We are a few days short of 6 months of travelling Western Australia. But today, we finally made it out of our home state!
Here is a post summarising our favourite highlights, sights and sleeping spots from this part of our Australian Odyssey…
- Coastline from Kalbarri to Exmouth
This stretch of coast boasts pristine beaches, blue to turquoise waters, red cliff back drops with stunning sunsets. For the beaches I have seen in the world so far, this coastline is my favourite. It is unpolluted with people, making it very special. With a 4WD you can have your own beach with not a soul in sight, leaving you to enjoy the pleasure of Mother Nature. We were even lucky enough to camp on the beach, waking to the sound of waves lapping or crashing on the shore. What more could we ask for?
- Steepe Point, the most western point of Australia
- Karijini National Park including Mt Bruce
In the Pilbara a gem is found, Karijini National Park. It is more than a hundred million years old, giving God plenty of time to create this beauty. Carved out gorges and vibrant red cliff walls dominate the scenery. We hiked every day to various gorges in awe of the sights, and stopped by waterfalls to swim or meditate on their beauty. But it wasn’t all about the gorges; we also hiked to Mt Bruce, which gave an excellent viewpoint of an iron ore mine, and the vast landscape. It is a walk I would do again, and recommend to others.
- Snorkelling and swimming with whalesharks, hump back whales, sharks, coral, turtles and colourful fish on the Ningaloo Reef.
- Surfing Red Bluff & Exmouth
- Flat Rocks
South of Dongara, a surf spot exists called Flat Rocks. In the car park we found our first free (and illegal) campsite. It is a gravel road, up over a hill, where you will find a car park and toilets away from the highway, overlooking the surf.
- Shark Bay
The Shark Bay, World Heritage area, is a stunning place to visit. For $11 a night you can stay at the shire camp sites such as Whalebone, Fowlers, etc. You cannot pre-book, and there are only 4 sites available at each of the campgrounds. You can either call the Visitors Centre to pay over the phone, or visit them in person.
- Point Quobba
For $5.50 a night you can easily bring a caravan, campervan, bus or boat to this stunning coastal camp ground. There are no facilities so you need to be self-sufficient. There is a toilet, however it is only open from 8am to 5pm for day time visitors.
- Red Bluff
On Quobba Station a famous surf spot is found that you can also camp for $15 per person per night, which is cheaper than its neighbour, Gnarloo Station, who charges $20 per person and $2.50 per dog per night. We abandoned our caravan and slept in our tent so we could come enjoy the surf and beach. The toilets are the cleanest compost toilets I have seen yet.
At a bargain price of $75 a week, this is all you pay for prime real estate. The road is gravel, however it is in good condition. For those without a caravan and desire to be secluded, there are ample sites across the station to choose from. Once again you need to be self-sufficient, and MUST have a chemi toilet. There are no bushes to hide behind to do your business, plus you don’t want to be the one whom spoils the area.
- Hamersley Gorge
Illegal and free, we roll like this often. This one is a goodie, we stayed 6 nights! It is located at the intersection where you turn off to go to Hamersley Gorge, leaving you 3km from the gorge. Find your own secluded spot in the bush. You need to be self-sufficient, but there are clean toilets at the gorge for your morning poo poo.
- De Grey River
This is a free, 24 hour rest area on the De Grey River, 77 km north east of Port Headland. We only spent one night here as a stop over, but we met quite a few people whom have extended their stays for 2+ weeks. The surrounds are beautiful with excellent shade, and the toilets are serviced daily.
- Camping on the Gibb River road
We left our caravan behind at the Kimberley Entrance Caravan Park ($5 a night), and spent a week camping on the Gibb River Road. Our personal favourite is Barnett River Gorge, which is free with minimal visitors due to the popular Manning Gorge campsite being close by.
- El Questro Wilderness Park
This was luxury camping for us, with shaded and grassy sites, restaurant, reception and sun lounges in front of a swimming hole. For this you pay a steep (by our standards) $20 per person per night, plus $20 per for a week’s park entry fee. This was exactly what we needed with temperatures exceeding 38 degrees Celsius, and our desire to chill out after completing the Gibb River Road.
- Anywhere on the side of the road
Free is great, and we love the isolation. Most nights we have no idea where we will be camping, but we love the adventure and the surprise on our arrival. We use Google maps (satellite) to help find small tracks or clearings, as well as Roads Tracks Campsites of WA map book. Another goodie we recently discovered is the WikiCamps App – this is a must buy!
Thank you Western Australia we love you and will miss you. We look forward to coming back to Perth in April 2014 for my sister’s wedding, and my mums birthday