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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. Pack your bags and let’s go!
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!
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.
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.
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
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
Leave Perth in the morning of your first day, and make your way north 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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 Riverfor a few days.
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:
Book your flights – We use Skyscanner to research and book flights. You can set up a price alert for your travel dates, plus it compares most major airlines in one place.
Car hire – Europcar are a great option for car rental.