Bremer Bay to Esperance Road Trip

The stretch of coastline between Bremer Bay and Esperance is one of Australia’s best, even by its stunningly high standards. Incredible sweeping bays, powder-soft white sand beaches, and turquoise waters make this remote area a fantastic destination. Such stunning scenery must be protected, and much of the area is within a series of national parks and nature reserves. The largest and most taxing of these is the nearly impenetrable Fitzgerald River National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In this guide, we’ll explore some different road trip options and potential routes between Bremer Bay and Esperance. We’ll also look closely at what to see and do along the way.

Distance Between Bremer Bay and Esperance

It is just under 398 km from Bremer Bay to Esperance if you follow the most direct and quickest road route. This route follows the Borden-Bremer Bay Road from Bremer Bay before turning north on the Gairdner South Road. From Gairdner, the journey is simple and follows Highway 1 to Chadwick before you turn off for the center of Esperance.

Rust colored boulders in front of a perfect white beach at Bremer Bay
The spectacular Bremer Bay is the starting point for this road trip.

Do you Need a 4WD to Travel Between Bremer Bay and Esperance?

The great news is that you don’t need a 4WD to travel between Bremer Bay and Esperance. The road between Bremer Bay and both Boxwood Hill and Gairdner is now sealed, and you can complete the rest of the journey on the famous Australia Highway 1. The bad news is that traveling in a 2WD does severely limit your options for exploring the fantastic national parks and other attractions in the area.

Highway 1 with a sign showing the destinations of Esperance and Ravensthorpe
The paved roads of highway 1 make this trip possible by 2WD.

Best Routes Between Bremer Bay and Esperance

While there are numerous different routes you can take between Bremer Bay and Esperance, we’re going to focus on two. The first of these is the Direct Route that travels on the Borden-Bremer Bay Road and Gairdner South Road before joining Highway 1 for the duration of the road trip.

The second is the Coastal Route, traveling through parts of Fitzgerald National Park and other nature reserves along the way. This route takes in the countless beaches and bays that make the area so attractive and appealing. This second route will require a 4WD as many roads within the national park and nature reserves are unsealed and only accessible by a 4WD vehicle.

RouteKey PointsDistanceTravel Time
DirectBremer Bay – Ravensthorpe – Munglinup – Great Ocean Drive – Esperance397 KM5 Hours
CoastalBremer Bay – Fitzgerald River National Park – Hopetoun – Lake Shaster Nature Reserve – Stokes National Park – Great Ocean Drive – Esperance440 KM7 Hours

Best Things to see Between Bremer Bay and Esperance

There are some incredible things to see between Bremer Bay and Esperance. In addition to this, the starting and ending points are also pretty spectacular destinations in their own right as well. While the direct route lacks the attractions of the coastal route, it’s easily accessible by 2WD and considerably faster. It’s also possible to pick and choose some of the coastal attractions as detours from the direct route, as some roads are accessible for a 2WD vehicle during the dry summer months. 

View of the steps and approach to Twilight Beach near Esperance
Beaches don't come much more spectacular than Twilight Beach near Esperance.

Direct Route

Ravensthorpe Silo Trail – The small town of Ravensthorpe has a long and rich agricultural history. This history is celebrated on the Ravensthorpe leg of the Silo Trail. The trail, which stretches from Northam to Albany via Merredin, Katanning, Pingrup, Newdegate, and Ravensthorpe, sees local grain silos decorated in a variety of different designs. The enormous silos at Ravensthorpe have been decorated to depict the various stages of pollination. These colorful murals are quite a sight and can be seen for miles.

Great Ocean Drive – While strictly not part of the route between Bremer Bay and Esperance, this scenic loop starts and ends in Esperance. It’s a 40-kilometer route that passes the Pink Lake and takes in a wide selection of beautiful bays, exquisite beaches, and its fair share of dramatic headlands and cliffs. It is a fantastic route and gives you an excellent flavor of what Esperance offers and where you might like to spend some of your time in the area.

Map showing Bremer Bay to Esperance Inland Route

Coastal Route

Fitzgerald River National Park – While the road trip commences in Fitzgerald National Park, there’s no through access to the east side of the park from Bremer Bay. Therefore, you need to follow the Direct Route, and once you’ve driven around the west and north of the park, you can re-enter. Following this route lets you take in some of the park’s most spectacular sights. These include the Sepulcralis Hill Lookout, Cave Point, East Mylies Beach, and Four Mile Beach. If you can afford the time, there’s also some excellent hiking in the park, including the East Mount Barren Trail.

Hopetoun – The friendly and laidback town of Hopetoun is another good stop along the way. It’s well placed for exploring Fitzgerald National Park to the west or 4-mile beach and 12-mile beach to the east. The area is famous for water sports, with surfing and fishing two of the most popular.

Panoramic view of Charles Bay in the Fitzgerald River National Park

Munglinup Beach – The spectacular Munglinup Beach is a popular destination. The lagoon is a snorkeler paradise, and the beach features soft powder-white sand. The well-positioned and appointed Munlingup Beach Holiday Park means you can enjoy some creature comforts while enjoying this remote spot.

Stokes National Park – This fine park, located 80 km west of Esperance, covers the most extensive river estuary system in the region. It’s renowned for its pristine deserted beaches and its waters that are teeming with fish. It’s also a popular location for bushwalking as well as surfing, swimming, and snorkeling.

Great Ocean Drive – As all traffic into Esperance from the west enters via Highway 1, this is also featured as an attraction on this route. Lucky Bay, Twilight Bay, Bluehaven, and Hellfire Bay are some of the amazing beaches you’ll pass on this stretch of coastline. 

Map showing Bremer Bay to Esperance Coastal Route road trip

Best Time to Take a Road Trip Between Bremer Bay and Esperance

The southwest of Australia, where Bremer Bay and Esperance are located, offers a superb year-round climate.  The area benefits from hot, dry summers and mild winters, with plenty of sunshine throughout the year. This makes it a year-round destination, although certain activities are only possible during some seasons. 

The big draw in the area is the stunning coastline and amazing beaches. So, to make the most of the sea, sand, and sun, you should visit between October and April. At this time it’s warm enough to relax on the beach and swim in the sea. Outside this period, it’s generally too cool to make the most of the beaches. Of course, the October through April period is also the peak season, particularly during the school summer holidays that run from December into late January. While we’d recommend avoiding the school holidays, neither the traffic nor crowds are too oppressive during the other prime times of late spring, late summer, or early autumn. 

If you’re not too concerned about spending days on the beach, there’s no bad time to take a road trip between Bremer Bay and Esperance. The non-peak or off-season is considerably quieter and cheaper, although the weather will be cooler and wetter. Therefore, the decision when to visit is primarily based on your preferences and whether you’re prepared to compromise on weather, cost, or crowds. 

You can also find more information about the best time to visit Esperance in our guide on the subject. 

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