Long sunny days are here and what better way to spend them than getting your tyres rolling to a remote, picture-perfect location teaming with dolphins and great beaches? Plus, if you (and your vehicle) are up for the challenge, there’s some super serious 4×4’ing to be had just a bit further down the road.
For this month’s road trip (which offers all these things and more!), we’re heading from Perth to magical Monkey Mia and then on to Francois Peron National Park which may be just the opportunity you’ve been looking for to give those Maxxis 4×4 tyres the chance to show off exactly what they can do!
Like much of Western Australia, this destination isn’t just round the corner, so it’s not one that’s best suited to a quick weekender. At about 850km from Perth (on the National Route 1 which is sealed all the way), you’ll be putting in some significant “k’s” getting to Monkey Mia — but the scenery you’ll pass through is some of Australia’s most sensational. There is also a choice of wonderful places for overnighters, with Dongara or Geraldton (approximately four to four and a half hours from Perth) good options for a half-way stop.
If you’re planning on taking the adventure to the next level by exploring the Francois Peron National Park, this is a great 4×4 destination! A 4×4 vehicle with good clearance is a must along with tyres that are fit for purpose to get to some sections of the park — and having at least some 4WD experience on board is advisable!
Best tyres for the ride…
As this is one for the 4x4ers amongst us, nothing beats a cutting edge, Maxxis RAZR for this ride! Whether you go with the much-loved MT772 muddy or decide on the smooth and comfy AT811, Maxxis RAZRs will have this journey perfectly covered across all terrains!
Dolphins, sandy beaches and things to do…
Renowned around the globe for its bottlenose dolphins in an idyllic ocean setting, Monkey Mia’s Dolphin Experience is a bucket list destination for getting up close and seeing them in their natural habitat. Plus, as part of World Heritage Listed Shark Bay, the area covers a huge expanse of marine life which also teams with dugongs, turtles, whales as well as sea birds and sea grass all set amongst beautiful sandy beaches and distinctive rust-red sand dunes!
Outside of Monkey Mia’s dolphin feeding times, you may well spot some swimming in the warm shallow water, however, it’s important to note that there are some strict rules around the dolphins and other marine life (e.g. it is illegal to approach within 30 metres of a dolphin while in the water) which need to be observed.
If you opt not to stay on site at the resort at Monkey Mia, Denham is the main town of the area (24km away) which offers a range of accommodation and restaurant options and it’s a great base for swimming, kayaking and exploring everything Shark Bay has to offer. Shell Beach (made up of literally millions of shells) and the intriguing Hamlin Pool, home to one of the world’s biggest collections of living fossils (or stromatolites as they are called), are both must-do wonders of the area which are well worth a look while you’re there!
If you’re up for some 4×4’ing adventure
Just 27km on from Monkey Mia (on Monkey Mia Road) the Francois Peron National Park is surrounded by amazing red cliffs with beautiful white beaches, and teeming with marine wonders, birds and wildlife – a truly unspoiled spot to get away from it all!
While caravans and other 2WD vehicles will generally cope well with the main (sealed) road to Monkey Mia and even some of the unsealed roads in the vicinity, as already mentioned, the Francois Peron National Park is a spot for 4WD’ers only. It’s also a magnificent location for some serious camping with sites offering basic facilities at South Gregories, Gregories, Bottle Bay and Big Lagoon as well as at Herald Bight (along the beach). As with other areas of the park, you’ll need to adjust your tyres to suit soft sand and other conditions. You’ll find striking views at just about every turn, and (once out of your vehicle) the 1.5 km Wanamalu Walk Trail to Skipjack Point will give you the chance to see the stunning coastline for miles around including dolphins and other sealife in the ocean below.
While you’re testing out those Maxxis tyres in this amazing national park, make sure you check out the inland bays of Big and Little Lagoons (Big Lagoon is 4x4s only!), and take a dip in the hot tub (once providing water to the sheep) at the historic Peron Homestead (where there is also a tyre compressor station for deflating tyres).
There’s great fishing, kayaking and snorkelling to be had in the Francois Peron National Park, however it’s vital to know that there are strong currents. Also, make sure you carry drinking water, fuel, a 4×4 recovery kit and other necessary supplies with you as this park is super remote. You can check out the Parks entry and camping fees for Monkey Mia and the Francois Peron before setting off, and more information on safety and tips on 4x4ing in the Shark Bay area can be found here.
Before you go…
This is a long trip (and as we mentioned, it’s really remote) so it’s extra essential to do a full tyre check before you set off for any visible sign of damage, as well as checking your tyre pressures while the tyres are cool. You will need to be prepared to lower your tyre pressures if you’re going into the Francois Peron National Park, so it’s best to have the right equipment along with you for the ride. As always, if you need assistance with choosing tyres that are right for your vehicle, along with balancing and other tyre checks to make sure they are safe for the trip ahead, our friendly Maxxis dealers are always on hand to help.