Perth to Kalbarri is a must-do road trip in Western Australia. Kalbarri is an amazing destination for backpackers, couples or families traveling with kids.
There’s so much to see and do in Kalbarri for adventure seekers, nature lovers or even if you just want to chill out and relax on your holiday. Even better, there’s some epic spots on the way from Perth to Kalbarri to enjoy.
I am a Margaret River local but frequently explore our Perth and MidWest regions of WA. We have holidayed many times as a family in Kalbarri and I enjoyed it just with my husband before we had kids as well!
This article will cover how to get to Kalbarri, the best stops along the way, what to do IN Kalbarri and more.
This article contains some affiliate links which means that I may earn a small commission when you click on them, at no additional cost to you. I do hope you find the information in this article helpful!
🌏Where Is Kalbarri?
Kalbarri is located approximately 570.9km north of Perth. It is a coastal town situated at the mouth of the Murchison River in the Mid West region of Western Australia.
🚗How To Get To Kalbarri?
The most convenient way to get to Kalbarri is by car. Either your own or a hire vehicle. This gives you the freedom to enjoy the best stops on the way from Perth to Kalbarri.
Kalbarri is an easy 6 hour and 10 minute drive from Perth but we like to take a slower road trip to Kalbarri so we can enjoy the many stops along the way.
Visiting from interstate or overseas? Check the rates on hire cars here > BOOK NOW!
If driving is not for you then you can also take a bus from Perth to Kalbarri via TransWA.
You can even take a flight from Perth to Kalbarri with Kalbarri Scenic Flights.
🤩Why You Should Visit Kalbarri
There are SO many reasons to visit Kalbarri. We love it because it is a wonderful year-round destination and there are lots of family-friendly activities in Kalbarri to enjoy.
Kalbarri offers the best of most worlds being a small coastal town positioned on the banks of the Murchison River. Kalbarri National Park is nearby with the epic recently up-grdaded Kalbarri Skywalk and numerous natural attractions such as the Z Bend walks, the Loop and Nature’s Window.
Kalbarri offers fantastic fishing opportunities, 4WD tracks and some fantastic dining options for those who want to take it easy.
⭐Top Things To Do In Kalbarri
Wagoe Beach is a popular beach located approximately 20km south of Kalbarri. Wagoe beach is a white, sandy beach and a popular fishing spot for locals and tourists alike. We’ve caught whiting, herring and snapper right off the beach here. There are lots of opportunities for fishing in Kalbarri actually!
Wagoe Beach Quad Bike Tours are a self-drive quad bike tour that meanders over pristine sand dunes with primo ocean views. You’ll hug the coastline as you drive over the dunes. You’ll see beautiful, clear views of the Indian Ocean, probably pass a few fishermen or 4wders and you’ll have a lot of fun along the way!
Kalbarri Boat Hire And Canoe Safari’s are located right on the banks of the Murchison River a short stroll from town. We discovered them a few years ago when one of our kids was obsessed with boats! You can hire a boat or canoe and cruise along the Murchison River. There’s places you can stop on both sides of the river and get out for a stroll and explore.
They offer friendly service, all the safety gear you’ll need and the support of knowing they are there to come and help you if you require them to. The boats keep to a speed of under 6 knots so you don’t currently require a skippers ticket to operate them.
They operate every day, weather permitting. It is recommended to get down there early before the wind picks up.
The name says it all. What better way to capture the epic views of the Indian Ocean and the Coastal Cliffs of Kalbarri than with a Kalbarri Sunset Coastal Cliffs Cruise.
The cruise is on a stunning 15 meter (50 foot) Vessel and takes approximately an hour and a half while the sun sets.
An incredible feature of this tour is watching the light change on the cliffs. You’ll see beautiful golden tones as the light bounces off the landscape. It’s a given the tour is popular with photographers for this reason! Or maybe you just want the perfect Instagram shot.
I personally love it because you can take your own food and beverages! As a large family this makes it a really affordable option for us. I mean, it’s also the perfect opportunity to indulge in a glass of champagne at sunset right?
🚗Perth To Kalbarri Drive Time
There’s one main route to Kalbarri which hugs the coastline from Perth to Kalbarri. The route is 6 hours and 10 minutes drive time and covers a distance of 570.9 km.
We totally recommend slowing down though and seeing a few sites along the way. Although the drive is easily achievable in one day, if you want to see more of the attractions from Perth to Kalbarri there are places to stop overnight or even just to stretch your legs and grab a bite to eat.
🗺️Perth To Kalbarri Distance
The distance from Perth to Kalbarri is 570.9km. This is the main and most direct route from Perth to Kalbarri. You can cover more distance if you explore attractions a bit off the highway on your way.
The route is mostly highway driving with bitumen roads the whole way. The road from Perth to Kalbarri is suitable for 2wds, trucks, vehicles towing caravans etc. However if you have a 4WD you can access more beaches around Kalbarri.
🚗How To Get From Perth To Kalbarri By Car
There is one main route from Perth to Kalbarri by car. This begins on Tonkin Highway before taking the Brand Highway all the way to Northampton. You’ll then see a large brown tourist sign for the Kalbarri turn off. This takes you onto Stephen Street for the last hour before you enter the town of Kalbarri.
A slightly more scenic route is to take Indian Ocean Drive north out of Perth and stay on it, hugging the coastline until you reach the Kalbarri (Stephen Street) turn off. They are really much of a muchness in terms of distance but the scenic Indian Ocean Drive route takes slightly longer.
Visiting from interstate or overseas? Check the rates on hire cars here > BOOK NOW!
Do I need an International Drivers License?
An international drivers license is recommended if you’re planning on hiring a car in Australia but it is not required. If you are visiting from overseas you can check current information at the Department of Transport website.
🚌How To Get From Perth To Kalbarri By Bus
Guess what, it’s easy! There are a few different providers that offer a bus service from Perth to Kalbarri.
TransWA departs from the East Perth terminal a few times a week. The bus ride varies from 8.5 hours to 9.5 hours depending on the stops. Fares and departure times can vary so it’s best to check TransWA website for up to date information.
Integrity Coastlines also offer a Perth to Kalbarri route but this will drop you off at the Kalbarri turn off (66 km out of Kalbarri). You’ll then need to take a shuttle into town so this can extend your travel timeframe. D’Guy Charters offers a shuttle service that can be pre-booked.
⭐Perth To Kalbarri Tour
If you want to take any travel decisions or stress out of your Perth to Kalbarri trip.. Why not book a tour?
I like this 3 day itinerary by Aussie Perth Tours as it covers many of the destinations I personally recommend such as the Pinnacles, Pink Lake ( also known as Lake Hutt or Hutt Lagoon) and Monkey Mia.
🏆Best Stops Between Perth To Kalbarri
It’s hard to narrow down the best stops between Perth and Kalbarri but I’ve done the hard work and got to the 7 best stops between Perth and Kalbarri for you all!
AQWA is an awesome family – friendly stop in the northern Perth suburb of Hillarys. It is open daily from 9am – 4pm and has lots to SEA and do! AQWA is suitable for all ages from babies to adults and often has special extra events like Shark Swims or be a Turtle researcher programs.
My kids favorite activity at AQWA has always been the touch pool, where kids as young as toddlers can explore the pool touching sea stars, seeing fish and even baby sharks!
You can’t take a Perth to Kalbarri road trip without stopping at the Pinnacles in the Nambung National Park. I cover the pinnacles in more detail in our Perth to Pinnacles guide. But it is somewhere my family always stop when heading from Perth to Kalbarri.
I love it because it’s about 2.5 hours drive north of Perth and this seems to be exactly when my family needs a leg stretch! There is ample parking for RV’s, cars, trailers, boats and tour buses. If you don’t want to actually drive in and around the pinnacles you can just park up and check them out from an expansive lookout.
Honestly, I’ve been skydiving three times across the world and I loved Skydive Jurien Bay the most!
This is the opportunity to really tick off a bucket list item and see the beautiful coral coast from the air.
The team is professional, friendly and willing to capture the moment for you on video or photos (I got both, I mean, why not?!).
You reach approximately 40,000 feet before jumping from your light aircraft with an experienced instructor attached to you ready to pull the parachute.
It’s not as scary as it seems, it’s the perfect adventure activity for adrenaline junkies on the way from Perth to Kalbarri.
If you’re into a bit of Maritime History like my husband or eldest child, the HMAS Sydney ll is a must – see attraction on your road trip from Perth To Kalbarri. The memorial commemorates the loss of the HMAS ll Sydney ship which went down with all 645 men aboard following a battle with a German raider in 1941.
The memorial represents the devastating loss to the Australian Navy and the families of the men aboard. It is a humbling place to visit and you can really spend as little or as much time here as you’d like. It is open all the time and not ticketed.
Geraldton is an underrated destination in my opinion. On your way from Perth to Kalbarri I’d suggest an overnighter in Geraldton so you can take a Geraldton Fishing Charter.
Geraldton offers some of the best fishing grounds off the WA coast. You’d be mad not to throw a line in if you’re a keen angler.
Pink Lake offers stunning opportunities for photography. The colors of the Pink Lake Kalbarri change throughout the day. It’s epic for sunrise or sunset but equally as stunning throughout the day.
Pink Lake or Hutt Lagoon is a scenic attraction you can’t miss when traveling from Perth to Kalbarri, especially from the sky!
If you’re wondering how far is pink lake from Kalbarri, it is located about 45 minutes south of Kalbarri near Port Gregory. This makes it a perfect stop before you reach Kalbarri itself.
I’ve always found Pink Lake or Hutt Lagoon uncrowded and pleasant to explore.
Located between Geraldton and Kalbarri is the picturesque archipelago of islands called the Abrolhos. The Abrolhos Islands are made up of a reef system, shoals and 122 islands. They span a distance of about 100km across the Indian Ocean and are known as one of Australia’s most notorious stretches of coastline for shipwrecks.
Aside from being the burial ground of ships and boats, the Abrolhos offers absolutely incredible fishing, diving and snorkelling opportunities.
This tour allows you to take in the once in a lifetime views of the Abrolhos Islands from the air.
The Abrolhos Islands are truly one of the most magnificent attractions of Western Australia. If you’re exploring the Coral Coast this is a magnificent spot to visit on the way from Perth to Kalbarri.
🏩Best Accommodation From Perth To Kalbarri
Are you looking for somewhere to stay on the way between Perth to Kalbarri? Here are my my top suggestions:
This is such a great spot to stop on the way from Perth to Kalbarri if you are wanting to break up your trip. RAC Cervantes Holiday Park is only about 2 hours and 30 minutes north of Perth and makes the perfect base for exploring Cervantes and the Pinnacles in the Nambung National Park.
My family has stayed here a few times and we love the super clean, well-appointed cabins, epic games room and the pool. It’s a short stroll to town beach and there is a cafe on site so you can grab a coffee in the morning before continuing your road trip from Perth to Kalbarri.
Last time I stayed here with my family I was blown away by the size of the cabin! It fit us all comfortably, with a separate lounge area and a balcony.
Geraldton can be pretty underrated as a destination but the Sunset Beach Holiday Park is in an epic spot, slightly out of town but still close to a supermarket and bottle-shop etc.
It’s right on the beach and has all the facilities you’d expect from a holiday park…. Like a jumping pillow for the kids.
This place is good value and well worth a stop-over so you can explore attractions in Geraldton.
Best Accommodation In Kalbarri
My family stays here when we are in Kalbarri. Tudor Holiday Park is a short stroll into town where you can visit playgrounds, the supermarket, cafe’s, restaurants and the pub.
Kalbarri Tudor Holiday Park offers camping sites, caravan sites and well-appointed cabins. It has family friendly facilities such as a playground, games room, swimming pool and is dog-friendly upon request.
It’s also literally across the road from the town oval and Kalbarri skate-park which is super handy when trying to burn off some of the energy of kids on a road trip from Perth to Kalbarri.
Kalbarri Edge Resort adds a touch of luxury to your stay. There are studio rooms, executive spa rooms and two bedroom spa apartments.
Kalbarri Edge Resort suits a wide range of visitors to Kalbarri. The resort features a swimming pool, on-site restaurant, guest laundry and even a cocktail bar! If you wanted a chill day out in Kalbarri you wouldn’t have to leave here.
However, for all those wanting to get out and explore the attractions of Kalbarri, Kalbarri Edge Resort is conveniently located a short stroll from the center of town.
Frequently Asked Questions: Perth to Kalbarri
Can I Drive From Perth To Kalbarri?
Yes, you can drive from Perth to Kalbarri. Driving is the recommended way to travel from Perth to Kalbarri. If you don’t have your own vehicle consider hiring a car so that you can really explore the best of the midwest region. The roads from Perth to Kalbarri are bitumen roads and suitable for 2WD vehicles. However there are opportunities to 4WD in Kalbarri at some nearby beaches so be sure to check your hire car policy if that’s something that interests you.
Is Kalbarri Worth Visiting?
Yes, Kalbarri is a wonderful destination with plenty of scenic attractions, adventure activities and opportunities to relax. Kalbarri is great for singles, couples, families and groups and suits a wide range of budgets from the conscious solo traveler, families and couples wanting something a little more indulgent. Kalbarri is well known for its gorges, National Park including the Kalbarri Skywalk and hikes such as the loop trail and Z bends. It also makes for fantastic boating if you’re a confident skipper and can navigate the treacherous reef! Otherwise just hire a tinny or canoe and explore the Murchison River.
The pub meals are great value, the locals are friendly and there are heaps of fantastic accommodation options. If you’re a camper, Kalbarri caters for you too; See my free camping Kalbarri guide here.
What Is Between Perth And Kalbarri?
There is SO much to see between Perth and Kalbarri. We’ve detailed our favorite stops on a road trip from Perth to Kalbarri but even just the drive is gorgeous. You’ll catch glimpses of the Indian Ocean, bypass tiny fishing villages and shacks and have lots of opportunities to stop for food, fuel and refreshments. At a minimum the drive is 6 hours and 10 minutes but I personally would slow it right down and explore the beautiful coral coast. Take a day or two to really embrace the best stops from Perth to Kalbarri.
How Many Days Should You Spend In Kalbarri?
Look I’ll be honest, I’ve visited Kalbarri many times and still haven’t seen all it has to offer. I would recommend a minimum of 5 days to capture the best scenic and adventure attractions in Kalbarri.
Honestly you could stay for a week or two and not be bored but it really depends on how much time you can spare to explore Kalbarri and surroundings. Especially if you want to include hikes in Kalbarri and fishing in Kalbarri you might want to allow more time as these can become whole day activities.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Kalbarri?
Kalbarri is a year round destination. It really depends on what activities in Kalbarri you want to do. If you’re planning on hiking it’s best to avoid the summer months as it can get extremely hot in the National Park and can become quite dangerous.
For fishing in Kalbarri you’re best to visit in the shoulder seasons but particularly in Autumn which in WA is March – May.
Autumn offers the best boating weather with lower winds.. With a reef system to navigate you definitely want to time your fishing trip well!
Summing Up: Perth To Kalbarri
Perth to Kalbarri is an amazing road trip in WA. Kalbarri is one of my family’s favorite destinations but it suits almost everyone from backpackers to couples, families to grey-nomads traveling Western Australia’s coral coast.
Kalbarri is the perfect balance of heading into the North West of Western Australia without too much of a drive time. At under 7 hours Perth to Kalbarri is achievable on a tight time frame or if you have young kids and a long drive is not for you.
There are epic Kalbarri restaurants, Kalbarri scenic attractions and heaps of opportunities to go fishing in Kalbarri or free-camping in Kalbarri if that’s more your style.
Honestly, in my opinion; as a seasoned WA traveler, Kalbarri ticks all the boxes.
I hope you get to see and do everything you want to in Kalbarri and I trust you’ll enjoy your journey back to Perth and beyond!
- 7 Best Locations for Free Camping Kalbarri!
- Perth To Exmouth Road Trip (Locals Guide)
- 23+ Essential Driving in Australia Tips: A Local’s Guide
- How To Rent A Car Perth: All Your Questions Answered!
- 4 Best Locations for Free Camping Coral Bay!
- 13 Things To Do Road Trip Perth To The Pinnacles (Locals Guide)
Australia Travel Planning Guide
🚑Should I buy Australian travel insurance?
100% YES! — Australia has “free” healthcare but it’s only for citizens and permanent residents. Foreigners visiting need travel insurance in case anything happens on their visit. I like SafetyWing – their Nomad Insurance starts at just $1.50 USD a day!
🚗Should I rent a car in Australia?
Yes — Renting a car is a necessity in most of Australia! If you want to go on road trips or adventures outside of the major cities, and even if you’re staying in a major city, you’ll want to rent a car. If you are visiting Margaret River, it will be even more important that you hire a car, you’ll need it to be able to get around and see all the great attractions and wineries!
🏨What’s the best way to book my Australian accommodation?
My go-to for Australian hotels is Booking.com. Pretty much all registered accommodation use Booking.com (but not necessarily any of the other major booking platforms), and even most of the holiday homes and caravan parks use Booking.com too!
If you’re planning a trip to Australia where you will stay at multiple locations, it’s super handy to have all your accommodation listed in one place, and accommodation owners like Booking.com because it’s easy to contact the guests using the messaging platform if the guest has an international phone number.
I sincerely hope you enjoy your visit to Margaret River!