Ultimate Perth to Exmouth Road Trip: 14-Day OR 7-Day Itinerary + FREE Map + Planning Tips

Doing a road trip from Perth to Exmouth is a bucket list item for most. There are over 1,300 kilometres of Western Australia’s rugged coastal scenery and top attractions on the way.

With some of the most ancient lands in the world, Western Australia boasts rich landscapes, wildlife interactions, dinosaur footprints, living Aboriginal culture and history, making it like nowhere else on Earth.

Our road trip itinerary includes all the best sights you simply cannot miss – take a drive through the Pinnacles, swim with seals in Jurien Bay, hike ancient gorges in Kalbarri, and go swimming with whale sharks on the abundant Ningaloo reef!

Exmouth is the ultimate road trip location

The journey to Exmouth is over 13 hours of driving from Perth. But there are many of Western Australia’s most iconic sights on the way. Expect to leave inspired and forever changed by this experience of a lifetime.

We’ve been living on the road since 2020 and have driven through this coast more times than we can count.

So, believe us when we say – if you don’t have at least 1 or 2 weeks available for this, it’s best to do a shorter road trip like a 5-day trip from Perth to Kalbarri.

A woman in a red top and white skirt walks along a road next to the strikingly pink waters of Hutt Lagoon in Kalbarri, Western Australia. A Perfect stop for a Perth to Exmouth Road Trip
The Pink Lake in Kalbarri is a must-stop for your road trip. More on this below.

On your way to Exmouth and back, you’ll stop by some of Western Australia’s gems including, Lancelin, Pinnacles, Jurien Bay, Hutt Lagoon, Kalbarri, Geraldton, Monkey Mia, Shark Bay, Carnarvon, and Coral Bay.

Careful planning for this road trip is crucial. It’s a lengthy trip and you need to be strategic in the stops you make. You don’t want to miss anything or be so worn out from driving that you can’t fully enjoy each destination.

You can swim with whale sharks in Exmouth. Book your tickets in advance because they do sell out.

That’s why we’ve put together two itineraries – the perfect 14-day itinerary with a downloadable map, and a shorter, 7-day itinerary for those short on time.

We’ll tell you where to stop to stretch your legs, the best places to stay each day, things to do, as well as recommendations to help you plan this trip while saving money.

Let’s get started!

Free downloadable map

Perth to Exmouth 14-day road trip itinerary

This itinerary takes you through all the highlights of the Coral Coast and it includes staying 4 full days in Exmouth, Western Australia.

Arrive in Exmouth on day 5, stay there through days 6 – 9, and start the journey back on day 10! There’s so much to see and do in Exmouth and just as much on the way there and back too!

Day 1: Perth to Cervantes (2 – 3 hours)

We recognise the traditional owners of this land that we are exploring from Perth to Cervantes, Whadjuk and Yued.

The drive from Perth to Cervantes is pretty straightforward, as you’ll drive along the scenic Indian Ocean Drive. The Pinnacles is one of the most iconic stops along the way.

Some awesome stops to make on your way to Cervantes include:

An aerial view of two people walking among the limestone formations of The Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park, Western Australia. It is one of the best stops for a Perth to Exmouth Road Trip
The cool landscapes of The Pinnacles Desert at sunrise.

When in Cervantes, have a delicious seafood lunch at Lobster Shack.

Then, head to The Pinnacles Desert to see as the sun sets on these ancient limestone formations. It’s a surreal experience! There’s an entry fee of $17, as this attraction is in Nambung National Park.

And if you fancy a bit more exploration, take a short 3-minute drive to Lake Thetis to see the stromatolites.

A few people walk along the white sandy beach of Lancelin, Western Australia, under a bright blue sky.
Drop by Lancelin Beach after an ATV ride or sandboarding in the Lancelin sand dunes.

Note: If you’ve already visited The Pinnacles and Lancelin Sand dunes, then consider going to Jurien Bay instead! More on that on day 13

Where to stay in Cervantes?

  • Best Caravan Park: RAC Cervantes Holiday Park offers a range of comfortable accommodations, ideal for a relaxing getaway. It’s a 3-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps 6 to 8.
  • Best for Families and Groups: Cervantes Holiday Homes features cosy and well-equipped units, perfect for families and groups. It’s a 1-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps 7.

  • Best Hotel: Pinnacles Edge Resort boasts modern amenities and spacious rooms, ideal for a relaxing stay. It’s a 1-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps 5.

Day 2: Cervantes to Kalbarri via Hutt Lagoon (4h 30m)

We recognise the traditional owners of this land we are exploring from Cervantes to Kalbarri, Yued, Amangu and Nanda.

Wake up early because you’ve got an exciting day ahead!

Kalbarri has rich landscapes to explore, from the Pink Lake to ancient gorges.

Here are some recommended stops to do on your way to Kalbarri to stretch your legs:

A woman in a red swimsuit and straw hat stands in the pink waters of Pink Lake, Hutt Lagoon in Kalbarri, Western Australia.
It’s not the best swimming at the Pink Lake but you can take cool images!

The coastal cliffs get more spectacular as you approach Kalbarri. The Natural Bridge, Red Bluff Lookout, and Pot Alley are truly special places to watch the sunset.

But if you’re feeling fancy, take this sunset cruise tour along the cliffs. Keep an eye out for whales in the season! (June – November)

For dinner, you can go to Finlay’s for a nice meal before heading to your accommodation. Other popular places to eat are The Gorges Cafe, Upstairs Restaurant and Red Bluff Bakery Cafe.

We 100% recommend spending at least one full day in Kalbarri, which is why we included it in your itinerary. Day 3 is all about this gem of the West Coast!

Note: Kalbarri honestly deserves its own road trip. It’s shorter than Exmouth’s (5-days long) but jam-packed with activities. It’s a great alternative if you want to explore the Coral Coast but don’t have 2 weeks to spare. Check the full 5-day itinerary here, it also has a free map included!

Where to stay in Kalbarri?

  • Best Caravan Park: Kalbarri Red Bluff Tourist Park has comfortable accommodations with scenic views, plus lots of things to do nearby. It’s a 5-minute drive from the town centre and can sleep 5.
  • Best for Families and Groups: Riverview Holiday Apartments offers modern amenities and stunning views, perfect for a relaxing getaway. It’s a 7-minute drive from the town centre and can sleep 7.
  • Best Hotel: Pelican’s Nest provides comfortable and spacious accommodations with all the necessary amenities for a great stay. It’s a 2-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps 5.

Want more options? Check out our guide with the top 15 accommodations for any budget (from free stays to luxury options)

Day 3: Kalbarri

There’s PLENTY to do in Kalbarri for a full day of adventures, some activities are even free.

You can’t beat the scenery in Kalbarri. Don’t miss the Skywalk!

That said, we recommend starting your day in Kalbarri National Park. After paying the entry fee ($17 per vehicle) you can explore all of it! At a bare minimum, try to visit the following:

  • Nature’s Window, a natural rock formation that looks like a literal window, framing the Murchison River below. It’s the perfect photo opportunity.

  • The Z Bend, with a lookout from where you can see the Murchison River bending like a Z-shape. If you visit during the cooler months, there are 3 great hikes to do as well.

  • Kalbarri Skywalk, a massive lookout that hangs over 100 metres above the Murchison River. The views are awe-inspiring.

You could also snorkel at Blue Holes or go surfing at Jake’s Point. There are a few beaches as well to check out, like Chinaman’s Beach or Red Bluff Beach.

If you get time or can afford to spend another day in Kalbarri then don’t miss the coastal cliffs hikes and sightseeing. Some top sites here include Island Rock, Natural Bridge, Red Bluff Lookout and the Bigurda Trail.

Day 4: Kalbarri to Carnarvon (4h 40m)

We recognise the traditional owners of this land we are exploring from Kalbarri to Carnarvon, Nhanda, Malkana and Yinggarda.

Today you’ll drive along the North West Coastal Highway. The famous Shark Bay and Francois Peron National Park are along this drive, you can stop a night there on your way up or way back from Exmouth.

The first 2 hours from Kalbarri, are quite monotonous as the landscape is pretty much the same, but you can make a pit stop at the Billabong Roadhouse for a classic Aussie roadhouse experience. It’s perfect for a meal or just to stretch your legs.

It’s a long drive, but the stunning landscapes will keep you entertained. This is Francois Peron National Park (Shark Bay).

You can either drive the remaining 2.5 hours to Carnarvon for the night, or visit/stay at:

  • Hamelin Pool – take a small 20-minute detour here and check out the ancient stromatolites!
  • Shark Bay – 2 hours from Billabong Roadhouse (4 hours from Kalbarri) has a range of incredible sights to see including the famous Shell Beach.
  • Monkey Mia – next to Shark Bay, Monkey Mia is a popular dolphin viewing area.

Note: This itinerary includes these spots on your way back from Exmouth to Perth, but you can also visit them on your way to Carnarvon! Do whatever’s best for YOUR journey.

Once you reach Carnarvon, take a stroll around the Fascine to stretch your legs from the long drive while enjoying the best views of town.

The Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum is worth checking out as well.

Note: At the time of writing, the stromatolite boardwalk is under maintenance and can’t be accessed, so double-check before visiting (here).

Where to stay in Carnarvon?

  • Best Caravan Park: Capricorn Holiday Park offers a variety of accommodation options with excellent facilities for a comfortable stay. It’s a 4-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps 6.

  • Best for Families and Groups: Carnarvon Motel features comfortable rooms and convenient amenities for a pleasant stay. It’s a 2-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps 5.

  • Best Hotel: Hospitality Carnarvon provides comfortable accommodations with excellent amenities, perfect for both short and extended stays. It’s a 3-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps 3.

Day 5: Carnarvon to Exmouth (3h 45m)

We recognise the traditional owners of this land we are exploring between Carnarvon and Exmouth. Known as the Maya, Payungu and Thalanji land and/or people.

Carnarvon is famous for its delicious local produce, so you could start your day by doing some of the Fruit Loop Trail. You’ll drive through some of those spots anyway on your way to Exmouth!

Grab the trail map here. Pick up some banana or mango ice cream at Bumbaks!

Coral Bay to Exmouth has a 4wd only dirt track with a lot of remote campsites.

The trip from Carnarvon to Exmouth will be a bit monotonous at times, but you can stop at Minilya Bridge Roadhouse to grab a bite and stretch your legs.

From there, you can either drive the remaining 2 hours to Exmouth or stop in the small but beautiful town called Coral Bay for a night or two! If you follow this itinerary, you will spend a full day there (Day 10).

But you can stop there to break up the drive to Exmouth, stretch your legs, snorkel the Ningaloo Reef, and/or grab a bite at Fin’s.

The stunning scenes of Coral Bay and Exmouth

Then it’s just a 1.5-hour drive until you reach Exmouth!

You’ll probably get there by evening. If you’re able to catch the sunset, definitely head up to either the Vlamingh Head Lighthouse or Charles Knife Canyon for some of the best views in the area.

Sunset from Charles Knife Canyon

Both spots offer panoramic vistas of the coastline and are the perfect place to watch the sky change colours as the sun dips below the horizon.

Then grab dinner in one of the many places to eat in Exmouth.

Where to stay in Exmouth?

One of the most popular outback station stays near Exmouth is Bullara Station Stay. With bucket showers, outback dining, a cafe, bonfires, cattle ranching, incredible sunsets, camping and more.

If you prefer camping or are going with a caravan, there are a few incredible campgrounds in Cape Range National Park too which are right on the beach. Including the famous Osprey Bay Campground, where you can swim with turtles right from the beach.

But they get booked months in advance – people can book up to 180 days in advance – so make sure to do this ASAP! Book your spot here.

Bullara Outback Station Stay is an incredible experience! Don’t miss it.

Other options include:

  • Best Caravan Park: RAC Exmouth Cape Holiday Park offers a range of accommodation options with great facilities for a comfortable stay. It’s a 2-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps 6.

  • Best budget for Families and Groups: Potshot Hotel Resort features a variety of room options and excellent amenities for a comfortable stay. It’s a 3-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps 6.

  • Best Hotel: Mantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort offers luxurious beachfront accommodation with stunning ocean views and top-notch amenities. It’s a 3-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps 4.

Day 6-9: Exmouth and Cape Range National Park

A diver extends a hand towards a large manta ray swimming overhead in the clear blue waters of Exmouth, Western Australia. It shows an underwater snorkelling experience.
Experience the thrill of snorkelling with manta rays up close in Exmouth.

There are lots of unmissable things to do in Exmouth in 4 days, but this is what we recommend to make the most out of your visit:

You can’t beat the snorkelling on the Ningaloo Reef

While there are a few activities you can only do in specific months, like:

That said, keep in mind that Cape Range National Park has an entry fee of $17.

You have to pay this each time you enter unless you buy a multi-day pass. If you’re staying in Exmouth town, it might be cheaper to purchase a holiday pass instead, more info here!

Exmouth is a bit expensive (not as much as Coral Bay though) so here’s a list of awesome AND free things to do in Exmouth.

Day 10: Exmouth to Coral Bay (1h 30m)

You’ll start your journey back to Perth, but not before spending one more day enjoying the Ningaloo Reef from Coral Bay.

If you want to swim with manta rays, Coral Bay is the place to be. They are permanent residents of these waters! There are a few epic tours to choose from, too, including quad biking and snorkelling.

That said, this town has more tourists than residents at any given time. This makes it quite expensive compared to Exmouth, so here’s a list of free things to do in Coral Bay.

Swim with manta rays in Coral Bay – or Exmouth!

If you have a 4WD vehicle and want to go off the beaten track, check out the dirt road drive from Coral Bay to Exmouth. There are many remote campsites you can stay at but book in advance as they fill up in the busy season.

Also, make sure to book any tours you want to do as well as accommodation ahead of time.

Where to stay in Coral Bay?

  • Best Caravan Park: People’s Park offers comfortable and well-equipped accommodations perfect for families or groups. It’s a 4-minute walk from the town centre and sleeps 4 to 6.

  • Best for Families and Groups: Ningaloo Coral Bay – Bayview has a range of facilities including a swimming pool and BBQ area, ideal for a relaxing stay. It’s a 1-hour drive from the town centre and sleeps 3 to 5.

  • Best Hotel: Ningaloo Coral Bay Backpackers provides budget-friendly accommodation with access to shared facilities like a pool and BBQ area. It’s a short walk from the town centre and sleeps 3.

Time to continue your drive back to Perth after Coral Bay

Accommodation in Coral Bay is very limited, so another option is to do it as a full-day trip from Exmouth.

S&C Travel Tip

Day 11: Coral Bay to Shark Bay/ Monkey Mia (5h 50m)

Your journey back to Perth officially starts today, with an almost 6-hour drive to Monkey Mia, a popular destination nestled in Shark Bay Heritage Area and famous for its resident dolphins.

You can break the drive in Carnarvon or in any of the roadhouses along the highway. However, here are a few spots you can also check out:

  • Hamelin Pool if you didn’t visit it on your way to Exmouth.

  • Shell Beach, one of the few beaches in the world made entirely from shells. It’s a great spot to stretch your legs, take photo memories or go for a swim (it’s right here).

  • If you have a 4WD, visit Francois Peron National Park (entry fee of $17)

Shark Bay, Western Australia

Accommodation is limited in Monkey Mia but there are more options in Denham (they’re are a 15-minute drive apart).

And while you’re there, why not book any of the most highly-rated Aboriginal tours in Western Australia? They run from Shark Bay and Monkey Mia:

Where to stay in Monkey Mia?

There are a few great caravan parks – the Wooramel River Retreat (there are natural hot spas there!) as well as Shark Bay Caravan Park. But here are other options if these two are not available:

  • Best Caravan park: RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort offers beachfront accommodation with a pool and direct dolphin interaction experiences. It’s a 2-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps 5.

  • For Families and Groups: Tasman Holiday Parks – Denham Seaside provides beachfront accommodation with excellent facilities including BBQ areas and playgrounds. It’s an 18-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps 6.

  • Best Hotel: Heritage Resort Shark Bay highlights modern rooms with stunning ocean views and a range of amenities including a pool and restaurant. It’s a 17-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps 2.

Day 12: Shark Bay / Monkey Mia to Geraldton (4h)

You can start your day in Monkey Mia to check out the dolphin experience. You can see the dolphins up close during their feeding session, near the jetty.

This wasn’t our favourite place though – it felt like an overhyped zoo. But it is very popular for families and the kids absolutely love it.

You can find wild dolphins in pristine waters across the whole WA coastline

After meeting the dolphins, you can rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the calm waters of Shark Bay on your own.

The area is great for hikes too, there are several trail starts near the visitor centre with beautiful views and opportunities to spot local wildlife.

Once you’re ready, it’s time to start your drive back down to Geraldton. You can either stop at the multiple rest stops on the way or take the detour back to Kalbarri for a night.

Shark Bay is not to be missed on your road trip

It would add an extra hour to the total driving time, but it can be worth it if you want a cool spot to stretch your legs and grab a bite. Plus, it’s another opportunity to check out Pink Lake!

You’ll probably reach Geraldton by the evening, so consider going to the HMAS Sydney II Memorial for a nice sunset view.

Where to stay in Geraldton?

  • Best Caravan park: Belair Gardens Caravan Park is perfect for recreational activities. It has an outdoor pool and playground. It’s a 7-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps 7.

  • For Families and Groups: Mantra Geraldton offers stylish apartments with waterfront views, featuring amenities such as a heated pool and BBQ. It’s a 3-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps 6.

  • Best Hotel: Hospitality Geraldton provides comfortable rooms with a pool and on-site restaurant. It’s a 2-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps 4.

Day 13: Geraldton to Jurien Bay (2h 30m)

Have breakfast and explore more of Geraldton before heading to the gorgeous Jurien Bay, famous for its top-notch snorkelling, beautiful beaches, and the resident sea lions!

Snorkelling is a must on this road trip.

If you have a 4WD, do not miss Sandy Cape… It’s stunning! Plus you can rent a sandboard there to have some fun in the dunes.

Then have lunch/dinner and have a good rest, because tomorrow is the grand finale!

Where to stay in Jurien Bay?

  • Best Caravan Park: Jurien Bay Tourist Park is home to excellent facilities including BBQ areas and a children’s playground. It’s a 2-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps 4.

  • Best for Families and Groups: Sandowne House is perfect for families and fishing enthusiasts, with close proximity to the beach. It’s a 2-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps 9.

  • Best Hotel: Jurien Bay Hotel offers comfortable rooms with an on-site bar and restaurant, making it a convenient stay for travellers. It’s a 2-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps 4.

Day 14: Jurien Bay to Perth (2h 30m)

As the last day of your trip, why don’t kick it off with a sea lion tour or a skydiving experience? You can’t go wrong either way.

If you want to do a sea lion tour, you’ll hop on a boat to nearby islands so you can swim and interact with these beautiful and friendly creatures up close.

Swimming with sea lions in Jurien Bay is one of the top things to do in WA

As for skydiving, you’ll have the absolute best views of the bay and the islands. It’s one of the most popular activities to do in Jurien Bay for a reason!

Both tours take place in the morning, so you’ll be in Perth by evening.

7-day Perth to Exmouth road trip itinerary

If you only have 1 week for this road trip, cut the previous itinerary in half by doing this instead:

  • Day 1: Perth to Kalbarri via Hutt Lagoon (6 h)

  • Day 2: Kalbarri to Carnarvon (4h 40m)

  • Day 3: Carnarvon to Exmouth (3h 45m)

  • Day 4: Exmouth.

  • Day 5: Exmouth to Coral Bay (1h 30m)

  • Day 6: Coral Bay to Geraldton (7h 15m)

  • Day 7: Geraldton to Perth (4h 20m)

You will likely see a turtle on your visit to Exmouth!

What’s the quickest way to get to Exmouth by car?

Let’s say you don’t want to fly from Perth to Exmouth or vice versa. You want to go there by car and want to spend as much time as possible in Exmouth.

In that case, you could be there in two days, breaking the trip to Hamelin Pool.

It would be tough. Just be very careful when driving at dawn or dusk, as wildlife tends to be more active during those times.

The image shows a breathtaking night sky filled with stars and the Milky Way stretches above a rugged landscape of trees and hills with a distant glow of city lights in Perth, Western Australia.
Don’t miss stargazing at night too. The light pollution is less out in remote areas.

The itinerary would look like this:

  • Day 1 – Drive from Perth to Hamelin Pool. It’s a 7.5-hour trip, ~730 kilometres. You’d go inland via National Route 1. Stop at Badgingarra and either Geraldton or Northampton to stretch your legs and grab a bite. There’s a caravan park in Hamelin Pool where you can stay overnight without having to drive the extra 1.5 hours into Monkey Mia.

  • Day 2 – Drive from Hamelin Pool to Exmouth. It’s a 6-hour trip, ~588 kilometres, still on National Route 1. Stop at Carnarvon and Coral Bay before the final 1.5-hour stretch to Exmouth.

If you can’t find accommodation in Hamelin Pool, then it’s best to break the trip in Kalbarri. It’s a bit of a detour, but it’s not as bad as the detour to Monkey Mia.

Once in Exmouth, we recommend spending a few days in Cape Range National Park, which is a 1-hour drive from Exmouth. There are a few great campsites there and that’s where most of the epic beaches and hikes are!

Have more days? Add these spots

Western Australia is absolutely stunning but massive. It would take around a month and a half to do an entire road trip of it (here’s the full itinerary of a Western Australia road trip if you’re keen).

A couple stands next to a converted camper van parked on a dirt road, surrounded by tall trees in a lush forest of Boranup Drive in Margaret River, Western Australia.
Western Australia is massive but it’s worth the trip! This is in Margaret River, South West

So if you can tick off a few bucket-list destinations during your visit to Exmouth, definitely do it! Particularly Karijini and/or Broome:

Return to Perth via Karijini (4WD only)

If you have 5-6 extra days and you’re travelling between April to September, definitely consider extending your trip to Karijini. It is one of the best sights to see in Australia!

The park is famous for being a desert oasis, with dramatic gorges (here are the best ones), crystal-clear rock pools, and stunning waterfalls, making it an ideal spot for hiking, swimming with waterfalls, wildlife spotting and photography.

The most incredible landscape here!

The trails here cater to all levels, from easy walks like the Fern Pool to more challenging treks like Weano Gorge.

We recommend staying at Karijini Eco Retreat.

Keep reading: Top 10 things to do in Karijini

Continue to Broome

This is 100% worth doing if you have an extra 5 days and you’re visiting between June -September.

During sunset, a woman wades through the clear, shallow waters of the rock pools at Coconut Well in Broome, Western Australia.
The beautiful rockpools of Coconut Wells!

Broome is a laid-back town with a rich history and some seriously stunning natural scenery, making it a top spot for any traveller.

Cable Beach is unmissable with its 22 kilometres of soft, white sand and clear turquoise waters. It’s perfect for a day of sunbathing, swimming, and camel rides at sunset – an iconic Broome experience.

If you’re keen to explore more, take a trip up to Gantheaume Point. At low tide, you can spot 130-million-year-old dinosaur footprints preserved in the reef rock!

There’s also Coconut Wells, a group of rock pools that only show themselves at low tide.

A good place to stay is RAC Cable Beach, with caravan spots and cabins to choose from.

Keep reading: 15 epic things to do in Broome

Planning your road trip from Perth to Exmouth

Keep this in mind to make the most out of your road trip:

Buy a park pass

You’ll visit a few national parks during your journey. For some of them, you have to pay an entry fee of around $17 per vehicle which can quickly add up.

It might be best to purchase a holiday park pass. These give you unlimited entry to any WA park for 5 days, 2 weeks, or 4 weeks depending on which option you choose. Get them here.

You’ll have to print it and display it on your vehicle window.

A close up shot of pink everlasting wildflowers in Western Australia
Visit at the right time, and you will see the Spring wildflowers

When are you going to visit?

The best time to visit Exmouth is between March and October. Within this time are the whale shark, humpback whale, and wildflower seasons Plus the weather this time of year is excellent for hiking.

We detail all the things to do in Exmouth depending on the season in this guide, check it out!

But regardless of when you visit, always check out the Parks Alerts System website for any active alerts (fires, jellyfish warnings, etc).

How many days to spend in Exmouth?

The bare minimum we recommend is 3-4 days. But when we went there, we stayed 2 months and still didn’t want to leave!

For a holiday, we honestly recommend spending 1 full week in Exmouth. This will give you ample time to explore the town, the reef, and Cape Range National Park.

This is the baby shark nursery in Coral Bay

Getting there by plane

This is an excellent option if you want to spend as much time as possible in Exmouth.

There are direct flights from Perth to Exmouth, so you can be there in under 2 hours! We recommend booking your flights through Trip.com because they always find the best deals. Check the current deals here.

That said, you need a car to get around Exmouth. Thankfully, you can conveniently rent one at Learmonth Airport via Rental Cars.

Is there public transport from Perth to Exmouth?

No, there’s no public transport at the moment to take you from Perth to Exmouth. The furthest you could go is to Kalbarri, as TransWa has a few routes available (more info here).

You still need to rent a vehicle to finish the trip and there aren’t many car rentals in Kalbarri. So it’s best to either rent a vehicle from Perth or fly to Exmouth and rent one at the airport.

Do you need a 4WD for Exmouth?

You don’t need a 4WD to Exmouth unless you want to go off-road or plan on going to Karijini National Park at some point in your trip.

If you’re not bringing your own vehicle, you can rent one in Perth. Rental Cars can help you with that, as they scan through all the rentals available to find you the best deals. Try it out here!

Should I rent a caravan for this road trip?

We recommend renting one as it can be more cost-effective in the end. You won’t have to rent a car and book accommodation separately, plus you can stay in free or cheap campsites along the way.

It also gives you more freedom in your itinerary!

A woman sits inside a camper van, enjoying a cup of coffee while looking out at the ocean through the window. It shows a comfortable road trip in Western Australia.
We got a caravan to make our travel adventures even more convenient and exciting!

But if you want to camp at Cape Range National Park, you will have to book it months in advance. Factor that in.

With that in mind, here are a few great caravan rentals to check out:

  • Travellers Autobarn is the cheapest caravan rental out there, without sacrificing quality. Check Autobarn rentals here.

  • JUCY campervans is the middle ground. Their caravans are often bigger than Autobarn’s while still keeping good prices. Check JUCY rentals here.

  • Star RV is the best for premium campervans. If you want to go on an adventure without sacrificing comfort, go straight to Star RV. Check Star RV rentals here.

Don’t want to drive? Do this instead

You can still do a road trip from Perth to Exmouth without having to do all the driving – with a tour!

There are a few epic tours available. The main advantage is that they take care of pretty much everything, including accommodation and most meals, plus you’ll be with a tour guide at all times.

Some take you to Exmouth and back to Perth while others are one-way so you can spend more time in Exmouth. We reviewed them all here, but if you want a quick answer, here are the best ones:

Top tips

Be extra careful at dawn and dusk, as wild animals are at their most active and can cross the roads suddenly.

Also, take regular breaks to avoid fatigue and share driving if possible. This is particularly important if you’ll do this in summer (December-February) as temperatures get very high.

Did you know?

The region around Exmouth is home to the Learmonth Solar Observatory and is part of the worldwide network monitoring the sun’s activity.

There’s also a nearby naval communication station, the Harold E. Holt Station, which hosts one of the world’s most powerful transmission stations, used mostly for communication with submerged submarines.


Can you drive Perth to Exmouth in one day?

You could drive the 13 hours from Perth to Exmouth, but that doesn’t mean that you should! It’s a very long trip. You could do it in two days, breaking the trip in Kalbarri or Hamelin Pool.

Do you need a 4WD to drive to Exmouth?

No, you don’t need a 4WD to drive to Exmouth as all roads are sealed and well-maintained. But you need one if you want to go to Francois Peron National Park in Shark Bay.

The bottom line

Road-tripping from Perth to Exmouth is an absolute must for anyone looking to take in some of Western Australia’s most stunning coastal views and marine life.

There is SO much to see – the vibrant colours of Pink Lake, the rugged landscapes of Kalbarri, the charming vibes of Jurien Bay, the unspoiled landscapes of Shark Bay and Monkey Mia…

No wonder you need 2 weeks to truly take it all in.

Even though it’s a long journey, you won’t regret any of it. Hopefully, this itinerary helps you plan the trip easily, so you focus on enjoying the ride!

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