Red Bluff, WA: How’s the Serenity?

beach campground WA

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

Where is Red Bluff WA?

Red Bluff is on the Coral Coast of WA, 140km north of the nearest major town, Carnarvon—which is itself 890km north of Perth. The last 60km is along a gravel road, so a 4WD is a good idea but not required. On the way you can make a pit stop at the Quobba blow holes, to watch water charge through holes in the rock. Apparently the jets can get up to 20 meters high!

blowholes Red Bluff WA
Rock whales

Red Bluff is a famous surf beach with a rustic campground, 60km south of Quobba homestead. The bluff is part of Quobba Station, a working sheep station established in 1898.

Camping at Red Bluff

Red Bluff campground has four different types of accommodation, ranging from campsites with bush toilets (where we stayed) to safari deck retreats (where it looks like Chris Hemsworth stayed). No matter what you choose, you’ll be right on the edge of the beach with killer views. All options are BYO linen. There is a small store onsite selling essentials like ice, bread, and firewood, open from April to October.

Retreat: Hard-deck safari tent with a queen bed, kitchenette, fridge/freezer, solar power, and ensuite. There are two of these structures, and they looked amazing. Two-night minimum, from $220 twin share per night.

Bungalow: Sleep up to six with one queen bed and four single bunks. Hard-deck safari tent with full sized fridge/freezer, shower & toilet, solar power. Two-night minimum, from $90 per adult per night. There are three bungalows, and to be honest I’m not entirely sure of the difference between these and the retreats.

Shack: We were so tempted to book one of these, but you need something to sleep on. They are literally shacks, with palm frond walls, concrete floors and killer views of the Indian Ocean. From $30 per adult per night.

Campsite: Your basic unpowered site, with bush toilet access. From $18 per adult per night. 

For more details on Red Bluff Campground, visit the Quobba Station website.

open air toilet wa
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.

Goats near outdoor toilet
Wild goats laugh at the prudish barrier we humans require.
Camper trailer Red Bluff WA
One of the best views I’ve ever had from a campsite.

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.

What to do at Red Bluff WA


Most people come to Red Bluff for its legendary surf break, but you don’t have to get on a board to appreciate it. I didn’t surf; the rocky edges and wild waves were a little intimidating and I was content to watch the whales from the shore.

Western Australia Quobba
The actual red bluff.
Surfer in Australia
Jared tears it up.
Cave at red bluff wa
The walk to the surf break, with an alfresco camping cave for the brave.
Shy kangaroo at the beach
Oh alright, take my photo—but get my good side.
sunset WA Quobba
Red Bluff gets a gold star for sunsets.

Whale Watching

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.

Humpbacks Western Australia
NBD, just a pod of whales, casually cruising past Red Bluff.

I will never forget watching these whales come so close to the surfers, shocking us all. It was incredible.

whale blows near surfers

Humpback whales can be seen from late May to October. We were there in mid-September and saw possibly as many whales as we did people during that time.

4WD Exploring

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

View from dash of beach
Getting heart palpitations just remembering this.

Quobba Station, Gnaraloo Station, and Gnaraloo Bay are all within an hour’s drive of Red Bluff. Quobba Station also has accommodation, as well as a larger store that is typically open from 10am-4pm. I’d suggest going all the way up to the bay. It’s windy (at least it was when we were there) but beautiful.

Walking near quobba station
Exploring Gnaraloo Bay, a short drive from Red Bluff.

Do absolutely nothing

Staying here was an enforced break from electronic 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 in my coloring book, and basically got in touch with nature. It was excellent.

Selfie from red bluff at sunset
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.
  • Fuel up in Carnarvon! There is no fuel at Red Bluff.
  • There is a small cafe onsite that does a limited menu. (Think smoothies, sandwiches, and the occasional pizza.)
  • The surf break is a bit of a trek along the edge of the bluff, but there’s a well-worn trail.

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Red Bluff WA

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  1. Hi Lauren….you are so fun to read. I am glad i discovered Lateral Movement! Thank you for sharing your life!

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