Trekking north and south

It’s a vast State and there’s just so much to see. These itin­er­ar­ies break things up into man­age­able bites.

North West Telegraph - - Lifestyle - Stephen Scour­field


Most West Aussies will plan to take three driv­ing days to cover about 2400km to Broome.

Day 1. This is the 900km from the metro area to Carnar­von. Stay the night.

Day 2. This is 870km from Carnar­von to Port Hed­land.

Day 3. This is an easy day of 600km to Broome or carry on 220km to Derby, to re­group for the Gibb River Road.

For driv­ers stick­ing to the bi­tu­men of High­way 1, driv­ing from Broome to Ku­nunurra is 1040km.


Trav­ellers are of­ten drawn to Mount Mag­net. Many find the the in­land at­trac­tive, and it’s a good first day’s drive from Perth.

So if you’re head­ing north on Great North­ern High­way, you’ll quickly be free of the Wheat­belt af­ter Wu­bin, break­ing out of the eu­ca­lypts and into mulga.

From there, it’s Paynes Find, Mount Mag­net, Cue and Meekatharra.

Sec­ond night is in Newman, af­ter an­other straight­for­ward drive.


This com­bines the coast and in­land to reach Broome. Named for the warlu, or sea ser­pent of Abo­rig­i­nal be­lief, the Warlu Way links five Nin­ga­loo Reef, Kar­i­jini Na­tional Park, Bur­rup Peninsula, Broome and Mill­stream Chich­ester Na­tional Park. This 2480km route is from Ex­mouth to Parabur­doo, Tom Price, Kar­i­jini Na­tional Park, Mill­stream Chich­ester Na­tional Park, Port Hed­land, the Bur­rup Peninsula, Eighty Mile Beach and Broome.

It fol­lows a song­line link­ing coast to coun­try.


This is the Kim­ber­ley, com­plete with all the ad­ven­ture of an an­cient land.

In the 1980s, it felt like a big, self-suf­fi­cient un­der­tak­ing. Things are dif­fer­ent now. Even in the Kim­ber­ley you can stay in ac­com­mo­da­tion every night — most of it very good.

But, of course, take water, first aid kit, two spare wheels and tyre plugs. Start on the bi­tu­men from Broome along Great North­ern High­way, over the Fitzroy River at Wil­lare Bridge and then turn east to Fitzroy Cross­ing, Halls Creek, and War­mun. If you’re in a four-wheel-drive, duck down the track to Pur­nu­l­ulu Na­tional Park.

Back on the main road, con­tinue on Great North­ern and then turn onto Vic­to­ria High­way to Ku­nunurra. That’s the bot­tom half of the loop com­plete.

Af­ter leav­ing Ku­nunurra, visit Wyn­d­ham, then set off to do the top half of the loop, along the Gibb River Road.

Run­ning east-west across the Kim­ber­ley, the Gibb River Road cov­ers 703km be­tween Derby and Ku­nunurra.

When it was opened as a beef road in the early 1960s, it was only re­ally used by Kim­ber­ley pas­toral­ists and Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties.

Less than 30 years ago, driv­ing the length of it over a cou­ple of weeks, you would have counted passing ve­hi­cles on both hands.

The east end of the road, un­der the gaze of the Cock­burn Range, is sealed as far as El Que­stro Wilder­ness Park — stay there or at Emma Gorge Re­sort or cross over the Pen­te­cost River to Home Val­ley Sta­tion.

Then, it’s on to El­len­brae Sta­tion, Mt El­iz­a­beth Sta­tion, half­way along the Gibb River Road, past Imintji, with nearby Bell Gorge and Mt Hart Wilder­ness Lodge and Mornington Wildlife Sanc­tu­ary.

There’s a de­tour off the Gibb River Road to visit Wind­jana Gorge but you’ll still fin­ish up in Derby. Driv­ing the bi­tu­men back to Broome com­pletes the lap.


Cut across south-east, di­ag­o­nally through the Wheat­belt, per­haps Lake Grace and Lake King, to Esperance, with beaches so white you need sun­nies, so clean they squeak un­der your feet and so empty you might feel lonely.

The water is spec­tac­u­lar for its sparkling turquoise colour.

Out there are al­most 100 is­lands in the Recherche Ar­chi­pel­ago. Cape Le Grand Na­tional Park has panoramic views of the ocean from French­man’s Peak.


This big road trip

links Perth to Esperance in a big loop through Bun­bury, Mar­garet River re­gion, Nan­nup, Pem­ber­ton, Man­jimup, Walpole, Den­mark, Al­bany, Hopetoun, Esperance, Wave Rock at Hy­den, (or Kal­go­or­lie) and back to Perth.

On good roads, it’s suit­able for all ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing car­a­vans.

Al­low two weeks, or fol­low this 11-day sug­ges­tion:

Day 1. Perth to Bun­bury. Per­haps through Har­vey and Dar­danup, and Gnomesville in the Ferguson Val­ley. In Bun­bury, visit the Dol­phin Dis­cov­ery Cen­tre.

Days 2 and 3. Mar­garet River re­gion. Through Bus­sel­ton, vis­it­ing its jetty, to Duns­bor­ough, Cape Nat­u­ral­iste Light­house, Bunker Bay and Yallingup.

Head on down Caves Road to Au­gusta and Cape Leeuwin Light­house.

Day 4. Mar­garet River to Pem­ber­ton. Drive through the old tim­ber town of Nan­nup, to Pem­ber­ton. Visit Un­der­story, the “art in na­ture” walk trail in the for­est at North­cliffe.

Day 5. Pem­ber­ton to Den­mark. Drive to Walpole, and visit the Val­ley of the Giants Tree Top Walk, 40m above the ground.

Per­haps stop at Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks in Wil­liam Bay Na­tional Park on the way to Den­mark.

Day 6. Den­mark to Al­bany. Take the scenic Lower Den­mark Road through Tor­bay and Cosy Cor­ner. Head out to Mid­dle­ton Beach and also to Torndirrup Na­tional Park, The Gap and Nat­u­ral Bridge.

Day 7. Al­bany to Hopetoun. This is a longer drive day, through Porongu­rup Na­tional Park, with its Gran­ite Sky­walk, and the Porongu­rup Range, and along Ch­ester Pass Road to Stir­ling Range Na­tional Park, and Raven­sthorpe to the coastal town of Hopetoun.

Day 8. Hopetoun to Esperance. Fitzger­ald River Na­tional Park is one of the most botan­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant na­tional parks in Aus­tralia. There are more than 1800 species of plants and 200 of birds.

Day 9. Esperance. Esperance is also fa­mous for its kan­ga­roos on the beach at Lucky Bay in Cape Le Grand Na­tional Park, 40 min­utes from town.

Days 10 and 11. Re­turn to Perth. There are two op­tions. The first is a 700km trip through Hy­den, where you will find Wave Rock and good ac­com­mo­da­tion. Then per­haps drive back along the Tin Horse High­way to Kulin be­fore head­ing through Cor­ri­gin and York to Perth.

The other op­tion is to head north through Norse­man and Cool­gar­die to Kal­go­or­lie-Boul­der.

Antony Gorm­ley’s 51 In­side Aus­tralia sculp­tures in the salt lake at Lake Bal­lard are a 90minute drive north of Kal­go­or­lie.

Day 11. Set off early to drive 600km from Kal­go­or­lie back to Perth.


This loop is a ter­rific drive through the State’s unique mulga coun­try.

Perth to Paynes Find on Great North­ern High­way, then head north-east to Sand­stone on gravel, across to Le­in­ster and back down the bi­tu­men to Men­zies.

Then take the “back roads” to South­ern Cross.


This gives a var­ied road trip to Mt Au­gus­tus.

Fol­low the coastal high­way to Carnar­von then turn east to Gas­coyne Junc­tion (stop­ping off at the Kennedy Range, on gravel roads).

From Gas­coyne Junc­tion, there are gravel roads to Mt Au­gus­tus.

Take the Carnar­von Mullewa Road (locals still call it the Murchi­son Road­house road) past Murchi­son Set­tle­ment to Mullewa. Then it’s main roads all the way home.

Pic­tures: Tourism Western Aus­tralia Quoin Head.

4WD touring in the Kennedy Range Na­tional Park.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.