Expansive Western Australia boasts some of the most diverse and rugged landscapes in the country. Conquering them is often a challenge, but this is what makes Western Australia such an enticing and intriguing road trip destination.
From desert tracks where red dirt stretches endlessly in front of you, to fantastic wine and dolphins who can’t resist a playful hello, there really is something utterly magical about a road trip in Western Australia.
The 5 Best Road Trips in Western Australia
With a state that’s larger than Spain, France, Italy and Portugal together, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of diverse road trip options to choose from. To help you narrow it down, we’ve selected the five best road trips in Western Australia.
Trek the Colourful Coast from Perth to Exmouth
Best for: Jaw-droppingly spectacular marine life
Suggested time frame: 8 – 10 days
Distance: 1,250 kilometres
This epic road trip will certainly give you an introduction to just how expansive West Australia is. Driving almost 1,300 kilometres from the capital, you’ll find yourself comfortably within state lines. What you’ll also find is a pinch-me-I’m-dreaming adventure that’s sure to dazzle you.
This itinerary will see you set off from bustling Perth for Exmouth along the northern coast. Along the way, you’ll be awed by the diversity of the landscapes. There are epic coastal views, red dirt and plenty of charming towns along the way.
Plus, there’s a new beach for every day of the trip – and plenty more.
- Sand board in the charming town of Lancelin
- Be wowed by the rock formations in the Pinnacle Desert
- Gorge on seafood at Cervantes
- Be wowed by the Pink Lake aka Hutt Lagoon
- Explore the rock formations and more at Kalbarri National Park
- Meet the dolphins at Monkey Mia
- Admire the view from the Eagle Bluff Lookout
- Be dazzled by the colours at the aptly named Coral Bay
- Put your 4WD skills to the test at Charles Knife Canyon Gorge
- Explore the lively and charming Exmouth
- (Optional) check out Karijini National Park on your way back to Perth
Explore Endless Beaches from Perth to Esperance
Best for: Beaches
Suggested time frame: 2 weeks
Distance: 2,000km (return)
Adventuring along Western Australia’s southern coastline is sure to be an epic adventure. Along the way, you’ll discover many of the state’s most beautiful beaches – and probably have quite a few of them all to yourself.
While this area is quiet and unspoiled, it is home to a number of charming towns largely populated by incomers who fell madly in love with this beautiful part of the world. Cafes and craft stores abound, so be sure to stay awhile and spend a few dollars in these charismatic and creative places.
This road trip is excellent at any time of the year, however if you call by between July and November, you will probably be able to spot whales along the way.
- Swim with dolphins south of Perth at Rockingham
- Try the surf or the wine (or both) at Margaret River
- Enjoy the artsy vibes of Busselton
- Soak up the friendly atmosphere and beach views at Albany
- Enjoy the outdoor adventures in Walpole
- Admire the wildflowers in Fitzgerald River National Park
- Laze on the pristine white beaches of Esperance
- From July to November, spot the whales at Bremer Bay
Conquer the Gibb River Road
Best for: Bragging rights and outback adventures
Suggested time frame: 2 weeks
Once you’ve headed north of Perth, there’s something about the red dirt that gets in your veins and makes you wish for more adventures. And adventures don’t come much more epic than the Gibb River Road; on our list of the best road trips and the best 4×4 trails in Australia.
This trail was first established as a stock route to lead sheep and cattle from Kununurra to Broome via Derby. Today, it’s less about stock and more about those wishing to pit themselves against north western Australia’s rugged and unforgiving terrain.
This is a road trip to take slowly, not only so you arrive safely but so that you can enjoy the many highlights along the way including swimming holes and picturesque gorges. You can also start working on your storytelling as this adventure is one that begs to be retold again and again.
- Stock up on supplies at the friendly town of Kununurra and while you’re there, hike through Mirima National Park.
- Check out El Questro station and hike to Emma Gorge
- Conquer the Pentecost River Crossing
- Be dazzled by the dramatic waterfall at Mitchell Falls
- Admire the Ancient Aboriginal rock art at Munurru
- Drive through the Wunaamin Miliwundi (formerly King Leopold) Ranges, with its jaw-dropping scenery
- Enjoy a dip at Bell Gorge as a reward for your hard work
- Be amazed by the geological wonders of Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek
- Check out the enormous Prison Boab Tree and find out its secrets
- (Optional) Enjoy a well deserved beach break at Broome
Tip: the Gibb River Road is considered to be one of the most challenging drives in Australia and requires a 4WD to complete safely. There are limited amenities along the way so it’s crucial your vehicle is safe and well-equipped. Use our tyre comparison tool to find out the most cost effective way to make sure you complete the road safely!
Go on a Gastronomic Journey in Margaret River
Best for: Wine and gastronomy
Suggested time frame: 1 day
Distance: Margaret River is 270km from Perth, but attractions in Margaret River are compact
Melbourne might get a lot of the gastronomic attention in Australia, but those in-the-know are in on a fabulous secret: Western Australia’s Margaret River region. Not too far from Perth, you’ll find an area that’s filled with top notch wine and friendly hospitality.
Forget any snobbery; winemakers in Margaret River just want you to enjoy their product and will happily tell you all about it. Of course, it’s not all about the wine – Margaret River is also home to an increasingly large array of fine restaurants as well as laid back, informal cafes.
So, even if you’re the designated driver, you can still enjoy the culinary jewels as well as the picturesque cellar doors and rolling hills of the Margaret River.
- Sample true paddock-to-plate eating at Arimia
- Try delicious olives and more at Olio Bello
- Eat top-quality meats at Margaret River Venison Farm and The Farm House Margaret River
- Savour the degustation menu at Glenarty Road
- Have a glass at classic Margaret River wineries including Leeuwin Estates, Cullen Wines and Vasse Felix.
Explore the History of WA’s Goldfields
Best for: Learning about the history of mining in WA
Suggested time frame: 4 days
It’s no secret that WA has mining to thank for much of its prosperity – it’s been an integral part of the state’s identity for well over a century. If you’re interested in learning more about this while enjoying some diverse stops, a trip along the Green Trail, inland from Perth, is in order.
This unique itinerary will introduce you to a number of towns linked to WA’s mining past. From the still-bustling city of Kalgoorlie to the abandoned ghost town of Broad Arrow, you’ll get a true sense of the impact of the gold rush on WA.
While mining is the common thread linking these destinations, there’s more to the route, with beautiful natural scenery as well.
- Start in Kalgoorlie, Australia’s largest outback town
- Check out the ghost town of Broad Arrow and then stop for a drink at the pub
- Pan for gold at Ora Banda
- Go bird watching at Rowles Lagoon
- Learn about the history of the gold rush at Coolgardie
- Admire the geological wonders at the Victoria Rock Reserve
- Climb to the summit at Burra Rock
Thinking of an epic WA road trip? Don’t let tyre trouble ruin the fun. Check out our tyre comparison tool for the best deals on 4WD and 2WD car tyres.