gravel road going up hill in a canyon

Best Perth to Broome Road Trip Itinerary: Ultimate Guide 2023

western australia expert disclosure

Are you looking for a budget-friendly Perth to Broome road trip itinerary? Having travelled the Perth to Broome route three times since I moved here, I’ve gathered a wealth of knowledge on the journey.

Key Takeaways


πŸ›£οΈ Distance: 2625 km to 3300 km (depending on route)
🚘 Driving Time: 28 to 36 hours
β˜€οΈ Best Time: Dry Season (May to September)
πŸ›£οΈ Unsealed Roads: Not on main roads

Perth to Boome Road Trip 10 Day Itinerary

  • Geraldton
  • Kalbarri
  • Carnarvon
  • Coral Bay/ Exmouth
  • Karijini
  • Port Hedland
  • Eighty Mile Beach
  • Broome

Perth to Broome Road Trip Itinerary Coastal

The least time I suggest driving from Perth to Broome is a week, which is ok for people that have already been to some of the places along the Coral Coast. However, if it is your first time, I would take your time and allow at least two weeks, preferably longer, so you can enjoy each place.

Perth to Broome Road Trip Itinerary – 7 Days

This is a rushed itinerary, and you won’t have time to see or do much at each stop. This itinerary is designed for drivers who want to break up their journey with stops along the way.

  1. Jurien Bay 220 km
  2. Kalbarri 352 km
  3. Coral Bay 673 km
  4. Coral Bay
  5. Karratha 530 km
  6. 80 Mile Beach 477 km
  7. Broome 375 km
perth to broome 7 day itinerary map

Day one – Perth to Jurien Bay

As you travel north along the Indian Ocean Drive, you’re greeted with picturesque coastal views and unique Australian flora. The route passes through Lancelin, known for its pristine sand dunes and opportunities for sandboarding. Once you reach Jurien Bay, the turquoise waters and white sandy beaches provide a stunning backdrop for adventure, including snorkelling among the region’s sea lions.

More info: Perth to Jurien Bay Road Trip and Where to stay and things to do in Jurien Bay

aerial view of the gorge in kalbarri national park
Kalbarri

Day two – Jurien Bay to Kalbarri

Indian Ocean Drive connects with Brand Highway, which takes you to Northampton, where you’ll turn off towards the Pink Lake and Kalbarri.

Break up the journey with a stop in Dongara Port Denison or Geraldton.

More info: Perth to Kalbarri Road Trip, Things to do in Kalbarri and Best Kalbarri Accommodation

a large fish under the ocean
Snorkelling in Coral Bay

Day three – Kalbarri to Coral Bay

From Kalbarri, head back onto National Route One until the Minilya Exmouth Road. Stay on this road until the Coral Bay turnoff on the left.

Break up the drive with a top in Carnarvon.

More info: Where to stay and things to do in Coral Bay and Things to do in Exmouth

Day four – Coral Bay

Take a break from driving by spending the day on Ningaloo Reef.

You may decide to stay in Exmouth rather than Coral Bay.

Day five – Coral Bay to Karratha

Take National Route 1 to Karratha, which adjoins the port of Dampier.

Climb the water tower at the visitors centre to view the surrounding landscape. The 3.5km Yaburara Aboriginal Heritage Walk Trail takes you to scenic lookouts through the Karratha Hills.

More info: Things to do in Karratha

view of a long stretch of white soft sand and turquoise ocean at eighty mile beach near broome western australia
Eighty Mile Beach

Day six – Karratha to Eighty Mile Beach

Travel via Port Hedland to Eighty Mile Beach. The road to Eighty Mile Beach is gravel, so you may need to stop in Port Hedland if your hire vehicle does not allow travel on unsealed roads.

More info: Port Hedland and Eighty Mile Beach

the sandy cable beach with people relaxing under sun umbrellas
Cable Beach Broome

Day seven – Eighty Mile Beach to Broome

The last section of your Perth to Broome road trip continues on National Highway 1 to Broome.

More info: Where to stay and things to do in Broome

Perth to Broome Road Trip Itinerary – 10 Days

  1. Geraldton 415 km
  2. Kalbarri 156 km
  3. Carnarvon 442 km
  4. Exmouth 365 km
  5. Exmouth
  6. Karijini 640 km (long day)
  7. Karijini
  8. Port Hedland 342 km
  9. Eighty Mile Beach 252 km
  10. Broome 375 km
map for perth to broome 10 day itinerary

The 10-day Perth to Broome road trip itinerary gives you a little longer in each place. However, you miss out on some amazing places in between.

inside of a cathedral with grey adn white striped walls and a striped archway with wooden pews
St Francis Xavier Cathedral Geraldton

Day one – Perth to Geraldton

Follow this route from Perth to Kalbarri via Geraldton.

Depending on the time you leave Perth, you may have time to stop at one of these attractions along the way:

More info: Where to stay and things to do in Geraldton

Day two – Geraldton to Kalbarri

A short drive today allows you time to explore Kalbarri and maybe a hike, depending on the time of year.

More info: Where to stay and things to do in Kalbarri

a river with buildings in the background
Carnarvon

Day three – Kalbarri to Carnarvon

You may choose to see more of Kalbarri before departing for Carnarvon. The loop walk in Kalbarri National Park is best done first thing in the morning.

Follow directions from National Route 1 to Carnarvon.

More info: Things to do in Carnarvon

a black footed wallaby sitting on a rock
rare black footed wallaby in yardie creek Exmouth

Day four – Carnarvon to Exmouth/Coral Bay

Continue on National Route One until the Minilya Exmouth Road. Keep on this to either Coral Bay or Exmouth. Read the guides below to decide what destination is suited to your interests.

More info: Things to do in Coral Bay, Things to do in Exmouth and Best accommodation in Exmouth

Day five – Exmouth/Coral Bay

Spend today on a snorkelling tour, whale watching, or maybe hiking.

red cliffs in Oxer Lookout, Karijini National Park
Oxer Lookout, Karijini National Park by Tourism Western Australia

Day six – Exmouth/Coral Bay to Karijini

A long drive today, so it’s best to make an early start. If you feel this distance is too long, consider stopping in Tom Price overnight and heading into Karijini National Park early the next day.

Day seven – Karijini

You’re in for a real treat today – Karijini National Park is one of the most spectacular places in Western Australia. The gorges, waterfalls, water holes, and views are incredible.

australian outback at sunset with a golden glow on the desert landscape
Outback sunset near Port Hedland by Greg Snell

Day eight – Karijini to Port Hedland

Port Hedland isn’t picturesque like Karijini, but it’s a good place to replace essentials for the road trip. If you’d rather stop en route to Eighty Mile Beach, you can spend an extra night in Coral Bay/ Exmouth or Karijini.

However, the road to Eighty Mile Beach is gravel, so you may need to stop in Port Hedland if your hire vehicle does not allow travel on unsealed roads.

Day nine – Port Hedland to Eighty Mile Beach

Arrive with plenty of time to enjoy this pristine beach and glorious sunset views.

Day ten – Eighty Mile Beach to Broome

The last section of your Perth to Broome road trip continues on National Highway 1 to Broome.

More info: Where to stay and things to do in Broome

green turquoise water in creek
Willie Creek Broome

Perth to Broome Road Trip Itinerary – 14 Days

  1. Jurien Bay 220 km
  2. Geraldton 196 km
  3. Kalbarri 156 km
  4. Monkey Mia 400 km
  5. Monkey Mia
  6. Coral Bay 581 km
  7. Coral Bay
  8. Exmouth 152 km
  9. Exmouth
  10. Karijini 640 km
  11. Karijini
  12. Port Hedland 342 km
  13. Eighty Mile Beach 252 km
  14. Broome 375 km
map of perth to broome drive itinerary 14 days

The two-week Perth to Broome itinerary is the one I suggest for new visitors to Western Australia. If you can spare the time, I would adapt this itinerary to spend longer in Kalbarri, Monkey Mia, Coral Bay, Exmouth, and Karijini, depending on your interests.

close up of koala sitting in tree
Koala at Yanchep National Park

Day one – Perth to Jurien Bay

Take Mitchell Freeway (State Route 2) to Hester Avenue and turn right. After 1 km, turn left onto Wanneroo Road, which becomes Indian Ocean Drive at Yanchep, and follow until you reach Jurien Bay.

Plenty of time today to stop at Yanchep National Park, Wedge Island, Lancelin sand dunes, and/or the Pinnacles.

More info: Perth to Jurien Bay Road Trip and Where to stay and things to do in Jurien Bay

a metal dome with seagulls carved out
HMAS Sydney II Memorial Geraldton

Day two – Jurien Bay to Geraldton

Today is another short drive, so you can stay in Jurien Bay for a seal lion tour or drive to Geraldton to see the HMAS Sydney II Memorial, Point Moore lighthouse, cathedral and more.

More info: Where to stay and things to do in Geraldton

Day three – Geraldton to Kalbarri

Get up early and spend time exploring Kalbarri. If you can afford the extra time, spend longer here. The hikes are amazing!

More info: Where to stay and things to do in Kalbarri

wide red dirt road track through bushland
Track in Francois Peron National Park

Day four – Kalbarri to Monkey Mia

Leave Kalbarri behind and head to the UNESCO Shark Bay region, which includes Monkey Mia, Denham, Francois Peron National Park, Hamelin Pool stromatolites, and Dirk Hartog Island.

Follow the Perth to Exmouth road trip route.

Choose to stay in Monkey Mia or Denham – read the post below to decide.

More info: Where to stay and things to do in Shark Bay

Day five – Monkey Mia

Get up early to see the Monkey Mia dolphins, take a marine life cruise, or do some off-roading in Francois Peron NP. Don’t miss Shell Beach, though!

a marina with yachts moored
Coral Bay

Day six – Monkey Mia to Coral Bay

Leave Monkey Mia early to arrive in Coral Bay in time for a snorkel.

More info: Things to do in Coral Bay

Day seven – Coral Bay

Enjoy all that Coral Bay has to offer.

holes in red rocks in a large canyon
Shothole Canyon Exmouth

Day eight – Coral Bay to Exmouth

Get up as early as possible to arrive in Exmouth for hiking or snorkelling.

More info: Things to do in Exmouth and Best accommodation in Exmouth

Day nine – Exmouth

Swim with whale sharks, take a whale cruise, hike Yardie Gorge trail or Cape Range National Park – the list is endless, but make sure to book tours well in advance as they sell out quickly in peak times.

aerial view of waterfall dropping into a deep natural waterhole surrounded by red cliffs in Hamersley Gorge , Karijini National Park
Hamersley Gorge , Karijini National Park by Tourism Western Australia

Day ten to fourteen – Exmouth to Broome

Follow the Perth to Broome road trip 10-day itinerary for the rest of the route.

Perth to Broome Road Trip Map Inland

If you are looking at a return road trip to Perth, consider the inalnd route (as shown in the map below) one way.

map of perth to broome inland route
Best Perth to Broome Road Trip Itinerary: Ultimate Guide 2023

Is the Road from Perth to Broome Sealed?

The main roads between Perth and Broome are sealed. However, some roads in Francois Peron National Park (Shark Bay), Karijini, Cape Range National Park (Exmouth) and Kalbarri National Park are unsealed. So it’s best to have a 4wd if you want to explore these areas.

a long road with red dirt on the side and green bush

Where to Stay between Perth and Broome

Depending on your itinerary, places to stay between Perth and Broome could be:

  • Jurien Bay
  • Geraldton
  • Kalbarri
  • Monkey Mia/ Denham
  • Carnarvon
  • Coral Bay
  • Exmouth
  • Karijini
  • Port Hedland
  • Eighty Mile Beach

How Many Days do you Need in Broome?

You need at least three days in Broome, but a week will allow you to see more of the surrounding area, like Willie Creek Pearl Farm, Cape Leveque, and Horizontal Falls.

aerial view of water running horizontally through a gap in rocks
Horizontal Falls by Tourism Western Australia

Why Road Trip from Perth to Broome?

Driving from Perth to Broome is a great way to experience the beauty of Western Australia. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to explore many unique and breathtaking places, such as Exmouth and Kalbarri. Plus take part in a range of adventurous activities.

What you need to consider when planning a Perth to Broome Road Trip

1. Budget

When planning a road trip, it’s important to consider your budget and calculate the cost.

If you plan on renting a car or campervan, it is usually cheaper to fly to Broome and drive to Perth, as the one-way fee is typically cheaper from Broome. However, check the hire has unlimited km as some Broome rental cars limit the km and charge extra.

There are car hire booths at Perth Airport, but it’s best to pre-book your car rental.

To compare Australian car hire prices, Discover Cars is an award-winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are highly rated.

DriveNow is a good resource to compare campervan hire in Western Australia. It includes all the large companies like Britz, Maui, & Jucy as well as smaller ones.

Compare Rental Cars Here.

If you are travelling on a tight budget, you may consider picking up and dropping off your rental vehicle in the same place, as this will save the one-way car hire fee. However, this will add around 2300 km to your journey, so consider the extra fuel.

How many people are you travelling with? If there are four of you, renting a campervan instead of a car may be cheaper.

Calculate how much money you will need for food and drink and any other activities or tours you plan to do.

Don’t forget to factor in the cost of travel insurance (we use Cover More). Choose from the various options to find the one that suits you.

If you don’t want to drive, you could opt for a hop-on hop-off bus tour, such as the Why Not Bus, which caters to a younger demographic and includes camping. Integrity Coach Lines offers a choice of express or hop-on hop-off tickets.

AAT Kings have an epic 21 day adventure from Perth to Darwin, taking in all the must-see sights too.

a man sand boarding down a large white sand dune
Lancelin sand dunes

2. Distance & Travel Time

The drive from Perth to Broome will take approximately 23 hours if you take the inland route without detours. However, you can customize your trip by adding stops or opting for an alternate route.

If you take the coastal route, you can break up the journey and explore some of the most beautiful spots in Western Australia. This route (including detours from Perth to Broome) is over 4,000 km long, so it’s wise to allow at least two weeks to complete the journey.

limestone pillars in red sand in desert
Pinnacles

3. Accommodation

When planning a road trip from Perth to Broome, consider what type of accommodation you need. There are many options available depending on your budget and travel style. For example, budget-friendly options include camping, caravan parks, and hostels. For those looking for a comfortable and luxurious stay, there are hotels, resorts, and private rentals to choose from.

Have you booked accommodation?

We use Booking.com for most accommodation bookings as they offer free cancellation on many properties and have a price match guarantee. We book through Stayz (part of VRBO) for private accommodation as we find it is often cheaper than Airbnb.

Tip: Accommodation gets booked quickly, especially during the WA school holidays. To avoid disappointment, book early.

4. Weather Conditions

When driving from Perth to Broome, the weather conditions can be quite harsh. The weather is generally hot during the summer months (December to March), while the winter months (April to November) are slightly cooler.

The best time to visit the North West is during the winter months when temperatures are milder. However, the outback can be unforgiving at any time of the year.

a long straight road inbetween bushland with no one around
Road into Monkey Mia & Denham

5. Vehicle Requirements

If you have your own vehicle, what requirements are needed for a road trip from Perth to Broome?

  • Make sure it is in good working order and you have it serviced before your trip.
  • Check tyres (including spare) for pressure, wear and tread. Bring a tyre pressure gauge.
  • Make sure that you have a tool kit with you, such as a jack, jumper leads, warning triangle, window breaker, and tow rope.
  • Consider taking spares like spark plugs, fuses, hoses etc.
  • Ensure you have adequate insurance coverage for the duration of your trip.
close up of a wild dolphin
Dolphin at Monkey Mia

6. Travel Safety

There are several travel safety issues to consider. Check road conditions before setting off. The drive is over 2200 km and can have rough roads, so plan accordingly.

  • Research your route and the best places to stop.
  • Check for road closures which can be closed due to several factors, including flooding and bushfires.
  • If you are towing a caravan, trailer, or boat, ensure you know the legal load limit for your vehicle and that it is well secured. Unless otherwise signposted, the maximum speed limit for a vehicle towing a trailer or caravan is 100 kmph.
  • Buy a Telstra SIM card, as their regional coverage is the best.
  • Road trains (large trucks with up to four carriages) can be as long as 60m, so extreme care must be taken if overtaking. Most of the Coral Coast is single-lane only, with a few overtaking lanes.
  • The Coral coast can be affected by cyclones, particularly between December to March. Keep up to date with emergency advice on the WA Emergency site. You can keep informed of bushfire advice there too.
  • The open road speed limit is 110 km per hour and 50 km per hour in built up areas. However, please pay attention to the signs as they often change.
  • It is illegal to touch your mobile phone while driving, and all passengers must wear a seatbelt.
  • Have at least 6 litres of water per person.
  • Pack non-perishable food.
  • Carry a first aid kit.
  • It is highly recommended to have a GPS to avoid getting lost or download a mapping app like Avenza that provides a map even when you are out of range.
  • Take regular breaks and never drive tired (share the driving if you can).
  • Plan to travel no longer than eight to ten hours a day.
  • Watch out for wildlife when driving, especially around dawn and dusk (serious accidents occur due to collisions with kangaroos, cows, and other animals).
  • Stop at every roadhouse for a break and stretch.
  • Ensure you have enough fuel, as petrol stations are 100 – 300 km apart, and some may be out of fuel. Also, keep in mind that most of them do not open 24 hours.
  • If you break down, stay with your vehicle and conserve water and food.
  • Note a list of emergency contacts before you leave.
  • Keep valuables out of sight.
  • Be aware of crocodile dangers.
  • Box Jellyfish and Irrikanji can be present throughout the year but are more prevalent during the wet season when the water is warmer. They inflict a severe sting that can be potentially fatal. Wear a full-length stinger suit from November to April, and pay attention to beach closure signs.

With these considerations in mind, you should be able to enjoy a safe, fun, and memorable road trip from Perth to Broome.

a beach made up entirely of cockle shells
Shell Beach Shark Bay

7. Perth to Broome Road trip: Emergency Contact Numbers

Fire/Police/Ambulance000
Fire/Police/Ambulance from GSM mobile phone112
Halls Creek Police 08 9168 6000
Wiluna Police08 9981 7024
Newman Police                                08 9175 1201
Royal Flying Doctors Service (State-wide)1800 625 800
Royal Flying Doctor Service (Meekatharra Base)08 9981 1107
Automobile Association of Australia13 11 11

8. What to Pack

  • If you take prescription medication make sure you have enough for the duration of your trip and bring a script renewal from your doctor
  • Swiss army knife, torch, & spare batteries
  • First aid kit, emergency blanket & fire extinguisher
  • Tools & spare tyre
  • Duct tape
  • Umbrella/rain protection
  • Mix of clothing, including lightweight and breathable options for hot days and layers for cooler evenings
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Swimwear & towels
  • Insect repellent – mosquitoes can carry diseases such as encephalitis and Ross River fever
  • Sun protection – sunscreen, large brimmed hat, sunglasses, and long-sleeve top
  • National Park holiday or annual pass, which can be purchased online or at various outlets like visitor centres. RAC WA offer a 50% discount for members
  • A CB Radio is helpful if you are planning to travel to remote areas
  • Cash and credit/debit cards
  • Toiletries
  • Toilet Paper
  • Travel mugs, reusable water bottles, utensils, rubbish bags, and reusable bags
  • Eskie or portable fridge
  • Snacks and Water
  • Camera, drone, phone, tablet, and chargers
  • Entertainment (cards, board games, books etc.)
  • Guidebook (I still like having a paper version)
dugong in the ocean
Dugong seen on our Monkey Mia cruise

9. Attractions & Sightseeing

What attractions are available for the Perth to Broome road trip?

As you head north, attractions such as the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park, Kalbarri’s gorges, Ningaloo Reef, and Karijini National Park are some of the must-dos along the way. For those who love wildlife, some of the animal encounters you can have include whales, whale sharks, and turtles.

Other possible detours for the Perth to Broome road trip include Lancelin’s sand dunes, Jurien Bay’s seal lions, Geraldton, Monkey Mia’s dolphin and other marine life.

One of the best places to go whale watching is Ningaloo Reef (accessed from Exmouth or Coral Bay). Here you can swim with whale sharks, manta rays, and other marine life. Other great spots for whale watching are Monkey Mia and Broome.

For incredible snorkelling, head to Turquoise Bay or Oyster Stacks in Exmouth, Coral Bay, and Jurien Bay.

You can find a full list of attractions and things to do on these destination pages (links in the itinerary below too).

views over rocks in exmouth
Charles Knife Canyon Exmouth

10. Hiking

Hikers should consider spending a day or two hiking in Karijini National Park. You will find breathtaking gorges and waterfalls, and the gorgeous Knox and Joffre Falls Lookouts. Those looking for a longer hike can climb Mount Bruce’s summit. Other great hiking opportunities are available in Cape Range National Park (Exmouth) and Kalbarri.

These activities are best enjoyed during the cooler months of April to September.

11. Fishing

Opportunities for fishing along the way are vast. Anglers can find some of the best spots in Jurien Bay, Shark Bay, Coral Bay, and Exmouth.

My Thoughts on our Perth to Broome Road Trip

I’m glad we did it. The road trip was an adventure for our family and a lot of fun. However, the distances between attractions are vast with not much to see inbetween. If you want to see a large part of Western Australia, this is the itinerary for you.

If you have any questions, please join our community on Facebook, where we are happy to answer them.

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Flights ✈️

We fly Virgin Australia domestically due to their competitive prices and fantastic customer service, and fly with Qatar Airways to Europe.

Accommodation 🏩

We mainly use Booking.com for accommodation as they consistently have the lowest rates with free cancellation on most properties.

For pet sitting in Western Australia and worldwide, we are members of Trusted Housesitters. Free accommodation for pet and house sitting.

Car Rental 🚘

To compare rental car company prices, we use Discover Cars, an award-winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are highly rated.

Campervan/RV Rental 🚐

DriveNow is a good resource to compare campervan hire in Western Australia as it includes all the large companies like Britz, Maui, and Jucy as well as smaller ones.

Travel Insurance 🌏

Cover-More and Travel Insurance Direct are our preferred travel insurance companies for domestic and international travel.

See this Travel Insurance for Australia guide for more information.