Golden Quest Companion Road Trips through Outback Australia
Western Australia is the Road Trip State! Whether you’re passing through or here to explore the region for a while, we’ve got a list of itineraries to make your travels throughout the outback of Western Australia just like having your own tour guide in the car.
From Albany in the South, Perth to the West, the Northern Territory and Queensland to the East, there’s an itinerary to fit in with your travels on your way to the Golden Quest Discovery Trail.
The Green Trail
Throwing away the stereotype that Western Australia is a desert is the Great Western Woodlands and the companion Green Trail drive. Encompassing 6 managed parks, the Green Trail offers camping sites, picnic areas, bird watching and some amazing views from their lookouts. Download the Green Trail brochure complete with GPS coordinates via this link.
The Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail
How did water make it’s way to the Goldfields? It definitely wasn’t magic, it was science. The Golden Pipeline is recognised an an engineering feat and was completed in 1903 delivering much needed water from Mundairing to the West out to the Goldfields via a 600km long pipeline.
The Leonora Loop Trails
Departing from Leonora in the Northern Goldfields, these dual trails take you into country that has been inhabited for tens of thousands of years. Learn about Aboriginal history and the stories from white settlers who earned (and lost) their fortune in this harsh landscape in mining or pastoral ventures. Decide to take the Agnew (300km) or Darlot Loops (345km) or combine the two to shorten your travels (432km).
You can download a brochure about the trails via this link and be sure to stop into the Leonora Visitor Centre to purchase the handy A5 booklet ($5) which provides more detail about the 30 identified stopping points and history of the region.
The Outback Way
The Outback Way is Australia’s Longest Shortcut taking travellers through the heart of Australia from Laverton in the Northern Goldfields through the Northern Territory to Winton in Queensland. The route is 2,800kms with approximately 1700km still unsealed.
A real bucket list experience, the Outback Way offers 4 to 6 day itineraries where you’ll meet some unique Outback characters, visit Aboriginal art galleries and possibly even see some dinosaurs! Supported by an organisation which maintains and promotes the highway, follow this link to begin planning your trip, access podcasts and information about road conditions, cultural awareness and required permits.
The John Holland Track and John Holland Way
Named after the explorer, sandalwood carter and experienced bushman, John Holland, either trail will take you from Albany in the Southwest through to the Goldfields through farmland and beautiful woodlands. The John Holland track is 4WD only and the John Holland Way is open to 2WD vehicles all year round.
Built in 1893 from sheer necessity of not wanting to have to take the ‘long way around’ to the goldrush interior, John Holland and his crew bushwhacked through to create a 700km cart track to accommodate prospectors and settlers who had come from all over the world and disembarked at the port of Albany. They were the first successful group to get through and the cart track (no cars remember?) was heavily used until the expansion of the Northam to Coolgardie railway 3 years later.
The John Holland Track and John Holland Way can be completed in 3 days but we encourage longer as you’ll see lots of attractions along the way and places to explore.
Companion drives such as the Outback Way and the John Holland Track are best driven with a 4WD vehicle. Please ensure your vehicle has been maintained to a high standard and that you are aware of how to fix minor mechanical issues yourself. If you need assistance on the trip it is best to have with you a satellite phone and details for your nearest mechanic or local police station. Alternatively, you can dial 131 444 within Western Australia to be connected to the regional WA Police force.
We’re not trying to put you off, we want all travellers to have the best experience when visiting the Goldfields, but Australia is a large country and often our travels can be delayed because of extreme weather conditions (yes, it can flood in the Outback!). Make sure you save the Main Roads website in your bookmarks and when in service access the map for up to date information about road closures. Check out our Visitor Services Centres directory for local knowledge regarding road conditions in our regional shires.