Journey of discovery, not a race

Photo of Geoffrey Thomas

Is Perth to Broome the world’s longest wildflower drive? I’m sure it is with kilometre after kilometre of picture-perfect opportunities.

And that was just what we were after on our bucket-list trip to visit two of the great icons of Western Australian tourism — Broome and Karijini.

The surprises were the beauty and rugged landscapes of Karratha, the awesome port of Port Hedland and Cygnet Bay and the Cape Leveque peninsular north of Broome.

Friends expected an aviation editor to fly, of course, but we wanted to see the magnificent State from 2m not 12,000m.

Besides, we love our Jeep.

After our Exmouth and Shark Bay foray in May, we decided to add overnight stops at Kalbarri at both ends of the August expedition.

It’s one thing to plan a marathon trip over a glass of wine and a pizza in the comfort of our lounge but quite another to do it.

The issue becomes the cumulative impact of driving for eight and nine hours-plus for three days to get to Broome.

So, we broke our trip north into three stops: Kalbarri, Carnarvon and Karratha and the return from Karijini into two: Carnarvon and Kalbarri.

We also bought a CB (UHF) radio to use Channel 40 to communicate with other drivers and, more importantly, the many oversized transporters we came across.

And with mobile coverage on that road — and most roads for that matter — marginal and often non-existent, it is also an important safety issue. Also, much of the coverage is still 3G.

Another addition for the Broome expedition was to download ExplorOZ Traveller for my iPad and purchase Roads and Tracks Western Australia for my wife Christine, who prefers the map book.

Any way you slice and dice it, Perth to Broome is a long way but three overnight stops and multiple roadhouse stops and driver swaps made it very easy and a lot of fun.

It is extremely important to look at it as a journey of discovery not a race and to stop and take pictures of scenery or wildflowers and fill the coffee cup.

We found each day went quickly and it was fascinating seeing the dramatic changes in scenery as we went north.

Read the full story here.

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