girl sitting looking over z bend gorge kalbarri western australia

Local’s Perth to Kalbarri Road Trip Itinerary 2023

This Perth to Kalbarri Road Trip Itinerary will provide you with memories to remember for a long time. The route winds its way along the coast, taking in crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, and dramatic cliff faces. There’s plenty to see, so be sure to pack your camera and your sense of adventure!

Dave was born in WA and I moved here in 2000. Since then we’ve explored this beautiful state and have visited Kalbarri numerous times with our daughters.

western australia expert disclosure

Distance Perth to Kalbarri Road Trip

The driving distance from Perth to Kalbarri is 571 km to 575 km, depending on your chosen route.

Perth to Kalbarri Drive Time

The drive time (non-stop) from Perth to Kalbarri is six hours and ten minutes.

How to get from Perth to Kalbarri by road

International and domestic visitors will fly into Perth Airport. Find details about visas, prohibited items, currency, and safety in this Australia Travel Guide and tips on arriving into WA and other essential travel information in this Western Australia Travel Guide.

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

To compare Australia 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 have a high rate of customer satisfaction.

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

Compare Rental Cars Here.

The quickest way from Perth is to take the 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.

Indian Ocean Drive connects with Brand Highway south of Port Denison, which takes you to Northampton, where you’ll turn off towards Kalbarri.

Read these Indian Ocean Drive Tips to stay safe on these roads (there have been numerous accidents on Indian Ocean Drive).

Perth to Kalbarri Road Trip Itinerary

Duration: Four to Seven Days

Best Time: Year-round but summer can be scorching (excellent for beaches, though). I like spring (wildflowers) and autumn (hiking).

Kalbarri can be reached in just over six hours from Perth by road, but consider stopping along the way to break up the journey or make it part of a road trip. Make rest stops if you’re planning to drive to Kalbarri in one go to prevent driver fatigue.

Pick and choose where to stop from Perth to Kalbarri, depending on the length of time you have.

1. Cervantes & The Pinnacles

The first place to stop, two hours from Perth, is the Pinnacles to marvel at these incredible limestone pillars in Nambung National Park.

If you’re not planning on driving to Kalbarri in one day, pop into Cervantes to see this small coastal community.

limestone pillars called the pinnacles in the desert at nambung national park western australia

The Pinnacles

Find out more about the Pinnacles, entry fees, and how to see them by clicking the link below.

How to see the Pinnacles ↗

2. Jurien Bay

Jurien Bay is half an hour from Cervantes and two and a half hours from Perth. It’s a great place to stop if you have kids to break up the journey as the town has playgrounds and a skate park. So, grab a coffee and pie from the bakery and head down to the foreshore.

people sitting on a sandy beach with a long jetty going out into the ocean at jurien bay western australia

Things To Do in Jurien Bay

For a complete list of things to do in Jurien Bay, click the link below.

Things to do in Jurien Bay ↗

3. Port Denison/Dongara

One of my favourite places on this route is the small fishing town of Port Denison. Consider an overnight stay here if you want to extend your Perth to Kalbarri road trip.

a sculpture of a giant red western lobster in port denison dongara western australia

Things To Do in Port Denison & Dongara

For a complete list of things to do in Port Denison, the best places to stay, where to eat, and other tips, click the link below.

Things to do in Port Denison ↗

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. Geraldton

This coastal city has plenty to offer with cafes, restaurants, shopping, arts, history, and beaches. If you want to extend your trip, you can take a tour like this Full Day Tour of the Abrolhos Islands.

Geraldton is 45 minutes from Port Denison and under five hours from Perth.

boats in a marina with a wooden jetty in Geraldton wa

Things To Do in Geraldton

For a complete list of things to do in Geraldton, the best places to stay, and other tips, click the link below.

Things to do in Geraldton ↗

5. Northampton

Forty minutes from Geraldton lies the country town of Northampton, which was registered as a Historic Town of Importance in 1993. The main things to do in Northampton centre around the town’s history, notably the Church of St Mary in Ara Coeli, Convent of the Sacred Heart, and Chiverton House.

an old convent building in northampton western australia

Things To Do in Northampton

Read about the history and find out what to do in this guide on things to do in Northampton.

Things to do in Northampton ↗

6. Pink Lake (Hutt Lagoon)

Hutt Lagoon, aka Pink Lake, is known for its incredible changes in colour throughout the day. It can go from bright pink to light purple, depending on the time of day and the amount of cloud cover. The sight can be best appreciated by air, like on this 70-minute Pink Lake Scenic Flight.

The best times to visit Hutt Lagoon are mid-morning and sunset, but it’s still worth visiting as you will be driving right past on the final leg of your Perth to Kalbarri road trip.

pink lake dried up near kalbarri western australia
Pink Lake can be seen on your Perth to Kalbarri Road Trip

7. Kalbarri

The final stop on your road trip and the best part – Kalbarri. Aim to stay here for at least two full days to experience this beautiful part of Western Australia. If you like hiking, you’re in for a treat, as trails lead you through some of the most incredible natural landscapes.

There’s a lot to do in Kalbarri, so make sure you leave enough time in your Perth to Kalbarri road trip itinerary to fit it all in.

two girls sitting in natures window kalbarri national park

Things To Do in Kalbarri

This travel guide to Kalbarri offers an extensive list of things to do, where to eat, the best accommodation, and a brief history of the town.

Things to do in Kalbarri ↗

🤩 Book a scenic Kalbarri Cruise here

Add-ons for a Perth to Kalbarri Road Trip

To increase this Perth to Kalbarri road trip, you have the option to stop at more places on the way to Kalbarri by adding this Indian Ocean Road Trip. Alternatively, you can extend the trip north to Exmouth as per this Perth to Exmouth road trip.

Kalbarri Accommodation

a huge balcony at kalbarri seafront villas with views over the murchison river at sunset
Kalbarri Seafront Villas Townhouse

On our last visit to Kalbarri, we stayed in a villa at Kalbarri Tudor Holiday Park. It was clean and had enough room for our family of four. A bonus was that we could use all the facilities in the holiday park.

We have previously stayed at the Kalbarri Seafront Villas in the townhouse as this was the only villa left. It sleeps up to eight, with four bedrooms. The double-storey unit has a full kitchen, laundry, bathroom, dining table, and lounge area downstairs with all the bedrooms, another bathroom and lounge upstairs.

We spent most time upstairs as the views were beautiful from the lounge and balcony. The downstairs area looked tired and the townhouse only had evaporative air conditioning with oil heaters provided for the winter (no heating in the bathrooms).

Read our guide on the best accommodation in Kalbarri, which includes lots of tips and advice.

Book early to avoid disappointment as accommodation gets booked up quickly during peak season and school holidays.

Kalbarri Camping

We’ve camped at Kalbarri Tudor Holiday Park, which is centrally located and within walking distance to restaurants and the seafront.

Other caravan parks include Kalbarri Red Bluff Tourist Park, Murchison River Caravan Park, and Kalbarri Anchorage Caravan Park.

Free camping is not allowed in Kalbarri, including Kalbarri National Park.

the playground in kalbarri tudor holiday park where to stay in your perth to kalbarri road trip
Kalbarri Tudor Holiday Park

Perth to Kalbarri 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
  • Duct tape
  • Umbrella/rain protection
  • 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 useful if you are planning to travel into 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
  • Clothes, footwear, swimwear, towels
  • Camera, drone, phone, tablet, and chargers
  • Entertainment (cards, boardgames, books etc.)
  • Guide book (I still like having a paper version)

Tips for a Perth to Kalbarri 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.
  • Pack a picnic to enjoy at one of the beautiful parks on your road trip to Kalbarri. Maybe make a flask of tea or coffee too.
  • Make sure you have plenty of water for your journey – stay hydrated.
  • Keep some snacks handy for the car journey.
  • 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 Kalbarri.

Read More:

Save Money Planning your Trip

Click on the links which will take you direct to the website.

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.

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, 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.

Western Australia Travel Guide

If you found this Perth to Kalbarri Road Trip Itinerary helpful, please consider booking through one of our links. It won’t cost you anything but will help towards the cost of running this site. Thank you.