Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Indian Ocean Drive

On our most recent short holiday we explored north of Perth for the first time.  The Indian Ocean Drive opened a couple of years ago providing easier access to a series of small coastal holiday towns, scenic reserves and tourist attractions.  We only did the closest half of the drive because we wanted to actually stop and look at things and have a relaxing time; we have been here long enough to learn that WA is huge and it is easy to drive a long, long way and find very little.  So I did a lot of planning before this trip and as a result had lots of hits and only a couple of misses. Here in lots of pictures and a few words is that trip.

The Pinnacles Desert.  Surreal, bizarre and well worth a trip. Easy to get to and really well managed by the Department of Environment and Conservation.

We stayed at Jurien Bay which is quaint and relaxing and it reminded me of the town in that old TV show Seachange.

We did lots of short walks and a few longer ones but sadly we saw more wildlife on signs and squished on the side of the road than in real life.

We then drove inland via New Norcia but I'm not sure I'd recommend that if, like us, you are a carload of tired, hungry atheists.  Sometimes I find myself thinking "Is that it?" and this leg of the trip was one of those times.

Next stop for three nights was Guilderton, where the Moore River very, very nearly meets the sea.  Lovely, sleepy, make-your-own-fun holiday village.  Just be careful where you stay.  I made an online booking for 3 nights in a holiday cottage which turned out to be the grottiest, filthiest dump I have ever set foot in.  After one grim night there we then wasted a day of our holiday switching to a habitable house.

The Gravity Discovery Centre near Gingin.  For sciencey children and their parents this is an excellent place for a grand day out.

We made our way slowly home stopping for a leisurely visit to the wonderful Yanchep National Park.

On this trip we went right through famous wildflower country but were just a bit early in the season to see much floral action. Never mind, I thought.  Next time, when we explore the other half of the Indian Ocean Drive. But as we drove into our driveway we discovered that in the week we'd been away, the first of our own wildflowers had burst into bloom.


  1. I moved to WA from London about the same time you moved here. I love reading your blog and have got some great ideas of places to visit from you so thanks. So pleased I am not the only one who sometimes thinks "Is that it?" We thought that about Margaret River but wouldn't dare say that to the locals!

  2. Pleased to be of service Catherine and always happy to receive tips for great places to explore. I found Margaret River somewhat underwhelming given its international reputation. We drove around and around thinking we must have missed something. We hadn't.