Perth to Albany Road Trip

While the cities of Perth and Albany are just a short 5-hour drive apart, there’s a whole wealth of attractions to discover between these two major centers. This is an area of southwestern Australia that is blessed with a stunning coastline, which features countless white sand beaches and epic surf breaks. There’s also an array of excellent national parks and reserves throughout the region, as well as countless vineyards dotting the landscape.

Such a wide array of attractions in such a relatively small area makes the region an ideal location for a road trip. Whether you’re pursuing beaches, wilderness, history, or a bottle of the perfect red, there’s an exciting road trip option for you. Throughout this guide, we’ll look at several different routes, the best things to see along the way as well as the best time to travel.   

Distance From Perth to Albany

The distance from Perth to Albany is 418 km if you travel by State Route 30, the quickest and most direct road route. This is a journey that can be completed in under 5 hours. The straight line distance between Perth and Albany is 389 km, which shows how direct this route is. However, the quickest and most direct route is rarely the most interesting and fun, so read on to discover some exciting alternative routes between the two cities.  

View of the Perth skyline at night
The modern city of Perth is the starting point for this road trip.

Best Road Trip Routes Between Perth and Albany

There are countless different routes you could take between Perth and Albany to create a fantastic road trip adventure. However, for this guide, we will focus on three main routes: the direct route, the coastal route, and the inland route.


Major Stops En route


Travel Time


  • Williams
  • Kojonup
  • Mount Barker

418 km

5 Hours


  • Busselton
  • Margaret River 
  • Pemberton
  • Walpole

647 km

8 Hours


  • Hyden
  • Lake Grace
  • Stirling Range National Park

677 km

8 Hours

Each of these routes will offer something a little bit different. Each will also have its merits, and they can all be easily customized to suit your timescales, interests, and budget.

The Direct Route

Commencing in the center of Perth, the direct route exits the city using a combination of State Route 2 and State Route 14. After 5 km, you join State Route 30, the Albany Highway. You then follow this road for the entirety of the way to Albany. If you don’t take any detours, you’ll cover a total of 418 km, and the journey will take you between 4 and 5 hours, depending on traffic conditions. It’s perfectly feasible to complete this drive in a day with a couple of refreshment breaks along the way, although you’ll miss plenty of sights.

The Coastal Route

Beginning our coastal route in central Perth, we exit the city center using State Route 2. We then join State Route 10, which takes us down to Busselton. The first leg of this journey covers 222 km, and you should be able to complete the drive in around 2 hours and 30 minutes. Busselton is an excellent stop with its historic jetty and a good base for exploring much of the surrounding area. 

From Busselton, we resume the southward trajectory on State Route 10. 51 kilometers and 45 minutes later, you should arrive in the popular town of Margaret River, another fine location to base yourself in. The surrounding beaches and vineyards are some of the best in Australia. 

We continue the journey along State Route 10, heading southeast towards Pemberton. The road takes you through and past many national parks that more than justify a detour. After 133 km, you’ll need to finally leave State Route 10 to turn onto the Vasse Highway, which leads you into Pemberton. The whole journey covers 135 km and should take around 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete. 

From Pemberton, we continue on the scenic Vasse Highway for 16 km before joining National Highway 1. This significant road takes us the remaining 104 km to Walpole on the southern coast. The route then turns east, and we reach our final destination of Albany after 120 km. 

The Inland Route

You start the inland route by exiting central Perth using State Routes 65, 8, and 41. After 8 km of your journey, you must turn onto State Route 40, which takes you the remaining 324 km to Hyden. The total 332 km eastbound journey should take under 4 hours to complete. 

From Hyden, the route turns southbound, with Lake Grace the first major stop. It’s 98 km from Hyden, and it’ll take you around 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete this leg of the journey. You’ll pass through the towns of Pingaring and North Lake Grace before arriving in Lake Grace itself. There’s a good range of hotels in and around the local area, so it’s a good place for an overnight stop.

From Lake Grace, the route continues south, passing through Pingrup, Mindarabin, and Amelup before arriving in the Stirling Range National Park. The scenic 170 km drive can be completed in around 2 hours. If you plan to stay somewhere overnight before visiting Stirling Range National Park, there are several good accommodation options around Amelup.

The final leg of the journey is the relatively short 77 km hop from Stirling Range National Park to Albany. This part of the journey should take around an hour, depending on traffic conditions in Albany. In total, you will have covered around 677 km on this road trip with a total drive time of 8 hours. 

Best Things to see on a Road Trip Between Perth and Albany

There’s a wealth of attractions to see between Perth and Albany. We’ve included the best places and things to see for each route. Some attractions are directly on the route, while others require a short detour from the described route. These attractions are accessible by 2WD, so there’s no need to worry about accessibility. 

Direct Route

Cohunu Koala Park – This popular attraction is located just outside the city limits of Perth. Set on 14 hectares of bushland, it is home to 25 koalas. It’s a great place to get that quintessential picture of you cuddling a koala. It’s also an excellent place to see other native Australian animals, such as dingos, wallabies, and emus. The park isn’t all about animals, with a wonderful miniature railway and space observatory among its other attractions.

Serpentine National Park – This lovely national park is home to the popular Serpentine Falls, and a swim here is a bracing but enjoyable experience. The park has several good hiking trails and plenty of local fauna. During the spring months, the park is awash with colorful flowers.  

Barna Mia Nocturnal Wildlife Experience – This wonderful little sanctuary has been established to protect several native animals in danger of extinction. Set in remote and protected woodlands, visits are by way of small organized tours. These come highly recommended with near-guaranteed sightings of malas, bilby, possums, quenda, and boodies. 

Giant Ram Park – Located in Wagin, the Giant Ram statue of the Giant Ram Park is something of a local icon. The ram is set in a pleasant park with some good local diners and cafes, making it a good option for a lunch stop.

Local Wineries – As you approach Albany, there are some excellent wineries either on the route or very close by. One of the best wineries to visit is Plantagenet Wines in Mount Barker. It’s situated directly on State Route 30, so you can’t miss it. Another good option is IRONWOOD Estate Wines, which is slightly further afield but in a lovely rural setting.

View of the Serpentine Falls in Serpentine National park just outside of Perth
The Serpentine Falls in Serpentine National Park are a popular stop just outside of Perth.

Coastal Route

Rockingham Beach – A popular beach south of Perth, it’s an excellent location for swimming and paddling on account of its calm, shallow waters. The beaches offer clean white sand and the foreshore is among the best in the area. It’s a great base for exploring the local area including Penguin Island.

Penguin Island – Just a 5 minute ferry from the mainland is the popular Penguin Island. It’s home to a colony of 250 penguins, plus there’s also a large population of sea lions and dolphins. You’ll likely encounter these animals if you take a boat cruise or kayak around the island. 

Ranger Red’s Zoo and Conservation Park – Located south of Rockingham in the town of Pinjarra, this is another good stop for nature lovers. Home to over 150 species of native and exotic animals, it offers a unique interactive experience with the animals. It’s possible to hand feed many of the resident animals, while there’s also the option of turning your hand to zookeeping.  

Busselton – The city of Busselton is one of Western Australia’s best destinations. Located on the beautiful Geographe Bay, the town boasts a beautiful 15 km beach that curves around the bay. It’s also home to the excellent Busselton Foreshore as well as the unique Busselton Jetty. Extending out over the ocean for 1.8 km (yes you read that right!), it’s the largest timber piled jetty in the southern hemisphere. 

Margaret River Wineries – There’s a number of good reasons to visit Margaret River, however the wineries must rate among the best. Cape Mentelle Vineyards, Voyager Estates, and Stella Bella Wines rank among the best to visit. All offer tastings and food. 

Margaret River Beaches – The other best reason to visit Margaret River is the sensational beaches. Among the best are Meelup, Bunker Bay, Yallingup, Smith’s, Indijup, and Hamelin Bay. We’ve created a helpful guide on the best beaches in the area, which provides plenty more detail. 

Pemberton – The pleasant town of Pemberton is an excellent base for the many surrounding national parks. It’s next to Gloucester National Park’s famous 52-meter climbable tree. There’s also some lovely waterfalls and trails in the park. In the town itself is the Pemberton Tramway Company, which provides twice daily 75 minute tram trips around the surrounding area. 

Walpole – This pleasant coastal town is a great base to explore the nearby Walpole-Nornalup National Park. The park is home to Giant Tingle Trees, and the popular Valley of the Giants is an incredible wilderness experience. This includes a 400-metre-long skywalk among the tree canopies. Also close by is the popular Denmark Dinosaur World.

Aerial view of Busselton Jetty
Busselton's Jetty stretches out for an incredible 1.8 km over the waters of Geographe Bay

Inland Route

Wave Rock – This famous natural phenomenon is located just outside the town of Hyden. Measuring 15 meters in height and 110 meters in length, it resembles a giant wave. It’s an important cultural sight for both the indigenous Ballardong people and the sizeable local surfing population of Western Australia. 

Buckley’s Breakaway – This is another unique rock structure in the area. While it lacks the size and grandeur of nearby Wave Rock, its unique white and pink rock is well worth seeing. While the track to the sight is unsealed, the road is easily accessible for all vehicles.

Walkers Hill Vineyard – Located just north of Lake Grace, this award-winning winery is an excellent place to stop for some food and a drink or two. While it doesn’t look much from the outside, we guarantee the food and wine will blow you away. 

Lake Grace – This small town named after the nearby salt lake is a great place to stop overnight. There are a couple of good hotels and eateries here, plus some excellent nearby attractions. The old Stationmasters House is home to the visitor center, which provides further details plus some history on the town’s settler heritage. Several local museums, as well as the spectacular sight of the lake itself, can easily keep you busy for a day. 

Stirling Range National Park – Another exceptional national park that offers some variety to the sometimes seemingly endless plains of Western Australia. It’s home to a mountain range that can sometimes exceed 1000 meters in height, including the impressive Bluff Knoll at 1099 meters. The park is a mecca for hiking and bushwalking, and there are also opportunities to climb and abseil here.  The unique environment means there’s a tremendous amount of flora and fauna in the park, with birdlife particularly prolific. 

Porongurup National Park – This national park is known for its large granite rocks and giant karri trees, which frequent the area. It’s another good area for bushwalking, and the hike to the raised Granite Skywalk at Castle Rock is well worth undertaking. The views from the raised platform around the surrounding areas are sensational. Birdwatching in the area is another popular and rewarding activity.

View along the 15 meter high and 110 metre long wave rock
The stunning natural Wave Rock is a highlight of the inland route.

Best Time for a Road Trip Between Perth and Albany

Western Australia’s excellent year-round climate means there’s no season when this road trip can’t be undertaken. That being said, some seasons will be better than others. The winter months are typically cool and often wet, which is likely to somewhat dampen your enthusiasm while on this road trip. Therefore we’d recommend trying to avoid this period, despite the cheaper prices and reduced visitor numbers.

The summer months are far warmer and drier and a better time to visit. However, on the flip side, the roads and attractions are significantly busier at this time of the year. Accommodation and vehicle rental costs are also likely to be higher. Despite the higher prices, we’d recommend taking the coastal route during the summer months. The beaches are the main attraction on this route, and it’d be a shame to miss out on the fine weather. The late spring and early autumn are also another possible time to take this route.

The entirety of the spring and the autumn are a good time to undertake the direct or the inland route. The pleasant temperatures, drier weather, and clearer days during this time make perfect road trip conditions.

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