West Coast Loop (Perth to Exmouth, Karijini, return)

Jump on the Share Bus on the West Coast Loop to explore the amazing beaches, snorkelling, hikes and gorges between Perth, Exmouth, Karijini and then goback to Perth again. Travel for 18 days!

How it works

We’re not a tour. We’re a shared rental! You share the rental of our minibus, trailer and camping equipment with other backpackers. The start and end date is set, but the rest is flexible to modify as you like. This way of travelling is cheaper than a tour and more flexible, but you get a group of travel mates and everything you need for a camping road trip.

About the route

You’ll spend most of your time travelling up the coast, stopping at all the destinations between Perth and Exmouth! Here, on the west coast, there are many beautiful beaches which you can swim at our even spot dolphins at. When you take a break from the beach you’ll find other sights to see, like the Kalbarri gorge for example. However, the real highlight is the Ningaloo Reef. It rivals the Great Barrier Reef, but you don’t need a boat, just jump in from the beach for some world-class snorkelling. If you’re up for it, you can also dive with Whale Sharks in Exmouth.

Then, you’ll head inland to explore Karijini’s incredible gorges and swimming holes. Tanned and happy you can then take the inland route back to Perth – and try to spot some Aboriginal art along the way!

Expect to get fit with lots of hiking, snorkelling and exercise as you appreciate the natural sights. This is a no-frills adventure – you’ll be setting up your own tents, cooking your own dinner and sharing your tent with one or two other people. The target age group is 18-35.

Things to note

Please note this is a minibus rental, not a guided tour. The group share the rental of a minibus, trailer and camping equipment. You essentially ‘rent your seat’ on the minibus!

We provide a recommended itinerary to help you. This includes recommendations for different places, camps and activities (like beaches, snorkel spots and hikes!). We also teach you how to use the equipment before you leave, teach you how to attach, detach and pack the trailer. We also remain fully contactable during your trip for any questions.

You will rent your seat as either a ‘driver’ or ‘non-driver’. If you choose non-driver you must never drive. Drivers can share driving and must be aged 21+. The minibus seats 12, and anyone with a regular driver’s license can drive it.

Please bring your own water bottle and sleeping bag. However, limit your luggage to about 20kg – 1 big bag, and one day bag/small backpack. The trailer is full of all the camping equipment you need and has space for your bags. Be prepared to free camp at least half the time!

Trip Highlights

  • World famous Karijini National Park
  • Swimming with dolphins in Monkey Mia
  • Snorkelling the Ningaloo Reef off the coast
  • The beautiful beaches of Cape Range National Park
  • A direct return to Perth (if you want to stay in Broome; check our Perth to Broome trip

Inclusions

General inclusions

  • Your Toyota Hiace Minibus, to drive to the places you choose (but not on 4WD roads!)
  • Fully equipped trailer with everything you need for camping, cooking, and fun (equipment list)
  • Consumables such as: toilet paper, oil, salt and pepper, gas, bin bags etc
  • Recommended itinerary (but you have freedom!)
  • Guidebook (for activities and camping locations – both free and pay sites)
  • Fuel consumption for unlimited km
  • Comprehensive insurance with roadside assistance
  • Special discounts on activities and accommodation
  • National Park Entries

Trip-specific inclusions

  • Snorkelling gear to explore the Ningaloo reef from Coral Bay and Cape Range National Park

Exclusions

  • Accommodation: although you can choose to stay at plenty of free camps, or budget pay camps
  • Food: We will give you all the equipment you need to cook what you like!
  • Sleeping bag: bring your own for hygiene reasons
  • Guide: it’s just you and fellow “rentees” driving this minibus. Enjoy!

Recommended itinerary

This is a summary of the recommended itinerary we provide you; and the places we think are great for a road trip from Perth to Exmouth and Karijini and back! However, feel free to change this as you wish with your trip mates! Stay longer, shorter, add or skips places etc.

Day 01: Lancelin and the Pinnacles

After meeting the group and doing a food shop, head to Lancelin to play on giant sand dunes and go sandboarding, kayaking or swimming. In the afternoon check out the world-famous ‘alien’ Pinnacles at Cervantes!

Day 02: Jurien Bay and Greenhead

Enjoy some beach time, and view the Pinnacles in the morning if you didn’t get the chance the ay before. At Jurien Bay you have the opportunity to snorkel with friendly sea lions. Heading up the coast, you can stop at Greenhead where you can see the nice ‘Dynamite Bay’ and enjoy a BBQ, swim, or one of the walking trails. There is a free camp on a beach not too far north of Greenhead

Day 03 and 04: Kalbarri and Hutt Lagoon (Pink Lake!)

There’s a little bit more driving as you can continue the drive North. On your way to Kalbarri make sure you detour to see ‘Hutt Lagoon’, one of the more accessible and pink ‘pink lakes’ in Australia. Then head towards Kalbarri and stop at the Kalbarri sea cliffs for some beautiful walks and dramatic sea views. The gorge near Kalbarri (Murchison Gorge) deserves a whole day, so it’s best to check it out on your second day in the area. You can see the famous ‘Nature’s Window’ here, but we recommend doing one or two of the longer hikes to make the most of what this location has to offer.

Day 05 and 06: Monkey Mia and Shark Bay World Heritage Area

Head towards Monkey Mia stopping at sights like Shell Beach, Eagle Bluff and the town of Denham on the way. Monkey Mia is famous for being able to feed and swim with dolphins! Stay overnight at Monkey Mia and enjoy the dolphin experience the next morning and laze by the beach and swim near dolphins during the day the following day. Kayak hire is also available if you feel like being more adventurous and exploring the peninsula.

Day 07: Hamelin Pool, Carnarvon and Quobba Blowholes

After leaving the Peninsula, at Hamelin Pool you can see old stromatolites. Once you’ve check them out head North to Carnarvon, and stop in town to grocery shop or pass by a local farm for fresh mangoes and produce. Nearby are the Quobba Blowholes which are quite impressive, and close to them there is also a good snorkelling spot.

Day 08 and 09: Coral Bay

Coral Bay is a special place! It’s a very small town with a beautiful beach. The most special part is that you can snorkel the Ningaloo Reef right off the coast! Stay here for a couple of nights.

Day 10: Cape Range National Park

Cape Range National Park is an amazing place; camp here if you can! There is world-class snorkelling at oyster stacks. Or you can visit one of the most beautiful beaches in existence at Turquoise Bay. There is also some nice hiking available at Yardie Creek and Charles Knife Canyon.

Day 11 and 12: Cape Range National Park and Exmouth

We recommend spending most of Day 11 inside Cape Range National Park and heading out to Exmouth in the afternoon. Do any tours on Day 12 (like seeing whale sharks, or a diving tour), as well as exploring Exmouth. Then drive a couple of hours towards Karijini National Park before setting up camp for the night.

Day 13, 14, 15, 16:  Karijini National Park

It’s a long drive to Karijini, but once you are there set up a camp for a few nights – there’s a lot to see. You should spend 3 full days here. There are falls, pools, hikes, gorges – look up some pictures. If you stop at a tourist information centre on the way you’ll be able to get some maps, and possibly join an abseiling/canyoning tour if you feel adventurous. Make sure you leave Karijini by the early afternoon of the 16th to make sure you ahve enough time to get to Perth

Day 16- 17: Driving from Karijini towards Perth

Spend the morning in Karijini, but start heading to Perth by the afternoon of Day 16. The Great Northern Highway is the quickest route back to Perth, but there are still a few interesting spots to check. You can stop at Meekatharra for lunch and to explore; perhaps walking the 3km heritage trail. When you reach Cue you can find historical buildings from the Gold Rush.

Day 18: New Norcia to Perth

Journey towards Perth. Stop by New Norcia – the town of monks, then head in to Perth to enjoy the afternoon

Trip details

West Coast Loop

Trip length: 18 days

Prices:
Early bird: $767 (4+ weeks before Start Date)
Full fee: $832

Start Dates:

  • 7th June 2021
  • 5th July 2021

Discounts

Discounts are available:

  • if you book more than 4 weeks in advance
  • for groups of friends travelling together
  • if you want to stay on the Share Bus for more than one trip

Please send us an email for details and to ask for your discount eligibility.

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