Albany to Bremer Bay Road Trip

Bremer Bay is one of the most spectacular destinations in Western Australia. The quaint town, stunning bay, and proximity to the exceptional Fitzgerald National Park have made it a popular destination for locals, tourists, and overlanders. However, as fine a destination as Bremer Bay is, the journey there should not be overlooked. The surrounding area has national parks, nature reserves, and stunning beaches.

Bremer Bay is well positioned between the two major hubs of Esperance to the east and Albany to the west. This has made it a popular stopover for traveling between the two towns and for a short weekend break from either location. This guide focuses on the spectacular journey to Bremer Bay from Albany, several hours’ drive to the west. We’ll take a closer look at the different routes you can take and the best things to see along the way. If you plan to travel to Esperance after, you should also check out our Bremer Bay to Esperance guide. But for now, let’s focus on the stretch of road between Albany and Bremer Bay.

How far is Bremer Bay from Albany?

Gorgeous Bremer Bay in Western Australia is located 180 km from Albany by road. This assumes you follow the most direct route along the South Coast Highway before switching to the Borden-Bremer Bay Road at Boxwood Hill. It’s a journey that can be completed in as little as two hours if you travel non-stop, but trust us, there are plenty of excellent reasons to stop. 

Rust colored boulders in front of a perfect white beach at Bremer Bay
Stunning Bremer Bay is the final destination for this great little road trip.

Best Routes Between Albany and Bremer Bay

There are two main routes you can travel between Albany and Bremer Bay. The first is the classic coastal route, which heads due east from Albany, following the South Coast Highway, before exiting onto the Borden-Bremer Bay Road. While these roads follow the curve of the coastline, they’re set some way inland, so you’ll only get glimpses of the stunning coastline. However, along the length of the highway, you’ll pass by numerous detours down to soft sand beaches, hidden coves, and pristine nature reserves. You’ll also pass through many charming small towns, including Kalgan, Many Peaks, and Wellstead. 

The second major route you can take is the inland route. This route showcases some of Western Australia’s finest national parks and features plenty of small-town charm. Leaving Albany to the north, you’ll travel the Chester Pass Road through several national parks. You then transition to the Gnowangerup-Jerramungup Road, passing through some interesting and quaint towns. At Jerramungup, you’ll turn due south before following the same route to Bremer Bay as the coastal route once you hit the Borden-Bremer Bay Road. 


Main Attractions


Driving Time

Coastal Route

  • Gull Rock National Park
  • Cheyne Beach
  • Cape Riche

180 km

2 hours

Inland Route

  • Porongup National Park
  • Stirling Range National Park
  • Reef Beach

285 km

3 hours 


Coastal Route

Australia’s southwest coastline is arguably the most spectacular in the whole country, and the stretch between Albany and Bremer Bay is no exception. Across this varied coastline, you’ll discover national parks, nature reserves, beautiful beaches, and charming small coastal towns and communities. While the distance between Albany and Bremer Bay along the Coastal Route is just 180 km, plenty of sights are packed in along the way.

The coastal road trip route starts out in Albany and heads east along the South West Highway, part of Australia’s Highway 1. Shortly after leaving the city limits, you’ll pass a turn-off to the first two possible stops at Gull Rock National Park and the secluded Nanarup Beach. The same turn-off also leads to Two People Bay Nature Reserve.

The route continues east until you reach the small town of Manypeaks. It’s a good place to fill up on fuel and stretch your legs. You can also take a side trip down Homestead Road to Bettys Beach and Mount Manypeaks Nature Reserve. There are a number of good accommodation options by these two attractions making it a decent spot to stay overnight. 

From Manypeaks, the route continues east along the South Coast Highway. There’s a turn-off soon after for the serene Cheyne Beach before you drive through Hassell National Park. The route continues to the small town of Wellstead, which has a fuel station and a campsite, making it another decent overnight spot. From here, you can either continue your journey eastbound or take a detour down to the exceptional Cape Riche if you have the time and inclination.

After Wellstead, you continue east, passing by the Pallinup Nature Reserve before reaching the small town of Boxwood Hill. There’s a small roadhouse here in case you need fuel or refreshments. The homemade sausage rolls and pies are particularly popular. From Boxwood Hill, you turn onto the Borden-Bremer Bay Road, which takes you to your final destination of Bremer Bay. Along the way, there are offs to multiple beaches, with Dillon Beach and Reef Beach being the pick of the bunch. 

View along Nanarup Beach
Nanarup Beach is one of the highlights of the coastal route.

Best Things to see on the Coastal Route

Nanarup Beach

Nanarup Beach is an outstanding beach just 20 km east of Albany. It offers a secluded, unspoiled stretch of white sandy beach with calm, clear waters. The beach is a popular location for fishing and swimming. It’s also one of the few beaches in the area that allows vehicles on the beach, so it’s a popular off-roading spot. 

Gull Rock National Park

Gull Rock National Park, located next to Nanarup Beach, has 2,593 hectares of pristine natural beauty. The park offers stunning landscapes, including rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and offshore islands. Named after the Gull Rock, the park is a popular spot for off-roading, hiking, fishing, and swimming. During the spring, the wildflowers in the park are also a big attraction.

Two People Bay Nature Reserve

Two People Bay Nature Reserve is another pristine coastal sanctuary outside Albany. The reserve spans over 1,900 hectares and is a haven for numerous rare and endangered species, including Gilbert’s critically endangered potoroo. As well as the wildlife, the park also boasts secluded beaches, rugged cliffs, and lush woodlands. Little Beach is perhaps the star attraction with its rich turquoise waters and powder-soft sand. The best way to see the reserve is on foot, and there are plenty of walking and hiking trails to explore.

Bettys Beach

Bettys Beach is another beautiful and remote beach on the way. While crystal clear waters and soft white sands are expected in this part of Australia, free parking and camping by the beach aren’t. That makes this pretty little beach such a great spot, particularly if you can bag one of the best overnight spots. 

Mount Manypeaks Nature Reserve

Mount Manypeaks Nature Reserve is another fine reserve in the area. We highly recommend stopping here if you didn’t stop at Gull Rock National Park or Two People Bay. The reserve is known for its rugged granite peaks, pristine beaches, and coastal heathlands. There’s a network of hiking trails to explore, with many leading to spectacular viewpoints. There’s plenty of local flora and fauna to observe, particularly in spring when the wildflowers bloom. 

Cheyne Beach

Cheyne Beach is another hidden gem in the Albany region. This sprawling beach features the usual white sand and crystal clear waters, but the local marine life is a big attraction. It’s common to see pods of dolphins or even Great Southern Wright Whales at this beach. Whether you’re snorkeling, fishing, or boating, the sea holds vast appeal at this beach.  

Inland Route

While the coast of Southwest Australia is rightly lauded, there are also plenty of great attractions further inland in the region. In this alternative route between Albany and Bremer Bay, we’ll incorporate many of these attractions into our inland road trip itinerary. It’s a route that includes nature reserves, national parks, and small-town attractions. The route covers 285 km, considerably more than the coastal route. However, the beautiful scenery ensures that the extra kilometres largely go unnoticed. 

The Inland Route begins by exiting Albany to the north using the Chester Pass Road. This scenic road is the mainstay of the initial part of this road trip route. It takes you past the first major attraction along the way, Porongurup National Park. Shortly after, it takes you through the heart of the second major attraction, Sterling Range National Park. Both these national parks merit a visit with great hiking trails and a wealth of flora and fauna. 

After Sterling Range National Park, the route continues north all the way to the small town of Borden. Home to a gas station and a number of accommodation options, it’s a decent spot to stay overnight. Shortly after exiting Borden, you head east along the Gnowangerup-Jerramungup Road. There are several good stops along this road, with the town of Ongerup the best. The town is home to the Yongergnow Australian Malleefowl Centre and Café and the Ongerup & Needilup District Museum. These two attractions are perfect examples of well-curated small-town attractions. 

From Ongerup, the journey continues east along the same road to the town of Jerramungup. At this crossroads town, you turn south along the South Coast Highway. Before you do, you should make the most of the town’s amenities, which include a fuel station, café, caravan park, hotel, and swimming pool. You’ll need to travel to Bremer Bay before you reencounter such amenities.

From Jerramungup, it’s a straight run south to Gairdner, where you switch to the Gairdner Road. This eventually leads you to the Borden-Bremer Bay Road, which leads you to your final destination of Bremer Bay. This last section of road overlaps with the Coastal Route and includes turn-offs to pristine and serene beaches such as Dillon Beach and Reef Beach.  

Best Things to see on the Inland Route

Porongup National Park

Porongup National Park, just outside of Albany, is a popular destination. It’s probably best known for its large granite formations and towering karri trees, which cover much of the park. The park is a fantastic spot for hiking, with the trek to the elevated Granite Skywalk at Castle Rock being a highly recommended adventure. The panoramic vistas from this elevated platform offer spectacular views across the surrounding countryside. 

Stirling Range National Park

Stirling Range National Park is a biodiversity wonderland covering over 115,000 hectares. The park’s centerpiece is the majestic Stirling Range, home to Bluff Knoll, the highest peak in the region. This park is a haven for hikers and nature enthusiasts, offering trails through woodlands, heathlands, and granite outcrops. The park’s unique flora includes rare orchids and towering eucalypts. During spring, there is also an explosion of color in the form of blooming wildflowers.

Yongergnow Australian Malleefowl Centre and Café

The Yongergnow Australian Malleefowl Centre and Café in Ongerup is a great little attraction. It’s dedicated to the conservation and education of the iconic Australian Malleefowl bird. This center features informative exhibits that showcase the Malleefowl’s behavior and habitat. You can also see live Malleefowl in a natural enclosure. The on-site café provides a pleasant dining experience, serving good meals in picturesque surroundings. 

Ongerup & Needilup District Museum

The Ongerup & Needilup District Museum provides a good history of this small rural community. Housed in a historic building, the museum preserves and showcases an array of artifacts and exhibits reflecting the region’s heritage. Visitors can explore the rich agricultural history, indigenous culture, and pioneer life through an impressive collection of photographs, tools, clothing, and memorabilia. 

Best Time to Visit Bremer Bay

The best time to visit Bremer Bay is during the Australian spring, which runs from September to November. This season offers a pleasant climate with mild temperatures, less rainfall, and without the crowds of summer. Spring is also the time when wildflowers in the Fitzgerald River National Park are in full bloom, adding to the area’s natural beauty.

However, the activities you plan to undertake might influence your choice of when to visit. For example, whale watching is only possible in Bremer Bay during the winter months of July and August. Alternatively, you might be coming for long, lazy beach days or the excellent snorkeling in the area. If this is the case, your best bet is to visit from December to February in the summer.

Regardless of when you choose to visit, you’ll find Bremer Bay to be a beautiful and welcoming place. As a year-round holiday destination, the truth is that there is no bad time to visit Bremer Bay. 

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