One of the highlights of our over 4 months of travel thus far was the road trip we took with some friends up the coast of Western Australia. It’s fair to say we love all parts of Australia we were lucky enough to visit while living there, but there’s something so special about the west coast. The white sandy beaches, turquoise water and red soil. The way you can drive for 2 hours without seeing another soul. The mountains and gorges. The reef structures. It’s all pretty magical! Which is why I wanted to share some information for anyone considering visiting this beautiful part of the world.
But first, here is a video we made from some of our DJI Phantom & GoPro footage:
We all flew into Perth and then headed south to Margaret River before driving up the coast and ending in Broome, where we flew out. The total time of the trip was 26 days, and we covered over 4,000kms. We rented a car in Perth which we dropped off before taking the ferry to Rottnest Island for 2 nights, and then grabbed another car in Fremantle for the rest of our trip.
Over our time in WA, we did and saw a lot! My personal highlights are listed below, with related blog posts 🙂
- Drinking wine in Margaret River
- Biking around Rottnest Island (aka ‘Rotto’)
- Checking out the sand dunes in Lancelin
- Seeing a Pink Lake
- Abseiling in Kalbarri National Park
- Swimming with whale sharks in Coral Bay
- Scuba Diving at Navy Pier
- Climbing Mount Bruce in Karijini National Park
- Watching the sunsets on Cable Beach in Broome
- Flying through the Horizontal Falls in a speedboat
This trip was not cheap for us. That being said, since it’s unlikely we’ll do this exact trip again we really didn’t say no to any of the tours and activities we wanted to do which really contributed to the cost! Below I’ve outlined cost per person for different categories and as you can see activities/tours was more than 1/3rd of the total cost! A large one here was the Horizontal Falls Seaplane Tour, which was nearly $1000 per person, but was also the only way we were going to make it to the Kimberleys on this trip.
Nearly all of our accommodations had kitchens, and so for the most part we bought groceries and made our own meals (lots of snapper tacos, buddha bowls and turkey burgers!). And our alcohol cost was 75% from Margaret River where we purchased a bunch of wine for our time on the road.
Things to Consider
- Car insurance.Make sure you have insurance on your credit card, or purchase car insurance. The roads, especially as you get further north, are often dirt roads with lots of rocks and pebbles. We ended with 2 chips in our windshield as well as a large crack – luckily the damage was covered under our credit card!
- Car rental. We decided to drive north and booked our flights before checking out rentals. Turns out, it’s cheaper to drive from Broome to Perth and much cheaper to go return to Perth (if you have the time and don’t mind driving!) so make sure you look into that before booking. If you want to get a campervan, you need to book them well in advance. We started looking 2-3 months out and for the route we were doing, they were all booked up.
- Fuel and supplies. Since distances between stops can be quite long and some areas are very remote, ensure you plan ahead for groceries, fuel and other supplies. We nearly ran out of gas once, and were a lot more careful after that! 😉
- Plan tours and activities in advance, if you can. Because we knew when we were flying out of Broome, we knew where we would be and when. This allowed us to plan our big activities and tours in advance, which was necessary for some! Swimming with whale sharks and the Horizontal Falls seaplane tour in particular can book out months in advance. I would also recommend booking accommodations in advance if you can!
- Give yourself lots of time. 3.5 weeks was pretty much the perfect amount of time. We probably could have squeezed it into 3 weeks, but sometimes the distances are quite long and it’s nice to enjoy your stops rather than hopping back into the car and getting to the next place.
- Cell phone service is shoddy. Because some areas are quite remote, there will be times when you don’t have cell service. We have Telstra and that seemed to be better than Optus but still not 100%. Because we didn’t always have cell service, we made sure to download the maps offline on the Google Maps app so we never got lost.
In conclusion, this was an incredible trip and well worth the high price tag! WA is unlike any other part of the world we’ve seen, and I’d go back again in a heartbeat. For people considering this itinerary, I’ve put together a Google Maps with our route, accommodations, food & drink recommendations (mostly in Margaret River) and points of interest along the way. Click on the image below to see the interactive map.
If you have any questions at all, leave a comment below or head over to the contact page and send me an email 🙂