Duration: 14 days
Avis Car Hire relocation fee: $150
Reserve your hire car with Avis
Book your flight
Most people drive North to South, but frequently this leaves a surplus of vehicles in Exmouth. Doing a Ningaloo to Perth Self Drive holiday can give you a bigger choice of vehicles, and a discounted relocation rate of $150 .
These self-drive itineraries are fully flexible and can be amended to include more/less nights in certain towns or combined with other Coral Coast itineraries. This itinerary can be done in reverse - learn more about the Perth to Exmouth (North) journey.
Fly Perth to Learmonth Airport to Exmouth
Take a morning flight from Perth to Learmonth Airport (gateway to Northern Ningaloo) with Qantas. Collect your Avis hire car and drive north to Exmouth.
Once you have entered Exmouth town, stop at the Ningaloo Aquarium and Discovery Centre to earn about the area. You can also hire snorkel gear or book tours. Explore the town’s breweries and eateries, hire a jet ski at the Town Beach or hike at Shothole Canyon. Make sure you’ve booked your mega-fauna tour.
Get up before the sun at Sunrise Beach - Exmouth is one of the few places where you can see the sun rise and set in one day. Spend the day in Cape Range National Park on an organised tour or self-drive.
Drift snorkel at Turquoise Bay, spot turtles at Sandy Bay, learn about the coastline and landscapes at Milyering Discovery Centre, have a picnic lunch at Osprey Bay or go boating (or hiking) along Yardie Creek. Watch the sunset at Vlamingh Head Lighthouse.
Explore Exmouth or Coral Bay
An extra day (and night!) is recommended in Exmouth or Coral Bay to enjoy a mega- fauna experience. Try a whale shark snorkel (March to July), humpback whale interaction (July to October), turtle tour (September to March) or manta ray swim (year-round).
Stay: Exmouth or Coral Bay
Exmouth to Coral Bay (150km/90mins)
On your way to Coral Bay, consider visiting Bullara Station for homemade scones and barista coffee in an outback setting.
Leaving Exmouth early, you can enjoy what Coral Bay has to offer - everything water! Swimming with manta rays (year-round), learning to dive, sailing away on a Ningaloo Reef charter, or joining a glass bottom boat tour to see the reef without getting wet.
Stay: Coral Bay
Coral Bay to Carnarvon (245km / 2.5hrs)
Leave Coral Bay for Carnarvon and inspect the OTC Dish and the Space and Technology Museum. Join an afternoon Foodie Tour leaving from the Visitor Centre, or self-drive the Fruit Loops trail. Enjoy a BBQ or picnic dinner by Carnarvon’s Fascine waterway.
Carnarvon to Shark Bay (335 kms / 4hrs)
In the morning, see Carnarvon from the air on a helicopter joy-ride or (allowing more time) heli-snorkel the Stromatolites of Hamelin Bay. Before leaving town, pick up lunch supplies and a treat for yourself – a Carnarvon chocolate-coated frozen banana!
On arriving in Shark Bay, stop at Eagle Bluff for views over the Indian Ocean. Consider stopping at the Shark Bay Discovery Centre, complete with interactive exhibits detailing the area’s history (European and Indigenous) and heritage. Kids will love the Pirate Playground opposite the Centre and the nearby Thong Shack.
Stay: Denham or Monkey Mia
Explore Shark Bay
Meet the Monkey Mia bottlenose dolphins who visit the shores daily from 7.45am. Join one of Shark Bay’s many ocean cruises or 4WD tours to Francois Peron National Park, explore Dirk Hartog Island for the day, or take an Aboriginal guided tour.
Stay: Denham or Monkey Mia
Shark Bay to Kalbarri (377km/4hrs)
Leave Shark Bay and head east towards Kalbarri. Stop at Shell Beach and see the Hamelin Pool Stromatolites.
Travelling on the Highway, take the Ajana-Kalbarri Road into Kalbarri, which will be lined with wildflowers from July to October. Kids will love Rainbow Jungle, an open-air bird aviary, man-made maze and outdoor cinema.
Explore Kalbarri and surrounds
Get up early to spend a day exploring Kalbarri and its National Park. Be sure to pack lots of water and food before entering the Park.
Take a photo at the iconic Nature’s Window, traverse the Loop, Z-Bend or Four Ways hiking trails along the Murchison River Gorges, and picnic at Ross Graham Lookout, Hawks Head or along the River Trail.
Explore Geraldton & Kalbarri (155km/90mins)
Wake up early, pack the car and drive south along Kalbarri’s Coastal Cliffs.
Explore Geraldton and surrounds
Depending on the time of year, some of Geraldton’s most extraordinary experiences are found close by. Offered year- round, enjoy a Fly and Flipper tour of the Abrolhos Islands.
Stay: Geraldton or Dongara- Port Denison
Greenough & Dongara- Port Denison
Continue travelling south to Dongara and stop at Illegal Tender Rum Co for a rum tasting. Visit the ANZAC soldier sculptures art piece in Port Denison; best viewed at sunset. Pick up fresh seafood for a BBQ dinner at the Port Denison Marina or catch a movie under the stars at the Dongara-Denison Drive-In Cinema (seasonal).
Stay: Dongara-Port Denison
Dongara-Port Denison to Jurien Bay (130km/90mins)
Wake up early for breakfast at Seaspray Café before continuing south to Jurien Bay.
Need a beach day instead? Try Sandy Cape, for turquoise waters and sand boarding. Nearby, Green Head offers the stunning Three Bays Walkway, connecting three swimming beaches on a picturesque coastal walk.
Stay: Jurien Bay or Cervantes
Cervantes to Perth
Your last day on the Coral Coast!
Make sure to take in the best of Cervantes with a visit to the Lobster Shack, the Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park and the Lake Thetis Thrombolites before making your way back to Perth and returning your hire car to Avis.
The Coral Coast Highway - a Fly and Drive Holiday
From 1 April to 31 October, 2021, Avis Australia and Hertz Australia now make it easier than ever to overcome the distances by offering a great one way hire car rental deal between Perth and Exmouth. Avis and Hertz will reduce their one-way relocation fee (normally $1,000) to $250 driving Perth to Exmouth and $150 if driving Exmouth back to Perth. In 2021, Hertz will be offering one way hire car rental deals between Perth and Paraburdoo, and Exmouth and Paraburdoo, opening up self-drive access to Karijini National Park. Normal hire car rates and conditions apply.
How do I plan and book this trip?
- Decide which direction to go - drive first or fly first?
- Reserve your hire car with Avis or Hertz
- Book your flights with Qantas
- Organise and pre-book your major Tours*
- Choose which Towns to visit and choose your Accommodation
* It is highly recommended to book tours in advance, especially Whale Shark, Humpback Whales and Manta Ray swims.