Itinerary by Carol Redford, Astrotourism WA
Take a road trip to the stars and dark skies of Western Australia's Coral Coast.
Wildflowers (seasonal), coastal fun and farming heritage are your highlights by day, while the stars light up the dark skies for you to stargaze at night. After stunning sunsets, best enjoyed with a picnic handy, the Milky Way comes out to play. It’s an adventure to keep coming back for.
This unique road-trip offers up wonderful contrasts from the beautiful countryside landscapes to stunning seaside beaches, showcasing spectacular wildflowers (July to September) and brilliant, star-spangled night skies. Bring your binoculars, camping gear, bathers, and a taste for adventure because this trip has it all. For additional information about stargazing visit Astrotourism WA. For more stargazing locations in the Coral Coast visit our Stargazing in the Coral Coast page.
Day One: Perth to Carnamah/Three Springs (285 kilometres/3 hours)
It’s an easy morning road trip to Carnamah and Three Springs. The Midlands Route is the one less travelled, so you’re in for some great surprises along the way. In Carnamah, explore the historical background of this town starting at One L of a Good Feed cafe located in an historic church building right in the centre of town, dating back to 1927. In season, the wildflowers are roadside wonders while you discover a unique history on the Three Springs Heritage Trail and at the Carnamah Museum.
At night the stars are brilliant! Macpherson Homestead near Carnamah welcomes visitors for stargazing, or check out the Three Springs Talc Mine Lookout and Carnamah’s Lakes Lookout for astrophotography and a horizon-to-horizon view of an amazing night sky.
Overnight: Wildflower Country
Day Two: Carnamah/Three Springs to Mingenew (75 kilometres/50 mins)
If you're up early enough, make it to Mingenew for breakfast at the famous bakery – don't forget that Thursday is Donut Day! Stock up with a picnic to take on your wildflower wanderings. Coalseam Conservation Park is a must-see, and one of the most diverse wildflower sites in Western Australia. If you get time, stop in at Depot Hill where an interesting trail takes you through the nature reserve and to a historic World War II Army Rifle Range.
After dinner, take your telescope or binoculars to Yandanooka Hall for dark sky stargazing. If you want to stargaze closer to town instead, you’re welcome to wander up to the Hockey Oval or Golf Course.
Overnight: Wildflower Country
Day Three: Mingenew to Eneabba (100 kilometres/1.25 hours)
Wake up leisurely in Mingenew before heading off to Eneabba. From this point you can explore the local area and see wildflowers in season at places like Western Flora Caravan Park, a hotspot for unique species.
Better yet, the dark night sky around Eneabba will be picture-perfect for seeing the band of the Milky Way overhead. If you’re not camping overnight, Jurien Bay is only a further 70km drive with a range of accommodation options.
Day Four: Eneabba to Cervantes via Jurien Bay (110 kilometres/1.25 hours)
It’s time to enjoy the relaxing seaside fishing village of Cervantes. It boasts aqua-blue waters and white sandy beaches. Perfect for swimming, a spot of fishing or indulging in a scrumptious seafood platter at the popular Lobster Shack.
Grab and early dinner and head out to experience a spectacular sunset and stunning night skies at either The Pinnacles or Lake Thetis. “Astrotourists” are welcome at night! If you’re an astrophotographer, here are some handy hints.
Day Five: Cervantes – Perth (200 kilometres/2 hours)
After a leisurely breakfast, it’s time to see Cervantes and surrounds by day. Wander the boardwalk and easy 1.5km walking trail around Lake Thetis where you'll encounter the 3000-year-old thrombolites. Just before heading towards home, call in to Nambung National Park and the fascinating Pinnacles Desert. Explore the desert with its unique landscape of limestone spires via the 4km driving trail before enjoying the delights of the Indian Ocean Drive as you head home. Stop in at vantage points along the way for amazing coastal scenery. Rugged in winter and sublime in summer.
Driving times and distances are intended as a guide only and may vary depending on exact route taken. Accommodation options are indicative as to what is available in the area.