A weekend in Karachi calls for a trip to a serene and peaceful destination, far from the hustle and bustle of city life, close to nature and your loved ones. Sindh and its nearby territories have a lot to offer to Karachittes other than a cake from Bombay Bakery or a karahi feast in the many restaurants present on the Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway. So, for this sole purpose, we’ve handpicked some of the less and unexplored tourist destinations near Karachi that will delight the adventurer in you!
Read on to find out some exclusive places to spend a fun weekend near Karachi!
Best Tourist Destinations near Karachi and How to Get There
Far from the crowded beaches in Karachi and the busy highways, these tourist places near Karachi have something special stored for you:
- Astola Island
- Gorakh Hill Station
- Keenjhar Lake
- Kirthar National Park
- Moola Chotak
Astola Island – a quiet and isolated island in Balochistan – is located in Pasni, a district situated in Gwadar. Also known as Jezira Haft Talar (Island of the Seven Hills), Astola is, without doubt, one of the best tourist destinations in Gwadar and just the right spot for people looking for some serious thrills near Karachi. Although the drive from Karachi to Astola can be a little tiring, the views and serenity are worth the effort.
One of the best weekend getaways near Karachi, Astola Island is only populated with exotic species and occasional visitors, which explains why its precious marine and wildlife remain intact. You will get to see some endangered and rare species here like green turtles, the hornbill, and a large number of aquatic birds, including coursers, curlews, godwits, and gulls, to name a few.
How to Get to Astola Island?
Many people prefer tagging along with a tour guide from Karachi and prefer being with a large group since the island is isolated and less discovered. But getting to Astola Island – one of the best weekend getaways near Karachi – all by yourself is not impossible or risky. It takes around 7 hours’ drive from Karachi to Pasni, on average, and you’ll get to witness a number of rock formations during your journey – that might not be your destination but mesmerising enough to keep you engaged for a while. When you reach Pasni, you can easily hire a motorboat to get to the isolated island, which might take around 4 hours.
Since the island is secluded and far away from the city and its many luxuries, we recommend that you take enough water bottles, food, first-aid kit, and essential medicines. It is also suggested to start your journey late at night to reach the island before midday and witness the glory of the day and the setting sun during the evening.
Gorakh Hill Station
It is almost unbelievable to hear of a hill station in Sindh where it snows, keeping in mind the melting temperature in Karachi and other territories of Sindh. Yes, you heard it right! Gorakh Hill Station is situated in the upper-division of this state and quite easy to get to for Karachittes. The temperature on the hill has been observed to be -5 degrees during the first six months of the year and quite chilly in summer, too. Don’t believe what you read? Head over to our complete guide on Gorakh Hill Station to find out more.
Moreover, Gorakh Hill Station is a famous spot for large groups to hang out, and one of the top tourist destinations near Karachi. As far-fetched as it may sound, you can light a bonfire, sleep in a camp, and stargaze with your favourite gang of people. Not just that, wake up early in the morning, and you’ll witness some of the most awe-inspiring views of sunrise from the mountains – just the right time for capturing some memorable snapchat or Instagram stories!
How to Get to Gorakh Hill Station?
Most people prefer to hire a guided tour to make their journey to Gorakh Hill Station a completely hassle-free experience since the packages cover all the amenities, including the cost of transportation, food, and accommodation.
However, travelling on your own is entirely harmless if you hire a 4×4 jeep and know how to handle it well on rocky and uneven roads. Additionally, Dadu is the central point for all travelers who wish to experience the thrills offered by Gorakh Hill Station, and you can easily rent a jeep from here.
Keenjhar Lake, also known as Keenjhar Dandh and Kalri Jheel among the locals of Sindh, is by far among the best weekend getaways near Karachi. The lake doesn’t only add up to the landscapes and blue zones of the state but brings you back to the folklore of Noori, the fisher girl, and queen to the richest king, Jam Tamachi.
The place gives you an insight into the romantic story of the two inseparable lovers – since hundreds of travelers visit the Shrine of Noori by taking an adventurous boat ride, which is situated in the middle of the fresh lake water.
Additionally, the lake is a host to many exciting aqua activities such as boating and swimming. The lake boasts contemporary guesthouses, mediocre restaurants, and safe spots for dipping your feet in freshwater.
How to Get to Keenjhar Lake?
Keenjhar Jheel, the second largest lake of Pakistan, is situated in Thatta District and just 18 km from the Thatta Town and around 120 km from Karachi. Taking on this adventure is exceptionally convenient for Karachittes since the place is not unknown, and there are many public and private transporters shuttling to and from Thatta.
Kirthar National Park
Kirthar National Park is home to two wildlife reserves in Sindh: Hub Dam Wildlife Sanctuary and Mahal Kohistan Wildlife Sanctuary. The creatures found in this territory are incredibly precious and rare – encompassing chinkara gazelles, feral cats, jackals, striped hyenas, wolves, and rare Sindh wild goats. The park offers a wide array of beauty and landscapes that depicts the rich culture of the province.
Moreover, the park, besides being one of the best weekend getaways near Karachi, also hosts several game reserves, including Surjan, Sumbak, Eri, and Hothiano, while Ranikot Fort is also located within Kirthar National Park. According to the visitors, the best time to visit Kirthar National Park is between October and March.
How to Get to Kirthar National Park?
Situated just 160 km from Karachi, Kirthar National Park is quite accessible via the Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway (M-9 Motorway). Reaching the park generally requires a 4×4 jeep to get across the rocky and uneven roads; meanwhile, a no-objection certificate from Sindh Wildlife Department is required to enter the park. Additionally, there are two main entrances to the park – Karchat, which requires a 4×4 jeep to access, while Khar doesn’t need a jeep. This route connects to a paved and clear route known as Kirthar Park Road.
Since the park is remote and extremely far from city life, exploring with a guided tour in larger groups is recommended. However, if you are feeling brave, you should take basic items along with you, especially a tent, to double the adventure.
Contact Number (Sindh Wildlife Department): 021-99204951-2
Forget about islands and beaches, and experience taking a dip into the freshwater of Moola Chotak – a secret waterfall oasis situated in Moola Valley, Khuzdar. The crystal blue water of the oasis of Moola Chotak (often spelled as Moola Chotok) is encircled with various wonders of nature, rocky cliffs, green rocks, and steep ravines.
Now, this place is what we call snap-worthy or to go live on Instagram and show off your adventurous spirit to your friends. Take a swim in the chlorine-free pool, or slide down the rock slopes – do whatever gets your adrenaline pumping.
How to Get to Moola Chotak?
Planning a trip to Moola Chotak alone – one of the wonders in Balochistan – is not really a problem if you’re booking a seat with guided tours. However, if you’re travelling on your own, you will need to comprehend the route and tag a good number of people with you. Do not forget to load your bags with basic amenities such as food, prescribed medicine, sunscreen, trekking gear, and a first-aid kit. The water in the valley is fresh and clean, and you do not need to take water with you if you don’t mind drinking straight from the oasis – but you’ll definitely need some bottles en route.
Moving forward, for enjoying the wonders of Moola Valley by travelling from Karachi, you will need to drive across Quetta Highway to Khuzdar. From Khuzdar, you can rent a 4×4 jeep until the base of the hill. Then, you will have to take out that trekking kit and prepare yourself for a 10-minute hike until the beautiful valley reveals itself to you. Safe to say – Moola Chootak is undoubtedly one of the best tourist destinations near Karachi.
Also, did you know that Bahria Town is hosting a grand opening of the first international theme park in Pakistan on 1st November: Bahria Adventure Land. Head over to our recently published blog and make the most of your weekend in Karachi with your children!
We aim to promote tourism in Pakistan, and you can help us by subscribing to Zameen Blogs – Pakistan’s #1 tourism portal.