Are you planning a trip to Western Australia? Good on you, you won’t regret it. Our Perth to Esperance road trip was epic. It’s a perfect itinerary for nature, wine, and beach lovers. A perfect combo of a few things I love the most in life!
I cannot believe it took me that long to fly to the other side of the country. I visited all the other states and territories in Australia before finally making it to Western Australia. We often heard it has Australia’s most magnificent beaches and thought it was a bit of an overstatement. But it’s actually quite accurate!
Western Australia is huge, so if your time is limited, I highly suggest concentrating on one small area at a time and coming back later for more. We only had two weeks. We focused on the South Coast of Western Australia with a road trip from Perth to Esperance, and back. I’ll have to go back as I’m still dreaming of the northern destinations like the Kimberley and Ningaloo Reef.
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How long does it take to drive from Perth to Esperance?
The distance from Perth to Esperance is 715km. So technically, you could drive from Perth to Esperance in about 8 to 10 hours with the breaks. But that’s not the point of the itinerary in this article. There are many beautiful destinations to explore between Perth and Esperance and it would be frustrating not to take time to see a few of them.
Although it’s not the most direct way, the best road is to go along the South Coast of Western Australia. The distance from Perth to Esperance via the coast is approximately 1,200km. That was our choice as we had two weeks for our Western Australia road trip. We chose never to drive at night to reduce the risk of wildlife potential accidents. If you only have one week, I recommend exploring only one of the areas we explored. Esperance and Lucky Bay were amazing, but it’s a lot of driving to get there from Perth. Keep in mind that Margaret River and Rottnest Island also make a fantastic trip and are a lot closer.\
15 national parks, 50 beaches, 3,800km in the car, 50km by foot, 30km by bike, 4 wineries, 1 brewery… and an uncountable amount of fun!
If you want to relax and take it easy, this Perth to Esperance road trip itinerary isn’t for you.
We had an active adventure during our two weeks on the road.
When we went to the beach, we hardly sat there except for lunch. Our days were full of activities and we only spent two consecutive nights at the same place only three times. To put it in a nutshell, we explored four areas and tried to find nice stops in between to cut the driving time. It can be too much for some people who enjoy resting during their holidays. If you’re one of them, take a few days extra or cut one of the four destinations we visited!
You’ll find below a summary of our stops during our drive from Perth to Esperance. For more details, you can click on each destination and also have a look at the map at the end of the article.
Destinations we visited during our Perth to Esperance road trip:
1. Perth (2 days)
We spent a couple of days in the Perth area. We visited Fremantle and the Little Creatures Brewery that makes one of our favourite Australian beers. Despite the cost, we also made a day trip to Rottnest Island and didn’t regret it.
2. Margaret River (2 to 3 days)
Two or three days in the Margaret River region is great. It will allow you to check out the beaches while making a few stops in wineries, as the Margaret River wines are reputed to be among the best in Australia.
We also loved our time in the scenic forest from Augusta to Denmark.
If you have time, there are many activities in the Margaret River area to keep you busy for a week or more.
3. Denmark to Albany (3 days)
We spent three days exploring national parks between Denmark and Albany. I was impressed by how different they were one from another. All were splendid. Click here to read more details.
Add one day if you want to make a detour via the Stirling Ranges to climb Bluff Knoll, the highest mountain in the South of Western Australia.
4. Esperance and Lucky Bay (5 days)
Although it wasn’t initially on our itinerary, we stopped at Fitzgerald River National Park for a few hours and loved it. Once again, it was about magnificent beaches and surprisingly, it was still different from what we had seen the previous day. It seems that not many people take the time to stop there while driving from Albany to Esperance, so we also appreciated the remoteness.
The Great Ocean Drive is a must-do once you arrive in Esperance. But more amazing coastal views await a bit further so don’t stop your Perth to Esperance road trip there. Push to Lucky Bay in Cape Le Grand National Park. You could explore it as a day trip from Esperance, but it’s way better to stay overnight.
We also added a day trip from Lucky Bay to Duke of Orleans Bay and Cape Arid National Park. It’s nice to see if you have time, but I didn’t find it as impressive as the hike we did in Lucky Bay.
You can see our stops and complete itinerary of this Perth to Esperance road trip on the map below.
The stops in orange are nice, but I think they can be skipped with no regrets if you are running out of time. Also, you may want to readjust the itinerary back to Perth as we chose to skip Wave Rock (click here for more info on what to visit nearby) and the impressive mine of Manjimup. As wine and ocean lovers, we decided to enjoy the lovely Margaret River wineries again!