If you have decided to explore Australia’s South West, you are in for a real treat. This part of Australia has no shortage of natural attractions, being well known for its remote and rugged landscape.
No matter what route you take, you will pass many amazing destinations that strike your interest and satisfy your soul.
While hitting the road with no plan is one of the best ways to travel, you don’t want to risk driving past an incredible destination. So that is why I recommend a little
In this article, you will discover the best destination and campsites in Australia’s South West – all the way from Perth to Esperance. The destinations selected are suitable for all vehicles types. If you have a 4WD you can explore even more remote destinations.
Recommended Time for a Perth to Esperance Road Trip
For a Perth to Esperance Road trip, 2 weeks would be the perfect amount of time. In 2 weeks you could quickly see all the best things the South West has to offer, but if you have 2 months for the road trip, that is even better. You will come across destinations that you could stay at for one week at alone.
Anything less than two weeks may leave you feeling like you spend more time driving that you do exploring.
Must see destinations from Perth to Esperance
There are endless places to see in between Perth to Esperance. The destinations listed below are those that you absolutely can’t miss!
You may wish to spend a night or two in Perth before hitting the road. Perth is one of the best cities in the world, but if you came to do a road trip, my suggestion it is best to get out to the city and onto the road.
Things to do in Perth
This is a summary on the best things to do in Perth.
- Relax on Scarborough or Trigg beach
- Hike in Kings Park and Botanical Gardens
- Explore the CBD
- Day trip to Rottnest Island
- Explore Freemantle
- Visit Cottesloe Beach
Campsites in Perth
When searching for campsites on your road trip from Perth to Esperance, I recommend using the CamperMate app. The CamperMate app will allow you to search for campsites, public toilets, ATMs, dump stations, information centres, rubbish bins, wifi, public showers and more. You can search based on what you are looking for.
If you search for campsites in Perth, the CamperMate App will show you the campsites in Perth, what facilities they have and how much they cost.
As I did not camp in Perth, I can not make a recommendation, but I will suggest many other campsites in Western Australia throughout this guide.
Margaret River Region
From Perth, the first destination you should visit is Margaret River, which is a three-hour drive South. Margaret River is famous for its surf, wineries and food scene, but the Margaret River region as a whole has sooo much more to offer. The Margaret River region stretches from Cape Naturaliste to Cape
On a road trip from Perth to Esperance, I suggest spending 3 – 5 days within the Margaret River region.
Things to do in Margaret River
Some highlights in the north of the Margaret River region include Eagle Bay, Meelup Beach, Sugarloaf rock and Yallingup beach (pictured below).
Some highlights in the centre of the Margaret River region include the famous wineries, breweries, cheese and chocolate factories. The main beaches in Margaret River are Surfers Point and Prevelly Beach, which are both worth exploring. You should also allow half a day to explore one of the caves in Margaret River.
Some highlights in the South of the Margaret River Region include Hamelin Bay, Boranup Forest Viewpoint, Augusta, Flinders Bay and Leeuwin Lighthouse.
Campsites in the Margaret River Region
There are limited free campsites in the Margaret River region.
If you are looking to camp for free, you will have to stay outside of the region. Just North of Busselton you will find Pine Plantation Picnic Area which is a great free campsite, but is a 45-minute drive to Margaret River.
If you are happy to pay for a campsite, the below sites are the most popular in the Margaret River Region.
- Prevelly Caravan Park
- Hamelin Bay Holiday Park – See my guide to visiting and camping at Hamelin bay.
- Yallingup Beach Holiday Park
There are many more campsites in the Margaret River region, but these are the most popular. To get more information, use the CamperMate app.
After leaving Margaret River, the next suggested destination is Pemberton. Pemberton is a
Pemberton is a quaint country town, perfect for those who love bush walks and riverside camping.
On a Perth to Esperance Road trip, I recommend spending 1 – 2 nights camping in Pemberton. If you are short on time however, you could just stop in for a few hours to enjoy a short hike.
Things to do in Pemberton
Gloucester National Park is the main attraction in Pemberton. It is home to several hiking trails, abundant wildlife and Gloucester Tree. Gloucester Tree is a 53-metre tree that visitors can climb to reach a viewing platform at the top. A full day should be spent exploring Gloucester National Park.
Just outside of Pemberton you will find Beedelup waterfall. This waterfall is easily accessible via a short walk and passes a suspension bridge. This is a great place to stop on your Perth to Esperance Road Trip.
Campsites in Pemberton
In Pemberton Town, you will only find one paid campsite:
- Pemberton Caravan Park
Just outside of Pemberton you will find 2 free campsites including Moons Crossing and Connolys Flat.
Use the CamperMate App to find more information about these campsites.
Another unmissable destination in between Perth and Esperance is Denmark! Denmark is an adorable beachside town that has everything you could need. This is a great place to base yourself while you explore the surrounding regions. The drive from Pemberton to Denmark takes 2 – 3 hours.
2 – 3 nights camping in Denmark is recommended on a Perth – Esperance road trip.
Things to do in Denmark
Below you will find the best things to do during your stay in Denmark.
Valley of the Giants
The Valley of the Giants is something different for your Perth to Esperance Road trip. You will pass The Valley of the Giants in between Pemberton and Denmark. You could stop in at this destination on your way from Pemberton, or you could come back and explore the Valley of the Giants from Denmark.
The Valley of the Giants is a treetop walk that takes you out high amongst the treetops on a canopy walk.
The cost is just over $20 per adult, so if you are on a budget, you may want to skip this one. But if you are looking for something unique to do, a stop in at the Valley of the Giants is for you.
Peaceful Bay and Conspicuous Cliffs
Peaceful Bay and Conspicuous Cliffs are found on the coast near The Valley of The Giants.
Peaceful Bay is perfect for swimming and relaxing.
Conspicuous Cliffs leads you to a coastal lookout that offers perfect views of the unspoilt coastline.
You could quickly stop by each of these destinations, or you could spend a full day if time allows.
The main attraction in Denmark is Williams Bay, where you will find the Green Pools, Elephant Rock and Waterfall Beach.
Green Pools is a unique and iconic Australian beach, with a series of perfect green water swimming holes that have formed in natural rock pools along the beach. The rock pools are ideal for snorkelling because of the clear water and abundant marine life. You will find a variety of fish and other sea creatures year round.
Elephant Rock is a rock that looks like an Elephant. You can view the rock from the top or you can follow a walking trail that leads you past elephant rock, through
Waterfall beach is found further along the dirt road. The bumpy and rough dirt road leads to a small waterfall that goes onto the beach. I would only recommend going here if you have a 4WD.
Campsites in Denmark
There are a number of campsites in the Denmark region. Some of these campsites include:
- Denmark Ocean Beach Holiday Park
- Parry Beach Campsite
- Peaceful Bay Caravan Park
If you prefer to be closer to town, Denmark Ocean Beach Holiday Park would be the best option. If you prefer more remote campsites, Parry Beach or Peaceful Bay would be a better option.
We camped at Parry Beach which is a low-cost campsite with solar-powered showers.
Albany and the Gap and Natural Bridge
Albany is the largest town in the South West of WA, home to beautiful beaches and coastlines. One remarkable destination in Albany the Gap and Natural Bridge. The impressive rock formations matched with the rough ocean create an amazing experience for visitors.
Albany is just a one hour drive from Denmark. My recommendation would be to stop in at The Gap and Natural Bridge for an hour, then continue along to Esperance.
Campsites in Albany
If you do plan to stay in Albany, some paid campsites include:
- Panorama Caravan Park
- Big 4 Middleton Beach
- Albany Gardens Holiday Park
- Albany Holiday Park
Esperance is the epitome of paradise. White
The drive from Albany to Esperance takes 5 hours.
3 – 4 nights is recommended in the Esperance region.
Things to do in Esperance
There are several beaches in Esperance that you must visit, including Blue Haven Beach, West Beach and Twilight Beach.
The Great Ocean Drive leads you from town, along the Esplanade, past West Beach, Blue Haven Beach and twilight beach. The road then loops back into town. You will also pass Pink Lake but unfortunately, this lake is no longer pink due to changes in th saline levels in the area.
One day in Esperance should be spent driving around the loop and enjoying all the beaches and lookouts along the way.
Once you are satisfied, it’s time to head out to Cape Le Grand National Park, which is home to Lucky Bay.
For a full guide on all the best things to do in Cape Le Grand National Park, click here. This guide covers beaches, hikes, campsites and more.
Campsites in Esperance
Esperance is one of the most incredible places to camp in the world. The best place to camp is out of town, and in Cape Le Grand National Park. The campsites within Cape Le Grand National Park include:
- Lucky Bay Campground
- Cape Le Grand Campground
These campsites must be booked in advance as spaces are limited and they fill up quickly. The cost is $11 per person per night, and a national parks pass of $13 per vehicle is also payable on entry into the national park.
There are some other free campsites in the area, such as Dunn Rocks Campsite, but a 4WD is essential to get here.
Duke of Orleans Bay
If you have time, and if you are looking to go that bit further, you won’t regret visiting the Duke of Orleans Bay. This is one of the most pristine beaches in the world, with crystal clear waters, white sand and untouched coastlines as far as the eye can see. You could day trip out to the Duke of Orleans Bay, or you could camp out here.
Campsites in Duke of Orleans Bay
There is only one campsite in Duke of Orleans Bay:
- Duke of Orleans Bay Caravan Park
More destinations in WA’s South West
Some more destination in between Perth to Esperance that are worth exploring if time allows are:
- Lake Cliffton Thrombolites
- Busselton Jetty
- Bremer Bay
- Hope Town
There are many more destinations to explore, but a 4WD is recommended as many roads are unsealed and rough.
Have time to spare?
The Pinnacles Desert just 2 and a half hours north of Perth is another incredible Western Australia destination. While it may not technically be on the way from Perth to Esperance, it is well worth the visit. This is everything you need to know about visiting the Pinnacles. On the way to The Pinnacles Desert you will pass Lancelin and Yanchep National Park, which are both worth visiting.
Budget for a Perth to E
sperance Road Trip
The budget for the road trip will depend on a number of variables.
- Do you need to fly to Perth to start the road trip?
- Are you hiring a campervan?
- Do you have your own car and camp gear and are you already in Perth ready to go?
- Do you already have your camping gear or do you need to buy it?
- What type of car will you be driving? How many km does it last for and how much does it cost to fill up?
I will leave it to you to answer these questions and work out your initial expenses. Once these things are sorted, the other things to consider in your budget are:
- Cost of campsites
- Any activities you wish to do
Petrol – For this road trip, you should expect to drive between 1200 – 1500 kms depending on how many detours you take. Let’s say your car lasts for 400kms with a tank of petrol and costs $60 to fill up. You can expect to pay between $240 – $300 for petrol, one way.
*The type of car you are driving will impact this figure.
Food – If you choose to shop at grocery store and cook your own meals, you could budget as little as $20 per person for food each day.
$20 x 14 days = $280 per person.
You could spend even less on food if you needed to.
Campsites – Non powered campsites in Western Australia cost between $20 – $30 per night, for 2 people.
$20 X 14 = $280 for campsites for 2 people.
If you have a campervan you can set up in places for free (illegally), but if you are camping in tents, you will need to pay for campsites.
You can therefore estimate that a two week road trip would cost around $800 for one person or $1,080 for two people. Finding a second person for the road trip will reduce the cost drastically.
For more information on how to create a travel budget, visit this guide to affording travel.
Packing for a Perth to Esperance Road Trip
If you will be camping while road tripping from Perth to Esperance, you will need:
- A gazebo
- Bedding – an air mattress, pump, pillows and blankets
- Camp chairs
- An esky
- Cooking utensils
- Drinking water
To find out what camping gear I used on my Perth to Esperance road trip, click here.
Things to consider when road tripping from Perth to Esperance
- In Australia, we drive on the
left handside of the road.
- If you are visiting from overseas, you must apply for an IDP (International Driving Permit) in advance.
- Your budget will depend on how many detours you take, the type of vehicle you drive, what you choose to eat and how often you eat out vs cook for yourself.
- Kangaroos come out at dusk and dawn, so you should avoid driving at this time.