FROM PERTH TO ESPERANCE: THE PERFECT SOUTH WESTERN AUSTRALIA ITINERARY
Embark on a journey of the most beautiful landscapes and hidden gems as I take you on a road trip from Perth to Esperance. Driving from Perth to Esperance was also the very first road trip I did in Australia and I cannot wait to visit all these places one day again!
From visiting the whitest sandy beaches, hanging out with kangaroos at Lucky Bay to hiking in giant forests, visiting world-class wineries, and driving along the most scenic coastlines. This road trip should be on everyone’s bucket list! So, grab your camera, pack your sense of adventure, and join me on this unforgettable journey from Perth to Esperance.
Ps. get ready to fall in love with the enchanting landscapes that will leave you breathless at every turn.
GETTING TO PERTH IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA
First things first, how to get to Perth in Western Australia.
I recommend you to use Skyscanner.com or Trip.com to find & book your flights. Below you can check easy the current travel fares and book if you’re ready to plan your trip.
Once you arrive in Perth, you can grab a taxi to the city centre with Didi, Ola, or Uber which is around AUD 27 or €17. There is also the possibility to take the shuttle bus which costs around AUD 20 or €12.
If you’re planning your trip from overseas: try to look for flights from Bali, like I did. From Bali it’s only a 3,5-hour flight to Perth, and prices for a one-way flight ticket are super cheap.
Read also: Best websites to find the cheapest flights
FROM PERTH TO ESPERANCE: RENTING A CAR OR A CAMPER?
Once you’ve arrived in Perth, there are a few options on how to get to Esperance.
First of all, renting a car is a good option if you like to stay in charming hotels along the way plus you’ll leave in no time from the airport to your first stop. Count between AUD45-65 per day or €28-40 and rent your car with the same pick up as drop off place. This way you’ll avoid any one-way fees or extremely high rental prices.
The other option is to rent a campervan or 4WD camper, which is in my opinion the true way to experience a road trip in Australia. The price is nearly the same than renting a car (around AUD50-105 per day or €30-65 for a 2-3 person camper) but you won’t need to book any accommodation which will save you a LOT of money in the end!
There are many companies offering campervan hire in Australia, but definitely check out the campervans of Jucy, Britz, Spaceships Rentals, Travellersautobarn, Wicked Campers or Maui, which are in my opinion the best rental companies in Australia.
STAYING LONGER IN AUSTRALIA? BUY A CAMPER!
If you’re planning on staying longer in Australia (like for more than 2 months) or planning on continuing your trip to other states, I would definitely recommend buying your own camper. You’ll pay a lot of money at once, but you will save so much as you can easily sell your car or camper again afterwards.
I bought a 4WD Toyota Landcruiser Prado in Perth and converted it into a little home on wheels. I always dreamed of living the van life in Australia and I was so happy I bought this beauty.
In Western Australia and also in Northern Territory there are so many remote places or beaches you can only access by 4WD, which would have been impossible by a normal car. So if you’re looking for the ultimate adventure, want to drive over beaches and camp remotely during your road trip in Western Australia, then a 4WD is your way to go!
For buying your own camper, use the websites Gumtree and Carsales but also have a look on Marketplace on Facebook or the Facebook groups like Australia Backpackers. There are so many backpackers trying to sell their cars on these community groups.
With a budget of around AUD8000-10.000, you’ll find your dream camper.
PLANNING YOUR ROAD TRIP FROM PERTH TO ESPERANCE
The first step to an unforgettable road trip from Perth to Esperance is planning the best time to visit, determining the ideal duration, and mapping out the route.
When it comes to the route, the most popular option is to take the National Route 1, also known as the Albany Highway. This route takes you through scenic landscapes, charming towns, and iconic landmarks. Alternatively, you can opt for the Coastal Route, which offers stunning coastal views and the opportunity to visit additional attractions such as the Valley of the Giants and the Tree Top Walk.
BEST TIME TO VISIT WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Western Australia experiences a Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and mild winters. The best time to embark on this road trip is during the spring months of September to November when the weather is pleasant, and wildflowers are in full bloom. Aim for a duration of at least ten to fourteen days to allow yourself enough time to explore the attractions along the route.
Another ideal time is going between December and February, which is summer for Australia. The days are sunny, skies are blue and the weather is pleasant warm with average temperatures between 25 and 35°C.
FROM PERTH TO ESPERANCE: THE PERFECT 2-WEEK ITINERARY
START Perth | END Perth
DURATION 16 days (or 14 days)
METHOD OF TRANSPORT Rental car or camper
BEST TIME OF YEAR September – February
WHEN DID I GO February – March 2020
HIGHLIGHTS Perth, Wave Rock, Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Duke Of Orleans Bay, Fitzgerald National Park, Porongurup National Park, Stirling Range National Park, Bremer Bay, Albany, Margaret River, Busselton, Swan Valley
Note: If you decide to skip Kalgoorlie & Bremer Bay, you can easily do this road trip in 2 weeks.
SAVE MY ROUTE BELOW
I’ve made a route of my 2-week road trip itinerary to help you locate all the highlights and places I’ve visited from Perth to Esperance. Feel free to save it or pin it on Pinterest.
As you read on, you’ll also get to know all the best things to do at each stop, the travel distances, my favourite camping spots and so many more useful tips to help you plan your perfect road trip from Perth to Esperance.
DAY 1: PERTH TO WAVE ROCK
My road trip started in Perth which is a beautiful laid-back city with gorgeous beaches and lots of amazing things to do, so be sure to count a few days at the start or end of your trip.
Rottnest Island, for example, where you can hang out with the cutest quokkas, is only a 25-minute boat ride away. Also Fremantle, Perth’s port city and beautiful historic town, is worth a visit when you’re in Perth. I loved strolling around Fremantle, seeing all the picturesque buildings and tasting some of the local specialities.
⛺ Place to stay: Wave Rock Cabin & Caravan Park I paid A$25 per night for an unpowered campsite + the entrance ticket to Wave Rock is included when you book this campground!
Anyway, let’s start with the first stop on my road trip from Perth to Esperance which was the famous Wave Rock. Wave Rock is a 4-hour drive from Perth and located near the Wheatbelt town of Hyden. (close to the farm where I worked for 4 months afterwards)
I looked forward so much to witness this amazing natural wonder which is formed approximately 2700 million years ago. Wave Rock looks like a giant surf wave and is made up of grey and red granite strips. Super cool!
The campsite Wave Rock Cabin & Caravan Park is only a 2-minute walk from Wave Rock and a wonderful place to stay.
Tip: if you have a clear sky, please stay up a bit longer and spend the night stargazing. Wave Rock is such an epic spot to see and capture the Milky Way! Unfortunately I had a very cloudy night when I was there so I hope I can go back one day to witness it with my own eyes.
DAY 2: KALGOORLIE
DAY 3: DUKE OF ORLEANS BAY, ESPERANCE
Travel distance: 460 km – 5h
⛺ Place to stay: Orleans Bay Caravan Park A$40 per night – powered campsite
DAY 4 & 5: CAPE LE GRAND NATIONAL PARK
Travel distance: 73 km – 54m
⛺ Place to stay: Lucky Bay Campground A$30 per night – make sure to book this campsite well in advance as it’s so extremely popular!
On day 5, I went to Cape Le Grand National Park which is super close to Duke of Orleans Bay so no big driving day here. Just like Duke of Orleans, Cape Le Grand National Park is the dream!
From stunning sceneries, remote campsites to the most idyllic hiking trails and insta-famous beaches, Cape Le Grand is a MUST DO on every Western Australia road trip itinerary.
You can literally spend a week here if you have the time, and Lucky Bay Campground is one of the most beautiful campsites to stay. Just be aware that for all campsites in Cape Le Grand National Park you have to be fully self-sufficient and make sure you have plenty of water with you.
DAY 6 & 7: ESPERANCE
As you reach Esperance, get ready to be mesmerised by more stunning beaches. Take the Twilight Beach Road, count a full day of exploring, and stop at Blue Haven, Salmon Beach, Observatory Point, 10 Mile Lagoon, 11 Mile Beach and Pink Lake. You will be blown away just like me how pretty this area is!
After a few days of exploring Esperance, the cute and stylish Esperance Chalet Villages are just the perfect place to stay around Esperance. I promise you, you’ll never want to leave this place!
DAY 8: FITZGERALD NATIONAL PARK
Travel distance: 200 km – 2h
⛺ Place to stay: Wavecrest village & tourist park A$32 per night – powered campsite
From Esperance I drove to Hopetoun, which is the perfect stopover spot to visit Fitzgerald National Park. Count at least a night here if you’re planning on hiking some trails.
Fitzgerald National Park is a natural wonderland, with such a beautiful sceneries and different ecosystems. It’s a more quiet park, but so worth to visit it. The roads in the park are super maintained, the many viewpoints are breathtaking and for the hikers among us there are several amazing walking trails to choose from. The East Mount Barren Track and Point Ann Heritage Trail are two lovely short trails if you don’t have much time.
Tip: if you travel in winter, make sure to stop at Fitzgerald National Park as you can spot humpback whales in the bay!
DAY 9: BREMER BAY (optional)
Travel distance: 248 km – 2h 35m
⛺ Place to stay: Bremer Bay Resort A$150 night
After visiting Fitzgerald National Park I drove to Bremer Bay. Bremer Bay is a more isolated town, but THE place to spot orcas in the wild.
DAY 10: STIRLING RANGE NATIONAL PARK
Travel distance: 140 km – 1h 30m
⛺ Place to stay: Stirling Range Retreat A$35 per night – powered campsite
If you like hiking, then definitely include Stirling Range National Park on your road trip from Perth to Esperance! This beautiful park is home to one of Western Australia’s highest peaks, Bluff Knoll, and I’ve heard and seen that the views from up there are truly mind-blowing.
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DAY 11: PORONGURUP NATIONAL PARK
Travel distance: 50 km – 35m
⛺ Place to stay: Porongurup Range Tourist Park A$33 per night – powered campsite
Only a short drive from Stirling Range National Park, you’ll find Porongurup National Park. I had seen some photos of the massive granite rocks before, and oh my gosh, it’s truly a WA secret gem!
The Porongurup Range is surrounded by a sea of giant Karri trees and formed of solid granite rocks which are over million years old, making it one of the oldest in the world. There are plenty of walks and hiking trails suitable for all fitness levels.
DAY 12 & 13: ALBANY
Travel distance: 47 km – 38m
⛺ Place to stay: BIG 4 Middleton Beach Holiday Park
Next stop on my South Western Australia road trip itinerary was Albany. After leaving the beaches in Esperance, I thought I would never seen anything more beautiful… but I was so wrong!
There are so many extremely beautiful beaches around Albany that you just HAVE to see! So make sure to stay at least 2 nights here.
Greens Pool, Elephant Rocks, Frenchman Bay and Little Beach are the most famous and my absolute favourites too. You’ll never seen anything like it. So epic, stunning and the waters are extremely clear.
Make sure to also include The Gap and Natural Bridge in Torndirrup National Park, where you walk to a viewing platform 40 meters above the ocean. Watching the waves crash on the rocks was so inspiring.
Furthermore, Albany is a really cute and historic city where the first European settlers arrived in Western Australia. There are a few museums, beautiful old building, charming cafes and restaurants.
Day 14 & 15: Margaret River
Travel distance: 345 km – 4h
⛺ Place to stay: Margaret River Tourist Park A$38 – powered campsite
There are so many things to do around Margaret River, and it was definitely one of the highlights of the entire trip! (I probably said that a few times, haha!)
From visiting world-class wineries & surfing at beautiful beaches to finding hidden natural pools and tasting local produce at farmer markets… the Margaret River region has it all!
Count at least 2 nights here, and save following spots: (you’ll thank me later!)
- Hamelin Bay (to spot the giant stingrays)
- Busselton Jetty (walk the 1.8km long jetty)
- Canal Rocks
- Indijup Natural Spa (hidden gem)
- Sugarloaf Rock (sunsets here are wow!)
- Boranup Karri Forest
- Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
- Point Piquet
- Cullen Wines
- Leeuwin Estate
- Margaret River Farmers’ Market (every Saturday 7:30am – 11:30am)
DAY 16: SWAN VALLEY (or back to Perth)
Travel distance: 300km – 3h 20m
⛺ Place to stay: The Swan Valley Retreat I stayed in the Cabernet room
I ended my trip from Perth to Esperance in Swan Valley, which is only a 30-minute drive from the city. Swan Valley Retreat invited me to stay a night in their retreat and enjoy the beautiful surrounding wine region.
A must-do if you love to end your trip in a luxurious and peaceful way, while enjoying top class wine and food!
You could extend this trip by driving to Broome using my other travel guide: From Perth to Broome: the best road trip in Western Australia!
WA will always have a special place in my heart and I honestly can’t wait to do it all over again! This South Western Australia road trip itinerary was the perfect combination of ticking off all of my favourite spots.
From the most stunning beaches to epic landscapes and meeting the cutest kangaroos on the beach, Western Australia is a bucket-list experience and hopefully my “From Perth to Esperance: the perfect South Western Australia Itinerary” has inspired you to plan your own trip out west!