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The Best Perth to Esperance Road Trip Itinerary: Locals Guide 2024

Kaya/hello. I’m Wendy and have lived in Western Australia for over twenty years. During this time I’ve been on countless road trips within our state, including Esperance.

In this post, I’ll be sharing Esperance road trip itineraires which include a variety of destinations depending on the length of time you have.

This post may contain affiliate links (of companies I book through). This means I may receive a small commission if you book through them. You can read the disclaimer for more information.

🤩 To Book Tours Direct with the Tour Operators, click the links in the box below


Perth to Esperance Road Trip Itinerary Summary

Perth to Esperance Road Trip Long Itinerary

  • Perth to Busselton/Dunsborough
  • Busselton to Margaret River
  • Margaret River to Pemberton
  • Pemberton to Denmark & Albany
  • Albany to Bremer Bay
  • Bremer Bay to Esperance
  • Esperance to Wave Rock & York
  • York to Perth

Perth to Esperance Road Trip Short Itinerary

  • Perth to Albany
  • Albany to Esperance
  • Esperance to Perth via Wave Rock

Perth to Esperance Road Trip via Kalgoorlie

  • Perth to Albany
  • Albany to Esperance
  • Esperance to Kalgoorlie
  • Kalgoorlie to Perth

How to get from Perth to Esperance

a long straight road with dry fields either side of the road
Driving from Albany to Eseprance

Perth to Esperance Flights

If you want to get to Esperance fast, then flying is the way. Currently, only REX (Regional Express) are flying from Perth to Esperance, with a flight time of 90 minutes.

By Bus

TransWA run bus services to Esperance. However, it’s easier to get around this region with a vehicle.

By Road

Of course, we prefer to travel from Perth to Esperance by car. There are a few options for road trips, which are outlined further on.

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.

Perth to Esperance Road Trip Itinerary

There are a few options when considering a road trip from Perth to Esperance.

To drive direct will take around seven and a half hours without stops. It is doable, but we prefer to break up our journey and see more of Western Australia.

There are two itineraries that are the best; a two-week road trip via Albany or an extended three to four-week itinerary taking in the best of the South West and Southern region of Western Australia.

The shorter route takes you from Perth to Albany, then on to Esperance, and returning to Perth via Wave Rock and York. It covers 1,621 km and 17 hours of driving time.

Perth to Albany

Albany is 419 km south of Perth and will take around 4 hours and 40 minutes to drive non-stop. The route is via Albany Highway (also called State Route 30).

There are several towns along the way to break the journey up. Our guide on a Perth to Albany Road Trip shows you the best places to stop and what to see.

Albany is a safe, peaceful town with stunning natural beauty. It is full of history, delicious food, and gorgeous beaches.

Allow at least five days in Albany; this guide lists all the best things to do in Albany.

a sandy cove with clear turquoise ocean in albany western australia
Waterfall Beach, Little Peoples Bay Albany

Albany Camping & Budget Accommodation

We stayed in a two-bedroom cabin at Middleton Beach Caravan Park. This campsite is right on the beach and a 10-minute drive from the centre of Albany. It was perfect as it had kitchen facilities and bathrooms, plus it was only a short walk to cafes.

Rated 9⭐️with over 580 reviews.

See Prices & Availability here

white cabin at big4 middleton beach holiday park in albany
Cabin by Big4 Middleton Beach Holiday Park

Albany Mid-Range Accommodation

On our second visit, we stayed at Banksia at Middleton. It’s in a perfect location in the heart of Middleton Beach. The apartment itself was clean, with full kitchen facilities. The bedrooms were upstairs, along with the bathroom. The décor is a bit dated, but it’s reflected in the price. The air conditioning is downstairs, so we found it a bit hot upstairs (we stayed at the hottest time of the year). The other down point was the pipes occasionally groaned when water was turned on.

Read more Reviews here

wooden dining table with breakfast items and blue kitchen in the background with a white oven
Banksia at Middleton

For future stays, we would consider Pelicans Middleton Beach. These apartments are also situated in Middleton Beach and feature a fully equipped kitchen, a separate living room, a flat-screen TV, free cable channels, and a DVD player. Some apartments also have a spa bath.

Rated 8.8⭐️ from over 1,600 reviews.

Read Reviews here

See this guide on the best accommodation in Albany for more options.

Albany AccommodationRatingPrice# of GuestsBook
Big 4 Emu Beach Holiday Park8.9$2-8Book Here
Pelicans Middleton Beach8.8$$2-7Book Here
Albany Bali Style Accommodation9.4$$2Book Here
Dolphin Lodge8.9$$2-9Book Here

Tours in Albany

The top 5 most popular tours are:

Most Popular Albany ToursRatingLengthBookings
Kalgan Queen Scenic Cruises54 hrsBook Here
National Anzac Centre General Entry Ticket4.51-4 hrsBook Here
Albany Wildlife and Scenic Cruise54 hrsBook Here
Albany Summit to Sea Adventure – Guided Segway Tour52 hrsBook Here
Granite Skywalk Porongurups4.55 hrsBook Here

Albany to Esperance Road Trip

The drive from Albany to Esperance will take under five hours along National Route 1. It’s a long drive with little in between the towns.

Ravensthorpe is three hours outside Albany and the perfect place to stop on the way to Esperance. It’s a small country town with a Foodworks store, petrol station, post office, gift shop, and historic buildings. Look out for the painted silos just before Ravensthorpe town centre, part of the Silos Public Art Trail.

three huge wheat silos covered in art with a bird and flowers
Ravensthorpe Wheat Silos

Bremer Bay is ideal if you want to break up the journey with an overnight stop. It’s an hour and 45 minutes drive from Albany, but a detour from the main highway.

The beaches here are beautiful, and Bremer Bay is the place to see Orcas (Killer Whales) from January to April. This was one of the best wildlife experiences we have done in Australia.

You can read about our experience on the Orca Bremer Bay Whale Watching Tour.

two orcas in the ocean close up
Photos from our Orca Whale Watch Tour

We stayed in Esperance for three days, which was long enough for us. It would depend on what activities you want to do there and if you want extra time to relax. If this is the case, I would add another couple of days.

Further Reading: what there is to do in Esperance.

Camping | Budget Accommodation in Esperance

We stayed at the Esperance Bay Holiday Park in their Two-bedroom Deluxe Chalet. The unit was spotless, with a self-contained kitchen and reverse-cycle air conditioning in the lounge and dining area. The master bedroom had a queen bed and television, while the second bedroom had bunk beds. The bathroom was modern, with a large shower, toilet, and basin. There was parking for our car and a small area to sit outside. The campsite is centrally located, within a short walk of the Esplanade and town. Photos can be seen in the gallery further on.

It was a good budget option, and we would stay here again.

Rated 8.8⭐️ from over 770 reviews.

See Prices & Availability here

The Best Perth to Esperance Road Trip Itinerary: Locals Guide 2024
Esperance Bay Holiday Park Deluxe Chalet Bedroom

For more ideas, see this article on the best accommodation in Esperance.

Esperance to Wave Rock & York

We had planned on returning via Kalgoorlie, but the road was closed due to massive bushfires, so we decided to take the inland route from Esperance to Wave Rock and York.

Wave Rock, in Hyden, is 382 km from Esperance. The route takes you back to Ravensthorpe and then along State Route 40. This road was closed in the previous weeks due to fires, and we witnessed the black trees and landscape. The photo below shows what it was like; excuse our dirty windscreen (a result of driving in the Australian country).

long road with burnt trees either side of the road from huge bushfire seen on a perth to esperance road trip
Burnt bushland from fires near Esperance

I’d wanted to visit Wave Rock after seeing all the photos on Instagram. If you haven’t heard of Wave Rock, it’s a 2,700 million-year-old natural rock formation shaped like a, yes you guessed it, wave. Over 100,000 people visit Hyden Wildlife Park to see this attraction every year.

The Ballardong People believe that the Rainbow Serpent created Wave Rock by dragging her swollen body through the land after consuming all the water.

We visited in the summer, so it was too hot for a longer hike, and the flies were crazy. It’s beautiful during spring when the ground is covered with colour from the Western Australian Wildflowers.

Read this post about Wave Rock for more information.

a huge rock in the shape of a wave
Wave Rock

After leaving Wave Rock, it’s a two-and-a-half hour drive to York, where we stayed overnight. A couple of country towns that are worth stopping along the way are Corrigin and Quairading.

York was Western Australia’s first inland European settlement, dating back to 1831. This town is a wonderful example of colonial architecture. The beautiful Edwardian York Town Hall was built in 1911 and is now home to the York Visitor Centre.

a town hall building with clock above the door and yellow paintwork
York Town Hall

Apart from the historic buildings and the York Residency Museum, York has a couple of scenic walk trails; The Avon River Walk and Janet Millet Lane. Whatever route you decide, make sure to cross the suspension bridge.

Download a copy of the map here.

Where To Stay in York

Due to having to change our plans due to the fires, we ended up in York for New Year’s Eve. Having to book at the last minute didn’t leave us with many options. We weren’t happy with our accommodation, so I’m not going to recommend it.

A few guesthouses on Booking.Com have fantastic reviews and are rated over 9 by guests. After reading the reviews, I would book either Hope Farm Guesthouse, York’s Lookout Lodge Bed And Breakfast, or Laurelville. Click on the links to see up to date prices.

Perth is less than 100 km from York. Make the most of your day by stopping at Mundaring, the Swan Valley, or John Forrest National Park on your way back.

Extending your Perth to Esperance Road Trip

If you want to extend your road trip, travel the longer route from Perth to Margaret River then Margaret River to Albany via Pemberton and Walpole.

This Best of the South West Road Trip guide discusses the best route, places to stay, and what to do.

Perth to Esperance Road Trip Packing List

  • 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)
white sand bay with turquoise ocean and people swimming with blue skies
Hellfire Bay in Cape Le Grand National Park Esperance

Tips for a Perth to Esperance Road Trip

  • Leave early in the morning to arrive well before dusk when animals can hinder and danger the roads.
  • Don’t drive tired. If you feel sleepy, pull over at one of the many rest stops on the side of the road. Try to share the driving.
  • Make sure you have plenty of water for your journey – stay hydrated.
  • Keep some snacks handy for the car journey.
  • Allow time to stop at least once in one of the destinations mentioned above.
  • Be prepared that you may lose the radio signal in some parts, so bring some music with you.
  • Know your route and research the best places to stop along the way. Our Western Australia travel guides provide great advice on which hotels, restaurants and attractions to visit.
  • Check for road closures which can be closed due to several factors, including bush fires.
  • 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. The maximum speed limit for a vehicle towing a trailer or caravan is 100 kmph, unless otherwise signposted.
  • 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.
  • Keep up to date with emergency advice on the WA Emergency site.
  • The open road speed limit is 110 km per hour and 50 km per hour in built up areas. However, 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.
  • Carry a first aid kit.
  • It is highly recommended to have a GPS in order to avoid getting lost or download a mapping app like Avenza that provides a map even when you are out of range.
  • Note a list of emergency contacts before you leave.
  • Keep valuables out of sight.

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

Helpful Resources

Questions I’m asked about Perth to Esperance

How far is Perth to Esperance?

Driving direct from Perth to Esperance is about 700 km, which will take about 7 1/2 hours by car.

What is the distance from Albany to Esperance?

It is 481.3 km from Albany to Esperance.

What is the quickest way to Esperance from Perth?

The quickest way to Esperance from Perth is on Brookton Highway (State Route 40), Great Southern Highway (State Route 120), State Route 107, then State Route 40 to Ravensthorpe. This distance is 696 km and will take around 7 hours and 25 minutes by car.

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Save Money Planning Your Trip

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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.