Perth to Broome on a Budget: Perfect 14 Day Road Trip

Perth to Broome on a Budget // The Perfect 14 Day Road Trip


If you’re about to embark on a road trip from Perth to Broome, then let me tell you, you’re in for a serious treat!

Having driven 20,000km around Australia on a budget road trip, I have to say this was my favourite stretch of the journey with the sheer diversity of landscapes, incredible scenery and insane colours blowing me, and my camera, away!

From the amazing Kalbarri and Karijini National Parks through to the iconic Pinnacles, Ningaloo Reef and dolphins at Monkey Mia – if you’re looking to see the best of Western Australia, this is probably the road trip for you!

And it’s easy to do on a budget too, with well-priced caravan parks and free camps aplenty.

Plus, if you need a great campervan hire rate, then you can easily find one through Discovery Campervans, who compare hundreds of deals to get you the best price.

So, what are you waiting for?

Here’s my ultimate Perth to Broome budget road trip itinerary for the Western Australian adventure of a lifetime.


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Day 1: Perth to Jurien Bay (via Yanchep & Pinnacles)

I’ll start with a simple instruction on day 1 – leave Perth and head north!

Yes getting out of the city might take you a while, based on traffic, and that’s one of the reasons I’ve included a stop just out of Perth, which makes the perfect place for a break and a snack!

Yes Yanchep National Park is a gorgeous reserve that’s right on your way.

A firm favourite with families especially, don’t miss checking out the koalas and kangaroos which are abundant here and very easy to spot.

There are also free BBQs in the park too if you fancy lunch already.

After you’ve got your fill at Yanchep, it’s time to make a beeline for Nambung National Park, otherwise known as The Pinnacles.

One of Western Australia’s most unique icons, these crazy-looking sand towers make for an awesome excursion and are best captured at sunset, when the colours of the golden desert landscape really spring to life.

After you’ve wandered around the Pinnacles and snapped away to your heart’s content, it’s then time to head to Jurien Bay for the night.

This cute coastal town is the perfect place to spend the first night on your Perth to Broome road trip, especially as there are a number of good caravan parks here.

Otherwise, head slightly further north to the free camp at Billy Goat Bay in Green Head if that’s what your budget calls for!

This stretch of coastline north of Perth is known as the Turquoise Coast.

If you fancy chilling here for a few more days, then check out my list of the 10 best spots to visit in the area for some more great travel ideas.


Day 2: Jurien Bay to Geraldton (via Indian Ocean Drive)

On day 2 of your Perth to Broome road trip it’s all about the Indian Drive, which is a stunning route that takes you north from Jurien Bay right up the coast.

During the months of July to October there are spectacular wildflowers to be found here, so head inland slightly to Lesueur National Park to see the best displays if you’re travelling during these months.

Make sure to snap the awesome Leaning Trees at Greenough too as you make your way towards the highly underrated town of Geraldton.

A charming spot, I loved the cute little town of Geraldton, which has some super quirky cafes (Quiet Life was my favourite), along with some lovely street art, historic buildings and a peaceful esplanade to explore.

There’s also the HMAS Sydney II Memorial and the brilliant Museum of Geraldton (both free to enter) which are definitely worth checking out too.

Learn more about what to see and do in Geraldton in this article I wrote all about the town.

Then it’s time to treat yourself to a night at Ocean West Apartments which, while still affordable, is a nice place to stay if you would like a proper bed, kitchen and a swim in the pool – check out my review here!

Otherwise, you can camp very cheaply at Ellendale Pool.


Day 3: Geraldton to Kalbarri (via Pink Lake)

Enjoy a delightful swim at one of Geraldton’s great beaches or watch the windsurfers and kitesurfers ripping it up at Point Moore and Coronation Beach in the morning before you pack up and leave Geraldton.

Then motor out of town and on to your first stop at Port Gregory to check out the Hutt Lagoon, otherwise known as the Pink Lake.

This bubblegum-coloured body of water really has to be seen to be believed and will give you some of the best photos of your Perth to Broome self-drive itinerary!

Next, stop at Eagle Gorge – part of the coastal part of Kalbarri National Park – and watch out for seasonal whales, before continuing onto the quaint town of Kalbarri itself to spend the night at the Kalbarri YHA Backpackers or one of the town’s caravan parks.

A small place, it’s easy to locate where you intend to stay, but things do get booked out in the season here, so I really recommend reserving well in advance.


Day 4: Explore Kalbarri National Park

Take a day off from any serious driving on day 4 of your Perth-Broome road trip and explore the inland section of Kalbarri National Park at your leisure instead.

From stunning gorges to sensational lookouts, don’t forget your camera when it comes to exploring this place – one of Australia’s best national parks imo.

Highlights include Nature’s Window and the Z-Bend – you really can’t miss them!

Learn more about Kalbarri National Park – including how to visit it and what to do there – in this ultimate guide I wrote.

There’s no camping within Kalbarri National Park itself, so you’ll need to return to town to spend the night of day 4.

Stop at the Meanarra Hill Lookout on the way back if you can!


Day 5: Kalbarri to Shark Bay

Continue north from Kalbarri on day 5 and head to the UNESCO World Heritage Area of Shark Bay.

This really is where the Outback meets the ocean, so be prepared for some gorgeous views of red dirt hitting white sand and the turquoise Indian Ocean lapping beyond.

There’s tons of incredible free things to do in Shark Bay – from stromatolite boardwalks to dugong spotting and even soaking in an artesian water hot tub, so don’t miss out!

Most of these activities are situated along the World Heritage Drive, which takes you up the Peninsula to the main town of Denham –  a great place to enjoy a picnic lunch on the foreshore.

Once you’re rested and fed, I then suggest continuing onto Monkey Mia and camping at the RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin resort – this is a fantastic place for the big and small kids alike!


Day 6: Explore Shark Bay / Monkey Mia

Today is another day to hold off on driving too much – because believe me you’ll need a down day like this every once in a while!

Instead, take the time to relax by the Indian Ocean in Monkey Mia and don’t miss the chance to feed the friendly population of wild bottlenose dolphins that call this place home.


Day 7: Shark Bay to Carnarvon

On day 7, it’s then time to hit the road again!

Leave Shark Bay and head north to the country town of Carnarvon, which is known as the fresh produce king of Western Australia.

In the town itself, the One Mile Jetty, the Fascine and the Heritage Precinct Museums are all worth exploring, especially as they are free to enter or by gold coin donation!

Next drive Carnarvon’s fruit loop, stopping at the farm shops to buy some of the delicious local produce they grow here, before heading out to see the amazing blowholes at Quobba Point!

Honestly, you cannot miss the spectacle of these giant forces of nature, but please do take care, as the huge sign you’ll see on arrival here will warn you about!

When it comes to spending the night in Carnarvon, you can either camp cheaply out at Quobba, or head back into town and stay at the awesome Wintersun Caravan Park – check out my review of this place here.


Day 8: Carnarvon to Exmouth / Coral Bay

Today’s the day on your Perth to Broome road trip that you get to visit the amazing Ningaloo Reef.

When it comes to seeing this marvellous underwater spectacle, you’ll have to make a choice about where to base yourself.

Either choose Exmouth – the main town in the region and best for diving – or select Coral Bay – a much smaller settlement great for snorkelling with manta rays.

Arrive at your chosen destination and book your excursion for the next day – after all, you can’t come to this incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site and not get out on the water to explore the reef!

Then finish your day either with a stroll on the beach at Coral Bay to check out the shark nursery, or a drive to the striking Vlamignh Head Lighthouse near Exmouth for stunning views over the reef, especially at sunset.

Spend the night at Potshot Hotel Resort in Exmouth where you can either camp, grab a dorm bed for the night, or splash out on one of their apartments – read my review here.

Alternatively, in Coral Bay, you have a choice of 3 caravan parks – I thought Bayview was the best of the bunch.


Day 9: Explore Ningaloo Reef

Take full advantage of the fabulous surroundings amidst the Ningaloo Reef and either spend the day snorkelling with manta rays from Coral Bay on this eco marine safari, or scuba diving (possibly with whale sharks depending on the season) from Exmouth.

If your budget won’t stretch to this, or you have another day up your sleeve to play with here, then you should definitely check out Cape Range National Park.

This stunning reserve protects both the reef, as well as onshore area, where emus, echidnas and roos roam freely.

Highlights of this national park include Yardie Creek and Turquoise Bay – the colours of which really have to be seen to be believed!

You can camp cheaply in Cape National Range National Park too and entrance is free of course with your WA Parks Pass – see my tips at the end of this article for more info on this!

And don’t forget, if you only have a week to travel from Perth, and don’t fancy driving, then this 7 day Explorer Return Tour from Perth to Exmouth could be the perfect answer!


Day 10: Exmouth / Coral Bay to Karijini National Park

While it’s super hard to pick my favourite bit of the road trip from Perth to Broome, Karijini National Park just might clinch the top spot!

This massive national park, set in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia, showcases some seriously stunning landscapes with incredible gorges, waterfalls, swimming holes and lookouts you can explore on foot and by vehicle.

All of it is giant and all of it is mind-blowing – it literally feels like you are walking through some prehistoric landscape… minus the dinosaurs of course!

Accessible even by 2wd vehicles, there is basic national park camping available in Karijini where you should stay to keep the budget down.

Otherwise, treat yourself and upgrade with a spot of glamping at the wonderful Karijini EcoRetreat.


Day 11: Explore Karijini National Park

Australia, Karijini, Fortescue Falls

Given that Karijini was 20 billion years in the making, it seems at least fair for you to allocate a full day to enjoy it!

And there’s no question in my mind that this ancient landscape is definitely worth a 2 night stopover on your Perth to Broome road trip.

The Spider Walk is the most epic attraction for the intrepid explorers among you, and it’s hard to beat Fortescue Falls for a delightful dip – def do both if you can!

To learn more about visiting Karijini and the top places you can’t miss while you are there, check out this ultimate guide I wrote all about this amazing national park.


Day 12: Karijini to Port Hedland

Not the most picturesque of places it has to be said, but the mining town of Port Hedland is, however, a great overnight stop if you want to grab a decent coffee and replenish supplies as you continue north from Karijini.

It’s also a good place to spend the night and I highly recommend the Discovery Parks – Port Hedland Caravan Park, which is situated right above the gorgeous beach of Pretty Pool that has great sunset views.

In the town itself, there’s loads of free things to see, including the snow mountain (Rio Tinto’s massive huge salt piles), the never-ending iron ore trains or the insanely huge ship loading facility – all kind of depressing and intriguing in equal measure!


Day 13: Port Hedland to Eighty Mile Beach

Gosh we’re getting so close to the end of this Perth to Broome road trip, as day 13 brings us to Eighty Mile Beach, which is certainly worth a stop on the final leg of your journey.

The colours of the coast here are truly unbelievable and the brilliant Eighty Mile Beach Caravan Park sits right among them with some epic views – stay there!


Day 14: Eighty Mile Beach to Broome

Saving the best till last, on day 14 you’ll finally reach Broome!

Arriving at the top of Western Australia is no less spectacular than you would expect and you’re going to want at least a few days to really absorb this town to its fullest!

Yes, everybody loves Broome, and it’s easy to see why thanks to the Cable Beach sunsets, Gantheaume Point views and rich cultural heritage evident throughout the town.

Check out my favourite free things to do in Broome, as well as my guide to the best Broome caravan parks, for more info about what to do and where to stay when you’re here.


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Top Tips for Road Tripping Perth to Broome

Australia, Broome, Sunset

  • If you don’t have your own vehicle, then check out Discovery Campervans for the best rental deals in Western Australia.
  • Buy a WA Parks Pass before your road trip from Perth to Broome and save a ton on National Park entrance fees.


5 Key Packing Items for your Perth to Broome Drive

Hamersley Gorge Karijini

#1 Good Camera – You will be pretty much snapping non-stop in Australia and will need a good camera to do this gorgeous country justice. I highly recommend the Sony A6000, which I use for all my travels and love, not least because it’s light, compact and robust!

#2 Good Walking Shoes – There will be a lot of walking in Australia – from towns to national parks! Make sure your feet are comfortable therefore with a pair of New Balance Trainers. Perfect for stylish strolling, I love mine.

#3 Good Guidebook – I’m still a massive fan of the Lonely Planet Guidebooks and do think their Australia edition is well put together.

#4 Good Water Bottle – Travelling in hot, old Australia can be thirsty work, so make sure you have a metal water bottle that you can refill as you go, because tap water is drinkable… and free!

#5 Good Sun Hat – And there’s no denying you’ll need a good sun hat for protection in Australia too. In my opinion, you can’t go past this Hello Sunshine one, which is both gorgeous and ideal for keeping the rays off your face.





So that’s it folks, my ultimate 14 day Perth to Broome budget road trip itinerary.

Have you made this incredible journey?

What was your favourite place and do you have any great tips to share?

I’d love to hear them in the comments box below…


28 thoughts on “Perth to Broome on a Budget: Perfect 14 Day Road Trip

        • Steph says:

          Good question Louise! The most popular time to head north is probably during the winter when it’s much milder up there i.e. May to November. However, if you’re travelling the other way round – like we were – it’s great to leave Broome at the end of Winter i.e. Oct / November – so you arrive into Perth for the summer 🙂 The only other consideration is the wind – particularly if you’re looking to camp along the coast like us – but in my experience its hard to predict this one unfortunately!

  1. juliette says:

    Hi Steph!
    Looks really nice, and 14 days is not that much! Did you do this with a van or a 4×4? Any idea of how much you spent in total? Thank you for sharing! 😉

    • Steph says:

      Hi Juliette, this trip can be done in 2 weeks, but we took 2 months and you could definitely take even longer! If you have the time, I always advise going slowly! We made the trip in a 4×4, but your could also complete in a van. Just check the roads in advance, especially around the Pilbara area and you’ll be fine. We were rouhgly spending $250 a week for 2 of us on this trip, but that is lots of free camping, almost no paid acitivites and basic food only! Serious budget style!

  2. Sonia Parsons says:

    This trip sounds amazing. I have 3 teenage boys that love fishing is there much fishing in these spots? Can they snorkel here and see a lot or do the need to do boat tours like on the great barrier reef.

    • Steph says:

      Hi Sonia, thanks for your questions – there is definitely tons of fishing up and down this coast, so no problem there. Certainly there is snorkeling off the beach at Coral Bay, Cape Range National Park and Broome Town Beach… though of course, tons of trips you can do too if you want. The other thing I like about the WA beaches are the amount of pontoons they have – great for kids to swim out to and jump off!

  3. Chris says:

    Hi Steph, I’m planning to do this trip at the start of next month. I did a quick itinerary then saw this and it’s pretty much exactly what I had planned. You said you took 2 months, where else did you go off the beaten track that you’d recommend or are there places you need more time in without rushing.

    We also wanted to get to steep point and cape north point I’m shark bay with a 4WD which we have. Do you recommend these?
    Your budget is really good! Especially for 2 people, just the fuel alone! Did you go from Broome to Darwin too? We want to do Kimberly, Gibbs Road and Kakadu too.
    Sorry for the long winded message – any other advice about shops or fuel stops we need to know about? I assumed it’d be fine all the way until Broome. Thanks for the help!!

    • Chris says:

      Hi Steph, apologies I’ve only just searched through quite a few of your other posts and found d some very interesting and useful information. You give great advice and I can’t believe how much you have travelled!! Very jealous! Thanks

      • Steph says:

        Hey Chris, thanks so much. That’s very kind of you to say so, and I’m delighted you’ve found the info I’m putting out helpful.Safe travels and happy wandering 🙂

    • Steph says:

      Hi Chris, generally we took more time than I give in this itinerary because I know most people don’t have the luxury of 2 months. In saying that, we also visited some places I’ve not included such as Chicester-Millstream National Park and Francois Peron National Park, which I’d have recommend if you have the time… I didn’t get to Steep Point unforutnately, but I’ve heard it’s pretty spectacular. By the time we got to Shark Bay, we’d endured several weeks of strong wind and just couldn’t face anymore!! … Yes we actually drove from Brisbane to Perth, so made the route from Darwin to Broome, which was spectacular too. The Kimberleys are my fav! Although this is the stretch you need some good supplies for. The Perth to Broome route has tons of amenities, so no worries there. Safe travels and please feel free to keep the questions coming!

  4. Ria Boustead says:

    Hi Stef love the travel trip. We ourselves are on our journey heading home … We will be checkibg out all these places you have siggested.
    Pinnacles done
    Jurien Bay done …
    Jyst a question about free camping. Thats where we strive to go but seem to be having problems finding them in WA… We have been lucky with a few. Any suggestions woukd be great
    Enjoy your journeys
    Jim n Ria

    • Steph says:

      Hi Jim n Ria, lovely to hear from you and learn of your Aus adventures – sounds like you might have been on a big trip! The West coast is such an epic stretch of beauty that I know you’re going to love it. To learn all about the free camping spots, I paid $8 AUD for an app called WikiCamps Australia – highly recommend you grab it too, it will save you a fortune!

  5. Merrilyn says:

    Wow! Thanks for such awesome info! This is pretty much the exact trip I’ve been dreaming of for a couple of years now! Was feeling a bit dejected thinking the 4wks annual leave i intended taking for this trip would not be enough (considering I’m in Vic-not sure if i could drive whole return trip in that 4wks or be better off flying to Perth & hiring a campervan to begin the drive from Perth-Broome & then flying home from Broome to Melb -this adds expense of course tho which is scarey) but this all gives me hope the maybe i can somehow squeeze it all in somehow!

    • Steph says:

      Hi Merrilyn thanks for your great comments and so excited to hear you’re planning this epic trip! Honestly, to avoid the stress of rushing and extra LONG driving days, I’d definitely consider flying if you can possibly afford it – at least one way at any rate. Vic is so far from Broome (where isn’t?!) that I honestly think you’ll have a hard time fitting this into 4 weeks if you don’t fly. And driving it all means you’ll likely arrive back exhausted, not feeling like you had a holiday at all. Hope that helps and good luck 🙂

  6. Paula says:

    Hi Steph,
    I travel with 2 small dogs and I have noticed most of your destinations are in or thought National Parks, which of course I can not go too. Thank you you have some wonderful ideas, great going.

    • Steph says:

      Hi Paula, ah yes that would be a problem with the dogs – well spotted. Best of luck finding some alternatives and thanks for the words of encouragement 🙂

  7. Letitia says:

    Hi Steph,
    This post was exactly what I needed today. Last August-November I made a 3 month Aussie trip, Tassie included. I loved it so much and I really wanted to go back to visit the west cost. Unfortunately I do not have the opportunity to go back for 3 months. So this two week trip from Perth to Broome is just what I need! Do you have any advise on where to start the journy/hire a 4×4/other tips?

    • Steph says:

      Hi Letitia and great to hear this post has inspired you to get over to WA!

      When it comes to starting points, I’d suggest looking at the time of year you’ll travel and judge it from there. You only really want to be up in the tropics (Exmouth and north) between May and September, so plan your route and time accordingly. Do beware of cyclone season etc.

      Starting in either Perth or Broome will give you the full length of the itinerary I suggest and also both have airports making it easy to arrive / depart. Just check any vehicle you hire can be returned in a different location – unless you want to drive back again of course.

      Happy travels 🙂

  8. eva says:

    Hi! Nice post. Which rental company did you use to return the car in a different location? I have been checking and it costs a fortune to get the car in Perth and return it in Broome. Thanks!

    • Steph says:

      Hi Eva, I actually had my own 4wd, so didn’t have to return the vehicle, because you are right, this is a very expensive option. And flights are pricey too, unfortunately, but if you don’t have the time there’s not many ways round it.

  9. Christine says:

    Hi Steph, we have booked a van for 40 day to drive from Perth to Darwin. We are wanting to book a caravan park for both Broome and Darwin in advance. We have been told we are travelling in the peak season so book these two jus5 in case. I’m just not sure how much time to allocate between Perth and Broome then Broome to Darwin. Any suggestions.

    • Steph says:

      Hi Christine, many thanks for your comments and great to hear about your travel plans. I would definitely book caravan sites (at the very least in those 2 destinations, in advance) and you can check my blog to find my top caravan park recommendations for these cities – just use the search bar in the top right corner of my homepage to reveal the relevant posts for you. As you can see from this itinerary, I recommend 2 weeks between Perth and Broome. I’d then allow 4-5 days in Broome itself to relax and recoup. From Broome to Darwin, I have another itinerary post on my blog which works on a 14 day basis too. Again I think this is a good amount of time between moving consistently, but not rushing. Check out the post (again you can use the search bar to find it) for full details. I’d also allow 4-5 days for Darwin and longer if you want to visit Kakadu. Safe and happy travels, Steph 🙂

  10. suresh says:

    Hi Steph,
    Did you drive back to Perth from Broome? how did you do?
    I am planning to do Perth to Broome road trip and looking for ideas.
    thanks SM

    • Steph says:

      Hi Suresh, thanks for your question. I actually drove from Broome to Perth and then continued on south on my grand Aussie road trip – however this itinerary works in both directions. If you don’t want to drive back on your self, you can always fly one way and rent a vehicle to take you in the other direction. Hope that helps. Best, Steph 🙂

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