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Explore Australia’s South-West on a Perth to Adelaide road trip, driving your way through some of the most stunning places in Australia. From breath taking coastlines to the desolate Australian outback, this is a road trip to start planning now!
Before you set off on your road trip, you will need to decide how much time you have and the type of transport you are using.
If taking your own car or caravan, ensure they are up to date with servicing and maintenance before leaving.
If hiring a car, campervan or caravan, book with enough time to ensure you get the type of vehicle you want.
During busy travel seasons such as Christmas, Easter and school holidays, you may need to book further in advance for accommodation or campsites too.
How Long Do I Need For A Perth To Adelaide Road Trip?
At a minimum, you would need at least 2 weeks to do a Perth to Adelaide road trip one way.
This does not give you a lot of time at each stop though, so ideally 3-4 weeks for a return trip would be optimal. And if you have more time to spend, this would allow you to make more stops and detours.
You could do it quicker if going one way and flying back, but give yourself enough time to immerse yourself in the beautiful landscapes.
Distance Between Perth To Adelaide Stops
If you were to drive directly from Perth to Adelaide, with minimal stops, it will take more than 28 hours of driving. But there’s no fun in that, especially when part of your trip takes you through the Nullarbor!
These are the approximate distances between each of the main stops we will be covering in this Perth to Adelaide driving itinerary to help you plan your road trip stops.
Please note these times may differ depending on road conditions, road maintenance work, and other unexpected occurrences that may cause delays.
Perth to Busselton: 223 km | 2 hours 25 minutes
Busselton to Margaret River: 55 km | 40 minutes
Margaret River to Pemberton 131 km | 1 hour 30 minutes
Pemberton to Denmark: 185 km | 2 hours 5 minutes
Denmark to Albany: 55 km | 40 minutes
Albany to Bremer Bay: 162 km | 1 hour 45 minutes
Bremer Bay to Esperance: 380 km | 3 hours 50 minutes
Esperance to Norseman: 203 km | 2 hours 10 minutes
Norseman to Head of Bight: 930 km | 9 hours 35 minutes
Head of Bight to Streaky Bay: 394 km | 4 hours 10 minutes
Streaky Bay to Port Lincoln: 296 km | 3 hours 5 minutes
Port Lincoln to Whyalla: 267 km | 2 hours 45 minutes
Whyalla to Adelaide: 386 km | 4 hours 25 minutes
Choosing Your Transport
To drive from Perth to Adelaide, you can choose either car or campervan. There are benefits for each and both are great options.
If you have your own transport, taking the car is an easy option. Load it up with your luggage, summer gear and some road trip meals, and away you go.
If you don’t have your own car, you can easily hire one to drive Perth to Adelaide return. Or if you are short on time, take a hire car one way and fly home from Adelaide instead!
Especially if you are visiting Australia from elsewhere or wanting a vehicle that is better suited to a long road trip.
Travel Insurance: Make sure you don’t leave home without travel insurance. Trust us, it’s one of those things you don’t want to skip, especially when travelling with kids. We recommend World Nomads.
Accommodation On Your Road Trip
Depending on the type of vehicle you are taking, the accommodation you choose along the way will differ.
If you have a self-contained campervan or caravan, you can freedom camp or stay at affordable campsites.
If you are tent camping, download a free camping Australia app to find campsites with toilet facilities.
For road trips by car, there are hotels recommended at each stop. Some of these are more budget, others are in the mid-range. Alternatively, Airbnb can be great for finding affordable accommodation for your trip.
Where To Stop On Your South-West Australian Road Trip
Time to get inspired with some of the most incredible landscape, world-famous scenery and attractions as you road trip through South-West Australia.
Distance from Adelaide 2695 KM
If you are starting in Perth, it’s quite possible you are a Perth local, but just in case you’re not, let’s share some highlights of some of the best things you won’t want to miss.
There is plenty to keep you busy in Western Australia’s capital!
Spend a day exploring Fremantle, with restaurants, heritage buildings and trendy weekend markets. A river cruise along Swan River will allow you to see scenery only viewable on the water.
Or head to the beach for a day of sun and sand. Cottesloe Beach is iconic and you will find plenty to see and do.
Distance from Perth 274 KM | Distance from Adelaide2853 KM
For those looking for a beach getaway on their road trip from Perth to Adelaide, Margaret River is a top choice.
Located just over 2 hours south of Perth this beach town is actually world-famous. First and foremost for the Margaret River Pro, a surf competition that is just one stop on the World Surf League Tour.
Despite the large waves, there are smaller beaches for those wanting to learn to surf such as Redgate, Contos, Boranup Beach, and Gas Bay Beach.
You can also just relax at one of the many beaches and bays. Some of the best to look into include Meelup Beach, Point Piquet, Bunker Bay, and the famous Injidup Natural Spa.
In fact, a short drive out of town will have you road tripping through the stunning Boranup Karri Forest along Caves Road. Here you can enjoy the huge Karri Trees before stopping at any of the four caves that offer tours.
The best caves to visit are Lake Cave and Ngilgi Cave, both have guided tours and head to huge depths below the earth.
Last but certainly not least is the wineries.
The Margaret River Wine Region is a huge drawcard and one a wine tour you’ll not only see how beautiful it is but just how good the wines are!
Once the sun sets its time to hit the town for dinner and drinks.
A favourite of mine is the Margaret River Brewhouse. Here you can get lots of dishes and the best part is they use lots of fresh local ingredients!
Afterwards, you’re going to need a suitable place to rest your head and the Margaret River Holiday Cottages are perfect.
Located a little out of town they’re surrounded by pristine forest and back onto a natural reserve ideal for hiking and enjoying nature. Each cottage is fully self-contained and ranges from one-bedroom up to four so there’re perfect for families.
The Yeagarup Dunes are the largest land-locked mobile dune system in the southern hemisphere.
And it’s a lovely place – one of the most beautiful sights in the area.
On your way, you will pass through Hamelin Bay, which is famous for its stingrays, beautiful turquoise water, and wooden jetty ruins. You will have to consider nipping down here before you head off.
Also, you can head down to the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse and waterwheel, which is the most south-western point in Australia.
Augusta, a beautiful place for a waterside picnic lunch if you have the time. You will see dolphins and pelicans in the area. You can also visit the Jewel Cave if time permits you.
In terms of camping accommodation, Big Brook Arboretum and Leaning Marri – Yeagarup Lake are $7.50 per night for campsites. From here, you can walk or drive to Yeagarup Dunes if you went with a travel trailer or a 4WD SUV.
Distance from Perth 419 KM | Distance from Adelaide2626 KM
Albany is just 40 minutes from Denmark so if you are shorter on time, you can visit both in a day relatively easily. Although a day in each is definitely better!
Albany is the site of the first European settlement in Western Australia, with colonial buildings remaining. There are also some beautiful beaches, with Little Beach voted as one of Western Australia’s best beaches.
The Nullarbor Plain starts in Western Australian in Norseman, approximately 722 KM from Perth and ends at Ceduna in South Australia, 1921 KM from Perth. The journey will take around 12 and a half hours.
But there is one fun way to pass your time – The Nullarbor Links.
Pack your golf clubs, or bring a cheap club just to enjoy the novelty of playing a single hole of golf at each roadhouse and community along this long route. Kick-off with the first hole in Kalgoorlie.
Tip: Fill up with fuel before you start because it is expensive along the way. And only travel by daylight. The risks of wildlife on the road at night are high and it’s better to camp overnight instead!
WHERE TO EAT: There are roadhouses along the way to stop for a meal WHERE TO STAY: There are free camping stops plus accommodation at many of the roadhouses.
Head Of Bight
Distance from Perth 1648 KM | Distance from Adelaide1060 KM
If you are travelling from Perth to Adelaide from June to October, a stop at Head of the Bight is a must.
It is during these months that the Southern Right Whales come from Antarctica up to the relatively warm waters of the Great Australian Bight to mate and give birth.
Early in the season, you will see only adult whales, but from July onwards the calves will start to appear.
They will spend a couple of months playing and growing until September when they will start the journey back to Antarctic waters with their mums.
Head of the Bight offers the perfect opportunity to see these incredible creatures as they play.
The boardwalks sit on cliffs overlooking deep water so the whales are able to come in quite close.
With so many whales in the area, it’s not uncommon to stand on the viewing platforms and see more than twenty whales in close proximity.
Head of the Bight is very remote, with the nearest towns being Eucla 221km to the West or Fowlers Bay 164km to the East.
It is only 25km from the Nullarbor Roadhouse though, so if you are planning to stay in the area, this is your best option with motel rooms and a campground.
There is also a free camp area near the entrance of Head of the Bight for fully contained travellers.
The Nullarbor Roadhouse is again the closest location for meals, snacks, basic supplies, and fuel. There is a cafe at the Head of the Bight that offers drinks and simple meals such as toasted sandwiches or soup.
The Head of the Bight is open from 8 am to 5 pm every day from 1 June to 30 October. You can also visit during the offseason from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Distance from Perth 2029 KM | Distance from Adelaide700 KM
Streaky bay is 700 kilometres from Adelaide on the western side of Eyre Peninsula. After you have crossed the Nullarbor, it is the perfect place to stop and unwind.
The town sits on a bay and the jetty and beach are a great place to relax, fish and spot dolphins.
Check out the roadhouse for the great white shark display. There is also a self-guided walk and a national trust museum if you want to dig into the town’s history.
There is a lot of great scenery around Streaky Bay too.
There are a couple of loop drives that take you along the spectacular coastline. Our favourite is the Cape Bauer Loop.
Smooth Pool is great fun to explore and if the conditions are right Whistling Rock can put on a great show.
Murphy’s Haystack is 15 minutes from ‘Streaky’. These giant granite boulders in the middle of a paddock are a great sight. Kids will love climbing over them.
For some wildlife, Point Labatt is 30 minutes from Streaky has a large colony of Australian Sea Lions. The views from the cliffs are fantastic and the sea lions below are fun to watch!
There are two caravan parks – we have stayed at both. The Streaky Bay Foreshore Park is right on the water and is ideal for families.
Streaky Bay Islands Caravan Park is five minutes out of town. If private bathrooms, big sites, and a quieter atmosphere are your thing, this is the place for you.
The pick of the spots to eat is the Streaky Bay Hotel. They have good pub grub but best of all it is right on the waterfront. If you want somewhere to relax and have a drink and a meal while you watch a great sunset this is the perfect place.
If you have a 4WD, take a self-drive day trip along Whalers Way to explore the Eyre Peninsula in an unforgettable way. This is private property so head to the Port Lincoln Visitors Centre to arrange access.