Perth to Esperance road trip – Our full itinerary
It’s been on our bucket list for a long time, a road trip from Perth to the turquoise waters of Esperance
We couldn’t believe we hadn’t done it earlier. We seized the opportunity when Western Australia opened its borders in December for the first time since the lockdowns in Aus began.
As soon as we heard hints the border might open we jumped online booked flights and a camper van for a spontaneous 3 week Perth to Esperance road trip.
We booked a 2 birth Euro Tourer van through Britz, and got upgraded to a Maui 3 Birth Van. A 7m long Mercedes Sprinter. Super easy to drive and plenty of space for the 2 of us. It features a double bed, separate dining area, fridge, stove & sink but most importantly it has an internal toilet/shower. Price varies between AU$80 to AU$200+ a day depending on the season, type of insurance, length stay etc..
Perth to Esperance road trip route
Starting from Perth we followed the south west coast 1300km all the way to Esperance & returned pretty much the same route, as we wanted to revisit some of our favourite spots. Although most people cut back inland to shorten the return trip.
Freo was our first stop to base ourselves while exploring Rottnest Island. We fell in love with the town & its colonial architecture, alfresco cafes, restaurants and bars. Our plan was to day trip to Rottnest getting the ferry over in the morning & hire bikes to explore the beaches. Around every corner of the island we were blown away by the colour & clarity of the water. Our favourite beaches were, Pinky Beach, The Basin & Salmon Bay. Best option would be to stay on the island to fully embrace all the island has to offer.
This spot wasn’t even on our list, but WA local photographer Jarrad Seng recommended it to us so we decided to to check out the longest jetty in the southern hemisphere.
Busselton turned out to be one of our favourite spots and we ended up staying 2 nights and even went back for more on our drive back.
The summer holiday vibe at Busselton jetty was great, lots of families enjoying the jetty & seafront with plenty of space it didn’t feel busy. We spent the days diving and swimming off the jetty into the clear blue waters & catching amazing sunsets from the jetty over the bay. Theres a a small train that takes people to the end of the jetty, almost 2kms out to sea.
Plenty of options for dining out too. Brand new Shelter Brewing co has opened a brewery right at the jetty and also The Goose is great for food & drinks right on the water front.
Yallingup / Margaret River
Injidup Natural Spa
Our main stop in Yallingup was to check out the Injidup natural spa. We were lucky and got the natural spa at time to only to ourselves. Keep in mind this place changes depending on the swell & tides.
Only a 15 min walk from the parking lot and you’ll arrive to this amazing spot. We popped over just before sunset and got it all to ourselves.
Another popular spot in this area is canal rocks which we decided to skip since it was too windy at the time.
Voyager Estate Winery
A visit to Margaret River isn’t complete without at least one cellar door stop. We spent the afternoon with sparkling and a cheese board in the beautiful shaded gardens of Voyager Estate.
Famous for its white sandy beach and huge Stingrays that come up to the shores edge in the mornings due to the fisherman coming back around that time. We arrived early in the morning as the Rays apparently arrive then. We were lucky and saw a huge Stingray & large Eagle Ray. They come right up to you even brushing against your legs.
The beach itself is a good reason to visit with huge limestones you get the feeling of being in the mediterranean.
We spent 2 days exploring around William Bay National park about 15 minutes out of Denmark.
The national park recently went through some renovations so there’s plenty of parking and facilities around.
The national parks is famous for this spot. Elephant Rocks looks exactly like a herd of elephants, paddling in the shallow waters hence the name.
Green Pools is our favourite spot in William Bay National Park.
This cove is protected from the waves and the water here is amazingly turquoise, also protected from the wind with plenty of spots to relax on the rocks or white sand. Make sure to bring your snorkel. We saw a beautiful bright orange Sari starfish.
Please remember to never touch the wildlife.
William Bay National Park is also home to Mad Fish Bay & Waterfall beach in the same area which look amazing but they were too windy during our stay so we decided to skip it.
Albany is the biggest town on the southern coast and a good spot to load up on supplies if you need.
These area has many beautiful beaches and we wish we had more time to see them all.
Two Peoples Bay Reserve
Our favourite spot here was Little beach. Well known for the two rocks formations right in the middle of the beach.
If you have time there’s a few walks you can do in the reserve to explore the whole area.
Torndirrup National Park
Our favourite beach here was Frenchman Bay. There’s 2 beaches here. One you’ll find on the first parking lot down the stairs. The second a more protected one is at the second parking lot. Perfect spot for a picnic!
Another spot worth checking out in this area is the skywalk “The Gap” again for us it was a bit windy so we watched it from afar.
Bremer Bay was the spot that eluded us the most, both on the way down & back up the coast we were unlucky and got cloudy rainy weather both times. The beaches look amazing here though and its worth a stop if the weather is good. Plenty of picturesque white sand beaches surrounded by bushland as well as 4WD access. Over the Christmas break it gets very popular. It’s also the only place in Australia to do Orca whale watching tours.
We were worried Esperance might be a little underwhelming after seeing so many incredible beaches along the way but It certainly lived up to its hype. The beaches and bays here are something else and worth a trip on its own. The whitest finest sand you could imagine and crystal clear blue waters.
Great Ocean Drive
The Great Ocean Drive hugs the coastline west out of town, taking you past some of the best beaches & viewpoints in Esperance.
Here are some of our favourites
11 Mile Lagoon
There are seriously so many to choose from, you’re guaranteed to get a stretch of pure white sand to yourself. We also loved eating at Taylor St Quarters while in town.
Cape Le Grand
Our top beaches were about 50 mins out of Esperance in Cape Le Grand National Park. The national park is stunning, with dramatic rock formations and pristine beaches throughout. We spent 2 days exploring around and we wish we had more time.
Lucky Bay is famous for its beach Kangaroos, best part is there is a National Park campsite right next to the beach. Book in advance as this is a very popular spot. You can book here
We love Hellfire beach, it’s perfect for sun baking and jumping off the rocks. Also don’t miss out on Little Hellfire.
Another beautiful spot with crystal clear water.
Le Grand Beach
This is the place we camped you can also booked ahead through the Parks website
Note: there are no restaurants, shops or fuel out in Cape Le Grand so stock up in Esperance.
Duke of Orleans Bay
The “Duke” was certainly our favourite spot during our Perth to Esperance road trip! We spent 3 days over Christmas here, just over an hours drive east from Esperance. It’s a slightly remote part of the coast. Theres not much out there except one caravan park popular with fishermen, surfers & 4WD’s.
Wharton beach is incredible. Some of the clearest water we’ve ever seen in the world & nice waves for surfing. It was definitely the highlight of our trip. If you visit outside of school holidays you could probably get it mostly to yourself. Stock up on supplies in Esperance before heading out as there are no shops or petrol stations.
There are again plenty of beaches around here so I recommend you download the offline maps of this area and get exploring, some of them are only accessible with a 4WD.
Hope this helps you plan your own Perth to Esperance road trip.
Road trip tips
- The water in WA is cold most of the year and warmest around February. Fine in the warmer days but it can get cold on days with high wind chill.
- Be prepare for warm days and chilly nights.
- Buy an annual national park pass beforehand and you’ll save some money.
- A lady told that W.A stands for “Windy Always” and seemed to be the case for our whole trip. In 3 weeks it was rare that we got a day with less that 25km/h winds. Apparently the windiest times of year are Feb, Jan & Dec consecutively.
- During school holidays it can get pretty busy at popular spots and campsites fill up quickly.
- We found it pretty easy to freecamp using google maps to search for quiet off-roads & using common sense ie: not camping in busy areas, popular beach carparks and arrived late to sleep and got up early. Our van was fully self contained with Freshwater tank, Grey-water tank and internal toilet & Shower making it easier to freecamp. There are also apps like Wikicamp that show you where freecamp and paid camping spots are around Aus.
- Some towns around WA have complimentary RV dump and fill spots & free overnight RV camping spots if you need somewhere to stop for the night.
If you liked this you may enjoy our “Best thing to do in the NT” blog here