Karijini and Coral Bay- 9 Days From Perth?

Submitted: Monday, Jul 03, 2017 at 14:18
ThreadID: 135193 Views:2747 Replies:5 FollowUps:7
This Thread has been Archived

I'm just wondering how this itinerary sounds to anyone who's done similar before:

We (me, wife and two young kids) plan to go to up North for 9 days and thought we'd go to Karijini and somewhere else too. After reading in various places that three days is ample for Karijini, I thought we'd look at including Coral Bay too.

I have 10 days off work, so would plan on leaving very early on a Friday with the intention of stopping in Meekatharra (or anywhere else suitable) for the night, arriving in Karijini mid afternoon on Saturday.

This would allow us the Saturday afternoon plus three full days in Karijini, leaving on Wednesday for Coral Bay (which I'm aware is pretty much a full day's drive away). Thursday and Friday would be two full days in Coral Bay, before leaving Saturday morning for the (long) drive back to Perth. Unfortunately we need to be back in Perth for Sunday afternoon, so can't stay any longer.

This sounds ok to me, albeit with a bloody long drive back to Perth on the last day, does anyone see any problems with this?

I'm also wondering if it would be worth leaving Perth on Thursday afternoon at around 2pm in order to get to Meekatharra for around 11pm on that day, instead of driving all day on Friday, therefore giving us an extra day. I don't know what this sounds like in terms of wildlife (kangaroos, cattle, etc. regarding driving through that area at night though).

Any advice appreciated.


Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: rocco2010 - Monday, Jul 03, 2017 at 14:41

Monday, Jul 03, 2017 at 14:41
I was up that way a week or so ago. The itinerary looks doable though Coral Bay to Perth in one hit will be a stretch. It's around 1100km. Way too much for me.
I am a cautious person and would not drive the Great Northern Highway either side of Meekatharra at night.
Conditions vary from year to year but at different times I have seen it a wedgetail eagle buffet as they dine on the overnight roo kill.
Not so many roos this time but enough dead cattle to make you think.
Enjoy it, it is a great part of the world.
AnswerID: 612297

Reply By: Neil & Pauline - Monday, Jul 03, 2017 at 15:30

Monday, Jul 03, 2017 at 15:30
You get a look at Karijini in 2 days but would not see too much. There are 6 Gorges and information centre, so even half a day each is over 3 days and that would be a quick look.
I would just do Karijini going up via Great Northern Hwy and back the coast road and enjoy the trip.
Next time go to Coal Bay, Exmouth etc.

AnswerID: 612300

Reply By: Joe Fury - Monday, Jul 03, 2017 at 19:27

Monday, Jul 03, 2017 at 19:27
G'day Donlogan
Karijini and Coral Bay during the school holidays is a big ask, more so the Coral Bay part of the adventure, especially if you have not booked accommodation, Karijini can be taxing too as the official camp grounds are well patronized.

If you are looking to stay somewhere other than Meekatharra (the town) give consideration to camping/staying overnight at the Karalundi, yes it's a mission/educational centre but it is an excellent place to stay even for a couple of days.

Yes the GNHighway is super dangerous in the late part of the day and dicey at night, not only are there Cattle, Roo's and other animals to contend with but the roadtrain traffic is relentless.

I've only just completed the journey from Perth to Newman three days ago ~ there's a swag of road works underway south of Dalwallinu just to keep you occupied too.

Safe travels : Joe
AnswerID: 612304

Follow Up By: Dean K3 - Monday, Jul 03, 2017 at 19:57

Monday, Jul 03, 2017 at 19:57
Footnote Gt Northern Hwy is still closed and will be for few days as result of that incident south of Pt Hedland north of auski r/house
FollowupID: 882528

Reply By: Dean K3 - Monday, Jul 03, 2017 at 20:04

Monday, Jul 03, 2017 at 20:04
To me 9 days to do that is pushing the limits.

Driving at night is recipe for disaster wandering cattle roos goats you name it they love hitting the roads at night. Fatigue management is major issue we already have two teenagers who have lost both their parents in a tragic accident south of pt hedland - try pulling in the distances you referring to and you may end up being the next statistic, no winners period

school holidays is peak period for anywhere up north especially the coast you be lucky to get in if your planning to go in the next 3-4 week period. If your kids aren't school age better to plan it during the quieter period.

AnswerID: 612306

Reply By: Donlogan - Tuesday, Jul 04, 2017 at 17:53

Tuesday, Jul 04, 2017 at 17:53
Thanks for the replies. Yes, I did think that 9 days would be rushing for all that. I think we're going to look at heading straight to Exmouth via a night in Geralton and spending the time around there, returning via Kalbarri. I think Karijini will have to wait until next year...
AnswerID: 612331

Follow Up By: Dean K3 - Wednesday, Jul 05, 2017 at 16:52

Wednesday, Jul 05, 2017 at 16:52
Smart move i'd still suggest splitting up a few overnight spot north of geraldton -stop there are your still closer to perth than exmouth.

Camping "per say" at 24hr main roads stop now deemed illegal so if towing camper trailer or van be ok.

Nerren Nerren and Galena both make good stop overs both have eco loos and grey water disposal for the port-a-loo

Just remember never park up and stay at any designated truck bays they strictly for trucks (read semi double b etc) recently a group of caravans (grey nomads ?) who decided to stop and stay overnight were fined and told to move by police after a truckie made a complaint as they were blocking his allocated parking area
FollowupID: 882589

Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 15:39

Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 15:39
The other thing to do in the "vicinity" of Karijini is the Millstream-Chichester National Park, especially Deep Reach Pool, which has a great campsite almost no-one visits that your kids will love.

If you don't do Millstream, at least enjoy the drive from Tom Price to Paraburdoo, especially when there are shadows falling on the ranges in the morning or late afternoon. It really is one of the great drives of the world.

Leave Coral Bay for another trip, when you can spend your whole 9 days there.

There's heaps of good campsites on the way back for you to enjoy a relaxed journey home over 2 or 3 days.

And yes, I agree about not driving at night on GNH either side of Meeka. A good mate recently drove a road-train up there and hit 11 roos and pulled off for the night after a near-miss with a black bull.

But there's no reason why you shouldn't get a couple of hours up the track on the Thursday. There's nice little caravan parks at Moora and Dalwallinu and a good camp site at the Walebing Nature Reserve 15 or 20km north of New Norcia (after you stop in the bakery of course!).

FollowupID: 882615

Follow Up By: rocco2010 - Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 19:23

Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 19:23
Just an update on Millstream. Was there week or so ago and you cannot camp at Deep Reach Pool. Maybe in the past, not now.

People travelling from Karijini to Millstream should get a permit to travel the Hammersly Iron road along the railway.

Enquire at Tom Price visitor centre or can be done on line. It's a great drive.

FollowupID: 882619

Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 19:27

Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 19:27
'...you cannot camp at Deep Reach Pool. Maybe in the past, not now." What a bummer! It was one of my favourite spots in the Pilbara.
FollowupID: 882620

Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 19:34

Thursday, Jul 06, 2017 at 19:34
Same with New Norcia Bakery - closed to public.

You can still get New Norcia bread from the New Norcia museum/gift shop and also New Norcia Roadhouse.

Commercial bakery has taken over the old bakery ovens and still makes artisan bread on site (believe it could be Mias Bakeries). They also have another wood fired oven in Perth and market it as New Norcia Bakeries.

Still great artisan breads though. Sour dough and Fruit Loaf are superb.


FollowupID: 882621

Follow Up By: gerard m2 - Friday, Jul 07, 2017 at 07:02

Friday, Jul 07, 2017 at 07:02
We've done the trip to Coral Bay twice in the last year and have over nighted in Carnarvon once and gone straight through from Perth on the other occasion, with regular driver changes etc. We weren't towing anything so perhaps a little easier - but as others have mentioned there are over night stops at Galena and Nerren.
FollowupID: 882634

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (9)