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On the road
remembering that wildflowers will line the land from
August, and grab their guidebook before you leave.
DISCOVERY TRAIL -- 1445KM
One of the state's key Outback drives has just
added another element to get your motor running.
The fashionably named, 480km Green trail
extends the 965km, mostly off-road Golden Quest
Discovery Trail, drawing a circle from Kalgoorlie-
Boulder to encompass environmentally valuable
sites like Red Hill lookout, which gives you a
birds eye view of glittering Goldfields country; the
regenerated scrub of Karlkurla Bushland Park; plus
two nature reserves and two conservation parks,
rich with granite outcrops, wetlands, woodlands
and significant Aboriginal sites.
Depending on your starting point, you can
tackle the eco add-on at the beginning or the end
of the original Golden Quest track, which loops
from Coolgardie, heading north through Leonora,
Laverton and back to Kalgoorlie.
"It retraces the quest for gold of 100 years ago
and touches on the environment, the Outback
pubs, and the art installations on Lake Ballard,"
says trail manager Arianne Webb, who makes
special mention of the ghost mining town of
Gwalia and Hoover House, where former US
president Herbert Hoover once lived.
Given it's a fairly comfortable 4WD trail, you
can spin your wheels any time of year, although
April to October is ideal and the usual safety
WARLU WAY -- 2480KM
Eye candy for nature junkies, the Warlu Way trips
past more WA wonders than you can point a
Lust-worthy destinations like Ningaloo Reef,
Karijini National Park and Eighty Mile Beach, as
well as historical hotspots like Cossack, Roebourne
and Marble Bar, are dotted along the 2480km
journey that weaves through the Gascoyne, Pilbara
and Kimberley regions.
As you drive, you'll sense the deep Aboriginal
culture coating the land -- the trail is named after
an ancient sea serpent that blessed the area with
waterways as he slithered across it, thousands of
Drive WA chair Chris Pye is a big fan of the
Warlu Way, which starts in Coral Bay and ends
"My all-time favourite section is the gorge area
around Karijini," he says. "The rock art at the
Burrup, and the Peninsula itself are also awesome,
and the rock art makes the pyramids look like a
recent tent in terms of their antiquity."
The 95 percent graded road means you can
stick to the track with a high clearance 2WD, but
you'll be seriously short changing yourself -- the
opportunities for off-road exploration, particularly
around Karijini, Millstream, Tom Price and along
Eighty Mile Beach, are endless; these secluded
spots are where some of the most stunning
environment and magical sunsets can be savoured.
Avoid going in the summer period of November to
April, and research the 4WD tracks before you go.
GIBB RIVER ROAD -- 700KM
Mention the Gibb River Road and many West
Australians get misty eyed, picturing the legendary
trail that slices through vast northern landscapes
from Derby's King Sound to Wyndham's
The torturous corrugations have done nothing
to stop this becoming somewhat of a rite of
passage for Outback adventurers, and the pride
felt when completing the 700km dirt and gravel
NATURAL SPLENDOUR: (below) Leonora Loop, image
courtesy of Tourism WA; (right) the Golden Quest
Discovery Trail's Windarra site; (far right) Warlu Way,
Karijini Eco Retreat, Pilbara, image courtesy Christian
Fletcher; (below right) Gibb River Road, Windjana Gorge.
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