Perth, Western Australia’s sun-kissed jewel, is a city that beckons travellers with its blend of urban charm and coastal beauty. With its stunning beaches, vibrant cultural scene, and thriving culinary landscape, Perth is a fantastic starting point for exploring the wonders of Western Australia.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you on a journey to discover Perth’s best-kept secrets and the remarkable destinations just a road trip away, that make it an ideal travel hub.
To fully embrace the spirit of adventure and exploration, a self drive holiday is the way to go! Perth campervan hire offers the freedom to chart your own course, allowing you to adapt your itinerary as the mood strikes. Here are some of the top road trips from Perth.
Margaret River: Wine, Waves, and Wonders
A road trip to Margaret River from Perth is like stepping into a world of indulgence and natural beauty. As you leave the city behind, you’ll traverse scenic countryside, rolling vineyards, and ancient forests. Margaret River is renowned for its world-class wineries, where you can savour some of Australia’s finest wines. But it’s not just about wine; the region’s stunning coastline is a playground for surfers and beach lovers.
Explore the towering karri trees at Boranup Forest, indulge in gourmet delights at local eateries, and marvel at the limestone formations in Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. Margaret River is where wine, waves, and wonders converge.
Ningaloo Reef: Underwater Paradise
Heading north from Perth, you’ll discover the pristine beauty of Ningaloo Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed marine wonderland. This is where the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean meet the rich biodiversity of the coral reef. Ningaloo is renowned for its stunning coral formations and the opportunity to swim alongside gentle giants like whale sharks and manta rays.
Snorkel or dive among the vibrant marine life, relax on the white sandy beaches, and don’t miss the chance to witness nesting turtles if you visit during the right season. Ningaloo Reef offers a truly immersive marine adventure that’s a world away from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Esperance: Beaches and Beyond
Esperance, situated to the southeast of Perth, is a coastal paradise known for its surreal beaches and rugged landscapes. The pure white sands of Lucky Bay, where kangaroos laze by the water’s edge, are a highlight of any visit. Explore the stunning rock formations at Twilight Cove, and hike in Cape Le Grand National Park for breathtaking coastal vistas.
Esperance isn’t just about beaches; it’s also a gateway to the beautiful Cape Arid National Park, where you can discover remote wilderness and a diverse range of wildlife. Esperance beckons with its untouched beauty and a sense of tranquility that’s a world apart from city life.
The Pinnacles: Desert Dreaming
A road trip north of Perth takes you to the enigmatic Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park. Here, thousands of limestone pillars rise from the golden sands, creating an otherworldly landscape that’s both eerie and captivating. Explore the desert on a self-guided walk or take a guided tour to learn about the geological mysteries behind these natural sculptures.
The Pinnacles Desert is also a fantastic spot for stargazing, offering a glimpse into the vastness of the night sky away from the city’s lights. It’s a surreal experience that will leave you in awe of the wonders of the universe.
Kalgoorlie-Boulder: Gold Rush History and Outback Adventure
Embark on a journey east of Perth to Kalgoorlie-Boulder, a city steeped in the rich history of the Australian gold rush. As you drive through the vast outback landscape, you’ll encounter relics of the past, including the famous Super Pit gold mine, which offers tours that take you deep into the heart of the mining operations.
Explore the Goldfields Museum to learn about the region’s mining heritage, and don’t miss the mesmerizing sight of the historic buildings lining Hannan Street. For those seeking adventure, the outback surrounding Kalgoorlie-Boulder beckons with opportunities for off-road 4WD experiences and the chance to witness the region’s unique flora and fauna.
The Wheatbelt: Wildflowers and Country Charm
Heading inland from Perth, the Wheatbelt region offers a picturesque road trip through rolling farmland and charming country towns. The spring season transforms the landscape into a vibrant tapestry of wildflowers, with colourful blooms stretching as far as the eye can see.
Visit places like Toodyay and York, where you can stroll down tree-lined streets, explore historical sites, and savour country-style cuisine in quaint cafes. The Wheatbelt also offers opportunities for birdwatching and hiking in the nearby national parks, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts.
Shark Bay: A World Heritage Wonderland
For a more extended road trip adventure, venture north to Shark Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its unique natural attractions. Marvel at the stromatolites in Hamelin Pool, some of the oldest living organisms on Earth, and take a boat tour to Monkey Mia to meet the friendly dolphins that frequent the shores.
Explore the pristine beaches of Shell Beach, composed entirely of tiny white shells, and witness the stunning contrast between the red cliffs and turquoise waters at Eagle Bluff. Shark Bay offers an opportunity to connect with nature and experience the wonders of this remote coastal paradise.
Albany: Southern Coastal Beauty and Anzac Heritage
Heading south from Perth, the coastal city of Albany awaits with its dramatic cliffs, pristine beaches, and historical significance. Visit the Gap and the Natural Bridge, where the Southern Ocean crashes against the rugged coastline, creating breathtaking vistas.
Albany is also deeply connected to Australia’s Anzac history, and you can explore sites like the National Anzac Centre, paying tribute to the soldiers who departed for World War I from these shores. Enjoy fresh seafood at the local eateries, go whale watching during the season, and hike in the nearby Torndirrup National Park for a taste of southern coastal beauty.
Bungle Bungle Range: Purnululu National Park
For a more adventurous road trip, consider a journey to Purnululu National Park, home to the iconic Bungle Bungle Range. Located in the remote Kimberley region, this World Heritage-listed site features stunning orange and black-striped sandstone domes that have been shaped by millions of years of erosion.
Explore the park’s network of hiking trails that lead you through narrow gorges, past hidden waterfalls, and up to panoramic viewpoints. Witness the magic of the park at sunrise or sunset when the domes glow in the soft light, creating a truly surreal and unforgettable experience.
As you can see, Perth and its surrounding regions offer a diverse tapestry of experiences, each catering to a variety of interests and passions. Whether you yearn for the indulgence of Margaret River, the underwater wonders of Ningaloo Reef, the pristine beauty of Esperance, or the mystique of the Pinnacles Desert, these destinations stand ready to embrace you in their unique and unforgettable adventures.
Perth, as your point of departure and return, serves as the perfect gateway to this diverse and captivating region. It extends an invitation to embark on a journey that transcends mere travel and instead offers an immersive experience—one that promises exploration, connection with nature, appreciation of culture, and the opportunity to create lasting memories with every kilometre of the road. For those who prefer to start your trip in the north, Broome campervan hire is also an option, and a one-way road trip down the stunning Western Australia coastline is a fantastic way to see the state.