Australia is bursting with natural beauty and awe-inspiring places to see. When you head out on a road trip in Australia in a motorhome, you get to see and experience so much. From nature-rich national parks to endless coastlines and everything in-between, an Australian road trip will never disappoint. One route that is definitely best done in a motorhome is Perth to Darwin. Here the open road will take you to some incredible places, many that are off the beaten track. This blog is going to give you an insider’s guide into the ultimate Perth to Darwin motorhome road trip.
We’ve outlined some travel tips, must-see places and great campgrounds and camping spots to make your road trip itinerary planner all the easier. So if you’re looking to plan your trip from Perth to Darwin, then read on because this is the perfect itinerary for you! Plus, with dedicated motorhome hire branches in Darwin and Perth, road trips are simple and easy thanks to maui Motorhomes.
Perth to Darwin
Best Time of the Year
- Pinnacles Desert
- Kalbarri National Park
- Shark Bay
- Ningaloo Reef
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Perth to Geraldton
Distance 415km - Driving Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Your Perth to Darwin road trip will be one full of beauty and adventure, and the bonus of starting your trip in the vibrant city of Perth makes it all the more exciting. Once you’ve arrived in Perth, pick up your campervan from the maui Perth branch which is conveniently located close to the airport. Their friendly staff will have your motorhome ready for you to hit the road and start your adventure.
The first stop on the journey is Geraldton. However, when you’re ready to leave the city and hit the open road we suggest taking a slight detour to marvel at the incredible Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park. The park is home to an array of native plants, animals and bird life. The Pinnacles are breathtaking natural limestone structures that were formed approximately 25,000 to 30,000 years ago, after the sea receded and left deposits of sea shells. The coastal winds over time have removed the surrounding sand, leaving these incredible pillar formations. You can easily access both the Nambung National Park and the Pinnacles with your maui camper, and they are even better seen at night with the Milky Way galaxy as a sprawling backdrop.
Once you’ve arrived in the beautiful town of Geraldton you’re sure to be captivated by its natural beauty. Those who love ocean activities are going to want to book a fast ferry or charter boat to Abrolhos Islands where the snorkeling will amaze you. With crystal blue waters and an abundance of sea life, this archipelago of islands is a must-visit! The HMAS Sydney II Memorial is located in Geraldton and offers a wonderful opportunity for visitors to pay their respects, learn more about the history of the HMAS Sydney II, and take a walk in the incredible memorial grounds that have been constructed.
A place that we love to stay when in this area is the Geraldton Caravan Park. With great campsite facilities and a swimming pool, this is a wonderful spot to park your campervan for the night and relax.
Geraldton to Monkey Mia
Distance 432km - Driving Time 4 hours 30 minutes
The next destination on your Perth to Darwin road trip is Monkey Mia. Along the way we recommend stretching your legs at the incredible Kalbarri National Park. Here you’ll be amazed by the magnificent 80km gorge that has been formed over time from the Murchison River. The red and white banded sandstone gorge offers many walking trails, but if you want the best view then take the Kalbarri Skywalk up to the two platforms where you can enjoy expansive views of the entire area.
Once you reach Monkey Mia you’ll find some great activities on offer, one of which we’re sure everyone will love! Get up close and personal with the resident dolphins at Monkey Mia. These friendly dolphins regularly swim to the shore and interact with humans, especially during feeding times between 7:45am and 12noon. If a relaxing stroll along the beach is what you’re feeling like then you can’t go past Shell Beach. Aptly named, this beach is formed from billions of tiny shells which create an incredible snow-white beach. The shells go 10m deep and stretch for over 70 kms, a truly spectacular sight to be seen, this is one of the only few beaches in the world like this.
After some relaxing time by the ocean, we suggest booking into RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort. With a range of powered camping sites available and the campsites just a few steps from the beach, this is a wonderful campground that you may want to stay a few days at. The dolphin feeding area is within walking distance, and there is great snorkeling and swimming to be had right out the front in the crystal clear waters.
Monkey Mia to Carnarvon
Distance 351km - Driving Time 3 hours 35 minutes
After some lovely time in Monkey Mia, it’s time to continue on the road trip to Carnarvon. This scenic drive will have you passing through the UNESCO World Heritage Area of Shark Bay in Denham which we recommend stopping in at. Once a pearling port, this friendly coastal town has some beautiful beaches to cool off at, as well as wonderful restaurants to discover.
Once you’ve refreshed at Shark Bay, it’s onto Carnarvon where there are some great activities to enjoy. The Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum is an incredible place to learn and discover the little known history of the role that Carnarvon played in the manned space program. If it’s a natural phenomenon you’re after then a trip to the Quobba Blowholes is one to add to your travel itinerary! Here you’ll witness powerful ocean swells force water through sea caves and up out of narrow holes in the rocks, creating jets of water that erupt into the air.
When looking for a place to park your motorhome for the night, you can’t go past the BIG4 Plantation Caravan Park. Set amongst tropical fruit plantations, this campground offers wonderful facilities including a pool, playground, BBQ areas and so much more.
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Carnarvon to Exmouth
Distance 365km - Driving Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Next on our ultimate Perth to Darwin motorhome road trip is the picturesque area of Exmouth. On your drive there we recommend stopping along the way at Coral Bay which is a marine-lovers paradise. Its name comes from its breathtaking coral gardens which are just metres from pristine white sandy beaches. Take a dip in the crystal clear water, snorkel as you discover the incredible underwater life, then relax in the sunshine before jumping back into your campervan and continuing on to Exmouth.
Chances are you’ve heard of Ningaloo Reef, and if not then you’re about to realise why marine and nature lovers love this area. The turquoise waters of Ningaloo Reef are home to some of the world’s most incredible marine life. The UNESCO World Heritage site invites you to swim and snorkel as you discover the underwater world. The most notable visitors to the reef are the whale sharks, as well as manta rays, turtles and humpback whales on their annual migration. Another natural beauty to discover while here is the Cape Range National Park. This raw, natural beauty spans from the pristine waters of Ningaloo Marine Park along rugged limestone ranges and arid coastal plains to the Cape Range. Here you can spot kangaroos, emus, echidnas, rock wallabies and an array of birds. There are a selection of walking trails to choose from to suit every traveller.
After a day immersed in nature there is no better place to camp up for the night then at the RAC Exmouth Cape Holiday Park. With great campsite facilities, as well as a wonderful location close to the centre of town, this is an easy and comfortable place to park your campervan.
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Exmouth to Karijini
Distance 618km - Driving Time 7 hours 35 minutes
Heading further north the next destination on our road trip list is Karijini. This is a longer distance of 7.5 hours so we suggest stopping for a night or two at Cheela Plains Station. The outback station is an incredible working cattle station that is a friendly and welcome stop for travellers. Here you can explore the area, get a taste of outback life, stay the night at their campgrounds and enjoy a delicious meal at their Red Plains Café.
After a restful outback stop, it’s onto Karijini where you’ll be immersed in the beauty of the area. One stop that is a must is the Karijini National Park. This is a magical spot that is a perfect blend of stunning red landscape, native plants, ancient deep gorges and crystal-clear swimming waters. Freshwater waterfalls form secluded swimming holes that are surrounded by lush green ferns, a breathtakingly beautiful sight to see. While here you should journey to Hancocks Gorge and Kermits Pools. Best done with a guide, this experience will have you climb down a ladder into the gorge, before following the narrow chambers along, past stunning rock pools. While it may be the shortest walk in the park, it’s one that we highly recommend.
Amazingly you can stay in this national park at Karijini Eco Retreat. Their campsites are nestled amongst native bushland at the edge of Joffre Gorge. They have a restaurant and bar on-site, as well as offer easy access to the park’s walks and guided tours. At night you can marvel at the incredible star show above and as you lay excited for the next day’s adventure and fall asleep to the sounds of the outback.
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Karijini to Port Hedland
Distance 342km - Driving Time 3 hours 45 minutes
After some lovely time in nature it’s onto the next stop, Port Hedland. If you’re wanting to stretch your legs along the way then stop in at Albert Tognolini rest area where you can take in the incredible views of the surrounding red desert area.
Continuing on, you’ll get to the vibrant town of Port Hedland. Here you can explore the historic area and discover contemporary street art that lines the laneways and buildings. A fantastic experience to be had while here is a visit to Lisa’s Kangaroo Retreat. This centre for rescued kangaroos allows visitors to get up close and personal with orphaned joeys, allowing you to hold and feed them. A truly unforgettable experience! After this wholesome experience it might be time to stroll the streets of Port Hedland, enjoying a refreshing drink and some delicious food. Then you can wander along the laneways, admiring the street art from a range of impressive street artists. There is a booklet with a trail you can take so you don’t miss any of the expansive pieces.
When it’s time to camp up for the night then we recommend checking into the Discovery Park Port Hedland Pilbara. Located right on the water and offering great campsite facilities, this is a wonderful stay for your campervan road trip.
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Port Hedland to Broome
Distance 609km - Driving Time 6 hours 20 minutes
Next on our Perth to Darwin travel itinerary is the wonderful town of Broome. This is a long drive so to break it up we suggest stopping off at Eighty Mile Beach to stretch your legs. This 220km coastline boasts uninterrupted white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. This is a great spot to fish, bird watch, take a stroll or camp for the night and with its raw beauty, it’s sure not to disappoint.
After a relaxing break, it’s on to the wonderful town of Broome. There is so much to see and do here, and while in town you can’t miss a stroll along the multicultural heart and soul of Broome, Chinatown. With a great selection of shops and dining options, there are a lot of ways to spend your time here. A trip to Broome wouldn’t be complete without an iconic Cable Beach camel tour. These award-winning tours offer an unforgettable experience where you’ll learn about the history of camels in Australia, the unique stories of their camels and enjoy a beach stroll aboard one of these magnificent animals.
When it’s time to pull up for the night the RAC Cable Beach Holiday Park is the perfect place to go. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens and offering great campsite facilities, all within walking distance to Cable Beach, this will be a wonderful spot to stop and relax.
Broome to Fitzroy Crossing
Distance 397km - Driving Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Continuing on the ultimate Perth to Darwin road trip will have you at Fitzroy Crossing. Full of raw beauty and incredible sights, this place is sure to amaze from the moment you arrive. When here, a visit to the Geikie Gorge National Park is a must! Here you’ll discover the Danggu Geikie Gorge that was carved out by the Fitzroy River through an ancient limestone barrier reef. With towering white and gray walls and white rounded limestone structures, this area is truly mesmerizing and is wonderful to see either by foot or by boat. Another great experience to be had here is a journey into the Mimbi Caves. This tour will take you inside the 350 million year old caves. Your guide will take you deep into the caves and tell stories of when local Aboriginal people called these caves home.
A wonderful place to stay while here is the Fitzroy River Lodge. With fantastic facilities such as a swimming pool, tennis courts, BBQ’s and a laundry area, this will be a welcoming place to rest when not out exploring the area.
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Fitzroy Crossing to Halls Creek
Distance 289km - Driving Time 3 hours
Next stop on the journey is Halls Creek. This is another place that is full of natural beauty and incredible sights. A visit to the Purnululu National Park is a must when here. This World Heritage Listed Park features incredible geological formations known as the Bungle Bungle Ranges. Wander along ancient creek beds and through awe-inspiring gorges that transform into a golden paradise later in the day. Another incredible sight to see is the Wolfe Creek Crater. This is the second largest crater in the world and measures 880m across and goes as deep as 60m!
After a day taking in the sights the Halls Creek Caravan Park offers a wonderful space to set up and relax.
Halls Creek to Kununarra
Distance 358km - Driving Time 3 hours 50 minutes
The adventure continues and next up is the picturesque Kununarra. This breathtakingly beautiful area is full of adventure and incredible sights to see that we think it’s a must-add to your travel itinerary. A nature cruise along Lake Argyle is a great way to take in the sights. Here you can jump aboard and take a cruise, witnessing the abundance of wildlife along the way including birds, wallabies, fish and crocodiles. Doing this cruise at sunset will have you in awe at the immense beauty that this time of day offers. If you want to experience the lake at your own pace then the team also has paddle boards and kayaks for hire. Another great activity while here is taking one of the many walking trails through the Mirima National Park. With ancient rock formations and natural surroundings, this is a wonderful addition to your itinerary.
The Hidden Valley Tourist Park provides a wonderful space to park your campervan at the end of the day. The park has great facilities on offer, as well as shaded grassy sites available. Plus, from the comfort of your campsite you can enjoy spectacular sunset views.
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Kununarra to Katherine
Distance 515km - Driving Time 5 hours 20 minutes
A little over five hours away is Katherine which is the next destination on our list. Along the way you’re probably going to want to stretch your legs so we recommend stopping off at Nackeroo Lookout. Here you can get a great view of the surrounding area and enjoy some lunch before continuing on your journey. Once you’ve arrived in Katherine there are some beautiful sights to see. One of which is the Nitmiluk National Park. Here you’ll discover incredible rock formations and a stunning swimming hole to cool off in. Another nature park to visit while here is Umbrawarra Gorge Nature Park. With sharp red cliffs, sandstone overhangs and a swimming creek, this peaceful area is sure to have you in awe.
After a day exploring the rich cultural and spiritual history of this area, it’s time to camp up for the night, and our favourite place in Katherine is the Katherine Holiday Park. With great facilities, a picturesque setting and wonderful campsites, this place won’t disappoint.
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Katherine to Darwin
Distance 317km - Driving Time 3 hours 20 minutes
The final destination on our ultimate Perth to Darwin road trip is Darwin. With its great dining options, entertainment and array of activities on offer, this is a great spot to end your road trip. Taking a stroll along Darwin’s waterfront precinct will have you discovering great restaurants and bars, enjoying a dip in the wave lagoon and shopping at the local stores. A trip on Darwin’s renowned Jumping Crocodile Cruise is a great way to see Darwin and learn more about its marine history. There are nine different cruises to choose from, each offering an incredible experience. If it’s culture and art you’re after then a trip to MAGNT Museum and Art Gallery is a must! With a host of events and displays to marvel at, as well as tours and talks to take, this experience will captivate you from the moment you arrive.
After all this adventure and exploration, it’s time to drop off your maui camper at their Darwin branch. Conveniently located close to the Darwin International Airport, their friendly staff will be ready and waiting to welcome you.
Ready for an incredible road trip from Perth to Darwin
So there you have it, our ultimate Perth to Darwin road trip itinerary. This will be an unforgettable adventure full of natural wonder, raw beauty and awesome activities. If you’re looking for a road less travelled, then this is definitely one trip you’re going to want to take! From the vibrant city of Perth, and the crystal clear waters of Coral Bay, to the World Heritage Listed Parks and breathtaking gorges, there is something magical at every spot on this ultimate road trip. If you’re ready to hit the road and discover all that this incredible country has to offer, then book your maui camper online today! While on the website, check out the great deals on offer, as well as the inspiring travel blog for even more travel ideas.