Planning a weekend road trip getaway in Perth and don’t know where to go?
One of the best trips you can take over the weekend is a road trip up north from Perth to Geraldton.
A straight drive from Perth to Geraldton takes about four and a half hours driving up the picturesque Indian Ocean Drive. Going this way means you get to enjoy breathtaking ocean views while headed north towards Geraldton.
As you plan for your Perth to Geraldton road trip, it’s best to make a few stops along the way to rest and get the most out of your drive. As many people say, it’s not always about the destination, but the journey you take to get there.
Besides, there are numerous WA accommodation options between Perth and Geraldton. You’re sure to find comfortable caravan and camping parks, as well as some great restaurants along the way.
Enjoy a self-drive holiday from Perth to Geraldton
As you plan for your Perth to Geraldton itinerary, make a note to enjoy the panoramic views of beautiful beaches. Also, pencil in some time to stop and smell the wildflowers and make some quick (or longer) detours to these interesting spots.
Go koala & bird-watching in Yanchep National Park
The Yanchep National Park is about 42 kilometres north of Perth and is well-known for its koala colonies, wildlife walking trails and native bush.
You can get up close and personal with the koalas via the 240-metre Koala Boardwalk. You’ll also find the Crystal Cave, where you’ll get to see impressive natural formations like stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones and columns.
Here, you just might be lucky enough to spot some Western grey kangaroos, too.
It’s also a great site for avid bird-watchers, as birds like honeyeaters, parrots, pelicans, kingfishers and rare Carnaby’s cockatoos sometimes show up. If you have more time, you can also learn about the local Aboriginal culture from the native Nyoongar guides.
Gravity Discovery Centre and Gingin Observatory
If you’ve got kids in tow, your trip to Geraldton might be an opportune time to let them appreciate astronomy and science in general at the Gravity Discovery Centre and Gingin Observatory.
Located in Gingin, just 25 kilometres north of Yanchep, this interactive science learning centre is an excellent place for adults and kids to bond over physics and astronomy. Climb up the 45-metre high ‘leaning tower of Gingin’ that’s tilted to 15 degrees and enjoy impressive views of the Wallingup Plains or go on the Solar System Walk to gain some perspective on just how tiny the world is.
Enjoy fresh seafood in Ledge Point
During your drive farther north, stop by Ledge Point, 105 kilometres north of Perth.
Here, you can stay longer and choose to go a-wandering at Lancelin Island, Back Beach and Nilgen Lookout — all of which are close to Ledge Point. Or you can just go to Ledge Point to partake of their mouth-watering crayfish and other fresh seafood.
Make a quick stop in Wedge Island
Located about 140 kilometres northwest of Perth, Wedge Island lies north of Lancelin and south of Cervantes. You may opt to come for a quick stop if only to see the curiosity that is Wedge and Grey. These unofficial shack settlements were built on unvested land sometime between the 1950s and 1990s, mostly by pastoralists and fishermen.
Today, most of the people on Wedge and Grey are retirees or holidaymakers from Perth. There’s no water or electrical lines going to this area, so it’s a fascinating place to see at the very least.
Enjoy the rugged beauty of Cervantes
Another worthwhile stopover just off Indian Ocean Drive, around 198 kilometres north-north-west of Perth, is Cervantes in the Shire of Dandaragan. Here, you can explore Nambung National Park.
Just 17 kilometres south of Cervantes, Nambung National Park is well-known for being the location of The Pinnacles or Pinnacles Desert. It’s also where you’ll find the fabulous beaches at Kangaroo Point and Hangover Bay.
While here, you can appreciate the rugged beauty of the coastal dune systems and the flowery low heathland that explodes in a riot of colours during spring.
In the northern tip of the park close to Cervantes, you can go on a walk at a loop trail and boardwalk leading to Lake Thetis where you’ll find strange formations called ‘stromatolites’.
Take a splash in Jurien Bay
About 20 minutes north of Cervantes and 220 kilometres north of Perth up the Coral Coast, you’ll find Jurien Bay facing the Indian Ocean.
This popular holiday and fishing destination keeps you just a few steps away from the beach. You may choose to stay here for longer as there are quite a number of restaurants serving different cuisines, although we’d advise you to enjoy the seafood first.
While here, explore one of the many things to do in Jurien Bay.
You can walk or bike the 15-kilometre bituminised Turquoise Way trail to enjoy the views as you go along. You can also go on a Jurien Bay sea lion tour and have the opportunity to swim up close to see these adorable creatures in their natural habitat.
If you fancy yourself a fishing session, you can hire a fishing charter. Adrenaline junkies can also go on a skydiving or surfing adventure.
You can even opt to stay overnight at a local Jurien Bay caravan park to get a chance to enjoy the magical sunset view at Jurien Bay.
Adventure close to Geraldton
After Jurien Bay, you can stop by Dongara to rest, have some coffee and fuel up.
If you’re curious enough, you can even go for a quick drive to Greenough Hamlet about 42 kilometres north of Dongara. Here, you’ll see windblown trees surviving but permanently bent over due to the strong coastal winds.
Whether you make a stop to see these fascinating trees or head straight to Geraldton from Dongara is entirely up to. After all, you can still see this place on your way back from Geraldton to Perth.
Settle in at a caravan park in Geraldton
Here, you’ll have a chance to see the remnants of shipwrecks, swim, surf, enjoy seafood and other cuisines, go on a scenic flight, fishing tour or explore this beautiful city by the coast. It's one of the easiest and most enjoyable WA road trips you can take.
Looking for additional things to do in Geraldton?
Don’t forget to explore the Yamaji trails, Ellendale Pool, the pink Hutt Lagoon, Greenough Wildlife Park and the spectacular Abrolhos Islands.
You can also get your dose of history and architecture by visiting Geraldton’s Spanish missionary-style Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Cathedral, the Western Australian Maritime Museum and Moore Point Lighthouse. Not to be missed is the local memorial dedicated to the 645 crew members of HMAS Sydney who perished when their ship was sunk by the German cruiser, Kormoran, back in 1941.
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