If you’ve been thinking about the most awesome possible campervan road trip from Perth, then we have you covered. The Coral Coast Drive is the best choice you could possible make! Seriously, we’ve done it ourselves!
You are about to have a vacation of a lifetime! Approximately 800 miles long, it usually takes around 7-10 days to complete and one of the best campervan journeys in Australia. Here is our variant of a day-to-day itinerary and some must-visit spots that you just can’t miss,
Day One - Two: Perth to Geraldton
We recommend you hire a campervan in Perth and head to the north. Being a much larger city, compared to Exmouth, Perth offers a vast campervan rental choice. So, hiring your house on wheels in Perth will be much easier.
The first destination on your route will be Geraldton. It is located about 400 km away from Perth and it will take you around 4, 5 hours to get there. Take the Indian Ocean Drive and visit the multiple coastal towns on your way, such as Cervantes, Dongara, Port Denison, Greenough, etc.
Before you arrive in Geraldton, we definitely recommend you visit the Lobster Shack factory, wander between limestone spires of the Pinnacles Desert, or take a walk on the Thungarra trails in Dongara. If you have time, go sandboarding on the dunes of Dongara or drive to Coalseam Conservation Park for the displays of everlasting windflowers (only available from July to September, though).
In Geraldton, take a nice walk via the city’s Street Art trail or book a historic tour of the city. You can spend the first night in Dongara and the second night in Geraldton.
Day Three - Four: Geraldton to Carnarvon
480 km and around 5 hours away from Geraldton, you will find a famous holiday resort Carnarvon. Located at the foot of Lake Mcleod, the place is a very popular destination among sun-seekers.
While on your way, pay attention to Kalbarri, where you’ll find the Space and Technology Museum and the marvelous Kalbarri National Park. Being a relatively unknown gem of Western Australia, the park boasts a variety of fascinating gorge walks, not to mention numerous other natural attractions.
The city of Carnarvon, on the other hand, is known for its seafood, fresh or dried fruit, and, of course, fruit ice cream. If you plan to stock your campervan with fresh products, Carnarvon is the place to do that.
Don’t deny a nice fresh seafood lunch in one of the local pubs. Drive down to the picturesque One Mile Jetty for great photos. Take a short track to the dock’s end. If you are lucky, you might see sharks and turtles swimming by in the clear ocean waters. In the evening, take a nice walk along The Fascine for the magical sunset panorama and pictures.
You can spend the first night in Kalbarri and the second night in Carnarvon.
Day Five – Six: Carnarvon to Exmouth
On the way from Carnarvon, don’t miss the Shothole Canyon, where you can go bushwalking or just admire the fabulous view. The drive itself is fascinating: flat, vast, and red. The landscape is dotted with termite nests, which look alien and fascinating.
365 km or a 3,5-hour drive away from Carnavon, there lies a cozy little town of Exmouth. Of course, you might not notice its peacefulness and quietness during the tourist season, but it’s still much worth a visit. It is known primarily for the Ningaloo Reef, situated nearby, some great diving spots, and great whale-watching activities. By the way, in some spots, the Ningaloo Reef is just meters away from the shore.
Actually, there is much more to do in Exmouth than you could think of. For example, you can take a glass-bottom boat tour and admire the fascinating coral gardens beneath the surface of the water. Or head to Vlaming Head lighthouse for an unforgettable sunset view.
Other popular activities include snorkeling on the reef, swimming with the whale shark (available from March to July), and turtle spotting. You can book a safari tour or a boat cruise to Cape Range National Park, which boasts deep canyons, fascinating gorges, and limestone ranges.
We recommend spending both nights in Exmouth. And if you hire a campervan in Perth, this will be your turnaround point.
Day Seven – Nine Exmouth to Shark Bay
On the way back south, there are two must-visit destinations, which you can’t miss: Coral Bay and Shark Bay. While Coral Bay is only 2 hours (150 km) away from Exmouth, to get to Shark Bay, you’ll have to drive another 600 km and it can take up to 6,5 hours. But it’s definitely worth it!
Coral Bay is known as the snorkeler’s paradise, boasting warm, calm, clear waters, hundreds of different fish species, and coral reefs, situated only meters away from the shore. If you are not a snorkeling fan, explore the underwater life on a glass-bottom boat tour. Or rent a quad bike and head to the less crowded and more quiet snorkeling spots. You can also spend the night here, in Coral Bay.
We recommend you get up early next morning and head towards the Shark Bay, as the drive will be quite long. Take the Shark Bay World Heritage Drive. Don’t miss the Stromatolites of Hamelin Pool and Shell Beach on your way. For the best ocean views, go to Eagle Bluff and visit its clifftop lookout.
Did you know that Shark Bay is the World Heritage area? Explore the Discovery Center and learn about the area’s history and heritage. Visit the Aquarium, meet Monkey Mia dolphins, or spend the day diving. And after dinner, go on a night tour, look at the stars, and learn about the Indigenous culture of the local tribes – Nhanda and Malgana.
You can spend both nights in Denham or Monkey Mia. Next day, we recommend you visit Dirk Hartog Island, an important historic site of the area. It is the first location of European presence on Australian land ever recorded. In addition, the island is home to some rare wildlife and a major destination for water sports fans. It offers superb snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking opportunities. You can spend the night on the island or go back to Denham. It’s up to you.
Day Ten: Shark Bay to Perth
Come back to Perth, where you hired your campervan. At this point, your trip is over. Of course, if you have more time, you can visit many more places on Coral Coast Drive. Or come back any other time. Australia is a mysterious land, but it is ready to open its secrets to those, who dare!