Follow the yellow road.
Carnarvon is more than just the land of golden (banana) boomerangs; it’s known as the fruit bowl of Western Australia producing 80% of WA’s crops, where reeling and peeling go hand in hand with freshly caught seafood, juicy tropical fruits and garden-fresh vegetables. Oh, and there is plenty of activities to suit your adventure-seeking threshold to work it all off, don’t you worry! Its location along WA’s famed Coral Coast Highway also alludes to food, sandwiched between wilderness treasures, the Shark Bay and Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Areas.
Carnarvon is the Coral Coast’s city of cool, with its laid-back lifestyle making it a sought out locale to unwind and treat your body and mind, with food for the soul just right.
Go from coast to crop with us as we peel back the layers of what makes Carnarvon a must-visit along the Coral Coast.
What to do in Carnarvon
Carnarvon is one zesty place thanks to its temperate climate. So much so, the Coral Coast’s foodtopia is home to ‘The Fruit Loop’. No, we don’t mean the sugary breakfast treat; we are talking about the unreal scenic drive along the North and South River Roads. Travelling along the yellow bitumen road will lead you through the lush plantations along the banks of the Gascoyne River.
It’s a stop, start, eating affair in the heart of this horticultural haven with the three S’s – sweeter bananas, succulent seafood and seasonal produce – ready for your roadside tastings. Some working plantations operate roadside vendors and pop-up shop fronts where you can fill your basket with locally made ice-creams and delicacies using fresh fruits and vegetables.
For that quirky photo opportunity, head to the evergreen Cactus Farm along South River Road. Its Californian desert meets Carnarvon’s oasis, with the giant cacti towering the sub-tropical town. A peculiar sight it may be; it has fast become Insta-famous for its unusual natural growth.
Don’t forget to have your picture taken with Carnarvon’s iconic Big Banana at Bumbak’s, worthy of a #Bananagram hashtag!
(Fun fact: Banana sightings in Australia were first recorded near Carnarvon during the 1800s. Since then, potassium power has reigned with Cavendish type bananas, and Williams, being Carnarvon’s horticultural gold!)
From soil to space, Carnarvon also played a role in space history. Head to Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum to be wowed with the sheer size of the historical OTC Satellite Earth Station and find out more about its role in broadcasting the first moon landing to the world in 1969.
Where to eat in Carnarvon
Bananas, mangoes, pawpaw, avocados, grapes and more – we did tell you that Carnarvon is a fruitful place, didn’t we? With that said, expect to have absolute fresh produce – crisp from the tree or caught from the depths of the sea – with a trip to Gascoyne Growers Markets. The markets are held every Saturday morning from May until October on the grounds of the Carnarvon Visitor Centre and run by the growers themselves. It is a tantalising affair for the senses, so bring on your hunger game!
If wining and dining is more your thing, head to the relaxed eatery, Sails Restaurant for an a-la-carte blowout. Or if you are seeking to keep things Carnarvon casual, local-favourite Sunsets Café at One Mile Jetty serves up great coffee (or a cheeky cocktail if you are that way inclined!).
Looking for some great seafood delights to fill up the esky en route north? Head to South Carnavon’s Pickles Seafood and Boatyard for wild ocean-caught prawns and an array of seafood. This is the place where you can create the ultimate seafood basket and deliciously satisfy your Omega three intake.
Where to see natural wonders in Carnarvon
Running with the food bowl theme is Carnarvon’s star natural wonder, Honeycomb Gorge, located two-hours’ drive east in the Kennedy Range National Park. The park’s towering hexagonal-like cliff face was formed as a result of wind and water spray weatherings. The park is also home to several gorges and striking reddish rock landscapes.
A visit to the park makes for an adventurous mini-escape and is one for four-wheel drivers, nature lovers and bush-camping enthusiasts.
Head 75 kms north and you will discover where Carnarvon blows – literally. The spray from Carnarvon’s Blowholes can reach up to 20 metres in height, depending upon the swell along the coast so best to watch the epic water show from a distance.
Where to surf in Carnarvon
Chase the waves by heading to Red Bluff. It is renowned with surfers, and superheroes too, with Thor’s Chris Hemsworth giving the area some star power on a family holiday visit with Hollywood royalty Matt Damon. Waves reach from 1 ft to 8 ft, making an epic spot to hang loose along the Quobba Coast, or the more relaxed Shell Beach. Time for you to drop in Carnarvon…
Feature image: Supplied by Australia’s Coral Coast.
This is a sponsored post for Australia’s Coral Coast– endorsed by So Perth. We value your feedback so please contact us with any thoughts in regards to our sponsored post.