The longer I spend outside of the cities in Australia the more I fall in love with the country. There are times when you stumble across a little place that’s so gorgeous you want to keep the secret for yourself. But that’s not really fair of me, I suppose, so I’m happy to share what keeps me coming back to one such spot.
Just 2.5 hours north of Perth in Western Australia is a town on the coast called Jurien Bay. This small town is brimming with things to do and treats me to a true Western Australian experience every time I visit.
Here are my 11 favourite things to do to get you inspired.
On the doorstep of Jurien Bay are many beautiful sand dunes and none are more fun to explore than Sandy Cape. Just a short drive north of Jurien Bay is a campground right on the beach where you can try your hand at sandboarding. Picture snowboarding but on sand and you have the right idea. As scary as it might sound, this is fun for all ages as you can choose to sit or stand on the board from as high up or low down on the dune as you choose. Either way, grab your friends and get the cameras ready as you’ll be guaranteed a few laughs as you watch everyone’s efforts.
Once you’ve worn yourself out sandboarding, take the short walk up to the lookout boardwalk at the top of the dunes for beautiful coastal views towards Green Head.
No visit to Jurien Bay would be complete without a stop off at the fascinating Pinnacles desert in Nambung National Park. This area is strewn with finger-like limestone shards that date back millions of years. Drive around the 4km loop track in the park and make sure you get out to wander through this extra-terrestrial-esque landscape. For an different experience, try arriving at either sunset or sunrise.
Have Yourself An Adventure Tour
If you’re looking for more of an active day out, Jurien Bay Adventure Tours offer many different packages for day trips ranging on 4WD tours to exploring local caves such as the beautiful Stockyard Gully. If you’re travelling alone it’s a perfect way to see the area with a group of people and saves you from driving yourself around as you can relax with a local guide.
Try A Segue Tour
For a unique way to explore Jurien Bay you could try your hand at a segue adventure. Follow your guide as you zip along the shoreline whilst learning about the history of the area. Chariots of Hire run Windrunner Tours along the foreshore of Jurien and can take you and your mates for a unique spin around the area.
Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
On a calm morning get yourself down to the foreshore to rent paddleboards from Jurien Bay Adventure Tours and hit the water. This is the perfect opportunity to test your balance and I know you’re going to love the feeling of gliding across the aquamarine ocean.
Did you know that there is a snorkel trail accessible from the main beach? Just metres offshore, located by the pillars of the old wooden jetty, there are 70 artificial reef balls submerged that stimulate coral growth. Take a dip and see what you can discover.
Meet The Locals
With ocean this blue it’s no wonder that most of the action happens out on the water. Boating, fishing and stand-up paddle boarding are popular activities here. If you have access to a boat then there are several islands off the shore of Jurien that are worth sailing to. I visited Essex Rocks, a marine wildlife sanctuary that is home to a colony of sea lions. You can’t disembark on the island for obvious reasons but you can watch the sea lions relaxing on their own private island and if you’re lucky they will even come and swim around your boat.
No boat? No problem! Get in touch with Turquoise Safaris for fishing and boat charter trips.
Walk or Bike
There is a beautiful walking path along the coastline called the Turquoise Way that is perfect for families, cyclists and dog walkers alike. If you join the path from Dobbyn Park by the jetty you can either walk just over a kilometre to the marina, past the section of beach where the skydivers swoop in overhead, or you can walk almost five kilometres in the opposite direction towards the Beachridge estate. This is the perfect place to spot the different islands off the coastline.
Whenever you get weary, just duck off the path and straight on to the beach to relax by the ocean. I guarantee you’ll have the place to yourself.
For adrenaline junkies that can’t seem to sit still, even when on holiday, Jurien Bay holds the perfect antidote. Skydive Jurien Bay is one of only a handful of places in Australia that offers beach landings from a 14,000 feet jump. What better place to challenge yourself to the ultimate adrenaline rush? Perfect views over the ocean greet you the moment you leave the plane.
Would you have guessed that there are more than 12,000 species of wildflowers in WA, making it the world’s largest collection? Add this to the fact that 60% of Western Australian wildflowers are found nowhere else on Earth and you know you are onto something special. In the Springtime, this region is dotted with beautiful blooms that bring visitors from across the world to marvel at their diversity. I loved learning more about the wildflowers on a tour of a local farm, complete with damper bread and billy tea.
Eat And Drink
No holiday would be complete without great food and Jurien Bay has you covered with a range of options to suit all taste buds. My favourites have to be the Sandpiper Tavern that has friendly, relaxed atmosphere with an ever changing, fresh menu plus a newly installed pizza oven offering a huge selection of handmade pizzas.
For a morning coffee and cake my top tip is the Jetty Café on the foreshore, which serves beautiful coffees just metres from the beach.
Relax at Sunset
Ultimately, you’ve come on holiday to relax and unwind. Nothing says chill more than a glass of something cold and a gorgeous sunset. Put your feet up and watch as the sun slips into the Indian Ocean and start planning your holiday again for next year.
How To Get Here
Jurien Bay is a 2.5 hour drive north of Perth on the Indian Ocean Drive (route 60). Leave the city in the direction of Joondalup and keep heading north. There are several little towns nestled by the coast to call into on the way up, plus plenty of scenic lookouts.
You can also drive the inland Brand Highway (route 1), which is more accessible from the eastern suburbs of Perth. This takes you through towns such as Badgingarra along the way.
If you don’t have a car then don’t worry, TransWA run a bus service to Jurien Bay from Perth. This is a great budget option for solo travellers or backpackers who don’t have their own transport.
Where To Stay
Jurien Bay offers several accommodation options, including pitching your own tent or sleeping in your caravan or cabins at the Jurien Bay Caravan Park.
The Jurien Bay Hotel Motel provides motel rooms at reasonable prices. Here you can grab a drink in the bar and relax with a pub style meal.
There are also many B&Bs and guest houses all over Jurien Bay that means you’ll never be short of accommodation options. I use a website called Booking.com to search for availability and you can filter the results by property type and budget.
Have I tempted you to visit Jurien Bay? What’s your favourite thing to do here?
Do you have your own little spot that you just love to visit? Share your best kept secret with me!
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