If you’ve got a car, you’ve got an adventure here in WA. As the largest state with such incredibly vast and varied terrain, there is much to experience when you hit the road.
The Pilbara’s Warlu Way is one of the most loved, yet relatively unknown, West Aussie road trips. It’s a 2,480 km self-drive route that follows the path of a giant Dreamtime snake called the Warlu as it zig-zagged its way through some of the state’s most breathtaking landscapes through the epic Pilbara. Driving the Warlu Way is an eye-opening experience in learning about and understanding our Indigenous people’s relationship and connection to the land.
We’ve teamed up with Australia’s North West to bring you seven unmissable experiences on The Warlu Way.
1. Karijini National Park
A surreal and breathtaking spot in the Pilbara, Karijini is a national park with contrasts. You’ll find epic waterfalls, creeks, bush trails, desert plains, mountain ranges, and lush tropical oases all waiting to be explored.
Don’t miss: Kalamina Gorge, Fortescue Falls, and for the adventurous, the Spider Walk to Kermits Pool.
2. Millstream Chichester National Park
Millstream Chichester National Park is the heartland of the Yindjibarndi people and home to the Warlu, the Dreamtime snake and namesake of the drive. This park is a tropical oasis of lush greenery, stunning gorges, and tranquil rock pools surrounded by palms.
Don’t miss: swimming at Deep Reach Pool (Warlu’s home), watching the sunset at Cliff Lookout, and walking the Camel Trail.
3. The Dampier Archipelago and the Burrup Peninsula
The magnificent Dampier Archipelago is a coastal wonderland comprising 42 islands off the coast of Dampier. Kick back on the protected beach at Hearson Cove on the Burrup Peninsula and check out the thousands of Aboriginal rock engravings, known as petroglyphs, at Murujuga National Park.
Don’t miss Swimming and snorkeling at local favorites Shark Cage Beach and Boat Ramp Beach and following the famous kelpie Red Dog’s trail around Dampier (and check out his commemorative statue).
Explore some of the Pilbara region’s rich, vibrant history. Step back on a visit to Roebourne, where you’ll find The Ganalili Centre (think interactive cultural space, gallery space, gift shop). It’s located in the old Victoria Hotel building on Roe Street.
Don’t miss: Moseying on down to Mount Welcome Lookout and soak up the sweeping views across Roebourne, the coastal plains, and the surrounding hills. Try the Roebourne Heritage Trail, a 5km or 8km walk through important historical sites, for something more active.
5. Point Samson Peninsula
An ideal spot to bathe in the natural beauty of the Pilbara coast. Here, you can wander along the jetty for sunset or sunrise, feel the sand under your feet along beaches at John’s Creek and Honeymoon Cove, find a favorite fishing spot, or walk a heritage trail.
Don’t miss the Emma Whitnell Heritage Trail – close to Roebourne.
Another wonderful place to visit if you’re strolling through is an area known for its historical buildings, beaches (bring your own kayak and fishing gear for ample fishing opportunities), art exhibitions, and an enjoyable bite to eat at the café in the restored Customs Building.
Don’t miss The Cossack Art Award, the nation’s richest regional art prize, from mid-July-August.
7. The Mackerel Islands and Onslow
A fishing and snorkeling paradise, Mackerel Island consists of 10 islands with two that welcome guests – Thevenard and Direction – with accommodation, facilities, activities, and tours, and the world–class fishing, diving, snorkeling, Swimming, boating, nature watching, and relaxation.
Don’t miss watching the sun rise through Onslow’s spectacular war memorial sculpture based on the ADF’s Rising Sun cap badge symbol.
The Warlu Way self-drive road trip is a magical way to experience the Pilbara region. Visit the website to find out more.