The 10 Best Free Things to do in Carnarvon, Western Australia

The 10 Best Free Things to do in Carnarvon, Western Australia


Not to be confused with Carnarvon Gorge, over in Queensland, the town of Carnarvon in Western Australia marks – in my mind at least – the end of the Outback and the beginning of a landscape that looks much more like Southern WA.

And you know what, we were really impressed by it!

From the beautiful green colours, which started to replace the red dust, to the lovely regenerated foreshore, Carnarvon felt like a town on the up and we ended up extending our stay there we enjoyed it so much.

So if you’re road-tripping Australia’s Coral Coast and wondering whether to make a stop, then let me help you decide with these 10 best free things to do in Carnarvon.


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#1 Marvel at the Blowholes

Australia, Carnarvon, Blowholes

The blowholes situated just outside of town are, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best free things to do in Carnarvon.

We planned just to take a quick drive out to see them, but ended up spending hours watching them blow up to 20m in the air!

Created when the ocean is forced through the sea caves here, before exploding out through holes in the rock, the sound of the roaring sea is very impressive.

On your way, make sure you grab a pic of the infamous King Waves Kill sign. It’s kind of morbid, but hard to resist!


#2 Drive the Fruit Loop

Australia, Carnarvon, Fruit Loop

The South and North River Road are what is known as Carnarvon’s Fruit Loop, because they really are the epicentre of this town’s agricultural production.

Driving along here and checking out the delicious farm stalls is a great free thing to do in Carnarvon, and if you can afford it – splashing out on some of the local treats (like chocolate-covered frozen mango) is definitely worth it too!


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#3 Enjoy the Markets

Otherwise, why not head to the local Weekly Farmer’s Market and grab yourself some great produce there instead.

Open every Saturday from May to October, the Gascoyne Growers Market springs to life directly outside the town’s Visitor Centre.

With everything from homemade ice creams to organic veggies, listen to local buskers here while you support the community and enjoy a real slice of Carnarvon life.



#1 Good Camera – You will be pretty much snapping non-stop in Australia and will need a good camera to do this gorgeous country justice. I highly recommend the Sony A6000, which I use for all my travels and love, not least because it’s light, compact and robust!

#2 Good Walking Shoes – There will be a lot of walking in Australia – from cities to national park! Make sure your feet are comfortable therefore with a pair of New Balance Trainers. Perfect for stylish strollling, I love mine

#3 Good Guidebook – I’m still a massive fan of the Lonely Planet Guidebooks and do think their Australia edition is well put together

#4 Good Water Bottle – Travelling in hot old Australia can be thirsty work, so make sure you have a metal water bottle that you can refill as you go, because tap water is drinkable… and free!

#5 Good Sun Hat – And there’s no denying you’ll need a good sun hat for protection in Australia too. In my opinion, you can’t go past this Hello Sunshine one, which is both gorgeous and ideal for keeping the rays off your face.


#4 Camp at Red Bluff

Australia, Carnarvon, Camp

With some great eco-camping, snorkelling and swimming at this beautiful coral lagoon, checking out Red Bluff, and perhaps spending the night here, is definitely one of the best free things to do in Carnarvon.

About 135km north of the town, bookings aren’t required, but the track can be rough, so do make sure you check the conditions before heading out there.

Campers must be self-sufficient, but you’ll be rewarded with a mind-blowing sunset each and every night!


#5 Explore the Fascine

Australia, Carnarvon, Fascine

Carnarvon’s brand new central waterway construction – The Fascine – is a really welcome addition to the town, which has been thoughtfully designed and put together.

A truly public space for all to enjoy – whether it’s a picnic on the grass, BBQs, sunset watching or letting the kids run around in the playground, this is a great free place to explore in Carnarvon.


We stayed at the excellent Wintersun Caravan Park in Carnarvon and absolutely loved it!

Highly recommended as the best place to stay in town, you can check out my full review here.


#6 Snap the One Mile Jetty

Australia, Carnarvon, Jetty

Built in 1897, Carnarvon’s impressive jetty is actually one of the longest in the Southern hemisphere!

Intended to help export wool and livestock in the region down to the port at Fremantle, it sadly fell into disrepair in 1966.

In 1998 however, the community banded together to save the jetty, and now you can walk the One Mile Jetty if you’re feeling like a bit of exercise.

However I loved photographing it just as much!

This heritage piece has some very beautiful lines and with a dusting of red outback sand, looked delightful when we were there.


#7 Visit the Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage Museum

Australia, Carnarvon, Lightkeepers Cottage

Right near to the One Mile Jetty, in the same Heritage Precinct actually, is the Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage Museum.

Showcasing items dating back to the 1900’s, this place is free to enter and a great way to learn a bit more about the town’s history and what life was like in this remote WA outstation at the turn of the last century.


#8 Stroll the Tramway Walk Trail

Australia, Carnarvon, Tramway

This 2.5km walking trail connects the centre of Carnarvon with the Heritage Precinct, meaning if you are thinking of checking out the One Mile Jetty or the Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage Museum, this is a great way to get there!

Following the line of the old tramway – unsurprisingly! – this delightful stroll gives you a great perspective on the town and is complemented by some excellent signage about the local flora and fauna.


#9 Wander the Cute High Street

Australia, Carnarvon, High Street

With its wide streets, indicative of the times that horses and carriages ruled the cobbles, Carnarvon’s high street is full of character and heritage.

From some cute little cafes, to some interesting little shops, strolling along here, admiring the heritage buildings and the gorgeous shop window displays was definitely one of the best free things to do in Carnarvon we enjoyed most.


#10 Swim at Chinaman’s or Rocky Pool

Australia, Carnarvon, Chinaman's Pool

Just a short distance outside of town, 2 excellent local swimming holes can be found.

Definitely one of the best free things to do in Carnarvon, heading to either of these spots is a great way to cool down on a scorching summer’s day!

Rocky Pool is 55km east of the town and is a permanent deep water pool and a great picnic spot too.

Chinaman’s is closer to town, but still a peaceful spot with some beautiful river gums framing it and attracting some lovely birdlife.




So there you have it, my list of the top 10 free things to do in Carnarvon, Western Australia.

We really couldn’t believe how much was going on in and around this small town when we were there and we’d love to hear more about things you got up to as well.


10 thoughts on “The 10 Best Free Things to do in Carnarvon, Western Australia

  1. Danni says:

    From a local of Carnarvon, it would be great of people visited the one mile jetty as it may end up being taken down, there is a little box where you have to give money, also there is donations for it getting fixed at the chemist in town, it would be a shame if one of our oldest tourist attractions was to be teared down because of its old age and damage, it has been burnt down half way and is being eroded by the ocean waves, it is also one lf the best fishing spots in Carnarvon. I hope people visit our jetty or atleast donate to get it fixed.

    • Steph says:

      Hi Danni! Thanks so much for your great comments, it’s always wonderful to hear from a local, even if it is with sad news about the One Mile Jetty. I loved that spot in Carnarvon and it certainly is good to know any small donation can go towards saving it. I sincerely hope the jetty is saved and still there to enjoy by tourists and locals alike for many years to come

  2. Jo Cox says:

    Nicely written artcle with some good tips. I do have to disagree a little about the blowholes being “just outside of town” (75 km) and Rocky Pool being ” just a short distance” (55 km). Even by Aussie standards of distance these are rather misleading descriptions.

    I will check out the jetty though.

    • Chatt says:

      Hi Jo, I live in Carnarvon and 55km is not a long way. The Blowholes are between 30 & 45 mins depending on your driving. The closest town (Coral Bay) is 2.5 hrs away, so driving a half hour from the highway to see the Blowholes actually is just out of town. There’s no traffic lights holding your trip up here and remember you are 10,000kms away from its capital city. Don’t forget you also get to snorkel in the lagoon and out to the oyster bridge, or laze on a white sand beach that is… not crowded!! It is totally worth it!! I actually think Gnaraloo, Red Bluff and 3 Mile are just up the road and have done many day trips and that’s 150km’s one way. Why travel so far to miss out on some of the most amazing places, all over 50 kilometres!!? Will you ever be that close to the Blowholes again? I hope you enjoyed the One Mile Jetty but I really hope you didn’t bypass some of the most amazing places in the world! Please do not speak for all Aussies, I was born in country WA and I think the Blowholes are just out of Carnarvon. Steph has nailed her review!! Also, can I add number 11. the space museum is pretty cool! Aka the Carnarvon Tracking Station, is 10 kilometres south from Carnarvon (which by the way is still classed as in town) the station was built to support NASA’s Gemini, Apollo and Skylab programs.

      • Steph says:

        Thanks you so much for these really helpful details – we love local input here at Big World Small Pockets! This great advice is sure to help other travellers heading to Carnarvon and I’m really happy you think I’ve nailed my review! Thanks again, Steph 🙂

      • Louise says:

        Thanks Chatt, i just moved here yesterday so am keen to go and have a look at some of these spots and the space museum is top on my list

  3. Lindy says:

    Carnarvon is great little stopover for us in caravans as plenty of caravan parks in town. Most with pools, camp kitchens and other accommodations . Supermarket is city prices to stock up on everything .

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