Seven Day Western Australia Road Trip

Take a seven day Western Australia road trip from Perth to Carnarvon. Western Australia is the largest state of Australia and boasts a beautiful coastline and red interior. Reefs and lagoons extend from the tropical Kimberley coast in the north and as far south as Perth. This lesser known marine environment boasts outstanding natural attractions in Australia. Spectacular landscapes and wildlife are around every bend. The local food is fresh and fantastic. Find a 7-day itinerary covering outstanding natural and cultural attractions.

Shell Beach Shark Bay

Prior Planning

While we were in Western Australia we celebrated a friend’s wedding and took a fantastic road trip along the way. Then we headed back to Sydney aboard the Indian Pacific Train.

Booked accommodation ~ Purchased travel insurance ~ Checked and packed passports ~Read the rental car agreement ~ Route mapped prior ~ Researched safety tips for the extreme outback environment ~ researched conditions for our late April/early May schedule ~ Prepared a written itinerary.


Derek is a confident driver and he hired a Toyota Corolla from the airport. His top tip for rental cars is to take advantage of the specials on offer at airport arrivals. We covered over 3000 km in one week. Another important thing to note is ‘no driving from dusk till dawn’ on rural roads.

The non-stop drive from Perth to Carnarvon, on Highway 1, takes about 10 hours. We took this northward leg in four stages:

  • Perth to Yanchep (3-night stay),
  • Yanchep to Geraldton (1-night stay)
  • Geraldton to Carnarvon (3-night stay).
  • Coral Bay snorkelling a day trip from Carnarvon.

We took the return, Carnarvon to Perth, in one day leaving at 6 am and returning the rental car at 5 pm in central Perth.

As an aside, we considered self-drive, meals. rooms and attractions, budget package deal. On reflection controlling our bookings aligned with our interests. Also, the Corolla was a better vehicle than the one offered in the budget package.



  • Rental $435.24 Fuel $350.
  • Yanchep Airbnb homestay: $209 for 3 x nights including breakfast (no view)
  • Geraldton Airbnb homestay: $35 for 1 x night
  • Carnarvon: self contained flat with pool $411.11 for 3 x nights


Self-catered from supermarkets and local growers + wedding feast. Breakfast was included with our Airbnb homestays.


  • Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum $21.00
  • Glass Bottom Boat Snorkeling at Coral Bay Ningaloo Reef $129
  • The Pinnacles $49.00
  • Yanchep National Park $18.00

Transport and Flights

  • Air NZ Auckland to Perth
  • Rental Car
  • Indian Pacific Train Perth to Sydney
  • Jet Star Syndey to Auckland



Yanchep is only an hour from the Perth Airport, is bordered by the Indian Ocean, and boasts many beaches and wildlife galore.

Love the safe swimming and white sand beach at Yanchep Lagoon. The offshore reef forms a giant swimming pool that is patrolled by lifeguards. A late April dip is quite refreshing.

Yanchep Lagoon

My Breakfast at our Airbnb homestay

Our Airbnb homestay is a charmer for sure. The proximity to Yanchep Lagoon is a bonus. The layout of the house is another. The front part of the house is set aside for guests with an en-suite bathroom and independent entry. The living areas and our host’s rooms are in the back part of the house with the host and guests’ areas separated by an internal door. Each morning, our host Simmi, welcomed us into the household dining with a beautifully prepared breakfast. I love to start the day with a good cup of coffee! Chatting with a local host is a great way to find local gems. Our host also gives some safety tips for outback driving.

Kangaroos of Yanchep Feeding at Dusk

Yanchep National Parks‘ 28 square hectares are packed with opportunities to connect with Australia’s national history.

The park boasts hiking trails, lakes, picnic spots and a koala colony.

Cave Wedding Breakfast

The evening is a great time to see the park’s kangaroos feeding and bounding around. Kangaroos feeding at dusk also warn of the driving risk between dusk till dawn.

We celebrated the wedding in the park beside a beautiful lake. This setting contributed to the intimate and touching wedding ceremony. We celebrated the wedding breakfast in one of the park’s 400 caves. Talk about drama.

The Pinnacles

A tourist attracton western Australia the Pinnacles
The Pinnacles

What a fantastic self-drive or walking adventure. Moving through the strange limestone monoliths feels like walking on the moon. A Corolla is perfect for this on-road that feels like an off-road experience.

World Heritage Locations & Roadside Reserves:

When travelling we spend a good deal of our time in parks and reserves. Some are lesser-known, but still memorable, and others have world recognition.

Shark Bay is a UNESCO world heritage site with unique ecology and stunning natural beauty. Shell Beach is my favourite attraction in the region. Here the flat surface of the sea bed combined with the sunny climate causes evaporation and hypersalinity in the seawater. The Fragum Cockle, there are trillions of them, thrive in these salty conditions. Most organisms rely on gathering other plants and organisms from within their environment for food. Very few organisms live in the salty water at Shell Beach, but the Fragum Cockle has thrived, forming a symbiotic relationship with a type of algae. The cockle suns the algae, the algae reproduces through photosynthesis, and the cockle feeds on the algae. Wow, the power of sunshine.

Shell Beach Shark Bay

We stumbled across Nilgren Reserve thanks to a roadside sign. We loved walking through the native plants and found a few out-of-season wildflowers complete with bees. Reading the information board was a great way to get a sense of the relationship between the land and the local people.


Carnarvon is a delight and surprise to us.

Despite having no rain for years at a time this desert town grows much of the produce for Western Australia. In fact, Carnarvon is a desert oasis complete with an upside-down river. We enjoyed purchasing the local produce and preparing our meals.

To top it off, NASA used Carnarvon, as a communication base during some of the Apollo missions. Today, the location is a quaint space and technology museum. Derek has a background in electronics and really enjoyed the museum.

Quobba Blowholes and Aquarium are located 75 km north of Carnarvon. The Blowholes shoot meters into the air and are a thrilling site to see. The Aquarium is about a km north of the blowholes and is a local snorkelling, picnic and camping spot. We visited as part of our day trip to Coral Bay.


Coral Bay:

Take a northward day trip from Carnarvon and Coral Bay lies in the tropic of Capricorn. We left early, at 6 am, and booked a 10 am tour.

Coral By Western Australia

The Ningaloo Reef encloses the bay with soft and hard coral forming a lush garden in the shallow waters. You will see cabbage corals, brain corals and lavender corals to delicate colourful branching corals teeming with brightly coloured tropical fish all around. The 300 km long Ningaloo Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Listed Site due to its marine and land properties, such as rare flora and fauna like the Whale Sharks and Manta Rays

Our May visit is at the cooler time of year but the water was still a comfortable 22 degrees C. We booked a 2-hour glass bottom boat coral viewing and snorkelling tour from Coral Bay Eco Tours. I am impressed that we were surrounded by colourful fish and the guides did NOT use food to attract them.

Location Availability

Coral Bay Eco Tours Phone: + 61 (8) 9942 5885

3 Replies to “Seven Day Western Australia Road Trip”

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