Road & Rail

Road trip guide: The Coral Coast Highway

Sponsored by Tourism Western Australia

Got a client on the lookout for a road-based Aussie getaway?

Western Australia is home of the road trip, and this week, we’re bringing you tips and tricks for some of the dreamiest road trips on offer highlighting the state’s most beautiful spots.

The Coral Coast Highway stretches 1,250 kilometres from Perth to Exmouth and is recognised as one of Australia’s greatest scenic drives.

Along the way, road trippers will discover a combination of breathtaking attractions and experiences – many found nowhere else on earth – as the road hugs the Indian Ocean coastline.

Day one: Perth to Geraldton (425km)

First stop on the Coral Coast Highway is the famous Pinnacles Desert, located just under a three-hour drive north of Perth at Nambung National Park, where the desert meets the ocean.

Clients can feast their eyes on thousands of tall limestone spires which rise out of the yellow desert sand, formed over millions of years, and have a go at moonwalking their way around the ‘other world like’ landscape.

From there, they can visit the town of Cervantes for lunch at the Lobster Shack, and then stop in at Jurien Bay for an epic skydiving experience, swim with sea lions, or simply admire the turquoise waters.

Next is Dongara, home to the Illegal Tender Rum Co for a tour and tasting. The distillery started in 2015, and produces three world-class spirits that have won 16 international awards.

From here, the coastal playground of Geraldton is only a short 40-minute drive, and it’s the ultimate place to enjoy laid-back coastal vibes alongside intriguing maritime history.

It is also the gateway to wildflower country in season, and a starting point for aerial tours to the Abrolhos Islands and Hutt Lagoon at Port Gregory – one of WA’s famous bubble-gum pink lakes.

Day two: Geraldton to Kalbarri (155km)

Next up is the seaside town of Kalbarri, home to one of the State’s most recognisable and visited destinations, Kalbarri National Park.

Travellers come from near and far to enjoy all that is on offer in this adventure playground, which covers more than 183,000 hectares of dramatic gorges and dazzling displays of wildflowers come spring.

The national park is also now home to the Kalbarri Skywalk – two 100-metre-high skywalks that project 25 and 17 metres beyond the rim of the Murchison Gorge, offering breathtaking views across the surrounding landscapes.

Day three: Kalbarri to Shark Bay (385km)

Further north to the Shark Bay World Heritage Area is Monkey Mia’s friendly resident dolphins and 3.5-million-year-old stromatolites – the largest and oldest living fossils on the planet – at Hamelin Pool.

For those seeking an Indigenous experience, Wula Gura Nyinda runs unique eco-cultural adventures, offering a deep insight into the region’s Aboriginal history and culture.

Day four: Shark Bay to Carnarvon

The tropical food bowl of Carnarvon is next on the agenda, and the southern gateway to World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef – one of the largest and most accessible fringing reefs on earth.

A 2.5-hour drive north of Carnarvon leads to the chilled-out seaside town of Coral Bay – where the wonders of Ningaloo Reef are only a few small steps away.

Clients can choose to explore the reef on a sea kayak, dive charter or snorkel tour, where they will likely come across humpback whales, turtles and manta rays.

At the northern tip of the Ningaloo Reef lies Exmouth, another great place to swim with whale sharks.

The season runs from March to July, followed by humpback whale swim tours which operate between August and October.

Clients can join a guided tour, or pack a picnic and head off early to explore Ningaloo Marine Park and Cape Range National Park at their own pace.

Enjoy a cheeky discount

Avis Australia will make it easier than ever to overcome the distances by offering a great one-way hire car rental deal between Perth and Exmouth, with a significantly reduced one-way relocation fee.

This makes Exmouth and its surrounding landscapes the ultimate place to enjoy a fly-drive holiday.

For further information on the Coral Coast Highway go HERE.

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