Images and text by James
A road trip following the south west coastline of Western Australia is promised to be an unforgettable experience. From pristine white sand beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters, to towering ancient forests, and unique mountain ranges - you’ll tick off all the places that are on everyones Western Australian bucket-list.
Along the way you’ll have the chance to sunbathe on the worlds whitest sand, swim in some of the worlds most pristine untouched beaches, sample amazing wines at world-class vineyards.
A great way to make the most of Western Australia’s vast and scenic landscape is to travel in comfort, style, and convenience in your very own campervan. Starting out from Perth, all of your destinations are accessed by easy, well maintained self-drive roads. Whilst some distances may seem long you will be spoiled by breathtaking scenery during every stage of your Western Australian road trip. Although the roads are safe and in excellent condition, there is a lot of wildlife around so it pays to take your time, be aware of your surroundings and avoid driving at dusk.
Perth to Perth
Best Time of the Year
all year round
- Cape Le Grand
- Stirling Range National Park
- Valley of The Giants Tree Top Walk
- Margaret River
Perth to Busselton
Distance 232km - Driving Time 2 hours 30 mins
Your journey begins at Britz’s Perth branch which is conveniently located a short 5-10 minute taxi ride from the airport terminals - upon arriving you’ll be greeted by the friendly staff who will quickly run you through some paperwork and give you a tour of your new home for the next 8-10 days, now it’s time to hit the open road.
From Perth it’s a short two and a half hour drive heading south on the freeway to the famous town of Busselton, as you leave the city limits the roads open up and become encompassed by vibrant red dirt, and beautiful Australian bushlands.
Upon arriving in Busselton make your way through the city to the white sands and calm, crystal clear waters of Geographe Bay which is home to Busseltons famous historical landmark - Busselton Jetty.
There is an abundance of eateries and cafes along the promenade, which is perfect after a peaceful stroll along the jetty which ventures a staggering 1.84kms out to sea - best enjoyed in the evening for a fantastic view of Western Australia’s iconic sunsets. If you love fishing then it may be a good idea to pack some rods as there are numerous facilities along the jetty that boast excellent fishing.
Pull in for the night at BIG4 Beachlands Holiday Park - located a short 5 minute walk to the beach.
Busselton to Margaret River
Distance 50km - Driving Time 2 hours 30 mins
No visit to Busselton is complete without a refreshing morning swim in the turquoise waters of Geographe Bay, followed by a delicious breakfast overlooking the bay.
Once you’ve had your fill of all that Busselton has to offer it’s time to hit the road for a short 40 minute drive to the beautiful coastal town of Margaret River - make sure you pack your wine glasses because the region is famous for its vineyards and wineries. Travelling along the Bussell Highway towards Margaret River you’ll be spoiled with views of vibrant green pastures and quaint rural Australian townships.
Upon arriving in Margaret River you will have a hard time choosing from the long list of fine eateries and wineries the town has to offer. After a satisfying lunch in the town it’s time to hit the beach, make your way out of town and head to Surfers Point a short 10 minute drive from town. Surfers Point is a world-class surfing spot so if you’re an avid surfer you might want to pack your board for this one!
As you approach the ruggedly beautiful coastline of Surfers Point you will get your first taste of Western Australia’s iconic duo of crystal clear, turquoise waters that meet the desert like landscape of the South-West. With many sheltered lagoons which are perfect for swimming and pristine white sand beaches this is a perfect spot to spend the day - also be sure to take a stroll down the beach where you’ll find the mouth of Margaret River, the river itself is also perfect for a dip on a hot day.
Pull in for the night at Prevelly Caravan Park - just five minutes down the road from Surfers Point it’s a great place to watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean.
Margaret River to Denmark
Distance 315km - Driving Time 4 hours
After soaking up the sun and relaxed lifestyle of the Margaret River region, head south-east towards the town of Denmark. You’ll take the South Coast Highway which passes through a diverse range of landscapes - from dry Australian bushlands, to subtropical rainforests and pristine coastline.
En-route to Denmark be sure to stop in at the Valley of The Giants Tree Top Walk - where you can take a stroll along the stunning walkway positioned 40 meters above the ground amid the spectacular heights of the Tingle Forest canopy. After soaking the sights, sounds, and smells of the forest finish making your way towards Denmark - upon arriving in the quaint township there are many great places to enjoy lunch, from a picnic lunch in the park down by the river or a visit to Denmark's famous bakery.
After a relaxing lunch in the town, it’s time once again to hit the beach - this time it’s Denmark's world famous Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks. Located just 15 minutes out of town these coastal attractions offer up some of the most beautiful turquoise waters and unique rock formations Western Australia has to offer, an unforgettable place in any weather condition, and a perfect place for a swim.
After a fulfilling day exploring ancient forests and pristine beaches, pull up for the night at Denmark Rivermouth Caravan Park which is located just 5 minutes out of town.
Denmark to Esperance
Distance 532km - Driving Time 6 hours
Waking up refreshed from a peaceful stay in Denmark you’ll take the South Coast Highway once again, heading west towards the unforgettable Esperance region. This time the Highway will take you through the historical town of Albany which makes for a great breakfast stop as well as stretching your legs with some sightseeing before getting back on the road.
The road to Esperance is laced with Western Australia’s iconic red dirt and flat, desert plains which stretch as far as the eye can see. Along the way you’ll pass through charming rural towns such as Ravensthorpe a perfect place to have a break, stretch your legs, and take in some eye-catching silo art.
Upon arriving in Esperance you’ll quickly notice the striking blue waters of Esperance Bay that are at the forefront of the town. The town itself has a very welcoming relaxed pace, and offers excellent dining options - perfect after the long drive. After a well deserved bite to eat make your way out of town following Twilight Beach Road along which you’ll be spoilt for choice of places to swim and watch the sun go down as Esperance has some of the most pristine, beautiful beaches in Australia.
After a refreshing swim and breathtaking sunset over the ocean - pull in for the night at Esperance Seafront Caravan Park, located directly opposite The Esplanade it’s a short, scenic walk into town.
Esperance to Cape Le Grand
Distance 60km - Driving Time 1 hour
Waking to the sound of the waves lapping the white sandy shores of the bay you’ll be feeling nice and refreshed, after some breakfast, tea & coffee from one of Esperances many fine Cafes it’s time to hit the road for the short 1 hour drive to Cape Le Grand National Park.
Taking Merivale Road heading west you’ll come to a right turn onto Cape Le Grand Road which will lead you into the National Park. As soon as you enter beyond the park gates the landscape opens up in a spectacular way, you’ll immediately see Frenchmans Peak rising up out of the flat plains in the distance. After a short scenic drive through the park you’ll arrive at your home for the night - Lucky Bay Campground, before you can even park your vehicle you’ll be greeted by the furry locals, the Kangaroos and their Joeys at Lucky Bay are extremely friendly and accustomed to visitors.
Once parked at your designated campsite the walk to the beach itself is only a few hundred metres, there are also numerous other walking trails situated near the campground which lead to other breathtaking beaches such as Hellfire Bay and Thistle Cove. Taking the path down Lucky Bay you’ll be in awe of its crystal clear, vibrant turquoise waters and pristine white sand - which has been named as the whitest sand in the world. You’ll also notice an abundance of sunbathing Kangaroos on the beach who seem to always be up for a selfie or two.
After an adventure packed day exploring the beautiful beaches of the National Park you’ll have worked up quite the appetite. The campground has BBQ facilities and tables, or make up a picnic, grab a towel and head down to the beach for dinner with a view as the sunset paints the sky red and orange in true Western Australia fashion.
Cape Le Grand to Stirling Range National Park
Distance 467km - Driving Time 5 hours 30 min
No trip to Cape Le Grand is complete without a sunrise hike up Frenchmans Peak or Mandooboornup which is the Aboriginal name for the peak. It is a short 10 minute drive from the campground to the start of the trail, the walk itself takes about 1.5 hours to reach the summit along the designated trail. Rising 262 metres out of the surrounding plains, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking 360 degree view of the park. The peak also houses a large cave near the summit which is thought to have formed by wave action and underwater currents some 40 million years ago when the peak was largely submerged.
The car park has a number of picnic tables which make for a great place for a post hike breakfast before hitting the road again, this time heading West to the Stirling Range National Park. You’ll be following the same road which brought you to Esperance and Cape Le Grand which means you will have no trouble finding a quaint rural town to stretch your legs and grab a bite to eat.
After around 4 hours and 30 minutes of driving through flat desert plains and farm lands the landscape on your horizon changes drastically as you begin to notice the mountains of The Stirling Ranges, some of which rise over 1,000 metres above sea level. If you’re still feeling energetic when you reach the national park then be sure to finish your day with an unforgettable hike up Bluff Knoll or Pualaar Miial (great many-faced hill) as it’s known by the local Aboriginal people. The walk takes about 1.5 to 2 hours along a well maintained trail, upon reaching the summit which sits at 1,099 metres above sea level you’ll be treated to an unforgettable sunset as the sun sinks below the surrounding mountains that make up the ranges.
Pull in at Moingup Springs Campground located just off the mainroad of the national park for a peaceful nights stay among the mountains and trees.
Stirling Range National Park to Yallingup
Distance 376km - Driving Time 4 hours 15 mins
Waking to the sound of Kookaburras and the sweet scent of the encompassing eucalypt trees you’ll be feeling nice and refreshed. After you’ve had your fill exploring the sights on offer in the national park it’s time to head West to the beautiful the coastal town of Yallingup. After around 1 hours drive from the Stirling Ranges you’ll reach the town of Mount Barker, which is a beautiful place to stop for breakfast or lunch or if you have a sweet tooth the town boasts a number of chocolateries.
With a campervan full of chocolate it’s time to continue your journey heading west on the Muir Highway which will take you through rolling green farmlands, quaint country towns and native Australian bushlands. Upon arriving in the charming coastal town of Yallingup you’ll immediately be taken back by it’s beautiful coastline - the crystal clear waters and untouched reefs make for world-class surfing and snorkelling.
The best way to end the day in Yallingup is with a spa - a natural spa that is. Located a short 15 minute scenic drive from town is the Injidup Natural Spa, a uniquely beautiful sheltered rock pool of crystal clear water that gets its name because of the spa-like bubbles that form when waves crash against the surrounding rocks and filter down into the pool.
Pull in for the night at the Yallingup Beach Holiday Park which is located a short distance from the town and beach.
Yallingup to Perth
Distance 275km - Driving Time 3 hours
The best way to start the day in Yallingup is with a refreshing morning swim at the beach where you’ll also find BBQ facilities, picnic tables and a playground - a great spot for breakfast.
After breakfast it’s time to hit the road this time heading back north to the Perth branch for a 3:30pm vehicle drop-off. Though the journey isn’t over just yet, as you make your way back towards Perth there are plenty of scenic coastal towns to stop at to grab lunch and perhaps one last swim in the ever inviting Indian Ocean.
Upon arriving at the Perth branch the friendly staff will ensure returning your vehicle is a stress-free and easy experience, as well as being able to arrange a taxi to your airport terminal or hotel should you need one.