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15 nights Perth to Exmouth Round Trip

Warwickshire
Level Contributor
224 posts
33 reviews
15 nights Perth to Exmouth Round Trip

We will be arriving in Perth mid June and will hire a car, then head north. We will have 15 nights and I am struggling to put together a round trip. We originally only had 8 nights and were only going as far as Monkey Mia, but after reading these forums, I now really want to get to Ningaloo and Karijini, so have added an extra 7 nights to this trip. This is what I have so far.

1 night Perth (late arrival from Singapore)

2 nights Kalbarri

2 nights Monkey Mia

2/3 nights Coral Bay / Exmouth

2/3 nights Karijini (Tom Price)

1/2 nights ??

1 night Cervantes (for Pinnacles Desert)

2 nights Perth (visit Rottnest Island)

I’m not sure how best to split our time in the Coral Bay / Exmouth / Karijini areas. Also I can’t seem to find much accommodation on the return inland route (95) – can anyone suggest where to stop over. We don’t mind any type of accommodation just for the odd night?

Appreciate any advice or suggestions.

York, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Western Australia
Level Contributor
7,350 posts
1,840 reviews
1. Re: 15 nights Perth to Exmouth Round Trip

Ningaloo and Karijini are the highlights so load your time there.

I'd do 2 nights Coral Bay, 2 nights Exmouth (though I tend to stay closer to the reef at lighthouse or Yardie homestead caravan parks), 3 nights Karijini.

At Karijini, if your budget can stretch to it if stay at the Eco-retreat rather than lugging in and out from Tom Price. Also consider the Red Gorge Adventure day trip with west oz active. The best day out I've done anywhere in the world.

Not much on 95, cue tourist park or a station stay like kirkalocka near mt magnet is as good as it gets.

I'd probably drop the night in Cervantes and visit pinnacles as a leg stretcher on the way to Kalbarri.

Also in our winter it may not be worth going to Rottnest, depends on the weather. But I wouldn't go unless it's a nice, sunny day.

Warwickshire
Level Contributor
224 posts
33 reviews
2. Re: 15 nights Perth to Exmouth Round Trip

Thanks for the ideas, Waddler. Unfortunately I don't think the Red Gorge Adventure is for us, we are a couple in our late fifties/early sixties and although quite active, I think this would be too much for us.

So, if we had 3 nights in Karijini, would we be able to fill our time there? We would only have a 2wd vehicle, so would be restricted as to where we could go. 1 day could be spent around Dales Gorge, Fortescue Falls, etc but what would you suggest for the other day?

York, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Western Australia
Level Contributor
7,350 posts
1,840 reviews
3. Re: 15 nights Perth to Exmouth Round Trip

people in their 50/60s do the red gorge adventure, but of course you know yourselves.

Yes, the second day will be tricky without an ability to drive on unsealed roads to see weano gorge, Hancock gorge and Oxers lookout. Maybe check with West Oz Active, the Eco Retreat and Lestok tours whether there are any less hardcore tours to see these places on the second day.

From the Eco retreat (accessible now on sealed road) you can walk down in to Joffre gorge too. Has a very nice natural amphitheatre. But wouldn't fill a whole second day.

4. Re: 15 nights Perth to Exmouth Round Trip

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York, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Western Australia
Level Contributor
7,350 posts
1,840 reviews
5. Re: 15 nights Perth to Exmouth Round Trip

I'll just clarify that the 19km unsealed road from the Eco Retreat to Oxers Lookout/Hancock Gorge/Weano Gorge is 2wd suitable, its more a car rental terms and conditions issue (i.e. whether they allow you to drive on that unsealed road).

Warwickshire
Level Contributor
224 posts
33 reviews
6. Re: 15 nights Perth to Exmouth Round Trip

Is it still worth us going all the way to Karijini if we can only see the Dales Gorge area? Or is this not a particularly good part of the park?

Mjolby, Sweden
Level Contributor
1,266 posts
144 reviews
7. Re: 15 nights Perth to Exmouth Round Trip

We went to the Dales Gorge area and the visitor center a few years back. Had a great time out there but in retrospect we should have either joined a tour or maybe rented a 4WD for a couple of days to make the most of it. But I don't regret in any way that we did the trip, it's a beautiful area for sure. We especially enjoyed Fortescue Falls.

York, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Western Australia
Level Contributor
7,350 posts
1,840 reviews
8. Re: 15 nights Perth to Exmouth Round Trip

Dales Gorge has some of Karijini's most popular attractions like Fortescue Falls, Fern Pool and the walk between Fortescue Falls and Circular Pool.

Its certainly a beautiful gorge, although its by far the busiest and is much tamer than some of the others.

I think its a must-see in Karijini, but I also don't think you get a full Karijini experience by only going to Dales Gorge. You are certainly missing out.

So is it worth going just for Dales? Well, its 14.5 hrs Perth to Karijini with next to nothing to see on the way, then 8.5hrs Karijini to Ningaloo with absolutely nothing to see on the way. So its a long way to travel for one day in Dales Gorge. That said, Karijini is possibly my favourite place on the planet, so I'm never going to say its not worth it!

Warwickshire
Level Contributor
224 posts
33 reviews
9. Re: 15 nights Perth to Exmouth Round Trip

Oh decisions, decisions. I'm racking my brains trying to work out how we can see more. Although we'll have a 2wd for this trip, do you think there is any way we could hire a 4wd just for a day or two to see Karijini? I know you can hire one at Paraburdoo Airport, but this seems a long way out if we have to return the 4wd to the airport, then continue to drive back towards Perth on the 95. I can't see any solution at the moment.

York, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Western Australia
Level Contributor
7,350 posts
1,840 reviews
10. Re: 15 nights Perth to Exmouth Round Trip

There's no easy answer.

As far as I'm aware, the full range of options to see more of Karijini than Dales are:

- hire a 2wd that permits gravel access roads under 20km

- hire a 4wd for the whole trip

- hire a 4wd at Paraburdoo and drop at Paraburdoo (back track)

- hire a 4wd at Paraburdoo and drop off at Newman (possible big one way hire fee), meaning one of you drives each vehicle from Paraburdoo to Karijini and Karijini to Newman but of course you use the 4wd once there

- turn up to Karijini Eco Retreat and make friends with someone who will take you to the other gorges

- once at coral bay, do a Karijini tour with coral coast tours then return back down the coast in your car

- at Karijini do the Lestok tours day tour. There will be some repetition in the afternoon as it goes to Dales then. Maybe ask if you can just book on for the morning and be dropped back at the Eco Retreat

- swallow hard and sign up to the Red Gorge Adventure with West Oz Active for the day of your lives!

- check Flying Sandgroper tour options (they have options which meet the Integrity bus but of course there's nothing to stop you driving and meeting them at Karijini as they stay at the Eco Retreat), otherwise ask what they can do for you in terms of a day tour of Oxers, Hancock and Weano etc - Flying Sangroper/West Oz Active really do want to help folk see the beauty of Karijini so if there's a way of making it happen they'll tell you, perhaps you can tack on for a bit of one of their longer tours

Edited: 07 April 2016, 11:29