From Perth to Esperance: An incredible 3-week road trip itinerary
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A road trip in Western Australia from Perth to Esperance will likely include stops at world-class wineries, chilling out with kangaroos on the whitest beaches, swimming in crystal-clear lagoons, and traveling along the most gorgeous coasts. It was one of my favorite road trips after I bought and converted my 4WD Toyota Landcruiser.
Since I think everyone should take this road trip at least once in their lives, I’ve put together this itinerary based on my own experiences, tips, and favorite things to do.
I did this road trip twice, in both directions, for a minimum of three weeks, which is the perfect amount of time. However, you can make this trip in 10 days or even 4 weeks if you decide to stay longer at some places as you’ll love it!
READ ALSO: From Darwin to Uluru: the best Northern Territory road trip in 3 weeks
How to get to Western Australia?
First of all, you need to figure out how to get to Western Australia.
The most convenient and best option is to fly to Perth, Western Australia’s capital city.
When searching for the most convenient and affordable flight options, I suggest that you use Skyscanner. When you finally arrive in the city, you can take the shuttle bus for AUD 27/€17, while a ride to the city center with Didi, Ola, or Uber will cost you AUD 20/€12
I flew from Bali to Perth, which is only a three-and-a-half-hour flight, and one-way tickets cost about AU$100/€82 per person
Renting a car or campervan in Australia
When you get to Perth, you have a few ways to get to Esperance.
First of all, the easiest way is to rent a car, which will cost between AUD45 and AUD65 or €28 and €40 per day. And to avoid extra fees or expensive rental prices, it’s recommended to pick up and drop off the car at the same location.
You can also rent a campervan which is comparable to hiring a car (about AUD50-105 per day or €30-65 for a camper that sleeps 2-3 people), but you won’t have to worry about finding a place to stay, which will save you a significant amount of money.
Check out the campervans that are available through Jucy Rentals, Travellersautobarn, Maui, or Britz, as these rental companies are the best in Western Australia.
Staying longer in Australia? Buy your own car!
If you plan to remain in Australia for a longer time, it is highly recommended that you own your own vehicle. You will have to pay a bit more at first, but in the long run, you will come out ahead since you will sell the car or campervan again.
I decided to make a house on wheels out of the Toyota Landcruiser Prado 4×4 I bought from an old man. I’ve always imagined living the van life in Australia and owning a camper van, but now that I have this 4×4, I couldn’t be happier with the decision.
It is necessary to have a 4WD vehicle in Western Australia as you can visit and drive along the beaches with your car, which is not always possible with a 2WD.
However, if you are looking for the most exciting experiences, driving over beaches, and camping in remote locations while you are on your road trip in Western Australia, then you should rent or buy a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
For buying your own car, I recommend using the website of Gumtree and Carsales but also Marketplace on Facebook and the Facebook groups like Australia Backpackers.
With a budget of AUD5000 or €3100, you’re sure to find a good secondhand car.
READ ALSO: The Big Lap: the ultimate road trip around Australia in 2 years
Best time to visit Western Australia?
Even though the weather in Western Australia is warm throughout the year, the best time to make this amazing road trip in Australia is between December and February.
The skies are clear blue, the days are bright and sunny, and the temperature is a delightful warm with averages ranging from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius.
It is also the perfect time to go wine tasting in Margaret River during the summer, as well as to visit Rottnest Island, where you can get up close with some adorable quokkas.
READ ALSO: 10 amazing day trips from Perth
Map of South Western Australia
I’ve made this map of South West WA with the complete itinerary to help you visualize all the highlights and places I’ve visited during this road trip.
Perth to Esperance Road trip Itinerary
Hotel: Pensione Hotel Perth A$ 135 per night
This road trip is the most beautiful one in Australia by many people as there are many unique places along the way that will blow your mind. Think about the wine region of Margaret River, the incredible white sandy beaches of Esperance, and one of the largest mine pits of Australia in Kalgoorlie.
You can do this road trip in either direction and as I did both ways I recommend starting from Perth towards Margaret River. so you can meet other travelers easily and might end up traveling in the outback together, which is more comfortable and fun.
This road trip itinerary will start from when I left Perth (where I lived for a few months), so make sure you add a few days to the beginning or end of your trip to spend in Perth. It’s a great city with lots of fun things to do.
You can take a ferry to Rottnest Island, where you can hang out with the cutest quokkas, which takes only 25 minutes, or visit Fremantle, which is Perth’s port city and a beautiful, historic town.
READ ALSO: 20 great things to do in Perth, Western Australia
Travel distance: 200 km – 2h 10m
Campsite: Collie River Valley Tourist Park A$35 – powered campsite
Most travelers skip this place and drive straight to Busselton but I believe it is worth the small detour. Collie has 2 big artificial lakes, Diamond -and Stockton Lake, which are actually old coal mines filled with water. Due to the limestone soil, the water gets a turquoise-blue color.
After I visited the beautiful lakes, I drove to Wellington National Park where the massive dam was recently decorated with a large mural and now it is a beautiful sightseeing place. During warmer days, you can go for a swim in the nearby Honeymoon Pool.
On the way to Busselton, I stopped at Gnomesville, a small area in the Ferguson Valley where tourists donated garden gnomes and these days there are thousands of gnomes. Impressive and funny to walk around!
Before I headed to Busselton, I stopped at the Hackersley Estate Wines to enjoy the beautiful views while tasting some of their prestige wines.
TIP: The Ferguson Valley has many vineyards and wineries, so you can easily spend a few days in this region.
Travel distance: 124km – 1h 50m
Campsite: Discovery Parks Busselton A$38 – powered campsite
Busselton is famous for its wooden jetty as it is the longest wooden jetty in the Southern Hemisphere and all the way at the end of this 1840m jetty you’ll find paintings of life-sized whales and an underwater aquarium. Worth to walk or taking the mini-train.
The Busselton Jetty is a great place for snorkeling and diving as there is so much life underneath the surface, so I took my snorkeling gear and bought a Jetty Daypass for only AU$ 4. On the jetty are many platforms with stairs from where you can enter the water.
The other day, I visited the Busselton Foreshore, which is a great place to explore when it’s too cold for snorkeling or just hanging out and enjoying the beach vibes.
Besides a visit to the Jetty, I recommend driving to the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park and Meelup Regional Park as you will find beautiful spots here such as Point Picquet, Castle Rock Beach, Sugarloaf Rock, and the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.
TIP: Visit Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park between September and October to spot whales along the coastline
Travel distance: 100 km – 1h 45m
Campsite: Margaret River Tourist Park A$40 – powered campsite
Not only the world-famous wine region of Margaret River makes this one of the best places to visit in Australia, but also the stunning beaches, massive limestone caves, and incredible whale-watching experiences.
I visited the Indijup Natural pools and the Canal Rocks when I drove from Busselton to Margaret River, visited the Olive Farm of Olio Bello, joined a tasting at the Leeuwin Estate Winery, and watched the sunset at Prevelly Beach.
Such a beautiful area with lots of awesome things to do, so make sure you stay a few days around here.
The next day I went a bit more South of Margaret River, to explore the Jewel Cave, visit Hamelin Bay and the Leeuwin Lighthouse. Although these were my favorite things to do in Margaret River, I did much more.
BOOK: A guided tour in the Jewel Cave which I highly recommend or a self-guided tour in the Mammoth Cave which is really fun
BOOK: I joined this wine-tasting experience at Leeuwin Estate and had a fantastic tour of the art gallery
Travel distance: 125 km – 1h 30m
Campsite: Pemberton Caravan Park A$28 per night – unpowered site
Pemberton is a great place to stop and break the drive to Denmark and Albany as the surrounding nature is perfect for some outdoor adventures. However, another great reason to visit Pemberton is to climb up the Gloucester Tree.
Built as fire lookouts, these massive trees now have a man-made stair made from steel bars, so you can climb up to the top. I am not good with heights so skipped this climb.
At the top, you can have a beautiful panoramic view over the Karri Valley. The view is even more amazing if you climb at sunset.
The Gloucester Tree is the most popular one and also very easy to get to as it is close to the Town, however, If you would like to visit The Bicentennial Tree, which is taller, you’ll have to drive another 13 minutes out of town. Both have picnic areas at the bottom and are surrounded by beautiful forests.
The RAC Karri Valley Resort is an excellent place to stay if you want to unwind and have some great outdoor fun.
TIP: The entrance fee is AU$ 15 per vehicle or included in the WA National Park Pass.
Travel distance: 190 km – 2h 10m
Campsite: BIG4 Denmark Ocean Beach Holiday Park – A$45 per night – powered campsite with concrete slab
On the way from Pemberton to Denmark, I stopped in Walpole and visited the Valley of The Giants Tree Top Walk where you can walk 40 meters above the ground in the massive treetops. These trees are one of the tallest trees in the South West and crossing the suspension bridges from tree to tree is just stunning.
After the visit to Walpole and the Valley of the Giants, I headed to Denmark where you can swim in a place that can’t be missed on this road trip from Perth to Esperance, the Green Pools in William Bay National Park.
Beautiful Turquoise ocean water surrounded by big boulders in a small bay creates a natural pool and makes it the perfect place to relax and snorkel. A small walk along the rocky coastline brought me to another awesome spot, Elephants Rocks, which are giant boulders rising from the ocean. Just stunning.
There was one more place I wanted to see in Williams Bay National Park, so I took my car and drove to Waterfall Beach. A beautiful waterfall that literally drops down at the beach.
TIP: Most BIG4 Parks offer a “Stay 4 nights, pay for 3” discount
Travel distance: 50 km – 45m
Campsite: Albany Holiday Park – A$32 unpowered
The next stop on this road trip is Albany which is only 45 min from Denmark but offers many amazing places to visit, so definitely worth staying for a few days.
When the sun was out, I headed to Torndirrup National Park and Two Peoples Bay to relax at some of the most beautiful beaches in the world (Salmon Beach in Torndirrup National Park was the most beautiful beach in Australia in 2022) and Little Beach in Two Peoples Bay probably popped up on your Instagram feed somewhere.
On a rainy or cloudy day, I went to Mount Clarence where you have amazing viewpoints and the ANZAC Museum, or just relaxed in one of the many great cafes in town.
BOOK: Join a guided tour in the Torndirrup National Park and visit the Gap and the Natural Bridge
Porongurup National Park
Travel distance: 50 km – 39 min.
Campsite: Porongurup Range Tourist Park A$33 per night – powered campsite
One of my favorite and the best stops in Western Australia is the Granite Skywalk or Castle Rock in Porongurup National Park which has spectacular views 360 degrees from the top. It takes about an hour to walk up to the Granite Skywalk from the car park.
The best time to go is just before sunset but beware that you have to go back down at dusk, so be careful.
The surrounding area of Porongurup National Park is also very interesting as there are many family-owned wineries, boutique vineyards, and beautiful walking trails.
TIP: Visit Duke’s Vineyard to taste some award-winning wines
BOOK: A guided tour from Albany to the Granite Skywalk including a wine-tasting experience
Stirling Range National Park
Travel distance: 45 km –30 min.
Campsite: Stirling Range Retreat A$35 per night – powered campsite
Only 30 minutes from Porongurup National Park is the highest mountain in South Western Australia, Bluff Knoll, which is located in the Stirling Range National Park. I drove here in the afternoon and grabbed a camping spot at the Stirling Range Retreat.
I was planning to hike to Bluff Knoll but unfortunately, it was closed due to bushfires and safety reasons. However, If you want to do this hike (which is apparently amazing) it is about a 6 km return and a grade 4 hike, and not recommended to walk when it’s windy or too hot.
Instead of doing another hike in the Stirling Ranges, I continued my trip to Bremer Bay as I planned to do an exciting experience.
TIP: Check the website of Stirling Range National Park before you go to get the latest info and bring enough water with you.
Travel distance: 140 km – 1h 50m
Hotel: Bremer Bay Resort A$150 night
After a lovely morning in Stirling Range, I continued to Bremer Bay, which is located on the Western side of the Fitzgerald National Park. Although, I am not going to visit Fitzgerald National Park this time as most highlights are on the Eastern side.
The reason I came is to join a Bremer Bay orca tour with Whale Watch Western Australia as this was on my bucket list for so long and it was the perfect season.
The boat left in the morning to search Orca pods and a group of dolphins joined us along the way, so amazing! After a few hours, we spotted our first killer whales. we spotted around 10-15 killer whales during the Bremer Bay Orca tour and even though they didn’t come close to the boat (they do sometimes), it was a unique experience.
On the way back to the harbor, the boat stopped to watch a giant rock in the ocean that was full of seals playing around.
If you do this road trip in a different season, you can join also a whale watch expedition from Fremantle.
BOOK: I joined this Killer Whale tour of Whale Watch Western Australia and it was amazing!
READ ALSO: 12 awesome things to do in Fremantle
Fitzgerald River National Park
Travel distance: 260 km – 2h 45m
Campsite: Wavecrest village & tourist park A$32 per night – powered campsite
Fitzgerald River National Park was the next place on this itinerary in South Western Australia. A lot of tourists skip this beautiful undeveloped wilderness, but I think you should visit this spot.
You can access the park from Bremer Bay and go to Point Ann, which is the best place to spot whales along the coastline during the season between July and October. However, I decided to drive to the entrance on the Eastside near Hopetoun.
From there it is much easier to reach some amazing viewpoints such as the Barrens Beach lookout and Cave Point but also to reach the beautiful Four Mile Beach, and the East Hamersley Inlet
Fitzgerald National Park is one of the conservation areas in all of Western Australia with the most plants and animals. According to the website, there are about 20% of the plant species in WA, 22 species of mammals, 41 species of reptiles, and more than 200 species of birds.
Travel distance: 190 km – 2h 10m
Chalet: Pink Lake Tourist Park – A$30 unpowered site
After visiting Fitzgerald National Park, I finally reached the town of Esperance, which is quite nice and lovely, with just a handful of shops, some cafes, and a local farmer’s market.
I stayed a few nights and spend most of the days at the most beautiful beaches such as Twilight Beach, Bluehaven Beach and 10-Miles Beach, while during the evenings I had some beers at the Lucky Bay Brewery or made some conversations with the neighbors on the campground.
On the last day in Esperance, I drove to Wylie Bay Rock, a breathtaking beach that shouldn’t be missed on this itinerary. You can then enter Cape Le Grand National Park from there and drive along the beach until you reach the entrance, which is approximately 22 kilometers away.
Cape Le Grand National Park
Travel distance: 63 km – 50m
Campsite: Lucky Bay Campground A$30 per night – Book this campsite in advance
When I got to Cape Le Grand National Park, I entered through the beach entrance (the drive itself is just epic), and I went straight to the Lucky Bay camping to hang out with the kangaroos on the beach. It was just amazing to see these kangaroos coming soo close and relaxing on the beach.
Because this campground is so popular, you have to book your spot weeks in advance. Even during the off-peak times, it is difficult to find a camping spot here.
The following day, I went to Hellfire Bay and Thistle Cove to check out their beaches, and I think I may have found paradise!
These are two incredible beaches that have water as clear as a mirror, and there you can sunbathe on the rocks or have a picnic on the beach.
Another amazing thing to do is the hike at Frenchman Peak, I didn’t do the hike up, but if you have the time and want to see some incredible views over the national park, you should definitely consider climbing Frenchman Peak at sunset.
Duke Of Orleans Bay
Travel distance: 77 km – 55h
Campsite: Orleans Bay Caravan Park A$40 per night – powered campsite
This place is heaven on earth, and it’s only an hour from Cape Le Grand National Park. People usually only go to Esperance and Cape Le Grand National Park and skip Duke of Orleans Bay, so they don’t know much about this place, which makes it kind of a hidden gem.
Crystal-clear water, azure skies, and the most breathtaking coastline scenery imaginable are what you can expect at Wharton Beach, where I pretty much spend all my days. I just relaxed on the beach, made a fresh lunch, and drove along the white sandy beach with my 4WD until the sun went down.
And when I stayed at the Duke of Orleans Caravan Park (end of February during peak season in Australia), I was nearly the only person there.
Travel distance: 285 km – 3h
Campsite: Free overnight stop (north of Dundas) – unpowered
The drive from Duke Of Orleans Bay to Kalgoorlie is about 5-6 hours, so I decided to relax at Wharton Beach until noon and then head to Norseman where I stayed for the night to break the long distance.
Norseman is a small mining town that doesn’t have much to offer besides the heritage site of Dundas Rock and Lone Grave.
If you plan to go to South Australia, Norseman is also the place to go to get to the famous Nullarbor Road.
TIP: download a playlist on Spotify before heading into the outback and bring enough water and snacks with you! There are only a few roadhouses along the way and no big towns with supermarkets until you reach Kalgoorlie
Travel distance: 380 km – 4h 20m
Campsite: Discovery Parks – Kalgoorlie Goldfields A$35 per night – unpowered campsite
Unfortunately, because it was a Sunday when I arrived in Kalgoorlie, the visitor center was closed and I was unable to make a reservation on one of the available tours. I just took a drive to the Super Pit Lookout, and all I can say is that this location is just fantastic!
The Kalgoorlie Super Pit is not only the largest gold mine in Australia but also one of the largest open-cut mines in the world!
If you arrange your trip better than I did, you might be able to join the tours that take you into the pit (which should be incredible), or you could be able to watch one of the blasts that are updated regularly.
Travel distance: 340 km – 3h 50m
Campsite: Wave Rock Cabin & Caravan Park – A$25 unpowered campsite (the entrance ticket to Wave Rock is included when you book this campground)
I left Kalgoorlie the next morning to visit one of the most unique places in the outback, Wave Rock, which was made about 2700 million years ago and looks like a big surf wave made of grey and red granite strips. So beautiful how nature creates this formation.
From Kalgoorlie, it is about 4-5 hours and you need to follow the 94 National Highway to Southern Cross and turn left on an unsealed road towards the town of Hyden. You could also drive to Narembeen and Merredin first, both of which have sealed roads, but it will take you 1.5 hours longer.
Stay at the campsite “Wave Rock Caravan Park“, which is only a 2-minute walk from wave-shaped rock and a wonderful place to stay before you drove back from Wave Rock to Perth
TIP: Check the weather and cloud forecast when you visit Wave Rock as it is such a cool place to see the Milky Way and take pictures of it. I was there, but it was a very cloudy night, so I couldn’t get to see it.
This road trip was amazing, with lots of fun things to do and days to just chill out. I could spend time at some of the best beaches in Australia, taste world wines in Margaret River, Explored many National Parks and visited many other cool places.
Tell me about your suggestions and helpful tips, or let me know if this article helped you plan your road trip.
READ ALSO: The Best NSW Road trip itinerary in 2 weeks
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Plan your Western Australia Road Trip Itinerary with my favorite travel apps
To plan my adventures, I use these FREE websites and apps as they provide the best information, the best deals, and they are user-friendly.
- Skyscanner – Flight deals
- Booking.com – Hotels and accommodation
- TourRadar – Group trips
- TripAdvisor – Reviews and activities
- HostelWorld – Hostels
- GetYourGuide – Activities and excursions
- RentalCars – Car rental
- Omio – Transport
- iVisa – Travel documents
- Wise – Money transfer
- InsuredNomads – Travel Insurance
PICTURES AND EDITING
All the pictures on this page are made and owned by me. If you are interested in some pictures to use for your magazine, website, blog, or any other purpose, just send me an email and we’ll figure it out.
Do you like the edits? My Presets will be online soon so you can edit your pictures in just one click!
The camera gear I used for this trip
I never go out without my camera and many people ask me which gear I use. So to make it quite easy, I listed all the gear I used for this trip below.
Most of the time, I travel with the Sony A7III and the Sony 24-105mm/f4 as my primary lens but depending on the location, I change to another setup. However, I love the Tamron 17-28 to shoot in the big cities.