Perth to Darwin is a slightly less popular road trip to take when in Australia, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less amazing. One reason it isn’t as popular as your east coast drives is Perth is the most remote city in the world. Darwin is a staggering 4000km away.
Starting off from just south of Perth at Herron Point, we stopped quite a few times along the way and made it to Darwin with the van (sort of) in tact. The stops we took were semi-planned, semi-what-the-hell and we saw some awesome and really different sights. Here are a few of the highlights because we don’t think anyone wants to scroll through the 1074 photos we took along the way!
The Pinnacles Desert
The Pinnacles Desert, a pretty strange and eerie first stop on our journey. These limestone formations are produced by a combination of wind, rain and a cementing agent of calcium. After walking around trying to avoid the masses with their selfie sticks, we took Stripe the van on a very bumpy drive. It’s a pretty weird sight following 100,000 other campervans around a small track through these glorified rocks but it’s a tourist attraction so here we are…
An hour before you reach the Pinnacle Desert is the town of Lancelin. There are huge dunes at Lancelin where you can rent sandboards and go sandboarding which we 100% recommend. So if you wanted an earlier stop off after you leave Perth, check out sandboarding in Lancelin!
Kalbarri National Park and Nature’s Window
Nature’s window was our absolute favourite photo points. It was also another national park we managed to get into for free via our WA Parks Pass. We probably didn’t leave enough time here, you could spend the whole day trekking the trails in the gorges and taking in the views.
This world heritage site has so many highlights such as Hamelin Pool, Eagle Island, Shell Beach and so many others. The stunning Hamelin Pool is the first place you arrive at and it was definitely worth the stop. It’s a tranquil pool (get there early to avoid tourists who could spoil the tranquillity) full of microbial mats and splashing fish. Super peaceful.
Oh and Shark Bay also has wild dolphin feeding, it’s an absolute must-see if travelling Perth to Darwin.
Karijini National Park
Karijini national park was recommended to us by every backpacking couple, caravanning holiday maker and grey nomad we came into contact with.
We only managed to see one of the gorges, Hammersley Gorge, as the rest were on unsealed roads and (what the locals have kindly named) our “sh*t-tin” didn’t really do well on dirt roads.
We’re were still finding that red dust in all the nooks and creases weeks on, it literally gets everywhere. So we had a nice swim in Fern Pool and spent some time relaxing by the waterfalls to get rid of the dirt.
A huge highlight, that we couldn’t possibly summarise in this post, was the whale shark dive and the Ningaloo Reef. Make sure you check out our post on that here.
Crossing the Border
Even crossing the border into the Northern Territory was eventful, different timezones, completely different climates. Almost as exciting as crossing into Wales… almost.
More on how we just about survived our first month living in a van here.
We’d love to hear your feedback and your experiences of travelling the west coast of Australia, so leave a comment below! You can also share the post with friends and family if you like 🙂