Road trip in the outback

Living in Australia for a year turned out to be an adventure full of emotions, wonderful people, discoveries, growth and much more.

One of the highlights of my trip was the last road trip I took, a perfect way to conclude this journey and say “see ya” to Australia.

I had the chance to explore the west coast and some of its national parks in the company of a real Australian guide who simply wanted to share with us the wonders of his country.
Accompanied by new acquaintances, our personal guide and his vehicle named Trippy, we embarked on two weeks I’ll never forget!

Itinerary of our road trip

1. Pinnacles Desert

Pinnacles Desert in Australia

Location: Nambung National Park
Cost: AU$15 per vehicle or Park Pass
Best time to go: from August to October, blooming season

On the first day, in the afternoon to be precise, as getting from one point to another in Australia can take a long time, we stopped off at Pinnacles Desert.
Near the town of Cervantes, this desert is made up of thousands of limestone formations.
Yellow sand, pillars sometimes resembling statues, I felt somewhere on another planet, an explorer on Mars perhaps!

2. Kalbarri National Park

Kalbarri national park in the outback

Location: North of Geraldton
Cost: AU$15 per vehicle or Park Pass
Best time to go: Spring and early summer for the wildflowers

With its reddish/orange cliffs and views of the gorges, the beauty of the West hit me hard that day. I was speechless and couldn’t wait to venture along the river.
If you don’t like hiking, don’t worry, you can rent a kayak and admire the scenery around you as you glide along the water.

And if you don’t have enough time for both activities, the view from the Skywalk is already magnificent.

3. Coral Bay

Coral bay during the road trip in the outback

Location: 90 minutes from Exmouth
Cost: Free
Best time to go: All year round
March to June (to see the whale sharks)
July to October (for the humpback whales)

If you’ve ever heard of Ningaloo Reef, Coral bay is the place to be. With a limited budget, I only went there to admire the secluded beaches and relax in these pristine spots that one can only dream of.

Road trip

Coral Bay proves once again that Australia has little to envy from more popular tourist destinations.
Ending the day with a Barbie/barbecue on the beach with the sunset as a backdrop, I’d say it’s hard to imagine a more perfect day.

4. Karijini National Park

Karijini National park

Location: Tom Price is the closest city
Cost: AU$15 per vehicle or Park Pass
If you want to camp; the cheapest one is Dale’s Campground (AU$11) or you can also camp outside the park for free.
Best time to go: Between May and September

As the second largest national park, if there’s one park where I’d recommend staying at least two nights, it’s this one.
Camping here is an exceptional experience. Watching the sun set behind the already red landscape is an enchanting moment.
And if you want to make the most of it, climb onto the roof of your Trippy and wait to see the star-studded sky.

The best activity here: discovering the wonders of Mother Nature.
You don’t have to be faint-hearted to explore the famous Karijini Gorge. From rock-climbing to spider-walking to tobogganing, it was an emotional day.

Canyon in Karijini national park in the outback

However, anything worthwhile requires effort and sweat, but let’s forget the blood part if possible!

I can’t describe the adventure that was Karijini National Park, and I feel that describing it wouldn’t do it justice. So I advise you to go and enjoy the journey.

5. Eighty-Mile Beach

Eighty-Mile Beach on a road trip in Australia

Location: Between Port Hedland and Broome
Cost: Free
Best time to go: all year round

Walking in the crisp sand, wind in your hair, picking up some shells and enjoying another one of those perfect sunsets, that’s all. I don’t need anything else!
80-Mile Beach is actually a perfect way to recharge the batteries while listening to the sound of crashing waves in the distance.

6. Broome

Broome's sunset

Cost: depending on the accommodation of your choice
Best time to go: May to October

Broome is the first town for us, where we leave our tents behind to sleep in a real bed, at least for one night.
The return to civilization is a little strange after so many days on the road, but don’t get me wrong, it’s very welcome. Especially the prospect of finally being able to shower!

What’s in Broome? Well, Cable Beach for a start, where you can see magnificent camels at sunset.

Road trip
Photo by John Dawkins on Unsplash

But tonight is also open mic night, with local artists and amateurs performing. A great way to mingle with the inhabitants and have some fun!
A good night’s sleep later, we’re back on the road for the second and last part of the trip.

7. The Bungle Bungle

Bungle Jungle in the Australian outback

Location: Purnululu National Park
Cost: AU$15 per vehicle or Park Pass
Best time to go: early May to November

Totally unexpected, it was a first experience for everyone, even our Australian friend. And the Bungle Bungle won’t disappoint – quite the contrary.
A World Heritage Site, Purnululu National Park is filled with sandstone domes 350 million years old.

From superb canyons to breathtaking gorges, the serenity and calm of the place are magical.
And as if we weren’t convinced enough, we’ll come face to face with massive palm trees amidst the orange cliffs. What a sight!

Palm trees in Purnululu national park

With the west coast almost behind us, we’re off to the Northern Territory, which has no shortage of national parks.

8. Lake Argyle

Lake Argyle in the Australian outback

Location: 75km from Kununurra
Cost: free
Best time to go: all year round

Lake Argyle is in fact a man-made lake and one of the largest, having also been classified as an island sea.

Here, you can simply enjoy the scenic drive and stop at the picnic area to marvel at the immense freshwater lake.

9. Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park

Nitmiluk National Park while road tripping in Australia

Northern Territory, here we come! On the program: hot springs, waterfalls, campfire and stargazing.

Location: in the Katherine region, 320km south of Darwin
Cost: you need a Park Pass here, AU$10 for a day/adult
Best time to go: May to September

First, the hot springs, the ideal way to cool off, especially in this sweltering climate.
Then, and this is after a well-deserved break, we head to Leliyn/Edith Falls, where waterfalls cascade into a “pool”.

My advice is to go at the end of the day, as we were literally the only ones there and we were able to enjoy it to the full.

10. Litchfield National Park

Litchfield National Park in Australia
Photo by Josh Withers on Unsplash

Location: 100km, south-west of Darwin
Cost: you need a Park Pass here, AU$10 for a day/adult
Best time to go: May to October

It’s with a heavy heart that we begin the last days of our trip. Litchfield National Park awaits us, and with it the discovery of more beautiful waterfalls, some cliff jumping and, as always, hiking.

We can see why this is one of the locals’ favorite spots, because whether you want to swim under the waterfalls or have a picnic with the family, I’d say this is the place to do it.

And so, after rediscovering our inner child in the water, we continue on our way to Darwin.
A crocodile burger and a sunset later, it’s time to say goodbye to these two wonderful weeks.

Sunset in Australia

I think it was this experience that made me feel closest to Australia. Seeing breathtaking landscapes, learning so much from a local and sharing so many fun moments remains, to this day, a wonderful memory.
The Outback definitely amazed me and made me realize once again what life can offer you if you just take a second to enjoy it!

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2 Comments

  1. When I think of Australia, wildlife comes to mind, until I come across a Jamaican YouTuber who now resides in Australia with his wife. Like your blog, they share many fun adventurous things to do in Australia. I live for the beach. This is always my go-to place when on vacation. The national parks you shared look like a fun adventure. THANK YOU FOR SHARING!

    1. I know what you mean, I literally thought the same as you before actually living there for a while! Australia is much more than scary spiders and surfing. I’m a beach person too though! Thank you for your visit and comment, Kevin! I hope you’ll get to visit the national parks😊

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