14-Day Darwin to Perth Roadtrip Itinerary

In September this year we flew to Darwin, hired a camper van and road tripped to Perth following as close as we could to the coastline within the limitations of the van that required we only use sealed roads with some small exceptions. There are a lot of unsealed roads in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, so there are a lot of places we had to miss, but at the same time, 2 weeks or 14 days is not a huge amount of time to do the road trip in either. We didn’t really have the time to have done any more than we did. Our original itinerary actually did have more in it but we had to revise some parts of it due to time constraints and availability of the Horizontal Falls Tours as well as doing extra things we saw along the way. In fact, if you do your research, a lot of people would recommend taking a lot more time to do this trip than we did. However, if you really want to do it, are used to driving long distances, and are willing to pack as much in as possible, then it is possible to see and do an awful lot. In short, there is a LOT to do, so consider this just a portion of what you could do and see if you really want to push it and pack everything in you can.

One thing to note, the approximate driving times here are just driving and are not including stops or detours to places along the way. Those add more time, sometimes lots of it!

Edit 31/12/2016: You can now watch the itinerary on my Youtube channel or below!

Without further ado, here is our itinerary, including the places we stayed and activities we did:

  1. Edith Falls Lower FallsSat 3rd Sep: Darwin to Katherine – 311km’s, approx 4hrs + stops.
    • Pick up camper van from Mighty Campers Darwin – Left at 10:45am
    • Got groceries at Palmerston shops
    • Adelaide River
      • Distance: 94km’s from Palmerston, about 1hr, 15 mins.
      • War Memorial
    • Pine Creek
      • Distance: 113km’s from Adelaide River, about 1hr, 15 mins.
      • Railway Museum
      • Enterprise Pit Lookout
    • Edith Falls
      • Distance: 68km’s from Pine Creek, about 50 mins.
      • Swim in the lower pool for about 30 mins.
    • Katherine Hot Springs
      • Distance: 50 mins from Edith Falls.
      • Right in town in Katherine.
      • We only had time to have a quick look as it was starting to get dark already by the time we got there.
    • Stay: Big 4 Katherine Holiday Park
      • Powered Site
      • $42/night
  2. Matt at NitmilukSun 4th Sep: Katherine to Kununnura – 515km’s, approx 7hrs + stops.
    • Nitmiluk
      • Distance: 28km’s from Katherine, about 30 min.
      • Katherine Gorge Dawn cruise – 7am
      • $90 p.p.
      • Allow 2.5 hours plus driving time to and from the gorge.
    • Cross WA Border.
      • Distance: 472km’s from Katherine, approx 6hrs 40 mins.
      • Set clock back 2 hours.
      • There are restrictions on fresh produce and honey being taken across the border into WA. You are required to stop and the checkpoint and your vehicle will be inspected. Check the Quarantine Domestic site here for info the restrictions.
    • Lake Argyle
      • Distance: 42km’s from WA/NT border, approx 50 mins.
      • Fuel is available here but it is expensive, best to make sure you have enough to get to Kununnura.
    • Mirima National Park & Rock Formations
      • Distance: 69km’s from Lake Argyle, approx 1hr 10 mins. Or 2km’s from Kununnura town centre.
      • $12 park entry fee.
      • Permit machine takes coins and cards only – no cards worked when we were there so make sure to have coins in case.
      • Sunset: 5:19pm (on the way we were there).
    • Stay: Hidden Valley Tourist Park
      • Powered Site
      • $38/night
  3. The Bungle Bungles From The SkyMon 5th Sep: Kununurra to Fitzroy Crossing – 648km’s, approx 7hrs + stops.
    • Warmun
    • Halls Creek
      • China Wall
        • About 7 minutes out of Halls Creek to the turnoff.
        • Free access. Sealed road to the turnoff, then a short dirt road on private land.
        • Must open and shut the gate on your way in and out.
        • Can also see examples of Zebra Rocks around the parking spot.
    • Stay: Fitzroy River Lodge Campground.
      • Powered site
      • $40/night
      • No bookings, first come, first served.
  4. Derby Boab Prison TreeTue 6th Sep: Fitzroy Crossing to Broome via Derby – 480km’s, approx 5 hrs 30 mins + stops.
    • Derby
      • Distance: 257km from Fitzroy Crossing, approx 3 hrs.
      • Derby Boab Prison Tree
        • Just before Derby on the way into town.
        • Not visible from the road, but signposted.
        • Free Access.
      • Myalls Bore and Cattle Trough
        • Just before Derby on the way into town in the same location as the Boab Prison Tree.
        • Visible from the road.
        • Free Access.
      • Frosty’s Pool
        • Just before Derby on the way into town in the same location as the Boab Prison Tree.
        • Visible from the road.
        • Free Access.
      • Derby Visitor Info Centre
        • Has some interesting info on the history of Derby and the wharf. Worth checking out.
      • Derby Jetty and Wharf
        • All the way through town, just follow the main road.
        • There is a cafe/restaurant here.
        • Free access, though access may be restricted at times.
    • Broome
      • Distance: 220km’s from Derby, approx 2hrs, 30 mins.
      • Broome Visitor Info Centre
        • Worth checking out, especially if you haven’t decided what you want to do as there is so much in and around Broome.
    • Stay: Roebuck Bay Caravan Park.
      • Powered Waterfront Site
      • $49/night
      • $5 key bond (paid the first night of stay only)
      • The only caravan park in Broome that is right on the water.
  5. Matt with Dinosaur Footprints at Gantheaume PointWed 7th Sep: Broome – All Day
    • Gantheaume Point to see dinosaur tracks
      • Only accessible at very low tide.
      • Low tide was 7:30am on the day we went.
      • Access via Gantheume Point Road which turns into a dirt road.
      • Involves rock climbing so must be physically able to climb large rocks that can be very slippery.
      • Take extreme care.
    • Broome port
      • Continue around the dirt road from Gantheaume Point (it becomes Kavite Road) to join the sealed Port Road and access the port.
      • Not much to see besides the jetty and how high it is.
    • Streeters Jetty
      • In town
      • Access via Dampier St near the Short St intersection.
      • A short easy walk to the end of the jetty.
      • Not much to see, but it does add some perspective to the history of the town.
    • Cygnet Bay Pearls Showroom
      • Shop 2 21 Dampier Tce, Chinatown
      • Quite interesting with a lot of information on how pearl farming works and the history of pearling in Broome.
      • A video is running on a loop as well with even more pearling history and pearl farming information.
      • Free access.
    • Pearl Luggers at Willie Creek Pearls
      • 31 Dampier Tce, Chinatown
      • Restored pearl lugging boats.
      • A lot of interesting history.
      • A hard hat diving helmet is set up for photo opportunities
      • Free access.
      • A paid museum tour is also available at set times.
    • Sun Pictures
      • 27 Carnarvon St
      • 100-year old open-air cinema.
      • World’s oldest continuously operating open-air cinema.
      • Free access during the day.
      • Lots of history inside.
      • Movies run daily.
    • Broome War Memorial
      • Located in Bedford Park.
      • Quite a beautiful memorial remembering the lives lost in World War 1, World War 2 and the Vietnam War.
    • Japanese & Chinese Cemeteries
      • Access from Port Rd, near the Taiji Rd intersection.
      • In remembrance of the Japanese and Chinese people that came to Broome and contributed to making it the town it is now. Many lost their lives pearl diving.
    • Historical Society Museum
      • 67 Robinson St, Broome.
      • $6 entry for adults.
      • Looked like it could be interesting from the historical perspective, but we didn’t have time to justify paying the entry fee and felt we had probably gotten enough of the history from other places already.
      • There is a time capsule located here.
    • That Mango Place
      • 120 Kanagae Drive, Broome.
      • About 15 minutes out of Broome – approximately halfway to the Roebuck Plains Roadhouse.
      • Free entry.
      • Pay for any food or produce you purchase at the shop and cafe.
      • Amazing mango ice cream and cheesecake!
    • Blue Body Buddha Sanctuary
      • Open 7-10am and 4-7pm
      • A quiet and peaceful place.
      • Has a 3m Buddha statue.
      • Gardens themselves are small but well maintained.
      • Free entry.
    • Cable Beach
      • Amazing sunset views.
      • Car park fills up at sunset.
      • Restaurants with sunset views are on the foreshore or bring your own picnic dinner.
    • Stay: Roebuck Bay Caravan Park
      • Powered Waterfront Site.
      • $49/night.
  6. Horizontal Falls From AboveThu 8th Sep: Broome – Horizontal Falls full day tour.

    • Depart bright and early – picked up from the caravan park at 6am by the 4WD bus.
    • Beagle Bay Community
      • Morning tea – cookies, some fruit and a hot drink.
      • One toilet is available, so beware there may be a queue.
      • Visit Sacred Heart Church (aka Pearl Shell Church), quite stunning with the pearl shell used everywhere inside.
    • Cape Leveque
      • Gourmet breakfast at Kooljaman Cafe – amazing!
      • 4WD bus tour of the cape.
      • Put your feet in the ocean where white sand meets red rock and dirt.
    • One Arm Point
      • Drive through the community.
      • Tour One Arm Point Aquaculture Hatchery.
    • Seaplane Flight to Talbot Bay
      • Take off from land.
      • Fly over the many islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago.
      • Seats 14 people.
      • Flight is about 20 mins.
      • Land on the water at Talbot Bay.
      • It is a bit cramped but a cool experience.
    • Talbot Bay
      • Shark and fish feeding show
      • Swim with the sharks
      • BBQ lunch with some of the best barramundi you’ll ever eat.
      • Speed boat ride through the Horizontal Falls – lasts about half an hour. We went back and forwards through the falls about 6 times.
      • Cruise Cyclone Creek for about 30 mins and learn how the floating motel survives cyclone season. Hopefully, you will spot some saltwater crocodiles – we didn’t though.
      • Visit the Horizontal Falls again to see how much they changed in such a short time period and go through the upper falls again.
    • Seaplane back to Broome
      • Take off from the water on Talbot Bay.
      • Length: 45 minutes
      • Land at Broome Airport.
    • Bus provided from the airport,  dropping us back at the caravan park at 5:30pm
    • Go to Broome Night Markets for dinner.
    • Stay: Roebuck Bay Caravan Park
      • Powered Waterfront Site.
      • $49/night.
  7. Sandfire RoadhouseFri 9th Sep: Broome to Point Samson via Port Hedland – 834km’s, approx 8hrs 30 mins + stops.
    • Sandfire Roadhouse
      • Distance: 322km’s from Broome, approx 3hrs, 20mins.
    • Pardoo Roadhouse
      • Distance: 139km’s from Sandfire, approx 1hr, 35mins.
      • They have amazing sausage rolls!
    • Port Hedland
      • Distance: 152km’s from Pardoo, approx 1hr, 40mins from Pardoo.
      • Check out the old mining locomotives on the way into town, near the Shell service station.
      • Visitor info centre is worth checking out for the mining history.
      • Visit South Hedland to see the difference between the old mining town and the new mining town.
    • Whim Creek Pub
      • Distance: 118km’s from Port Hedland, approx 1hr, 20mins.
      • A war memorial and a unique pub.
    • Point Samson
      • Distance: 104km’s from Whim Creek, approx 1hr, 10mins.
    • Stay: The Cove Holiday Village
      • Powered Site
      • $40/night
  8. WA Wildflowers at Point SamsonSat 10th Sep: Point Samson to Exmouth via Karratha and Dampier – 633km’s, approx 6 hrs 30 mins + stops.
    • Point Samson
      • Watch the sunrise over the ocean opposite the caravan park.
      • See Honeymoon Cove Beach.
    • Wickham
      • Distance: 9km’s from Point Samson, about 10mins.
      • A small mining town that services Port Walcott.
      • Boat Beach – out of the town towards the port, apparently turtles nest nearby.
      • You can watch the port in operation on some days.
    • Cossack
      • Distance: 9km’s from Wickham, approx 10mins.
      • A historic town, no one really lives here anymore.
      • Follow the history trail to learn about the historic buildings.
      • Go to Reader Head for a good vantage point to look out over the ocean, Nullagine River, and towns in the area.
    • Roebourne
      • Distance: 14km’s from Cossack, approx 14mins.
      • Roebourne Lookout affords a great view over the town and out towards Point Samson. There is also some really interesting info here on the town history and on the Aboriginal tribes that the area is the traditional home of.
      • Roebourne Visitor Info centre
    • Karratha
      • Distance: 40km’s from Roebourne, approx 30 mins.
      • A lot of the tourist attractions here involve hikes in national parks which we didn’t have time to do.
    • Dampier
      • Accessed through Karratha.
      • See the Dampier Salt facility
      • See the Red Dog statue and information.
      • Go to the Esplanade for views of the islands off the cost.
    • Exmouth
      • Distance: 555km’s from Dampier, approx 5hrs, 50mins.
    • Stay: Ningaloo Caravan and Holiday Resort
      • Powered Site.
      • $49/night.
      • $5 late arrival fee.
      • Correct cash required when arriving late.
  9. Matt SnorkellingSun 11th Sep: Exmouth
    • Snorkelling at Ningaloo National Park
      • Lakeside
        • Lakeside is a snorkelling location close to the entrance of Ningaloo National Park, near the information centre.
        • It’s one of the first turn-offs you come to.
      • Turquoise Bay
        • Great, easy snorkel location with heaps to see.
      • Sandy Bay
        • Lots of kitesurfing here.
        • An easy snorkel spot but there isn’t much to see.
    • Yardie Creek
      • Distance: 89km’s from Exmouth, about 1hr, 30 mins if you drive there without stopping.
      • As far as you can go on a sealed road in Ningaloo National Park. A 4WD is required to get any further.
    • Stay: RAC Exmouth Cape Holiday Park (Big4)
      • Unpowered Site.
      • $35/night.
  10. Clam at Coral BayMon 12th Sep: Exmouth to Carnarvon via Coral Bay – 363km’s, approx 4 hrs + stops.
    • Vlaming Head Lighthouse and World War 2 Radar
      • On the way to Ningaloo National Park.
      • Great views and history.
    • Jurabi Turtle Centre
      • Also on the way to Ningaloo National Park.
      • No turtles when we were there but a lot of interesting information.
    • Exmouth Naval Communications Array
      • Nothing to do really but it is interesting to see.
      • There is a small submarine monument with some information about the array and its role.
    • Exmouth/Learmonth War Memorial
      • Between Exmouth and Learmonth.
      • A lot of information about the roles Exmouth and Learmonth played in World War 2.
    • Coral Bay
      • Distance: 151km’s from Exmouth, approx 1hr, 40mins + stops.
      • Stunning, super easy snorkelling.
      • Well worth it.
    • Stay: Wintersun Caravan Park Carnarvon (Top Tourist Park) – Also have chalets etc here.
      • Powered Site,
      • $42/night.
  11. Quobba BlowholesTue 13th Sep: Carnarvon to Monkey Mia – 349km’s, approx 3hrs 40 mins + stops.
    • Quobba Blow Holes
      • Distance: 74km’s, approx 1hr north of Carnarvon.
    • Carnarvon Fresh Produce Trail
      • Farm trail outside of town.
      • Lots of fresh produce available.
    • One Mile Jetty
      • On Babbage Island, Carnarvon.
      • Ride to the end of the jetty on the little train.
      • $10pp to ride the train to the end of the jetty.
    • Shearers Museum
      • Located at One Mile Jetty.
    • Space and Technology Museum
      • $10pp
      • Just outside of Carnarvon.
    • Stay: Dolphin Resort Caravan Park – Also have lots of non-camping options here.
      • Unpowered Site.
      • $36/night.
      • $10 National Park entry fee.
  12. Matt with a Dolphin at Monkey MiaWed 14th Sep: Monkey Mia to Kalbarri – 401km’s, approx 4 hrs 20 mins + stops.
    • Monkey Mia Marine Reserve
      • Dolphin Feeding from 7:30am to 11am.
      • We left at 9:30am, dolphins come as they please. We had to wait until 8:30am before they arrived.
    • Denham
      • Visitor info centre.
    • Eagle Bluff
      • On the road out from Denham.
      • A rough dirt road, but not long and well worth the stunning views.
    • Shell Beach
      • On the road out from Denham.
      • The beach is made up entirely of shells.
    • Stromatolites at Hamelin pool
      • On the road out from Denham.
      • A dirt path for access off a dirt road, but once you get there it’s a nice boardwalk.
    • Stay: Murchison River Caravan Park Kalbarri
      • Unpowered Site.
      • $36/night.
  13. Pink Lake GregoryThu 15th Sep: Kalbarri to Dongara/Port Denison via Hutt River Province & Geraldton – 221km’s, approx 3hrs + stops.
    • Kalbarri
      • Chinaman’s beach
      • Blue Boles
      • Red Bluff
      • Pot Alley
      • Eagle Gorge
      • Island Rock
      • Natural Bridge
    • Port Gregory
      • Pink lake
    • Northampton
    • Hutt River Province
      • A bit out of the way to access via sealed roads, but it is possible.
      • $4pp entry visa issuance fee.
    • Geraldton
      • HMAS Sydney II Memorial
      • Point Moore Lighthouse
    • Cape Burney
    • Stay: Dongara Denison Big 4 Holiday Park
      • Powered Site.
      • $37/night.
  14. Matt at the Pinnacles - CervantesFri 16th Sep: Dongara/Port Denison to Perth Airport – 367km’s, approx 4hrs.
    • Green Head
    • Dynamite Bay
    • Jurien Bay
      • Jurien Bay Jetty
      • Jurien Bay Marine Park man-made snorkel trail at Dobbyn Park – we checked it out but had no time for snorkelling.
    • Cervantes
      • Thirsty Point Lookout
      • Lake Thetis stromatolites and thrombolites
    • The Pinnacles
      • $12 national park entry per vehicle.
    • Perth
      • Return campervan to Mighty Campers depot in Perth by 4pm.
      • Pick up a rental car from Perth Airport.
      • Cottesloe Beach for sunset.
      • Meeka Turkish Restaurant for dinner.
      • Kings Park War Memorial at night.
      • Perth Airport and flight back to Sydney at midnight.

Now one thing to note is that this is 14 days assuming you are already in Darwin and that you are ending in Perth. For us we flew into Darwin overnight, arriving early in the morning of Day 1, then we flew out of Perth at midnight on Day 14. The late night flights can knock you around a bit though so for some people it could be worth giving yourself some more time for flights and getting ones during the day.

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14-Day Darwin to Perth Roadtrip Itinerary

6 thoughts on “14-Day Darwin to Perth Roadtrip Itinerary”

    • Hey Vic,

      There are lots of places we would spend more time in. The first two would be at the start and finish, Darwin and Perth. We haven’t actually spent much time in Darwin but there is a lot to do there. There is also stacks to do in and around Perth, we’ve been there a few times prior to and since this trip. You could easily spend 4 or 5 days around Perth.

      It would also be good to spend an extra day each in Katherine and Kununnurra.

      There is more to see around Broome, so it would have been good to spend another day or two there.

      I would definitely spend some more time around Exmouth and Ningaloo National Park, particularly if you are into snorkelling, we had to miss some of the snorkelling spots because they were closed on the day we were there, but we didn’t have the time anyway, even if they weren’t closed. There is a reasonable amount of other sights here as well besides the reefs and snorkelling.

      Also if you are into snorkelling, you could easily spend a whole day snorkelling at Coral Bay, it’s beautiful and so calm there, and there is a caravan park opposite the beach so it’s easy to access. If you aren’t into snorkelling though, there isn’t much else to see here.

      Monkey Mia and the road from the highway out to Denham is easy to do, and you can see everything in the time frame we did it in, but if you have the time, it would be quite nice to spend an extra day here.

      The route we took from Kalbarri to Dongara Port Dennison would be good to split over a couple of days rather than one. There is a lot to see, and we definitely had to push to squeeze it in. There were a few things we had to skip as well because we spent too long at other places.

      And lastly, the stretch from Dongara Port Dennison to Perth could also be split over two days, particularly if you are into snorkelling. That way you would have time to check out the Jurien Bay snorkel trail. There really isn’t enough time to do that while covering the necessary distance in one day.

      I hope that helps, let me know if there is anything else you would like to know about the trip!

  1. Your trip info was fantastic- we are looking at doing similar route and were concerned it was too far to do in 3 weeks – thanks so much

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