Yardie Creek, Exmouth
Exmouth is an amazing place. Like seriously, world class amazing. You’ve got the Ningaloo Reef right on your doorstep, where you can snorkel with the whale sharks and manta rays, incredible gorges on both sides of the town and some of the best coastal camping in Australia.
One of our favourite places though, lies at the bottom of Cape Range National Park, and is known as Yardie Creek.
Where is Yardie Creek?
You’ll find Yardie Creek roughly a 90km drive from Exmouth itself, located right at the bottom of the Cape Range National Park. It’s on the Western, or Ningaloo Marine Park side of the range, and can only be accessed from the north (Exmouth) or the south (Ningaloo Station).
How do you get to Yardie Creek?
From Exmouth, simply head north, turn towards Cape Range National Park and follow the road all the way down to the very end. You can cross Yardie Creek, but you need a 4WD, the right gear and it takes you towards Ningaloo Station.
Alternatively, you can get to Yardie Creek from Ningaloo Station, but the track is rocky, has patches of soft sand and is relatively rough and tight.
When is the best time to visit Yardie Creek?
You’d have fun here any time of the day, but in terms of picturesque times, sunset is unbeatable. The rocks light up, the wallabies come out and its generally nice and calm. I would assume early mornings would be amazing as well, but we’ve never been at that time.
Yardie Creek Walk
If you make the effort to get to Yardie Creek, you should do the walk. It’s split in two, and the first part is on a fairly wide, compact limestone track that stops at a little lookout.
If you are feeling more adventurous you can continue to part 2, which is significantly harder and takes a lot more time, with a number of climbs up and down. You need a decent level of fitness and good footwear for this part of the walk.
Camping at Yardie Creek
One of the DPAW camp sites in Cape Range National Park is Yardie Creek itself, and if you look in the photo below you’ll see the camp ground just north of the big car park. It’s only small, but its reasonably protected, within walking distance of the creek itself and is a great place to stay.
The only downside is that its 90km into Exmouth, but that might not be a deterrent depending on your plans.
Animals at Yardie Creek
We had a lot of fun watching and photographing the different animals at Yardie Creek. There’s a resident (or maybe a few) Osprey, and a huge number of rock wallabies that you are most likely to see when its coolest.
We also saw a number of big fish in the creek, but you aren’t allowed to fish it, and the whole area is quite an animal sanctuary (including a bird area just south of the creek).
Crossing Yardie Creek
You can cross Yardie Creek, and a lot of people do it all the time. However, it is subject to the water level, and the conditions of the crossing itself. For a number of years the creek was sealed and it was just like driving across a beach.
However, I’ve also seen a few vehicles get badly stuck, and that’s not a place you want to be in. We’ve actually written a comprehensive post on how to cross Yardie Creek, which you can check out.
What’s worth looking at nearby?
When you are talking about Cape Range National Park and the Ningaloo Marine Park, you really can’t go wrong pulling into any of the roads.
The beaches are all amazing, the snorkeling is world class, there’s a number of places you can fish and the camp sites are nothing short of spectacular.
It’s worth noting that there are a number of attractions on the East (or Exmouth) side too, including the beaches, the gulf, Charles Knife and Shothole Canyon.
Great to hear! Good call keeping the car out of the salt water! It really is a stunning location there.
I’d love to spend an afternoon paddling up the creek!
All the best
Awesome photos Aaron and just back from a week camping at Osprey Bay and that whole stretch is simply stunning. Fair bit of current flowing around Yardie Creek so kept the car dry. Paddling up Yardie creek was a real highlight of the week.