Francois Person National Park

Red cliffs, white beaches and blue ocean

  • 3. AUSTRALIA'S CORAL COAST
  • 4. WEEK +
  • 2. WEEKEND WARRIOR, 3. THE ENTHUSIAST

Occupying the northern section of the Peron Peninsula north of Monkey Mia, Francois Peron National Park was once a sheep station known as Peron Station. The station operated between 1900 and 1990 before being sold to the state government. In 1993 it was gazetted as a National Park.  Access to the Peron Heritage precinct and original homestead is easy in a 2wD, however venturing further into the park is only possible in a 4WD, with high clearance being recommended.

The heritage precinct offers visitors a glimpse into the indigenous and pastoral past of the area with the opportunity to enjoy the artesian bore fed hot tub, perfect for weary bones after a long day on the tracks.

The park was named after the French naturalist and explorer, Francois Peron, who was the zoologist aboard Nicholas Baudin’s 1801-1803 scientific expedition to Western Australia.

Regardless of the type of adventure you are embarking on, keeping the basics in your vehicle means that you should be bale to deal with most situation that may arise.

When you get onto the gravel, engage 4WD (high range) and only disengage 4WD when you get back to the bitumen.  Doing so reduces the damage caused by driving in two-wheel drive and ensures that the track needs less maintenance to keep it open. You will need to reduce your tyre pressures on vehicle and anything you are towing due to the extreme softness of the sand on these tracks.  Don’t wait to get stuck before reducing pressures.

Recovery Tracks

Great for getting yourself out of a sandy situation. There are more than likely going to get a work-out during this trip.

Foldable Camp Shovel

Given the amount of sand, you will more than likely be digging yourself out on occasion.

Recovery gear

You don’t always need this equipment BUT when you do, you do.  Best to ensure that it is always in your vehicle.

There is a high probability that you might need to use this gear.

Tyre Deflator

Much better than a stick and a lot more accurate.  Your tyre deflator is going to get a serious work-out.

Air compressor

If you need to let your tyres down for any reason then you will also need to pump them back up again. There is a compressor at the entrance to the park, however if there are other vehicles waiting to use it, you may end up waiting for some time.  Better to be self-sufficient.

High clearance

High clearance 4WD is recommended for this adventure due to the tracks being mostly deep, soft sand, offering extremely challenging conditions for drivers.

UHF

Much better than communicating via interpretive dance, a UHF radio fitted to your vehicle will allow you to stay in touch with travelling companions and other road users.

Make sure you let someone know where you are going and when you intend to be home.  Mobile phone coverage should not be relied upon.  This could impact how well Google Maps (or equivalent works) and you should either invest in a good quality GPS unit or ensure you have a map of the area.

 

First aid kit

Something to deal with minor cuts and scrapes as well as compression bandages to treat snake bite.

Make sure you have some sunscreen and insect repellant with you.

Water

This is a remote location with no potable water available.  Ensure you have enough for everyone in your group for your entire stay, allowing for any unexpected delays.

It is recommended that you allow a minimum of 10 litres of drinking water per person, per day.

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Navigation

We use and recommend HEMA’s HX2 GPS navigator.  The unit does not require mobile phone signal to operate, shows you exactly where you are and what is around you (including points of interest and facilities).  The HX2 also gives you turn by turn navigation when back on the bitumen if you need it.

Your other option is to grab a copy of one of HEMA’s maps or 4WD atlas relevant to your area of travel.

If you have a smart phone or an iPad (preferably one that can take a mobile SIM card – you don’t need a SIM installed) you can look at HEMA’s CamperX or 4×4 Explorer.

Don't forget the toilet paper

Keep a roll in the car, along with hand sanitiser and maybe some wipes.  Make sure you have a rubbish bag handy and bring all of your rubbish home.

Provisions

You don’t want to be making the drive   into Denham for supplies unless you absolutely have to.  Make sure you have everything you need for your stay, allowing for unexpected delays.

Communications

Having a PLB (personal locator beacon), satellite phone or satellite communicator (or HF radio) should be considered a necessity for this adventure.  There is next to no access to the mobile network and in the event of an emergency, driving back into Denham could take too long.

 

 

Enjoy the view

Cape Peron, located at the northern most tip, offers stunning views from two points perched on the cliff at Skipjack Point Lookout.

This is a great spot to see various marine life.

Swimming is NOT recommended at Cape Peron due to the meeting of two strong currents.

Capture the moment

Take a camera and try your hand at some scenic shots or even some macro.  It’s also a great spot to get some nice portrait shots of friends and family or even a candid shot of the natural surroundings.

Check out the surrounding towns

Don’t forget to take some time to check out Monkey Mia and Denham before or after you have finished.

Go for a paddle

Sea kayaking is quite popular here and offers you a different perspective of the landscape.

Fishing

Both beach and boat fishing are popular here.  Due to the track conditions, you will only be able to tow in smaller boats and will be required to launch from the beach.

Cattle Well, between Big Lagoon and South Gregories has been known to produce some good whiting catches. Bottle Bay, Gregories and South Gregories are other spots to try on the northern side of the park.

Herald Bight offers some relief from prevailing south-westerly winds.

Take to the sky

The rugged beauty of the cliffs with breaking waves over the rocky shoreline makes for some amazing footage and images.  The white sandy beaches found around the point, offset by the red cliffs and blue ocean also produce some stunning imagery.

Make sure you know the rules around operating your drone before you fly.

More information

Campsite bookings are essential with fees starting at $3 per child per night (over 5 and under 16), $7 concession and $11 per adult.  This is on top of your national park entry fee.

You can book your site here.

More information on Francois Peron National Park can be found here.

You can get a National Parks Pass from here.