Perth to Kalbarri Road Trip

There are a lot of great road trip destinations out of Perth, but the road trip to Kalbarri might be the best of them all. Spectacular scenery, plenty of attractions along the way, and some great places to overnight make this an excellent route. The relatively short distance of the route (by Australian standards) means it can be covered in as few as a couple of days, but there’s plenty of scope to extend this road trip by a week or more. Whether you’re pursuing adventure, fantastic sights, or solitude, this road trip route can deliver. 

Distance From Perth to Kalbarri

It’s a 570 km drive from Perth to Kalbarri using the quickest and most direct road route. It’s a journey that can be completed in just 6 hours if you encounter favorable weather and traffic conditions. The fastest route follows the Brand Highway from Perth to Geraldton before joining the North West Coastal Highway and then several more minor roads. 

Island Rock in the maritime part of Kalbarri National Park in Western Australia
Kalbarri with its dramatic coastline is the destination for this road trip.

Best Road Trip Routes Between Perth and Kalbarri

As both Perth and Kalbarri are located on Australia’s west coast, there’s a limited number of different routes you can take between the two locations without going miles out of the way. It’s an issue compounded by Kalbarri being at the end of the coastal road along the west coast. From Kalbarri, the road turns eastwards through the Kalbarri National Park before joining the North West Coastal Highway.

Despite the lack of variety in possible routes, there is an abundance of attractions and spectacular scenery to see along the way. This includes stunning beaches, quirky towns, and some fantastic national parks.

Throughout this guide, we’ll focus on three routes: the Direct Route, the Coastal Route, and the Kalbarri National Park Route. The Direct Route gets you there as quickly as possible, the Coastal Route takes you past most of the major attractions, and the Kalbarri National Park Route goes via the national park.


Key Roads


Travel Time

Direct Route

  • Brand Highway
  • North West Coastal Highway
  • Port Gregory Road
  • George Grey Drive

570 KM

6 Hours

Coastal Route

  • Indian Ocean Drive
  • Brand Highway
  • North West Coastal Highway
  • Port Gregory Road
  • George Grey Drive

566 KM

6.5 Hours

Kalbarri National Park Route

  • Indian Ocean Drive / Brand Highway
  • North West Coastal Highway
  • Ajana-Kalbarri Road

589 KM

7 Hours

The Direct Route

The Direct Route between Perth and Kalbarri uses all the major highways along the way. You start by exiting Perth on State Route 4 before joining the Brand Highway (National Route 1) after 8 km. You then continue on this road for 409 km before finally arriving in Geraldton. From Geraldton, you join the North West Coastal Highway, which also forms part of National Route 1. At Northampton, you exit onto State Route 139, initially on Port Gregory Road and then onto George Grey Drive for the remainder of the journey. 

Perth to Kalbarri Direct Route Map

The Coastal Route

The Coastal Route between Perth and Kalbarri is the shortest of all the routes. While it’s the shortest, it’s seldom the quickest, as you’re far more likely to encounter traffic along the way, particularly during the summer months. While you might experience more congestion, it’s worth the extra effort, given the attractions and sights along the route.

The road trip begins by exiting Perth on State Route 2, the first part of the Indian Ocean Drive. You then continue onto State Route 60, the second and most significant part of the Indian Ocean Drive. This road extends all the way north to the junction with the Brand Highway, just north of Arrowsmith. Along the way, you’ll pass countless turn-offs for beaches, towns, nature reserves, and national parks. We’ll highlight the best of these later in this guide.  

Once on the Brand Highway, you’ll follow the same route as the Direct Route. Initially, this is via the Brand Highway into Geraldton before taking the North West Coastal Highway to Northampton. From here, you head northwest on State Route 139, comprising Port Gregory Road and George Grey Drive. 

Kalbarri National Park Route

The final route and the longest is the Kalbarri National Park Route. For this route, you can either follow the Direct Route along the Brand Highway or the Coastal Route along the Indian Ocean Drive. Our illustrative distance is based on the Brand Highway route, but there’s very little difference between the two. Both routes come together just north of Arrowsmith before heading through Geraldton and onto the North West Coastal Highway.

Where the Kalbarri National Park route differs from the other two routes is at Northampton. Rather than turn off and take the coastal road to Kalbarri, the route continues along the North West Coastal Highway for 50 km. You then turn left onto the Ajana-Kalbarri Road, which takes you through the heart of Kalbarri National Park before entering Kalbarri from the northeast.

Map showing the road route from Perth to Kalbarri via Kalbarri National Park

Best Things to see on a Road Trip From Perth to Kalbarri

The 570 km distance between Perth and Kalbarri is lined with great things to see. There are some amazing beaches to visit, quirky towns to visit, and some excellent attractions along the way. There are also some stunning nature and national parks to enjoy. In this section of our guide, we’ve highlighted 15 amazing things to see along the way on this epic road trip. 

Map showing the various locations of attractions between Perth and Kalbarri

Northern Perth Beaches

Perth’s northern beaches are some of the best in the city and wider area. Many offer great amenities nearby and a good range of different beaches. Mettam’s Pool is a popular choice for its excellent snorkeling, while Cottesloe and Swanbourne are popular for their proximity to the city center. Heading into the northern suburbs, you’ll find Trigg, Scarborough, and Mullaloo beaches. If you’ve not visited them as part of your time in Perth, it’s well worth stopping by for a quick dip.

Outback Splash

Located just off the Tonkin Highway and a 30-minute drive from the center of Perth, this fun water park is a popular summer destination. Home to waterslides, a pool, cabanas, and a cafe, it’s got everything you need for a fun day in the sun. It’s also got playgrounds, crazy golf, and various mazes within its grounds. 

Yanchep National Park

This varied national park, some 50 km north of Perth, is a great place to visit. It offers some good walking trails across its combination of wetlands and bushlands. It also offers tours of the extensive cave system with a visit to Crystal Cave and Yonderup Cave. The stalactites and stalagmites here are particularly impressive. The park is close to the town of Yanchep, which is a good spot for lunch and has a fine beach.

Gravity Discovery Centre

The Gravity Discovery Centre and accompanying Gingin Observatory are slightly different but very interesting attractions along the way. The attraction comprises a science center featuring galleries, exhibits, and various hands-on activities. It also includes an observatory that at night provides guided tours of the facility and the night sky.

Aerial view along the coastline of Jurien Bay
Jurien Bay's huge stretch of pristine coastline is becoming increasingly popular.

Lancelin Sand Dunes

Located just outside of the small fishing town of Lancelin is Western Australia’s largest sand dunes. They stretch out over 2 km and provide the perfect environment for fun adventure activities. You can hire a sandboard from one of the local vendors, which is a cheap and popular activity. It’s also possible to experience the dunes by dirt bike, quad bike, or 4WD. Try to come at sunrise or sunset to see the most vibrant colors. 

Wedge Island

One of our favorite locations along this road trip is tiny Wedge Island. Now a protected nature reserve, the island has 300 beach shacks. The island is separated from the mainland by 200 meters of ocean, but it’s possible to walk out across the sand when the tide is out. The adjacent Wedge Island Point Beach is simply stunning and rarely visited. It’s a great place to park up for the afternoon and wait for the sunset. There’s a nearby quirky community of tin shacks, which is home to a beach-loving community that gives the area real character.


The fishing town of Cervantes is an excellent stop along the way. It’s home to one of the best places to eat in the area, with the Lobster Shack serving freshly caught local lobster. The town is an excellent overnight option as it acts as a gateway to the nearby Nambung National Park, home to the famous Pinnacles.

The Pinnacles of Namburg National Park at sunrise
The Pinnacles are most magical at sunrise and sunset.

The Pinnacles

The Nambung National Park is where you’ll find the Pinnacles, one of Western Australia’s most iconic sights. There are thousands of these limestone pillars located across the park. You can view them via a driving circuit, but it’s far better to get your feet in the sand and walk the various trails. If you can time your visit to coincide with sunrise or sunset, you’ll see the park at its best.   

Jurien Bay

The increasingly popular seaside town of Jurien Bay is another excellent stop. The town has a lot going for it, with great beaches, excellent fishing, and a good restaurant scene. There’s also a large population of Australian sea lions living nearby, which can be visited by a highly-rated boat tour. 

Badgingarra National Park

This often-overlooked national park is conveniently situated alongside the Brand Highway. The park is best visited in the spring season when the local wildflowers emerge. These wildflowers bring an explosion of color to the park’s mixture of sandplains and hills. Some excellent walking trails showcase the best of the park, with the Badgingarra Nature Trail and Vern Westbrook Loop Walk highly rated. Maps for the park are available from the nearby Badgingarra Roadhouse.

Dynamite Bay

Situated in the town of Green Head, Dynamite Bay is a great stop for a few hours. The sheltered bay is protected from the winds and the ocean, creating the perfect environment for swimming and snorkeling. The turquoise sea waters are complimented by a fine white sand beach, which has plenty of amenities and is never too busy. 

Aerial view of the Hutt Lagoon with it's pink salt waters
Hutt Lagoon or the Pink Lake is a spectacular marine salt lake near Kalbarri.

Greenough Wildlife & Bird Park

This is a fun little wildlife park situated just off the Brand Highway, a short distance before you reach Geraldton. It’s home to various native birds, mammals, and reptiles. The new owners are doing a sterling job of improving the park for the residents and visitors alike.


Geraldton is the largest town along the route and an excellent overnight stop. It has a good selection of museums and heritage sights and a lovely beach. The town’s laidback vibe often entices visitors to stay for longer than they originally planned. Geraldton is also an excellent place to stock up on supplies and provisions before heading north.

Pink Lake

The Pink Lake, or Hutt Lagoon as it’s otherwise known, is located close to the fishing village of Port Gregory. This stunning marine salt lake is one of the must-see attractions on the way to Kalbarri. The lake covers an area of 70 square kilometers and is said to be best seen mid-morning or at sunset when it’s colors are incredibly vibrant. There’s a good viewpoint from the village, or you can stop at various points along George Grey Drive, which runs along the lake’s eastern flank.

Kalbarri National Park

This stunning national park covers 186,000 hectares of dramatic landscapes. It includes both a coastal element and an inland element primarily centered on the Murchison River. The park is home to some vast gorges and canyons, which can be seen from various spectacular viewpoints. Two of the most spectacular are the Kalbarri Skywalk and the famous Nature’s Window. The latter is the creation of Mother Nature with an opening in the sandstone rock framing a view of the river. The Kalbarri Skywalk, on the other hand, is a man-made triumph of engineering. Its two cantilevered steel lookouts stretch out above the Murchison River Gorge below.

The famous Natures Window in Kalbarri National Park.
The famous Natures Window in Kalbarri National Park.

Best Time for a Road Trip Between Perth and Kalbarri

Australia’s west coast enjoys an excellent climate, which only improves as you head north. While it’s possible to undertake this road trip at any time of the year, we’d undoubtedly recommend traveling during the warmer months. The late spring, summer, and early autumn are all ideal times to travel from a weather perspective. Days will be warm and dry during this period, while rainfall will be minimal so you can make the most of the beaches. The summer months tend to be the windiest, but this shouldn’t dampen your enthusiasm for the trip.

While the summer months are some of the best to visit from a weather perspective, they’re also the busiest. This is especially true of December and January when the schools break for a 6-week summer holiday. During this time, there are considerably more cars on the road, more visitors at all the attractions, and less availability. You’ll also pay higher prices for many tours and accommodation. Therefore, we’d recommend avoiding the busy summer period and visiting in the much quieter late spring or early autumn. Weather conditions are nearly identical, but it’s considerably less crowded.

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