Our family recently went on a Perth to Esperance road trip via Albany. I have lived in Western Australia for twenty years and we have been on countless road trips within our state. This Esperance Road Trip Itinerary includes a variety of destinations depending on time.
Esperance is in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia. It lies on the Southern Coast about 720 km from Perth, the state’s capital.
The primary industries in the Esperance region are tourism, agriculture, and fishing. It is also a port town, the only one in the south-east of Western Australia.
The beaches here are stunning, the scenery is spectacular, and a nature-lovers dream.
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Arriving into Perth
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How to get from Perth to Esperance
If you want to get to Esperance fast, then flying is the way to go.
At present, only REX (Regional Express) are flying from Perth to Esperance, with a flight time of 90 minutes.
TransWA run a couple of bus services to Esperance. However, it’s hard to get around this region without a vehicle.
Of course, our preference is to travel from Perth to Esperance by car. There are a few options for road trips, which are outlined further on.
Esperance Weather & Forecast
The hottest months are from January to March, where the average highs are 25/26 degrees. January is the best time to go to Esperance for the beaches.
The coldest months are from June to August. During this time, the temperature will be around 17/18, with a minimum of 8.
The most rain falls in July, with December being the driest month.
September is wildflower and whale season in Esperance.
See the detailed 7-day forecast at the Bureau of Meteorology.
Brief History & Settlement of Esperance
I would like to respectfully acknowledge the Noongar People, the Traditional Owners, and First People of these lands. I would like to pay my respect to the Elders past, present, and future, for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture, and hopes of the Noongar People.
Esperance was first settled by Europeans in 1864 when the Dempster Brothers drove sheep, cattle, and horses from Northam to start the Esperance Bay Pastoral Station.
The town was gazetted in 1893 due to the discovery of gold in the Eastern Goldfields. Gold prospectors from Australia and internationally arrived in Esperance on their way to the Goldfields.
Perth to Esperance Road Trip Itinerary
There are a few options when thinking about a road trip from Perth to Esperance. It will come down to how long you will be away.
To drive direct will take around 7 1/2 hours without stops. It is doable, but we prefer to break up our journey and see more of Western Australia along the way.
There are two itineraries that I believe to be the best; a two-week one via Albany or an extended three to four-week itinerary taking in the best of the South West and Southern region of Western Australia.
The shorter route takes you from Perth to Albany, then on to Esperance, and returning to Perth via Wave Rock and York. It covers 1,621 km and 17 hours of driving time.
Albany is 419 km south of Perth and will take around 4 hours and 40 minutes to drive non-stop. The route is via Albany Highway (also called State Route 30).
There are several towns along the way to break the journey up.
Our guide on a Perth to Albany Road Trip shows you the best places to stop and what to see.
Albany is a safe, peaceful town with stunning natural beauty. It is full of history, delicious food, and gorgeous beaches.
Allow at least five days in Albany; this guide lists all the best things to do in Albany.
Camping & Budget Accommodation
We stayed in a two-bedroom cabin at Middleton Beach Caravan Park. This campsite is right on the beach and a 10-minute drive from the center of Albany. It was perfect as it had kitchen facilities and bathrooms, plus it was only a short walk to cafes. We booked it through booking.com as they had the best rates. See what price you can get it for today here.
On our second visit, we stayed at Banksia at Middleton, booked again through booking.com. It’s in a perfect location in the heart of Middleton Beach. The apartment itself was clean with full kitchen facilities. The bedrooms were upstairs, along with the bathroom. The décor is a bit dated, but it’s reflected in the price. The air conditioning is downstairs, so we found it a bit hot upstairs (we stayed at the hottest time of the year). The other down point was the pipes occasionally groaned when water was turned on.
For future stays, we would consider Pelicans Middleton Beach. These apartments are also situated in Middleton Beach and feature a fully equipped kitchen with a separate living room with a flat-screen TV, free cable channels, and a DVD player. Some apartments also have a spa bath. It’s rated 9.1 with fabulous reviews, which you can read here.
Nisus View Albany is a good option for a larger group or family as it sleeps up to eight guests.
|Accommodation||Stars||Rating||Price||# of Guests||Book|
|Big 4 Emu Beach Holiday Park||N/A||9||$||2-8||Book Here|
|Pelicans Middleton Beach||4||9.1||$$||2-7||Book Here|
|Albany Bali Style Accommodation||4||9.5||$$||2||Book Here|
|Dolphin Lodge||4.5||9.1||$$||2-9||Book Here|
|Evelyn House||4||9.8||$$||2-6||Book Here|
|Parkfarm Views||5||9.9||$$||2-8||Book Here|
Tours in Albany
Viator has adjusted their cancellation policies to cover COVID-19-related cancellations and to support their community so travelers can book with confidence. Read their cancellation policy here.
The top 5 most popular tours are:
|Kalgan Queen Scenic Cruises||5||4 hrs||Book Here|
|National Anzac Centre General Entry Ticket||4.5||1-4 hrs||Book Here|
|Albany Wildlife and Scenic Cruise||5||4 hrs||Book Here|
|Albany Summit to Sea Adventure – Guided Segway Tour||5||2 hrs||Book Here|
|Granite Skywalk Porongurups||4.5||5 hrs||Book Here|
The drive from Albany to Esperance will take just under five hours along National Route 1. There’s not much to see in between the two towns, and I found the drive pretty dull to be honest.
Ravensthorpe is three hours outside of Albany and the perfect place to stop on the way to Esperance. It’s a small country town with a Foodworks store, petrol station, post office, gift shop, and historic buildings. Look out for the painted silos just before Ravensthorpe town centre, part of the Silos Public Art Trail.
If you want to break up the journey with an overnight stop, Bremer Bay is ideal. It’s an hour and 45 minutes’ drive from Albany and a bit of a detour from the main highway.
The beaches here are beautiful, and Bremer Bay is the place to see Orcas (Killer Whales) from January to April. We didn’t stop in Bremer Bay, but have booked to return in January 2022 to do this tour. Have a look at it here.
We stayed in Esperance for three days, which we felt was long enough for us. It would depend on what activities you want to do there and if you want extra time to relax. If this is the case, I would add on another couple of days.
Further Reading: what there is to do in Esperance.
Camping | Budget Accommodation
We stayed at the Esperance Bay Holiday Park in their Two-bedroom Deluxe Chalet. The unit was spotless with a self-contained kitchen and reverse cycle air conditioning in the lounge and dining area. The master bedroom had a queen bed and television while the second bedroom had bunk beds. The bathroom was modern with a large shower, toilet, and basin. There was parking for our car and a small area to sit outside. The campsite is centrally located, within a short walk of the Esplanade and town. Photos can be seen in the gallery further on.
It was a good budget option, and we would stay here again.
My top pick for mid-range accommodation is the Esperance Chalet Village. These unique chalets, cabins, and shacks are all individually styled and located on the town’s edge. They are rated 9.1 and look fantastic. Have a look at the reviews and photos here.
Wave Rock & York
We had planned on returning via Kalgoorlie, but the road was closed due to massive bushfires, so we decided to take the inland route via Wave Rock and York.
Wave Rock, in Hyden, is 382 km from Esperance. The route takes you back to Ravensthorpe and then along State Route 40. This road was closed in the previous weeks due to fires, and we witnessed the black trees and landscape. The photo below shows what it was like; excuse our dirty windscreen (a result of driving in the Australian country).
I’ve been wanting to visit Wave Rock for a while now, after seeing all the photos on Instagram. If you haven’t heard of Wave Rock, it’s a 2,700 million-year-old natural rock formation shaped like a, yes you guessed it, wave. Over 100,000 people visit Hyden Wildlife Park to see this attraction every year.
It costs A$12 per vehicle (to be paid at the entrance to Wave Rock) once you are in the reserve. Payment can be paid at the parking meter or at the nearby kiosk. It’s a short walk to the massive multi-coloured granite rock, which rises 15 metres from the ground and is more than 100 metres long.
The Ballardong People believe that the Rainbow Serpent created Wave Rock by dragging her swollen body through the land after consuming all the water.
It was incredible to stand under the massive wave and see the beautiful colours of the rock formation, formed by rain and dissolving minerals. Of course, we had to take the obligatory photos of us riding the wave 🙂
We visited in summer, so it was too hot for a longer hike, and the flies were crazy. It’s beautiful during spring when the ground is covered with colour from the Western Australian Wildflowers.
If you don’t return to Perth via this route, AAT Kings has a great full-day tour that departs from the Crown Perth.
After leaving Wave Rock, it’s a two and a half hour drive to York, where we stayed overnight.
York was Western Australia’s first inland European settlement, dating back to 1831. This town is a wonderful example of colonial architecture. The beautiful Edwardian York Town Hall was built in 1911 and is now home to the York Visitor Centre.
Apart from the historic buildings and the York Residency Museum, York has a couple of scenic walk trails; The Avon River Walk and Janet Millet Lane. Whatever trail you decide, make sure to cross the suspension bridge.
Download a copy of the map here.
Where To Stay in York
Due to having to change our plans due to the fires, we ended up in York for New Years Eve. Having to book at the last minute didn’t leave us with many options. We weren’t happy with our accommodation, so I’m not going to recommend it.
There are a few Guesthouses on Booking.Com that have fantastic reviews and rated over 9 by guests. After reading the reviews, I like the look of Hope Farm Guesthouse, York’s Lookout Lodge Bed And Breakfast, and Laurelville. Click on the links to see up to date prices.
Perth is less than 100 km from York. Make the most of your day by stopping at Mundaring, The Swan Valley, or John Forrest National Park on your way back.
Extending your Perth to Esperance Road Trip
If you want to extend your road trip, travel the longer route from Perth to Albany via the Margaret River region, Pemberton and Walpole. Read our Albany Road Trip guide on the best route to take, the best places to stay, and what to do. This route showcases the best of the South West and Southern regions of Western Australia.
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First I visit matrix.itasoftware.com to get an idea of the cheapest dates, but you can’t book through this site.
Next I compare the cost of flights with Trip.com and try different routes.
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Travel Information & Guides
This Australia Travel Guide, which includes all essential information and tips, will help with the planning of your holiday to this beautiful country.
If you are looking for more things to do in Western Australia, check out this Western Australia Travel Guide.
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What is the population of Esperance?
According to the 2016 Census, the Esperance population was 10,421.
How far is Perth to Esperance?
Driving direct from Perth to Esperance is about 700 km, which will take about 7 1/2 hours by car.
Is there a supermarket in Esperance?
There are two supermarkets close to the Esplanade in Esperance; the Supa IGA and Woolworths.
What is the distance from Albany to Esperance?
It is 481.3 km from Albany to Esperance.
What is the quickest way to Esperance from Perth?
The quickest way to Esperance from Perth is on Brookton Highway (State Route 40), Great Southern Highway (State Route 120), State Route 107, then State Route 40 to Ravensthorpe. This distance is 696 km and will take around 7 hours and 25 minutes by car.
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