When it comes to activities in Perth, it pales in comparison to Melbourne or Sydney. But if you venture out, you might find that there are actually heaps of places to see in Western Australia. Beautiful beaches, towering sand dunes, picturesque valleys and gorges, vibrant pink lake, it’s all here in WA!
All in all, this took us two trips, a 3d2n trip and the other, a day trip (lancelin and pinnacles). But you can most definitely do it all on one trip if you so wish.
Yanchep Lagoon beach, Yanchep
55km north of Perth
Our first stop, and the one nearest to Perth’s CBD. It is easy to get to and perfect for the first stop on your journey to the north. Yanchep Lagoon beach is one of the most underrated places in my opinion. Dubbed “best-kept secret beach”, it is not hard to see why with the pristine sand and turquoise water. Despite being there on a Sunday morning, there was hardly anyone around so if you dislike crowds, this is the place to go.
There’s a café just across from the beach so you can buy some food and make a good beach picnic out of it. The clear and shallow water makes it perfect for snorkeling on a warm day and you might even spot a dolphin or two!
Atlantis Marine Park, Two Rocks
60km north of Perth
Atlantis Marine Park is an abandoned theme park built in 1981. The place has recently been restored after cases of vandalism, although the iconic King Neptune statue still sits in overgrown bush-land. Just 10 minutes away from Yanchep Lagoon beach, it is worth a visit if you want some photos with the magnificent statue or simply explore the park.
Open to the public on weekends, we went there on a Sunday. It wasn’t open.
Undeterred, we ended up entering through a hole in the fence and so did a family who was there for a stroll. Watch out for a couple of cameras installed in the park. The last thing you need would be the popo ruining your trip.
Moore River Sandbar, Guilderton
94km north of Perth
What makes this next destination unique is that there is a natural sandbar separating the Moore river from the ocean, giving visitors the best of both worlds. You could either walk across the sandbar to get to the other side of the beach for a stroll while enjoying the ocean view or you could rent a kayak and paddle around the mouth of the river.
If you are not a huge fan of kayaking, you could pick a different option from a variety of equipment available for rent. Apart from kayaks, there are also paddle boards, dinghies and paddle boats available.
Lancelin Sand Dunes, Lancelin
127km north of Perth
From a distance, the sand dunes look like snowy mountains. But before you head straight to the dunes, drop by Lancelin Surf Shop or Lancelin Roadhouse which are only a few minutes away to pick up some sandboards.
The ride down the sand dunes may be exhilarating but be warned, it is a workout getting back up to the top of the hill and you’re most likely end up with mouthful of sand if it is windy or if you land on your face at the bottom.
Pro tip, the more you wax your board, the faster you will glide down the hill.
200km north of Perth
Attracting over 190,000 visitors each year, the Pinnacles is one of WA’s most iconic spots! These limestone structures were formed due to the receding of the sea 25,000 to 30,000 years ago. Over time, coastal winds removed the surrounding sand, leaving the pillars exposed to the elements. Some of the pillars can go up to five meters tall!
You can choose to drive through the entire park on the marked trail or you could walk part of the park and take some photos with the structures.
220km north of Perth
Despite seeing photos of sea lions whilst researching on Jurien Bay, we did not encounter any while we were at the beach. However, further research showed that you can book a tour and get up close and personal with the sea lions on an island which is just a 20 minute boat ride away. If you ever wanted to swim with sea lions, here is your chance to do so.
If you are feeling a little more adventurous, you could even book a skydiving experience and get an aerial view of Turquoise Coast.
518km north of Perth
If you made it this far, you probably would have been in the car for more than 7 hours and probably tired of the scenery by now. Patience, you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the Hutt Lagoon, or as some people call, the Pink Lake. Yes, the lake really is pink.
The color of the salt lake is due to the presence of an algae called Dunaliella salina, a source of ß-carotene, a food-coloring agent and source of vitamin A. Some might think that it is a long way from Perth but I think the view is worth the drive!
Island Rock and Natural Bridge, Kalbarri
565km north of Perth
While you are here, you can check out Red bluff, Pot Alley, Eagle Gorge and Mushroom Rock. However, we found most of them to be similar in nature and our favorite spot was the Island rock which offers a spectacular view of the Indian ocean and rock structures from the towering cliff.
If you are lucky you might even spot humpback whale or dolphins if it’s the right season!
Nature’s window, Kalbarri
598km north of Perth
Nature’s Window is a small but picturesque natural arch found in Kalbarri National Park in western Australia. It overlooks the Murchison River Gorge and while you climb up there, see if you can spot any kangaroos in the wild. We were lucky enough to spot two of them!
For those who are up for adventure, there are several gorge hiking options. But if you want to simply enjoy the view, you can stick to “The Loop” an easy trail that leads to Nature’s Window. The view is simply breath-taking.
If you have more time, drive all the way up to:
- Monkey Mia for more beautiful beaches
- Karijini National Park for stunning gorges and waterfalls
- Broome for sunset camel ride on the beach.
Tips before you head off on your roadtrip!
- Water is a must. Lots of it.
- Don’t forget your sunscreen especially in summer.
- Insect repellent will be your best friend.
- Bring lots of snacks.
- A cap and a pair of sunnies will come in handy at some point.
- Get Spotify premium and pre-download 25 hours of music. Or load music into your phone or iPod.
- Download offline google maps and pre-plan the routes (reception gets weaker as you move further away from civilization).
Now go have fun and watch out for the kangaroos on the road!