January 24th, 2018
This trip follows part of the iconic ‘Warlu Way’ journey which follows the path of the warlu, or Dreamtime sea serpent, taking in ancient and sacred landscapes rich in natural beauty and enchanting Aboriginal stories. Interpretive signage exists along the drive listing historical, cultural and natural wonders. Parts of Australia’s North West are very remote, it is advisable to contact the local visitor centre for maps and information, including road conditions and permits, and check out road safety and important travel tips.
The gateway to the world-class Ningaloo Marine Park, where you can swim, snorkel, SCUBA dive or join a tour and swim with the magnificent whale shark. Take a day trip to Coral Bay, explore Cape Range National Park, take a boat cruise along Yardie Creek and feast on fresh prawns at MG Kailis processing facilities.
2. Karijini National Park
Karijini National Park in Australia’s North West is all about adventure. It’s about exploring ancient rocky tunnels and plunging gorges, paddling through crystal-clear waterways and swimming under stunning waterfalls. For further information on the gorges, walk trails and maps of Karijini National Park go to the Department of Parks and Wildlife website.
3. Millstream Chichester National Park
Millstream-Chichester National Park is a comfortable two-hour drive from Karratha and offers some of the best nature based camping opportunities in the region. One of the most scenic attractions in WA’s Millstream National Park is Python Pool, which is easily accessible by road. Deeper within the park are camping areas at the beautiful Crossing Pool and Deep Reach, accessible only by unsealed roads. The run-off from the Hamersley Ranges flows via the Fortescue River into an underground aquifer. This natural reserve is believed to contain in excess of 1,700 million cubic metres of water and covers an area of almost 2,000 square kilometres. Attracted by the bounty of water, early European settlers established an active pastoral station here, which remained in operation for over 100 years. Today, the original Millstream Homestead houses the Millstream Visitor Centre and museum. There are well maintained public camping facilities in WA’s Millstream-Chichester National Park, including bush toilets and gas barbeques. Please note that campfires are not permitted. Permits and maps can be purchased from Karratha and Roebourne Visitor Centres, or from the Visitor Information Centre within the park.
Make your way west to Dampier, a coastal hamlet that is the doorway to the Dampier Archipelago. The Dampier Archipelago is a string of 42 pristine islands that are home to a large and diverse number of marine species, making them one of Western Australia’s best diving and snorkelling spots. The islands’ white sandy beaches and blue waters also make them an ideal location for swimming or just lazing the day away.
5. Burrup Peninsula
Situated five kilometres north-east of the town of Dampier is the Burrup Peninsula. The Burrup Peninsula is one of the most prolific indigenous art sites in the world. It is believed that Aboriginal occupation of the Pilbara dates back more than 40,000 years. The Burrup Peninsula will allow you to explore and view the many different petroglyphs, some thought to be estimated around 20,000 years old. Also on the Burrup is the access road to Hearson’s Cove, a beautiful sheltered bay with picnic tables, BBQ’s and toilet facilities.
6. Point Samson
Moving away from the Burrup and heading east is the Point Samson Peninsula. Some of Western Australia’s best beaches, coral gardens, fishing spots and restored heritage buildings can be found on the Point Samson Peninsula and its surrounding islands. In contrast to its early years as a busy pastoral port, Point Samson today is a relaxed and picturesque coastal village famous for its fish and chips and delicious fresh seafood. Take a stroll at sunset or sunrise along the beautiful beaches at John’s Creek and Honeymoon Cove, or have a picnic or barbeque on the grassed areas next to the beach. Point Samson is a great spot to cast a line, with both beach casting and deep water fishing options. Point Samson is also a great base from which to explore the surrounding areas, including Cossack and Roebourne.
Cossack is an immaculately restored ghost town offering a rare insight into the area’s past. Cossack was the original port of pearls before the luggers moved north to Broome in 1886, an early hub for gold prospectors in the region, and a port for pastoralists in the Pilbara. The town was dissolved in 1910 and abandoned by 1950. The beautifully restored bluestone buildings in the ghost town of Cossack are testament to this small town’s huge importance in 1880’s and 1890’s and offer a fantastic insight to the hardships and successes of the first settlers. Seasonal onsite budget accommodation is offered at the Old Police Barracks.
Established in 1866, Roebourne is the oldest town between Geraldton and Darwin. Once the administrative centre of the North West, its restored heritage stone buildings speak to its earlier prosperity and include some designed by renowned Public Works Department Architect George Temple Poole. Of note is the octagonal shape gaol, which can be visited on self-guided walks or through tours organised via the Roebourne Visitor Centre.
9. Port Hedland
Make the journey to Port Hedland, stopping at Whim Creek for lunch along the way. Enjoy a refreshing swim on arrival at Pretty Pool, join a Port Hedland Town Tour and view the huge facilities at BHP Billiton Point Nelson Port.
Often referred to as the pearl of North West Australia, Broome is Western Australia’s coastal gateway to the magnificent wilderness region of the Kimberley. It’s also home to the world-famous white sands of Cable Beach, making it one of the State’s most popular holiday destinations.