Visitors flock to Australia’s Coral Coast each year to enjoy the year-round sunshine, get closer to nature and escape crowds. The region begins just two hour’s drive north of Perth at the coastal town of Cervantes and stretches more than 1,000 kilometres north along pristine coastline to Exmouth.

 

Boasting a warm climate all year round, Australia’s Coral Coast offers perfect conditions to enjoy a range of water sports, including swimming, surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing and boating, while nature lovers also visit to watch humpback whales on their annual migration along the coast between July and October each year.



Things to do in Carnarvon


things to do in carnarvonCarnarvon is a subtropical oasis where fresh fruit, vegetables and seafood are plentiful. Carnarvon’s warm, sunny climate and laidback lifestyle attracts many visitors each year.

 

Things to do:

• Take a stroll along Carnarvon’s central waterway, The Fascine

• Learn about the area’s Indigenous culture and history at Gwoonwardu Mia

• Drive along the Gascoyne Food Trail to sample fresh produce including Carnarvon’s famous bananas

• Visit the OTC Dish and the Space and Technology Museum

• Step back in time at the Carnarvon Heritage Precinct and One Mile Jetty

• Explore the Kennedy Range National Park

• Head to the Blowholes to watch seawater spray up to 20 metres into the air

• Go swimming and snorkelling in the coral filled lagoon of Point Quobba

 

Carnarvon

Distance from Perth: 905km

Well situated between the Shark Bay and Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Areas, Carnarvon is a great place to rest and take in the Indigenous and pioneering heritage of the region. Carnarvon is also an ideal base from which to explore rugged country inland or the wilderness coast at the southern gateway to the Ningaloo Marine Park.

 

The Fascine

Carnarvon’s central waterway, known as The Fascine, was named after a building technique used in the 1800s to construct the embankment on the southern arm of the Gascoyne River. Stately palms line the waterway, making it a lovely location for a stroll and you may even spot the occasional dolphin. Featuring free barbecue facilities and playgrounds, The Fascine is a great place for a family picnic.

 

Gwoonwardu Mia – the Gascoyne Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre

2012 overall winner of the Museums and Galleries National Award, Gwoonwardu Mia brings people from the five Aboriginal language groups of the Gascoyne region together to showcase their heritage, history, art and culture. Meet local people, purchase original artworks and enjoy the freshest Gascoyne produce with a bush tucker flavour at the cafe. The centre’s new award winning interactive interpretive displays tell the fascinating story of the Aboriginal people of the Gascoyne region in their own words. Spend some time exploring the Ethnobotanical Garden and the Walk Trail to the Carnarvon Arboretum and Galleries. The centre is open Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm.

 

Gascoyne Food Trail

Carnarvon’s many plantations produce millions of dollar’s worth of produce annually, including more than half of Western Australia’s bananas and about 70 per cent of Perth’s winter vegetables. The region’s mild climate, pest-free status and the fertile land near the Gascoyne River, result in the production of top quality fruit and vegetables. Enjoy a taste of regional produce on the Gascoyne Food Trail. The trail will take you to producer-direct seafood and horticultural outlets as well as to venues incorporating local produce in their menu. Seasonally available produce includes mangoes, grapes, watermelons and a spectrum of fresh vegetables. Prawns, scallops, crabs and fish can be purchased direct from outlets in Carnarvon during the winter months. Fruit ice creams, preserves, sauces, dried and frozen products and free range eggs are available direct from producers all year round. Pick up a copy of the Gascoyne Food Trail brochure and map from the Carnarvon Visitor Centre.

 

Gascoyne Growers’ Markets

The Gascoyne Growers’ Markets operate outside the Carnarvon Visitor Centre every Saturday morning from May to October. The market is run by the growers themselves, who often pick their produce the night before (or even that morning) so it comes fresh to you at the market. Purchase tropical fruit, vegetables, herbs, honey, eggs, cakes, homemade ice cream, jams, relishes and plants. Pick up a few tips from the growers, listen to the buskers and enjoy a coffee while you stroll through the stalls. The markets are plastic bag free, so be sure to take along your green bags.

 

things to do in carnarvonArt and Craft Markets

Art and craft markets operate in the courtyard adjacent to the Gascoyne Growers’ Markets on Saturday mornings from May to October and offer handmade arts and crafts, jewellery, clothing, cakes and more.

 Carnarvon Heritage Precinct

Immerse yourself in fascinating local history at the Carnarvon Heritage Precinct, located on the site of the 1890s Port of Carnarvon, just three kilometres from the centre of town.

 

Precinct Museums

Step back in time to the early 1900s. Take a walk down memory lane at the Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage Museum, which showcases a collection of antiques and household items from yesteryear. The Railway Museum is home to the fully restored Kimberley Steam Train that operated in the 1950s between the One Mile Jetty and the Carnarvon town centre. Also situated in the Railway Museum are the Shearing Hall of Fame and a lifeboat from the Kormoran that sank off the coast during World War II. Enjoy a coffee or ice cream at the Guard’s Van Kiosk open daily from 9am to 5pm between April and November.

 

Carnarvon Tramway Walk Trail

This 2.5-kilometre walk trail connects the town with the heritage precinct. The Tramway Bridge across the southern arm of the Gascoyne River was constructed during the 1900s to transport goods between the Port of Carnarvon and the town centre. The full walk trail continues another two kilometres through the heritage precinct and up the One Mile Jetty. Signage about local flora and fauna can be found along the trail.

 

One Mile Jetty

Built in 1897, Carnarvon’s famous One Mile Jetty is one of the longest jetties in the southern hemisphere. Throw in a fishing line, walk its length or enjoy a ride on the Coffee Pot Train.

 

War Memorial

The memorial was shipped from Perth and erected in the main street in 1923 to serve as a reminder of the tragic loss of life in the Great War. Plaques for World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars were added later. The Wall of Remembrance was unveiled on November 23, 1991 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the sinking of HMAS Sydney II in 1941. This event was the worst Australian maritime tragedy during World War II. HMAS Sydney II Memorial Drive was constructed at the southern entrance to Carnarvon in 2001. This avenue of 645 plaques and palms along the road identifies the individual loss of lives. A cairn has been erected at Quobba Station (located 70 kilometres north of Carnarvon) where the Kormoran (the German raider that sunk the HMAS Sydney II) survivors landed on life boats.

 

Pioneer Park

Pioneer Park has two enormous bones from a blue whale, forming an arch over the entrance to a pleasant picnic spot. Further along Olivia Terrace is Baxter Park, which has a great playground. Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum

 

The Carnarvon Space and Technology

Museum was officially opened by Apollo 11 astronaut, Buzz Aldrin in June 2012. The new museum celebrates the role the Carnarvon Tracking Station played in the manned space program in the 1960s and 1970s. The Overseas Telecommunications Earth Station (OTC) relayed the first steps of man on the moon to Perth television stations. The museum is open daily between 10am and 3pm from April to September and between 10am and 1pm from October to March. Entry is $5 per person.

 

Fishing

Carnarvon is renowned for its many recreational fishing locations. From the jetties along The Fascine to the historic One Mile Jetty and the beaches at Pelican Point and Dwyers Leap, you can cast a line for whiting, tailor or mulloway. It is also a great location for putting your small boat in the water to explore the tidal creeks for mangrove jack or to try for snapper or groper in the bay. Alternatively head north of town to the land based game fishing cliffs of Quobba. Head to the Carnarvon Visitor Centre for maps and further information.

 

Taste of the Gascoyne

The annual Taste of the Gascoyne event showcases local produce, seafood, arts and culture in one of the many stunning natural landscapes in the region. Chefs present new ways to enjoy the abundant produce in the region while international and local artists provide a night of entertainment utilising the chosen natural landscape. Visit carnarvon.org.au for information and dates.

 

The Gascoyne in May Festival

The Gascoyne in May Festival celebrates the region from Shark Bay to Carnarvon, up to Exmouth and inland to Gascoyne Junction with a series of colourful events. Local, national and international acts provide a range of excellent entertainment including unique outback experiences. One of the highlights of the festival is the Gascoyne River Music Festival held in the outback town of Gascoyne Junction.

 

The Gascoyne Dash

The Gascoyne Dash (3-6 November 2013) is a desert endurance motor race featuring motorcycles, quad bikes, custom-built four wheel drives and buggies. Drawing competitors from around the nation and overseas, this event covers more than 500 kilometres of the toughest terrain in Western Australia. Yet the event is not all about motorsport. Set in the majestic Kennedy Ranges of Gascoyne Junction, spectators can visit the National Park, swim in a billabong, watch the wildlife and get in touch with the real outback. The Dash campsite offers hot showers, flushing toilets, food, beverages and first aid. Visit gasdash.com for further information.

 

Rocky Pool

Located 55 kilometres east of Carnarvon, Rocky Pool is a deep, fresh water pool and is an ideal picnic location. The water is lined with majestic gum trees, which are home to a range of bird life and other wildlife.

 

things to do in carnarvonThe Kennedy Ranges

Situated 160 kilometres east of Carnarvon, the Kennedy Range National Park is simply stunning. The ranges are 75 kilometres long, up to 25 kilometres wide and are the result of millions of years of erosion where the natural force of wind, rain and movement in the Earth’s crust have combined to etch out valleys and push up spectacular cliff faces. Bush camping is permitted at designated sites. There are also several walk trails to particularly scenic places, and a tourist road leads to a picnic site where fossils can be found. Keep an eye out for the beautiful stones, opalite and mookarite. Your experience will be heightened if visiting in the months of August and September, when a range of beautiful wildflowers burst into colour.

 

The Blowholes and Marine Sanctuary Zone

Located about 70 kilometres north of Carnarvon along sealed roads, the Blowholes form a natural spectacle as the ocean is forced through sea caves before exploding out through holes in the rock. Depending on the swell the spray can often reach up to 20 metres high. Fresh water is not available at the Blowholes, so ensure you have a decent supply before leaving Carnarvon. Please note: Parts of this area can be dangerous so keep a wary eye on the tides and beware of king waves.

 

Point Quobba

Located one kilometre south of the Blowholes, Point Quobba is a pristine beach protected by a coral reef. This calm, coral filled lagoon with fish and shells in abundance is known by locals as the nursery. With a white sandy beach, this area is ideal for snorkelling, swimming, sun bathing and picnics. There is also a camping area with an overnight fee payable to the onsite ranger. Campers are required to bring a chemical toilet, water, firewood and supplies.

 

Carnarvon Region Visitor Information

Carnarvon Visitor Centre

21 Robinson St, Carnarvon WA 6701

Tel: +618 9941 1146

Email: info@carnarvon.org.au

Website: carnarvon.org.au