17 January 2022

Guest blog by @ka__travels

We are Kelsey and Alex of KA Travels, two 20 something year olds (actually closer to 30sshh!!) currently road tripping around Australia.

Alex moved to Australia from the UK almost six years ago, and we both worked endless hours in various jobs with only small weekend holidays here or there. Reminiscing on the good times of our previous travels, we decided we’d had enough of the 9-5 life, sold nearly all our possessions and hit the road to discover our backyard with no end date in sight.

Exploring Western Australia was on the top of our bucket list, and we finally crossed the border last September. Road tripping down the Coral Coast Highway to snorkel the world heritage listed Ningaloo Reef truly felt like we were fulfilling our dreams, but that was only just scratching the surface of everything the area has to offer! From beautiful small coastal towns, expansive pink lakes, colourful explosions of wildflowers, incredible station stays, diverse wildlife and the most pristine beaches - we found nature's ultimate paradise!

Here are a few of our favourite places and experiences you can enjoy whilst exploring the Coral Coast:

Kalbarri - A Pink Paradise

Pink wasn’t the impression we expected to leave with in our minds of Kalbarri, but everywhere we turned the colour exploded from the landscape around us.

We were late in the season to view the famous wildflowers, but as we entered Kalbarri National Park our breath was taken away by the bright bursts of pink lining the roadsides. The wildflowers (where you can find 800 species!) is another reason to visit along with the impressive Kalbarri Skywalk and Nature’s Window.

Just outside of Kalbarri, in the small township of Port Gregory, you’ll find Hutt Lagoon. And, wow! Sometimes when you see photos of a pink lake you think ‘is it really that pink?’. Well, we are here to say that Hutt Lagoon exceeded our expectations, and then some! Head to the lake at midday for the most vibrant pink colour and hope the clouds stay away.

TIP: If you are looking for stunning wildflowers, take the scenic drive through Lesueur National Park.

Station Stays

If you’re not into free camping, or maybe caravan parks have ‘too many people’ for you, then a station stay might be your perfect destination. A little bit of outback charm meets pristine shores (and the luxury of having a bathroom). On the Coral Coast you are spoiled for choice with some of the most picturesque stations to choose from.

We couldn’t beat Wooramel River Retreat. Their artesian bore baths are the perfect place to relax for the afternoon and soak weary travellers’ muscles. The baths stay around 33 degrees, so we headed back for a late night dip to watch the sunset and stars come out.

Cape Range National Park

It wouldn’t be a Coral Coast trip without mentioning Exmouth and Cape Range National Park. The water colour, the marine life, the beach camps; this was our paradise!

If you want to snorkel, this is the place to do it. Our favourite snorkel spots include Lakeside, Oyster Stacks and Osprey Bay. If you’d rather relax on the beach, then spend a day at Turquoise Bay. You won’t be disappointed, we promise.

TIP: Snorkelling at Oyster Stacks depends on the tides. Make sure you head to the Ningaloo Visitor Information Centre within the park for all your information.

Ultimate Experiences

Want some more adventure? Why not complete a scuba diving course and gain your PADI license. Alex took the 3-day course with Exmouth Dive Centre, which allowed him to then dive at the Navy Pier - considered one of the top 10 shore dives worldwide! Abundant with enormous groupers, grey nurse sharks, octopus and schools of fish.

Our Top Tips

1. Purchase a W.A National Parks pass. We recommend buying the annual pass as its the best value for money. You can purchase online or at Visitor Information Centres.

3. You may need to pay additional camping fees to stay in a National Park, and you must pre-book your site online.

4. Don’t rush! Take the scenic drives, explore the hiking trails, and swim at as many beaches as you can!

5. Enjoy! We can’t wait to head back to the Coral Coast!

Alex and Kelsey.