Published: Thursday, 10 February 2022

Western Australia is a natural playground with so much to explore. From the wide open spaces of the Kimberley and Pilbara regions to the beautiful southwest corner, the huge size of this unique state is only matched by its geographic diversity.

One of the most popular parts of the state lies between Albany to Esperance — a rich and picturesque region of Western Australia that's best experienced by road.

With stunning national parks, white sandy beaches, and endless opportunities to explore, the road trip from Albany to Esperance is one of Australia's best. While the distance from Albany to Esperance is just 500 km, there are lots of side trips and adventures along the way.

The fastest route between Albany to Esperance is along National Route 1, which passes through Ravensthorpe and other noteworthy places. Detours are recommended, however, with inland and coastal day-trips needed to explore this region in full.

There are many ways to experience an Albany to Esperance road trip, from short weekends with your partner to week-long holidays and extended family vacations. Let's create an open-ended travel itinerary between Albany and Esperance and list all the must-see destinations along the way.

There's nothing more fun than a WA road trip, and this incredible part of the world offers one of the very best.


Getting to Albany

Travellers walking down the rocky coast of Torndirrup National Park, Western Australia.

Travellers walking down the rocky coast of Torndirrup National Park, Western Australia.

If you're coming from Perth in your own vehicle, the driving distance is roughly 400 km, so fill up at your local petrol station before hitting the road.

While this may seem like a long way, it’s a great journey full of astounding contrast. The south-west corner of the state is full of delights, from picturesque farmland in the wheat belt to lush forests and quirky country towns. The trip from Albany to Esperance itinerary outlined below will show you the very best of the region.

If you're flying in from Perth or elsewhere in Australia, Albany Regional Airport is conveniently located just 11 km from the Albany CBD.

Alternatively, you can catch a direct bus from Perth to Albany with the GS3 Coach line.


Albany to Porongurup National Park

Granite Skywalk to Castle Rock hike near Albany, Western Australia.

Granite Skywalk to Castle Rock hike near Albany, Western Australia.

Starting off in Albany, it makes sense to look around and explore the local area.

You can visit local beaches, view exciting blowholes, and enjoy award-winning facilities in Torndirrup National Park at The Gap and Natural Bridge. You can visit the National Anzac Centre, explore Frenchman Bay, and take a trip to Albany's Historic Whaling Station.

If you just want to relax before heading off from Albany to Esperance, you can spend hours watching waves crashing against vertical cliffs or spot whales during their annual migration period from June to August.

Once you decide to leave town, the journey to Porongurup National Park is just 51 km and 40 minutes. You will leave Albany on Chester Pass Road, passing the weathered granite peaks and forests of the Porongurup Range.

If you're up for a hike, the Granite Skywalk to Castle Rock offers spectacular views on a 4.4 km-return suspended walkway.


Porongurup National Park to Stirling Range National Park

Panoramic views over Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia.

Panoramic views over Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia.

If you want to head even further inland, the route to Stirling Range National Park is well worth taking. At 58 km and 40 minutes, this road will help you to appreciate the unique geography of the Albany area.

As you drive northeast to the national park, you will pass major peaks, scenic lookouts, and walking trails. The Eastern Lookout provides the best views, and the Bluff Knoll trail is a worthy 3-4 hour journey.


Stirling Range National Park to Fitzgerald River National Park

Views over Fitzgerald River National Park, Western Australia.

Views over Fitzgerald River National Park, Western Australia.

Fitzgerald River National Park is the next destination, and this time, it's back to the coast.

This part of the road trip is 185 km and 2 hours, although it can take much longer if you stop at all the sights within Fitzgerald River National Park. This national park is famous for its rugged beauty and rich flora and fauna.

Lots of animals live in Fitzgerald River National Park, and it's one of the most botanically significant national parks in the whole of Australia.

The Point Ann area is definitely worth a visit, and the eastern end of the park is a nature lover's paradise. This section of Fitzgerald River National Park features picturesque sheltered beaches, stunning walking trails, and magnificent coastal views.

If you want to soak up this area more slowly, you can spend a night in Hopetoun or Ravensthorpe, or immerse yourself by camping in the national park.


Fitzgerald River National Park to Esperance

Walking down seaside promenade in Esperance, Western Australia.

Walking down seaside promenade in Esperance, Western Australia.

To get to Esperance, head east on the South Coast Highway just south of Ravensthorpe. Before you get there, you may want to visit Stokes National Park, which is a stunning location just 80 km west of Esperance.

You can try fishing at Stokes Inlet; take a 4WD tour to the Moir Homestead ruins; or visit Fanny Cove, Shoal Cape, or Skippy Rock. When you get to Esperance, you can soak up its sweeping ocean vistas, rugged archipelagos, and beautiful clear blue skies.

If you're looking for something more active, Esperance is heaven for adventure lovers. You can enjoy sailing, fishing, diving, and surfing, and if you're feeling extra brave, sandboarding is also on offer.

Book in at Esperance Bay Holiday Park, a great central location perfect for families, couples and solo travellers seeking a comfortable and affordable stay.


Esperance to Cape Le Grand National Park and Cape Arid National Park

Views over Cape Le Grand National Park, Western Australia.

Views over Cape Le Grand National Park, Western Australia.

While you might think a road trip to Esperance would end at Esperance, going a little further can add a lot to the experience.

Cape Le Grand National Park lies 72 km and 50 minutes from town.

This stunning location is characterised by heath-covered sandplains, rocky headlands, and granite peaks. The white sandy beaches of Esperance are some of the best in Australia, or you could drive even further to Cape Arid National Park to experience some of the most spectacular and secluded beaches anywhere in the world.

To the south of Cape Le Grand is Lucky Bay, a beautiful scenic beach which is usually visited by local WA wildlife. While you may see some local kangaroos jumping along the shoreline at Lucky Bay, make sure you leave them be and admire from a distance.

You can also refresh at Lucky Bay Brewery to sample some local craft beer (if you’re not the driver of course).

If you're still hungry for more, you can do the reverse road trip from Esperance to Albany and see everything you missed the first time.


Head off on your road trip in Western Australia

Car parked at Lucky Bay Beach in Esperance, Western Australia.

Car parked at Lucky Bay Beach in Esperance, Western Australia.

From Albany to Esperance and everywhere in between, this amazing part of Western Australia is a must-see destination. From beautiful national parks and coastlines to awe-inspiring lookouts, from lazy afternoons to fun-filled adventures, there is something for everyone in this special part of the world.

If you're ready to get started on this road trip of a lifetime, Summerstar Tourist Parks offers you a home away from home.

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