Duration: 10 days
Avis Car Hire relocation fee: $250
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Travel from Perth, Western Australia's international gateway airport, on your way north to Exmouth on the Ningaloo Reef - self-drive the new Coral Coast Highway today!
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 Exmouth to Perth (South) journey.
Perth to Geraldton (425km or 5hrs)
Pick up your Avis hire car and start your trip north of Perth on the Mitchell Highway Freeway turning onto the Indian Ocean Drive. First stop is Nambung National Park, home of the ancient Pinnacles Desert. Enjoy lunch at the Lobster Shack in nearby Cervantes or consider stopping in Jurien Bay for an epic Skydive experience.
Spend sunset at the HMAS Sydney Memorial II before dinner at one of the city’s quality restaurants.
Explore Geraldton and Kalbarri (155km or 90mins)
Wake up in Geraldton and enjoy a day in the City, café hopping to Piper Lane or Jaffle Shack. Learn about the nearby Abrolhos Islands at the Museum of Geraldton or shop Abrolhos pearls at Latitude Gallery.
Need an adrenaline hit instead? Choose Ultimate Watersports, where you can skim Geraldton’s city beach by jetski or flyboard. Alternatively, pay a visit to the Abrolhos Islands for the day on a Scenic Flight from Geraldton (or Kalbarri).
Kids will love Rainbow Jungle where you can see an outdoor movie at night. Visit during the day to see birds up-close or try the outdoor maze.
Wake up early to feed the Pelicans who visit the foreshore daily from 8.45am. Whist there, children will love the Nature Playground. Snorkelling at Blue Holes is ideal for kids too. Big and small kids will love Quad Biking tours at Wagoe Beach, about 20km south of Kalbarri.
Kalbarri to Shark Bay (385km or 4hrs 30 minutes)
Follow signs to Eagle Bluff for expansive views over the Indian Ocean. Between Eagle Bluff and Denham, stop in to Ocean Park Aquarium, a marine life rehabilitation centre. Before arriving in town, walk to Denham Lookout (also the location of the infamous Thong Shack!).
Stay: Denham or Monkey Mia
Explore Shark Bay
Wake up early to meet the Monkey Mia bottlenose dolphins who visit the shores daily from 7.45am. Afterwards, get up close to more of Shark Bay’s natural attractions:
- Join a 4WD day tour to Francois Peron National Park for a rugged adventure
- Enjoy a picnic at Little Lagoon and a hot tub soak at Peron Homestead
- Find a beach to yourself in Denham or Monkey Mia and kayak or swim
Enjoy a sunset wildlife cruise on the Bay before dinner.
Stay: Denham or Monkey Mia
Shark Bay to Carnarvon – (335 kms or 4hrs)
Get up early to explore some incredible beaches in Carnarvon. Head east and then north onto the North West Coastal Highway. Approximately 40km south of Carnarvon, stop at Bush Bay and New Beach for a swim and picnic. If you aren't keen to stay in Carnarvon town, consider Wooramel River Retreat.
Head into Carnarvon town to purchase picnic supplies from fruit and vegetable growers direct at along the Fruit Loops Trail. Head out to snorkel the ‘Aquarium’ at Point Quobba, located 75km north of Carnarvon and 1km south of the Blowholes (also a must visit!).
Quobba is the beginning of Ningaloo Reef at its southern-most point. If you don’t have snorkel gear, buy it in Carnarvon town or at Red Bluff (near Quobba). Don’t feel like driving? Helicopter over these breathtaking beaches and snorkel your own private beach.
Carnarvon to Coral Bay – (238 kms/2.5hrs)
Enjoy breakfast on Carnarvon’s Fascine, then drive out of town towards Coral Bay. North of Carnarvon, between Coral Bay and Exmouth, you’ll find Bullara Station, a top spot for homemade scones and barista coffee.
Arriving in Coral Bay, take an afternoon quad bike and snorkel tour, exploring secret and hard to reach Ningaloo Reef locations. Want something more exhilarating? See Ningaloo Reef from above on a scenic flight.
Stay: Coral Bay
Explore Coral Bay
All mega-fauna tours are a full day because our tour operators have world-class, life changing experiences to show you! Tours are offered from Coral Bay and Exmouth. An extra day in Coral Bay or Exmouth is recommended for this. Enjoy fresh seafood at Bill’s Bar.
Stay: Coral Bay
Coral Bay to Cape Range National Park – (205km/2hrs)
Check out and drive north from Coral Bay, stopping in Exmouth town for drinks and food.
Set off to Cape Range National Park for a snorkel at Lakeside or Turquoise Bay. You will love the colourful sunsets of Ningaloo, best experienced at Vlamingh Head Lighthouse on your way back into Exmouth.
A diver’s delight – the must do for you is the Navy Pier night dive.
Explore Exmouth and fly to Perth
Get up before the sun - Exmouth is one of the few places you can see the sun rise and set.
Return your Avis hire car to the airport for your afternoon flight with Qantas to Perth.
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.