Drive to Broome
After having had the time of your life on board Shore Thing visiting the amazing Ningaloo Reef, we recommend that you continue your journey north. Most people drive to Broome as a part of a 6 or 7 days driving holiday. We suggest taking your time as you journey up through the Pilbara region on your way to the white sand beaches of Broome.
Exmouth/Cape Range National Park
Leaving Coral Bay via Minilya-Exmouth Rd, your first stop is Exmouth & Cape Range National Park, only is only 151km away.
Our the top things to experience in Exmouth are:
- dive at the Navy Pier/Murion Islands
- join a Whale Shark/Manta Ray/Humpback Whale tour
- Visit a local brewery: Froth or Whalebone
Or maybe just replenish the stocks at IGA and head on up to Cape Range National Park to enjoy stretching those legs with some gorge walks and snorkeling off Turquoise Bay.
Please note that you must book your campsite online all times of year before you arrive as you can not pay on site! Failure to book beforehand could lead to disappointment.
Next stop on our tour up North you have a couple of options depending on how much time you have…
You’ll head back down the Exmouth-Coral Bay road to meet the turn off to join back up with the North West Coastal Highway. At this turn off is a beautiful station stay, Bullara Station Stay where the peaceful scenery helps you relax and you can read a book or watch the birds.
If you want to travel a little further and get more kms under your belt, then keep going to the Highway and head towards Tom Price (approx. 6 hours). You can go all the way or another great stop just before Tom Price is Cheela Plains Station Stay. Here there is hardly any thing else around so no light pollution and you can see the whole milky way. It really is spectacular so definitely worth at least one nights stay. ..
There’s also a heap of 4wding exploring to do as well so make sure you check out the gorges, Horse Shoe Creek and experience real station life. There is even a tour you can join with a very knowledgeable guide.
Tom Price is the gateway town to Karijini National Park. We’ll get to that on our next stop but Tom Price has some adventures to offer too so don’t just drive through.
Stretch those legs after a long drive and hike up Mt Nameless. Check out Trails WA for up-to-date trail information.
Or why not check out a Rio Tinto Iron Ore Mine tour with Lestok Tours
Pop into the Tom Price Visitor Centre when you arrive for more information and accommodation suggestions.
Brings us to the famous Karijini National Park
You can spend 1 day or a week here depending on your time frame but you definitely have to stop here. The cliffs, gorges and swimming holes are stunning with vibrant red, greens and blues all around you.
We suggest you stay a couple of nights at Karijini Eco Retreat and from here spend a day to 2 exploring Joffre Falls, Hancock Gorge & Handrail Pool, Knox Gorge and Weano Gorge.
If you’re really up for adventure then why not join a canyoning tour with West Oz Active Adventure Tours to do some abseiling, swimming and rock climbing through the restricted parts of the gorges. Pricey but sooo much fun!! 🙂
Then head over to Dales Gorge and Dales Camp ground for a day/night. A swim at Fern Pool although chilly is a not to be missed adventure after a hot walk through the gorges.
From here you can keep heading north or if you have time then also head over to Hammersley Gorge for a day of exploration. Then you’ve covered the lot.
Millstream Chichester National Park
Don’t be fooled and think “oh well we did Karijini so that’s enough”. Millstream-Chichester National Park is a beauty in it’s own right and since you have to go right passed it you might as well have a look.
There’s bike tracks, walking trails and more relaxing swimming holes. Make sure you visit Python Pool and Deep Reach Pool!
The road returns to the coast at Karratha. From here we go and explore the Burrup Peninsula, in Murujuga National Park, which is home to 1000’s of rock engravings known as Petroglyphs. Some of these engravings have been estimated at up to 37,000 years old!
You can also spend some time snorkeling, diving and adventure in the Dampier Archipelago. 42 islands & inlets of pure wilderness to explore.
Karratha to Port Hedland
Just a short drive along the coast from Karratha is Roebourne, a historic gold rush town. Have a wander and some lunch here while you check out the old heritage buildings and art galleries.
Then head out to Point Samson Penisula. While here, why not try a spot of fishing at Sam’s Creek Inlet or check out the restored bluestone buildings of Cossack. Make sure you get a glimpse of the historic landmark of Jarman Island Lighthouse visible from both point Samson and Cossack or even take a river cruise along Harding river for a closer look.
If you wanted you could head inland a bit from here to Marble bar, known as the hottest town in Australia due to its constant high temperatures and with rock made of jasper.
Marble bar is home to a gold mine and also an airbase which was a great secret during WW2. Make sure you get a photo with the town’s sunburst sign and have a swim at Chinaman’s Pool.
Coppin’s Gap is also a great swimming location with lots of tall native trees that offer some shade from the hot afternoon sun. This is an hours drive from Marble Bar.
If you don’t want to head inland again just keep along the Northwest Coastal Highway from Point Samson all the way until you hit Port Headland.
We reach Port Hedland
Port Hedland is rich with history, wildlife and Indigenous culture. Why not try some fishing or experience whale watching (in season).
There’s some amazing contemporary street art in various laneways and on buildings. Or try a guided Cultural and Heritage Trail walk, or at your own pace self-guided, to explore the story of early Port Hedland.
Pick up, or download, a map from Port Hedland Visitor Centre
Eighty Mile Beach
Leaving Port Hedland, we drive 250kms where we meet Eight Mile Beach. Where the name comes, who knows? This stretch of coastline is not actually 80 miles long but more like 140 (220kms) and the longest uninterrupted beach in Western Australia.
It is where the Simpson Dessert meets the Indian Ocean and the expanse of white endless sand against the rocky shores is purely memorizing.
Why not stay a few days and recuperate from that long drive, a great place to sit back and relax, take in some sun, do some beach fishing or some 4wding, before continuing to the bustling town of Broome and all it has to offer.
Welcome to Broome
Tour the town, take a boat tour, maybe some whale watching (seasonal), tour a local brewery, take a scenic flight, take a Pearl tour… ask the friendly staff at Broome Visitor Centre!
Make sure you stop in at Cable Beach for a stroll along the shores or take a camel ride. You might be lucky to catch a glimpse of the ‘Staircase to the Moon’ (2-3 days a month Mar-Oct).
Visit Gantheaume Point and marvel in awe at the 130 million year old, preserved dinosaur footprints or visit Malcolm Douglas Wildlife Park and view some giant saltwater crocodiles.
Maybe even visit the famous Horizontal Falls. Splash out and take a scenic flight over this vast expanse of amazing scenery.
If the drive to Broome is the end of your trip or you are continuing further North still make sure you leave enough time to really explore this fantastic town full of opportunity. Happy Travels!!