For the ultimate beach road trip from Perth, you can’t go past the Coral Coast. With your Perth Airport car rental from Hertz, drive north to Coral Bay, and see rugged gorges, coral reefs and endless sandy beaches along the way. During prime wildflower season between July and October the area is in full bloom and it’s extra beautiful.
Leaving Perth on the Indian Ocean Drive heading north, you’ll drive through the towns of Cervantes, Jurien Bay, Dongara, Port Denison and Greenough Hamlet. Around Cervantes you can explore the magnificent Pinnacles Desert, and the discovery centre there. Cool off at Hangover Bay or Thirsty Point. Once in Geraldton, make the most of the fresh Western Australian seafood and the area’s specialty: rock lobster.
Follow the signage along the Shark Bay World Heritage Drive. Along the way, points of interest include Shell Beach, which sprawls for 100 km, Eagle Bluff, where you may see dugongs and sharks, and Hamelin Pool, with some of the world’s oldest living fossils. Shark Bay, on the Indian Ocean coast, is home to vast seagrass beds and rich marine life, including many endangered species. Denham is the main town here and home to the visitor centre. To head deep into Francois Peron National Park, or to Steep Point and Dirk Hartog Island, you will need a 4WD.
Return to the NW Coastal Highway and to the holiday town of Carnavon. Enjoy the fresh local tropical fruit – bananas and other fruits are grown in the area -and stroll the Fascine along the river at sunset.
As you head out of Carnarvon stop at the blowholes 75 km north, and watch the water erupt through the rocks. Further north the terrain flattens and becomes more desert-like, crossing dry creeks and rivers. When you get to Coral Bay you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this marine paradise. Fish and coral thrive in the protected waters; the reef stretches all the way inland to the shore.. Snorkelling or a glass boat ride are a great way to see the underwater environment. Tours for diving, swimming with whale sharks or to see manta rays are available.