Australia's Coral Coast is an incredible corner of the world, with significant portions of the region protected under World Heritage (the Coral Coast is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Areas - Shark Bay and the Ningaloo Coast), National Park, Marine Park, Conservation Park or Nature Reserve status. These areas are highly prized and provide a range of unforgettable experiences for visitors and locals alike.
Our National Parks often abut coastal heathland and are home to a range of amazing native plants and Australian animals.
From July through to October, Wildflowers bloom spectacularly throughout the Coral Coast and the National Parks come alive with colour and beautiful, delicate flowers. Remember to look but don't touch, and never pick any wildflowers. When driving in our parks, please take care at dusk and dawn when wildlife is most active.
Many of these parks have picnic shelters and public toilets with some also offering BBQ facilities and dump points for RVs.
Here are some of our favourite things to see and do in the Coral Coast's National Parks:
- Explore the rugged canyons and gorges of the Cape Range National Park and Kalbarri National Parks, the only two places on earth where rare black-footed rock wallabies can be found
- Sleep beneath the stars at Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef, a luxe eco-camp nestled on the shores of Ningaloo Reef
- Wander amongst thousands of unique golden limestone spires in the Pinnacles Desert of Nambung National Park
- Enjoy the eco-accommodation, snorkelling and kayaking of Dirk Hartog Island
- Stop at the world's oldest living fossils (3.5 billion years old), the Hamelin Pool Stromatolites along the Shark Bay World Heritage Drive
- Discover where the red dirt of the desert meets white sand and turquoise blue in Francois Peron National Park
- Explore Kennedy Range National Park and marvel at Honeycomb Gorge
- Fly over or cruise the 122 chain of islands which make up the Houtman Abrolhos Islands
- Explore wildflowers at the Mesa, Drummonds and Cockleshell Gully at Lesueur National Park.
- Catch a left-hand break at Jacques Point, one of two WA National Surfing Reserves
- Take a picture of iconic Nature’s Window and 400 million-year-old Eurypterid tracks at Z-Bend in Kalbarri National Park inland gorges
- Go caving in Stockyard Gully National Park
- Hike, canoe or abseil the gorges or lookout for humpback whales over the spectacular Kalbarri coastal cliffs
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have to pay to enter or camp in National Parks?
- Park entry fees apply to many of the National Parks within the Coral Coast, including Nambung National Park, Lesueur National Park, Kalbarri National Park (inland sites only), Francois Peron National Park, and Cape Range National Park. These fees are charged and managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife, and contribute to park management, protection of the environment and the development and maintenance of visitor services and facilities.
- Camping fees apply to most campgrounds, and vary by location and the level of facilities provided. You can book online for certain campsites via the Parks and Wildlife website.
- Buy a National Park Pass in advance of your travel to save time and money whilst on the road. If you're an RAC WA Member, you can receive a special discount when you buy your Park Pass online before you travel!
How much does it cost to enter National Parks?
- Private vehicle, carrying up to 12 occupants: $15.00 per vehicle.
- Private vehicle, carrying more than 12 occupants: $7.00 per occupant 6 years and older.
- Motorcycle: $8.00 per motorcycle
- Concession rate fees and passes are available. To find out more about what constitutes a concession rate, visit Parks and Wildlife's website.
Can I take my dogs into National Parks?
- As much as we love our domestic pets, there is a chance they will harm native animals. Therefore, pets and other domestic animals are not permitted in national parks, but there are a few exceptions:
- Certified and trained assistance animals are permitted into a national park
- Your animal may travel by boat in marine parks, but must not enter or exist the boat within a marine park or nature reserve
- Some other good reasons why pets are not permitted:
- Poisonous baits (1080) are often laid to control foxes; these are fatal to domestic animals
- If threatened, kangaroos and goannas may defend themselves and cause injury to domestic animals
- The sight, sounds and smells of pets can cause native animals great stress. It may even cause them to leave their homes and their young unprotected
- It is an offence (penalties will apply) to bring a domestic animal into a national park
- There are some areas where pets are allowed in a park. In this instance, they must be kept on a leash at all times and are not permitted in all areas of the park, only particular sites.
- So, where can or can't I take my pet?
- Nambung National Park: no access. Free basic dog kennels for park visitors are located at the Cervantes Rangers Station, which is open 7 days per week between 8am and 5pm. Call +61 8 9688 6000 for more information.
- Lesueur National Park: no access.
- Stockyard Gully National Park: no access.
- Kalbarri's Blue Holes, Red Bluff and Chinaman's Beach: no access.
- Kalbarri National Park: no access to the inland gorges or coastal cliff lookouts.
- Kalbarri's Pelican Feeding Area: no access between 8am and 9:30am daily.
- Shell Beach: no access to the beach; dogs are allowed in the car park.
- Monkey Mia: no access to the dolphin interaction area; dogs are allowed on leash in other areas of Monkey Mia.
- Hamelin Pool Stromatolites: no access to the car park or the boardwalk; dogs are permitted at the Telegraph Station.
- Francois Peron National Park: no access, heavy 1080 baiting.
- Dirk Hartog Island: no access, heavy 1080 baiting.
- Edel Land and Steep Point: no access, heavy 1080 baiting.
- Coral Bay: no access on any beaches.
- Exmouth's Town Beach: there is a small exclusion zone.
- Exmouth's Pebble Beach: pet friendly, full access
- Exmouth's Bundegi Beach: there is a small exclusion zone.
- Cape Range National Park: no access, heavy 1080 baiting.
- Ningaloo Reef (from Lighthouse Bay in Exmouth to Red Bluff in Carnarvon): no access, designated turtle sanctuary.
- Mount Augustus and Kennedy Range National Park: no access, heavy 1080 baiting.