Around 5,000 kilometres – June/July 2020
With Covid preventing us from travelling outside of Western Australia in 2020, we took to the road driving from the State’s south to the Kimberley in the far north – a return journey of over 5000 kilometres. Hard driving, but worth it!
In WA, winter means colder weather in the south (even a little snow sometimes on one small mountain – enough to build a tiny snowman).
But in the north, winter means warm weather – temperatures around the 30 degree Celsius mark. So come May, there is usually a long procession of vehicles and caravans on the main highway heading to the Kimberley. The road is fairly straight and flat. It’s sealed all the way and excellent. But it’s a long way between any accommodation, fuel or shop. And even longer between towns. Always travel with emergency supplies, including extra water.
For instance, it’s nearly 600 km between the towns of Port Hedland and Broome – only a few roadhouses (fuel stops) and campsites in between! There’s also a lot to watch out for on the road: wild kangaroos and emus, stray cows, goats, donkeys – even flocks of budgerigars that seem determined to dive bomb your vehicle! And road trains. Massive trucks that haul numerous trailers with freight aboard. They can be up to 60 metres long! Very difficult to pass, especially if you are towing a caravan. If travelling in a convoy, it’s handy to have two way radios. Once one vehicle has passed a road train, they can communicate with vehicles behind them to let them know the way is clear to pass.
My husband and I drive a Toyota Landcruiser, which is ideal for this sort of long distance travelling and has the power to pull pass road trains with relative ease.
The Perth to Broome trip is one we have done many times, but we never take the challenge of it lightly and always prepare well. We don’t camp on the route these days, though we have done in the past.
We book accommodation along the way well in advance to ensure a good night’s rest after long days of driving. May to October is the main tourist season for the Kimberley region, and places are booked out early. Our accommodations range from motels through to Station stays (ie: cattle stations). These photos are from our 2020 trip – on the road to Broome, and back, including a whale watching cruise from Broome (highly recommend).
I’ll take you to specific places on our trip on subsequent posts. The road trip is long and arduous – but the rewards are great. Fabulous pristine beaches, breath taking views, amazing sunsets and sunrises, abundant wildlife, great fishing, superb photo opportunities – true Australian outback scenery and experiences.
Hearson’s Cove, Karratha – central Pilbara coast of Western Australia – above and below
Shower and toilet block made from an old water tank – Wooramel Station 100 k south of Carnarvon (above)
Whale watching boat and a Broome sunset – WA Kimberley region
Rocky Point on the Gascoyne River – short drive inland from Carnarvon
Typical road train – a major hazard for motorists on the roads in the north of Western Australia.
Bush sunset – Gascoyne region of Western Australia
Map of our journey along the Brand and North West Coast Highway
80 Mile beach – north of Port Hedland in the Pilbara – nothing here but a small caravan park and a lot of pristine fine white sandy beach!
Bush sunset en route