DURATION: 3 days
WHEN: March to November
SPECIAL EVENT SEASON: Plantation season (May to mid-October), Whale Watching season (July to October)
HIGHLIGHTS: Marine and outback landscapes, indigenous culture, food, scenic flights, animals and photography
Discover Western Australia's beautiful southern gateway to the Ningaloo World Heritage Area, Carnarvon. Ideally situated between the Shark Bay and Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Areas, Carnarvon is a great place to explore the history of the area, and surrounding marine and outback landscapes.
See the amazing coastline from above with Coral Coast Helicopter tours, and enjoy an abundant tropical food experience of fresh fruit, vegetables, and seafood in Carnarvon's food bowl area. Thanks to fertile soils around the Gascoyne River, Carnarvon supplies about 47,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables per year, worth about $100 million, including a diverse range of tropical produce such as bananas, pawpaw, mangoes, grapes, tomatoes, avocados and beans.
Check out the Fruit Loop Drive Trail to see some of this amazing produce.
DAY ONE - Perth to Carnarvon
Take an early flight to Carnarvon from Perth with Regional Express Airlines, who depart Perth for Carnarvon twice a day from Terminal 2 at Perth Airport. Flight time is approximately 2 hours. Pick up your hire car to get the most out of your time in Carnarvon and to fully explore the surrounding areas. Budget and Avis have offices at the Carnarvon Airport.
Upon arrival in the lovely sub-tropical seaside town of Carnarvon, ease into the relaxed pace of life by taking a walk along The Fascine – a palm-tree fringed walkway along the waterfront and enjoy a drink & bite to eat at one of the bakeries or water-front hotels along the way.
Check out the weekend markets, on every Saturday morning from late May to early October, in front of the Visitor Centre.
The Gascoyne region is rich in Aboriginal culture. Visit Gwoonwardu Mia Cultural Centre and learn all about the early history of Carnarvon and have a bite to eat at the Sunset’s café.
After lunch, visit Carnarvon’s Space & Technology Museum, where you will learn all about Carnarvon’s role in NASA’s Apollo Moon landings and early Space programs.
Head to the Carnarvon Visitor Centre and book a walking tour to learn about Carnarvon's heritage buildings and rich history, including the main street public art and the 26 metre mural along Robinson Street.
DAY TWO - Explore Carnarvon and Surrounds
Get up early and spend a day exploring Carnarvon's surrounds, with many choices of things to see, do and experience.
Pick up the Fruit Loop Drive Trail guide at the Carnarvon Visitor Centre and treat yourself to locally grown local produce or caught seafood, including the famous chocolate-coated bananas for breakfast.
Head south to Carnarvon’s Heritage Precinct and just a few minutes’ drive south of the Heritage Precinct is the main town beach - Pelican Point. This is a favourite amongst the locals for fishing and swimming.
Continue 40km south of Carnarvon and discover Bush Bay and New Beach, perfect for a swim and picnic.
Keep heading south of Carnarvon, 1 hours drive, to Wooramel River Retreat, a unique station stay campground nestled under the majestic gum trees on the bank of the Wooramel River. Relax in the naturally heated therapeutic artesian bore baths from the Birdrong aquifer; enjoy the space; abundant bird and wildlife; private camp fires; amazing night skies and the friendly outback atmosphere. The station is 120 kms south of Carnarvon, 2 kms off the North West Coastal Highway.
Overnight: Wooramel River Retreat
DAY THREE - Explore the Carnarvon coastline
Head back to Carnarvon Airport to take your scenic helicopter flight with Coral Coast Helicopter Services on a half day Heli-Blowholes Scenic Tour and see by air, the awe-inspiring Blowholes and the rugged Quobba coastline.
South of the Blowholes is Point Quobba where you will find 'the Aquarium’, a popular swimming and snorkelling lagoon. Enjoy your very own rock pool, choose to take a dip, explore the surrounding area on foot or sit back and relax on the beach.
The drive to Quobba Point and the famous Blowholes is around 75kms north of Carnarvon. Quobba Station has its own shell beach which is great for beachcombing and finding mostly Cowry shells.
If you're having too much fun, stay another night, or depart from Carnarvon on the afternoon flight.
Due east of the town into the Kennedy Range National Park, it's perfect for a four wheel driving bush-camping adventure under a star-filled night sky. The beautiful gorges and red rock landscape of Kennedy Range National Park is about a two hour drive east of Carnarvon.