Home to stunning bays, fascinating wildlife and rugged landscapes, Australia’s Coral Coast stretches from Cervantes all the way up to Ningaloo in the north.
It’s an area thousands of years in the making, with endless, uninterrupted stretches of white sandy beaches; magnificent ancient gorges; living carpets of colourful wildflowers; and untouched coral reefs bursting with marine life.
Along the way you’ll find some of the southern hemisphere’s most beloved attractions.
From the Pinnacles to the Kalbarri National Park, Shark Bay World Heritage Area, Monkey Mia and the mesmerising Ningaloo Reef, it’s a truly unique part of the world.
Adventure awaits on a Coral Coast Highway road trip, stretching 1,250km from Perth to Ningaloo. There’s a reason it’s been referred to as one of the greatest road trips on Earth. If you’re not already dreaming of a post-lockdown northwestern sojourn, here’s 10 reasons you need to start planning, stat:
Be Left Breathless At Ningaloo
For starters you can tick off a serious bucket list experience and swim with the marine big three: whale sharks (season finishes in June in Coral Bay and in July in Exmouth, so hurry!); humpback whales (August – October); and manta rays (year-round), along with an abundance of other marine life on the Ningaloo Reef.
Looking for a bit more chill? Relax on a plethora of pristine white sandy beaches and swim, snorkel and dive into stunning turquoise waters.
Tap into some local knowledge and join a guided tour out onto the Reef from Coral Bay or Exmouth, with a range of half, full day and multi-day (live-aboard) options available.
Make sure you stay a while and get camping or glamping right on the beach and spend your evenings staring up into the star-filled night sky, and your days discovering ancient gorges, unique wildlife and rugged canyons in Cape Range National Park.
Explore Wide Open Spaces And Reconnect With Nature
No matter which way you look, nature rules on Australia’s Coral Coast and the possibilities are endless:
- Wander through the out-of-this-world Pinnacles Desert.
- Get up close with the puppies of the sea on an Australian Sea Lion adventure from Jurien Bay.
- Relax on a pristine beach or snorkel a kaleidoscope of colour on the Houtman Abrolhos Islands.
- Traipse along Kalbarri’s Coastal Cliffs.
- Snorkel in Kalbarri’s Blue Holes.
- Explore Kalbarri National Park’s gorges and sit pretty in Nature’s Window.
- Find out why the UNESCO Shark Bay World Heritage Area became WA’s first World Heritage listed area in 1991.
- Meet the friendly Monkey Mia dolphins.
- See the world’s oldest living organisms at the Hamelin Pool Stromatolites.
- Marvel at Shell Beach.
- Unwind at the secluded and pristine Dirk Hartog Island, a secluded and untamed wilderness island where you can camp out overlooking the ocean or stay at Dirk Hartog Island Eco Lodge.
- Discover where the desert meets the ocean in Francois Peron National Park.
- Join an Indigenous tour in Shark Bay’s Francois Peron National Park and experience the land through the eyes of the region’s first people with Wula Gura Nyinda Eco Cultural Adventures.
Chase The Sun
The weather may be taking a turn for the worse in Perth, but it’s still sunny and warm along the Coral Coast – you can always find ‘summer’ somewhere in the region.
And with 1,100km of pristine coastline to wander, there is no shortage of beaches to soak up the sun and cool off in crystal clear waters.
National Parks And Unique Animal Encounters At Your Fingertips
Did you know there are 17 national parks and three marine parks in Australia’s Coral Coast?
Each one boasts unique and unusual attractions, including the 122 islands of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands National Park off the coast of Geraldton; the reef meeting the range of Cape Range National Park; the dugongs and dolphins of the Shark Bay Marine Park; the whale sharks, humpback whales, manta rays, turtles, tropical fish and coral reef of the Ningaloo Marine Park and so much more.
Don’t forget Port Gregory’s crazy Pink Lake, bizarre leaning trees of Greenough, blowholes, caves and dark skies perfect for stargazing.
Five- and 14-day National Park holiday passes are available and ideal for you to make the most out of your Coral Coast Highway road trip.
There Are Unique Accommodation Options To Suit Everyone
No matter your style of travelling, Australia’s Coral Coast has you covered with a range of hotels, campsites, caravan parks, outback station stays and glamping options on offer throughout the region.
Experience authentic, Australian outback hospitality at one of the region’s Station Stays, or there are dedicated campsites and glamping accommodation in national parks and right on the beachfront, where the only light comes from the Milky Way shining above you.
It’s A Foodie’s Paradise
Australia’s Coral Coast has an abundance of quality food and drink experiences on offer, including: world-class rum at Illegal Tender Rum Co. in Dongara, freshly brewed craft beer at microbreweries in Kalbarri and Exmouth and crayfish experiences in Cervantes, Geraldton and Carnarvon.
Not to mention the fresh seafood available all throughout the region (Shark Bay scallops, Exmouth tiger prawns) tropical fruit and vegetables that can be picked up straight from plantation road side stalls along Carnarvon’s Fruit Loop drive trail; and an abundance of cafes, restaurants and bars in the cosmopolitan coastal city of Geraldton.
From Extreme Sports To Bird Watching, There’s An Activity For All Types
Wildlife, bird life, skydiving, hiking, walking, kayaking, swimming, snorkelling, diving, fishing, surfing, camping, 4WDing, history, culture, indigenous experiences, scenic flights, wildflowers, foodie experiences and #instaworthy hotspots… There is no shortage of incredible memories waiting to be made.
Whether you’re a solo traveller, a couple, a group of friends or an adventurous family, it’s perfect for people from all walks of life.
Put Your Explorers Cap On And Discover Something Completely New
Each area of the Coral Coast offers something different, just waiting to be explored.
There’s the Indian Ocean Drive, which takes you past the coastal towns of Cervantes, Jurien Bay, Green Head, Leeman and Dongara-Port Denison, right up to vibrant Geraldton and surrounds.
Then you have wildflower country through the rural inland through to Shark Bay World Heritage Area, before the Ningaloo region stretching from Carnarvon in the south to Exmouth in the north.
There’s a reason why people continue coming back – no matter which area of the Coral Coast you visit and whether it’s your first time or hundredth, you’re guaranteed to find new activities, tours, experiences and destinations to enjoy.
Create Memories To Last A Lifetime
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more #instaworthy region of Australia than the Coral Coast.
From Nature’s Window in Kalbarri, up-close-and-personal dolphin encounters at Monkey Mia and throwing shakkas with whale sharks, to crystal clear, turquoise beaches, rolling national parks and the clashing of desert with the ocean at Francois Peron, there’s no shortage of photographic memories to be made along the way.
It’s Right There For The Taking
There has never been a better time to discover your back yard – jump in the car and get going!
You can tackle some parts of the Coral Coast with just a simple day trip!
Or you can start planning for something special – the Coral Coast is easy, accessible, and waiting to welcome adventure-starved folks in a post-lockdown landscape.
To plan your ultimate Coral Coast adventure head to https://www.australiascoralcoast.com/