Oceania > Australia > Western Australia > Mid West (Western Australia)
The diverse Mid West region covers almost 470,000 square kilometres of central Western Australia. It borders the Gascoyne to the Northwest, the Pilbara to the North, the Goldfields region to the East and Southeast, the Wheatbelt to the South and the Indian Ocean to the West.
- 1 Dongara & Port Denison - an old coastal town known for its heritage buildings and rock lobsters
- 2 Geraldton - a popular kitesurfing, windsurfing, fishing, sailing and surfing spot in the region
- Kalbarri - a small town at the mouth of the Murchison River near the orange gorges of Kalbarri National Park
- Hutt River Principality - Australia's own "micro-nation". This wheat farm claims to be an independent Principality, with its own Princes, constitution, stamps, coins, diplomatic security force and throne. See under Geraldton.
This region is a good day's drive from Perth so it makes a good first night's stopover on a road trip north - anywhere along the strip from Dongara to Geraldton. After that, fuel, food and accommodation become sparse on the road up towards Carnarvon.
By air from Perth to Geraldton. By road from Perth either by Brand Highway 1 or Coastal Highway 60, which join near Dongara. From the north, via Brand Highway. There are buses along these highways (see individual cities for detail), but with your own car will be much quicker.
You'll need a car. If you didn't drive from Perth, hire one from Geraldton downtown. They can also bring a car to the airport if pre-booked.
If you've a few hours to spare to take in one major sight as you pass through, take the turn-off for Kalbarri National Park.
If you've only an hour or two, look in on Geraldton; Kalbarri needs longer.
Hutt River Principality
In 1970 the Government of Western Australia imposed wheat quotas on its farmers. The quota prevented 99% of the output from the 4,000 hectare (9,900 acre) farms of Leonard Casley and his family from being legally sold. The Casleys mounted various legal challenges to the quotas which culminated in them declaring secession of their land from the Commonwealth of Australia.
The self-proclaimed country is Australia's oldest and most well known micro-nation (there are surprisingly many). It is not recognised by any country and for the most part it legally functions as part of Australia. Due to this, it was a tourist spot for quite some time and was a regional tourist attraction until it announced it was closed to tourists after January 31 2020.
The Houtman Abrolhos are an uninhabited group of 122 islands, in which some are considered to be remnants of the mainland isolated by rising sea level during the last 8,000 to 10,000 years and others were more recently formed from coral rubble.
Houtman Abrolhos has some significant historical sights, such as the shipwreck of the Batavia. Due to their well preserved state, the Abrolhos provides some of the best snorkelling, diving and deep sea fishing in the world.
This is a low-risk region, the main things to need care are road use and water activities.
All the standard road safety advice applies here: watch your speed, try to avoid driving at night, overtaking is best kept for designated overtaking lanes, remember Australia has a near-zero alcohol limit for drivers, and avoid dirt roads in bad weather.
Water safety: it's seldom sharks, it's sometimes jellyfish or big waves, but the biggest risks to you and your family come from boat traffic. Check for designated swimming areas.