About The Far North-West
This section covers a vast territory: from Carnarvon to Broome the North West Coastal Highway runs for 1,500 kilometres. One thing you can be sure of: it’s going to be hot. Inland, the summer temperatures can match those of the Sahara.
North of Carnarvon, off the North West Coastal Highway, lies North West Cape. The Ningaloo Reef here is Western Australia’s answer to the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland – not so well known, but just as spectacular for diving.
East of here you come to the Pilbara, one of the richest iron-ore mining regions in the world. At places such as Tom Price they hack down entire mountains of the stuff, and load it on to trains for the coast. The mining towns and their ports, such as Port Hedland, are hardly beauty spots but the Pilbara also contains the spectacular gorges of the Karijini National Park. Hiking here beneath remote multi coloured cliffs, cooling off in rock pools with the cries of exotic birds calling through the trees, is for many one of Australia’s major experiences.
East of the Pilbara lies Eighty Mile Beach, and beyond this the lively resort of Broome, with its historic Chinatown.
To travel through this region with only a few stops for sightseeing will take you a week. If you want to explore all the best places to visit properly, going into the Pilbara, you should allow at least a fortnight.
It’s possible to bus it all the way along the North West Coastal Highway from Carnarvon to Broome. However, buses are infrequent – one a day if you’re lucky – between the main centres of population. In the Pilbara this reduces to one a week – if you’re lucky. Really, the only way to see this region is by car.