Local's Perth to Kalbarri Road Trip Itinerary 2024

Local’s Perth to Kalbarri Road Trip Itinerary 2024

This Perth to Kalbarri Road Trip Itinerary will provide you with memories to remember for a long time. The route winds its way along the Coral Coast, taking in crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, and dramatic cliff faces. There’s plenty to see, so be sure to pack your camera and your sense of adventure!

Key Takeaways

🛣️ Distance: 575 km (357 miles) One-Way
🚘 Driving Time: 6 hours One-Way
☀️ My Favourite Time to Visit: Autumn
⏳ Recommended length of time: 4 to 7 Days
🛣️ Unsealed Roads: No
⭐️ My Highlights: Hiking, Whale Watching

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How to get from Perth to Kalbarri by road

The quickest way from Perth is to take the Mitchell Freeway (State Route 2) to Hester Avenue and turn right. After 1 km, turn left onto Wanneroo Road, which becomes Indian Ocean Drive at Yanchep.

Indian Ocean Drive connects with Brand Highway south of Port Denison, which takes you to Northampton, where you’ll turn off towards Kalbarri.

Tip: Make sure to take the Port Gregory turn-off at Northampton. This is the more scenic coastal route into Kalbarri and allows you to see the Pink Lake at Hutt Lagoon.

Read these Indian Ocean Drive Tips to stay safe on these roads (there have been numerous accidents on Indian Ocean Drive).

Do you need a 4wd to visit Kalbarri?

Most roads around Kalbarri are sealed, including Kalbarri National Park, so you don’t need a 4wd to visit Kalbarri.

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 Kalbarri Road Trip Itinerary

Duration: Four to Seven Days

Kalbarri can be reached in just over six hours from Perth by road, but consider stopping along the way to break up the journey or make it part of a road trip. Make rest stops if you’re planning to drive to Kalbarri in one go to prevent driver fatigue.

Pick and choose where to stop from Perth to Kalbarri, depending on the length of time you have.

1. Cervantes & The Pinnacles

The first place to stop, two hours from Perth, is the Pinnacles to marvel at these incredible limestone pillars in Nambung National Park.

If you’re not planning on driving to Kalbarri in one day, pop into Cervantes to see this small coastal community.

limestone pillars called the pinnacles in the desert at nambung national park western australia

The Pinnacles

Find out more about the Pinnacles, entry fees, and how to see them by clicking the link below.

How to see the Pinnacles ↗

2. Jurien Bay

Jurien Bay is half an hour from Cervantes and two and a half hours from Perth. It’s a great place to stop if you have kids to break up the journey as the town has playgrounds and a skate park. So, grab a coffee and pie from the bakery and head down to the foreshore.

people sitting on a sandy beach with a long jetty going out into the ocean at jurien bay western australia

Things To Do in Jurien Bay

For a complete list of things to do in Jurien Bay, click the link below.

Things to do in Jurien Bay ↗

3. Port Denison/Dongara

One of my favourite places on this route is the small fishing town of Port Denison. Consider an overnight stay here if you want to extend your Perth to Kalbarri road trip.

a sculpture of a giant red western lobster in port denison dongara western australia

Things To Do in Port Denison & Dongara

For a complete list of things to do in Port Denison, the best places to stay, where to eat, and other tips, click the link below.

Things to do in Port Denison ↗

4. Geraldton

This coastal city has plenty to offer with cafes, restaurants, shopping, arts, history, and beaches.

Geraldton is 45 minutes from Port Denison and under five hours from Perth.

boats in a marina with a wooden jetty in Geraldton wa

Things To Do in Geraldton

For a complete list of things to do in Geraldton, the best places to stay, and other tips, click the link below.

Things to do in Geraldton ↗

5. Northampton

Forty minutes from Geraldton lies the country town of Northampton, which was registered as a Historic Town of Importance in 1993. The main things to do in Northampton centre around the town’s history, notably the Church of St Mary in Ara Coeli, Convent of the Sacred Heart, and Chiverton House.

an old convent building in northampton western australia

Things To Do in Northampton

Read about the history and find out what to do in this guide on things to do in Northampton.

Things to do in Northampton ↗

6. Pink Lake (Hutt Lagoon)

Hutt Lagoon, one of Western Australia’s pink lakes, is known for its incredible changes in colour throughout the day. It can go from bright pink to light purple, depending on the time of day and the amount of cloud cover.

The best times to visit Hutt Lagoon are mid-morning and sunset, but it’s still worth visiting as you will be driving right past on the final leg of your Perth to Kalbarri road trip.

pink lake dried up near kalbarri western australia
Pink Lake can be seen on your Perth to Kalbarri Road Trip

7. Kalbarri

The final stop on your road trip and the best part – Kalbarri. Aim to stay here for at least two full days to experience this beautiful part of Western Australia. If you like hiking, you’re in for a treat, as trails lead you through some of the most incredible natural landscapes.

There’s a lot to do in Kalbarri, so make sure you leave enough time in your itinerary to fit it all in.

two girls sitting in natures window kalbarri national park


This travel guide to Kalbarri offers an extensive list of things to do, where to eat, the best accommodation, and a brief history of the town.

Kalbarri Guide ↗

Add-ons for a Perth to Kalbarri Road Trip

To increase this Perth to Kalbarri road trip, you have the option to stop at more places on the way to Kalbarri by adding this Indian Ocean Road Trip. Alternatively, you can extend the trip north to Exmouth.

Where to Stay in Kalbarri

a huge balcony at kalbarri seafront villas with views over the murchison river at sunset
Kalbarri Seafront Villas Townhouse

On our last visit to Kalbarri, we stayed in a villa at Kalbarri Tudor Holiday Park. It was clean and had enough room for our family of four. A bonus was that we could use all the facilities in the holiday park.

We have previously stayed at the Kalbarri Seafront Villas in the townhouse as this was the only villa left. It sleeps up to eight, with four bedrooms.

Book early to avoid disappointment as accommodation gets booked up quickly during peak season and school holidays.

Tips for a Perth to Kalbarri Road Trip

  • Leave early in the morning to arrive well before dusk when animals can hinder and danger the roads.
  • Don’t drive tired. If you feel sleepy, pull over at one of the many rest stops on the side of the road.
  • Pack a picnic to enjoy at one of the beautiful parks on your road trip to Kalbarri. Maybe make a flask of tea or coffee too.
  • Make sure you have plenty of water for your journey – stay hydrated.
  • Keep some snacks handy for the car journey.
  • Be prepared that you may lose the radio signal in some parts, so bring some music with you.
  • Know your route and research the best places to stop along the way. Our Western Australia travel guide provide sgreat advice on which hotels, restaurants and attractions to visit.
  • 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.
  • Buy a Telstra SIM card as their regional coverage is the best.
  • 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.
  • Carry a first aid kit.
  • 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.
  • Note a list of emergency contacts before you leave.
  • Keep valuables out of sight.

With these considerations in mind, you should be able to enjoy a safe, fun, and memorable trip from Perth to Kalbarri.