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.

a stunning sandy beach with clear turquoise ocean
Lucky Bay Esperance

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Arriving into Perth


International and domestic visitors will fly into Perth Airport. Find details about visas, prohibited items, currency, and safety on our Australia page.

If you haven’t booked your flight yet, look at our travel resources to find out how to get the best flight deals.

Car Hire – There are several car hire companies available at the airport but I usually find that Europcar has the best deals for us.

How to get from Perth to Esperance

By Air

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.

Skyscanner is an excellent tool for finding when the cheapest time to fly is and compares airline prices. I always use them when looking for cheap flights. The code for Esperance is EPR.

By Bus

TransWA run a couple of bus services to Esperance. However, it’s hard to get around this region without a vehicle.

By Road

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.

a grey western kangaroo
A kangaroo in Lucky Bay Esperance

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.

pretty sandy bay with turquoise waters
Hellfire Bay in Cape Le Grand National Park Esperance

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

a stunning sandy bay with turquoise water
Little Peoples Bay Albany

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.

Mid-Range

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.

AccommodationStarsRatingPrice# of GuestsBook
Big 4 Emu Beach Holiday ParkN/A9$2-8Book Here
Pelicans Middleton Beach49.1$$2-7Book Here
Albany Bali Style Accommodation49.5$$2Book Here
Dolphin Lodge4.59.1$$2-9Book Here
Evelyn House49.8$$2-6Book Here
Parkfarm Views59.9$$2-8Book Here
bedroom with farm views
Parkfarm Views Albany

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:

TourRatingLengthBookings
Kalgan Queen Scenic Cruises54 hrsBook Here
National Anzac Centre General Entry Ticket4.51-4 hrsBook Here
Albany Wildlife and Scenic Cruise54 hrsBook Here
Albany Summit to Sea Adventure – Guided Segway Tour52 hrsBook Here
Granite Skywalk Porongurups4.55 hrsBook Here

Esperance

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.

painted wheat silos

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.

an orca jumping out of the ocean

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.

We booked through Booking.Com as they offered the lowest price. See how much it is for your travel dates here.

a bed in a cabin
Our bedroom at Esperance Bay Holiday Park

Mid-Range

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).

long straight road with burnt out bushland

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.

a large rock in the shape of a wave

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.

an historic old town hall building with a clock

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.

a suspension bridge over a river

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.

Another option is to add the Fitzgerald River National Park on in between Albany and Esperance.

Flights

plane flying over a beach

I use different sites to try and get the best possible price for flights.

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.

Accommodation

An Adaptable Perth to Esperance Road Trip Itinerary 2021

I mainly use Booking.com for accommodation as they consistently have the lowest rates with free cancellation on most properties.

Car Hire

black car

To compare rental car company prices, I use Rentalcars.com. They are world’s biggest car rental site, comparing all main brands including Europcar, Budget, Ace, Hertz, Avis, and Alamo.

Travel Insurance

An Adaptable Perth to Esperance Road Trip Itinerary 2021

Don’t travel anywhere without travel insurance, it’s not worth the risk.

Travel insurance: simple & flexible

You can buy and claim online, even after you’ve left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from over 130 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

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.


If you found our Perth to Esperance Road Trip Itinerary and Guide helpful, please consider booking through one of our links. It won’t cost you anything but will help towards the cost of running this site. Thank you 🙂

FAQ

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.

photo of a beach with the words an adaptable perth to esperance road trip itinerary

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30 Comments

  1. hi Wendy,

    Is the road from Ravensthorpe up to Hyden and Wave rock all bitumen? as you have a photo but is all the road bitumen…?

    Cheers

    1. Hi Todd, yes the road from Ravensthorpe to Wave Rock is sealed all the way (bitumen).

  2. Francesca says:

    What a fantastic road trip with gorgeous hotels! I would love to go to Bremer Bay to see the orcas!

  3. I continue to be struck every time I read one of your posts Wendy with how much there is to do in Western Australia!

    1. Thank you Steven. It’s been great exploring more of Western Australia this year.

  4. Travel Bugs World says:

    Another trip i want to do! Having never been there i would drive down the coast then come back via Wave Rock. it sounds like an exciting trip! thanks for giving us a glimpse of it and the tips!!

    1. Thank you! This is exactly what we did and the route I would recommend taking from Perth to Esperance.

  5. Aww, I am totally dreaming about Australia even more with your posts! I would love to add Esperance to my Australia bucket list.

  6. So many great ideas for a road trip here! Wave Rock is now top of my list for must-sees next time I am in Australia. Would love to take one of tours to see the orcas. We did see whales when we visited Australia, but only from a distance so this is still on my list. All the different optoins for accommodation is really helpful too.

  7. Another fabulous road trip that I would love to experience! Can’t wait until I can visit Australia! Love your guides – so much great info!

  8. Such a helpful post! I cannot wait to do this road trip. That wave rock is everything!

    1. Thank you Jen, Wave Rock is worth a visit if you’re passing by on this Perth to Esperance road trip.

  9. A nice round up of your road trip Wendy. I can see why Wave Rock is such a popular attraction. I’ll admit, I’d never heard of it before reading your post!

  10. Travel Bugs World says:

    WOW! so many exciting posts on the blog this last month. This is the trip we are keen on going if we don’t get to Asia next year!

    1. We are planning on heading over to the east coast of Australia next year as I can’t see international travel being on the cards still.

  11. Wow! I would love to see the Wave Rock, incredible formation! The beach looks great to, I wouldn’t mind spending a few days in the area. 😀

  12. Australia is still on top of my list for a very long road trip and Esperance and Albany seemed like gorgeous beaches!!
    I never heard of that Wave Rock, but I would love to see that for real!

    1. There are some great road trips to take in Australia Alexandra. Wave Rock is a good place to stop at en route to or from Esperance.

  13. What a great post, Wendy! We *love* road trips and this one looks just amazing! Your write-up is super informative, a solid practical-info practice. The beaches in Albany and Esperance do look beautiful – the bushfires impact is heart-breaking… Nature will recover! We appreciated the acknowledgement of the Noongar People, bringing awareness and respect. Do you have any posts specifically about some of Australia’s First Peoples? That would make for superb reading and valuable educational materials for anyone wanting to visit (or just learn more about) your region in Australia!

    1. Thank you! Unfortunately I don’t at the moment but I think that’s a superb idea. I’m off to write it on my things to do list!

  14. This looks like a great road trip in Western Australia, Wendy! Looks like there are lots of fun activities along the way. In particular, those beaches look amazing and I’d love to see some killer whales.

  15. On a wet windy day in Wellington, those beaches look very attractive indeed. I’d enjoy the orca, silo art and – especially – the wave rock too. Striking how many English names have been used in the area, and that building in York almost looks like it would have been totally at home in the original Yorkshire city!

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