Road Trip Time: 7 must-see stops along Western Australia’s Coast

Photo: Cottesloe Beach, Perth, Tourism Western Australia

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Are you ready and raring to escape this big, shiny, crazy metropolis of ours and make for turquoise waters and white sand beaches? A coastal road trip through Western Australia is a dream come true for travelers from all corners of the globe. Lucky for us Jakartans, this Aussie adventure is just a short 4.5 hour flight away.

Western Australia is one of the best places in the world to go road trippin’. With minimal traffic and no road tolls, you can easily hop in a car with your travel buddies and explore some of the most beautiful coastal regions in Western Australia.

With over 800 kms of coastline between Margaret River and Kalbarri, it was hard for us to narrow it down to just seven must see stops. But hey, with direct flights starting from just IDR6,509,900 from Jakarta to Perth, you can easily hop over and explore WA on your own—no guidebook, necessary. We can feel the wind in our hair already!

Photo: Tourism Western Australia

Perth

Long celebrated as one of the world’s prettiest and most livable cities in the world, Perth is now a leading player in Australia’s cultural, hospitality and events scene equipped with all the sophisticated, swanky comforts of a cosmopolitan city.

Visit the vibrant waterfront precinct of Elizabeth Quay and take a pearling master class, shop for locally made goods at a variety of outdoor markets, check out Yagan Square for a taste of fresh WA produce, or  hike up to King’s Park, the largest inner city park in the world, to enjoy stunning views of the beautiful Swan River and the city skyline.

Finish the day with fish and chips at  the famous Cottesloe Beach and witness WA’s magnificent sunset over the Indian Ocean.  As the sunniest capital of Australia, there is something for everyone with the city boasting a dynamic calendar of events every year, such as the City of Perth Winter Arts Festival from June-August, Perth International Jazz Festival in May, Kings Park Festival in September and the third largest Fringe Festival in the world in February.

Photo: Tourism Western Australia

Bunbury + Busselton

Start your trip exploring Australia’s South West coastal regions of Bunbury and Busselton, both approximately a 1.5 – 2 hour drive south of Perth.  Both charming regions are right on the water, so no surprise that there are spectacular sea views around every corner.

The region is known for wild bottlenose dolphins, lush parklands, and mangrove forests. But don’t expect to rough it too hard around here—cafes, boutiques, street art, and awesome restaurants are turning this area into a chic little paradise.

Some of the activities to enjoy in Bunbury include picking your own apples and oranges, exploring the farmer markets, mountain biking, and looking out over Marlston Hill at 360 degree views over the marina. In Busselton, walk out far into the ocean on the famed Busselton Jetty (pictured above), which also features an Interpretive Centre and an Underwater Observatory. The Jetty stretches a whopping 1.8km out to sea and is the longest timber piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere.

Photo: Walk Into Luxury at Margaret River

Margaret River

A 40-minute drive south of Busselton will take to you the renowned Margaret River region, which is as spectacular as it is diverse. Margaret River is not only famous for its world-class  wineries and high quality dining experiences, but also for its  white sandy beaches, epic surfing spots, over 150 limestone caves, ancient Karri forests, and picturesque sunsets. Follow the annual whale migration from May–November as thousands of Humpbacks and rare Blue Whales travel along the pristine WA coastline to give birth to their young.

If you’re a true foodie, you might want to make sure you’re there for the Margaret River Gourmet Escape, a celebration of food and drink that happens in unique locations (beach barbeques and forest picnics, anyone?) every year in November.

Photo: Tourism Western Australia

The Pinnacles

Time to head north to see what beauty the Coral Coast region can deliver. Two hours (or 245km) north of Perth, you’ll find Nambung National Park, home to one of the world’s most fascinating landscapes—the Pinnacles. This iconic landscape is truly a must-see when you’re in WA. Stand in awe as you look out on tall limestone spires that have formed over millions of years out of the yellow desert sand.

It’s so easy to venture to the Pinnacles yourself on a road trip from Perth. Once you’re there, park and take a scenic walking trail to a viewing platform , or join a four wheel drive tour. The Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre provides fascinating insights into the limestone formations, and the plants and animals who are native to this region of the Coral Coast.

Whilst in the region, be sure to stop by the Lobster Shack for a unique tour of a lobster factory followed by a feast of fresh WA rock lobsters.

Photo: HMAS Sydney II Memorial, Geraldton

Geraldton

Let’s continue north along the coast to Geraldton, shall we? About 2 hours and 45 mins north of the Pinnacles, Geraldton is one of Australia’s top destinations for everything beach-related: surfing, kite surfing, windsurfing, diving, snorkeling, boating, fishing, and eating fresh seafood, of course. Try the catch of the day at the local markets, or any of the impressive seafood restaurants along the waterfront.

The regional town of Geraldton is located on the Batavia Coast. Adventure abounds here, but anyone looking for a peaceful holiday will also love this town. Each year from July to October, Geraldton becomes the gateway to wildflower country. (Picnic, anyone?) Other awesome, yet serene , activities include fishing or bird watching.

Geraldton is also rich in heritage. Learn tragic stories revealed by relics of shipwrecks at the WA Museum – Geraldton. Visit the HMAS Sydney II memorial to remember the 645 crew members lost in 1941.

Photo: Tourism Western Australia

Hutt Lagoon

About an hour north of Geralton, you’ll find the magnificent Hutt Lagoon, a salt lake with a pink hue thanks to the presence of a certain type of algae.The pink hue ranges from reddish to purplish depending on the time of day and the weather. But any time you look at it, a hot pink lake is pretty astounding. While you can’t swim in it, (and with those beaches nearby who needs to?) it is the ultimate selfie stop for your Instagram snaps.

The best way to view the lake, however, is to take a scenic flight over it. You can also have a choice to land and explore the nearby Abrolhos Islands as part of a tour. Along with furry little wallabies and big osprey in nests, you can explore the Batavia shipwreck—the story is creepy, unsettling, and oh-so-fascinating. Geraldton Air Charters and Shine Aviation both offer tours that can provide this once in a lifetime experience.

Photo: Tourism Western Australia

Kalbarri National Park

Kalbarri National Park is a 90 minute drive north of Geraldton and is the ultimate adventure playground. At this natural wonder, ancient rugged outback meets white sand beaches. Where else can you see 400 million year old river gorges, dramatic coastal rock formations and a kaleidoscope of wildflowers.

Kalbarri is sunny for most of the year, so no surprise it’s a popular holiday spot for Western Australians. How can travelers enjoy this national park? Let us count the ways! Hop on a Murchison River cruise, hire a paddleboat, hit the water in a kayak. Take in views from the many mind-blowing lookout points, hike the trails, take a camel trek, go canyoning, try abseiling.

In the mood for an adventure? If reading this is causing serious pangs of wanderlust, then start planning your next adventure in WA. After all, every adventure is #justanotherdayinWA.

Fly from Jakarta to Perth with Garuda Indonesia to start your road trip adventure from just IDR6,509,900. Or fly from Bali/Denpasar to Perth for just IDR4,749,000.

Garuda Indonesia has received Skytrax’s 5-star airline rating and has been named “The World’s Best Cabin Crew” for four consecutive years in 2014 to 2017.

With more than 600 daily flights and a fleet of 144 aircrafts, Garuda Indonesia proudly serves its passengers with the award-winning “Garuda Indonesia Experience” service, which highlights Indonesia’s warm hospitality and rich diverse culture.

Click here to start planning the trip of a lifetime to the coast of Western Australia. You won’t regret it, mate!

Photo: Tourism Western Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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