One of many regions in Western Australia’s north west impacted by Cyclone Seroja, Carnarvon has bounced back fast – and not a moment too soon with the tourism peak season starting to really kick off. Often referred to as the ‘food bowl’ of WA, this subtropical oasis produces around 80% of our total fruit and veg crop, to go with its thriving prawn, scallop, crab and fishing industry.
While it serves as a great kick-off point to many areas of the Coral Coast, including Shark Bay and the Ningaloo World Heritage Area, Carnarvon is absolutely a place worth spending some time in its own right.
Here’s five reasons to put it on your Coral Coast road trip itinerary:
The Cactus Farm
Part of the Fruit Loop Drive Trail (more on that below), The Cactus Farm below has become incredibly popular in recent years as a must-stop at for some incredibly unique photos. Resembling something like we’re used to seeing in the Nevada Desert, no one really knows why it’s there, but it’s stunning. Found along the South River Road out the front of one of many plantations in the area, just pull over and get snapping!
Fruit Loop Dive Trail
To truly understand why Carnarvon is known as WA’s food bowl, a trip along the Fruit Loop Drive trail during peak season (May-October) is a must. A road trip along the North and South River Roads will reveal a cacophony of tropical fruits, succulent seafood and fresh produce like bananas, mangoes, grapes, watermelons and more. It doesn’t get any fresher than here when it comes to fruit!
Coral Coast Helicopter Ride
To truly experience the vibrant colours and stark landscapes of the Coral Coast, a helicopter ride is the only way to go. If you want to stay in the skies there are plenty of scenic tours to jump aboard, or you can really get amongst it on a heli-adventure tour that includes snorkelling, fishing, bushwalks and more. Coral Coast Helicopter Services offer a variety of options and packages to suit your vibe.
Carnarvon Space & Technology Museum
WA is filled with places that come with unique and little-known histories awaiting your discovery, and Carnarvon’s relationship to the stars is definitely one of them. Playing a key role in the manned space program and Australia’s communications industry, you’ll visit the Carnarvon Tracking Station and the OTC Satellite Earth Station. The former was built to support a variety of NASA space programs during the 60s, while the latter opened in 1966 as part of the global satellite communications system. It even played a key role for us in the Apollo 11 moon landing, relaying Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon from NASA’s US tracking station to Perth’s TV audience – the first live telecast in WA!
Last, but certainly not least, no trip to Carnarvon is complete without a stop at the awe-inspiring Quobba Blowholes, where you’ll see powerful ocean swells jettison up to 20m into the air. Once you’ve experienced this turbulent event, head south to the much calmer ‘Aquarium’, coral-filled lagoons teaming with marine life that make for fantastic snorkelling. Just make sure you plan ahead with the tides to get the full show.
So what are you waiting for? Head to the Carvnaron WEBSITE now to start planning your next Coral Coast adventure today!
All images: Shire Of Carnarvon/Supplied