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5 Things to do in Carnarvon – Gateway to the Ningaloo Coast

Carnarvon, Western Australia, a guest post By Catherine Curnow.

Read on for things to do in Carnarvon, and find the lowest prices for Carnarvon accommodation.

Check out this post: Perth to Broome Drive for a great road trip heading north from Perth that includes some fabulous stop-offs including Carnarvon.

What to expect in Carnarvon.

Carnarvon’s location in north west Australia about 900 kms from Perth, makes for a tropical oasis on the shores of the Indian Ocean. Carnarvon is known for its banana plantations, tropical fruits, fine seafood and warm semi arid climate (average yearly temp of 26°C). The town’s situated in the heart of the Gascoyne Region, at the gateway to Australia’s Ningaloo Coast. The Shark Bay World Heritage area lies to the south, and the Ningaloo Reef and the popular tourist town of Exmouth lie to the north.

Over to Catherine …

Having visited a number of times, I can say that Carnarvon is well worth a few days’ visit, as opposed to just passing through, as many travellers do.

5 Things to do in Carnarvon Western Australia. Pic by Catherine Curnow.

Nicknamed “The Gateway to the Ningaloo Coast” and situated about 900km North of Perth, Carnarvon is a conveniently located stopover point on your way to Western Australia’s spectacular North West.

We visited in late October 2016, and again in April, 2017. Each visit found us in off-peak season, both in terms of visitor numbers, and finding the abundant fresh produce at its best.

When’s the best time to visit Carnarvon?

From April to September each year thousands of Grey Nomads invade Carnarvon, filling all seven caravan parks, and probably all other accommodation options as well. This is also the peak season to enjoy the bountiful fresh produce which is grown on the outskirts of town. There is an area nicknamed the “Fruit Loop”, the roads of which run parallel to (and either side of) the mighty Gascoyne River. Visitors are welcome to visit the farmers’ roadside stalls to buy bananas, tomatoes, beans, sweet corn, eggs and many other types of fruit and vegetables. Mangoes and Papayas (Paw Paws) are abundant in the summer months (January – March).

The Gascoyne River is unique in that the water flows unseen, underneath the river bed. There’s great excitement from the locals when “The Gassy” flows above ground, and then panic when the river breaks its banks, which it has often done during the wet and cyclone seasons.

We visited (and would absolutely recommend) the following tourist attractions …

5 Top Tourist Attractions in Carnarvon

  • We walked the mile-long jetty and enjoyed coffee at the café, whilst chatting to local volunteers
  • We enjoyed a guided tour of the Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage, and a self-guided tour of the Shearer’s Museum, both of which are near the mile-long jetty.
  • We bought produce, both along the “Fruit Loop” drive, and from the Saturday Markets at the Carnarvon Civic Centre
  • My absolute favourite place to visit was the Space and Technology museum which was created by local volunteers, and officially opened by Buzz Aldrin in 2012.
  • We climbed the steps of the OTC (Overseas Telecommunications) Dish, which was instrumental in the 1969 Moon Landing, hence Buzz Aldrin’s enthusiasm for Carnarvon, and his willingness to officially open the adjacent Space and Technology Museum. I remember being fascinated when I visited the OTC dish as a child, at which time it was still in use.

More Fantastic things to do while you’re in North West Australia …

Carnarvon Accommodation

If you’re looking for Carnarvon accommodation – compare accommodation deals, and check out the best prices Here.

Have you visited Carnarvon? Do you have any tips? Please tell us in the comments section.

A  big thanks to Catherine Curnow, our Guest Writer today. You can read more of her wonderful travel tales at TravellinAussies.

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Comments

  1. nice easy quick run down of Carnarvon Catherine. Would be great to see some more pics.

  2. I’m going to throw this one back into Catherine’s court – happy to insert more pics.

  3. Hello, I went to Carnarvon many years ago and loved it there. We did the most interesting tour of a banana platantion, plus swam in the local 50m pool. It was marvellous!

  4. Hi Seanna, seems like there is more to Carnarvon than first meets the eye. Thanks for popping by 🙂

  5. Fantastic blog! Thanks for highlighting the Carnarvon best attractions.

  6. Thank you Ralph 🙂

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