Western Australia is known for its beautiful coastline, diverse nature, sunny climate, and cultural heritage. This 5,000 km journey is one of Australia’s most epic road trips in Darwin and beyond.

Quick stats

5000km trip distance

24 day roadtrip

Kuga Campervan recommended

road trip map

Darwin to Katherine

First Leg
Kids snorkeling

Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

Distance: 320 km

Welcome to Darwin, the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory! With a population of just over 130,000, this city is a must-see for anyone looking for a true Australian experience. Darwin is the gateway to Kakadu National Park, it has stunning bicentennial gardens, and access to Museums and Art Galleries. The popular waterfront destination is considered Australia’s only tropical city.

After you’ve explored everything there is to see in Darwin, head south on the National Highway 1 again. This will bring you to Katherine on the edge of the Kakadu National Park. Katherine is known for its hot springs, something that everyone should experience in their lifetime. Nitmiluk Gorge is also a must-do side trip, just a 30-minute drive into the national park from Katherine. Also, if you’re a waterfall love, it’s worth stopping off on the way to visit the majestic Edith Falls.

Katherine to Kununurra

Stop 2
Noosa and the Glass House Mountains

Time: 6 hours 30 minutes

Distance: 500 km

Now follow the National Highway 1 southwest. This is a long drive and there’s not a huge amount to see on the way, but it’s a flat run in the dry season. Just before you reach Kununurra you’ll cross the border from NT into WA and you’ll need to set your clocks back 1.5 hours. Remember, you can’t take fresh fruit and vegetables or honey across the border so make sure you have a clear out of your food items to avoid a possible fine. Just after you cross the border, you can take a side trip to Lake Argyle, which is the largest man-made reservoir in Western Australia, and makes for some pretty photographs.

Arriving at Kununurra in the Kimberley Region, make sure you catch a sunset over the Kununurra Lake. Visiting the local art at Zebra Rock Gallery and enjoying local produce at the Sandalwood Factory. Kununurra means Meeting Of The Big Waters, for this stop there can’t be a more suited name.

Kununurra to Halls Creek

Stop 3
Kakadu National Park

Time: 4 hours

Distance: 360 km

Driving south past Lake Argyle and Purnululu National park will bring you over the Ord River and to the town of Halls Creek.

Halls Creek is a predominantly Aboriginal town, but a lot of tourists pass through here on their road trip. Halls Creek is the gateway to many well known natural attractions and worth a spot over. It is a quiet town, but there are several caravan parks in the area. You might also want to consider exploring some of the sights of the National Park on the way such as Cathedral Gorge or Echidna Chasm.

Halls Creek to Fitzroy Crossing

Stop 4
Wolfe Creek Crater

Time: 3 hours

Distance: 300 km

From Halls Creek, the National Highway continues west to the small town of Fitzroy Crossing. Fitzroy Crossing is a quintessential outback town and makes a good base for exploring the creeks and gorges of the Devonian National Parks. The Mimbi Caves are also located between Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing and a tour provides an interesting insight into the culture of the native Gooniyandi people.

Fitzroy Crossing to Broome

Stop 5
Broome race track

Time: 4 hours

Distance: 400 km

From Fitzroy Crossing we now head over to Broome. This is a highlight for many road-trippers on this route, and you’ll probably find you want to stop there and explore for a few days. This picturesque coastal town offers dramatic sunsets, sandy beaches (with camel rides!), whale watching, and the famous Horizontal Falls. There are also plenty of shops, restaurants, and hotels if you want to stock up on supplies or take a break from campervan life.

Broome to Port Hedland

Stop 6
Broome to Port Hedland

Time: 6 hours and 15 minutes

Distance: 600 km

The national highway follows the coastline, heading southwest from Broome, with thousands of km of white sand beaches to explore if you want to stop off along the way (there are some good campervan parks on Eighty Mile Beach). Port Headland is a town with industrial history and there are some interesting town tours if you’d like to find out more about the town’s cultural heritage. There are also some lovely walks, vibrant craft markets, and plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting.

Port Hedland to Karijini

Stop 7
Karijini National Park WA

Time: 5 hours 30 minutes

Distance: 360 km

Time to head inland again via National Highway 95 to Karijini National Park. The park is the second largest in Western Australia and offers plenty of campsites and caravan parks. If you’re into hiking and adventure, you might want to spend a few days here exploring the gorges, canyons, and waterfalls. With guided and non-guided tours, this 2 billion year old National Park hosts some of the most stunning scenery in the world.

Karijini to Coral Bay

Stop 8
Coral bay fish

Time: 7 hours 45 minutes

Distance: 620 km

After exploring the National Park, head back towards the coast and the small town of Coral Bay. This is a full day’s driving but there are a few mining towns and petrol stations along the way, so don’t be too intimidated. Coral Bay is a beautiful spot, rich in wildlife and a great location for spotting humpback whales.

Coral Bay to Monkey Mia

Stop 9
Monkey Mia WA dolphins

Time: 6 hours

Distance: 580 km

The popular tourist destination of Monkey Mia, famous for its resident dolphins and Shell Beach. If you’ve ever wanted to get close to a dolphin in the wild, this is your chance, as the beach have dedicated feeding times that you can see.

Monkey Mia is also home to the world’s oldest living fossils. So much to see and do here, you will never want to leave.

Monkey Mia to Kalbarri

Stop 10
Nature's window

Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Distance: 400 km

National Route 1 travels south from Monkey Mia and winds back round to the resort town of Kalbarri. Kalbarri’s seaside cliffs are a great place to indulge in some whale watching and there are some nice restaurants to enjoy a leisurely dinner at.

Kalbarri to Cervantes

Stop 11
Kalbarri to Cervantes

Time: 4 hours

Distance: 380 km

From Kalbarri head south along the coast and make a small detour to see the famous Pink Lake at Port Gregory. The pink hue of the lagoon comes from naturally occurring algae and makes for an Instagram-worthy photo! Cervantes is a small fishing town that’s famous for its lobster factory (make sure you enjoy a seafood dinner while you’re here). Also, make sure to check out The Pinnacles – weird limestone pillars dotted across a moon-like landscape.

Cervantes to Perth

Stop 12
Campervan girl pose

Time: 2 hours

Distance: 200 km

From Cervantes, it’s just a two-hour drive south along the coast to the beautiful city of Perth with all it has to offer. Perth is one of Australia’s largest cities and has something for everyone – parks, beaches, culture, shopping, dining, and much more.

Spend as long in Perth as you like, and when you’re ready to explore more road trips and rent a campervan, the team at Travellers Autobarn will be ready to help you get back on the road!

Time to say Goodbye!

Karijini National Park WA

When it comes to an Australian campervan adventure, few routes will present the same degree of breathtaking beauty as the journey from Darwin to Perth. If we’ve inspired you to try your own little trip, make a booking to start your Darwin adventure. If you want to start your journey in Perth, then check out our latest deals & specials on campervan hire in Perth. Or, if you want to read more road trip itineraries, come and explore today!

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