Western Australia Coral Coast Adventure
Highlights: Perth | Pinnacles Desert | Cervantes | Kalbarri National Park | Monkey Mia | Coral Bay | Ningaloo Reef | Carnarvon | Geraldton
Western Australia is home to some incredible coastal towns and fascinating marine life, and this adventure along the ocean’s edge takes you to it all.
Witness the moon-like landscape of the Pinnacles Desert, visit one of the few beaches on earth where shells entirely replace sand and see ancient stromatolites while following the boardwalk at Hamelin Pool.
At Coral Bay, snorkel among turtles and manta rays, or stay above the surface to explore by kayak or glass-bottom boat.
From June to October you’ll have a chance at seeing Humpback Whales and from late July to early October parts of the region come alive with wildflowers..
Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1 Arrive Perth Welcome to Western Australia! Upon arrival, enjoy a private transfer to your hotel in the heart of vibrant downtown Perth. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore the city’s many parks, beaches, restaurants, and bars.
Day 2 Perth - day at leisure Today is at leisure. If you wish, we can arrange an Aboriginal guided tour of the expansive Kings Park, where you can learn about the flora and fauna of the region and hear the dreamtime legends of Australia’s native peoples. Visit one of Perth’s incredible beaches, or simply explore the city center.
Day 3 Perth to Cervantes (201km / 124mi) Take the coastal Indian Ocean Drive to witness the moon-like landscape of the Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park. Brilliantly colored wildflowers bring the land to life from August to October, or you can enjoy stunning views from the Hansen Bay and Thirsty Bay lookouts year round. Near the small coastal town of Cervantes you’ll find Lake Thetis’ stromatolites, living fossils that are some of the oldest found on earth. End the day with Australian rock lobster at the Indian Ocean Rock Lobster Factory and toast to your day’s adventures.
Day 4 Cervantes to Kalbarri (378km / 234mi) Traveling from Cervantes to Kalbarri today, explore the popular holiday town Jurien Bay on the white sands and clear waters of Jurien Bay Marine Park. See unusual and colorful wildflowers, reptiles and the rare black cockatoo in Lesueur National Park, then follow the Dongara Heritage Trail to explore historic buildings. Soak up coastal views of Port Denison from the Fisherman’s Lookout, and learn all about the region’s natural landscapes, Aboriginal and European history at the Western Australian Museum in Geraldton. Marvel at the unique Pink Lake near seaside village Port Gregory and finally explore the Murchison River gorges and outback in Kalbarri National Park, a spectacular natural masterpiece.
Day 5 Kalbarri to Denham (375 / 233mi)
Continue driving north today along Western Australia’s Coral Coast. Follow a boardwalk at Hamelin Pool to view ancient living stromatolites, and enjoy breathtaking views across the Denham Sound at Eagle Bluff Lookout near Shark Bay. Walk across Shell Beach, one of only a few places on earth where shells completely replace beach sand, then unwind on Denham beach next to gin-clear waters. Should you wish, grab a meal at the one-of-a-kind Old Pearler Restaurant –built with shell bricks collected from Shell Beach itself– and keep a look out for local emu’s wandering down the main street.
Didgeridoo Dreaming Night Tour Spend the evening seated around a warm campfire under a sky of magnificent stars. Learn about local ancient Aboriginal culture and the history of the Gutharraguda people. Listen to stories of the dreamtime and be carried away by the ancient sounds of the didgeridoo. Enjoy fresh seafood or bush tucker cooked on the open campfire and look out for kangaroos, echidnas and other native animals as you eat.
Day 6 Explore Denham Get ready to meet the local Monkey Mia dolphins today as you join park rangers at the beach for your boat ride to Australia’s only accessible Black Pearl farm. Travel amongst Francois Peron National Park’s red sand dunes on a 4WD tour, then visit Shark Bay World Heritage Discovery Centre to learn about the area’s natural wonders and history. Step back in time at historic Peron Homestead and relax in the popular hot tub, then get up close to the creatures of Shark Bay at Ocean Park Aquarium. Explore Shark Bay Marine Park aboard a guided cruise with the chance to see dugongs, turtles, mantra rays and sharks. Follow walking trails back on land or take to the skies on a scenic flight.
Day 7 Denham to Coral Bay (556 / 345mi) Continue driving through the vast desert landscape today towards the oasis of Coral Bay. Stop in Carnarvon to explore the jetty walk, tramway and Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage Museum and learn how Astronaut Neil Armstrong’s famous words from the moon were relayed to the world via the OTC Dish that’s still here. Sitting at the southern gateway to Ningaloo Marine Park is the tiny seaside village Coral Bay, home to white sand beaches and vibrant coral gardens. Look out for birds of prey, kangaroos and lizards on land and dive into the ocean for turtles, dolphins, dugongs and manta rays. If you’re here between April and July, you may even be lucky enough to spot whale sharks in the area.
Day 8 Explore Coral Bay Coral Bay holds a multitude of adventures, and today it’s yours to explore. Walk to Skeleton Beach, the Reef Shark Nursery and Point Maud, or to Paradise Beach and the Monk Head red cliffs. Get into the water to snorkel amongst turtles and manta rays, or stay above the surface with a kayak or glass-bottom boat. If your dates fall between April and July, you may get to swim with whale sharks, or if they’re from June to October you can join a humpback whale tour. Outside of visiting these fascinating marine creatures, you can ride along white sandy beaches and bush tracks on a quad bike or laze on the beach and enjoy the scenic surrounds.
Day 9 Coral Bay to Carnarvon (238 km/ 147mi) Depart Coral Bay today and drive south through the desert to Carnarvon, nestled at the mouth of the Gascoyne River. Discover Carnarvon’s part in the space race at Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum, then enjoy a leisurely stroll, picnic or stay for a sunset along The Fascine oceanfront board walk. Explore the jetty walk, historic Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage Museum and Carnarvon Tramway. Unwind at popular Pelican Point Beach and be sure to try a local banana.
Day 10 Carnarvon to Geraldton (479 km/ 297mi) Continue traveling south along the open road of the desert today, making sure to stop in Northampton for its country charm and historic buildings. Oakabella Homestead is just a short detour off the highway, and is certainly worth a visit as Australia’s most haunted house. Arrive in Geraldton in time for a delicious western rock lobster dinner, then learn about the region’s Aboriginal, European and maritime history at the Western Australian Museum. Take a moment at the HMAS Sydney II memorial – vibrant native and rare wildflowers are in full bloom from late July to early October.
Day 11 Geraldton to Perth (418 km/ 259mi) Step back in time at Greenough’s Pioneer Museum and seek out the leaning trees for a unique photographic opportunity. Follow the Dongara Heritage Trail to explore a few more historic buildings, then soak up scenic coastal views across Port Denison from Fisherman’s Lookout. See colorful wildflowers, reptiles and the rare black cockatoo in Lesueur National Park and then the white sands of Jurien Bay Marine Park and moon-like landscape of Nambung National Park. Towards the end of the day, enjoy a bite to eat at Perth’s inner city Northbridge, vibrant Fremantle or along the boulevard at Cottesloe Beach.
Day 12 Depart Perth Say farewell to Perth today as you return your rental car and depart for the airport. We hope your time in Australia was everything you imagined, and wish you safe travels with your onward journey.
- 2 nights of accommodation at Intercontinental City Centre, Perth – Classic Room
- 1 night of accommodation at Pinnacles Edge Resort, Cervantes – Hotel Studio Room
- 1 night of accommodation at Kalbarri Edge Resort, Kalbarri – Studio Room
- 2 nights of accommodation at Heritage Resort Shark Bay, Denham – Ocean Side Room
- 2 nights of accommodation at Ningaloo Reef Resort, Coral Bay – Beachcomber Studio Room
- 1 night of accommodation at Best Western Hospitality Inn, Carnarvon – Standard Room
- 1 night of accommodation at Hospitality Inn Geraldton, Geraldton – Standard Room
- 1 night of accommodation at Intercontinental City Centre, Perth – Classic Room
- 10 day rental car from Perth (mid-size) including insurance, unlimited miles & GPS
- Private airport transfer in Perth
- In Denham, a Didgeridoo Dreaming Night Tour
- National Park fees
- International or domestic airfares (unless specified above)
- Meals other than specified above
- Travel insurance