Welcome to Blog Two of my mammoth 10 day trip from Perth to Broome. I decided to split the telling of this epic tale into two blogs – because there’s just so much to share!
Western Australia is huge and littered with phenomenal natural beauties along its azure blue coastline and across its red dirt outback.Â If you weren’t there for the first five days of the adventure then you’ve already missed limestone formations, abseiling into gorges, swimming with manta rays, star gazing and a whole heap of kilometres covered from Perth to Exmouth.
So, let’s re-buckle those seat belts and continue the drive where we left off: camping at Yardie Creek Homestead, about 50 kilometres outside of Exmouth, WA.
We spent the morning snorkelling at the breath taking Turquoise Bay in Cape Range National Park. We borrowed the equipment from the reception at Yardie Creek campsite.
It’s not hard to see how Turquoise Bay gets its name as the white sands and brilliant azure water are stunningly beautiful. Here the reef is just off the beach and I saw an octopus hiding in a hole in the coral plus hundreds of pretty fish of all colours and varieties.
After a lunch stop we got on the road for the drive up to Karijini National Park, where we stayed the night at the Karijini Eco Resort.
We explored Joffre Gorge in Karijini National Park by first visiting the waterfall then heading down into the gorge itself.
The rocks were challenging yet fun to climb down – wear a sensible pair of lace up shoes with good grip! – but you can follow a signposted path right down into the bottom of the gorge by clambering down the edge of the gorge. At the bottom we were treated to an amphitheatre-like cavern with beautiful layers in the rocks.
We gladly took a swim through the water in the gorge to cool off.
In the afternoon we visited the mining town of Tom Price about 45 kilometres from the national park to explore the shops and cafes.
This morning we explored Hancock Gorge in Karijini National Park, which included swimming through the bottom of the gorge to an area where the sides of the gorge opened up into a naturally formed amphitheatre.
From here you could test your daring and clambering skills by negotiating the Spider Walk; here the gorge dramatically narrows to a thin crevasse that you can wedge your way through as the water channels under your feet through into a beautiful open air cavern.
We walked down into Weano Gorge, which was filled with vegetation. At this time of year you couldn’t swim in there because there was not enough water, but it was a pretty space to explore nonetheless and compare the differences between the gorges.
We completed the day by venturing into Knox Gorge.
This has a steep and slippery descent but rewards you with an otherworldly place to swim and explore, whilst you admire the sides of the gorge that are made up of layers of rock dating back millions of years.
On our last morning in Karijini National Park we got up at dawn to head to the beautiful Fortescue Falls and Fern Pool for a spot of pre-breakfast swimming.
At Fern Pool there were hundreds of fruit bats in the trees above our heads settling in for a day of snoozing, their squawking piercing the utter stillness of the place.
On the road to Port Headland we stopped at Minjara roadhouse where we posed alongside a giant road train carrying iron ore from nearby mines. In this part of Western Australia it’s not unusual to see road trains of four trailers long.
We had lunch at Port Headland in a park by the ocean. That night we pulled up at Pardoo cattle station, a working farm, where you can stay the night in a donga – a small, tin hut that has proper beds and air conditioning! We cooled off with a swim in the pool and ate a BBQ dinner outside on the communal benches.
On the morning of the last day we were on the road early again and ate breakfast at Sandfire roadhouse. These roadhouses are petrol stations with a cafe, shop and toilets situated in the middle of nowhere.
The long distance truckers, in their high vis shirts and work boots, stop for coffee and a bite to eat. We descended on the shop and decimated the ice cream selection. Sandfire roadhouse is quirky because there are numerous peacocks roaming around, including an albino one.
We then drove the final 318 kms to Broome for lunch by the ocean at Town Beach. Afterwards we explored Gantheaume Point and then headed to Cable Beach for a swim.
As you have guessed from the fact that this trip spans two blog posts it was an absolutely brilliant experience. I spent the next few days in Broome chilling out (although I can’t really say that as it was 80% humidity and about 35 degrees Celsius), watching the sunset (who doesn’t love a sunset?), eating brunch at different places and washing the red dirt off of all of my belongings.
Hints and Tips
- Telstra is the most prominently found network coverage in these rural parts of Western Australia. If you don’t want to lose signal on the road then plan to change your plan to Telstra or at least have a pay as you go SIM handy.
- Pack a fly net (a net that sits over your face) to protect yourself from the flies.
- If you’re going to drive this yourself just make sure you and your vehicle are totally prepped and ready for such vast distances.
- I joined an Intrepid Travel tour group run by Western Exposure, which I would highly recommend. The guide was friendly, down to earth and incredibly knowledgeable and through him I was able to learn a whole lot more about the places I visited rather than simply reading text from a guidebook.
Have you travelled from Perth to Broome (or from Broome to Perth!)? What did you see and do? Was there anything I missed that you recommend?
Where should I go after Broome? Share your thoughts with me!