This post was originally written in 2015, but has been updated in 2018 to include the most up to date information to ensure you have the best Perth to Broome road trip.
Western Australia (W.A.) occupies over one-third of Australia. Yet to this day it remains one of the most overlooked and least visited states in Australia.
International visitors rarely manage to make their way to W.A. (there is simply so much to do on the East Coast), and locals often prefer to take that 4-5 hour flight to Bali instead.
Well, they are missing out…BIG TIME!
W.A. is unlike any other state in Australia. Here, clear blue skies collide with the red dirt road, the beautiful landscapes transport you to the canyons of Arizona, the beach towns are infused with a laid-back lifestyle found in the best Asian destinations, and the deserted outback is seeped with signs of prehistoric existence.
Wildlife roams the region far and wide, adding colour to the destination. For the adventurous explorers, this is an exhilarating state, packed with a bucket list of activities and picture-perfect backdrops.
There is no need to dwell too much on some of W.A.’s famous attractions: the cosmopolitan yet laid-back Perth, the vibrant Margaret River region, the bay and beaches of Rottnest Island and Western Australia’s favourite vacation destination – Exmouth.
Having now traversed 3,500 kms from Perth to Broome ourselves, we are convinced that the most incredible places and experiences in W.A. are probably the ones you have never heard of before.
Allow us to elaborate with our ultimate Perth to Broome itinerary that will show you all the gems Western Australia has to offer.
PERTH 1-2 DAYS
One of the most remote cities on earth, Perth has a certain charm that other Australian cities lack. It is both cosmopolitan yet laid back, and the people couldn’t be nicer.
Before you head off on your Perth to Broome journey, dedicate a couple days to enjoying some of Perth’s biggest attractions like the inner-city park, Kings Park with its views of the Perth skyline. Explore the beautiful beaches of Rottnest island where you can get to know the local Quokkas, and spend time checking out the hip historical neighbourhood of Fremantle. To get the most out of the first stop on your Perth to Broome tour follow this local city guide.
Where to Stay in Perth
The Four Points by Sheraton is a great eco-option. They have implemented a Global Citizen program which has demonstrated a reduction in carbon emission, water wastage, and energy usage. They are centrally located, offer clean, spacious rooms, and consistent service.
Lancelin – 1 DAY
Lancelin is a small fishing town located just 127 km north of Perth. There is really not a whole lot there, except for the lovely bay with a local beach and the vast sprawling sand hills that surround the town. Lancelin sand dunes are the biggest of its kind in all of Western Australia and are known for their pure soft white silica sand and absolutely no vegetation.
The sand dunes are about 2 kms long and are considered to be one of Western Australia’s hidden gems for adventure seekers, and a must-see for any Perth to Broome Itinerary. For an unforgettable afternoon, hire a board in town and spend a few hours on the sand duning on the hills, or do a 4WD tour and sand dune surfing experience.
Where to Stay in Lancelin
Try the Lancelin Beach Hotel, which is known for their clean rooms and good service. They have a pool and an on-site restaurant which offers dishes fused with organic ingredients.
Cervantes and Nambung National Park – 1 Day
Cervantes is another sleepy fishing town along Australia’s Coral Coast that is frequented by visitors looking for a fishing holiday or a relaxing family escape. But its main attraction is undoubtedly Nambung National Park, home of the mythical Pinnacles. The Pinnacles are natural limestone formations, some standing as high as 5 meters, formed approximately 25,000 to 30,000 years ago.
Admire the Pinnacles at Sunset
To admire the Pinnacles in all of their glory, visit the park at sunset, leaving yourself enough time to explore the 4.5km Pinnacle walk throughout the national park. You can even sign up to a Pinnacles by night tour with a romantic sunset dinner and stargazing. Alternatively, you can gain a perspective on the desert from the Pinnacles lookout located at the end of the walk.
Where to Stay in Cervantes
The Pinnacles Edge Resort is a comfortable choice, located a short distance from the National Park. They have accommodating staff, and clean rooms.
Hutt Lagoon (Pink Lake) – 1-2 Days
You know those BuzzFeed posts that fill your Facebook newsfeed with photos of unbelievable places around the world? Hutt Lagoon, a pink lake near Kalbarri is one of those unbelievable places. It is undeniably one of nature’s most incredible sights. We didn’t believe it existed until we saw it with our own eyes.
It’s not just the bright pink colour of the water that makes you question reality, but the strong chemical smell that surrounds it. It looks fake. It smells artificial. But it is 100% natural and it’s even more impressive seen from the air in a flight tour of Hutt Lagoon.
Hutt Lagoon gets its red or pink hue due to the presence of the carotenoid-producing algae Dunaliella salina, a source of ß-carotene, a food-colouring agent and source of vitamin A. The lagoon also contains the world’s largest microalgae production plant and provides a commercial supply of Artemia brine shrimp. Phenomenal!
This stop warrants 1-2 days of your Perth to Broome road trip to accommodate for the long 6-hour drive from Cervantes.
Where to Stay near Hutt Lagoon
Stay at the lovely, family-run Port Gregory Caravan Park. It is located just a short ten-minute drive from Hutt Lagoon. They offer both powered campsites, and cabins.
Kalbarri National Park – 1-2 Days
Kalbarri National Park is located 485 km north of Perth and consists of the Coastal part, 13 km of dramatic coastal cliffs, secluded beaches and surf breaks, and the Inland part, 80km Murchison River Gorge.
There are dozens of great walks and lookouts in Kalbarri, but its most iconic attraction is the Nature’s Window, a natural rock arch formation that serves as the perfect frame for the spectacular Murchison River Gorge.
Where to Stay Near Kalbarri National Park
Kalbarri Blue Ocean Villas is family owned and operated. They provide self-contained units, and villas, with covered parking.
Ningaloo Reef at Cape Range National Park – 3-5 Days
Diving/Snorkeling in Ningaloo Reef
Ningaloo Reef is Australia’s largest fringing coral reef, stretching 260km along the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Coast. Take a full-day scuba diving at Ningaloo Reef and experience some of the 200 species of hard coral, 50 soft coral and over 500 species of fish.
Unlike the Great Barrier Reef on the East Coast, Ningaloo is one of the only places in the world where you can walk from the beach straight onto a coral reef. Coral Bay and Turquoise Bay inside the Cape Range National Park were our favourite snorkelling spots. Here you can spot schools of fish, turtles, stingrays, and sometimes even reef sharks chilling in the crevices of the corals.
You don’t need to be a certified diver to experience the reef, but if you do get a chance to descend into its crystal clear waters, you won’t be disappointed. We dove at the Lighthouse Bay dive site, which offers a number of fantastic dive sites and is particularly famous for the site called Labyrinth. The site features a turtle cleaning station and Gullivers, that houses a manta rays cleaning station.
Take a day or two to get to Cape Range National Park, as it is a 14+ hour drive from Kalbarri National Park.
Swimming with Whale Sharks
Ningaloo Reef and particularly Exmouth near Cape Range National Park are one of the few places in the world where you can swim with the biggest fish on the planet. It is impossible to convey the overwhelming feeling of joy and adrenaline that rushes through your body when you come face to face with a whale shark. It is a breathtaking creature in the most literal meaning of the word.
Swimming with these gentle giants was an absolute privilege and an unforgettable lifetime experience. The prices are steep, but the experience is worth every penny!
Where to Stay near the Ningaloo Reef
Stay at Sal Salis located within Cape Range National Park. They provide a series of raised wilderness tents for the ultimate glamping experience. They have a long list of eco-credentials which started with the construction of their camp and focuses on creating a minimal impact on the environment.
Karijini National Park – 1-2 days
We have visited countless national parks in Australia. We’ve seen everything from the lush rainforests in Northern Queensland to the alpine vegetation and jagged Tasmanian wilderness, but none of them are comparable to the phenomenal natural wonder that is the Karijini National Park.
It’s a pain in the butt to get to (literally 6 hours of bumpy roads on the way to the park and another 4 hours on the way out), but the scenery in Karijini is out of this world!
Erosion has slowly carved this landscape out of rocks, some of which are over 2,500 million years old, leaving today’s visitor with 8 stunning gorges to explore.
Some gorges are easily accessible along a Class 3 (out of 5) trail, while others require visitors to possess great tenacity, experience, and proper hiking gear.
Despite the difficult task of getting to some of the tucked away passages, the views, in the end, are always beyond spectacular.
Where to Stay near Karijini National Park
Karijini Eco Retreat is owned by the local Gumala Aboriginal Corporation and operates within the park. The strive to operate as responsibly as possible and with minimal impacts to the environment. The offer luxurious eco-tents, dorm style tents and campsites. There is an on-site restaurant.
Broome and Cable Beach – 1-2 days
OK, you probably have heard of Broome and maybe even the Cable Beach, often named as one of the most spectacular beaches in all of Australia! After spending two days in Broome, it was hard not to give it a spot on our list of incredible places to visit on your Perth to Broome itinerary.
Cable Beach is 22 km long, and offers visitors uncrowded pure white sand and turquoise waters, perfect for paddle boarding, surfing, and other water activities. At low tide, the beach is interspersed with rocks forming small rock pools frequented by octopus and other sea creatures basking in the warm sunlight.
The Sunset is Spectacular
As great as the beach is during the day, it is its sunset that landed it a spot on this Perth to Broome itinerary. The sunset here is always amazing.
The crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean crashing onto the rock formations at the shore, reflecting a burst of vibrant orange, red and purple onto the sky. The view is mesmerising, interrupted only by a passing train of camels that makes you feel like you are thousands of miles away from reality.
Where to Stay in Broome
For the last days on your Perth to Broome road trip, experience the luxury of the Mangrove Hotel in Broome. They have sweeping views of the ocean and great customer service.
A Worthwhile Experience
There are lots of great road trips in Australia, however, the Perth to Broome road is one of the longest and most demanding. It takes a certain kind of traveler to traverse through Western Australia.
The drives from Perth to Broome are long and often completely desolate, the weather is harsh for the majority of the year (best time to visit is May-July when the heat subsides), and the outback is unforgiving. However, the sights and experiences awaiting you along the way from Perth to Broome are nothing like what you would see on the East Coast.
We can’t stress enough the importance of travel insurance, especially in a country like Australia. Whether you just plan to explore the cities, do a little bit of hiking, or go extreme (think surfing, scuba diving, or ever skydiving), being protected on your travels is an irreplaceable peace of mind. We learned about the importance of travel insurance the hard way and now we never travel without coverage.
Get a quote through our recommended insurance provider, World Nomads.