Total distance travelled excluding detours:  1,885 km

We drove this route from 8 September to 24 September 2017 in a loop starting and ending in Perth. The total distance travelled doesn’t include any detours so bear this in mind if you are putting together a budget when it comes to petrol spending.

Day 1 
PERTH TO BUSSELTON (A to B)
Approx 172km =  1hr 45

Take the Old Coast Road south from Perth and if you have time, stop at Rockingham, Mandurah and Bunbury to have a look around. Stay at the Busselton Top Park Caravan Park. It is one of the best parks we came across in the whole of our WA adventure.

What to do:

Spend the day at the beach at Geographe Bay

Go whale watching from September to December

Take a wander along the 1.8mile long Busselton jetty

Visit the Heritage Park and walk the Heritage Trail

Day 2 and 3
BUSSELTON TO MARGARET RIVER TOWN (B to C)
Approx 50 km =  35 mins

A short drive takes you to the town of Margaret River. A small town that has a bunch of eateries and most importantly, is a great best place to stay for access to the 215 vineyards in the area. Stay at Margaret River Tourist Park which is a 5 minute walk from town.

What to do:

Book yourself on a wine tour. The best way to check out the vineyards unless you have a designated driver. We went with Bushtucker Tours who provided a great service (Keith our driver, caterer, wine connoisseur and entertainer was brilliant). The day cost A$80 each which we got on a special offer. It is usually A$100 per person and this it still the cheapest we could find.

Not into wine? Never fear hops lovers. The Margaret River region has more breweries than any where else in Australia

Head up to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse where there are a couple of walks and you can spot whales off the coast.

Make your way to Hamelin Bay where you can stand ankle deep in the sea and watch wild eagle rays win around your feet. The best time to go is early morning.

Click here to read our post about the Margaret River Region

Day 4
MARGARET RIVER TOWN TO PEMBERTON (C to D)
Approx 139 km =  1 hr 35

Break up the drive to Denmark by stopping in Pemberton. Stay at the Pemberton Caravan Park which is walking distance from a great pie shop in town.

What to do:

Go to the pie shop!

Drive to the Karri National Park. The trees here are the third tallest and largest tuart trees in the Swan Coastal Plain.

This is an emerging wine producing area so go drink some (more) wine.

Day 5
PEMBERTON TO DENMARK (D to E)
Approx 187 km =  2 hr

Continue onto Denmark and stay at Denmark Rivermouth Caravan Park

What to do:

Denmark is an established wine producing area so spend some time visiting the wineries

Drive the Mount Shadforth scenic drive and/ or the Scotsdale tourist drive

Take a walk along one of the trails such as the Wilson Inlet Heritage Trail (12 km return)

Read our post on Denmark

Day 6 and 7
DENMARK TO ALBANY (E to F)
Approx 54 km =  35 mins

Just a short drive from Denmark is Albany which boasts some of the prettiest beaches. Stay at Acclaim Rose Garden Caravan Park.

What to do:

Check out the stunning coastline found in the Torndirrup National Park

Go to the new lookout platforms at the Gap and Natural Bridge for amazing views

Drive 37km east of town to Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve where you’ll find Little Beach which was recently named one of the best beaches in Australia

Visit the National Anzac Centre dedicated to honouring the Anzacs of the First World War

Go fishing at Emu Point

Take a walk around Albany Heritage Park

Read about Albany here

Day 8
ALBANY TO HOPETOUN (F to G)
Approx 343 km = 3 hr  55

Break uptake long drive to Esperance by making a detour at Ravensthorpe to visit Hopetoun. Stay at Hopetoun Caravan Park.

What to do:

Visit the Fitzgerald River National Park exploring the beaches and climb East Mount Barren for amazing views

Hit the beach for sunbathing, windsurfing and spotting whales, dolphins and seals

Hopetoun and the Fitzgerald River National Park post

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Day 9, 10, 11 and 12
HOPETOUN TO ESPERANCE (G to H)
Approx 217 km =  2 hr 35

Drive another few hours to reach Esperance where you can some of find Australia’s whitest beaches.

What to do:

Take a drive along the Great Ocean Drive which is a 40 km circular loop showcasing some spectacular coastline

Head to Cape Le Grand National Park to explore the various beaches, walk one of the many trails or climb Frenchmans Peak for a 360 degree view of the area

Visit Cape Arid National Park for bushwalking, whale watching and climbing Mount Ragged

Extend your stay

There is a campsite at Lucky Bay in Cape Le Grand National Park and pitches are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Get there early in the morning for a chance to camp there. It is only A$11 per person with toilets, showers with limited water, camp kitchens and direct access to the beach. The best bit for me were the kangaroos that live there who happily hop about in between pitches!

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Day 13
ESPERANCE TO WAVE ROCK (H to I)
Approx 382 km =  4 hr 34

This drive is the start of the return journey back to Perth. A bit of a hefty drive which takes you away from the coast for a change of scenery. Stay at Tressie’s Museum and Caravan Park in Karlgarin.

What to do:

Visit Wave Rock in Hyden and take a walk along one of the trails

Drive to Karlgarin to stay overnight and visit the museum at the caravan park

Day 14, 15 and 16
WAVEROCK TO SWAN VALLEY (I to J)
Approx 328 km =  3 hr 53

The last of the long drives of this itinerary takes you to Swan Valley. Stay at the Discovery Perth Vineyards Caravan Park.

What to do:

Walk down the road to Funk Cider and sample some of their ciders and juices

Book yourself on a wine tour of the area for a half day or full day

Pop into one of the many breweries for a cold pint

Head to the Margaret River Chocolate Company on West Swan Road for a chocolate overload

Day 17
SWAN VALLEY TO PERTH 
Approx 13 km = 8 mins

Sadly the last drive on this itinerary before dropping the camper van back. Happily only an 8 minute drive so there is still time for some last minute shopping in Perth before heading to the airport!

Read our post ‘In and around Perth’

 

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