The Mid West Coast
of Western Australia

Coral and Sunset on the Beaches North of Perth

The Mid-west Region: Western Australia's Coral and Sunset Beaches

The coastline to the north of Perth is known as the Mid-West Region of Western Australia. Beyond the hustle and bustle of the city, a series of long, beautiful white sand beaches await.

Whether it's a relaxing weekend getaway in one of the little fishing villages close to Perth, or a two week camping adventure way up north to go fishing and snorkeling on the Ningaloo Reef, I love to escape north up the west coast for simple, back-to-nature holidays revolve around the ocean and fun in the sun.

If you enjoy fishing, snorkeling, boating, windsurfing, swimming in the ocean and walking on the beach - and especially if you have a trailer-boat and/or a 4WD, you will have an awesome time travelling up the mid-west coast.

Fishing Boats and Sunset Beaches
West Australian Sunset at Coral Bay

This page is designed as a first step in planning your road trip or getaway on the Mid-West Coast, giving you a broad sweeping overview of the main areas to explore, major attractions to visit and towns you'll pass through along the way.

If you have any questions or want some help planning your trip, don't hesitate to contact me.

Mid West Coast of WA - Areas to Explore:

Mid West Coast WA Towns and Settlements (alphabetical list):

Carnarvon | Cervantes | Coral Bay | Denham | Dongara-Port Denison | Eneabba | Exmouth | Geraldton | Gingin | Gnaraloo Station | Green Head | Guilderton | Hutt River Province | Jurien Bay | Kalbarri | Lancelin | Ledge Point | Leeman | Mingenew | Monkey Mia | Morawa | Mullewa | Ningaloo Station | Northampton | Port Gregory | Quobba Station | Seabird | Waroora Station | Wedge Island

Howling Winds, Coral Reefs and Sunset Beaches

The Mid-West coast between Perth and the North West Cape has many of the best of all Australian beaches.

North of Perth up to Geraldton, the beaches are long, lonely and windswept. Areas of reef and islands off shore protect some of the beaches from large waves, while others have some pretty decent surf breaks. The waves are generally on the smaller side and good for beginner surfers.

The mid-west coast between Perth and Geraldton is the without a doubt the best coastline for wind surfing in Australia - the main season for it being the summer months, when a strong sea breeze sets in by midday, every day.

Windsurfing the Turquoise Coast:
If you're into windsurfing, you have to watch this!

Beyond Geraldton where the true outback coastline begins, the beaches are remote, wild and pristine. You get the most stunning contrast of colours where the red earth of the desert meets pure white beach sand and bright blue skies and water.

A good deal of them are completely deserted, accessible only to the most adventurous of travellers by four-wheel-drive or boat.

But if you've just got a normal car or campervan, there are plenty of stunningly beautiful beaches near the towns that you can get to easily. There's also the option of joining a boat or four-wheel-drive tour from one of the tourist towns that will take you out into the wild.

Western Australia Beaches of the Sunset Coast Region, the Mid-West Coast

West Australian Beaches: Blue, white and orange are the colours of Western Australia's sunset beaches on the mid-west coast. From Flickr Niels Photography.

The Shark Bay World Heritage Area has a convoluted coastline of bays, with some of WA's most remarkable beaches.

  • The beaches in the Francois Peron National Park are one of the best places to see the stunning outback coast colours
  • Wild dolphins swim into the shallow water next to the beach every day at Monkey Mia - one of Western Australia's favourite and most well-known attractions
  • Shell Beach well and truly lives up to its name - it is made entirely of shells instead of sand!
  • If you've got a 4WD you can get to some remote beaches and even Dirk Hartog Island.

North of Carnarvon is another World Heritage Area - the Ningaloo Reef Marine Park. Ningaloo is one very special coral reef system - it fringes the West Australian outback coastline for 300km from Amherst Point all the way up to Exmouth. The Ningaloo ecosystem is almost pristine and unaltered by pollution and development.

Marine life on the reef is abundant and rich in diversity. Even in shallow water close to the beaches you can snorkel over coral gardens and see an amazing range of big and small brightly coloured fish and quite often sea turtles and reef sharks.

Whale Shark off Coral Bay, Western Australia

Heading out deeper on your own boat or with a tour, you'll have the opportunity to swim with manta rays, or even the whale sharks that migrate to the plankton-rich water behind the reef every Autumn.

This is a remote desert area that's only become a tourism destination within the past 20 or so years. There's only one town (Coral Bay) along the entire Ningaloo coast, but there are several outback stations with 4WD tracks and campsites where you can stay.

At the northern end of the Cape, a sealed road leads down from Exmouth into the Cape Range National Park. Based in Exmouth or camping out in the national park, you can explore a string of picture-perfect beaches and snorkeling sites, and hike the gorges of the Cape Range.

Gnaraloo Surf

At the southern end of the Ningaloo Reef Marine Park is Quobba and Gnaraloo Stations. You get to them via a dirt road up the coast from Carnarvon. You can almost always reach Quobba with a two-wheel-drive, and Gnaraloo is usually OK too (although it always depends on conditions).

Staying on Quobba and Gnaraloo is an awesome experience. The beaches are absolutely amazing - pristine, wild, fantastic snorkelling, surfing, wind surfing and fishing.

Mid West Coast Hinterland - Inland Attractions

The wild flowers make spring the best time of year to head inland from the mid-west coast, but there are several other year-round attractions not to be missed that don't involve the beaches.

The Pinnacles Desert at Dusk

North of Perth there's a flat sandy plain between the coast and the Darling Scarp. The banksia scrub and coastal heath have the most magnificent spring wild flowers, and as spring turns into summer, the West Australian Christmas Trees come into bloom.

Along with the wild flowers, the one big attraction of the coastal plain is the Pinnacles Desert in the Nambung National Park - an eerie, arid sand plain with hundreds and thousands of limestone pillars sticking out of the ground.

The landscape surrounding Geraldton is hilly. In the nature reserves and along the roadsides around Mingenew and Mullewa east of Geraldton you'll find some of the best everlasting displays in Western Australia.

The next major inland attraction is the Kalbarri National Park, with the Murchison River flowing through red rock gorges and again, beautiful spring wildflowers.

Mesas in the Kennedy Range National Park, Western Australia

Driving further north, you'll be in real outback country - a flat landscape of red earth and desert scrub that doesn't change for hundreds and hundreds of kilometres. On a long detour inland from Carnarvon you can visit the Kennedy Range National Park with its striking rock formations.

Further east still is Mount Augustus - the biggest rock in the world (although it looks more like a hill than a rock).

On the North West Cape, inland from the Ningaloo Reef, the Cape Range has spectacular gorges. My favourite is Charles Knife Gorge - you drive out on a narrow gravel road that follows a precipitous ridge along the gorge.

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