The best attractions in North WA for your Western Australia Roundtrip
These are the best attraction for North WA, check out my other post for natural attractions near Perth.
Our road trip consisted of a full 2 weeks exploring North WA. These are the places that my partner, Nic and I stopped at. You can either make it a road trip of your own or if you’re close by, a day trip could even be possible.
The first stop of our adventure was The Pinnacles. They are limestone formations within Nambung National Park, near the town of Cervantes. I personally found it fascinating that these pieces of rock just randomly all grew together. It was a weird experience. The tourist attraction is readily made for cars to drive through, therefore creating a nice relaxing experience where you can stop to take photos and experience the land in your own way. If your car isn’t suited for a bit of a bumpy ride, then there is a car park situated near the entrance and you can make your way on foot.
Entrance Fee: $13.00 per passenger vehicle
Closest town: Cervantes, a small coastal town with a general store.
Fuel: Cervantes Petrol Station and Liberty Petrol Cervantes.
Camping: We didn’t camp here, but in Jurian Bay (Sandy Cape, check below). If you were, however, to camp here before heading the Pinnacles, there is RAC Cervantes Holiday Park, but it will cost a hefty $36 per person for an unpowered site.
Facilities: A pool, toilets, camp kitchen, BBQ areas and single car spot (RAC Holiday park)
Sandy Cape is around 2 1/2 hours from Perth, making it the perfect first night stop on your Northern Roadtrip. You can camp right on the beach front, although don’t expect to be able to see the ocean unless you climb over a small sand dune, speaking of which, surfing the sand dunes is a common activity around here. Unfortunately, we were unable to participate due to Nic hurting his foot the day before.
Closest town: Jurien Bay is a small seaside resort town devoted to recreational fishing, tourism and professional cray fishing.
Fuel: Caltex and BP in Jurian Bay Town.
Camping: Sandy Cape Recreation park. If you drive past the town, there is little to see but a sign guiding you to the recreational camping spot. It has beautiful pristine white beaches and crystal clear blue water and some nice sand dunes.
Facilities: A south and north end camping spot. There is toilet’s, barbecue’s, and even a little shop to get ice, hot food and coffee.
Cost: $20 per night per campsite for up to 2 adults and 2 children
After heading inland for a bit, away from the coast, we found Ellendale Pool. The scenery along the way was spectacular, never-ending nature and hills. It actually reminded me of Wales in the United Kindom. If you’re lucky enough to get a spot next to the water, you can gaze across and look up to a red tinded cliff. You can swim, canoe or climb up to the rock peak where the creek flows into the pool. Also note, that if the water temperature is too high, it is not advised to swim due to the water causing meningitis. My advice, if you still want to swim, just keep your head above the water, away from your nose and mouth.
Entrance fee: Free
Closest town: Geraldton (45km south-east)
Fuel: We found a fuel station on the way to Geraldton. If not, Geraldton has many to pick from.
Camping: You can camp right here.
Facilities: Bqq areas, swimming, toilets.
Cost: If I remember correctly, it was around $10 pp for the night.
Hutt Lagoon (Pink Lake)
Nic and I stocked up on food in Geraldton and headed for Shark Bay. On the way, we stopped off at Port Gregory and found this pink lake called Hutt Lagoon. As far as I know, the high level in salinity gives the lagoon its colour and vibrancy changes. The best time to visit is in the morning and mid-day.
Entrance Fee: Free to Hutt Lagoon
Closest town: The Fishing village of Port Gregory.
Fuel: Caravan Park in Port Gegrory sells fuel.
Camping: You can camp at Port Gregory if you wish at Port Gregory Caravan Park. We personally camped for free at an overnight spot on our way to Shark Bay.
Facilities: Port Gregory Caravan Park has toilets and a general store.
Cost: Fee is $35 / night per couple for powered sites only, additional adults at $10, children $5. Our 24-hour camping spot was free.
Kalbarri National Park
Our first National park on our North WA trip was Kalbarri. There are two main activities, one Nature’s window and the other the Z-bend lookout. We were personally unprepared, so we only chose to do the Z-bend lookout but my advice now would be to go to Nature’s window too. On the Z-bend, you can see the beautiful gorge from two directions as you’re situated right in between it. A stunning experience. Take a picnic and enjoy the scenery.
Entry Fee: $13 per vehicle
Closest town: Kalbarri
Fuel: A few fuel stations situated in Kalbarri.
Camping: We camped at an overnight rest stop but if you wanted to camp at Kalbarri there are options. Check them out here.
Facilities: Picnic tables.
Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay & Shell Beach
I’ve put these into 3 because we visited them all in one day and they’re all worth seeing. Hamelin Pool is where the stromatolites are situated, a strong relationship between aboriginals and these off shaped rocks sticking up out of the ground. If you’re into history, this would be a nice morning walk for you. Shell beach, well, it’s a beach full of shells, what more is there to say! Shark Bay, is just the area in which you are surrounded by. I believe there are activities where you can go feed the sharks but I was personally uninterested in this.
Entrance Fee: Free
Closest town: Denham a cute seaside village, with a tourist centre, a few bars, a bakery, fuel station and a small convenience store.
Fuel: A small fuel station situated in the town of Denham.
Camping: There are a few camping spots, but we chose Fowlers Camp. We managed to get a spot right up next to the ocean. Please be careful when parking your vehicle, don’t park on any of the vegetation because it is causing it to die.
Facilities: No real facilities here apart from the natural attraction of the ocean.
Cost: Buy your camping permit at the Denham tourist centre (Visitor information centre) $15 per vehicle, which can be used across all 4 sites.
This is one of my favourite places on earth. It has been completely touristified but my very close encounter with dolphins was incredible that I didn’t care what was surrounding me. Monkey Mia has been made into a tourist park, with a bar, a restaurant and set times to feed the dolphins. I was lucky enough to be able to almost touch the dolphins as they played naturally around me but there are set times. We shouldn’t touch them because it can create fear in these innocent little creates, nor should we feed them. If you go, you will understand. Just respect that they are wildlife, they will play around you in the water if you’re lucky. If not, there are controlled feedings in the mornings.
Entrance fee: $15.00 per adult
Closest town: Denham. Same as above.
Fuel: Same as above.
Camping: There are powered and unpowered sites at Monkey Mia. We chose the unpowered on a nice lot of grass, only minutes walk to the ocean and wild dolphins.
Facilities: Pub, restaurant, toilets, hot showers, swimming pool, kayaking, tourist shop.
Cost: £35 for two adults per night.
Have you ever seen a blowhole? Well, I hadn’t, and I seemed to turn into a small young girl giggling my head off. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t that funny but that was the way they made me feel because they were so cool. We made this a pit stop, a long drive pitstop but worth it nonetheless.
Entrance Fee: Free
Closest Town: Carnavon, has a grocery store and other amenities if you need them.
Fuel: Carnavon has a few stations to pick from.
Camping: I believe we carried on driving past Carnarvon and the blowholes to find a 24-hour rest stop to camp at before we ventured to Coral Bay the next day.
Facilities: None. 24-hour rest stops usually have bins and long drop toilets.
Coral Bay (Ningaloo Reef)
This wasn’t my most favourable stop on our trip but was worth it! We actually went snorkelling and saw all the beautiful coral on the Ningaloo Reef. It was spectacular. Be warned, coral cuts and hurts so badly. The only reason I wouldn’t recommend coral Bay is that it really is a tourist seaside town. The beach is stunning, the reef is gorgeous but ones you’ve seen it, it’s just a town. A friend has said that she experienced seeing whales there but for us, we only saw fish.
Entrance Fee: Free
Closest town: Coral Bay is a town.
Fuel: Just outside Coral Bay, there is an old fuel station but be warned, the prices are crazy.
Camping: We camped at a 24-hour rest stop but you can camp at Coral Bay but if you were going to camp, I’d highly recommend the Ningaloo reef campsite.
Facilities: Shop, showers, fuel station (expensive), gift shops. (In our 24 hour stop, just a toilet)
Cost: It highly depends on the season, check it out here.
Millstream Chichester National Park, Deep reach Pool
This wasn’t a planned trip on our adventure, but we discovered it somehow along the way. I’d recommend taking a lot of fuel, and other supplies (water) because it’s quite far inland. I’d also recommend a 4×4 because the terrain is difficult to drive on.
Once we arrive in Millstream National Park, we were surrounded by the most beautiful scenery, the road takes you past and through the train lines with beautiful organic hills surrounding you. Once you arrive at a sign stating Python Pool or Deep Reach Pool, you want to head to deep reach first because it’s far inland and you’ll need time to drive. The road will end and the bumpy track that will take you towards the only campsite will start. Before you arrive at one of the few campsites, you’ll find deep reach pool. It reminded me off a Tarzan movie. It was so picturesque. Make sure to visit the viewpoint as well.
Entrance fee: $13 per car, $7 for seniors and $7 for motorbikes. Day entry passes are available at park entry points.
Closest Town: Roebourne, a former gold rush town in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
Fuel: If coming from the coastline (west side) there is a fuel station just before you enter the park.
Camping: Stargazers campground (rustic camping, minimal facilities) and Miliyanha. (Not at Python poo)
Facilities: On-site kitchen, toilets, swimming. Bqq facilities at Deep Reach Pool day area.
Cost: $12 each pp/per night.
Millstream National Park, Python Pool
I would recommend camping at one of the camp spots and the following day visit Python Pool. It is a popular, deep swimming hole amidst rock formations close to Roebourne-Wittenoom Road. The drive to Python Pool is somewhat spectacular, in fact, we had to stop just to take in the scenery. We felt as if we were on top of the world, seeing how the landforms into hills and the beautiful colourful plants and flowers. After, we arrived at the Python pool. From the car park, it is 200m return. They state there are bbq facilities but I couldn’t see them.
Closest Town: Same as above.
Fuel: Same as above.
Camping: Same as above. No camping at Python Pool.
Facilities: a cabin toilet.
Cost: Camping cost above.
Entrance fee: (Same as above) $13 per car, $7 for seniors and $7 for motorbikes. Day entry passes are available at park entry points.
Eighty Mile Beach
So, our original plan was to go to Eighty-mile beach but we actually found that the end of the west side was so beautiful that it was enough for us. Cape Keraudren is a Coastal Reserve located around 170kms north of Port Hedland on the Great Northern Highway. It is basically a campsite right on the ocean tip. We found there were two spots to pick from, one along the beach and another alongside cliffs (p.s both hugely romantic as the sun began to set!). The cliffs overlooked the ocean, stunning mangroves and what looked like a tropical forest.
Entrance fee: Vehicle entry $12.00. More information here.
Closest Town: Port Hedland, which has all your normal amenities.
Fuel: Port Hedland has many to pick from.
Camping: Cape Keraudren, two spots to pick from
Facilities: swimming, toilets, wifi.
Cost: $10.00 per adult per night.
Karajini National Park (Dales Gorge)
We personally visited four different areas in Karajini. Fern Pool, Fortescue Falls and Circular Pool can all be visited in one day, but more than one if you fancy it. All of which are located within Dales Gorge, on the eastern side.
Nic and I visited Circular Pool first because it was located closest to the campsite and we could walk without packing up the Troopy. Circular Pool is a 2 hours return, around 800 meters. This walk includes steep and hard terrain and obstacles but is completely worth it. My health wasn’t at its prime but I made it. The water is cold due to no sun getting to it, but the scenery is fascinating as it’s almost cradled in the gorge’s edge.
We made the rough walk to Fortescue falls through the gorge but there is an easier way to get there. Some steps leading from the car park will take you directly to the falls. We chose the walk because we were feeling adventurous and it was so worth it. We experienced so much beauty and, honestly, pure fun adventuring across the terrain. Once we arrive, we saw beautiful waterfalls and vertical rocks we could sit and sunbathe until swimming in the natural pool.
A short distance from Fortescue falls, you will find the Fern pool. A stunning swimming hole with a natural waterfall where you can actually go underneath and sit on the smooth rocks. I found this the most surreal experience in Karajini, one of pure happiness where the whole world almost stopped.
Karajini National park (Hancock Gorge)
A short hourly drive took us to this other location in Karjini. We chose one last adventure before the descend back to Perth because we were becoming increasingly tired.
The Hancock Gorge is described as a walk to the centre of the earth. From the car park, you head towards a narrow gorge. Manmade steps and ladders are provided where the vertical drops are too much, then you find yourself adventuring across the stunning red terrain, to find yourself knee deep in water. You can swim (like me), climb around (like Nic) or even walk through it. You will then find yourself in the amphitheatre, then the spider walk, where you walk through a very narrow bit. Most people try to walk like a ‘spider’ or you can stumble your way through it on the ground. After the spider walk, you find yourself in Kermit pool. Kermits Pool is like a picturesque dream.
Entrance fee: Day Pass: $13 per car, $7 for seniors and $7 for motorbikes. Day entry passes are available at park entry points.
Closest Town: Port Hedland, which has all your normal amenities. Dependant on your direction there are a few other towns surrounding Karajini.
Fuel: Port Hedland has many to pick from. There are also a few fuel stations located at the entry points into Karajini. Make sure you have plenty of fuel before you head in.
Camping: Dales Gorge campground or Eco-friendly campground. We chose to stay in the normal one, as it was cheaper. Dales Gorge campground has many different spots to pick from, all with long drop toilets.
Facilities: swimming, toilets.
Cost: $11 adult per night.
So that was our North WA trip, 18 places squeezed into just 2 weeks. We personally made our way back to Perth, but you could always extend your visit up to Broome, or even all the way to Darwin. Enjoy x