Short on time? Get inspired with our one and two-night suggested itineraries for a quick break along the Indian Ocean Drive.
BASE YOURSELF: Cervantes or Jurien Bay
DURATION: 2 days, 1 night
HIGHLIGHTS: Food, land, sand, water, nature, animals and photography
It doesn’t have to take a long time to discover Western Australia’s Coral Coast. If you’re time poor, even a weekend away with time to slow down can really be felt and a mini-break is totally worth the effort!
Head north via the Indian Ocean Drive towards Jurien Bay, an easy 2.5-hour drive north of Perth. If you’re looking for a good coffee, BettyVan is a pop-up coffee truck which frequents Cervantes and Jurien Bay between 7 to 11 am. Find her on Facebook @bettyvancoffee for the exact location.
Stop into the Jurien Bay Visitor Centre to purchase a National Park Pass. Spend some time bushwalking and spectating wildflowers (July to September) at Lesueur National Park. If you have a 4WD, consider visiting stunning Sandy Cape for a swim or simply a sunset.
Overnight: Jurien Bay or Cervantes
Wake up early and explore a little further, driving north to Green Head. There you will find the Three Bays Walkway where you can enjoy a beach walk or swim in the sheltered bays of Dynamite, South and Anchorage Bay. Here you will often see endangered Australian Sea Lions relaxing on the beach.
Driving south from Green Head, stop into Lake Thetis and the Thrombolites which are between Jurien and Cervantes. Similar to the Stromatolites of Shark Bay, there is a 1.5km walking loop with a boardwalk out to view these ancient micro-organisms.
Visit the Lobster Shack for lunch and a tour to learn about how the Western Rock Lobster industry operates in Western Australia.
Use your Park pass to visit Nambung National Park, home of the Pinnacles, and stop into the Interpretative Centre to learn more about the area before returning back to Perth.
BASE YOURSELF: Cervantes, Jurien Bay, Dongara-Port Denison or Geraldton
DURATION: 3 days, 2 nights
HIGHLIGHTS: History, heritage, nature, animals and photography
It’s surprising how far you can go and what you can see with just three days road tripping on Australia’s Coral Coast.
Wake up early and head north via the Indian Ocean Drive towards Dongara-Port Denison, a four-hour drive from Perth.
Dongara-Port Denison has hotel accommodation, caravan parks, and is an RV friendly town, offering free camping in selected locations – enquire with the Visitor Centre. Cliff Head is a free nature-based campsite 38kms south of Dongara.
If you’re visiting on a Saturday, stop into the Weekend Markets to pick up some local treasures.
Don't forget to stop in to Illegal Tender Rum Co for a rum tasting; this distillery is found just outside of Port Denison.
Finish your Saturday evening at the Drive-In movies, the oldest operating drive-in in Western Australia. New release movies are offered from May to October.
Overnight: Dongara-Port Denison
Wake up early to enjoy a beach breakfast at South Beach and take the morning to go crabbing off the Port Denison Marina. For those who love to walk, take to the Thungarra Trails – six different trails that traverse the ocean and river with scenic views, spotting flora and fauna.
When travelling the Indian Ocean Drive, keep an eye out for echidnas who can often be spotted during the day between Dongara and Jurien Bay.
Adventure Seekers will enjoy seeing Jurien Bay from above on a tandem skydive, where you will land on the beach.
Enjoy the evening with fish and chips on the beach or marina.
Overnight: Jurien Bay or Cervantes
Wake up early and get onboard Turquoise Safaris sea lion tour which leaves daily from Jurien Bay Marina. For walkers or cyclists, bike the Turquoise Way which has recently been extended, now almost 30km of paved coastline.
If you have a 4WD, visit the Stockyard Gully National Park to see the fascinating below ground river system of caves, once forming part of the stock-route for sheep and cattle. Take care in the caves if it’s been raining, due to potential flooding.
Visit Nambung National Park, home of the Pinnacles and stop into the Interpretative Centre to learn more about the area before returning back to Perth.