West Coast Trip; Perth to Broome with Intrepid Travel + Video

In April I was lucky enough to spend 3 weeks travelling up the coast in Western Australia from Perth, up through the Kimberlys and ending in Darwin in the Northern Territory.
I. Had. A. Blast! 
 I booked the trip through Intrepid Travel / Adventure Travel Australia and they were brilliant.
The tour was split into 2 sections, Perth to Broome and Broome to Darwin. You can choose to do the whole tour as one, or just do a section of it. 
Shout out to Damo for being the best tour guide! 
& everyone I met on the trip was fantastic! I made some great friends! 
If you want to know any particular details about the trip or if you're debating about going & want more info then feel free to comment below or drop me an email & I can tell you all you need to know ;)

After spending over a month in Perth I was ready to move on & begin some actual travelling and exploring of WA 

The Pinnacles, Nambung National Park 
Just under 3 hours North of Perth you will find The Pinnacles Desert, which isn't actually a desert FYI but that's for another time. 
 These ancient limestone rock sculptures that rise out of the sand can be found in Nambung National Park & they are pretty fascinating to be honest!
They scatter across the 'desert' in their thousands maybe and each with their own individual shapes and sizes creating an almost alien-like landscape. 
Be sure to stop here for some pictures & visit the information center to learn more about how these pillars were formed back in the day.

The Pinnacles
Jurien Bay
Sand-boarding = hilarious. 
About 2 hours further up the road you'll find Jurien Bay with its wide choice of sand dunes to play on. We stopped here for a go & it was wild. I didn't attempt to stand up, could barely manage it sitting down but loved every second of it. 

Sandboarding at Jurien Bay

Just another 2 hours North and you'll arrive in Geraldton; a small coastal town. I'm pretty sure we arrived at night and left early so I couldn't really tell you that much about the place but its a good pit-stop between long drives. & im pretty sure the picture below isn't actually Geraldton but it was somewhere near that we went to so it'll do.

Maybe Geraldton, maybe not. 

Kalbarri National Park
Go here. Please.
This national park is beautiful. There are many hikes to choose from, Murchison Gorge, the Loop Walk & Natures Window. Natures Window was my fave! 
Take a hike into Z-Bend Gorge and try out the river while you're there! Or if you're feeling a little more adventurous you can choose to abseil down a 20m cliff face. 
Scariest thing I've done but so proud of myself for doing it! 
If a 60+ something woman could do it, so could I!!

Natures Window

Shell Beach
Literally does what it says on the tin; a beach made of shells.
AND it is only one of two beaches IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD made entirely of shells. 
Pretty cool huh!
The water here is ridiculously clear too, 

Shell Beach
Shell Beach

Shark Bay
One of the prettiest places to drive through without a doubt. 
If you find yourself in this part of the world around sunset then PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go to Eagles Bluff and watch the beauty unfold. 
From the viewpoint we watched turtles, stringrays & hammerhead sharks swim in the waters below. & did I mention how clear and still this water was, it was magical! 
The colours in that sunset were, well, ... I have no words.
From here we stayed in Denham and found a park with swings & a pub with cider = happy days.

Eagles Bluff, Shark Bay

Monkey Mia 
Ok so I was pretty excited to go here, and I still urge you to go because it was great being so close to 'wild' dolphins but tbh it wasn't overwhelming ya know. 
We took a very early morning drive across the Peron Peninsula to reach Monkey Mia. Be warned that everybody else is doing the exact same thing so get there as early as you can, but tbh it won't make that much of a difference because everyone else is getting there early too. 
In Monkey Mia there are some resident dolphins who swim up to the shore every single day and wait to be fed by rangers at different intervals.  Meanwhile there is a huge mob of people stretched out along the shore trying to get their videos and pictures and hoping to be chosen to come into the water to feed the dolphins. 
I mean the reason i'm not so bothered about this experience may be because I wasn't chosen but srsly, you either have to be a cute child or a helpless pregnant mum-to-be or an elderly dear ticking off things on the bucket list to be picked. Not that i'm bitter or anything. 
Its cool, but not as cool as i'd thought.
Monkey Mia Dolphins

Carnarvon; Stromatolites at Hamelin Pool 
& no for all you Welshies, not Caernarfon back at home. 
This is home to stromatolites
Exactly ... well, stromatolites in a nutshell are pretty much responsible for alot of shit 3.5 billion years ago. They are the worlds oldest and largest living fossils. 
They are layered structure created by single-celled microbes called cyanobacteria and unlike rocks - they're alive! You can even see the stromatolites fizzing away as tiny bubbles of oxygen are released by the cynabacteria into the water. 
AND I've lost you. 
Well they were interesting to me & again, like shell beach, only one of 2 areas in the world you can find these stromatolites
Stromatolites at Hamlin Pool

Coral Bay
Yep, Coral Bay is delightful. 
This picturesque town is home to the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef. 
There are tons of options to do here from cruising along the reef in a glass-bottom boat to soaking up the sun on the beach or do what I did and go snorkeling with manta rays!
It was so much fun! We went with Ningaloo Experience & it was $165 for a half day tour. 
We sailed out into the Ningaloo Reef and had a snorkel at the famous Shark Cleaning Station. 
After our first snorkel it was time to find the Manta Rays and have a snorkel / mad sprint swim trying to keep up with it! It was HUGE! & then a 2nd snorkel in the reef looking at gorgeous coral and fish! 
The company we used were brilliant & made sure everyone got a good look at the Manta Ray.  
& if you're after something to do in the evening, a trip down to the beach to watch the sunset with a few cheeky drinks is the way to do it! Look out for the many small string rays lurking in the shallows, or the local nudists ;) 
Shark cleaning station, Ningaloo Reef
Manta Ray
Coral at Ningaloo Reef

Of all the things I've done in Australia so far, none come close to my experience in Exmouth.
Here we had the choice to do whatever we wished. & I did just that! 
If you happen to be in Exmouth between April & July I urge you to make your wish to be...
swim with whale sharks,
I will never forget this experience for the rest of my life. 
For $350 (it may sound alot but its 100% worth it I promise you) you can spend the day out on the Ningaloo Reef snorkeling with turtles, reef sharks, stingrays, watch wild dolphins from the boat & eventually go swimming with whale sharks! 
We were lucky enough to get to swim with 8 different whale sharks in one afternoon.
Nothing will ever prepare you for the moment you jump off the boat and swim over to the leader and wait, face under water just watching and waiting for this gentle giant to come into vision and swim within meters of you.
I was in awe.  
For someone who doesn't like the idea of being out in open water, I have never felt so calm in my entire life than in those moments swimming alongside those fish. 
We booked through Kings Ningaloo Reef Tour and they were fantastic. 
I will recommend them to everyone again and again! 
Look out for my GoPro video coming soon of this whole experience & you can see for yourself how beautiful the Ningaloo Reef really is. The coral is thriving with life!

Swimming with whale sharks 

Karijini National Park 
Ok,I know im saying this alot but go there! 
Its like hours and hours in the middle of nowhere but is totally worth it! Make sure you put aside 3-4+ days
to really explore everything Karijini has to offer. We headed waaaaay inland through the Pilbara region and past all the cattle stations known to man. The further inland we went the redder the earth got, this area is rich in mineral deposits and an absolute nightmare to get out of clothes! 
Learn from my mistake; it is never ok to do drunken red-dust angels in the earth! 
Over the few days we spent in Karijini we explored all the mighty gorges & hiked to our hearts content. Here you can find beautiful cascading waterfalls & fresh water swimming holes. 
Dales Gorge, Circular Pool, Fortescue Falls, Fern Pool, Weano Gorge & Hancock Gorge to name a few of the incredible spots we visited! If you're a fan of swimming you'll love it here, every opportunity I got I was in the water!
At night, look up.  The stars are incredible from here. But also be wary if you're camping, there are dingos in the area so lock up any food you have - but just as Sarah taught me you just need to shout "GO HOME DINGO"
Problem solved.
Look out for my GoPro video coming soon of my whole Karijini experience!

Port Hedland 
Hours and hours back towards the coast you'll find Port Hedland. Famous for its huge iron ore industry if you're into that kinda thing. Other than that there's not alot happening. 

I really liked Broome (shock) & would really like to go back. The weather was roasting & helped me get a good tan on ya know! 
On route into Broome we took a stop at Gantheaume Point to have a look at 130 million year old dinosaur footprints. We didn't actually see them, you have to pay to do an actual tour of that but the area itself by the lighthouse is lovely. The contrast of the white sand, red cliffs and blue ocean is amazing. 
From here we headed into the town and settled in at the YHA (great hostel!). With a few free days to play with in Broome before the 2nd leg of the trip began we could do want we wanted. 
One of my top things here was a visit to Cable Beach, named after the undersea telegraph cables that connected Broome to Singapore back in the day. Fact for you there, you're welcome :) 
Spend the day relaxing, swimming in the sea and then head over to book yourself a sunset camel ride tour! 
There's 3 different companies; each with different coloured camels - well the 'cloth' on them, not actual spray-painted camels. 
We went with the yellow & gold camels .. Sundowner Camel Tours
They were very good, giving alot of information about the camel you were riding as well as taking HEAPS of photos for you on your own phones & cameras throughout the tour. 
& at the end you even get a pair of pearl earrings and free drink and the bar up the road. 
The sunset itself on cable beach is stunning, but being on a camel made it that little bit more fun.
Broome town is nice to explore; there's lots of bars & restaurants and even an old cinema filled with deckchairs.

Sunset Camel Ride on Cable Beach
Gantheaume Point

& so this concluded the 1st leg of the tour. 
Each place we visited was so beautiful and I would visit them again in a heartbeat.
Part 2 coming soon :)

& if you'd like to SEE what I did check out the link below to watch my GoPro video ...
 Part 1 of my adventures 
(Perth to Coral Bay)


G Goes Global - Australia #5 Perth to Darwin Part 1 - GoPro Hero 3+ Silver from Gemma Williams on Vimeo.

Thanks for reading & happy travels 
♡ G

Join me on Instagram @gemwills 

& follow me on my Australia Adventure! 

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