Prawn-fishing boat, Ken Stepnell

Population 5283

Carnarvon is a large coastal town at the mouth of the Gascoyne River. The river and the fertile red earth surrounding it are crucial to the town's thriving agricultural industry. Plantations stretching for 15 kilometres along the riverbanks draw water from the aquifer of the river basin to grow a host of tropical fruits such as bananas, mangoes, avocados, pineapples, pawpaws and melons. Carnarvon gained national prominence when a NASA tracking station operated nearby at Browns Range from 1964 to 1974.

Visitor Information

Civic Centre, 21 Robinson St; (08) 9941 1146

Nearby national parks

Nearby towns

  • Denham WA

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  • Gascoyne Junction

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  • Coral Bay

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In Town

Robinson St In 1876 the region's founding fathers, Aubrey Brown, John Monger and C. S. Brockman, overlanded 4000 sheep from York. Carnarvon was gazetted in 1883 and developed into the centre of an efficient wool-producing area. Camel teams, driven by Afghan camel drivers, brought the wool to Carnarvon from the outlying sheep stations. This is the reason for the extraordinary width of the town's main street, which, at 40m, gave the camel teams enough room to turn around.

Pioneer Park: good picnic spot; Olivia Tce.

Murals: up to 15 buildings in the town, including the Civic Centre, are adorned with murals painted by local artists.

Heritage walking trail: 20 historic landmarks around the town; contact visitor centre for map.

Gwoonwardu Mia The Gascoyne Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre celebrates the history and culture of the 5 Indigenous language groups of the Gascoyne region. It houses an exhibition gallery, local Indigenous art and crafts for sale, and a café that serves lunches with a regional bush tucker flavour.

Gascoyne Food Trail Follow this self-drive tour of the plantations, orchards and fresh produce outlets in Carnarvon; contact visitor centre for brochure.

Bumbak’s Plantation Tours Learn just what it takes to grow bananas, grapes, and mangoes at one of the oldest family-run plantations in Carnarvon. The shop sells delicious homemade preserves, jams, fruit ice-creams and other treats. 449 North River Rd, tours at 10am daily.


Carnarvon Heritage Precinct On Babbage Island, and connected to the township by a causeway, this heritage precinct incorporates the One Mile Jetty. Built in 1897, this is the longest jetty in WA's north, stretching for 1493m into the Indian Ocean. It offers excellent fishing and a jetty train runs its length. Other attractions include the Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage museum, prawning factory at the old whaling station (tours in season, check times at visitor centre) and Pelican Point, for picnics, swimming and fishing.

Blowholes Jets of water shoot up to 20m in the air after being forced through holes in the coastal rock. When you arrive at the Blowholes, you are greeted by a huge sign declaring 'KING WAVES KILL' – a cautionary reminder that this picturesque coastline has claimed the lives of over 30 people in freak waves. 73km N. Nearby, a sheltered lagoon provides good swimming and snorkeling (1km S). A further 7km north of the blowholes is a cairn commemorating the loss of HMAS Sydney in 1941.

'The Big Dish': a huge 29m wide reflector, part of the old NASA station, with views of town and plantations from the base; 8km E.

Bibbawarra Artesian Bore: hot water surfaces at 65°C and picnic area nearby; 16km N.

Bibbawarra Trough: 180 m long, believed to be the longest in the Southern Hemisphere; adjacent to bore; 16km N.

Miaboolya Beach: good fishing, crabbing and swimming; 22km N.

Rocky Pool: picnic area and deep billabong ideal for swimming (after rains) and wildlife watching; Gascoyne Rd; 55km E.

Red Bluff: world-renowned surfing spot with waves 1–6m, depending on the time of the year; 143km N.

Mt Augustus: considered the biggest rock in the world, twice the size of Uluru. It is known as Burringurrah to the local Aboriginal people. This 'monocline' is over 1750 million years old, cloaked in thick scrub, and offers many interesting rock formations, caves and Indigenous rock art. Camping and powered sites are available at Mt Augustus Outback Tourist Resort; (08) 9943 0527; road conditions vary; 450km E; see also Gascoyne Junction.

Fishing: excellent fishing for snapper or groper and game fishing for marlin or sailfish; charter boats available from Williams St. Also excellent fishing off One Mile Jetty.

Fishing spots near town

Quobba 51 km

The 80 km Quobba coastline, which incorporates Quobba Station, is a mecca for land-based game anglers. However, the rock-fishing can be dangerous and should not be attempted without seeking local knowledge. The... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

Sails Restaurant

Located within Carnarvon’s Best Western Hospitality Inn, Sails Restaurant showcases superb regional ingredients on its à la carte menu. With a choice of seafood, Mediterranean and vegetarian options... Find out more

Campsites around town

Bush Bay camping area 29 km

Camping at Bush Bay is in a coastal environment just off the beach, in a popular fishing area. Bring firewood and drinking water with you. The camping ground is 10 km from the North West Coast Hwy, 33 km south of... Find out more

New Beach camping area 37 km

Carry in firewood and drinking water to this camping area with no facilities, set close to the beach. You’ll find it on New Beach Rd, 33 km south of Carnarvon and 8 km west of the North West Coastal Hwy. Note: you... Find out more

The Blowholes camping area 52 km

The Blowholes camping area is off Blowholes Rd, 49 km from the North West Coastal Hwy. It is situated behind the dunes and close to a spectacular section of coastline, where fishing, swimming, diving and catching a wave... Find out more

Quobba Station 60 km

Quobba Station is at the southern tip of Ningaloo Marine Park. Visitors here can experience excellent land-based game fishing, snorkelling, isolated beaches, world-renowned surfing, whales, and abundant marine life and... Find out more

Bottle Bay camping area 76 km

Bring drinking water and a gas/fuel stove to this camping area, 39 km north of the Monkey Mia Rd junction and 4 km north-east of Denham. Facilities are basic.... Find out more

Gregories camping area 78 km

Facilities are coastal but basic at Gregories camping area, and you need to bring drinking water and a gas/fuel stove. The camping area is 39 km north of the Monkey Mia Rd junction, 4 km north-east of Denham.... Find out more

South Gregories camping area 80 km

Off the main park road, 39 km north of the Monkey Mia Rd junction and 4 km north-east of Denham, this camping area has basic facilities on the foreshore. Bring along a gas/fuel stove and your own drinking water.... Find out more

Herald Bight camping area 83 km

Herald Bight camping area is 27 km north of the Monkey Mia Rd junction, 4 km north-east of Denham. In a coastal setting with basic facilities, camping here is gas/fuel stove only and you need to come equipped with... Find out more

Red Bluff camping area 96 km

At Red Bluff you can revitalise your body and mind by immersing yourself in the turquoise waters or relaxing on the beach while taking in one of the most majestic sunsets you will ever see, followed by gazing into the... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Outback Oasis Caravan Park 3 km

This park has jrecently undergone a makeover and now caters for all types of travellers. There are lawn camping sites and very good amenities. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Wintersun Caravan and Tourist Park 4 km

Wintersun is a quality park with good amenities and a wide range of facilities, including a lawn bowling green. It is a convenient base for exploring the greater Carnarvon region or simply to relax. Pets are allowed at... Find out more

Capricorn Holiday Park 5 km

Capricorn is conveniently located at the junction of Highway One and Robinson Street, the main access road to town. This is a convenient park for an overnight stop or an extended stay to explore the area. Bookings are... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Carnarvon Central Apartments

Offering two bedrooms and all the comforts of home, the Carnarvon Central Apartments makes for a relaxing stay. Located close to the centre of town and many of the region’s attractions, the ideally located... Find out more

The Carnarvon Hotel

Catering to all budgets, The Carnarvon combines motel and backpacker accommodation. Overlooking the waters and stately palms of The Fascine, the bay formed by the southern arm of the Gascoyne River, this is the ideal... Find out more

Wintersun Carnarvon Park

Family owned and operated, the Wintersun Caravan and Tourist Park offers some of the best self-contained accommodation in town. Choose from powered sites, one- and two-bedroom ensuite chalets, and grassed and shady... Find out more

Quobba Station

Experience a real working station at the Quobba Station, 80 kilometres north-west of Carnarvon. The station has been in the Meecham family for 32 years, and runs around 10,000 sheep. With the harsh and jagged Indian... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Edaggee rest area 76 km

81km S of Carnarvon (L) or 43km N of Wooramel (R)

Just off the highway in the scrub.

Manberry rest area 80 km

50km S of Minilya (R) or 92km N of Carnarvon (L)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

What's on around town

Gascoyne Growers Markets and Courtyard Markets: Civic Centre; Sat mornings May–Oct.


Carnarvon Bluewater Classic: odd-numbered years; Apr.

Carnafin: fishing competition, May/June.

Taste the Gascoyne: Aug/Sept.

Carnarvon Festival: Aug/Sept.

Carnarvon Cup: Sept.

Kickstarters Gascoyne Dash: Oct.

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