Roadtrippin in WA...

Submitted: Saturday, Aug 11, 2012 at 23:36
ThreadID: 97380 Views:2566 Replies:8 FollowUps:7
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Hey there peoples!!

Im new to this forum and Ive just purchased my first landcruiser :-) I look forward to many adventures ahead and exploring this awesome country we live in.

In October, i'm looking at doing a 12 day return trip from Perth heading north. Ive never been further than Kalbarri and swimming in the gorges at Karijini is something I've wanted to do for a long long time. So the plan - Day 1 wake up nice and early and burn straight up the Great Northen Hwy straight to Karijini. According to google maps it takes roughly 16 & 1/2 hrs. Would this be fairly acurate? Spent 4 nights in Karijini swimming and seeing the sights. On day 5 pack up and head to Coral bay where we will spend 5 nights there. From the people ive spoken to, they say Coral Bay is much better than Monkey Mia/Sharks Bay. I know I'll definately be doing Monkey Mia/Sharks Bay some other time anyways. Then on day 11 head back south, calling into Canarvon for a night to break up the trip.

Whats peoples thoughts for the duration of stay and driving time we've allowed?? Can anyone suggest any camping grounds to stay at any places and recommend some must see and do activites or adventures?

Cheers and I look forward to reading any replies :-)
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Reply By: jacent - Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 00:57

Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 00:57
I just did pretty much everything you want to do a month ago, I think 5 nights in coral bay is too long, 2 nights would be enough, I was a little dissapointed. there is nothing there apart from real nice beach to relax etc. Monkey mia is great! and so is denham. There is a little place on the way to denham called nanga bay which is an old resort which is worth a stop over. They have three powered sites which are literally on the beach and are absolutely amazing! request one of those! The free camp called whale bone betweennanga bay and denham is good as well as the other one I think it is called fowlers camp?? both free and very nice! You have to register with the ranger before camping but doesnt cost anything, he came around one night we were there and was checking number plates! We stayed at coral bay and they cram so many people into the caravan park that it feels stressful! In denham you should go to Francos perein national park and camp in there! At the entrance they have a compressor station where you let your tyres down and its a sandy track all the way to the top, takes a few hours in 4wd and very sandy in some spots but even rav 4's seemed to get through it.. on the rocks you can scrape fresh oysters.. We would love to camp there next time but we had the caravan on our last trip but will be taking the landcruiser and roof top tent next time and camp in the nat park for a few days! It is amazing! Get all your fuel and groceries from denham..
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Reply By: Wayne's 60 - Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 02:55

Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 02:55
Hi Scottee,

Sounds like a great trip and we can't make comment on your timeline query.

If you are going out to Denham, Monkey Mia and Francios Peron, two MUST DOs are the trip out to Steep Point and some time in the hot tub at the homestead.

Have a great trip.

Wayne & Sally.
AnswerID: 492740

Reply By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 08:05

Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 08:05
Hi Scottee
Timing is not far out. Will you be towing a van? We live in northern suburbs of Perth and our friends live in Tom Price. They do our place to Tom Price in 15 hours. Benno says he sits on about 120 though most of the way. You then have to add about 35 mins to get to Karajini from TP.
Its a great trip and we've done it as you've planned other than stopping at Canarvon. We had intended to stop at the Blowholes but in the end we carried onto Kalbarri to give us an extra night there.
Personally we love Coral Bay but I would agree with the other member it can be a bit of a fish tin at times as they really do cram you in. Fortunately for us it has always been about the company we've been in. I'd probably also recommend having less time at Coral Bay and then think about grabbing sometime further south. Again, we've not stayed at Nanga Bay but one of my best mates other half likes to camp there all the time so it must be ok. It is a shame you don't have a bit more time as we'd highly recommend Millstream, which is slightly more north of Karajini. That was our only other difference to your trip as we went from Karajini to Millstream to Coral Bay.
Have a great time.
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Follow Up By: RodnSue - Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 10:27

Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 10:27
Hi Scottee
I recommend all the above suggestions including Francois Peron NP.
You’ll love Karijini NP. The average temps are 35* during the day in Oct.

Do you like snorkelling? We stayed 3 nights in Coral Bay August 2011 & had our own snorkelling gear. It’s a great place to relax & unwind.
The coral wasn’t too bad near the beach, but is so much better > 100 mtrs out where the waves break over the reef if you’re a strong enough & confident swimmer.
The 2 hr boat / reef tour we went on took us out to this area & the coral & fish are simply stunning.
Another great area for snorkelling is near the Blowholes 100kms north of Carnarvon. The “aquarium” as it’s called is a protected area of shallow depth that has lots of coral & reef fish as well. The camping there is relatively cheap & very basic.

I hope you have a great time & from all the suggestions you’ll receive you’ll have trouble deciding what to do.
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Follow Up By: RodnSue - Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 10:29

Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 10:29
oops, my apologies Phil & Scottee, this should have gone into the "reply"
Sue :-)
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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 11:52

Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 11:52
just a tip at Coral Bay-the coral is better 50-100 meters out but DONT swim out to where the waves break!
Its 2 km and you'd cross 2 boating channels plus a fair bit of current
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Reply By: member - mazcan - Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 11:40

Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 11:40
hi scottee
sounds about right time wise and agree 2 days at coral bay is enough but dont think it will be as crowded in october as it is earlier because the oldies have usually gone back south by then as it hotting up
millstream is nice but doesnt take long to see whats there
be aware that the water in the karajini gorges is very cold and even at that time of the year because your body is hot
so its very easy to get cramp or even hyperthermia in a short time depending on which pools you go in some are quiet deep so never warm up
some are shaded most of the day

AnswerID: 492764

Reply By: Member - nick b - Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 22:49

Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 22:49
Scottee : If your going as far as coral day ( 5 night ?) you might as well go to exmouth & ningaloo reef it's twice as good and a lot more thing to do .

100k's south of coral day is Warroora station stay a very nice spot but is bush camping and must have chemical toilet.


so many nice places to see !!

Monkey Mia/Sharks Bay over rated IMO

Have you had a look at some of the blogs on this site regards to this subject ?

cheers nick
Cheers Nick b

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AnswerID: 492793

Follow Up By: Scottee B - Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 23:37

Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 23:37
Hi Nick,

Thanks for your reply mate!! Im only new to this site but I'll try and find these blogs you speak of.. Was thinking about Exmouth but there is that many places to check out I figured I'll be back there sooner rather than later.. I've just heard really good reports about Coral Bay. But maybe leave Coral Bay for another time and hit up Exmouth for 5 nights sounds like a good idea!!! Im taking my partner who is new to camping so I'll be leaving the bush camping this time around and just gonna stay a camping grounds...

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Reply By: Scottee B - Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 23:58

Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 at 23:58
Hey Guys n Gals!!

Thanks heaps for all your replies :-) im still getting used to how this forum works so bare with me.. Was hoping it would show all of the replies when I wanted to reply so I could cross reference some things that was mentioned but looks like that doesnt happen!!

So after reading everyones replies the main impression I got was Coral Bay is cool, but there is alot of better places to go check out. I spoke to a couple of the camping grounds in Coral Bay and they said that time of the year wont require pre booking so hopefully it shouldnt be too busy. Basically all we are wanting to do is relax, swim, fish, see some awesome county side and meet some nice people. We are planning on staying in caravan/camping grounds and not bush camping it this time as my partner is new to camping so just starting off easy.

So the plan was to spend 12 days roadtrippin and on the 1st day burn straight up from Perth to Karijini, but after some discussion we think that 16/17 hrs driving on the 1st day is pretty hardcore and we might stop off at a roadhouse somewhere along the Great Northern Hwy for a night to break up the drive. Is there anywhere along the way to stop that wont be like a scene from Wolfcreek?? Hehe...

Still thinking 4 nights Karijini, but after everyone saying only a couple of night in Coral Bay is required maybe we will just head straight to Exmouth instead.... Hmmmmmm too many places to choose from!!!

Anyways I'll check out the blogs and explore this forum more to see what is said :-)

Many thanks for all your replies!!

AnswerID: 492796

Follow Up By: jacent - Thursday, Aug 16, 2012 at 02:24

Thursday, Aug 16, 2012 at 02:24
he he he head on a stick! Will you be driving an xf falcon?
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Follow Up By: Scottee B - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 09:40

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 09:40
Hi there Jacent...

Mate I cant remember the last time I saw an XF falcon on the road!! 10 years ago they were everywhere!! Nah mate i'll be in a Landcruiser...
FollowupID: 768640

Reply By: wazza200571 - Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 12:01

Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 12:01
Yep... Awesome trip you've got coming up!
You can't really go wrong on the route youre travelling! I did a similar trip about 2 years ago, but in reverse. Up the coast, and down the inland road. My stops were (No. of nights) ... Murchison River (1), Red Bluff (2), Exmouth (1) camping out near Yardys Creek (3), Karratha (3) Dampier Peninsula pass the Jump Up (3), Karijini (2), Newman (3) Walga Rock near Cue (aboriginal drawings) (1).
All up about 6000 km in my petrol/gas 60 series. Only car problem was a flat tyre on the last night! I spent time in the major centres mainly to catch up with some old friends.
Highlights, and there were many, were camping out near Yardys Creek, Karijini, and exploring around Newman with a Geoligist mate who knows it very well.
AnswerID: 492814

Follow Up By: wazza200571 - Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 12:04

Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 12:04
Oh, and the Dampier Peninsula. Any Q's, let me know...
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Reply By: Member - Cash (WA) - Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 21:36

Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 21:36
Good on you Scottee, get out there!

Great Northern Highway is very busy, and at times slower, with all the mega loads heading North. You may find it hard to achieve a straight up trip to Karijini without a break. I'd suggest an overnight free camp stop at Bilyuin Pool some 80km north of Meekatharra. It's well off the road and real peaceful. Details are on this website.
Slow it down and have some fun, Cash.
AnswerID: 492851

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