It’s roughly five hours from Meekatharra to Mount Augustus, so settle in for a stretch of road is quite unlike anything you’ll have seen so far. Admire the unusual colour of the earth, which flows continuously between chalky white soils, fields of olive-coloured scrub and a dark, ruby red moonscape, and if you stop for a look at Mount Gould Lock-Up – an abandoned police station from the 1800s, on the right side of the road (it’s signposted) – be sure to look closely at the ground. It’s covered in rocks of quartz! WA’s famous wildflowers may be springing up in earnest at this stage if it’s Spring.
As you approach Mount Augustus, the rock’s outline can be hard to distinguish in afternoon shadow, but don’t worry – there’ll be plenty of time to admire its sights properly. Start by taking the 40-minute Loop Drive around the base of the rock. As you edge around to its northern face, you’ll begin to see its resemblance to Uluru – and begin to appreciate just how enormous it is. Mount Augustus Tourist Park is on the loop (signposted), so pull up and check into your cabin.
This surprisingly lush, well-tended patch of paradise is resplendent with bright green lawns and one of the cutest open-air bars you’ll ever see, housed in a little wooden structure and surrounded by towering gumtrees, so you may wish to spend the final hours of the afternoon settling in. Alternatively, take the 15 minute drive to Emu Hill lookout, from which it’s not hard to understand how Mount Augustus came to be of spiritual significance to the Wadjarri people. As the sun dips toward the horizon, the rock will begin its spectacular daily show of changing colours. It’s the perfect moment for a celebratory drink of something cold.