Travel safety

To ensure you have a safe and enjoyable journey through Western Australia’s Coral Coast read the following road safety information and advice.

Road safety

Road rules
Western Australia’s Coral Coast observes the same driving laws and regulations as the rest of Australia. Vehicles travel on the left-hand side of the road and wearing of seat belts is compulsory for all passengers. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is an offence.

Download (8MB) the "Enjoy our WA Roads" guide by the Mid West Road Safety Alliance

Road closures
Sealed roads are easily accessible, except in case of heavy rains when they could be closed due to flooding. Unsealed roads are more unpredictable and can be closed for during very wet periods. Get an update on local road and weather conditions at Main Roads Western Australia or contact the local visitor centre.

Road trains
Some road trains (giant trucks) are more than 50 metres in length. Take care when overtaking road trains and only do so when you can clearly see the road ahead. Be aware that dust and stones can be kicked up on unsealed roads, obscuring vision and potentially damaging your vehicle.

Watch this video to see how to safely overtake road trains. You need a long straight stretch of road that is clear as far as you can see.

If you are towing a caravan or trailer it is best not to try and overtake at all. Wait for an overtaking lane, where it is safe to do so. Learn more via the "Visitors to WA" Road Safety Commission website.
 
Wandering stock and wildlife

Many cattle stations are unfenced and it is not uncommon to encounter wandering stock and wildlife. Watch out for kangaroos, cows and various other animals, particularly at dawn and dusk, as these are the most dangerous times.

For further information, please contact RoadWise on 08 9213 2066 or visit the Road Safety website.

Multiple languages Road Safety brochure
If you speak French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean or Japanese, download the How to Enjoy Touring in Western Australia (2 page PDF 6 MB)new window brochure which summarises key information  in these languages.

Health and safety

Healthy travelling
Always carry adequate supplies of water and a comprehensive first aid kit. Mosquitoes can carry diseases such as encephalitis and Ross River fever. Use appropriate insect repellents and cover arms and legs with loose clothing, particularly at dawn and dusk. Some areas of the Coral Coast are remote so be sure to take medicines with you.

Bushfire safety
The hot and dry conditions in parts of Western Australia’s Coral Coast mean there is a risk of bushfires. The lighting of fires can be extremely dangerous, care should be taken at all times and a campfire should never be left unattended. Safety information is available from Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia (FESA).

Cyclone safety
Cyclones can affect Western Australia's Coral Coast during the summer months - generally from December to March. Tropical Cyclone Advices are issued on local TV and radio stations whenever a tropical cyclone is expected.

Read tide charts
Before entering the water, take note to see if there are any signs warning of ripe tides.

Please be careful at the following locations:

  • Turquoise Bay (drift snorkeling) in Cape Range National Park, Exmouth
  • The Blowholes  (king waves), Carnarvon
  • Quobba Station (king waves), Carnarvon

If you are undertaking any activity by the water, check the local tide charts, available at visitor centres and service stations.

Sun protection

The sun is almost always shining on Australia's Coral Coast so ensure you're sun smart, particularly between 10:00am and 3:00pm, when UV radiation is most intense. Travellers should always wear a wide brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt, sunglasses and at least an SPF 15+ sunscreen when outdoors. It is also recommended that you drink at least two litres of water each day.

Safety at the Beach

  • Always swim or surf at a beach patrolled by lifesavers
  • Swim between the red and yellow flags, they mark the safest areas to swim
  • Always swim under supervision, or with a friend
  • Read and obey the signs
  • If you are unsure of conditions, ask a lifesaver
  • Don't swim directly after a meal
  • Don't swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Don't run and dive in the water
  • Conditions change regularly; check before you enter the water
  • If you get into trouble in the water, don't panic - signal for help, float and wait for assistance
  • Float with a rip current or undertow, do not swim against it!
Mid West Road Safety Alliance Safe Road Travel Western Australia
Wildlife Stray Animal Sign Western Australia Road Safety
Drive on Left in Australia sign
Tide Charts Western Australia Turquoise Bay

Also in this section