Are you ready to escape the crowds and head off for an epic outback 4WD adventure? The Gascoyne Murchison region of Western Australia has some of the most unique, challenging and incredible road trips in the world. Here are five of our favourites!
1. Road to the Rock
9 Days | Sealed and unsealed roads
This epic, 9-day road trip takes you from Perth, north to the Gascoyne Murchison region of Western Australia. You’ll weave your way through gorgeous country towns, historical sites, station stays, carpets of wildflowers (in spring) and the world’s biggest rock, Mount Augustus.
The Road to the Rock takes you more than 1,000km north of Perth to see Mount Augustus, the world’s biggest rock – which amazingly, many Australians have never heard of. It is located within Mount Augustus National Park, a lush outback paradise with swimming holes, ancient rock art and a buzzing outback village. You will venture through historic towns like Paynes Find, Mount Magnet, Cue and Meekatharra whilst seeing amazing natural attractions like the Aboriginal rock art at Walga Rock.
Once you get to Mount Augustus National Park, you’ll be wowed by the colours of the landscape which change from chalky white soils and fields of olive-coloured scrub to a dark, ruby red moonscape. In Spring this area is awash with a kaleidoscope of wildflowers and carpets of everlastings. Mount Augustus is the star of this road trip, and it’s easy to see why. At 1700 million years old, it is three times older than Uluru and twice the size, making it the largest rock in the world. There are a number of walk trails around the base of Mount Augustus, and a Summit Trail if you’re keen for a climb and some epic views. This is an adventurous and rugged road trip for those wanting to truly experience the beauty of the WA outback.
2. Kingsford Smith Mail Run
3 Days | Unsealed roads
Hit the Kingsford Smith Mail Run in your 4WD and head north on an outback camping adventure, following the original overland mail run to the magnificent Mt Augustus. This trail takes you from Carnarvon on the Coral Coast, inland to the historic gold mining town of Meekatharra.
This 3-day trail winds inland through beautiful pastoral land, to the iconic Mount Augustus, a massive monocline twice the size of Uluru. You’ll find amazing walk trails and an incredible array of wildflower in spring. There are also incredible rock formations, caves and Indigenous art scattered throughout the Mt Augustus area. There’s no shortage of swimming spots, places to fish and secluded picnic place. Adventure through the vast, timeless outback to finish your trip in historic Meekatharra. You can purchase the Gascoyne Murchison Outback Pathways Guidebook online or in local visitor centres to help plan your trip.
3. Wool Wagon Pathway
3 Days | Unsealed roads
The Wool Wagon Pathway epitomises the true Australian outback. This self-drive trail takes you from Geraldton through the Gascoyne Murchison up to Exmouth in the Coral Coast. The drive takes you through historic and timeless towns like Pindar and Murchison Settlement whilst showcasing the real Aussie landscape.
Prepare yourself for wide open spaces, historic homesteads and plenty of wildlife. You can camp along the way or get a taste for life on the land by enjoying a station stay. There are lots of natural attractions to enjoy on this adventure, including natural springs, seashell fossils and gorgeous picnic spots. Take in the beauty of the Kennedy Ranges, boasting springs, cliffs, canyons and wildlife. Finish your trip in Exmouth where you can enjoy the spectacular Ningaloo Reef. You can purchase the Gascoyne Murchison Outback Pathways Guidebook online or in local visitor centres to help plan your trip.
4. Miners Pathway
4 Days | Unsealed roads
Follow the Miners Pathway and explore the legacy of this remarkable period through the grand old buildings and the graveyards, the rusting machinery and the rich stories of those who lived in these whirlwind times.
This 4-day trail takes you from Paynes Find to Meekatharra, or from Yalgoo to Sandstone. Venture along the Miners Pathway and explore the wild prospecting towns that rocketed to the forefront of Western Australia’s gold rush in the 1800s, including Mount Magnet and Cue. Soak up the open skies, amazing outback scenery and the richness of the great Murchison and Goldfields regions. In spring you’ll be treated to an amazing array of wildflowers – but whenever you travel, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife including emus, wedge-tailed eagles and kangaroos. You can purchase the Gascoyne Murchison Outback Pathways Guidebook online or in local visitor centres to help plan your trip.
5. Canning Stock Route
15 Days | 4WD Track
The Canning Stock Route is an internationally recognised 'Iconic Journey of Australia'. The remote trail runs from Halls Creek in the Kimberley region of Western Australia to Wiluna in the Northern Goldfields. Stretching 1,850 km, it is the longest historic stock route in the world and is perfect for experienced Outback 4WDers and recommend travel with another vehicle or in a convoy. Permits required.
The Canning Stock Route is rich in history, from both an Aboriginal and pioneer perspective – and you’ll feel this history with every kilometre you travel. This is a popular but very challenging four-wheel drive adventure trip which will take you through some of the most exciting and amazing scenery in WA. You’ll cross four deserts en route - the Little Sandy, Gibson, Great Sandy and Tanami. As you cruise along, you’ll be treated to amazing outback scenery including sand ridges that stretch to the horizon, spinifex grasslands, narrow gorges, sheer cliffs, ancient Aboriginal art sites, and engravings of explorers and drovers.