Published: Tuesday, 10 May 2022

For a road trip along the coast of Western Australia, a great route is Geraldton to Carnarvon.

This trip incorporates some of the best sightseeing spots along the full distance of the Indian Ocean coastline.


How far is Geraldton from Carnarvon?

The total driving distance from Geraldton to Carnarvon is 900 km and will take approximately 10 hours. Keep in mind that this road trip is not driving in a straight line between the two points, so the actual total driving distance is about three times longer than it looks.

The ‘Waiting Woman’ Statue at HMAS Sydney Memorial in Geraldton, Western Australia.

The ‘Waiting Woman’ Statue at HMAS Sydney Memorial in Geraldton, Western Australia.

For the first leg of the road trip, let's begin at Geraldton airport and drive to Kalbarri.


1. Geraldton to Kalbarri

  • Distance: (the shortest distance) an approximate driving distance of 160 km
  • Time: approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes

An aerial view of Pink Lake at Hutt Lagoon in Port Gregory, Western Australia.

An aerial view of Pink Lake at Hutt Lagoon in Port Gregory, Western Australia.

The first stop to check out is past Horrocks Beach, at Hutt Lagoon Pink Lake. In the Shire of North Hampton, the Hutt Lagoon is a salt lake that is separated from the Indian Ocean by a small stretch of land.

The lake is 70 square kilometres of water whose colour variations are unlike anywhere else. Sometimes the water is a vibrant bubblegum pink, while other times, it's more like lilac.

The lagoon is surrounded by numerous attractions, such as:

  • Lynton Convict Depot
  • The small fishing village of Gregory that separates the lagoon from the Indian Ocean
  • Pink Lake lookout spot
  • The Port Gregory Garnet Mine
  • The Utcha Well Nature Reserve is just north of the lagoon.

The next stop you should check out is Natural Bridge Kalbarri and Island Rock, about 45-minutes from Kalbarri.

The unique natural formation of Island Rock in Kalbarri, WA.

The unique natural formation of Island Rock in Kalbarri, WA.

After that and making your way into Kalbarri, stop at Eagle Gorge Lookout, Red Bluff Lookout, Wittecarra Creek, and the Kalbarri War Memorial will bring you directly into Kalbarri.

While in Kalbarri, be sure to also visit Kalbarri National Park and the Kalbarri Skywalk before moving onto the second leg of the journey to Denham / Shark Bay.


2. Kalbarri to Denham / Shark Bay

  • Distance: an approximate driving distance of 375 km
  • Time: nearly 4 hours of driving time

Stromatolites at Hamelin Pool in Denham, Western Australia.

Stromatolites at Hamelin Pool in Denham, Western Australia.

Much of this leg is a bit away from the coastline, but there is a lot to check out.

Very quickly, you'll arrive at the Ex Pt Nerren Nerren Park and Garden along with Toolonga Nature Reserve. And just to the west of those is the Zuytdorp Nature Reserve.

After leaving those behind and just about an hour on is Hamelin Pool, where you can visit the Hamelin Pool Boardwalk and see the amazing array of stromatolites or living fossils.

After that, continue into the Nanga, the Peron Peninsula, the Eagle Bluff, and eventually Denham and the World Heritage area of Shark Bay.

Just north of Denham is the Francois Peron National Park, home to some of the most iconic wildlife of Western Australia.

Monkey Mia on the coastline between Denham and Shark Bay is home to bottlenose dolphins, and a stop at the Monkey Mia Conservation Park Visitor Centre will get you up close and personal with them. Afterwards, the Blue Lagoon Pearl Farm is easily accessible.

4WD track at Steep Point in Edel Land National Park, WA.

4WD track at Steep Point in Edel Land National Park, WA.

Stop at the Edel Land National Park and visit Steep Point where you will be standing in the most westerly point of Mainland Australia, before going onto the final leg of the journey to Carnarvon, Western Australia.


3. Shark Bay to Carnarvon

  • Distance: an approximate driving distance of 325 km
  • Time: just over 3 hours of driving time

Aerial view over Shark Bay in Western Australia’s North West.

Aerial view over Shark Bay in Western Australia’s North West.

After circling back to Hamelin Pool, the final leg of the journey commences. This final leg will be mostly driving through the Western Australia landscape as there aren't many stops to make along this leg. Not until reaching Carnarvon anyhow.

The Ex Yaringa and the Sedimentary Deposits Reserve are the first areas of interest along the way. From here to Carnarvon, it's pretty much a coastal drive along the NW Coastal Highway and enjoying the passing views of the Indian Ocean.

Carnarvon is situated between two of the World Heritage areas of Western Australia, Shark Bay and the Ningaloo Reef. In Carnarvon is the One Tree Point Nature Reserve and Babbage Island, home to Dwyer's Leap, the One Mile Jetty, and the Don’t Look AAT The Islands Memorial Sculpture. You'll also find the Carnarvon Heritage Group site here.

The old ex-NASA National Aeronautics & Space Administration in Carnarvon, WA.

The old ex-NASA National Aeronautics & Space Administration in Carnarvon, WA.

Back on the mainland of Carnarvon, be sure to stop at the Carnarvon Footbridge, the Chinamans Pool Nature Reserve, the famous Whale Skeleton, the Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum, the Ex NASA Carnarvon Tracking Station, and (if your 4x4 can handle it) Miaboolya Beach.


Ready for your Geraldton to Carnarvon road trip?

Beautiful and lush Riverside Park in Carnarvon, Australia.

Beautiful and lush Riverside Park in Carnarvon, Australia.

While most people think about starting in Perth, Geraldton is a great location to launch a road trip from. There is a lot to stop and see regardless if you go north or south, perfect for breaking up the travel time.

From nature and wildlife to history, there's something on this route for everyone. On your road trip, be sure to stop in at one of our friendly West Australia Summerstar Tourist Park locations for a comfortable and affordable stay.


Geraldton to Carnarvon FAQs

Is it better to stay in Denham or Monkey Mia?

This is more about what you want to do while you are there. If you’re going solely to see the dolphins, Monkey Mia is the better place. However, if the dolphins are only one of the things you want to do, or you don’t care if you even see them, then Denham is the better spot.

How many days do I need in Kalbarri?

You can drive this entire route in half a day, but that would only leave you a few hours in which to enjoy Kalbarri. Therefore, a good rule of thumb is to allocate approximately two-thirds of the non-driving time to Kalbarri as it has the most to do and see on this journey.

Do you need a 4WD for Kalbarri National Park?

This is Western Australia! No, on a serious note, Kalbarri National Park is one of Australia’s most accessible National Parks and is great for families and those who do not have a 4WD vehicle.

Is the road to Monkey Mia sealed?

Yes, the road to Monkey Mia is fully sealed. It is suitable for caravans of all sizes. However, it is worth noting that most other roads in the area are not as easily accessible.

Read On...

Hit the road on a road trip from Perth to Broome, WA

If you’re planning a holiday to Broome, we’ve put together the ultimate 7-Day Perth to Broome road trip guide with a list of unmissable stops. Plan your trip!

Read

20 Famous photography spots in WA

On your next adventure make sure to pack your camera! WA has some amazing locations for travel photos. Here’s our ultimate WA road trip photography guide.

Read