Wide horizons filled with wildflowers, desert ranges, working stations and the largest fringing reef on Earth .
The Wool Wagon Pathway, from Geraldton to Exmouth, is an Australian outback 4WD trail that packs a big adventure into just a few days.
Following in the tracks of legendary pioneers, you’ll journey through spectacular wildflower country, outback desert and vast working stations to reach the bluest ocean and most amazing marine life encounters.
Duration: 4 to 6 days
Distance: 1,220 - 1,497 kilometres
- Station stays
- Mount Augustus (optional detour)
- Pioneering history
- Ningaloo Reef
- Whale sharks
Best time: July to September (wildflower season)
Geraldton to Pindar and Murchison Settlement
Total distance: 400 kilometres
Your outback wool country adventure begins in the port city of Geraldton (a five-hour drive north from Perth) where relics of shipwrecks reveal legendary tales of the region’s early shipping industry.
Leave port and head east on the sealed road to Mullewa.
In spring (June to September) this region dazzles its visitors with some of the most striking displays of wildflowers on Earth.
Continue to Pindar, where you’ll encounter the first of 23 interpretive sites and stories of the Wool Wagon Pathway.
Here, the road turns to gravel and travels north through wide-open desert landscapes to Murchison.
Your overnight stay can be your first real taste of life on this extraordinary land, enjoying the hospitality of a working farm at Wooleen Station.
Other accommodation options include the roadhouse, caravan park or camping.
Murchison to Gascoyne Junction
Total distance: 282 kilometres
Taking in more interpretive sites on your journey north along the unsealed road, plan a rest stop at the tranquil natural spring at Bilung Pool.
From here, you can opt to extend your adventure 200 kilometres (eight and a half hours) east to Mount Augustus and view the outback from the top of the world’s largest monolith – twice the size of Uluru (camping available).
Or head straight to Gascoyne Junction to discover relics of the region’s pioneering history at the museum, and perhaps hear the stories of local legends at the town pub.
Gascoyne Junction is also your gateway to the spectacular cliffs, rugged canyons and outback wildlife of the Kennedy Range National Park.
Stay an extra night at the township’s hotel, cabins, caravan park or camping grounds to enjoy the region’s striking beauty.
Gascoyne Junction to Carnarvon and South Ningaloo
Total distance: 173-310 kilometres
The final unsealed and sealed stretch of the Wool Wagon Pathway leads you from Australia’s biggest expanse of outback to the coastal towns of Carnarvon and Exmouth.
These are your gateways to the largest fringing reef on Earth – World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef – where close encounters with 500 species of fish and 300 varieties of coral are just a short swim from the shore.
To experience the world-class snorkelling, surfing and fishing of south Ningaloo, you’ll need to stock up on water, food and fuel in Carnarvon, and contact Exmouth Visitor Centre to check road conditions before making the journey.
Take the sealed North West Coastal Highway and Blowholes Road to the unsealed Gnaraloo Road north to Quobba Station, Red Bluff, Three Mile Camp or Gnaraloo for overnight camping or glamping on this breathtaking wilderness coast.
South Ningaloo to Exmouth and North Ningaloo
Total distance: 365-505 kilometres
If you took the detour to south Ningaloo, retrace your tracks to Carnarvon.
Otherwise, if you’re heading direct from Carnarvon to Exmouth, simply follow the sealed North West Coastal Highway and Manilya-Exmouth Road to your final stop at Exmouth.
Here, at the northern tip of Ningaloo, you’re in one of the best places in the world to take a swim with the largest fish in the ocean – the whale shark.
Every year, between March and July, they visit these waters and Exmouth tours can give you an unforgettable moment with these gentle creatures.
A glass-bottom boat, snorkel or dive tour will also get you to the outer reef, where dolphins, turtles, dugongs and manta rays play year-round.
Search for tours online.
Choose from a good variety of accommodation options in Exmouth or on the north cape.
If you’ve hired your 4WD, you may have the option to fly from Learmonth Airport (near Exmouth) direct to Perth.
Alternatively, follow the coast south to Coral Bay, Shark Bay World Heritage Area, Kalbarri and return to your starting point at Geraldton.
*Important Travel Information
Parts of the track are only suitable for high clearance 4WD vehicles and should only be attempted by confident drivers.
Driving times and distances are intended as a guide only, and may vary depending on the route taken.
Supplies and services are limited and driving conditions can vary, so plan ahead, stock up on food, water and fuel and contact the local visitor centre for the latest update on road conditions.
Permits are required to travel through private and Aboriginal Lands.
Visit the Australian National Four Wheel Drive Council for more information.