Leisure activities


With 320 days of sunshine a year and a sea brimming with life it's no wonder boating is an extremely popular pastime in the Gascoyne region. From yachts to power boats, dinghies to kayaks, people get out on the water whenever they can. Fishing, snorkelling, diving and wildlife watching are some of the favourite activities.

There is exciting weekend boating in the vast area Denham and Dirk Hartog Island in the south, Dorre and Bernier Islands off Carnarvon through to the Ningaloo Reef in Coral Bay and Ningaloo and King Reef in Exmouth.

There are also many places within the towns to launch or tie up your boat with good facilities for cruising yachts in Exmouth and Carnarvon.

Carnarvon boating information

Coral Bay boating information

Exmouth boating information

Denham boating information


Fishing in the Gascoyne is legendary. Whether you like to deep sea fish, game fish, fish from the dinghy, the beach or a jetty, it is generally worth your while in the Gascoyne. A recent report from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and Recfishwest shows the Gascoyne is home to the greatest proportion of avid fishers in the state.

Couple fishing on the beach at Coral Bay

Beach fishing at Coral Bay (Image courtesy of David Kirkland)

Sought after species such as Spangled and Sweetlip Emperor, Blue Bone and Rankin Cod can be caught, as well as the delicious inshore fish, Whiting, Bream and Tailor.

The region is home to three renowned recreational fishing competitions, Gamex in Exmouth during March, the Shark Bay Fishing Fiesta held in Shark Bay during May and the Carnar-fin held in Carnarvon during May/June.

The Department of Fisheries manages the bioregion, conducts research and ensures bag limits are adhered to.


Caravanning and camping is a popular form of recreation for locals and visitors alike in the Gascoyne.

Camping in Upper Gascoyne

The beautiful but fragile Gascoyne coast is managed with great regard for the wilderness experience and outstanding natural attributes of our World Heritage listed properties that all visitors come to enjoy. To balance the requirements of demand and custodianship of the land, there are designated camping spots the length of the coast and visitors are asked to confine their footprint to these sites. The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions administers Western Australia’s Parks and Wildlife Service, where camping may be booked for in Gascoyne National parks.

The Gascoyne is well serviced for campers with many caravan parks and station stays throughout the region. The visitor centres in CarnarvonExmouth and Shark Bay can assist with further information. The Shire of Upper Gascoyne can also assist with information for regarding inland areas.

Main Roads provide rest areas in Western Australia. A Rest Area is a type of roadside stopping place which provides additional facilities that may not be available at short-term parking spots or information bays. We encourage drivers to stop and rest at any roadside stopping places provided to reducing fatigue-related incidents. Map of Rest Areas through the Gascoyne.


Playing sport is an integral part of the Gascoyne community. The superb climate, hot summer and warm winter combined with the natural attractions of the region entice involvement in outdoor recreation in particular.

Whether you play a team sport like football or netball or prefer a solo sport like shooting, joining a club is a great way to make friends and to socialise.

There are currently well over 140 different sporting clubs and recreational facilities in the Gascoyne.

Some sporting clubs compete in the State and National arena while others compete within and between the towns of the region.

Many Gascoyne clubs are well established and often host North West and State Championships in an array of events from motorsport to sailing.

You can find a sporting club in the region by contacting the contacting the relevant association which can be found on the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries website.

Wind and Water

Some of the waves in the Gascoyne have been called ‘world class’. The barrels and pipelines of Red Bluff and Gnaraloo attract surfers from all over the world, particularly in the Australian winter of June and July when the days are warm and the wind has dropped.

It is not only the long left hand that attracts surfers but the low key nature of the sites. The basic infrastructure, the desert environment and the remoteness make the experience a true surfing safari.

Gnaraloo and Red Bluff are the big name surfing spots but there are many other good breaks in the Gascoyne and other ways to enjoy the unique conditions for wind sport.

Kite surfing

Kite surfing at Gnaraloo

Extreme wind and kite surfers often go wilderness camping on Gnaraloo Station from September to February when the reliable southwesterly wind ranges from 25-30 knots. The conditions on the water at Gnaraloo are not for the beginner and wave riding skills are a must. The waves can get big and break over coral. The location is isolated so riders need to be prepared. Other notable wind and kite surf spots include Sandy Bay and Graveyards beaches in the Cape Range National Park and Ningaloo Marine Park, and the Shark Bay peninsula. For those who are not as experienced, the expanse of water in down town Carnarvon is as perfect for beginner windsurfers and kitesurfers.

The Gascoyne is home to two major wind and kite surfing events, the Shark Bay Downwinder and Carnarvon Windfest, these events attract competitors and visitors from all over the country. 

Motor Sports

Motor sport is very popular among the men and boys of the Gascoyne, with a growing number of women joining in as well.

Not only do people tinker and ride for their own pleasure but gather together in clubs to compete with each other and hold invitation events from the regional to the State and now expanding to the national stage.


The highlight of the motor sports year is the Gascoyne Dash, a desert enduro race event held over four days, with racing over two days. Run completely by local volunteers the success of this event is attracting more national competitors and spectators every year.

This CAMS and MAWA accredited event offers challenges available nowhere else not to mention a prize pool worthy of the effort.


The Carnarvon Speedway Club and Shark Bay Speedway thrill members and visitors with their racing events. With divisions from super and modified sedans to street stocks, junior sedans and sprint cars these family friendly clubs puts on a great show.

Motorcross and Karting

With a red hot dirt track in Carnarvon and miles of surrounding salt flats there is plenty of opportunity for motocross enthusiasts in Carnarvon. For beginners and the experienced alike there is racing at club meets and regional challenges, enduro and freestyle.

Karting is a specialty motor sport available in Exmouth.