DRIVING FROM MELBOURNE TO PERTH - THE ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP GUIDE

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This iconic road trip will take you on the Great Ocean Road, through Adelaide, across the Nullabor and into Western Australia. Follow this guide to make the most of one of earth’s most incredible road trips.

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Highlight #1 – The Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s most scenic drives. You’ll be hugging the windy road around turn after turn with each scenic view more beautiful than the last. Make sure you stop to take a self-guided tour of the Twelve Apostles, Australia’s iconic limestone formations.

DRIVING FROM MELBOURNE TO PERTH - THE ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP GUIDE - 12 Apostles

DO NOT MISS: After you pass Lorne (and before you reach Apollo Bay), you’ll pass through Kennett River. Plan to spend an hour there…just turn off at Grey River Road (near the Kennett River Holiday Park). Park at the store and head inside to buy some bird feed. Then walk down Grey River Road and keep a lookout for parrots in the trees. Hold your hands out with the bird feed in it and if you’re lucky you’ll get some visitors landing right on you to eat the food. Keep those cameras ready (you may also see some Koalas sleeping high up in the trees!)

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Highlight #2 – The Grampians

The Grampians is a beautiful national park located north of The Great Ocean Road. Check out Reid’s Lookout for stunning views of “The Balconies” and the surrounding landscape.

Here’s Mike’s “mock commercial” for Folgers Coffee at Reid’s Lookout… it is hilarious!

DRIVING FROM MELBOURNE TO PERTH - THE ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP GUIDE

DRIVING FROM MELBOURNE TO PERTH - THE ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP GUIDE - Grampians

DO NOT MISS: Hike Hollow Mountain in the northern area of the park. The relatively short hike gives you the chance to do some rock scrambling and caving. When you get to the top, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views and some of the best echoes we’ve ever heard…so get ready to yell at the mountain!

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Highlight #3 – Camp at Narrung Jetty Reserve

Narrung Jetty Reserve was one of our favorite campsites on this road trip, and it’s free (with toilets and non-drinkable running water). This is a perfect spot to relax, fish, enjoy the picturesque scenery (there’s even a postcard-ready lighthouse just across the water). Make sure you take some photo ops with the biggest pelicans we’ve ever seen!

DRIVING FROM MELBOURNE TO PERTH - THE ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP GUIDE - Narrung

DO NOT MISS: Take your car on one of the world’s shortest ferries. It’s right next to the reserve, runs on-demand 24/7, and is free.

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Highlight #4 – Visit Adelaide

Adelaide is the fifth largest city in Australia, and like all of it’s counterparts is located near the water. While we preferred Melbourne (check out our Melbourne Destination Guide), it definitely nice to stroll along the water and do some people-watching.

DO NOT MISS: Adelaide Central Market. It’s massive and super fun to walk the aisles for unique souvenirs and awesome, local Aussie fare.

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Highlight #5 – Drive Across the Nullabor Plain

The Nullabor Plain is a looooong, straight drive connecting the states of South Australia and Western Australia. It’s known for being desolate and full of amazing, natural beauty. Remember to carry lots of water and fill up on gas/petrol whenever you can. Also, be aware of “wide loads” coming at you, as they sometimes take up BOTH lanes!

DRIVING FROM MELBOURNE TO PERTH - THE ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP GUIDE - Nullarbor

DO NOT MISS: Once you are on Australia’s longest straightest road, camp out at one of the rest stops. Spend time at night looking up at the sky. If you’re lucky with a clear sky, you’ll be presented with an unparalleled view of the sky. You truly won’t be able to tell if it’s real or if you are in a planetarium. The Milky Way was so bright that it looked like a rainbow illuminating the sky.

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Highlight #6 – Camp at Quagi Beach

After the Nullabor, you’re re-enter civilization in the town of Esperance. Stock up on essentials and head to Quagi beach for some beachside camping at its finest. Note that this is a popular local vacation spot, so plan your trip to avoid school holidays.

DO NOT MISS: Sunrise at Quagi Beach. You won’t have to walk far from your tent and you’ll be rewarded with an incredible sunrise coming right out of the ocean!

DRIVING FROM MELBOURNE TO PERTH - THE ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP GUIDE - Quagi Beach

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Highlight #7 – Camp at Conto Campground

 Conto Campground is just south of Margaret River. Enjoy walking trails and local caving opportunities. Be sure to reserve your campsite before you arrive.

DO NOT MISS: Massive waves…look at the photo below and heed the warning on the Coast Risk Area sign…”Watch for freak waves and swell.”

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Highlight #8 – Explore Margaret River

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Margaret River is renowned for wineries, surfing and caves. If you’re more into beer (like we are), be sure to stop at some local breweries like Cheeky Monkey and Cowaramup for some local craft beer, delicious food, and gorgeous outdoor seating areas. You’ll be sipping on amazing beer and celebrating the fact that you’ve experienced the journey of a lifetime and have almost made it to Perth!

DO NOT MISS: World-class surfing. Head out to the coast where Margaret River flows into the the Indian Ocean. Either grab a board yourself (only if you know how to surf massive waves) or find a nice viewing spot on the bluff. You’ll enjoy watching surfers riding in some ridiculously big waves.

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Bonus Tip – Buy This Book

No Australia road trip is complete without the trusty “Camps” book. This was our bible and helped us find free and cheap campsites all over Oz and especially during our Melbourne to Perth road trip.

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This road trip took us 28 days. In those 28 days we… drove over 4,000 kilometers (about 2,500 miles), stayed at 15 different campsites, had 2 hot showers, 4 freezing cold showers and plenty of bucket/ocean “showers.” We went through 3 different air mattresses (all which popped), fended off mosquitoes, hand washed our laundry almost every other day, and ate more pasta and corn than humans should consume. We also saw amazing landscapes and wildlife, spent tons of time together listening to music and comedy podcasts, read books to each other, watched movies in our tent (and in the back of our truck), laughed a lot, and most importantly… had an amazing road trip adventure!

Have you experienced driving from Melbourne to Perth? Please share your experience or questions in the comments section below!