Red Bluff, WA: How’s the Serenity?

Red bluff campsite WA

Red Bluff in Western Australia was one of the most remote campgrounds of our whole trip.

It’s 140km north of Carnarvon (which is 890km north of Perth) and the last 60km is gravel road. The campground itself is primarily a BYO affair: no water—which means no showers—though there are strategically placed open-air bush toilets.

Australian bush toilet

Behold the bush toilet.

The wind was insane at times and random gangs of goats frequently swept through the campground. I came out of the toilet once and came face to face with a kangaroo. On the way back to the tent in the evenings, my headlamp reflected hundreds of tiny sparkling things on the ground: spiders’ eyes. Nice.

Red Bluff goats

Feral goats unimpressed by the bush toilet.

Camper trailer Red Bluff

Our campsite. Not bad. Not bad at all.

All of this aside, Red Bluff was one of the most memorable stops of our entire trip. It was like being dropped on a different planet, where the only human inhabitants were surfers. Most people come to Red Bluff for its legendary surf break, but you don’t have to get on a board to appreciate it.

surf break WA

Red Bluff itself.

Surfer Red Bluff

Jared tears it up.

Surf break trail Red Bluff

Walking to the surf break – some people camped in this cave!

wallaby Western Australia

“You want a photo of little ol’ me? Shucks.”

sunset scenery Western Australia

Every night was this good.

It felt like I saw more humpback whales in three days at Red Bluff than across the rest of Australia combined, though that seems impossible. Every time I looked up and stared at the ocean, I only had to wait about two minutes before spotting a spout.

Western Australia whales

Whales casually cruising through. Again.

Whales and surfers WA

I die.

Red Bluff is great for 4 wheel driving enthusiasts (of which I am not), with criss-crossing dirt tracks all the way up the coast towards Gnarlaoo Bay. We got so close to a cliff edge at one point that I had to look away.

Quobba Red bluff

Blinded by the light at Gnaraloo Bay, just north of Red Bluff.

Staying here was an enforced break from distractions; there was no phone signal or internet so my phone got turned off and tossed into a bag. I read The Horse Whisperer from start to finish (that ending tho wtf??), walked to the shore for a dip, colored, and basically got in touch with nature. It was excellent.

Quobba camping

Red Bluff campsite from the top, where you could conveniently see straight into the bush toilet.

Couple selfie

Living the good life.

Visiting Red Bluff?

  • Stock up on supplies (food, water, alcohol) in Carnarvon. It’s a major agricultural area and the fresh produce is great.
  • Let your tires down once you hit that gravel because you won’t see any paved roads for a while.
  • There is a small cafe onsite that does a limited menu. (Think smoothies and sandwiches)
  • Red Bluff is part of Quobba Station and offers campsites, basic beach shacks (BYO linen), both unpowered. You can also splurge on a bungalow or retreat, which have power and some amenities.
  • The surf break is a bit of a trek along the edge of the bluff, but there’s a well-worn trail.


Red Bluff WA

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