Getting behind the wheel and zooming off on the trip of a lifetime is the kind of holiday we all dream of. But where is the perfect place to embark on such an adventure?
The perfect road trip needs to offer unspoilt landscapes, the spirit of adventure and plenty of bucket list stops along the way – and there’s no place better for it than Western Australia. Here, you can spot kangaroos bounding across the outback, and follow roads that run past pink lakes, lunar landscapes, white sand beaches and more.
Here, we take you for a spin along this incredible destination’s Coral Coast Highway, and fill you in on all you need to know about the greatest road trip ever.
Kick off in Perth
Your adventure starts in Perth, the sunniest city in Australia and the closest point to the UK. You can fly here from London Heathrow or Manchester with Singapore Airlines in just over 20 hours, meaning you could have breakfast in England then again overlooking the surf at one of Perth’s many beaches once you’ve landed. The dream!
Perth offers the best of both worlds, a city with a raft of great new hotels and buzzing food scene but one which has kept nature at its heart. Spot dolphins and black swans in the Swan River, explore bushland and botanic gardens in Kings Park, one of the largest inner city parks in the world, or hop on a ferry to nearby Rottnest Island to meet the friendly quokkas, a mini marsupial with a big smile.
Head north of the city and onto the Coral Coast Highway, a route made for nature lovers, with wildlife adventures waiting on land and in the ocean on this accessible 10 day drive.
The Pinnacles are only two-and-a-half-hours drive north of Perth, but they’re worlds away from the sights of the city. These enormous limestone columns dot the scene, creating a surreal but truly breathtaking panorama.
From here, it’s 25 minutes to the town of Cervantes, where you can feast on rock lobster at the water’s edge before setting off for the famous bubblegum-pink waters of Hutt Lagoon.
Get there in style
Australia and its amazing sights are half a world away. So, travel there in style and comfort with Singapore Airlines. Here are some of the perks you can enjoy with them:
+ Enjoy flexibility with a choice of four daily flights from London and five weekly flights from Manchester to Singapore, connecting onto one of four daily flights to Perth.
+ Singapore Airlines is renowned for its exceptional service and hospitality, epitomised by its iconic cabin crew.
+ Be spoilt for choice with over 1800 entertainment options as well as gourmet menus in every cabin.
Transitioning from vibrant pinks to lilacs and deep reds throughout the day, Hutt Lagoon is an ethereally beautiful spot. Its colour comes from the high levels of salt in the water, which encrust the beaches surrounding it.
The Coral Coast Highway, Western Australia
You can set up camp nearby for the night so you can appreciate the beauty of the place at mid-morning or at sunset when the colours are at their most striking.
Alternatively stay in Geraldton where you can pick up a scenic flight over the lake to see the striking contrast with the Indian Ocean as well as the nearby Abrolhos Islands, 122 islets surrounded by coral and teaming with marine life.
Your next pit stop should be the town of Kalbarri and its stunning national park. Explore spectacular 400 million year old river gorges and a kaleidoscope of wildflowers on foot, horseback or by kayak.
In addition to incredible natural rock formations such as Nature’s Window, an arch that frames a view of the Murchison River beyond, or Mushroom Rock, you’ll also spy some of Australia’s wilder inhabitants, including wedge-tailed eagles, and pods of humpback whales swimming through Gantheaume Bay from June to November.
Peer through Nature’s Window towards the horizon at Kalbarri National Park
Into the blue
From Kalbarri National Park, it’s a three-hour drive to the amazing Shell Beach, an area of Shark Bay that is covered entirely in perfect shells.
It’s one of only a few places in the world where shells replace the sand – and, as you can imagine, it’s spectacular. The water here also boasts a high saline content, and thanks to its sheltered surroundings, it’s ideal for those who aren’t confident swimmers to simply float and relax in the Australian sun.
Take a trip up to Monkey Mia and dip beneath the waves to meet the friendly resident dolphins
Further up the peninsula, you’ll find yourself at Monkey Mia, an area famous for its dolphins. Make your way down to the shore over rust-red sand dunes and keep your eyes peeled for these playful sea creatures, as well as gentle dugongs, turtles and rays. You may even be joined by pelicans and emus on the beach.
Keep your eyes peeled for cheeky emus on your travels up the Coral Coast Highway
But, for the ultimate aquatic experience in Western Australia, you have to take a dip in the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef. The world’s longest fringing reef, Ningaloo runs for some 190 miles and starts just metres from the sand, making it as accessible as it is exhilarating. These crystalline waters are home to all manner of incredible creatures; from manta rays and tropical fish, to magnificent whale sharks between March and August, which will happily let you snorkel alongside them.
Cool off in turquoise waters and swim among the sea’s most beautiful creatures
Stay in Exmouth, where you can take an effortless drift snorkel at Turquoise Bay and enjoy eco-safari trips to spot kangaroos, echidnas and rare black-footed rock wallabies in Cape Range National Park.
Reminisce over your adventure of a lifetime while sunbathing on the white-sand beaches, or hit the area’s microbreweries and have a drink to your incredible road trip through Western Australia.
From here it is just a 1.5 hour flight back to Perth. One-way vehicle rentals are available between Perth and Exmouth in either direction.