What is the most amazing way to travel from Adelaide to Perth? Let’s pack the car and continue the Australia Road Trip along the south coast heading west.
It all began with a dream, a dream to embark on the ultimate Australia Road Trip around the whole continent. My dream was to buy a car and hit the road, to explore everything there is to see along the way. However, it is almost impossible to surround the whole of Australia in one take, which is why we split it up into sections. Which is why this is Part IV of the Great Australia Road Trip: Adelaide to Perth.
Why you can’t miss this part of Australia
I had been planning this section of the trip for about six months. To be honest, Adelaide to Perth has been a part of Australia I have been dying to explore. Especially crossing the Nullarbor has always fascinated me.
Never in my life have I seen a night sky this clear, never beheld stars like during our trip along the Nullarbor. Hence this is why the great stretch along the Southern Bight should really be part of every Australia Road Trip. Gazing up to the sparkling dots is a magnificent experience and one not to be missed when traveling around Australia.
Choose your company wisely
To begin with, I would like to stress that this part of the road trip was really made by the people who came along. A couple of months before departure, my old friend Nellie had moved back to Adelaide after 3 months traveling the East. When I brought up the idea for the trip from Adelaide to Perth, she was immediately exited to join.
From experience I knew that I would need other travelers to complete my ambitious Australia road trip vision. Because Nellie and I had crossed Darwin to Adelaide together a couple of months earlier, I knew she would be the perfect fit. Together we started planning our itinerary and look out for a couple other travelers. We found them in the British Rich and Natalie, a girl from the Netherlands.
The best way to find keen travelers in Australia are hostels and online platforms such as Facebook and gumtree. Be picky about who you take on board, because you will be stuck with these people for a while!
Buying a Car- But not Any Car!
Last but not least we needed a vehicle and if anything it had to be one thing: reliable. Of course you can choose to rent a car, but in Australia buying and selling is probably the cheaper and easier way to do it. I ended up buying a Nissan Patrol ST 4WD seven seater wagon. I loved it. Nicknamed Baby Blue, she was the absolute perfect vehicle for driving across the Nullarbor and into southern WA.
With the car, gear, and crew complete it was time to hit the road.
I am not going to go into too much detail about where we went, and for how long, and why, and how, etc. etc. I want to focus more on the overall experience of exploring a new part of a new country. The best thing about this Australia Road Trip was having the freedom and flexibility to do it in our own pace.
It is truly the ultimate sense of freedom and one I crave as a traveller ad backpacker. Now this being said, I do need to touch on some of the places we went and the people who make those places special, especially in SA.
The Eyre Peninsula
The Eyre Peninsula was one of my favorite places to visit during my time in Australia. We able to visit some old friends of mine and to enjoy an awesome BBQ that first night camping.
From Port Lincoln we headed up the incredible Western Eyre Peninsula to Ceduna. That part of SA is like the Great Ocean Road of Vic without all the people, longer, and more scenic. Serious. It is such a perfect spot.
From Ceduna we started across the famed Nullarbor. This area stretches hundreds of kilometers across the Great Australian Bight and is relatively straight the entire way with a surreal lack of trees, hence the aboriginal name Nullarbor meaning lack of trees. It is a pretty awesome part of SA and one we enjoyed exploring over two days.
Crossing the Nullarbor
Crossing into WA the Nullarbor region continues with Australia’s longest stretch of completely straight road (146km) running directly west. As we started to cover some solid ground across the southern part of the continent it was time to leave the desert and start heading even further south into the part of WA’s famed forested coast.
Lucky Bay and Cape Le Grand
Our first stop was Esperance and Cape le Grand National Park. I have wanted to visit Lucky Bay for years simply to get this photo. Check.
The area of Cape le Grand NP is stunning and was a great intro to the natural landscapes of Australia’s biggest state. We spent a couple days exploring the area before heading further west along the coastal highway and into the Valley of the Giants, a huge expanse of lush and mystical coastal forest.
Albany and Denmark
From Albany and Denmark we followed the coast into Nornalup and Walpole checking out beaches, natural pools, and cliff lookouts all on route to the impenetrable forests. This southern coast is truly an incredible part of WA and one often overlooked by the backpacker exploring Australia.
Once past Walpole we entered the area of giant Red Tingle Tress and some pretty impressive forest scenery, a nice change from six months in SA, it was a chance for me to even start feeling a little nostalgic thinking at times I was walking through the forests of British Columbia.
From Shannon we followed the coastal highways through national park after national park passing through Northcliffe, Pemberton, Peerabeelup, Karridale, and eventually Augusta. It was an awesome couple days exploring honestly an area of Australia that felt like northern BC or California. Thick dense forests lush with fresh water rivers crashing into the tumultuous cliffs of coast.
Margaret River Wine Region
From Augusta and the southern most point of the Western Coast we headed north into the famed region of Margaret River. For those who have never heard of Margs, it is one of the most pristine food and wine regions of all Aus and also plays host to some incredible world class surfing. We got really lucky in Margs and were able to hook up with a couple friends one who happens to have a shack in the area perfect for us to crash at for a couple days. Noice!
Enter Liz and Matt, Matt is a legend Aussie who grew up in Perth and Margaret River, Liz is a French-Canadian who Nellie met a few months ago traveling on the East coast. Matt and Liz met backpacking in Spain two years ago and reconnected in Aus this year. Getting confused yet?
Liz and Nellie were talking about the road trip and we decided it would be awesome to have her join for the route from Perth to Darwin. She was stoked and jumped on board. Liz and Matt knew we were coming up through Margs and came down to meet us for a couple days before we all headed back up to Perth. It was perfect timing and a huge shout out goes to Matt for hosting at his shack.
The next couple days we spent exploring Margaret River, hitting up wineries, surfing, running, and generally chilling in a beautiful coastal playground. Margs is an incredible part of SW WA and well worth the visit if you are in Perth.
Arriving in Perth
Perth!! The capitol of WA, a new city, Canada Day celebrations, and goodbyes. It was a hectic couple days back in a big city. We were super lucky to stay with Matt in Scarbourough (a beach suburb) and also one night with some of my old traveling friends in Myaree. Perth is a very expensive yet beautiful city.
In the short time we had to explore we were lucky to see it through the eyes of locals with accessibility to free accommodation and kitchens to do are own cooking. Both Kris, Sarah, and Matt are absolute legends and great friends. Like the saying goes, what gets paid forward will somehow get paid back. Thank you guys!!
After a couple days repacking and rehashing the itinerary of our Australia Road Trip we were off once again. The adventure continues, this time it’s Perth to Darwin!!
This is going to be good!!