOTEL/BNB

LUXURY ACCOMMODATION

 

INSIDER TIP

The Pinnacles in Nambung National Park are a magic place, it is such an unusual landscape. This is definitely a spot to avoid on hot days, the flies here can be insane! Dusk and dawn are a great time to visit. Not only do you avoid the heat and flies, the colours and shadows of the desert change before your eyes.

DAY 2

Explore Jurien Bay

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

SWIM WITH SEA LIONS

Jurien Bay Boat Harbour 7am – 10am

You can ‘swim with’ lots of things, but few are as engaging as sea lions. They are like puppies; playful and inquisitive. The sea lion swim from Jurien Bay is a truly interactive wildlife encounter. Expect to have a close encounter with a whiskered sea lion nose and the cuteness factor is off the chart!

>> See our photos & video here

OTHER THINGS TO DO IN JURIEN BAY

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Jurien Bay Foreshore

Jurien Bay – Allow 2 hours

Walk along the beach, relax at a café or go for a stroll along the curved jetty and look out for sea lions and dolphins. There isn’t a more relaxing place to start or finish your day.

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

3 Bays Walk Green Head

32km from Jurien Bay – Allow 1.5 hrs

Mark this down if you’re a fan of spectacular coastal walks. Viewing platforms and boardwalks link three beautiful bays around Green Head. Dynamite Bay is the stunning centrepiece of the walk.

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Lesurer National Park

27km from Jurien Bay – Allow 2-3 hrs

Attention wildflowers lovers – from late winter, Lesurer National Park is carpeted with hundreds of flowers. Birders will love this place too. The 2WD friendly loop drive gives you a great taste of the park.

EAT

BREAKFAST

  • Have a light breakfast before your swim with the Sea Lions & morning tea onboard.

LUNCH

  • Pop into the Bay Bakery after your swim with the seals for a good coffee & pie.

DINNER

  • If it’s a nice night grab fish and chips from Jurien Seafoods and head to the foreshore.

JURIEN BAY INFORMATION

Jurien Bay is at the southern end of the Coral Coast. It is a popular holiday spot for locals and it’s easy to see why. The area is fringed by turquoise blue bays and white sandy beaches. Fishing, swimming, snorkelling and surfing are all popular here.

Jurien Bay Tourist Park is right by the beach and is a great spot to base yourself for a few days. Not far from town, Sandy Cape offers campsites right behind the beach and has unpowered camping for 2WD and 4WDs.

INTERESTING FACT

What’s the difference between sea lions and seals? Sea Lions can ‘walk’ more effectively on their back fins than seals. If you get up close to a sea lion on the Jurien Bay sea lion swim, you might also see that they have little ears which you won’t find on seals. Australian sea Lions are a threatened species, you’ll only spot them in the southern half of Australia.

DAY 3

Jurien Bay to Geraldton

Drive: Indian Ocean Drive – Jurien Bay to Geraldton – 196km – 2 hours

THINGS TO DO IN GERALDTON

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Stop at Greenough

177 km from Jurien Bay – Allow 2 hrs

Greenough is 15 minutes south of Geraldton. Check out the famous leaning trees flattened by the prevailing wind. The Greenough River Nature Trail has nice views and lots of wildlife.

Geraldton Sydney Memorial

HMAS Sydney Memorial

Geraldton – Allow 1 hour

Paying tribute to the ship and 645 crew lost off the coast, the multifaceted memorial is as moving as it is striking. If you get the chance, the tour of the memorial is fascinating.

Geraldton Horizon Sphere

Horizon Sphere

Geraldton – Allow 1 hour at sunset

Insta Alert! This water filled sphere on the Geraldton foreshore is a must see at dusk. The giant transparent sphere inverts light adding an amazing twist to an already stunning sunset.

EAT

BREAKFAST

  • Meraki is a top spot for a full cooked breakfast, pancakes or a bacon & egg roll.

LUNCH

DINNER

 

STAY GERALDTON 1 NIGHT

DAY 4

Geraldton to Kalbarri

Drive: Coral Coast Highway – Geralton to Kalbarri Bay – 154km – 1 hours 45 minutes

THINGS TO DO ALONG THE WAY TO KALBARRI

Hutt Lagoon Pink Lake

Hutt Lagoon – Pink Lake

100km from Geraldton – Allow 1 hour

Water is not supposed to be this colour! Whether it is bright pink or musk, Hutt Lagoon is still an amazing sight. The higher the sun is and the sunnier the day, the more pink the lake gets. A scenic flight is a great way to see the lake.

Perth to Kalbarri

Lynton Convict Settlement

90km from Geraldton – Allow 30 min

This collection of buildings and ruins date back to the mid-1800s. The Lynton Convict Hiring Depot has been partially restored and signs describe its fateful history. It’s an interesting stop on your way to the Pink Lake.

Perth to Kalbarri

Kalbarri Coastal Cliffs

154km from Geraldton – Allow 2 hrs

Part of the Kalbarri National Park, the Coastal Cliffs section has some spectacular coastline and good walking tracks. There are several sights to stop and look at. Between July and September lookout for humpback whales.

EAT

BREAKFAST

LUNCH

  • When you arrive in Kalbarri make your first stop the Red Bluff Bakery Cafe for sushi, turkish roll or an apple pie!

DINNER

 

STAY KALBARRI 2 NIGHTS

Why is Hutt Lagoon Pink?

A caroteinoid-producing algae is responsible for the colour of the Hutt Lagoon. The water is also very salty, and the bottom of the lake is lined in salt crystals which can be sharp. So no, this isn’t the best spot for a swim. Peak pinkness is between 10-2 on a sunny day when there is plenty of water in the lake.

DAY 5

Explore Kalbarri

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

KALBARRI SKYWALK

37km from Kalbarri – Allow 1.5 hrs

The twin Skywalks stick out of the side of Murchison Gorge and provide exhilarating views of the river below. You don’t have to pay more to get on the Skywalks, you only need a national park pass to get into the park. 

>> Kalbarri Skywalk & National Park

OTHER THINGS TO DO IN KALBARRI

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Rainbow Jungle

Jurien Bay – Allow 2 hours

This is a great place to see the area’s birdlife in a beautiful garden setting. There is a café and gift shop. If you want to lose the kids for half an hour, there is a maze too.

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Pelican Feeding

Jurien Bay 8.45am – Allow 1 hour

If you like your birds a bit bigger, head to the Kalbarri foreshore at 8.45am and see volunteers feed some of the local pelicans. When you see them up close, you won’t believe how big these birds are.

Kalbarri National Park

Kalbarri National Park

27km from Jurien Bay – Allow 3 hrs

There is a lot more to Kalbarri National Park than the Skywalk. Check out Natures Window, Z Bend lookout and a range of walks. The park is also home to over 800 types of wildflowers.

EAT

BREAKFAST

  • Just across the road from the Pelican Feeding Pelly’s Cafe is a good spot for breaky.

LUNCH

  • When exploring Rainbow Jungle grab a bite to each at the Mad Macaws Cafe.

DINNER

 

KALBARRI INFORMATION

Kalbarri is one of the detours you will take from the main road to Exmouth. It is a detour worth taking. The coastal and river gorge landscapes are spectacular.

Kalbarri National Park is only 15 minutes from the township. Roads to all the main attractions are now sealed so are easy to access. You will have to unhitch at the entrance to get to some spots if you’re towing. From spectacular lookouts to hikes, it is a great place to explore.

Blue Holes is a couple of minutes south of Kalbarri. The protected water is a good for snorkelling and swimming. Red Bluff Beach, is also a nice swimming spot. The view when the setting sun hits the orange rocks is amazing.

DAY 6

Kalbarri to Denham

Drive: Coral Coast Highway – Kalbarri to Denham – 375km – 3 hours 45 minutes

THINGS TO DO ALONG THE WAY TO DENHAM

Perth to Denham

Hamelin Pool Stromatolites

280km from Kalbarri – Allow 1 hour

Part of the Shark Bay Heritage Area, the boardwalk around the Hamelin Pool Stromatolites is a fascinating experience. The nearby shell brick quarry is worth a look too. This is the first stop on Shark Bay Heritage Drive.

Shark Bay Shell Beach

Shell Beach

330km from Kalbarri – Allow 1 hour

Another inhabitant of the salty Shark Bay water is the little Fragum cockle. There are so many, they make an entire beach. It’s a peaceful place, listen for the quiet hiss as the water laps onto the shelly shore.

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Eagle Bluff Lookout

359km from Kalbarri – Allow 1 hour

Spot some of the area’s abundant marine life. While binoculars will help, even without you’ll see sharks, rays and dugongs swimming along the coast. There are great coastal views even if the wildlife is being a bit shy!

EAT

BREAKFAST

  • Grab a quick coffee & snack at Bean Drifting before leaving Kalbarri.

LUNCH

  • If you stop to explore the Stromatolites pop into the Tea Room at the Hamelin Pool Caravan Park for a bite of lunch.

DINNER

 

STAY DENHAM 3 NIGHTS

CAMPING & CABINS

MID HOTEL/MOTEL/BNB

LUXURY

 

Stay in Denham or Monkey Mia?

Denham and Monkey Mia are 20 minutes apart. If you plan on spending more than a day in Money Mia it might be worth staying there. The dawn drive from Denham to see the dolphins can be hazardous, there is lots of wildlife on the road. If you have more activities planned around Denham and Francois Peron National Park, Denham is the better base.

DAY 7

Explore Francios Peron Peninsula

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

FRANCIOS PERON PENINSULA 4WD DAY TRIP

37km from Kalbarri – Allow 1.5 hrs

This is one place where a 4WD and some soft sand driving experience is essential. There was no way our little camper van was going into Francois Peron, so we went on a 4WD tour of the park. Whether you have 2WD or just want a break from driving, the tour is a great option. See all the highlights – Skipjack Point, Peron Peninsula, Bottle Bay – and learn about the area from a local guide. This was a highlight of our trip to Denham.

>> Read our tour review here

EAT

BREAKFAST

  • Stop in at the Shark Bay Cafe for an all da breakfast, homemade meals & great coffee.

LUNCH

  • A fabulous lunch is provided on the 4wd Day Trip

DINNER

  • Catch up with the locals at The Shark Bay Hotel (or the Old Pub) for a big chicken schnitzel & more..

 

DENHAM INFORMATION

Denham is your second detour from the North West Coastal Highway. It takes you to the Shark Bay World Heritage area. Follow the Shark Bay Heritage Drive to locations like the Hamelin Pool Stromatolites, Shell Beach and Monkey Mia.

You can also either 4WD yourself or go on a tour of the Francois Peron National Park or the historic and beautiful Dirk Hartog Island. Closer to Denham, make sure you stop in at the Ocean Park Aquarium for a guided tour of the exhibits and views across the bay.

ALTERNATIVE DAY TOUR – STEEP POINT

If you like landmarks, this is your chance to cross off the most westerly point of mainland Australia from your list. You can only get to the spot – Steep Point – by 4WD, tours are also available. The sea cliffs and turquoise water are a fitting spectacle. You can camp nearby at Shelter Bay Campground. Shelter Bay is also the spot where you can take your car across to Dirk Hartog Island.

DAY 8

Explore Shark Bay

Monkey Mia Shark Bay

MONKEY MIA DOLPHINS

26km from Denham – 7.45am-11am

This is one of the best known experiences in Shark Bay. The Monkey Mia dolphins have been visiting here for years and the encounters are carefully managed. It is a great chance to see dolphins up close. If you’re lucky, you might get chosen to feed them.

>> Monkey Mia & More

OTHER THINGS TO DO IN KALBARRI

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Ocean Park Aquarium

10km from Denham – Allow 2 hours

Learn about area’s marine life. Guides escort you around the exhibits where you’ll see everything from stonefish to sharks. The views from the café are fantastic! The foods is pretty good too.

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Denham Foreshore

Denham – Allow 1 hour

A mix of art, playgrounds and history, the Denham foreshore has a little something for everyone. Fish from the jetties, go for a stroll or take in a sunset, the foreshore is a relaxing and interesting area.

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Denham Discovery Trail

Denham – Allow 1-2 hrs

Beginning at the excellent Shark Bay Discovery Centre, this 60 minute walk takes you on a loop past some of the town’s historic buildings. See the Anglican church and old gaol and finish along the waterfront.

EAT

BREAKFAST

LUNCH

  • Ocean Park Aquarium has a fabulous restaurant overlooking the ocean. See sharks, rays & dolphins from the balcony as you dine.

DINNER

MONKEY MIA

Famous for its dolphins, Monkey Mia is another accommodation option for your stay in Shark Bay. It’s 20 minutes from Denham.

Staying here gives you easy access to the dolphins, and the dugong and sunset cruises that operate in the area. Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort is the where you will find your accommodation. 

Prices are a little more here than Denham but it is a convenient location for some of Shark Bay’s most popular attractions.

ADDITIONAL DAYS? Dirt Hartog Island

This island has it all. There are beautiful beaches, great snorkelling and some of the best fishing in Australia. It is also steeped in history, with European explorers visiting the island in the 1600s. Day trips to the island are available from Denham. There are campsites and a small eco lodge on the island. A barge can ferry one car and camper trailer across at a time. Passenger fares on the barge are around $35 return. See the fare schedule here.

DAY 9

Denham to Quobba

Drive: Coral Coast Highway – Denham to Quobba – 400km – 4 hours

THINGS TO DO ALONG THE WAY TO QUOBBA

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Carnarvon Space Centre

325km from Denham – Allow 1 hour

The museum has a fantastic range of exhibits, short films and interactive displays. Do everything from sit in an Apollo capsule to land a simulated space shuttle. Allow a couple of hours to see everything.

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Quobba Blowholes

401km from Denham – Allow 1 hour

It is rare the Quobba blowholes aren’t putting on a show. Even on calmer days, multiple jets of water explode into the air as the ocean crashes into the rugged coastline. Flights over the blowholes are also available.

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Snorkel the Aquarium

401km from Denham – Allow 1.5 hr

This sheltered lagoon near Point Quobba is a great snorkelling spot. It’s shallow so come at high tide to see corals and an enormous range of colourful fish. This is a great place for kids to get used to their snorkelling gear.

EAT

BREAKFAST

LUNCH

  • If you are doing your shopping in Carnarvon pop in to Sunsets Cafe at One Mile Jetty for a nice lunch.

DINNER

  • Make sure you grab some supplies from Carnarvon for dinner & breakfast tomorrow. Enjoy dinner on the beach while watching the sunset.

STAY QUOBBA 1 NIGHT

How about a station Stay?

If you want to stay somewhere that isn’t a caravan park, spend a few days at Gnaraloo or Quobba Station. Both have a range of basic accommodation from cottages to unpowered campsites. Best of all, they front right onto the Indian Ocean so have great beaches, surfing and fishing. The Aquarium at Quobba and Gnaraloo Bay are both fantastic snorkelling spots. Also get front row seats for whale watching and finish everyday with spectacular sunsets.

DAY 10

Quobba to Coral Bay

Drive: Coral Coast Highway – Quobba to Coral Bay – 271km – 2 hours, 51 minutes

THINGS TO DO ALONG THE WAY TO CORAL BAY

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Gnaraloo Bay

67km from Quobba – Allow 2 hour

Day visitors are welcome to come and enjoy the great snorkelling at Gnaraloo Bay at Gnaraloo Station. This is part of Ningaloo Reef and is home to a huge range of colourful fish, turtles, rays and eels.

Coral Bay Snorkelling

Coral Bay Snorkel

Coral Bay – Allow 2 hours

One of our favourite snorkelling spots. You can snorkel around the bay or swim further out to see the massive Ayres Rock bommie. We love the drift snorkel here. Walk down Paradise Beach and drift along Ningaloo back to the bay.

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Quad Bike Tour + Snorkel

Coral Bay – Allow 2.5 hr

A Quad Bike Tour is a great way to see some more of Coral Bay. You can get to Five Finger Reef or Oyster Bridge for a snorkel. Explore the sand hills and visit Turtle Cliffs and to see turtles and a range of other marine life swim by.

EAT

BREAKFAST

  • Enjoy your self-catered breakfast with lovely views of the beach.

LUNCH

  • Drop into Fin’s Cafe for a great meal from burgers, wedges, seafood or grab a fabulous share plate.

DINNER

  • Make sure you eat at Bill’s Bar for at least one meal. The Sports Bar & Restaurant serves great tapas, burgers, seafood & steaks. 

Which Coral Bay Caravan Park is best for me?

One of the lovely things about Coral Bay is how undeveloped it is; there are no high-rise apartment blocks or Airbnb’s here. A bulk of the accommodation in Coral Bay is in the town’s two caravan parks – Ningaloo Coral Bay Bayview and the Peoples Park Coral Bay. We have stayed in both but they have their differences. Read on and see which park might be best for you. >> Coral Bay Caravan Parks

DAY 11

Explore Coral Bay’s Ningaloo Reef

Coral Bay Manta Rays

MANTA RAY ADVENTURE TOUR

Coral Bay – 8am -3.30pm

Seeing these enormous, graceful creatures up close is a must do. You don’t appreciate how big they are until you float above them as they feed. The Manta Ray tour also includes a snorkel over a shark cleaning station, it’s completely safe and a great sight. You’ll also see turtles as you cruise back through a turtle sanctuary.

>> Our Swim with Manta Rays in Coral Bay

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Coral Viewing Cruise

Coral Bay – 4pm – 6pm

Snorkelling is fun, but it is even better when you know what you are looking at. Here, you can view the reef from a glass bottom boat as you listen to a guide. Then later, snorkel on two hand-picked snorkelling sites with the guides by your side.

>> Great Things to Do in Coral Bay

EAT

BREAKFAST

  • Stop in at the Shark Bay Cafe for an all da breakfast, homemade meals & great coffee.

LUNCH

  • A fabulous lunch is provided on the 4wd Day Trip

DINNER

  • Catch up with the locals at The Shark Bay Hotel (or the Old Pub) for a big chicken schnitzel & more..

 

CORAL BAY INFORMATION

Coral Bay is all about the beach and water activities. If you don’t like sand, snorkelling, manta ray and whale shark tours, kayaking, fishing or beach walks, drive on. There is accommodation, a small supermarket and a handful of other shops in Coral but that’s it. You come here to enjoy the turquoise water and easy access to Ningaloo Reef and relaxed holiday vibe.

ALTERNATIVE DAY TOUR – SWIM WITH TURTLES

Sea turtles are one of Ningaloo Reefs most loved creatures. It is one thing seeing them when you snorkel. It is another when you spend 3 hours with a turtle expert cruising around a turtle sanctuary. This glass bottom boat eco-tour is great fun. Not only will you see lots of turtles and learn all about them, but you will also get to have a couple of snorkels and end the tour with drinks and snacks. This a perfect tour for wildlife lovers.

DAY 12

Coral Bay to Exmouth

Drive: Coral Coast Highway – Coral Bay to Exmouth –  152km – 1 hour, 45 minutes

THINGS TO DO ALONG THE WAY TO EXMOUTH

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Thomas Carter Lookout

7km from Exmouth- Allow 1 hour

Get spectacular views over Cape Range from one of the highest points in the park. A 2WD will get most of the way to the lookout, you might have to walk the last few hundred metres. This is also the trailhead for the tough 8km Badjirrajirra Loop Trail.

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Krait & Potshot Memorials

6km from Exmouth – Allow 1 hour

Exmouth has a rich naval history and you can get a great sense of it at this informative memorial a few minutes out of town. There are artefacts and story boards that detail WW2 missions launched from Exmouth.

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Ningaloo Visitor Centre

Exmouth – Allow 1.5 hr

Part visitor centre, part museum, part aquarium; the Ningaloo Visitor Centre is a must see in Exmouth. Book tours, learn about Exmouth’s social, military and natural history and see a beautiful aquarium. It’s full of fascinating displays and great information.

EAT

BREAKFAST

  • Look out for the Green & Yellow Coffee Van Short Order at the Town Beach for an Egg & Bacon Roll or freshly baked muffin and great coffee.

LUNCH

  • Drop into Froth Craft Brewery for a Buddha Bowl, Chicken Korma or Slow Cooked Lamb and wash it down with a cold one.

DINNER

  • Exmouth Exhale is the perfect spot to enjoy a ‘Hello Sunshine’ cocktail and dinner.

Indulge in a Luxury Glamping Experience at Sal Salis

It might not suit every budget, but if you like a bit of luxury, this is your place. Sal Salis have luxury Eco tents right on the beach. The Ningaloo Reef is metres from your door so you can get a swim in with tropical fish and turtles before breakfast. All meals, drinks and hire of kayaks, snorkelling gear etc. are included in the price.

DAY 13

Swim with Exmouth’s Whale Sharks

Exmouth Whale Sharks

SWIM WITH WHALE SHARKS – THE GENTLE GIANTS

Exmouth – 8am -4.00pm

These gentle giants are the biggest fish in the world and swimming alongside them is something we’ll never forget. The Whale Shark tour also includes a couple of snorkels on the outer Ningaloo Reef, lunch, all your snorkelling gear, wetsuit and photos. We spotted all of Ningaloo’s ‘Big 5’. As well as whale sharks we saw humpback whales, sea turtles, dugongs and manta rays. It is an action packed day, follow the link to read about how a whale shark tour works..

>> Read about our Whale Shark Experience here

EAT

BREAKFAST

  • Before heading out on your whale shark swim grab a takeaway breakfast from the Ningaloo Bakehouse know for great coffee and freshly baked goods.

LUNCH

  • Morning Tea, Lunch and Afternoon Tea are all provided on the Full Day Whale Shark Tour.

DINNER

  • For a super relaxed vibe have dinner at Yardie Creek Homestead. We enjoyed a burger, nachos while watching a visiting muso perform..

 

WHERE TO STAY IN EXMOUTH?

Exmouth is a fantastic spot to access Ningaloo Reef but be aware that the township is at least 45 minutes from the best snorkelling spots. If you plan to spend a lot of time in the water, we recommend staying on the reef side of Exmouth Peninsula. It will save you a lot of driving.

There are half a dozen campsites in Cape Range National Park. Another option, and our favourite spots, is Yardie Homestead Caravan Park. It has accommodation from campsites to cabins. Best of all, it is closer to the best snorkelling spots and the Tantabiddi boat ramp where many tours leave from.

ALTERNATIVE DAY TOUR – HUMPBACK WHALE SWIM

During June to October the Humpback Whales cruise along Ningaloo Reef. Spend the day whale watching and enjoy a swim with a humpback.  You might also come across a Manta Ray, Dugong or Whale Shark.

DAY 14

Explore Cape Range National Park

Yardie Creek Gorge

YARDIE CREEK BOAT TOUR

52km from Exmouth – 11am or 12.30pm

This is a unique chance to explore Cape Range National Park from the water. Join local guides as you cruise along Yardie Creek between the towering orange rock walls of the gorge. Keep an eye out for osprey eagles and rock wallabies that call the gorge home. This is a fun cruise for the whole family.

>> Things to Do in Exmouth

OTHER THINGS TO DO IN CAPE RANGE NATIONAL PARK

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Snorkel Ningaloo Reef

62km from Exmouth – Allow 2 hours

From Turquoise Bay to the Oyster Stacks, Cape Range National Park has some of Ningaloo’s best snorkelling. They are all accessible from shore and you can see everything from colourful fish to sea turtles, rays and dugongs. You won’t want to leave the water!

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Kayaking Bundegi Beach

14km from Exmouth – Allow 1 hour

Paddle out to the Bundegi Sanctuary Zone and snorkel on Bundegi Reef. There are two different mooring points where you can get in the water and explore the reef. If you don’t have a kayak, Bundegi Beach is close to Exmouth and is a nice swimming and fishing spot.

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Wreck & Lighthouse

18km from Exmouth – Allow 1-2 hrs

At low tide go to Lighthouse Bay to see the SS Mildura wreck. It ran aground in a cyclone in 1907 and was later used for target practise in World War 2. For more military history, and the best sunset views in Exmouth, spend dusk at nearby Vlamingh Head Lighthouse.

EAT

BREAKFAST

  • Head back into Exmouth Exhale for a breakfast cocktail and homemade organic museli.

LUNCH

  • Pack a lunch before heading out to Cape Range National Park for the day. Stop in at the Milyering Discovery Centre for an icecream.

DINNER

  • The Exmouth Game Fishing Club is open for dinner Thursday – Sunday. We watched the competition weigh in’s while eating our Chicken Parmi & chips.

CAPE RANGE NATIONAL PARK INFORMATION

Cape Range National Park has everything from amazing snorkelling to spectacular gorges. The best place to start your visit is the Milyering Visitor Centre. Get information on campsites, the best times to snorkel and hire snorkelling gear and book tours there.

Mandu Mandu Gorge has great views and lots of wildflowers in late winter and spring. Mangrove bay is a great spot to see baby sharks and rays and lots of birds. Checkout beachside campgrounds like Osprey Bay, Tulki Beach and Ned’s camp. If you have a 4WD, see wildlife and wildflowers along Shot Hole Canyon Road.

ADDITIONAL DAYS? Karijini National Park

If you finish your Perth to Exmouth road trip and still want more, head to Karijini National Park. 600km inland from Exmouth, the park features a series of stunning gorges. Swim in fern-lined pools, walk over layers of colourful rock and wade through rocky passes. Knox, Weano, Dales and Hancock Gorge are some of the highlights. If you want a stunning end to your road trip, find three or four days and your hiking boots and experience the magic of Karijini National Park. >> Camping at Karijini National Park

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Perth to Exmouth Road Trip
Perth to Exmouth Road Trip
Perth to Exmouth Road Trip
Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

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