10 Day Southern Western Australia Road Trip: The Perfect Itinerary

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If you’re looking for the perfect road trip itinerary, look no further! We’ll take you on a 10-day journey on a southern Western Australia road trip. This route is perfect for those who want to see as much of the area as possible, and it includes some of the most popular tourist destinations in the region.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your road trip today!

eagle bay margaret river

10-Day Mid & Southern Western Australia Road Trip

Exploring the West Coast of Australia is one of the great road trips in the country. The road less travelled for most tourists, this trip takes in some of southern Western Australia’s best sights and attractions.

To see all of Western Australia, you really need a couple of months or at least 6 weeks for an express trip. If you’ve got under 2 weeks but want to make the most of your time in Western Australia, this south west Australia road trip is a perfect way to do that!

Taking in the highlights of Perth and Margaret River and up to Kalbarri in the midwest.

Preparing For Your Western Australian Road Trip

It is essential you have a reliable car to road trip Western Australia. The state of WA is huge and there are a lot of remote areas, so the last thing you want is to break down with over an hour until the next stop.

Although the southwest is far less remote than northern Western Australia!

You can hire a car from Perth airport upon arrival. If you are travelling with kids, we recommend getting a larger car such as an SUV for extra space and comfort.

There is accommodation at each of the stops to suit each budget.

Alternatively, you might prefer to hire a campervan for your trip. This can be a great way to travel on a budget if you don’t mind the small space for 10 days. This way you can stay at holiday parks, caravan parks and free camping sites.

Check out our Jucy Campervans review for a budget option.

road trip packing list

Best Time To Go On a South Western Australia Road Trip

Typically, the best time to go on a road trip in Western Australia is during the winter and autumn months. The temperatures are milder and it’s not as hot as the summer months. Although it can be unpredictable, rain is less common in winter than at other times of the year.

However, in the south, winter can be downright freezing, so you may prefer to visit when it is warmer.

busselton beach

We did our WA road trip in December so it was hot and sometimes uncomfortably so, however, for the most part, it was a great time since we got to enjoy the beaches and water activities.

After all, Western Australia has some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia!

If you’re looking for wildflowers, then April to September is the best time to visit.

RELATED READING: Essential beach trip packing list

Our WA Road Trip Summary

We have kicked off the itinerary at the start of our actual road trip, however, we spent a couple of days in Perth visiting with family before starting our road trip.

We recommend arriving the day before since the flight to Perth is quite long from pretty much everywhere. This gives you a chance to get a great night sleep before you kick-off:

Here is a quick summary of our Western Australia itinerary:

  • Day 1 – Perth To Busselton
  • Day 2 – Margaret River Region
  • Day 3 – Margaret River Region
  • Day 4 – Busselton To Perth
  • Day 5 – Perth To Geraldton
  • Day 6 – Geraldton to Kalbarri
  • Day 7 – Kalbarri Region
  • Day 8 – Kalbarri to Jurien Bay
  • Day 9 – Jurien Bay to Perth
  • Day 10 – Perth Region

Day 1 – Perth To Busselton

Distance: 223 km | 2 hours 25 minutes

Start your journey by driving from the city of Perth to Busselton, home to the longest wooden pier in the southern hemisphere. This is a great place to start your road trip and a beautiful coastal town to easily explore the nearby Margaret River region.

Stop off at Bunbury for lunch. Hello Summer Beach Kiosk had some great meals and is right on the foreshore.

bunbury dolphin discovery centre

There is also an incredible playground and the Dolphin Discovery Centre, which is an aquarium and a great place to stop and stretch the legs for an hour or two while learning about Western Australia marine life. They also run dolphin swimming tours.

Then onward to Busselton. If you arrive early enough, head down to Busselton Foreshore for a swim or a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants and cafes.

An afternoon stroll or train ride down Busselton Jetty is a great way to experience this massive 1.8m wooden jetty and the town’s main attraction. There is a $4 day-pass fee to access the jetty or an extra charge if you wish to ride the train.

busselton jetty

There is also an underwater observatory at the end of the jetty. Make sure you book ahead as time slots are limited for this experience.

From the jetty, there is the option to book wildlife tours to see humpback whales and wild dolphins amongst other sea creatures. There is also a special snorkelling and diving area at the end of the jetty.

For dinner, dine at Shelter Brewery and watch the sun setting over the Indian Ocean.

Where To Stay: We stayed at a private house rental through Airbnb as we were travelling with extended family and a dog.

Here are some great options for Busselton:

Day 2 – Margaret River Region

Distance: 55 km | 40 minutes

happs winery margaret river

On day 2, this is the perfect chance to explore the famous Margaret River winery region and sample some local wines and brews.

There are so many great options and many are kid-friendly too, so there’s no need to skip the experience if you are visiting with kids.

These are the places we visited on our Margaret River day:

wild hop brewing co beer

We had a late lunch at The Beer Farm. They have a great menu, as does Wild Hop where we enjoyed a mid-morning snack. Each of these breweries and wineries also has playgrounds for the kids which is perfect!

Afterwards, we drove through the small town of Cowaramup – famous for the cow statues all around town. This is a quirky stop although not a lot to do other than snap a few cow selfies.

Then it was back to Busselton for an afternoon of relaxing after a huge day. This is a great time to head to Rocky Ridge Brewing Co for a quiet afternoon drink or for dinner.

Where To Stay: We remained in Busselton for 3 nights during our Perth to Margaret River road trip, however, if you want to stay closer to the Margaret River area, check out Margaret River Tourist Park or Margaret River Beach Apartments.

Day 3 – Margaret River Region

Distance: 55 km | 40 minutes

bunker bay margaret river

There is much more to Margaret River than amazing wineries. Today is your chance to experience some of the natural beauty of this stunning part of Western Australia.

Southern Western Australia has some incredible beaches, national parks and limestone caves to explore as well as lighthouse tours and walking trails.

How you spend this day depends on how outdoorsy you are and the weather and time of year.

We visited in December so it was a great day to experience some of the Margaret River beaches and enjoy the great outdoors.

Here is how we spent our day in the Margaret River region:

  • Ngiligi Cave
  • Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
  • Bunker Bay
  • Meelup Beach & Eagle Bay
  • Eagle Bay Brewery
  • Lunch at Dunsborough Bakery
  • Ice creams at Simmo’s Ice Creamery

With bushfires in the region, we were unable to visit a few of the Margaret River attractions, especially around Augusta.

ngilgi cave

If you have the time, there are several other Margaret River caves around this area, including Jewel Cave, Mammoth Cave and Lake Cave.

There is also Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, which is the tallest lighthouse on mainland Australia and the most south-westerly point of Australia, at the tip of a breathtaking peninsula, where the Southern Ocean and the Indian Oceans meet.

Day 4 – Busselton To Perth

Distance: 223 km | 2 hours 25 minutes

busselton foreshore playground

Make your way back from Busselton to Perth for one night before you head north the next day.

This is a great chance to visit some of the Perth attractions if you haven’t had the chance yet, with plenty of fun things to do in Perth with kids.

Kings Park is an incredible place to visit right in the centre of Perth, with parklands, playgrounds and the Perth Botanic Gardens.

Where To Stay: We stayed with family in Perth, however here are some great accommodation options for Perth:

Day 5 – Perth To Geraldton

Distance: 419 km | 4 hours 25 minutes

geraldton town beach

Time to head north from Perth To Kalbarri! First stop, Geraldton, which is a small town along the Western Australia coastline.

This is a long drive so depending on how early you left Perth, you might not have a lot of time to explore Geraldton as you make your way along the Coral Coast.

If you do, there are quite a few things to do in Geraldton for the whole family.

attractions in geraldton western australia

We headed down to the Foreshore for a swim and for the kids to have a play at the playground and splash park before having a quiet, relaxing evening.

Where To Stay: We stayed at Belair Gardens Caravan Park which was an older holiday park but budget-friendly and it had a playground and swimming pool to entertain the kids. It’s a fair way out of town but fine for one night. Otherwise, for something more central, check out Mantra Geraldton.

Insider Tip: Make sure you know where the petrol stations are along the way as there are some long stretches of open road with not a lot in between.

Day 6 – Geraldton to Kalbarri

Distance: 156 km | 1 hour 45 minutes

hutt lagoon pink lake

Hit the road early for your next road trip stop. Make your way from Geraldton to Port Gregory where you will find the incredible natural phenomenon of Hutt Lagoon – the pink lake!

This pink salt lake gets its colour from a combination of salt and algae and it is incredible to see. Beautiful mother nature!

Clear blue skies, when the sun is high is the best time to see Hutt Lagoon in its most vibrant shades of pink.

There is a great lookout area that also has lake access if you want to take a closer look, or take a scenic flight over the top for a truly unmatched view!

kalbarri foreshore playground

Afterwards, make your way to Kalbarri where you can enjoy a picnic on the Kalbarri Foreshore. There is a massive nature playground here as well as a great spot for swimming and water activities.

There is also an IGA supermarket over the road for you to pick up supplies for your stay since there are not a lot of restaurants in town, so if you stay at a place with cooking facilities, it’s a nice way to enjoy some home-cooked meals.

blue holes beach

Make your way to the Blue Holes to check out this incredible beach lined with limestone rock pools. This is a very cool place for snorkelling or exploring the pools with the kids. It is also a beautiful white sand beach.

Take an afternoon stroll along the Red Bluffs – coastal cliffs with great views of the Indian Ocean and a great place to see the sun going down in the evening.

Where To Stay: We spent 2 nights at Kalbarri Red Bluff Tourist Park which is located right near the Red Bluffs and Red Bluff Beach. This is a fantastic holiday park, with powered caravan/campsites and fully-self contained units with everything you need for short or long stays. The units are very modern and spacious. Plus there is a swimming pool to cool down after a hot day.

Day 7 – Kalbarri National Park

natures window kalbarri

Today is all about beautiful Kalbarri National Park and enjoying the great outdoors.

Grab your Kalbarri National Park day pass at the gate for $15 and make your way to Natures Window. The Natures Window loop is a 1km return walking track to see this beautiful natural bridge that is one of the main attractions in the national park.

Then enjoy the birdseye view of the Murchison River from the Kalbarri Skywalk platforms. There are two platforms that jut out of the cliff edge that offers incredible scenery from every direction.

kalbarri skywalk

There are many other walking tracks, including the Z-bend loop that you can try while you’re visiting the National Park.

Or try one of the coastal walking trails such as beautiful Pot Alley into the gorge, which is only 400 m return or take a longer walking track, such as Mushroom Rock or Eagle Gorge lookout.

In the afternoon, enjoy a sunset walk along Red Bluff beach.

Day 8 – Kalbarri to Jurien Bay

Distance: 352 km | 3 hours 50 minutes

jurien bay foreshore beach

Today is another big drive day, from Kalbarri to Jurien Bay. If you want to make the most of your time in Jurien Bay, make sure you leave early.

We took our time so we did not have the chance to enjoy a lot of the best things to do in Jurien Bay.

One of the most popular attractions is a chance to swim with the sea lions and there are daily sea lion tours that leave Jurien Bay. These tours usually leave fairly early in the morning so this might be a great option for the next day if you’re not keen to get to Jurien Bay that early.

There are also a lot of areas to go snorkelling or just enjoy a walk along Turquoise Way.

jurien bay foreshore playground

Our kids loved the Foreshore playground. Easily one of the best we found in Western Australia and they have some incredible playgrounds.

For dinner, we grabbed fish and chips to enjoy on a picnic table. Or take a short drive of just 20 minutes to Cervantes and enjoy fresh seafood from The Lobster Shack.

Where To Stay: Jurien Bay Tourist Park is the perfect location, right next to the foreshore and nature play area with cabins and caravan sites. We stayed in a 2 bedroom cabin which was well equipped and comfortable.

Day 9 – Jurien Bay to Perth

Distance: 220 km | 3 hours 25 minutes

pinnacles desert nambung national park

Leave Jurien Bay for Nambung National Park, grabbing your $15 national park day pass at the gate and parking, ready for a walk around The Pinnacles Desert.

These incredible limestone rock formations jut out of the sand everywhere and it’s quite an interesting sight to see. But the walk is what makes it a fun experience.

We may have even played a couple of rounds of hide and seek in between following emu tracks, getting off the beaten track a little.

After you complete the walking loop around The Pinnacles, jump in the car to do a drive around the longer driving track, keeping an eye out for wildlife along the way. You might spot an emu or a kangaroo.

The Pinnacles Discovery Centre is also a great place to check out, with a museum area that explains how the Pinnacles formed and exhibits on the wildlife you find in the park. The gift shop has some great souvenirs or unique gift ideas too.

lancelin sand dunes sandboarding

Now if you’re feeling adventurous, make your way further south to Lancelin where you can hire a sandboard from almost any store in town. They are around $10-12 an hour to hire.

For the last stop, head to the Lancelin sand dunes for some fun sliding down the dunes. Even if you don’t intend to sandboard, they are incredible to see and standing at the top of the sand dunes make you feel like you are really in the middle of the desert.

There are also buggy rides and motorbike hire near the base of the dunes.

Then make your way back to your Perth accommodation for the night.

Day 10 – Perth Region

This final day of your Western Australian road trip itinerary is a great day to spend exploring the main attractions within Perth. There are plenty of great things to do with kids in Perth and for the rest of the family too.

Fremantle Tourist Wheel

Or take a day trip to beautiful Fremantle, which is around a 30-minute drive from Perth CBD.

You will find heaps of fun things to do in Fremantle and it can be a great place to extend your stay by an extra day or two as well.

There is the Fremantle Prison tour to learn the history of this former gaol or enjoy a drink on a beach lounge at Bathers Beach House. There is the Fremantle Tourist Wheel and Little Creatures Brewery too.

Or head off on one of these other fun day trips from Perth instead.

Extending Your Western Australia Itinerary

If you have longer to spend in Western Australia, you can enjoy seeing a lot more incredible places in this beautiful state.

With a few extra days, you can further along the southern coastline to Esperance for stunning white sand beaches and wildlife. Or head further north from Kalbarri to Monkey Mia and Denmark.

rottnest island

Alternatively, add extra time to explore the sights around Perth with day trips to Rottnest Island or Penguin Island and the chance to enjoy more of the attractions and natural landscape within a couple of hours of the city.

Or head all the way from Perth to Adelaide for an interstate road trip adventure.

You will have no trouble filling an extra few days or weeks when exploring the west coast of Australia!

If you’re looking for an epic road trip to take in mid-west and southern Western Australia, this itinerary is a great place to start. Our 10-day Western Australian road trip itinerary will take you through some of the most beautiful and scenic spots in this part of the country. You’ll get to see everything from coastal cliffs to pristine white sand beaches, and plenty in between.

What part of Australia’s west coast are you most excited to visit?

Book Your 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!

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

Ultimate road trip planner

For more Australian road trip inspiration, check out our Brisbane to Cairns itinerary, Brisbane to Sydney itinerary and these Australian road trips for even more inspiration!

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10 day western australia road trip itinerary