From Perth to Broome: the best road trip in Western Australia in 3 weeks
Western Australia has some of the most breathtaking and best road trips in the world. What you definitely should put on your Aussie bucket list is the road trip from Perth to Broome. After living in Australia for almost two years and traveling around in my converted 4WD, this road trip was a dream!
The most beautiful beaches, remote campsites, fascinating gorges, unique wildlife, and scenic views are everywhere you look. Making a road trip in Western Australia is a MUST-DO, and this itinerary will bring you to some of the most beautiful places in Australia.
Read on to discover my complete Western Australia road trip itinerary, all my favorite places to visit, unique camping spots and so many more valuable tips to plan the best road trip in Western Australia.
Map of Western Australia
This map of Western Australia will give you the best road trip itinerary for an epic adventure in Australia. You can easily do this journey in 3 weeks or adapt to your length of stay with amazing stops along the way. such as Hutt Lagoon, Kalbarri, and Karijini National Park.
How to get to Western Australia?
The easiest and best way is to fly to Perth, which is the largest and capital city of Western Australia. Normally I always use Skyscanner to find and book the best flights, but for this trip, I booked my flights to Perth with trip.com. (check below the best rates)
Once in Perth, you can grab a taxi to the city center with Didi, Ola, Uber (AUD 27/€17/$21) or take the shuttle bus. (AUD 20/€12/$15)
TIP: Try to look for flights from Bali to Perth, like I did. It’s only a 3,5-hour flight, and prices for a one-way flight ticket are around $100 per person. (€82)
How to get from Perth to Broome:
Renting a car or campervan in Australia
Option 1: renting a car is the easiest option but expensive if you are planning to make a road trip in Western Australia. Count between AUD75-105 per day or €46-65/$56-81.
If you rent your car from Perth and drop it off in Broome, the rental company will charge you a one-way fee. (which can be expensive)
Option 2: rent a campervan. The price is almost the same as renting a car, around AUD80-120 or €50-75/$62-92 for a double camper. But you won’t need to book accommodation which will save you a LOT of money!
I highly recommend checking out the campervans of Travellersautobarn, Wicked Campers, Maui or Britz, the best rental companies in Western Australia.
Staying longer in Australia? Buy your own car!
You’ll pay a lot of money at once, but you will save so much as you’ll be selling the car/campervan again afterward.
I bought a Toyota Landcruiser Prado 4WD and converted it into my little home on wheels. I always dreamed of living the van life in Australia and owning my own camper van.
Both in Western and Northern Territory there are so many remote places or beaches you can only access by 4WD, which would have been impossible with 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!
When I was searching for my 4WD, I used Gumtree but also Marketplace and Facebook groups like Backpacker Cars Australia. With a budget of AUD5000 or €3100/$3900, you’re sure to find a good secondhand car.
Best time to visit Western Australia
Every season in Australia has its own charm. For the road trip from Perth to Broome along the coast of Northern Western Australia, the best time to visit is between April and November (winter or dry season). The days are sunny, the skies are clear and the weather is pleasantly warm with average temperatures between 16°C and 30°C.
Also during winter or dry season, it’s the best time to spot manta rays (May to November), whale sharks (June-July), humpback whales (July to November), dolphins, and the very rare dugongs!
From Perth to Broome itinerary
A short overview of my road trip itinerary in Western Australia.
START Perth | END Broome
DURATION 21 days
DISTANCE 3900 km
METHOD OF TRANSPORT 4WD, camper van, or rental car (I did it with my converted Landcruiser Prado)
BEST TIME OF YEAR April-November (winter or dry season)
WHEN DID I GO July-August 2020 and January 2022
HIGHLIGHTS Perth, Yanchep National Park, Lancelin Sand Dunes, The Pinnacles, Hutt Lagoon, Kalbarri National Park, Monkey Mia, Francois Peron National Park, Carnarvon, Coral Bay, Exmouth, Ningaloo Reef, Cape Range National Park, Karijini National Park, Eighty Mile Beach, Broome
Day 1: Perth to Jurien Bay
Travel distance: 219 km – 2h 20m
Campsite: Jurien Bay Tourist Park AUD20 per night (€13/$15)
I started my road trip in Western Australia along the Coral Coast at the end of July and as I lived and worked on a farm in Perth for a few weeks, my itinerary starts from the day I left there. So if you are planning to visit the city then add a few extra days to this itinerary.
I drove towards Jurien Bay, which is about a 2,5-hour drive. Along the way you’ll have lots of highlights and places to visit, so count one full day to get to Jurien Bay.
My first stop was Yanchep National Park where I saw koalas in the wild for the first time in my life. They are the cutest! Many parts of this park were closed due to Covid-19 so I continued my drive to Lancelin Sand Dune.
In Lancelin I drove with my car through the dunes and took some amazing drone shots! It’s also a nice place for sandboarding or driving the quad bike.
I ended this day with a phenomenal sunset in The Pinnacles. Here I got the chance to shoot some awesome pictures of the Milky Way at its best. It was the perfect moment for stargazing!
READ ALSO: 10 amazing day trips from Perth
Day 2-3: Kalbarri National Park
Travel distance: 351 km – 3h 50m
Campsite: Tudor Holiday Park AUD40 per night (€25/$31)
The drive from Jurien Bay to Kalbarri National Park is quite long and there are not so many highlights along this route. A lot of people stop in Geraldton, but I decided to skip this town and went straight to the beautiful Hutt Lagoon Pink Lake.
Hutt Lagoon Pink Lake is a pink salt lake and I just couldn’t believe my own eyes. I always thought people photoshopped all those pictures. It’s really as pink as the photos suggest and so real! After shooting some incredible photos I continued my journey to Kalbarri.
I went to Town Beach in Kalbarri where I watched the sunset in an amazing bar and a little park with beautiful palm trees.
The next day I woke up super early to watch the sunrise at Nature’s Window in Kalbarri National Park. It’s so incredibly beautiful up there! I went to do some of the great hikes and explore the many breathtaking gorges.
The sunrise mission to Nature’s Window was amazing! A 30-minute walk down the stairs from the parking area led me to this beautiful rock formation. Afterward, I drove to the Kalbarri Skywalk, which is a lookout platform. It opened in 2020 and is ideal for those who don’t like to hike too much but want to see the stunning view of Kalbarri National Park.
Right before lunch, I started the Z Bend River Trail, which is a 2,5km return hike that takes you down into the gorge where you can have a swim and enjoy the charming scenery. Quite an adventurous hike with some very steep parts in the beginning, but definitely worth it!
After a day of hiking, I also visited some other beautiful places in Kalbarri like Red Bluff and Mushroom Rock. Both of them offer spectacular ocean views of the Indian Ocean. Right before sunset, I returned back to Nature’s Window to shoot the sunset and Milky Way as if it was a new moon. These moments made my road trip in Western Australia just magical!
READ ALSO: Kalbarri: 14 Incredible Things To Do
Day 4-5: Monkey Mia
Travel distance: 400 km – 4h
Campsite: RAC Monkey Mia Resort AUD45 per night (€29/$35) + AUD15 (€9,5/$11,5) park fee/day
On day 4, I went to Monkey Mia which was a 4-hour drive from Kalbarri National Park. I was super excited to go to Monkey Mia as it’s the only place in Western Australia where you can swim with dolphins in their natural habitat.
I stayed at RAC Monkey Mia Resort, which is the only place where you can stay and watch the dolphins that are visiting the beach every day for a little morning feed. There is a park fee to pay per person/day (or a one-month pass which I took as I stayed longer) which goes directly to the dolphin interaction program which are protecting these beautiful animals for years.
After the morning feeding session, which was a bit disappointing, I had a better chance of swimming with them when I was lying on the beach. I just had to stand in the water to see the dolphins swimming around me. Such an unforgettable experience to add to your road trip in Western Australia.
RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort was my favorite campsite during my road trip in Western Australia. The most modern facilities, super clean showers, right at the beach, a super relaxed atmosphere, a beach bar with a daily happy hour, and dolphins right in front of me.
Day 6: Francois Peron National Park
Travel distance: 71 km – 1h 30m
Campsite: South Gregories, Gregories, Bottle Bay or Big Lagoon AUD13 per night (€8/$10) + AUD15 (€9,5/$11,5) park fee
After Monkey Mia, I drove to Francois Peron National Park, one of my absolute favorite stops along the coast of Western Australia.
It’s a remote and rugged area located in the Shark Bay World Heritage Sanctuary, which can ONLY be entered by 4WD! (be aware of this if you plan on following my road trip in Western Australia)
At the entrance of the park, I had to deflate my tires (to 20psi) because of the soft sand conditions and then the real adventure started. I first stopped at the amazing Big Lagoon. Then I continued my drive along red sandy tracks to Cape Peron. I have never seen so many beautiful colors together. Red dunes, white beaches, and crystal blue waters.
I did the Wanamalu Trail between Cape Peron and Skipjack Point, which is a 1,5 km (3,6km?)walk along the rough red limestone cliffs. I even witnessed a group of dolphins and manta rays in the ocean.
I decided to set camp at South Gregories. Here’s an amazing view of the ocean and especially with the sunset.
Day 7: Carnarvon
Travel distance: 367 km – 4h 10m
Campsite: Summerstar Carnarvon Park AUD30 per night (€19/$30)
The next day I drove to Carnarvon and quickly stopped along the road at Shell Beach. Crystal-clear water and little white shells everywhere, what a nice stop to take some photos!
The drive to Carnarvon was about 4 hours, and when I arrived at my campsite I went straight to the famous Cactus Garden. I found this place on Instagram, but it’s still kind of a hidden gem. In fact, it’s just a garden in front of someone’s home and they have a donation box where you can leave some dollars in.
Another amazing thing to do in Carnarvon is the Fruit Loop Drive. It’s a trail where you drive past many fruit plantations and where you can stop to buy some fresh products from local farmers. I stopped at Bumbak’s Mango farm where I had delicious ice cream. It is worth a visit!
There’s also the Carnarvon Space & Technology Museum to visit, which is highly recommended if you have some extra time. Lots of interesting and interactive areas like the Apollo simulation and FREE coffee facilities. I spent a few hours here the morning before I left.
TIP: Go to the Cactus garden in the afternoon to have the best light for photos
Day 8: Quobba Station
Travel distance: 83 km – 1h
Campsite: Quobba Station AUD30 per night (€19/$30)
While I drove to the blowholes in Quobba, I spotted humpback whales jumping out of the ocean, so I decided to search for a campsite nearby. I ended up staying at Quobba Station which was definitely worth stopping! It’s a remote wilderness campground with amazing beach views and is worth the stay for a couple of nights. I saw groups of dolphins right in front of me and humpback whales jumping out of the ocean.
Every time I think about this place, I just start smiling. It’s a small detour on your way to Broome but in my opinion a must-visit when you plan a road trip in Western Australia.
Day 9-10: Coral Bay
Travel distance: 272 km – 2h 45m
Campsite: Peoples Park AUD48 per person/night (€30/$37)
After days of exploring and driving through the red sands, I arrived at Coral Bay. A little beach town situated right on the doorstep of the beautiful Ningaloo Reef.
Ningaloo Reef is Australia’s only fringing reef and is listed on a UNESCO World Heritage list for its incredible biodiversity. The moment I arrived, I couldn’t wait to grab my snorkels and go for a dive. Depending on the time of year, you can see and swim with whale sharks, humpback whales, and manta rays!
In Coral Bay, it was the perfect time of the year to swim with manta rays and so I booked a tour with Ningaloo Reef and Dive to see these cool creatures. I had a professional photographer with me on board who took some pretty underwater photos for me.
I booked a campsite at Peoples Park, which is located right in front of the main beach, Bill’s Bay. I just needed to cross the road to get into the ocean and enjoy some snorkeling.
TIP: did you know you can find one of the largest brain corals in the Southern Hemisphere at Coral Bay? The first time I went to Coral bay I couldn’t find it but the second time I did!
Day 11-14: Exmouth & Cape Range National Park
Travel distance: 153 km – 1h 40m
Campsite: RAC Exmouth Caravan Park AUD40 per night
From Coral Bay to Exmouth was only a 1,5-hour drive, so I left in the afternoon. I first decided to watch the sunset at Charles Knife Canyon. I took some amazing photos and just enjoyed the spectacular views. Charles Knife Canyon is very similar to Kalbarri National Park and I still can’t decide which is my favorite place to watch the sunset.
TIP: Part of the access road of Charles Knife Canyon is gravel and not suitable for two-wheel drive vehicles.
I decided to stay a few nights in Exmouth as there are so many things to do. I first booked a trip with Ningaloo Discovery and went on a humpback whale tour with them. Seeing humpback whales from close was on my bucket list for years. When I entered the water and encountered these huge creatures, it was indescribable. I couldn’t get the photos or videos I hoped for, but overall it was one of the most amazing experiences of my road trip from Perth to Broome.
The day after I went back again to watch the sunrise at Charles Knife Canyon. I chose to hike the Charles Knife Ridge Walk and couldn’t believe my eyes how impressive it was. Watching the sunrise at Charles Knife Canyon was also one of the highlights of this road trip.
On my last day in Exmouth, I did another sunrise mission at Yardie Creek and visited all the beaches around the area. My favorite beach was Turquoise Bay where I did the drift-snorkel right from the shore. I saw two turtles, a reef shark, and lots of beautiful coral.
At the end of that day, I went to the Vlamingh Head Lighthouse. Another charming spot to watch the sunset and spot humpback whales right from the top. Take a blanket, and a bottle of wine, and enjoy… This place is amazing!
READ ALSO: 18 Best Things To Do in Exmouth
TIP: when you plan your road trip itinerary in Western Australia between November and March, definitely visit Jurabi Turtle Center too where you can witness beautiful moments of hatching and seeing baby turtles making their way to the ocean.
Day 14: Travel day to Karijini National Park
Travel distance: 341 km – 3h 45m
Campsite: Barradale Rest Area or House Creek Rest Area free campsite
I left Exmouth in the late afternoon as I visited Yardie Creek at sunrise and snorkeled at Turquoise Bay afterward. So I decided to break the long way up to Karijini National Park and stayed at a free campsite along the way, called Barradale Rest Area.
READ ALSO: 4 awesome Days In Karijini National Park
TIP: I use the apps of Wikicamps and Campermate to find all my campsites and free spots during my road trip in Western Australia. You can read all the most recent reviews, see some photos and check if there are toilets, showers, and drinking water. Super useful!
Day 15: Tom Price
Travel distance: 334 km – 4h 30m
Campsite: Tom Price Tourist Park AUD40 per night (€25/$31)
Early in the morning I left the free rest area and drove towards Tom Price. Tom Price is the only town located near the entrance of Karijini National Park where you can go to the visitor center and find a Coles supermarket to do some groceries.
There are so many different hiking trails and many beautiful places to see in Karijini National Park, so I decided to stay also 2 nights at the Dales Campground.
I spent my first night in Tom Price because it was the perfect base to explore the Hamersly Gorge which is located on the West side of the park and a detour if you stay inside Karijini National Park.
The Hamersley Gorge was a short steep and challenging walk down from the car park but once I arrived at the floor of the gorge I was amazed by its beauty. I hiked up the pools to the wonderful waterfall and had a swim in the icy-cold water of the natural pool. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon.
Day 16-18: Karijini National Park
Travel distance: 110 km – 1h 30m
Campsite: Dales overflow Camping AUD13 per night (€8/$10)
On day 2, I entered Karijini National Park and did the hiking trail to the Knox Gorge first. On my way back I had a look at the Joffre Falls Lookout before I hiked down into the Joffre Gorge. Both trails are very adventurous but once you reached the bottom of these gorges it is more than worth it! I was blown away by how beautiful these hiking trails are. I needed to be careful as they are both quite dangerous and very slippery.
I spent the first night in Karijini National Park at the Dales overflow Campground as the main campgrounds were fully booked. It’s the only camping where you have a water tap, so I was very glad I could stay here. I advise booking your campsites in advance if you plan your road trip during the peak season.
TIP: If you also planned to visit Karijini National Park on your road trip in Western Australia I recommend doing the Joffre Gorge before sunset as the light creates a beautiful reflection on the water.
The next morning I went to Weano Gorge, Hancock Gorge, Handrail Gorge and Kermits Pool, which I all highly recommend. I started early in the morning to avoid the hot temperatures and walked down into the Hancock Gorge. This hike is a short but very adventurous one and not for beginners.
I filled my backpack with enough water, my camera, and some snacks before I went into the gorge. Once I reached the river I had to walk through the water, and climb along the rocky walls to finally reach the Kermits Pool. At the Kermit Pool, I had a refreshing swim and took some great photos before I went back. Afterward, I went to the Weano Gorge. It’s a challenging but very beautiful hiking trail that ends down into the handrail Gorge.
On my last day, I woke up early to visit the Fortescue Falls and Fern Pool where I enjoyed a swim before the long drive to my next stop. These are the most visited places in Karijini National Park as they are located next to the main campground and the perfect place to cool down when it’s very hot. In the surrounding area are many more hikes but due to covid and controlled bushfires, they were closed.
TIP: On this website, you’ll find all the information about campsites in the national parks of Western Australia
READ ALSO: 4 awesome Days In Karijini National Park
Day 19: Eighty Mile Beach
Travel distance: 579 km – 6h 15m
Campsite: Eighty Mile Beach Caravan Park A$33 per night (€21/$25)
The longest drive of this road trip in Western Australia was the way from Karijini National Park to Eighty Mile beach but it’s definitely the best place to stop before you get to Broome. You can either choose to stop in Port Hedland but I didn’t like the city and drove to Eighty Mile Beach Caravan Park to stay for the night.
Eighty Mile Beach is famous for its fishing and long beautiful sandy beach. I was not allowed to swim because of salt-water crocs and jellyfish but loved driving on the beach with my 4WD and going for a morning run. Eighty Mile Beach is the perfect place to relax for a day and to enjoy an amazing sunset with a glass of wine.
Day 20-21: Broome
My last stop on this epic road trip in Western Australia was Broome.
I drove for 4 hours, did some groceries, checked in at my new caravan park, and went straight to Cable Beach for sunset. This place was even more beautiful than I imagined! It has been on my bucket list for years. It’s one of the most iconic beaches in the world and for a good reason. The famous camel train, the most amazing sunsets, and a laidback atmosphere.
Besides Cable Beach, there are also a few other places worth visiting in Broome. Roebuck Bay for example, it’s a super cool mangrove beach with beautiful orange contrasts facing turquoise waters. An amazing spot to fly a drone! I also liked Gantheaume Point where you can spot footprints of dinosaurs that are over 130 million years old or you can swim in one of the hidden rock pools. Good to cool down during the day.
On my last night, I went to the Mangrove Hotel where I witnessed the Staircase of the Moon. It’s a natural phenomenon every month when the full moon rises and creates the illusion of a staircase by reflecting the waters of Roebuck Bay in Broome. So unique and definitely worth planning your road trip in Western Australia around this event so you can witness it too!
During my trip to Broome, I stayed first at Cable Beach Caravan Park, which is located close to Cable Beach, and has a lovely pool and very clean camping amenities. I also stayed one night at Kimberley Sands Resort, which is the perfect place to relax and enjoy some luxury after this camping trip.
READ ALSO: 19 Best Things To Do In Broome
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