The Ultimate 5 Day Perth To Kalbarri Road Trip | Western Australia

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The Perth to Kalbarri drive is a popular road trip route for those looking to explore Western Australia’s coastline. This 5-day journey will take you through some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, from Perth’s cityscape and beaches to the red cliffs and gorges of Kalbarri National Park.

We take you through the ultimate 5-day Perth to Kalbarri road trip itinerary as you make your way along the beautiful Coral Coast. Pack your bags and let’s go!

pot alley kalbarri

The Ultimate 5 Day Perth To Kalbarri Road Trip Itinerary

When we started planning our Western Australia itinerary, the first place on the list was always Kalbarri. There was something so about this remote coastal town and the surrounding national park that made it a must-visit.

And the beautiful sights along the way were a nice bonus in this breathtaking part of Australia!

We didn’t have the time to head all the way up north or as far down south as we would have liked as a part of a longer itinerary, but a Kalbarri road trip doesn’t need all that long.

5 days is the perfect amount of time to enjoy this midwest region!

Make sure you check out our ultimate guide for road trip planning!

Preparing For Your Perth Kalbarri Drive

natures window kalbarri

If you’re coming from Perth, the drive to Kalbarri will take around 6 hours. It is a big drive that you can do in a single day, but to really enjoy it, the slow travel option is definitely nicer. Especially if visiting with kids as we did.

The route can be quite isolated in places so you will need to make sure you have a reliable vehicle for the trip.

If you are visiting Western Australia, you can hire a car from Perth airport. Or you can hire a campervan instead. Jucy Campervans are a budget option in Australia.

And be sure to pack plenty of snacks, drinking water and road trip entertainment for the kids. You will be glad you did!

Road Trip Meal Planner

Check out our road trip meal planning tips, meal ideas & grab the free printable meal plan and food list.

Where Is Kalbarri?

The town of Kalbarri is located in the Midwest region of Western Australia. The distance from Perth to Kalbarri is around 570km north of Perth following Indian Ocean Drive, and 160km north of Geraldton.

You can easily drive the Perth to Kalbarri distance in a single day, but it’s more fun to take your time!

The Kalbarri National Park surrounds the town and stretches all the way down to the coast, making it a popular spot for hiking, fishing, swimming, and wildlife spotting.

Best Time To Visit Kalbarri

red bluff beach sunset

The best time to visit Kalbarri is during the spring and autumn months when the weather is milder. The summer can be quite hot which isn’t ideal if you have plans for a lot of outdoorsy activities and hikes.

However, visiting in winter is a popular time as well, with it being wildflower season.

Yet, there is no real bad time to visit. We visited in December and yes, it was extremely hot but it was also beautiful beach weather to explore the coastal towns along the way.

Perth To Kalbarri 5 Day Itinerary

Make sure you allow plenty of time for your journey – there’s nothing worse than rushing and not being able to enjoy the amazing scenery along the way. Perth to Kalbarri drive is best done over a few days!

Here is our 5 day Kalbarri Perth to Kalbarri itinerary:

Day 1 – Perth To Geraldton

geraldton town beach

Leave Perth in the morning of your first day, and make your way north on the Brand Highway towards Geraldton for your first overnight stop. This first stop will take around four and a half hours.

Depending on what time you leave Perth, you can either stop for lunch along the way or wait until you arrive in Geraldton.

Geraldton is a small coastal town that makes a great base for exploring the area. There are plenty of accommodation options as well as restaurants and cafes.

If visiting during the summer months, the splash park and playground at the foreshore is a hit with the kids and Town Beach is a great option for swimming. There is a pontoon you can swim out to.

point more lighthouse geraldton

Geraldton also has some great areas for snorkelling, especially near Point Moore Lighthouse. Or if you have the time, head out on a day trip to Houtman Abrolhos Islands.

During the cooler months, head to The Museum of Geraldton to learn about the town and marine history of Geraldton, with plenty of interactive exhibits for all ages.

Where To Stay: We stayed at Belair Gardens Caravan Park in a family spa cabin. It is an older holiday park but fine for a single night stay, with facilities to keep the kids entertained, including a swimming pool and playground.

Day 2 – Geralton to Kalbarri

hutt lagoon

Leave Geraldton early and make your way further north to Port Gregory where you will find the natural phenomenon of the pink lake – Hutt Lagoon.

Hutt Lagoon is a pink salt lake that is best viewed from the lookout on top of the hill. There is a car parking area and it’s an easy walk down to the lake if you want a closer look.

The colour of the lake will depend on the time of day and the weather. A clear blue sky on a sunny day, when the sun is at its highest (between 10 am and 2 pm) to get the most brilliant bubblegum pink.

Want to splurge? Take a scenic flight over Hutt Lagoon for incredible aerial views!

From there, make your way to Kalbarri, which is around 40 minutes further north.

Enjoy a picnic at the Kalbarri Foreshore. Kids will love the huge adventure playground. This is also a great area for swimming and water sports if you’re feeling adventurous.

blue holes kalbarri kids playing

After lunch, head to the Blue Holes and explore the incredible rock pools to see if you can spot any marine life.

For dinner, there are not a lot of places to dine in Kalbarri however you will find a few options to suit all budgets.

Or head to IGA supermarket and grab some supplies to make your own dinner at your accommodation if you are staying somewhere self-contained. We did this for most of our Kalbarri stay.

Where To Stay: We stayed at the incredible Kalbarri Red Bluff Tourist Park for both nights in Kalbarri and it was fantastic. Modern self-contained 2 bedroom cabins with everything you need for a long or short stay. There is also a swimming pool for hot days and a short walk to the Red Bluffs and Red Bluff Beach.

Need more help planning your next road trip? Grab our mammoth printable planner!!

Ultimate road trip planner

Day 3 – Kalbarri National Park

Pack your day back with snacks, water and a camera for a day out in Kalbarri National Park.

Entry into the National park is $15 per car for a day pass. You can get your day pass either from the ticket booth when there is someone in attendance, or from the ticket machine.

If you plan to do any of the hiking tracks, head in early to beat the heat. Some of the tracks are not allowed to be accessed after 7 am in summer, so make a plan of which you want to do before your visit.

natures window family

Otherwise, for shorter walking trails, the Natures Window loop trail is just a 1 km loop from the car park.

You can do this walk in around 40 minutes, depending on how long you spend at Natures Window enjoying the scenery and the natural bridge.

Then head to nearby Kalbarri Skywalk and enjoy the incredible views from the two skywalk decks overlooking the river and gorge.

There is a cafe here, however, it is not open all year round so check before your visit if you are hoping to grab food while you are there. There are plenty of picnic areas otherwise to bring your own.

Nature’s Window and the Kalbarri Skywalk are two of Kalbarri’s main attractions yet they aren’t the only things to do in Kalbarri!

view from natures window

Afterwards, try one of the many coastal walks in various lengths throughout the National Park or the Z bend lookout over the Murchison River.

We headed to Pot Alley instead which is a short 400-metre return track down through the rocky gorge and well worth it for the incredible views of this private beach area.

It was a bit wild for swimming but it was a beautiful spot to explore and climb the rocks for a great view of the Indian Ocean. The kids thought it was a load of fun climbing the giant rocks.

pot alley

Afterwards, we headed back to our holiday park for lunch and a swim in the pool and a bit of relaxing after a huge morning.

In the late afternoon, take a stroll along Red Bluff Beach and watch the sun setting over the coastal cliffs and across the ocean. This is a truly great place to watch the sun go down.

Day 4 – Kalbarri to Jurien Bay

jurien bay jetty view of beach

Today, is another big driving day for your final stop overnight, making your way from Kalbarri to Jurien Bay. The drive is just under 4 hours, depending on how many stops you make along the way.

This is a great spot for a stop on your Perth to Kalbarri road trip as there are plenty of things to do in Jurien Bay. From white sandy beaches to wildlife tours to see bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales.

If you hit the road really early, you will get to Jurien Bay early enough to take a tour swimming with the sea lions, which is one of the main attractions in Jurien Bay.

jurien bay foreshore playground

Kids will love the Dobbyn Foreshore Playground. It’s relatively new and huge, built out of recycled marine materials and tyres. There is also a skate park and youth hangout area and of course the beautiful beaches and turquoise water.

There are some great walks in the area, such as Turquoise Way, which takes you past the Jurien Bay foreshore and Jurien Bay Marine Park.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, there are also some great spots for snorkelling and fishing.

For dinner, take a short drive to The Lobster Shack in Cervantes if you’re looking for a feast of fresh seafood straight from the ocean. It’s only around 20 minutes from Jurien Bay, otherwise, you will find plenty of options within walking distance from the foreshore area.

Where To Stay: We stayed at Jurien Bay Tourist Park right on the foreshore. The holiday park has a campground and cabins. We stayed in a 2 bedroom cabin with a kitchenette and spa. It was a great location with plenty of facilities.

Day 5 – Jurien Bay to Perth

pinnacles desert

Start your day early heading from Jurien Bay to Nambung National Park where you will find the Pinnacles Desert. The Pinnacles are a unique natural wonder, with limestone formations standing tall.

Get your $15 national park day pass at the gate then park and do the Pinnacles walking loop.

This takes around 40 minutes although we went a little off route when we couldn’t find the markers and took a little longer, exploring this super cool area, hoping to spot an emu. No such luck, but we did see a kangaroo!

Afterwards, you can drive around the park on the driving track which takes you to a different area of the Pinnacles desert and it’s very cool to be able to drive your car around the massive limestone rocks.

sand board at lancelin

If you’re feeling adventurous on your way back from Kalbarri to Perth, stop off at Lancelin and hire a sandboard from any of the stores in town. Almost every shop has boards for hire.

Head to the Lancelin sand dunes for some fun. This is a great way to entertain the kids for cheap with sandboard hire around $10-12 per hour. We shared one between the 4 of us, but even hiring a few boards, it is still a great value activity for the whole family.

Afterwards, make your way back to Perth after an incredible few days exploring the beautiful midwest Western Australia region!

For something different – See The Pinnacles by night on a stargazing tour from Perth.

road trip packing list

If You Have More Than 5 Days

If you have an extra few days or longer to spend in Western Australia, you can head further north and enjoy Monkey Mia and the Denham area, or do as we did and start or end your trip by heading south and exploring Margaret River for a few days.

You can check out our 4-day Busselton and Margaret River itinerary for inspiration.

Check out our 10 day itinerary for Western Australia combing Margaret River and Kalbarri.

To head further north, you likely need at least 2-3 weeks and could easily spend a month or more exploring beautiful Western Australia!

A Perth to Kalbarri Road Trip has it all – from stunning beaches and national parks to unique wildlife encounters. It’s the perfect base for exploring Western Australia’s vast landscape without needing a 4WD to do so. If you only have a short time to make the most of your time in Western Australia, this itinerary will certainly deliver some breathtaking scenery and memories that will last long after you head home!

Book Your Kalbarri Road Trip:

  • Flights – We use Skyscanner or WayAway to research, set price alerts and book flights.
  • Car hire – compare the best car rental prices.
  • Trains & Buses – We book with Omio
  • Accommodation – We use Booking.com or Agoda to book most of our hotel accommodation when we travel.
  • Travel insurance – Protect yourself and your belongings with World Nomads Travel Insurance.
  • Tours & attractions – Our preferred attraction and tour booking sites are Get Your Guide and Viator. Booking ahead will mean you don’t miss out on popular tours!

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perth to kalbarri road trip itinerary