A road trip from Perth to Esperance is a dream come true with picturesque scenery and plenty of things to do along the way. There are two routes to take from Perth to Esperance. You can take the coastal route through the South West region, passing through popular places such as Busselton, Margaret River and Albany. Alternatively, you can take the inland route for more of an outback adventure, passing through salt lakes and the famous Wave Rock.
Best time to visit Esperance
The best time to visit Esperance is during the warmer months between December and April. These months are the warmest with high chance of clear skies and good weather. Winter in Esperance can be quite cold and there's a high chance of rain which isn't ideal to explore this tropical paradise.
We visited Esperance from January till April and the weather was beautiful. We only had a couple days of rain during our 3 months in Esperance. Like most places in Western Australia, Esperance can be quite windy in the afternoons so we definitely recommend starting your days early in the mornings to get the most out of it.
Perth to Esperance road trip map
Below is a map of the two different road trip routes you can take from Perth to Esperance. The coastal route will take you through plenty of beach towns, stunning oceanside views and even some wineries. The inland route will take you via the famous wave rock and some beautiful salt lakes. Both routes are great depending on what you're after. If you're short for time, the inland route is much quicker and can almost be done in a day.
Perth to Esperance road trip itinerary along the coast
The coastal road trip route from Perth to Esperance takes you through beautiful beach towns. The total driving distance along the coast is roughly 1,050kms and will take over 11 hours of driving. The first major stop is Busselton which is one of our favourites. Busselton is 2.5 hours from Perth and is known for having the longest wooden jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. It stretches 1.8km over the beautiful blue water where you can walk all the way to the end.
Margaret River is another great place to stop and check out. If you have the time, you can stay for a couple of nights and experience everything that the Margaret River region has to offer. There are plenty of beautiful beaches, good surf breaks and wineries to keep you busy.
Just 30 minutes south of the town in Margaret River is a popular beach called Hamelin Bay. It's famous for massive stingrays that swim up close to the shoreline. The bay itself is also stunning, with beautiful turquoise water and white limestone cliffs.
As you make your way through Denmark be sure to check out two of our absolute favourite spots, Greens Pools and Elephant Rocks. As a bonus tip, Parry Beach campsite is great place to camp in the area. It's right on the beach and only costs $10 per person per night.
Greens Pool is the perfect place to swim and snorkel. The beautiful turquoise water is calm and protected from the waves and wind. There are plenty of boulders to relax on as well if you prefer not to get sandy.
Just around the corner from Greens Pool is Elephant Rocks which is another stunning bay. Its name comes from the massive boulders in the ocean that look like a herd of Elephants walking out to sea.
Albany Print now available on our store.
Albany is a small city surrounded by stunning beaches, national parks and plenty of rich history. It is actually where the first European settlers set foot in Western Australia. Two things you can't miss when visiting Albany are Frenchman Bay and Two People Bay Nature Reserve.
Frenchman Bay is a beautiful beach not too far from Albany centre. It's easy to access and is the perfect spot to have a picnic or BBQ with a picturesque view. The shallow turquoise waters are also often protected and make it great for swimming.
Little Beach in Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve is an absolute must visit! It is one of the best beaches we've seen in Australia. You won't be able to take your eyes off the colour of the water. The unique rock formation in the middle of the beach is also the perfect opportunity for some drone photos. Another bonus tip is to walk to the end of little beach and follow the small trail for 5 minutes. You'll soon reach a secluded, less popular beach called waterfall beach which is just as beautiful.
Perth to Esperance road trip via wave Rock
The inland route from Perth to Esperance will take you via the famous Wave Rock. It is the quickest way, with a distance of 700kms, taking just under 8 hours of driving. You'll also pass some beautiful salt lakes which are perfect for photographing. Also be sure to stock up on supplies such as food and water as there isn't much until you get to Esperance.
Wave Rock is the halfway point of the journey and is about 4 hours from Perth. It is a great place to either take a break or stay the night. There is a caravan park where guests are able to access wave rock as well as lake magic which is a really interesting experience. The natural landmark is 15 metres high and has a very distinctive shape. The wave like shape is caused by millions of years of erosion by rain and wind. Lake Magic is a small salt lake shaped like a pool where it's impossible to sink. As expected, it's incredibly salty but also so much fun being able to float around without even trying.
Lake Grace & Lake King
Cotton Candy Print now available on our store.
Aside from wave rock, there isn't a whole lot else to see apart from the salt lakes. Lake Grace and Lake King are two of our personal favourites. They are incredibly beautiful from above so if you have a drone we definitely recommend checking them out! The colours and textures are out of this world. The conditions are always changing so no matter how many times you visit, it'll always look different. We've done this route a couple times and have always stopped to take drone pictures at the lakes along the way. Each time we shoot, we always end up with a unique and completely new landscape.
Best Things To Do In Esperance
Now that you've finally made the road trip from Perth to Esperance, you'll be able to soak up the sun at some of the most pristine and tropical beaches in Australia. There are so many amazing things to do in Esperance. We've listed some of our personal favourites that you have to check out during your visit! As we mentioned earlier, the wind likes to pick up in the afternoons so it's best to visit these places in the mornings.
Twilight Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Esperance, being only a 10-minute drive out of town. It's instantly recognisable from the blue water and massive boulders just off the shore. For the adventure -seekers, you'll be able to do some rock jumping into some of the most pristine water conditions. Twilight Bay has great conditions for swimming, especially in the little corner that is protected from waves and wind. On the other side of Twilight is another beach that faces west which is a great spot to watch the sunset.
As you've probably already guessed from the name, Blue Haven is exactly what you would expect. A perfect protected beach with beautiful blue water and white sand. The beach gets its name by being more protected from the typical Western Australia winds. Find yourself a spot along the sand or rocks to soak up the sun and enjoy a refreshing dip in the ocean. There is a steep staircase to access the beach, providing stunning views the whole way down.
Lucky Bay Brewery
Lucky Bay brewery is a great place to break up your days at the beach. It's the perfect place to hop in for a couple drinks, grab some lunch and listen to live music. They have plenty of delicious beers on tap to try and a large outdoor area to relax in. Their menu consists of woodfire pizzas, shares, and salads. They are also dog friendly so you can bring along your furry friend!
Live music is on every Friday and Sunday night so be sure not to miss it. Check the Lucky Bay Brewery website to see the artists playing each month.
Lucky Bay Campground in Cape Le Grand National Park
Cape Le Grand National Park is one of the best things to do while in Esperance. The most popular spots are Lucky Bay, Hellfire Bay and Thistle Cove. Lucky Bay is stunning and the campground has one of the best views. Lucky Bay is famous for the kangaroos on the beach with the idyllic backdrop of turquoise water and white sand. The kangaroos are typically around in the mornings so it's best to head there for sunrise. You'll also be able to drive on the beach and since the sand is usually hard, we were able to take our van! We've also seen some other 2WD vehicles on Lucky Bay but it's always best to check conditions.
Lucky Bay campground is usually booked out so it's best to book in advance. We've also had some luck checking the booking website daily to try and secure any last minute cancellation spots. You can check Lucky Bay Campground availability here.
Wharton Beach Print now available on our store.
Wharton Beach is one of our all time favourite beaches in Australia that should be at the top of your bucket list. It's 100kms east of Esperance town but the 1 hour drive is definitely worth it! You'll be met with pristine white sand that squeaks beneath your feet as well as crystal clear water that rivals tropical islands. The shade of turquoise is so beautiful, especially on a clear sunny day.
The beach is accessible to 4WD's and is also dog friendly, making it a great place to park up for the day. The southern end of the beach is incredibly popular for swimming, surfing, snorkelling and fishing. Wharton Beach is great for learning to surf as the surf breaks are typically small and slow. If you're lucky enough, you may even spot some dolphins surfing the waves with the surfers. For the best chance at spotting Dolphins, we recommend going around sunrise.
Camping / Where to Stay In Esperance
Camping options are limited in Esperance. Caravan parks are your only option in town which start from $40 per site. This can add up quickly but you'll have access to all of the basic ammenities. This includes drinking water, power, hot showers and laundry machines. You'll also be close to the beaches as well as shops and restaurants.
Your other option is to camp in Cape Le Grand National Park. Lucky Bay Campground and Le Grand Beach Campground both cost $15 per person per night plus $15 for a car pass. They have solar powered showers and clean amenities blocks but no drinking water. Spots book out fast during peak seasons, so it's best to book in advance. You can also try your luck at refreshing the booking site every day to try and secure any cancellations.
As for free camping, the best option is Condingup Community Hall which is 45 minutes east of Esperance Town. It's a great option for those that want to save money and as a bonus, you'll only be 15 minutes from Wharton Beach! It's a large grassy block of land where you'll be able to find your own little spot. There is a toilet block but no showers or water for drinking so be sure to stock up in town before heading there. Additionally, there is great Telstra phone reception at the campsite.