Western Australia offers plenty of beguiling reasons why people from around the world should come and visit. But one thing that you should experience while in this magical state is going on a road trip. The West Coast of Australia is abundant in natural landscapes, chance encounters of wildlife, and seemingly endless roads.
Western Australia surely knows how to spoil anyone who loves the great outdoors. If you are looking for ideas on the best travel itinerary, this blog is for you. We will help you plan your next WA road trip adventure with this guide.
Rental Car Quick Facts
But first, you need a car. Renting is better than hiring people movers. You will most likely need a 2WD, especially if you select a route that’s generally highway-based. However, some places can steer you to a more rugged terrain, which requires a 4WD.
Next is to consider the size of your party to know which car to rent. Family cars or sedans are often preferred, but you may need a nine or 12-seater vehicle if you have a larger group. Consider the journey, as well, particularly the duration to plan for fuel, food, and money. You will probably need about $530 for petrol, which can get hefty as you move north. Accommodation may be around $800 for mid-range rooms and $280 to $300 for food and drink per person.
A standard car rental can cost $238 for seven days, including a waiver. As you drive to areas that are not within the 500km radius of Perth, you will need to add $100. These remote areas include Kalbarri, Monkey Mia, Carnarvon, and Exmouth.
Recommended Itinerary for WA Road Trips
This sample itinerary will allow you to see and enjoy the beautiful sights that the West Coast of Australia has to offer:
Explore Perth, The Capital of Western Australia
Whether you are from Perth or not, you’ll love taking in the underrated beauty of this city. It’s impossible to run out of things to do in Perth. The cityscape alone is a sight to behold, so begin your trip from Kings Park and Botanic Garden. You can also spend a lazy afternoon at the Perth Zoo or just go for a scenic Swan River cruise.
Drive Along to Geraldton
Your next stop can be Geraldton, which marks the scenic aspect of your road trip in WA. It is a bit far from Perth, which can take about five hours of driving to cover a distance of 415km. The pathway from Perth to Geraldton is called Indian Ocean Drive. This intriguing name is given to this area because you will see kilometres of stretches of sea views as you go along for about a little more than half an hour.
As you approach Geraldton, don’t forget to look out the window and find the leaning trees, which are at the side of the highway. These trees look bizarre because of the constant strength of the coastal breeze trying to blow the trees away.
The area can be a bit busy, especially if you’re visiting certain hotspots, such as Lancelin Sand Dunes, The Pinnacles, and Lake Thetis. That’s why you should wake up early so you will have no problems fitting in the mentioned stops.
Drop by at Kalbarri National Park
Your next stopover will be in Kalbarri to see the Kalbarri National Park. You do not have to be a nature lover to appreciate the natural treasures on this site. From Geraldton to Kalbarri, you will have to sit or drive the car for about 130km. It will take you more than an hour if you stop by some of the best sites in the state, including Hutt Lagoon or the world-famous pink lake. While in this city, why not take a moment to head to the Principality of Hutt River, the only sovereign state in the country?
Remember that entering the Kalbarri National Park can cost you $15 for every vehicle. You will need a slip, which is purchased at the park’s entry stations. While here, you may want to take a photo with Nature’s Window, which is the park’s main attraction. It’s just a kilometre from the designated car park. However, it’s usually packed with crowds waiting to get a picture of the same attraction.
You will also see the Z Bend Lookout, which spans 600 metres. After finishing the trek, you will be greeted by the striking views of winding rivers and gorges.
Drive to Monkey Mia
One of the things that make Monkey Mia a unique destination for your rental car road trip around WA is its location. Monkey Mia is situated in a very remote region. It can take you about four hours to reach this reserve from Kalbarri or approximately 360km. That’s plenty of drive time to enjoy the scenery. It’s best to arrive in the area at night so that you get enough rest and catch the earliest dolphin feeding in the morning.
Monkey Mia is primarily famous for the wild dolphin experience. And it’s only right that you seek that experience while in the area. The reserve is surrounded by white sandy beaches and red sand dunes. Water is teeming with wildlife, such as dolphins, turtles, and sharks.
You can also go swimming and snorkelling in Monkey Mia. However, be aware that you cannot do these activities in the dolphin interaction area. After meeting the dolphins, you can drive towards Denham, which is about 20 minutes away. You have numerous opportunities to see the beautiful beaches of Shark Bay, as well as Francois Peron National Park, where the journey can get a little rough.
Discover Exmouth, Your Entryway to the Magnificent Ningaloo Reef
As you continue driving, you could find yourself along the Coral Coast, which will lead you to Exmouth in less than two hours. It’s right at the top of the peninsula and is the gateway to Ningaloo Reef, a World Heritage Site. We know it is a long drive, covering 150km, but trust us when we say it is well worth it! Exmouth gives you several reasons to visit, including whale shark tours, Muiron Island for snorkelling, swimming with humpback whales, and going kayaking along Yardie Creek.
Whale shark season starts in the middle of March until August. If you want to see humpback whales, you should drop by from August to October. But the best month to visit is in August when you have the chance to swim with both.
Going Back to Perth
Your WA road trip is over, and it’s time to head home. If you rented a car, you could return it to Perth, which is about 1,200km away. It’s a long drive, but there are typically no obstacles. The straight road will lead you back home in 12 hours. You can decide to spend another night either in Carnarvon or Geraldton, which allows you to split the travel into at least two days. That way, it is not too tiresome, and you can even talk about your unforgettable road trip experience.