In 18 days we did a roadtrip along the west coast of Australia with a perfect combination of the famous Coral Coast and the south of WA. In this post we are going to tell you about our PERTH-EXMOUTH-PERT Itinerary in 11 days.
Perth to Esperance Itinerary
- Day 1: Perth - Cervantes
- Day 2: Esperance
- Day 3: Esperance - Two Peoples Bay
- Day 4: Two Peoples Bay - Albany
- Day 5: Albany - Denmark
- Day 6: Denmark - Dunsborough
- Day 7: Dunsborough -Margaret River
- Day 8 - Margaret River - Perth
Day 1. Perth to Cervantes
After buying all the necessary supplies we said goodbye to the only big city on the west coast to start our roadtrip through fabulous WA.
Lancedin Dunes: These are white sand dunes only 128km from Perth. For 10 AUD you can rent a board for 2 hours. The scenery is breathtaking! We started late and didn't have time to stop but we could see them from the road.
Pinnacle Desert: After driving another 82 km, you reach the Pinnacle Desert. We arrived just before sunset and were able to see it right there. 100% recommended. You can do the tour by car but we also recommend you to walk through this incredible desert surrounded by these limestone rocks that were formed 25000 years ago. Some of them are up to 5 metres high.
Entrance fee 15 AUD but is included in the National Park Pass.
The last stretch is 20 minutes to Cervantes. As it was getting dark, we decided to sleep at a free campsite we found on WikiCamp. But, if you have time, we recommend driving an extra 30 minutes to sleep in one called "Sandy Cape Recreation Area" in front of the beach.
Day 2. Cervantes to Carnavon
This was a long day. We got an early start and stopped just to enjoy the incredible HUTT LAGOON. But, if you have time, our recommendation is to stop first:
Jurien Bay: 40km from Cervantes. It is a beach where you can swim with sea lions! To do this you need to take an excursion which costs around $100 AUD. We didn't know about it and we didn't do it but we think it must be an incredible experience! Also the beaches have super white sand and incredible water! If you choose to do it we recommend you to stay the whole day and sleep here.
Back to our itinerary:
Hutt Lagoon: We drove 320km and arrived at the famous pink lake, yes! The best time to visit it is between 10am and 2pm as this is the time of day when the colour is at its most intense. The colour is due to the fact that at a certain temperature and salinity, an algae in the lake secretes a red pigment that gives the water its colour, a source of beta carotene.
On the southernmost part there is less water and you can walk on a ground covered with pink salt. Afterwards, you can drive on and stop on one of the roads to enter and admire the watery part more closely. We also recommend you to go to the Gregory part.
Once we had finished admiring this natural beauty we continued on our way. Our next destination is Exmouth, as it was not possible to arrive the same day we stopped to sleep in a campsite on the way - WOORAMEL ROADHOUSE-.
Day 3. Carnavon to Exmouth
We arrived in Exmouth after midday. We took the opportunity to go to the supermarket, buy snorkels and relax for a while on the beach in the town of Exmouth.
Quobba Blow Holes: Where the ocean hits natural caves! A very nice phenomenon to see. We didn't go because it involved a 70km detour and we didn't have time.
Exmouth: It is a small town just steps away from the Ningaloo Reef and Cape Range National Park, one of the most beautiful and unspoilt beaches in Australia.
Tonight we slept close to the beach at a campsite in the national park. For this we booked online on the WA website. We recommend you to book early as the campsite is usually sold out.
Before going to sleep we watched the sunset from the garden where we were parked!
Day 4. Cape Range National Park and Ninagaloo Reef
We took advantage of this day to enjoy the fabulous beaches and coral reefs that WA has to offer! It is impossible to describe in words what this place is like. The best thing about it is that because the beaches are so long you can find yourself practically alone in this paradise.
The beaches we liked the most in the park:
- Turquoise Bay
- Oyster Stacks
- Osprey Bay
- Sandy Bay
Day5. Exmouth to Coral Bay
After reaching the northernmost point of our roadtrip we started to descend and our first stop was:
Coral Bay: An amazing beach and snorkelling spot! It is still part of the Ningaloo Reef and it is amazing how walking along the coast you can see turtles and small manta rays.
You can also go on an excursion to snorkel and swim with giant oceanic manta rays. We did it, it was $170 AUD per person and it was amazing! Not only did we swim with a huge manta ray but we also snorkelled and got to see a group of over 10 reef sharks swimming below us!
Day 6. Coral Bay
We did the snorkelling excursion at Ningaloo Reef and swam with manta rays, saw turtles, reef sharks and hundreds of fish and corals. It was amazing, 100% recommended. The tour lasted all day and cost 170 AUD.
Day 7. Coral Bay to Denham (Shark Bay)
As every day at 6:30 am we were already having breakfast and it was going to be a long day, so we started early.
Hamelin Pool: It is one of the few places in the world where marine stromatolites live. These are structures formed in the water by microorganisms and which have been on land for more than 3.5 billion years. They are the direct descendants of the oldest form of life on the planet, incredible, isn't it?
Shell Beach: A beach covered in shells, 60 km long and with a depth of 7 to 10 m, it's incredible! It is one of only two beaches in the world completely made up of shells. The salinity of the water allowed the cockle to proliferate unchecked as its natural predators could not adapt.
Eagle Bluff: This is a coastal road with beautiful views.
Little Lagoon: Just 5 km from Denham is a beautiful landscape! This lagoon was once a landlocked salt marsh that was flooded thousands of years ago by the sea.
We slept in a campground in Denham but if you want you can also sleep in FRANCOIS PERON NATIONAL PARK.
* Let's point out that we didn't go to see the dolphins at Monkey Mia because we don't agree with feeding the animals to bring them closer to humans so that we can touch them.
Day 8. Francois Peron National Park
Something we knew we wanted to do was to visit this amazing national park, the only drawback, you can only enter by 4×4 truck. The tours cost around 200 AUS per person, expensive but worth it. As there were 5 of us we decided to rent a 4×4 as it was much more cost effective.
This national park has some amazing landscapes! All covered with red sand, once you get to the coast the water is blue and the sand is white but the dunes are still reddish.
From the entrance to the national park it is 50km to Cape Peron, the tip of the national park.
The roads are sandy and it is not very difficult to get stuck, so we advise you to follow all the instructions and recommendations in the park. It happened to us and our engine overheated, all at the same time. Luckily another experienced car was passing by, helped us to deflate the tyres a bit more and we kept going. Above all, patience and don't get desperate. The ideal is to start very early in the morning because at noon the temperatures rise a lot, and first go to the furthest point of the park: Cape Peron and then on the way back stop at the other points.
Entry costs AUD 15 per vehicle, but is included in the Western Australia Park Pass.
Day 9. Shark Bay to Kalbarri National Park
We took advantage of this day to see the attractions of the national park that are not on the coast:
- Natures window
- Z Bend Lookout
- Ross Graham River Trail
We recommend wearing comfortable shoes, sunscreen, a bottle of water and a hat to protect you from the sun.
Entry costs AUD 15 per vehicle per day, but is included in the Western Australia Park Pass.
Day 10. Kalbarri National Park
On this day we will spend the day touring the coastal area and having some rest.
- Blue Holes
- Pot Alley
- Mushroom Rock
- Eagle Bay
Day 11. Kalbarri to Perth
End of this incredible adventure! The Coral Coast left us fascinated, it has amazing scenery, beautiful beaches and amazing underwater life.