Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 017 Contents 64 scooptraveller.com.au
Why not make your next
holiday a road-trip adventure?
As they say, it's not the
destination but the journey
and if you allow a few days to
explore, you will discover that
there is so much more to WA
than you ever imagined. Here
are a couple of our favourites.
PERTH TO EXMOUTH AND BACK
Take the road up the coast and come back inland.
But don't try to do it in a day. Or even two. This
is a long drive by anyone's reckoning and while
Ningaloo's call can be hard to postpone, there are
myriad attractions on the way up and back.
Take the turn-off to the Brand Highway to
Cervantes and become one of the few locals who
have actually seen the Pinnacles, just to the south of
the town. Then take the coast road through Jurien
Bay to Dongara.
An attractive town with a charming tree-
lined main street, Dongara is home to a bustling
crayfishing industry (and has the giant crayfish to
show for it!). Half an hour further up the coast is
historic Greenough, famous for its leaning trees.
and its collection of stone buildings, remnants of
a community of pioneers who developed the area
at the turn of the 19th Century, most of which are
open to visitors.
Geraldton is a thriving town with a breezy
maritime atmosphere and with a host of restaurants
and accommodation options is a perfect place for a
Pressing north, you go through the stunning
farming district of Northampton, dotted with many
historic buildings. You can turn off here and take the
coast road to Kalbarri and how about detour to take
a look at Prince Leonard's extraordinary Hutt River
On the mouth of the Murchison river, Kalbarri
is one the state's most popular holiday spots with
spectacular coastal scenery. The gorges, a few
kilometres inland from the town are beautiful and are
a popular destination for hiking and abseiling.
Next stop is gorgeous Shark Bay, with its famous
dolphins at Monkey Mia and array of remote coastal
fishing and camping spots.
By the time you reach Carnarvon, with its banana
plantations, you really feel like you are in the tropics.
From here it is a pretty long road through pastoral
station country for just over 230km to Coral Bay,
nestled in the Ningaloo Reef, or 380km to Exmouth.
Once there, you will be glad to have your car to
explore beautiful Cape Range National Park.
For the drive back, take the road inland to
Nanutarra Roadhouse and on to spectacular Karijini
National Park (where you can camp). For a real taste
of the remote Outback, and a look at the mining
industry powering the state's economy, drive to
Newman and then south to Meekatharra, which is
rich with gold mining history as well as active mines
and fossickers. Cue, further down the road is also a
fascinating Goldfields town. It is mind-boggling to
think of miners making their homes and building
these elaborate buildings in this truly remote place,
so long ago. From here you hook down through
the mulga scrub country of the pastoral rangelands,
through the thriving northern wheatbelt and back
into Perth via the Avon Valley.
PERTH TO KALGOORLIE
AND ON TO ESPERANCE
The story of CY O'Connor's engineering feat to bring
freshwater to the Kalgoorlie Goldfields is the stuff of
WA folklore. The National Trust has set up a driving
trail, following the path of the pipeline through the
Wheatbelt and on to the Goldfields. There are 25
designated stops at pumping stations, dams and old
townsites, all with explanatory plaques. There are also
picnic spots and walk trails, you can do as much or
as little as you like. The trail loosely follows the Great
Eastern Highway but veers off the beaten path from
time to time. The bustling town of Kalgoorlie is full of
things to do. This would be a good one to do with the
family. Go to www.goldenpipeline.com.au.
From here it is a three-hour drive to Esperance
through the historic goldmining towns of Coolgardie
and Norseman and the farming regions of Salmon
Gums and Grass Patch. Coming into breezy
Esperance with its archipelago of islands nestled in a
bay with the whitest sand you have ever seen and the
bluest ocean, is worth every minute of the drive.
For the return trip, you have a great choice of
roads through the Great Southern and Southern
Wheatbelt. It will take you about eight hours to get to
Perth. From Ravensthorpe, you could go up to Hyden
to have a look at Wave Rock, along the hilarious tin
horse highway into Kulin, (www.kulin.wa.gov.au) or
perhaps stop at Wickepin for a gander at the Albert
Facey Homestead, or the Dryandra woodland, near
Cuballing. Almost every little town has some item of
interest that makes for a worthwhile stop. Take a little
time before you set out, talk to the locals, you will be
surprised at how interesting your drive can be.
For more itineraries see www.DriveWA.com or
"For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake. e great affair is
to move." -- Robert Louis Stevenson
On the road
Links Archive Scoop Traveller WA 018 Navigation Previous Page Next Page