Road Trip - Perth to Albany & Esperance - Round trip - 5 Days_FINAL_ 1,580 km

Perth to Albany Esperance

Start Point: Perth

Duration: 5 Days - 5 Nights

Round trip Perth to Albany & Esperance - 1,580 km

Overview of Trip Experience

Here’s an easy driving 5 Day round trip from Perth that showcases Western Australia’s early settler inroads, Anzac history, as well as delivering some remarkable and unique landscapes. From our whitest beach, a 15-metre wave of solid granite - 2 billion years in the making, a pink lake, experience mother nature's eye candy that simply says slow down. This is a road trip where you’ll want to linger longer at every stop and lookout point.

After the surprises of Albany you take an easterly course to Esperance, where the golden outback meets the Southern Ocean and a string of stunning white-sand beaches. This makes for a striking contrast to the brightest turquoise waters and rust-red granite outcrops. Surrounding bushlands and islands bring you closer to nature at its most diverse, and your journey back to Perth leads you to WA’s biggest wave, hundreds of kilometres from the ocean.

Best time: September to November (to coincide with wildflowers and tail end of the whale watching season)

Breakout box:

 HIGHLIGHTS:

Middleton Beach, Albany Middleton Beach, Albany

Torndirrup National Park

Fitzgerald River National Park

Lucky Bay

Recherche Archipelago

Wave Rock

Day One - Perth CBD  to Albany - 417 km, 4 h 40 mins

Night One - Dog Rock Motel - Albany

 Head out of town via Perth’s Kwinana Freeway then join the Albany Highway. Make a habit of stopping along the way for a driver reviver break in any of the wheatbelt country towns -  Arthur River, Kojonup, Kendenup to name a few.

Enjoy a busy afternoon - the first European settlers set foot in Albany,  and the first convoy of ANZACs departed from here for the battlefields of the First World War. For a great introduction to the region’s rich history and heritage take a 30-minute walk along the Amity Trail. Then visit Discovery Bay, home to the historic whaling station museum. Don’t miss the stories from Gallipoli, the Middle East and the Western Front at the National Anzac Centre.

Time to check-in to the accommodating Dog Rock Motel and refresh. There are so many must see and do experiences now that you have made it to Albany.

Side trip #1 - Albany to Torndirrup National Park - 17.7 km, 17 mins 

If you have time for an extra night you can explore one of the most dramatic natural coastlines in Western Australia – Torndirrup National Park and Cape Howe. Home to iconic features such as  The Gap and Natural Bridge, The Blowholes. Between July and October the coastal park is a top whale watching spot for migrating humpback and southern right whales.

Side trip #2 - Albany to Fitzgerald River National Park - 204 km. 2 h 23 mins

Another great drive is along route 1 and the Borden - Bremer Bay Road. Sightseeing temptations abound even before taking a hike in the Fitzgerald River National Park.  Then returning back to your comfortable Albany digs at the Dog Rock Motel.

Day Two - Albany to Esperance - 483 km, 4 h 57 min 

Night Two - Esperance Bay Holiday Park

If you will not have time for side trip #2 then you can still experience the Albany to Bremer Bay drive into one of the world’s finest  biodiversity, wildflower and bush walking hotspots - The Fitzgerald River National Park. These unique wilderness landscapes are home to  20 per cent of Western Australia’s plant species, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth. Visiting between July and October, make a beeline for Point Ann – one of three special locations in Australia where southern right whales come to calve.

After making your way north to rejoin the South Coast Highway, it’s an easy motor into Esperance. Something special to do is end your day with a sunset stroll along Tanker Jetty or better  join the locals and wet a line -  excellent fishing awaits, before meeting your Golden Chain hosts at the Esperance Bay Holiday Park motel. 

 Day Three - Esperance to Cape Le Grand National Park - 74 km, 1h 23min

Night Three -  Esperance Bay Holiday Park

After breakfast and a wander along the high street it’s time to pack a picnic and head out along the Great Ocean Drive Tourist Loop to a string of beautiful white-sand beaches. Swim or snorkel in the calm, clear waters of Blue Haven Beach and Twilight Cove, just a short drive from town. Or hit the surf at West Beach, Fourth Beach or Observatory Beach. Another option is to grab a bite of  lunch take the hour and a half drive east from Esperance, and discover Australia’s dazzling coastal jewels at Cape Le Grand National Park – leave your footprints in our whitest sands at Lucky Bay. Relax, try some beachcombing, cast a fishing line, or venture beyond the beach following bushwalking trails to breathtaking panoramas of the beautiful islands of the Recherche Archipelago.

Instead of driving consider taking a full or half-day wildlife cruise through one of Australia’s most stunning seascapes – the 100-plus islands of the Recherche Archipelago – stopping to spot sea eagles and New Zealand fur seals, and explore Woody Island’s wilderness on foot.

If you can afford to  fly or cruise the archipelago by private charter, you will be treated to the extraordinary sight of Lake Hillier – the brightest bubblegum-pink lake beside the deepest blue ocean.

Side trip #4 - Esperance to Cape Arid National Park - 169 km, 3 h 27 mins 

If you are in a  4WD with  an extra day to spare, head a little further into the outback coast wilderness to Cape Arid National Park for more bushwalking, camping and fishing adventures.

Day Four - Esperance to Wave Rock, Hyden - 348 km, 3 h 42 min

 Night Four - Visit Wheatbelt Tourism Centre

 Over two million years in the making  – Wave Rock, in the Wheatbelt town of Hyden. This is one wave you’ll want to catch. After driving through amazing scenery you’ll arrive in the farming town of Hyden. After resting and relaxing over some country fare it’s time to head off to the amazing wall of rock. Marvel at this 15-metre-high cresting wave of solid granite that’s been two billion years in the shaping.  If you have timed your visit for spring, after good winter rains, you’ll be rewarded with the surrounding desert transformed into a sea of brilliant wildflowers.

Day Five - Wave Rock, Hyden to Perth - 332 km, 3 h 40 mins

Night Five - Home in Perth

 Make the most of your last day driving home to Perth. Besides a huge choice of wheatbelt towns you will also pass through the Jarrahdale State Forest. Here you’ll find the historic timber town of Jarrahdale, established in the late 1800’s. Worth a stop and some refreshments before the final leg into Perth. Golden Chain hope you find this short introduction to a wonderfully diverse part of Australia useful. And we look forward to being your hosts the next time you are out and about discovering Australia’s treasures.

IMPORTANT TRAVEL INFORMATION

Many roads to and within the National Parks are now sealed, or suitable for 2WD vehicles.

Unsealed roads within the National Parks are not suitable for caravans, large buses or motor homes and may be closed to all vehicle access during wet times of the year. Check Park, Trail and Road Closures alerts for the latest updates.

References:

http://www.westernaustralia.com/en/things_to_see_and_do/suggested_itineraries/pages/albany-and-esperance.aspx#/

http://www.wheatbelttourism.com/where-to-stay/hyden/hyden-accommodation/