North West Coastal Highway
- This article is an itinerary.
The North West Coastal Highway is in Western Australia and runs from Geraldton in the mid-west to Port Hedland in the north. It is numbered highway One - and is an extension of the Brand Highway that runs from near Perth to Geraldton.
Its an amazing trip, and including the Brand highway, the trip from Perth to Port Hedland is over 1,700 km. To get a sense of that distance, the trip from Adelaide to Perth is close to 2,700 km. But this route is travelling into the Mid West, and Pilbara regions of Western Australia that are
The Highway goes past some of the most impressive coastline in Australia.
To understand the trip is not just the length, but the range of climates, and the sheer size of Western Australia can be appreciated by travelling this highway. You pass over the Tropic of Capricorn just north of the Minilya roadhouse (near the Lyndon River), as well as through a region with some of the largest iron ore deposits in the world just inland from your route, and some of the oldest rock on the planet.
Its a great trip and a busy highway, you need to be prepared for long sections between roadhouses, as well as hot long boring sections, good food supplies and water supplies are worth getting at the larger stops like Geraldton and Carnarvon.
As an itinerary this trip can be spread out in time as long as you can afford, as there are stopping places, and regions that can consume time.
From the south, the Brand highway (the earlier stage of Highway One) starts in Perth and can be accessed from other routes at Dongara, Geraldton, and other places.
From the north, travelling from the Northern Territory, the Port Hedland location is the main point of entry.
The highway has long monotonous sections where drivers fall asleep at the wheel - be vigilant in watching other vehicles movememnts and behaviour. The roadhouses along the route are excellent stops for coffee or stretching the legs, and have sufficient facilities for drivers on the long stages of the route.
If riding at dawn or dusk expect wildlife that goes to the roadside, and be vigilant at that time for tired truck drivers not paying attention. Where necessary if a road train is in the vicintiy, pull off the road and wait for it to pass if in doubt as to its capacity to slow down while passing you. Also never attempt to pass a road train unless you are 100% sure you can see the road ahead. Road trains can be long.
- Return to Perth along the inland route - south along the Great Northern Highway that goes via Newman and Meekatharra
- Go further up the coast, from Port Hedland to Broome along the Great Northern Highway