As I mentioned in last week’s blog, Western Australia is HUGE and it’s my favourite state in Australia. Last week I focused on Perth and south and this week it’s the more northern, rugged part of WA, north of Perth.
Photo of Ningaloo Reef
The Coral Coast is one of Western Australia’s best kept secrets. The Coral Coast Highway runs all the way up the West coast for over 800 miles from Perth to Exmouth through Geraldton and many other great spots along the way. This drive is ‘one of Australia’s Great Scenic Drives’ and ‘has been referred to as one of the greatest road trips on earth’. The Coral Coast has everything from whale sharks to turquoise waters, breathtaking scenery, wildflowers, and pristine private islands.
Photo of a whale shark
Just over 7 hours north of Perth, lies Shark Bay in Western Australia. It’s Australia’s largest bay and WA’s first location to receive UNESCO status in 1991. It has over 600 miles of pristine beaches with calm, inviting waters. Over 10,000 dugongs, a relative to the manatee, make their home in Shark Bay and 35% of all of Australia’s bird species are also present here. It’s ‘one of the world’s greatest wilderness treasures’.
Photo of a Dugong
Monkey Mia is also located in the Shark Bay region and is best known for its famous wild dolphins. These dolphins visit daily for controlled feeding for less than 10% of their daily food requirement ensuring they remain wild and continue to hunt on their own. They’re well looked after with supervision preventing any touching or swimming with the dolphins by the Department of Parks and Wildlife Staff.
Photo of dolphins
Further up the coast, just under a 7-hour drive is Coral Bay which sits adjacent to Ningaloo Coast. One of the amazing highlights is Ningaloo Reef, ‘the world’s largest fringing reefs and one of the longest near-shore reefs in the world’. It stretches for almost 200 miles from Carnarvon’s Red Bluff to the Muiron Islands just off the coast of Exmouth.
Photo of Ningaloo Reef
As many as 300-500 whale sharks congregate at Ningaloo each year from April to July. These massive, gentle creatures measure up to 59 feet long and weigh up to 41,000 pounds, which is equivalent to 3 African elephants! They along with humpback whales, manta rays, turtles, and dolphins all make Ningaloo Reef their home.
Photo of a Manta Ray
'Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim’ proudly leads the world in Eco-Friendly whale shark and humpback whale tours where you can safely swim alongside these amazing creatures. You can also swim with manta rays and humpback whales as well. It’s a snorkelers and divers paradise.
Photo of Exmouth
Exmouth is the northern gateway to the Ningaloo Coast and is located at the tip of the Northwest Cape. It was named as Australia’s Top Small Tourism Town of the year for 2022. It’s a great location from which one can explore Cape Range National Park and Ningaloo Marine Park. Interestingly, Exmouth was used as a United States military base in World War II. Submarines were refueled here along with it being the home of a seaplane tender.
Another of Australia’s best kept secrets, is the Kimberley region of Western Australia. It’s one of Australia’s earliest settled locations with the first humans landing there over 65,000 years ago. Rock art could date back as much as 40,000 years and is considered some of the oldest in Australia.
Kimberley encompasses an area of over 163,000 square miles which is about 3 times the size of England. It’s one of the most sparsely populated areas on earth, though with fewer than 40,000 people. The economy is amazingly diverse and includes everything from mining, construction and agriculture to tourism, retail and even pearling. Broome is Kimberley’s largest town and is located on the coast and was the center for the pearling trade from 1883 to the early 1900’s.
Photo of Broome a camel ride on the beach
If you love untouched natural beauty, then the Kimberley coast in West Australia is a great choice for you. It consists of miles of untouched, unspoiled coastline of amazing beauty. Everything there is rare and remote, and you can view 2-billion-year-old rock formations, thousands of tropical forest-topped islands, horizontal waterfalls, rock art galleries, stunning cliffs, and so many more natural wonders of the world.
Photo of King George Gorge in the Kimberley Region
You can have it more rustic in the Kimberley region or you can experience the ultimate in luxury with incredible small vessel cruising options, lodging and helicopter options to get the best view of this phenomenal region by air such as the Bungle Bungle Range. There really is so much to see and do in this beautiful remote part of the world. Do keep in mind that the best time to visit the northern part of Western Australia is from April to October during their dry season.
Photo of Bungle Bungle in the Kimberley Region
As you can tell by what I’ve relayed here and in my blog from last week about Perth and south, Western Australia is a wonderful state to visit in Australia. It has so much to offer to meet everyone’s taste and preference of travel. From the north to the south, it’s huge so you do need time to get around, but it really is well worth the effort from my perspective.
If you're interested in a trip Down Under to Australia, I'm ready and willing to work with you to have it suit you the best! There's so much to choose from and so many great things to do and see in this beautiful country filled with wonderful people!