Perth to Albany Road Trip Itinerary 2024: Locals Guide

Perth to Albany by Car Key Takeaways


🛣️ Distance: 415 km (258 miles)
🚘 Driving Time: 4.5 hours
☀️ My Favourite Time to Visit: Summer
🚻 Facilities: Williams, Arthur River, Kojonup, Cranbrook, Mount Barker
🛣️ Unsealed Roads: No

Kaya/hello. My name is Wendy, and I’m a proud resident of Perth, Western Australia. I live here with my family, which includes my Perth-born hubby and twin daughters. Our shared love for travel has led us on countless adventures, but there’s one journey that I love – the road trip from Perth to Albany, in the Southwest region.

As I’ve done this drive many times, I appreciate the beautiful landscapes and hidden spots that this route offers.

In this post, I share my itinerary, tips and insights to help you make the most of your trip.

This post may contain affiliate links (of companies I book through). This means I may receive a small commission if you book through them. You can read the disclaimer for more information.

Perth to Albany Route Map

perth to albany map

Perth to Albany Road Trip Itinerary (One Day via Albany Highway)

The quickest way is via the Albany Highway. For a more leisurely journey, consider taking detours to towns like Busselton, Margaret River, or Denmark. See this South West Road Trip Itinerary for this route.

Morning (Departure from Perth):

Leave early from Perth to make the most of your day. Aim to leave around 6:00 am.

After about an hour’s drive, stop in Armadale for a quick breakfast. Try Bean Thru for great coffee to fuel your journey – the exceptional service and high quality coffee beans make it a must-visit.

Mid-Morning:

About 2 hours from Perth, in Williams, visit the Williams Woolshed. It’s a unique spot that combines a bit of shopping, history, and a chance to stretch your legs. Grab a snack or a second coffee here.

Lunch (Early Afternoon):

Around noon, reach Kojonup. This town is home to the Kodja Place, a cultural centre where you can learn about local Noongar culture and Australian rural life.

Lunch: Have a picnic or lunch at a local eatery in Kojonup. Kojonup Country Kitchen offers delicious home made food. All with a friendly and efficient service.

Mid-Afternoon:

Stop in Mt. Barker, a town known for its vineyards. If time allows, visit a winery like West Cape Howe (one of my favourites) for a tasting. Please remember to drink responsibly, especially if you’re driving though.

Late Afternoon (Arrival in Albany):

Aim to arrive in Albany by late afternoon.

Evening:

Conclude your day with dinner in Albany. I love Ocean & Paddock for their delicious local seafood and fish & chips.

If you have some energy left, catch the sunset at Middleton Beach or Mount Clarence for breathtaking views.

This itinerary is quite packed for a single day, and driving times can vary based on traffic and road conditions. Always ensure to take sufficient breaks and drive safely.

street art of the williams wool truck on the way from Perth to Albany
Street Art in Williams

Perth to Albany in One Day: Tailored Itineraries

1. Family-Friendly Itinerary

Start: Depart from Perth around 7:00 am.

Morning Stop (Armadale): Visit the Armadale Reptile Centre for an educational and fun experience with kids.

Williams: Stop at Williams Woolshed for a brunch and a nature play area for kids.

Kojonup (Lunch): Visit The Kodja Place for a cultural and historical experience that’s engaging for all ages. Have a picnic or visit Kojonup Country Kitchen for lunch.

Mt. Barker: Take a short detour to Porongurup National Park for a family-friendly walk (Tree In The Rock or Granite Skywalk if kids are older and adventurous).

Arrival in Albany (Late Afternoon): Head straight to Middleton Beach for some relaxation and playtime.

2. Adventure Seekers Itinerary

Start: Depart Perth around 6:00 AM.

Armadale: Quick stop for takeaway breakfast.

Serpentine National Park: A short detour for an early morning hike to Serpentine Falls.

Kojonup: Skip the traditional lunch and opt for a quick snack. Visit Myrtle Benn Flora and Fauna Sanctuary for a short walk and bird watching.

Porongurup National Park: After lunch, head to Castle Rock for the Granite Skywalk, a thrilling climb with panoramic views.

Albany: Upon arrival, if time and energy permit, go to Torndirrup National Park to see the Natural Bridge and the Gap.

Best Places to Stop Between Perth & Albany

If you’re looking for destinations to visit on the way to Albany, these cute country towns have the best points of interest.

Williams

Williams is one of the oldest settled towns in Western Australia and the perfect place as the first stop. The town is around 2 hours from Perth and the gateway to the Great Southern Region. This rural community comprises of wool, livestock, and grain-producing areas.

Williams Lion Park

Williams Lions Park is ideal for the kids to run around and have a picnic or barbecue. There’s a flying fox, playground, and picnic table, and the toilets were clean.

Williams Wool Shed

Williams Wool Shed is another great place to spend some time. There’s a café and other shops, including giftware and woollen products.

an old cottage building in kojonup
Kojonup Military Barracks

Kojonup

Kojonup is one hour from Williams, so you can stop in both places or choose one. This farming country town has historical sites, some dating back to the mid-1840s.

The name derives from the Noongar word ‘Kodja’ (stone axe) made from local granite. The Kanaeng/Noongar people lived and farmed the area for thousands of years.

Kojonup Springs

Kojonup Springs is a popular picnic spot and a significant historical site. The local indigenous people and later the early settlers used the spring as a watering place.

Kojonup Military Barracks

Right opposite the springs, you will see the Kojonup Military Barracks. It is the oldest building in Kojonup, built in 1845 to replace the wooden original. 51st British Regiment soldiers used this stone building, which is in near-perfect condition. It has been a school, a meeting place, and a private home, but it is now the town museum.

The school planted the Barracks’ peppermint trees, which are now over 100 years old.

The Kodja Place

We have yet to visit here but hope to on our next Perth to Albany road trip. The Kodja Place weaves Kojonup’s Noongar-Aboriginal and settler cultures through photos, art, and objects.

Download a copy of the Kojonup map here.

an old tavern with white verandah in mount barker western australia
Plantagenet Hotel Mount Barker

Mount Barker

Another hour later and you will arrive at Mount Barker. It’s a beautiful area and surrounded by the Stirling and the Porongurup ranges. It is only 40 minutes to Albany from here.

Old Police Station

If history interests you, consider having a look at the Old Police Station Museum. It is open weekends and Public holidays from 10 am to 2 pm. Built by convict labour in 1868, it remained a Police Station until 1908.

Mount Barker Lookout

This lookout is 3 km from the Visitor Centre with panoramic views over the countryside.

Vineyards

There are some lovely wineries to visit if you want to buy wine. A couple of our favourites include West Cape Howe and Plantagenet Wines.

the view of the surrounding hills from bluff knowl in the stirling ranges
View from Bluff Knowl

Stirling Ranges

If you are feeling energetic, consider one of the walks in the Stirling Range National Park. However, please note that you should allow at least 2 hours for the shortest 2.6 km hike.

view over porongurup national park from granite skywalk
View over Porongurup National Park from Granite Skywalk at Castle Rock

Porongurup Ranges

Porongurup Village is 15 minutes east of Mount Barker. Here you will find a cute village shop with tea rooms, craft outlets, and vineyards. You will need a National Parks Pass to visit Porongurup National Park, which you can purchase at the Mount Barker Visitor Centre.

These are the oldest mountain ranges in the world, dating back billions of years.

Albany

On the edge of Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound, Albany has stunning coastal landscapes, including dramatic cliffs, rugged shorelines, and pristine beaches. Its historical significance includes its role as the last departure point for Australian and New Zealand troops during World War I, making it an essential destination for those interested in ANZAC history.

The city is surrounded by natural attractions, including Torndirrup National Park, where visitors can marvel at formations like The Gap and Natural Bridge. Albany’s cultural heritage is celebrated through museums like the Historic Whaling Station and Princess Royal Fortress, which provide insights into the region’s maritime and military history.

Read: Things To Do in Albany and the best accommodation in Albany WA.

a sandy cove with clear turquoise ocean in albany western australia
Waterfall Beach in Two Peoples Bay Albany

Planning your Perth to Albany Road Trip

Choosing the Best Time to Visit

When planning your road trip from Perth to Albany, consider the timing of your journey. Western Australia experiences a range of climates throughout the year, so picking the right season is key.

Summer (December to February) brings warm temperatures and clear skies. Perfect for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Spring (September to November) showcases vibrant wildflowers in full bloom.

Autumn (March to May) offers pleasant weather with milder temperatures. Ideal for a relaxed road trip.

Winter (June to August) brings cooler weather, but it’s whale-watching season in Albany.

Activities Between Perth and Albany

The road trip from Perth to Albany offers a variety of experiences and attractions to break the journey up.

Sightseeing in Historic Towns: Explore historic towns like Williams, known for its woolshed and art gallery, and Kojonup, with its indigenous cultural sites.

Hiking and Nature Walks: Enjoy the natural beauty of the Stirling and Porongurup Ranges, ideal for hiking.

Wine Tasting: Visit wineries in regions like Mount Barker for a taste of local wines.

Car Hire

Car Hire – To compare rental car company prices, I use Discover Cars, an award-winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are have a high rate of customer satisfaction.

Tip: The earlier car rentals are booked, the cheaper it is with more choice of vehicles.

Perth to Albany Road Conditions & Practical Tips

Albany Highway is a well-maintained road, suitable for all types of vehicles. However, it’s a long stretch with few turns, so take regular breaks to avoid driver fatigue.

Check weather forecasts – during winter and rainy seasons, be prepared for slippery road conditions and reduced visibility.

Check for road closures which can be closed due to several factors, including bush fires.

If you are towing a caravan, trailer, or boat ensure you know the legal load limit for your vehicle and that it is well secured. The maximum speed limit for a vehicle towing a trailer or caravan is 100 kmph, unless otherwise signposted.

Road trains (large trucks with up to four carriages) can be as long as 60m so extreme care must be taken if overtaking.

Keep up to date with emergency advice on the WA Emergency site.

The open road speed limit is 110 km per hour and 50 km per hour in built up areas. However, pay attention to the signs as they often change.

It is illegal to touch your mobile phone while driving and all passengers must wear a seatbelt.

It is highly recommended to have a GPS in order to avoid getting lost or download a mapping app like Avenza that provides a map even when you are out of range.

Watch out for wildlife when driving, especially around dawn and dusk (serious accidents occur due to collisions with kangaroos, cows, and other animals).

Make sure to fill up your fuel tank, as petrol stations are sparse in some stretches. Williams and Kojonup are good places to refuel.

If you break down, stay with your vehicle and conserve water and food. Consider joining a roadside assistance program.

Carry an emergency kit including water, snacks, a first-aid kit, a flashlight, and a blanket.

Read my Essential WA Road Trip Information guide.

Be prepared that you may lose the radio signal in some parts, so bring some music with you.

Buy a Telstra SIM card as their regional coverage is the best.

FAQ

How many days should I spend in Albany?

I generally recommend a stay of 3 to 5 days to enjoy Albany’s attractions, but longer stays offer a more relaxed and in-depth experience.

How long does it take to drive from Perth to Albany?

The drive from Perth to Albany takes about four and a half hours via Albany Highway.

How far is Albany from Perth?

Albany is 415 km (258 miles) from Perth via Albany Highway.

How far is it from Margaret River to Albany?

The shortest route from Margaret River to Albany is 345 km (214 miles).