Reroute your travels along Australia's Coral Coast by exploring the west's great coastal triangle adventure.
Carnarvon, Coral Bay and Quobba Station are all stunning seaside escapes located within a few hours of each other yet have their own distinct allure. Carnarvon is the juicy regional hub often called 'the fruit bowl of WA', Coral Bay is the secluded beach getaway and a springboard into Ningaloo's underwater playground, and Quobba Station is the rural retreat into WA's sheering past.
A visit to all three will give you a great appreciation of how diverse the sceneries are along Australia's Coral Coast and the unique experiences you can embrace all within a short drive.
The regional hub is most famous for growing bananas, but the city has other golden merits too; temperate climate, laidback lifestyle, astronomical sights, palm-lined foreshore, natural splendours and its very own outdoor supermarket.
The tutti-fruity capital produces 80% of the State's tropical fruits and vegetables alongside freshly caught seafood. There is even a scenic drive dedicated to its tasty treats, 'The Fruit Loop' trail along the North and South River, so make sure to bring on your hunger game! The loop passes through lush green plantations along the Gascoyne River banks and local vendors selling edible gold – locally made ice-creams, relishes, and other delicacies. It's what makes Carnarvon the right locale to treat your mind and body with its locally-sourced food for the soul.
But that's not only what makes Carnarvon so sweet; here are the top things not to miss:
- Have a taste of Carnarvon driving along 'The Fruit Loop' trail and visiting the Instagram favourite towering cacti garden.
- See the 'Big Dish', which played a part in broadcasting the first moon landing at the Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum.
- Shop where the locals shop at the Saturday morning Gasycoyne Growers Market and find yourself some handmade trinkets, artworks and foodstuffs. If you are planning on visiting during August to September, check out the Gascoyne Food Festival.
- Journey the Gascoyne Hinterland to take on the world's largest monocline, Mount Augustus, and explore the rugged outback at Kennedy Range National Park to see the unique hexagon-like formation, Honeycomb Gorge.
- Discover the Gascoyne regions' five Aboriginal language groups' culture and country through history and art with a visit to Gwoonwardu Mia, Gascoyne Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre.
Carnarvon has a range of accommodation to suit all budgets from traditional caravan parks, station stays, and hotel accommodation.
It's time to make a splash in WA's much-loved natural aquarium, Coral Bay, located on the shores of Ningaloo Reef and 2.5 hours' drive north of Carnarvon.
The snorkeler's paradise is one of the most colourful spots along the Coral Coast Highway, famed for its coral gardens and thriving marine life within metres of its calm waters and sandy shores. The coastal playground also wins visitors over with its pristine beach weather all year round and easy accessibility to walk from one end to another in less than 15 minutes.
But those who venture beyond the laidback strip are in for a wild time with the opportunity to swim with whale sharks and manta rays or join a humpback whale tour. Whaleshark (March to July) and Humpback tours (July to October) are subject to seasonal migration, and you can swim with manta rays all year.
Coral Bay may be a tiny town, but it is massive on adventure. Here are the top things not to miss:
- Have a swim with the local turtles, manta rays, whale sharks, or humpback whales.
- Go on a 4x4 buggy trekking to secret beaches for incredible snorkelling.
- See the bay in a new light with an overnight-cruise looking for wildlife.
- Charter a fishing boat for bottom-fishing or deep-sea fishing.
- Learn to dive and discover the depths of Ningaloo Marine Park.
- Fly high over the reef on a scenic flight.
- See the coral gardens without getting wet on board a glass-bottom boat.
Coral Bay has a range of accommodation to suit all budgets from traditional caravan parks, station stays, and hotel accommodation.
It's time to take your holiday back to basics and get a feel for rustic realness at the rural retreat, Quobba Station.
The off-beat sea change escape was initially built in 1898 with the 187,000-acre working pastoral station used to manage merino (woolly) sheep. It continues to be a family-run business raising Damaras (South African meat sheep) and offers a unique outback experience just 1 hours' drive north of Carnarvon.
Its shearing past has been reimagined as rustic accommodation in its former farmer cottages and shearing quarters in an outstanding remote location along the Indian Ocean coastline.
Quobba Station is all about having authentic and raw experiences. Here are the top things not to miss:
- Master the waves at surfing paradise Red Bluff, located at the northern end of Quobba Station.
- Explore the Gidgee Trail, a 4.8km flat inland path along the coast in under 2 hours.
- See jets of water erupting into the air with a visit to Quobba Blowholes.
- Snorkel your way around Point Quobba's coral-filled lagoon known locally as 'the aquarium' and see its rugged cliffs and shell-covered beach. It's a perfect spot for a picnic too!
- Have your photo opportunity under the 'King Waves Kill' sign at the T-junction just before you reach Quobba Station.
- Enjoy a sundowner bevy at the station's wooden bar along the sand dunes by the beach. (Just BYO happy hour beverage!)
Quobba Station has a range of accommodation from camping, safari tents, and rustic shacks.