Perth To Melbourne Road Trip – The Ultimate Guide
Planning our Perth To Melbourne road trip wasn’t the easiest thing we have done, especially that the road trip from Perth to Melbourne is around 3500 km long and if you take the longer route, you are adding another 500+ km to your trip.
Every backpacker dreams about travelling the East Coast of Australia, but many people don’t realise how unique and beautiful is the road leading from Perth to Melbourne.
From white silica sand beaches, turquoise waters and breathtaking landscapes, to unique wildlife, longest straight roads and pink lakes. The Perth to Melbourne road trip is one of the most beautiful stretches of the road waiting to be explored.
Things to know before driving from Perth To Melbourne
Well, once we told our friends that we are going on a road trip from Perth to Melbourne in an old $ 900 car (which was about to break down), they weren’t too impressed.
As you can imagine everyone was telling us to fly (as responsible people would do) and sell the car, but we had no intention of selling the car, and it looked way more fun that way.
What’s the worst that can happen right? – at the end of the day, it is only an adventure.
Especially after finishing our dreadful farm work, we needed a break from the craziness.
These were the most common misconceptions we heard about driving from Perth to Melbourne:
“You won’t see anyone for hours if not days on the road.”
“The petrol stations are so far apart. You will need a spare tank with you.”
“Dingos are so wild and dangerous- just don’t get out of the car if you can.”
“Don’t trust anyone!”
“When you break down it can take days before someone comes to pick you up.”
Before the road trip friends showed us movies like “Wolf Creek” or “Catching Milat” – and if you are planning to go on a road trip, we advise that you DO NOT WATCH THEM!
So listening to friends, we decided the day before our journey, to go shopping for so-called “survival kit” (in case we did get stuck somewhere).
We must have been hungry as all we came out with was six cans of tuna, two bags of crisps, 1 x crackers, a box of water and beers :-) …So probably not the best “being stuck and hungry” box.
On the other hand, we managed to invest in a torch and 5-litre fuel canister. – Can tell you straight away that we didn’t need to use it.
It took us just over two weeks to get from Perth to Melbourne.
We could have done another two weeks and make it a month long road trip, unfortunately, we had commitments and had to be in Melbourne by a certain date.
From Perth, we drove down to Albany for two nights stay at Airbnb.
We also used CurrencyFair to transfer our savings from home account to Australia and have enough funds for the road trip.
Driving from Perth -> Albany -> Esperance – Perth to Melbourne road trip
Things to see in Albany on Perth To Melbourne road trip
Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve
We spent few hours here just relaxing on this beautiful beach, but you can take your picnic basket with you and enjoy this empty beach for the day.
The Albany Wind Farm station has excellent views and is worth checking out. There is a nice wind farm walk offering spectacular views of the eco-friendly turbines along the Torndirrup Peninsula and Sand Patch.
Gap and Natural Bridge
The Gap and Natural Bridge are one of the most spectacular natural wonders. Theis place has one of the best views of the Southern Ocean and the Bald Head coast leading to West Cape Howe.
This granite rock in a shape of dog head is one of the most recognised landmarks in Albany. You can find this formation along Middleton Road between Middleton Beach and Albany city centre.
The Blow Holes
The Blow Holes are part of the Torndirrup National Park and are a result of water being forced up into a crackline in granite. Here you could sit for hours watching the power of the waves. The blowholes only work in certain weather conditions.
From Albany, we drove for 5 hours to Esperance where we stayed for 5 days.
We highly recommend that you spend more time in Esperance and preferably camp in the Cape Le Grande National Park.
In Esperance, we booked a great deal with Tripadvisor.
Things to see in Esperance on Perth to Melbourne road trip
Located about three kilometres west of Esperance and bounded by the South Coast Highway to the east. This site attracts many people each year looking to see it.
Although the lake supposed to be very pink, we were unlucky and it rather looked very normal.
To find out more about this unique site visit Australia’s tourism website and guide to the Pink Lake here.
The Twilight Bay holds one of the locals most loved beach. Here you can look at unbelievably clear turquoise waters as far as the eye can see.
Cape Le Grand National Park
Only 45 minutes drive from Esperance, you will find the most pristine beaches in Australia. The park is well known for its stunning scenery and idyllic beaches perfect for a relaxing break.
To find out more information about the park and fees please visit Australia parks website here.
Driving from Esperance -> Madura -> Border Village -> Ceduna – Perth to Melbourne road trip
After five amazing days in Esperance, we drove to Madura for an overnight sleep. This time we decided to prebook our accommodation via Booking.com as they had a much better deal on.
From there we continued to Border Village the following the day and onwards to Ceduna.
Passed Boarder Village you will find Bunda Cliffs viewpoint described as ‘the edge of the continent’.
The Bunda Cliffs extend for over 100 kilometres along the Great Australian Bright from Border Village to the east of Head of Bright.
Formed over 65 million years ago when Australia separated from Antarctica, make for a spectacular and very dramatic scenery.
After 5 hours drive (400 km) from Border Village, you will eventually get to Ceduna.
Ceduna is a small coastal town and it’s Australia’s Oyster Capital.
We highly recommend stopping here overnight as the town has several accommodation options.
There is actually quite a lot to do here, so we recommend extending your stay to two nights.
Here you will find some activities and attractions available in this town.
Driving from Ceduna -> Port Augusta -> Adelaide – Perth to Melbourne road trip
From Ceduna, the road took us to Port Augusta, where we decided not to stop and go straight to Adelaide.
As you can imagine, this was the longest 8-hour stretch (773 km long), and we got to Adelaide wrecked!
We highly recommend taking your time and exploring the Eyre Peninsula.
There is a lot to do in and around Port Lincoln and you can learn more about things to do in Australia’s seafood frontier here.
The next day we did a little bit of sightseeing and shopping in Adelaide.
Being in Adelaide for the second time allowed us to relax, take the days slowly this time, and gear up in warm clothes for upcoming winter in Melbourne.
From some of Australias best rooftop bars, restaurants to world-renowned Barossa Valley.
If you can, add two days to your itinerary and explore Kangaroo Island located just outside Adelaide.
For itinerary inspiration and things to do in Adelaide, visit Tourism Australia website.
From there onwards we drove for approximately 6 hours through Mt. Gambier to Portland for one night in a local B&B.
Because it was a low season we got very lucky and found a place without Booking.com(probably not recommended in a high season).
Driving from Portland through The Great Ocean Road to Melbourne – Perth to Melbourne road trip
Ok, now it’s time for the part that is on everyone’s bucket list and the most amazing drive :
The Great Ocean Road
Take the time to experience 243 kilometres of one of the world’s most scenic roads.
We recommend at least 3 days to explore this stretch as there is a lot of attractions.
The Great Ocean Road Twelve Apostles are probably one of the most recognised landmarks in the world.
Here are the most important highlights of our Great Ocean Road trip, so make sure not to miss them:
- The Apostles
- Gibson Steps
- Loch Ard Gorge
- London Arch
- The Grotto
- The Arch
- Walk in Port Campbell National Park
- Bay of Islands
- Triplet Falls
- Kennet River
- Teddy’s Lookout
- Apollo Bay
- Mariners Lookout
- Bells Beach
Conclusion on our Perth to Melbourne road trip
Average accommodation cost on our Perth to Melbourne road trip
Stops on our Perth to Melbourne road trip
There are plenty of stops (the longest we have driven without anything in between was 150-200 km).
It is a good idea to fuel up at each station even if you are half full – slim chance you ever run out of petrol but a good chance of paying more at the next stop.
Also, be prepared for a steady increase in fuel prices as you get further. One place we paid nearly three times the regular price of fuel!
Cars on the road are regular and people are friendly.
Phone reception and on the Perth to Melbourne trip
Deciding on our journey only a few days up front, we never gave a thought if there is going to be phone reception or not. And guess what – there wasn’t.
Only halfway through (past Esperance) we realised that Telstra has coverage in the Outback but it was too late.
We highly recommend getting pre-paid Telstra sim card in case you need phone reception.
Wifi is only available at roadhouses and hotels (but not all) and usually, there is an extra fee to use it.
Wildlife on the road and journey from Perth To Melbourne
You will most definitely come across dingoes, kangaroos, emus, koalas, snakes, spiders, eagles, wombats.
We do not recommend driving at night as it is very hard to see wildlife on the road.
What can you expect to eat on a Perth to Melbourne road trip
Well, there is no chance of starvation, more so be prepared to gain weight.
Forget about your usual healthy dinner. Here you will indulge in cheese toasties, fries, burgers and all sorts of yummy greasy food. You will have some of the best toasties you ever had.
Vegetarians expect to eat lots of cheese tomato toasties.
You may also want to stock up on music, audiobooks and podcasts. Fill your USB and phone with downloads.
Keep in mind that there is no radio reception between Esperance and Adelaide.
Use Google Maps along the way as opposed to Apple Maps. We tried both and Google was best.
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Steve and Sabina