Exmouth to Broome Road Trip

The northwest of Australia is one of the country’s most beautiful and remote parts. Home to outstanding beaches, spectacular national parks, and stunning geological formations, it’s a favorite destination for lovers of solitude and the great outdoors. The area between Exmouth and Broome is possibly the best part of all, as it’s home to many of the region’s attractions and iconic landscapes.  

A road trip from Exmouth to Broome is an adventure that immerses you in the region. The route takes you through Western Australia’s most rugged and enchanting landscapes. As you progress on the journey, you transition from Gascoyne to Pilbara and finally onto the Kimberley.  Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to visit some unique national parks and fascinating historical towns and see the Outback unfurl before your eyes in all its vast glory. 

What is the Distance from Exmouth to Broome?

The shortest distance from Exmouth to Broome by road is 1371 kilometers. This assumes you travel by National Highway 1, the fastest and most direct route between the two locations. The journey can be completed in as little as 14 hours driving hours across just two days. However, most roadtrippers stretch the drive out over 7 to 14 days, as there are plenty of good reasons to stop along the way.  

A perfect stretch of white sand on Cable Beach in Broome
Stunning Cable Beach in Broome is the final destination for this amazing road trip.

Best Road Trip Routes Between Exmouth and Broome

Australia’s northwest is a remote and spectacularly beautiful area. With few roads in the area and considerable distances between towns and attractions, there are only a few different routes. You can take two distinct routes when traveling between Exmouth and Broome.

The first of these routes is the Coastal Route, which follows National Highway 1 along the North West Coastal Highway and Great Northern Highway. These highways take you directly to Broome. The road traces the coastline and passes by major regional cities such as Karratha and Port Hedland before finally reaching Broome some 1371 km later.

The second route is the Inland Route via Karijini. This route replicates the Coastal Route for the first few hundred kilometers before it deviates just after Nanutarra. It then travels through some of the most stunning Outback landscapes you’ll ever see. Passing by Karijini National Park, Newman, and Marble Bar, it eventually rejoins National Highway 1 east of Pardoo. It’s then a straight run along the Great Northern Highway to Broome. 


Main Attractions


Driving Time

Coastal Route

> Karratha

> Port Hedland

1371 km

14 hours

Inland Route via Karijini

> Karijini National Park

> Marble Bar

1724 km

20 hours 

Exmouth to Broome - Coastal Route

The Coastal Route starts in Exmouth and heads south out of town along the Minilya-Exmouth Road. The road follows the east coast of the North West Cape, with the dramatic scenery of Cape Range National Park on the right-hand side. You can access parts of the park along the way, including the spectacular Charles Knife Canyon and Shothole Canyon, both must-see attractions if you’ve not already visited.

Continuing south along the Minilya-Exmouth Road, you eventually turn left onto Burkett Road. However, if you’re keen to visit the amazing Ningaloo Coast, you can continue until you reach Ningaloo Road. The beaches and snorkeling along this stretch of coast are some of the best in Australia and well worth the extra kilometers. 

The Burkett Road eventually leads you on the North West Coastal Highway, which forms part of Australia’s National Highway 1. You’ll then follow this route all the way to Broome, transitioning to the Great Northern Highway just before Port Hedland.

Along the highway, there are some excellent stops, including major centers such as Karratha and Port Hedland. Both of these towns are good places to stock up on provisions, stay overnight, and enjoy a decent meal. They’ve also got some good attractions to visit. 

After Port Hedland, the route becomes more remote. There are a couple of excellent wilderness stops along the way, including Cape Keraudren Coastal Reserve and Eighty Mile Beach. There’s every chance that you won’t see another person at either of these natural attractions.

Finally, after 1371 km, you’ll eventually arrive in Broome. After such a long drive, you’ll need some serious rest, and Broome’s Cable Beach is the ideal spot. 

Aerial view of Cape Range National park and the Ningaloo Marine Park, Exmouth, Western Australia
The stunning Ningaloo Marine Park is one of the big attractions near Exmouth.

Exmouth to Broome - Inland Route via Karijini

The Inland Route via Karijini kicks off in Exmouth and proceeds southward via the Minilya-Exmouth Road. This roadway traces the eastern shoreline of the North West Cape, offering glimpses of the Cape Range National Park on your right-hand side.

Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to explore segments of the park via access roads that lead off from the Minilya-Exmouth Road. The two most popular sights are Charles Knife Canyon and Shothole Canyon, which are absolute must-see attractions if you haven’t already had the pleasure.

Continuing your southward journey along the Minilya-Exmouth Road, you’ll eventually make a left turn onto Burkett Road. However, if you’ve not previously experienced the wonders of the Ningaloo Coast, we urge you to travel further until you reach Ningaloo Road. You can turn down here to reach the Ningaloo Marine Park with its amazing beaches and exceptional coral reefs. The swimming and diving here are amongst the best in Australia. 

The Burkett Road heads southeast, primarily through the Giralia Station. Eventually, it leads to the North West Coastal Highway, part of Australia’s National Highway 1. You’ll pass through the small towns of Yannarie and Nanutarra before you deviate from the Coastal Route and turn off onto the Nanutarra-Mujina Road. This road takes you to the entrance to Karijini National Park, one of Western Australia’s very best. 

It’s worth staying several nights in Karijini and exploring the park before you resume your journey. Following Karijini, the next stop is Newman, which is reached via a combination of the Nanutarra-Mujina Road and the Great Northern Highway. After several days in the Outback, Newman can feel like a metropolis on your arrival. It’s a good place to stock up on supplies, grab a cold beer, and base yourself if you intend on exploring the wider area. 

Views from the Knox Lookout in Karijini National Park
The views from the Knox Lookout in Karijini National Park are spectacular.

After Newman, the route heads back north along the Marble Bar Road. Eventually, you’ll reach the town of Marble Bar, home to a unique rock formation. The town has a rich mining history with several local museums, so it’s a good option for a lunch stop or to stay overnight.

After Marble Bar, you continue your journey north along Marble Bar Road. Eventually, you’ll re-join the Great Northern Highway, which runs to Broome. Along this stretch of road, there are several good opportunities to stop. The first is at Cape Keraudren Coastal Reserve, while Eighty Mile Beach is shortly after. Both these destinations offer amazing wilderness experiences. 

By the time you get into Broome at the end of your road trip, you will have clocked up at least 1724 kilometers and probably considerably more. While the drive time for this route is around 20 hours, it will likely take 10 to 14 days to complete. There are some amazing national parks, towns, and natural settings to explore on the way, so why rush?

Best Places to Stop Between Exmouth and Broome

Cape Range National Park

Nestled along the western coastline of the North West Cape, Cape Range National Park is an excellent stop just outside Exmouth. The park showcases dramatic landscapes, pristine beaches, and some unique wildlife. Not all of the park can be reached by the access roads south of Exmouth, but you can see and hike the main geological formations like Charles Knife Canyon and Shothole Canyon. If you’re after the coastal part of the park, it’s best to head north out of Exmouth and enter along Yardie Creek Road. You can also follow this road to the Ningaloo Coast.

Ningaloo Coast

Extending southward from Exmouth, the Ningaloo Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed treasure. You should stop here for some exceptional marine adventures. The park’s turquoise waters are home to an array of marine life, including a few bucket list A-listers, whale sharks, and manta rays. The chance to snorkel and swim alongside these majestic creatures is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The area has several rustic accommodation options, which, combined with its pristine beaches and coral reefs, make it a haven for nature enthusiasts and water lovers. While it’s only at the outset of your road trip, this might be the most spectacular stop. 

A guitar shark on the Ningaloo Reef
The guitar shark is just one of the Ningaloo Reefs many different species of shark.


Karratha is a gateway to the Pilbara region, surrounded by some of the most stunning landscapes, including the Hamersley Ranges. While the city isn’t to everyone’s liking, it’s a good stop to break up the journey.

In Karratha, you can stock up on supplies and taste urban life in the remote Outback. In the surrounding areas, you can also explore Murujuga National Park, known for its ancient rock art. 

Port Hedland

A visit to Port Hedland offers a fairly unique and alternative road trip stop. This mining city provides a glimpse into the heart of Australia’s mining industry. The town’s immense iron ore export facilities line the coast and are quite a sight. They bear witness to the sheer size and scale of Australia’s resource exports.

Port Hedland isn’t a new city built to meet the insatiable demands of the 21st century. It dates back well into the nineteenth century, and the town charts this history through several well-established museums. You can learn more about the history of mining at the Don Rhodes Mining Museum, while the Dalgety House Museum documents the city’s pioneering history. 

Karijini National Park

This rugged and remote wilderness is a must-stop destination for adventurers and hikers on the inland route. Karijini National Park is renowned for its striking gorges, ancient rock formations, and lush fern-filled chasms. Visitors to the park can hike, swim in the natural pools, and marvel at the stunning Outback landscape. It is the highlight of the Inland Route.

Waterfall and pool in a gorge in Karijini National Park
Karijini National Park is home to a host of stunning pools where you can cool off.


As the largest town in the East Pilbara region, Newman is an ideal stop for rest and rejuvenation. This is particularly true if you’ve spent a few days or more in the wilds of Karijini National Park. 

In Newman, you can stock up on supplies, enjoy local cuisine, and explore the nearby Kalgan’s Pool, a picturesque waterhole perfect for a refreshing dip. The town is also a good base if you plan on exploring some of the area’s more remote and less visited geological wonders.

Marble Bar

Known as one of the hottest towns in Australia, Marble Bar is a unique stopover. Visitors come to see the historic landscapes, including the distinctive Marble Bar Pool and the rugged ranges surrounding the town. 

Visitors also come to learn about the town’s history. Newman has a rich mining heritage with several good museums telling this story. The Marble Bar Museum & Tourist Centre and the Comet Gold Mine are well worth checking out. There’s also a hotel, holiday park, and roadhouse, making it a decent overnight stay. 

Cape Keraudren Coastal Reserve

Located along the coast, Cape Keraudren Coastal Reserve offers a serene break from the road. You should stop here to unwind on the sandy shores, where you can indulge in beachcombing, bird watching, and swimming. You can also experience some of Northern Australia’s most stunning sunsets here. 

Eighty Mile Beach

This seemingly endless stretch of pristine coastline is a remarkable pit stop as you close in on Broome. The beach is a real haven of tranquillity, so birdwatching and beachcombing are good activities.

Eighty Mile Beach is also a popular spot for fishing, and you’ll see the odd fisherman dotted along the vast length of the beach. As the name suggests, the area offers 80 miles of uninterrupted beach, making it perfect for leisurely walks and hiking. 

Aerial view of Gantheaume Point in Broome
Gantheaume Point in Broome is home to fossilised dinosaur footprints.

Best Time of the Year to Drive From Exmouth to Broome

The best time to take a road trip between Exmouth and Broome is during Northern Australia’s dry season. This season typically runs from April to October across the late autumn, winter, and early spring months. You can expect warm, pleasant weather with very little rainfall during this period. It’s the perfect condition for engaging in numerous outdoor activities along the way and enjoying the road trip experience.

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