A Western Australia Road Trip!
Western Australia is big.
2,529,875 Kilometres Squared big.
A coastline stretching for 20,781 Kilometres big.
And only 2.5 Million people call this vast place home.
And it’s perfect for road tripping, with huge areas of unexplored land to camp out at, long white, sandy beaches to stroll along and dozens of National Parks to enjoy with few people around to spoil the view.
As long as you don’t run out of fuel, can handle driving hundreds of Kilometres each day and can dodge a suicidal kangaroo hopping across the highway at full speed, then Western Australia is the place to get on the road!
Here Are The Best Photos From My Western Australia Road Trip!
The road trip begins in Albany!
This small city is on the South West coast of Western Australia- around 400 kilometres from Perth- and it’s the oldest European settlement in the state. It’s a city surrounded by incredible coastline and with as much history as you can get in Australia. We loaded the car up with supplies and from Albany, the epic Western Australia road trip began!
Albany to Esperance: 482 KM
The first leg of the Western Australia road trip was along the Southern Coast. From Albany we drove almost 500 kilometres along never ending stretches of coastline to the distant town of Esperance. Nearby, we found Lucky Bay in the Cape Le Grand National Park where we camped out on the whitest sand beach in all of Australia while kangaroos jumped around the camp site and along the beach causing trouble. The sunsets weren’t bad either.
Esperance To Kalgoorlie: 393 KM
From the coast it was time to turn inland. We drove warily into the vast, vast interior of Western Australia, and drove North, passing old mining towns, getting bogged down in mud, and getting out again, and finally arriving in Kalgoorlie. This city is famous for Gold, Skimpies and Brothels and is the site of the largest open cut Gold mine in the world- The Super Pit pictured below- and the oldest brothel in Australia. It’s a city with a Wild West reputation that goes back to the gold rush days, and it’s a city that’s a whole lot of fun.
Kalgoorlie To Wave Rock: 486 KM
Is it a wave or is it a rock? Wave Rock is just a short ‘detour’ from Kalgoorlie. It was just a few hundred Kilometres away along dirt roads and gravel tracks, and all to see a rock. It was colourful, and rather distinct looking- like a wave- but much smaller in reality than pictures- including my one below- will lead you to believe.
Read More About My Trip To Wave Rock HERE!
Wave Rock To Perth: 332 KM
From the rock that looked like a wave it was time to drive to Perth, the state capital and veritable metropolis. We jumped on the tourist boat and sailed across to Rottnest Island, home of the happiest animal on the planet, the Quokka.
Rottnest island is a happy, holiday island now, full of cute little Quokkas. It wasn’t always this way though. As with a lot of Western Australian history, there’s a darker side, little talked about. This island used to be a prison, and aboriginal men were brought here to do hard labour from the mainland during the colonisation of Western Australia by the British. Just something to think about when your sunning yourself on the beach and taking selfies with Quokkas.
Perth To Shark Bay: 831 KM
The ominously named Shark Bay was next on the list. Just a casual 800 KM away from Perth. I saw no sharks, but the bay is home to plenty of dolphins, and they swim in every day to the beach to be fed by tourists under the watchful eye of researchers from the Department of Parks and Wildlife, who use the feeding as a way to study these sea mammals… and as a way to keep tourists entertained.
Shark Bay To Carnarvon: 339 KM
There’s not a whole lot going on in Carnarvon. It’s the biggest town within 500 Kilometres. So we stopped for supplies. They grow a lot of bananas here, the sunsets are pretty good and it was once the site of a NASA tracking satellite… After loading up on fruit and fuel, we were out of there.
Carnarvon To Mount Augustus And Back Again: 482 KM Each Way
Mount Augustus is the largest rock IN THE WORLD! And it was only a casual 482 Kilometres away. And 482 Kilometres back again… along the same road. A road of rock, gravel and dust. This was true outback territory. Farmers were hanging up dead dinogs from signposts and there was no fuel for hundreds of Kilometres. It’s the sort of place where if you break down, you die.
Mount Augustus was pretty cool too, as far as rocks go. It was definitely big. You can see it below in the background, past the battered station wagon that somehow took us all the way to the base of the rock.
We climbed to the top of the world’s largest rock, and then it was a long journey back the way we’d just driven before we were safely eating bananas again in Carnarvon.
Read More About My Trip To Mount Augustus HERE!
Carnarvon To Cape Range National Park: 356 KM
Cape Range National Park is a haven for snorkellers and divers! Stretching along the coast it’s the easiest way to access the huge Ningaloo Reef, which is like the Great Barrier Reef but less touristy and less damaged. Just watch out for sharks. And jelly fish. There’s a lot that can kill you out in those waters…
Cape Range National Park To Karratha: 540 KM
The road to Karratha, far along the coast to the North of the Ningaloo Reef is a long one, through bush and scrub and along long, untouched coastlines. It’s a wild, scenic drive, but a long one. In Karratha, a big mining town on the coast, it was time for a spot of fishing and to resupply in the biggest town in the Pilbarra Region.
Karratha To Karijini National Park: 527 Km
If you can only go to one place in Western Australia, it should probably be Karijini National Park. It’s a spectacular place. One of the few places in Western Australia that not only met but absolutely exceeded any expectations I went in there with. We even ended up working here for 3 months before finishing the road trip off!
It’s a beautiful National Park, the second largest in Western Australia, and a remote and untamed place. The gorges are stunning, and the hiking and swimming spectacular. Just have a look at Joffre Falls below!
Karijini National Park To Marble Bar: 552 Km
Marble Bar has the dubious distinction of being the ‘hottest town in Australia’. And Australia is a very hot place. Marble Bar recorded the most consistently high temperatures on record. Over 37.8 °C every day for 160 days. It’s a hot place in Summer, but rather nice when we visited in Winter. It’s a small town, no more than 200 people, and named for the Jasper Rock deposits that are found nearby. If you get thirsty, then head to the town pub. The Ironclad Hotel is a quirky outback drinking establishment known for its rough past.
Marble Bar To Eighty Mile Beach: 358 Km
The next town along the coast from Marble Bar is Broome. But it’s a long way to Broome from Marble Bar. Luckily, to break up the journey there’s a long stretch of pristine beach to camp out at, and to admire the sunsets over the Indian Ocean. Eighty Mile Beach.
Eighty Mile Beach To Broome: 376 Km
Broome was the last stop for me on this road trip!
Just a quick drive up the road from Eighty Mile Beach, Broome is a town with an interesting history intertwined with the local pearling industry. The beaches are sublime and the sunsets never fail to impress. It’s the regional hub for anything really, with good food, good pubs and the odd crocodile.
Total Distance: 6536 KM
Broome was the end of the road, and not including minor detours- a minor detour in Australia being a very subjective figure, but definitely anything less than 100 Kilometres- and not including getting lost, we drove at least 6536 Kilometres.
And we didn’t even leave the state.
No Australian article is complete without a picture of a Kangaroo, so the final picture in this series of Photos From The Road is, you guessed it, a Kangaroo…
All Photographs Property Of Richard Collett
Remember to check back soon for more articles from my travels around Western Australia!