Swim with whale sharks and sea lions on this coastal adventure Down Under in our Western Australia itinerary.

Despite the cramped legs and atrocious singing (kidding, friends), road trips are still my favourite kind of holiday. You’ve gotta love that feeling of adventure from covering miles of shifting, scenic landscapes and exploring everywhere from quiet towns to mind-blowing attractions across the country.

The most iconic road trips are through the California coast and the Ring Road, but USA and Iceland aren’t that easy to get to from Singapore.
Lucky for us, there’s an equally epic road trip just five hours away!

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We had the most surprising road trip in Western Australia, which is crazy exotic despite being near. Other things that were near: Whale sharks, swimming beside us just an arm’s length away, and sea lions, which gave us kisses as we splashed and snorkelled. We also flew over an island of wallabies, posed by a pastel pink lake and much more — so read on for the most underrated road trip adventure just a short flight away!

Read also: 10 Out-of-this-world places that can only be found in Western Australia

Western Australia Road Trip Map

Pre-trip Essentials

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Connectivity: Save on data by sharing a 4G WiFi device (~S$8/day) between up to five devices. Do note that while connections are strong in Perth and main towns along the route, there’s no connection during the long stretches of countryside. This is unavoidable no matter what SIM or WiFi device you use.

Visa: Don’t forget to apply for your electronic ETA Visa if it applies for your passport. Singaporeans need one!

National Park Pass: Access to each national park costs AU$15 (~S$14.20) per vehicle. Save on time and money with a Holiday Pass (AU$46, ~S$43.17), which lasts up to four weeks and gives you access to all the national parks.

Day 1: Perth to Cervantes

Australia’s Coral Coast

Rent a Car in Perth

Hertz-Car-Rental in Australia

The most important ingredient for your road trip is a comfy car, which you can collect from Perth airport or various Hertz pickup points around the city. We recommend at least a 4-wheel drive (4WD) to explore off-road terrain at the sand dunes and national parks.

Sand-Board At The Lancelin Sand Dunes

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Get your heart pumping from the get-go at Lancelin Sand Dunes! The brave can sit down and whizz down, while the braver can stand up, snowboard-style. While there’s no real danger involved — the sand is silk-pillow soft — the steeper hills are quite thrilling.

Have A Chat General Store
Cost: From AU$10 (~S$9.38) for 2 hours
Opening Hours: 5AM – 5PM (Mon – Fri), 6AM – 5PM (Sat), 7AM – 4PM (Sun)
How to get there: Drive 2 hours from Perth. If you have a 4WD, you can drive right up to the base of the dunes. If not, it’s a 5-min walk from the carpark

*Pro-tip: There’s lots of wind and sand so bring along sunnies and a jacket.

Accommodation in Cervantes: RAC Cervantes Holiday Park — from S$199. It’s a cosy modern villa with a fully-equipped kitchen, living room, and even your own BBQ pit. This was also just a 20-minute drive from the Pinnacles Desert, for stargazing on day 2!

Day 2: Cervantes

Australia’s Coral Coast

Admire Thrombolites at Lake Thetis 

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The strange rocks of Lake Thetis are in fact 3,000-year-old thrombolites — one of the earliest lifeforms on earth to produce oxygen, paving the way for all subsequent life like you and I!

Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 24 hours
How to get there: 
4-min drive from RAC Cervantes Holiday Park

Have A Seafood Feast At Lobster Shack Cervantes

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Cervantes is famous for its Western Rock Lobsters, and there’s no better place to try some than at the Lobster Shack, a family business established in 1966.

Find out all about this tasty tradition with a 20-min factory tour (AU$10) — we even got to see the sorting process firsthand! Factory tours are from 12PM – 3PM (no bookings required).

It’d be a sin to leave without having a huge feast at the famous Lobster Shack restaurant, most famous for its Lobster Shack Roll (AU$30, ~S$28.15) and 1/2 Grilled Garlic BBQ’d Lobster with Fried Rice (AU$39, ~S$36.59).

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Cost: ~AU$35 for mains
Opening Hours: 11AM – 3PM
How to get there: 6-min drive from Lake Thetis

Stargaze Among the Pinnacles at Nambung National Park

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Western Australia’s most-visited attraction is among the world’s most spectacular sights — a massive 190-hectare desert littered with limestone Pinnacles. Shaped by centuries of wind, you’ll find that no two pinnacles are exactly alike.

Have dinner and return after dark for a stunning stargazing session, with the Milky Way shining bright above the ancient sculptures.

The Pinnacles Night 2 - Western Australia Instagram Hotspots

Entrance Fee: AU$15 per car (up to 12 people) for entrance to Nambung National Park for the entire day; free with WA Park Pass
Opening Hours: 24 hours
How to get there: 
20 min-drive from Lobster Shack, and from RAC Cervantes Holiday Park

Day 3: Cervantes to Geraldton

Australia’s Coral Coast

Raise Your Spirits at Illegal Tender Rum Co.

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Australia is famous for its wine, but did you know — rum was so popular that it was accepted as payment for over 200 years, until being declared ‘illegal tender’ in 1808.

Illegal Tender Rum Co. pays cheeky homage to this period in Australia’s history. The staff’s passion for their craft is infectious, and we were fascinated by the ingenious methods used at the boutique distillery.

You’ll also get to sample their award-winning rums, which taste especially smooth as they’re made with only dark brown cane sugar, compared to the cheaper molasses used in most rums. We got tipsy just from the tasting; please don’t drink at all if you’re the designated driver!

Before you leave, head to their cafe, Common Place, for a Ploughman’s Plate (AU$32, ~S$30.06), which comes with a delicious spread of cheeses, meats, and juicy olives from farms in the area.

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Cost: AU$30 for 30-min tour and tasting
Opening Hours: 11AM – 4PM, closed from Monday to Wednesday.
How to get there: 1hr 50-min drive from RAC Cervantes Holiday Park

Catch the Sunset at Point Moore Lighthouse

Point Moore 3 - Western Australia Instagram Hotspots

Witness one of Western Australia’s best sunsets by this candy-cane lighthouse, as the sky lights up in warm pink and yellow hues.

Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 24 hours. Best visited at sunset (around 5:45PM)
How to get there: 
53-min drive from Illegal Tender Rum Co.

Dinner at Pastacup

Picture of Pastas at Pastacup in Geraldton

Reward yourself after a day of driving with the build-your-own-bowls at Pastacup! Choose from 15 types of pasta and 24 different sauces, and get ready for a generous serving.

Cost: From AU$13.95 (~S$13.11)
Opening Hours: 11AM – 9:30PM
How to get there: 11-min drive from Point Moore Lighthouse

*Pro-tip: If you’re with a friend, ordering a regular bowl for AU$16.95 — the portion can be comfortably shared by two!

Accommodation in Geraldton: Geraldton Backpackers — S$87 for a twin bedroom.

Day 4: Geraldton to Kalbarri

Australia’s Coral Coast

Hutt Lagoon

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Few places in the world are as beautiful as Hutt Lagoon, which gets its stunning hues from the high water salinity. It’s definitely worth a repeat visit as you’ll find that the colour changes according to season and time of day — from orange to lilac to hot pink!

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Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 24 hours. Best visited at mid-morning or sunset
How to get there: 
1hr 15-min drive from Geraldton Backpackers

*Pro-tip: The best photo spot (with views of the entire lake) is at the parking bay down the road toward Port Gregory, a 15-min drive after the first parking point along the lake.

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Parking area at the best photo spot for Pink Lake

Spot Whales at Island Rock

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These dramatic cliffs are an impressive sight on its own, but if you’re lucky, the real highlight of Island Rock are the migrating humpback whales which splash about close to shore!

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Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 24 hours
How to get there: 31-min drive from Hutt Lagoon

*Pro-tip: Bring your own zoom lens or binoculars for a clear shot of the whales.

See the Quirky Mushroom Rock

Mushroom Rock Kalbarri - Western Australia Itinerary

Catch the last of the light with a scenic hike to Mushroom Rock, which makes a dramatic silhouette during golden hour. Wear proper shoes as the hike involves rocky paths and cliff faces!

Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 24 hours
How to get there: 9-min drive or 15-min hike from Island Rock

Feast At Finlay’s Kalbarri

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Grab a craft beer or two (from AU$6) at Finlay’s Kalbarri, a lively dinner place perfect for unwinding. We got the Chilli Mussels (AU$12, ~S$11.26), beer-battered Fish N Chips (AU$27, ~S$25.34), Seafood Linguini (AU$27), Beef Burger (AU$22, ~S$20.64) and the pasta special-of-the-day (AU$22). We recommend them all! 😛

Opening Hours: 5PM – 10PM (Last orders at 8:30PM). Closed from Sunday to Tuesday.
How to get there: 6-min drive from Mushroom Rock

*Pro-tip: Note that all eateries and convenience stores in Kalbarri close by 8:30PM, so be prepared with your own groceries if you’re arriving later.

Accommodation in Kalbarri (Day 4, Day 9): Kalbarri Beach Resort — from S$113 for a two-bedroom apartment. There’s a fully-equipped kitchen and spacious living space!

Day 5: Kalbarri to Carnarvon

Australia’s Coral Coast

Fly Above the Albrohos Islands in a Private Plane

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Tick off that bucket list with a scenic flight on a private plane! With Kalbarri Scenic Flights, we flew over the Albrolhos Islands, spotting dozens of playful humpback whales scattered around stunning reef-rich waters.

Our five-hour Albrohos Islands tour included a one hour ride to and from East Wallabi Island, and it was exceptionally smooth — no motion sickness whatsoever! It was surreal knowing we were the only humans on the island, a common occurrence given that there aren’t any fishermen or other private flights at the time.

The (mostly) private island is a perfect way to disconnect and while away a beautiful morning. We had a picnic of hot tea, sushi, and dessert slices as our pilot/guide Elise told stories about the island’s notorious history, before taking us on a nature walk to spot birds and wildlife.

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Watching for wallaby at East Wallabi Island — one of the best places the spot the animals!

Another popular activity is snorkelling in the sparkling waters around the island.

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If you’re short on time, another epic option is the 45-min scenic Pink Lake flight (AU$199, ~S$186.74), where you get a jaw-dropping view of the different hues — who knew it could get even prettier from above!

Cost: AU$299 for the 5-hr Albrohos Islands Tour (includes lunch and beverages); AU$199 for the 45-min Pink Lake Flight
Activity Timings: To be arranged upon booking a Kalbarri Scenic Flight
How to get there: 10-min drive from Kalbarri Beach Resort to Nationwest Aviation

Get Creative At Shell Beach

Shell Beach 3 - Western Australia Instagram Hotspots
Though many may try, few can create a decent heart-shape at Shell Beach

It’s not sand that you’ll find at Shell Beach, but instead, billions of tiny white shells. They’re lovely to look at and even more fun to play with — try forming shapes as you throw them into the air!

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Stay for the sunset, which is amongst the most picturesque in the world — an ombre mix of warm yellow and pink skies.

Shell Beach 5 - Western Australia Instagram Hotspots

Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 24 hours. Best visited just before sunset
How to get there: 
3hr 19mins drive from Nationwest Aviation

Dinner At Westcoast Fish ‘n’ Chips

Westcoast-Fish-And-Chips Carnarvon

Chippy shops are a dime-a-dozen in WA, but Westcoast Fish ‘n’ Chips is famous for doing it cheaper and better with generous, perfectly-salted portions at a steal. We got a Seafood Basket (AU$13.50, ~S$12.67) with fish, prawn twisters, crab sticks, and squid rings, and a Fish & Chips (AU$9, ~S$8.45), comfortably feeding a starving group of five.

Opening Hours: 11:30AM – 2PM, 4PM – 8PM, closed on Tuesdays
How to get there: 4hr 26mins drive from Shell Beach

*Pro-tip: If you’re sharing food, save on sauces by heading to Woolworth’s down the road and purchasing a tub of tartar for ~AU$2.50. For the same amount, you’d have to purchase four small tubs at Westcoast Fish & Chips (AU$1 per tub).

Accommodation in Carnarvon: Carnarvon Caravan Park — from S$132 for a two-person villa. Comes with cosy beds, dining area, and kitchen.

Day 6: Carnarvon to Exmouth

Australia’s Coral Coast

Breakfast At Gascoyne Growers Market

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If you’re around on a Saturday, head for a farm-fresh breakfast at Gascoyne Growers Market, with local produce from regional farms, as well as small-town coffee joints and bakeries. Don’t miss the juicy Church Burger (AU$8) and Homestead Hamper’s Moroccan goat pie (AU$7).

Opening Hours: 8AM – 11:30AM, Saturdays only
How to get there: 6-min drive from Carnarvon Caravan Park

Relax on the Beach at Point Quobba

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Enjoy the cool breeze on the beach at Point Quobba, and snorkel in its waters (dubbed ‘The Aquarium’ for its vast marine life) during the summer months.

Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 24 hours
How to get there: 1hr drive from Gascoyne Growers Market

Get Soaked (Or Not) at Quobba Blow Holes

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The massive Quobba Blowholes are quite a sight — just be careful not to get soaked!

Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 24 hours
How to get there: 12-min drive from Point Quobba

Snorkel at Turquoise Bay

Corals while snorkelling at Turquoise Bay

The aptly-named Turquoise Bay is famous for its rich corals, clear waters, and colourful marine life like turtles and manta rays. Bring your own snorkels or rent them first from your accommodation (see below).

Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 24 hours
How to get there: 4hr 50mins drive from Quobba Blowholes

Accommodation in Exmouth: Yardie Homestead — AU$225 for a six-person cabin. This was one of the coolest places we stayed in on our road trip — a huge outback campsite with big, rustic cabins equipped with a BBQ pit and outdoor dining patio. We could conveniently rent snorkelling equipment (AU$15 for snorkel and flippers) from the main office!

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*Pro-tip: If you’re planning to BBQ, drop by the Exmouth IGA (28-min drive away) for groceries — it’s cheaper than the Yardie Homestead grocery store.

Day 7: Exmouth to Ningaloo

Australia’s Coral Coast

Swim with Whale Sharks

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This experience was undoubtedly the highlight of our road trip — swimming up close with the world’s biggest, friendliest fish, the whale shark!

Our tour with Exmouth Dive was worth every cent, with our own spotter plane making sure that our boat could get close to the whale sharks. Seeing a whale shark is pretty much a guarantee, and if you don’t see any of the tour, you’ll even get a voucher to go again for free (usable within three years).

Not like we needed it though — we got a total of seven dives with the gentle giants, breaking into celebration back on the boats each time.

The tour also came with breakfast snacks, a generous lunch buffet, and post-swim champagne!

Lunch-on-Whale-Shark-Tour

Cost: AU$395 for 8-hour whale shark tour (includes up to 10 dives depending on conditions)
Activity Timing: 8:30AM, ends anytime between 2:30PM and 5:30PM
How to get there: Pick-up at 7:45AM from Yardie Homestead to Tantabiddi Boat Ramp

Accommodation in Ningaloo: Ningaloo Coral Bay Backpackers — from S$89 for a budget double room. This had real tropical 80s vibes, from the decor to the small-town friendliness by the super-chill staff. Guests also get a 10% discount at the nearby Coral Bay Boats office, where we did our Glass Bottom tour the next day!

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Day 8: Ningaloo to Monkey Mia

Australia’s Coral Coast

Take a Glass Bottom Boat on Coral Bay

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Coral Bay earned its name for a reason — find out why on a glass bottom boat tour! This was by far the best glass bottom boat tour I’ve been on, as we saw so many corals and learnt about them from our guide. We also got to feed the colourful reef fish which kept following our boat!

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Cost: From AU$43 for a 1hr tour from Ningaloo Coral Bay Boats (10% discount for Ningaloo Coral Bay Backpackers guests)
Activity Timings: 9AM – 10AM, 12:30PM – 1:30PM, or 2:30PM – 3:30PM. Reception open from 8AM – 5PM.
How to get there: 2-min walk from Ningaloo Coral Bay Backpackers

*Pro-tip: Keep an eye on the weather to avoid being disappointed. If your tour gets cancelled, you can still snorkel closer to shore (AU$15 for full day gear hire from 8AM – 4:30PM; AU$10 for four-hour rental).

Hamelin Pool Stromatolites

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Once widespread, stromatolites are now found only in isolated places with just the right conditions, and Western Australia is one of the best places to find them.

See some of these ancient marvels at Hamelin Pool — while less aesthetic than the thrombolites of Lake Thetis, these are more geologically significant, having been around for over three billion years!

Opening Hours: 24 hours
How to get there: 4hr 50-min drive from Ningaloo Coral Bay Backpackers

Accommodation in Monkey Mia: RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort — from S$96 for private 4-person dorm. It’s the only accommodation there, but it’s good with a fully-equipped kitchen!

Day 9: Monkey Mia to Kalbarri

Australia’s Coral Coast

Feed Wild Dolphins at Monkey Mia

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For all its rich wildlife, Monkey Mia‘s most famous residents are its wild bottlenose dolphins, which appear near the shore every morning for a fishy treat.

These visits date back to the 1960s, and Monkey Mia has since become one of the best places for wild dolphin interactions — it’s rare for any day without them appearing!

Though the most crowded, your best chances of seeing the dolphins are at the first feeding around 7:45AM, then staying for the subsequent feeding (around 15 minutes later). If you’re lucky, you might even be chosen to feed one of the dolphins!

Entrance Fee: AU$15 per adult for a day permit to Monkey Mia reserve; Free for RAC Monkey Mia guests
Activity Timings: Three feedings between 7:45AM – 12PM
How to get there: 4-min walk from studio rooms at Monkey Mia

Spot Wildlife on a Kayak through Shark Bay

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Kayak, stand-up paddle, or paddle-boat through the clear waters of Shark Bay, home to manta rays, pelicans, turtles, and reef sharks!

Rent your gear from Monkey Mia Beach Hire along the shore, and the friendly owner Michael will give you a crash course.

Cost: From AU$20
Opening Hours: 10AM – 5PM
How to get there: Along the beach from Monkey Mia dolphin experience

Admire the Beautiful Big Lagoon

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Drive through Francois Peron National Park, and head in to admire the Big Lagoon — a pretty blue next to the striking red sandstone.

Big-Lagoon at Shark Bay

Cost: AU$15 per car (up to 12 people) for entrance to Francois Peron National Park for the entire day; free with WA Park Pass
Opening Hours: 24 hours
How to get there: 49-min drive from Monkey Mia reserve (4WD required)

Catch the Sunset at Red Bluff Beach

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The cliffs of Red Bluff Beach were a prominent landmark for early Dutch explorers. Head to the lookout to catch the sunset before resting up at Kalbarri Beach Resort.

Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 24 hours. Best visited at sunset.
How to get there: 4hr 30mins drive from Big Lagoon

Day 10: Monkey Mia to Jurien Bay

Australia’s Coral Coast

Gaze through Nature’s Window

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Catch the sunrise at the iconic Nature’s Window, which opens to a jaw-dropping view of greenery and wide canyons. Notice the textures of Tumblagooda sandstone, forming a perfect frame that’s a true geographical marvel.

Entrance Fee: AU$15 per car (up to 12 people) for entrance to Kalbarii National Park for the entire day; free with WA Park Pass
Opening Hours: 24 hours. Best photographed in the early morning, or at sunrise (around 7AM) and sunset (around 5:45PM)
How to get there: 
6hr 40mins drive from Perth; 37mins drive from Kalbarri

Watch Pelicans Play and Feed

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Catch these lively birds as they visit every morning for an entertaining daily pelican feeding.

Cost: Free
Activity Timing: 8:45AM
How to get there: 33mins drive from Nature’s Window to Pelican Feeding Point Kalbarri

Peer Down Canyons at Hawks Head Lookout

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Amidst breathtaking views of the Kalbarri Gorges and Murchison River, see if you can spot wild Peregrine Falcons as they hunt along the cliffs at Hawks Head!

Entrance Fee: AU$15 per car (up to 12 people) for entrance to Kalbarri National Park for the entire day; free with WA Park Pass
Opening Hours: 24 hours
How to get there: 29-min drive from Pelican Feeding Point

Accommodation in Jurien Bay: Jurien Bay Tourist Park — from S$117 for a cottage

Day 11: Jurien Bay to Perth

Australia’s Coral Coast

Swim with Sea Lions in Jurien Bay

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It’s an experience like no other — play with sea doggos as they nuzzle you and chase you through the waters!

We took a sea lion tour that brought us up close to the island where they reside (and where no humans are allowed to set foot on). Set in a protected marine park, we got to splash around with the adorable Australian Sea Lions — the rarest sea lion species in the world!

Turquoise Safaris Sea Lion Tour
Cost: ~S$83
Activity Timing: 9AM – 12PM
Meeting Point: Jurien Bay Harbour, a 4-min drive from Jurien Bay Tourist Park

Yanchep National Park

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What’s a trip to Western Australia without seeing its national animals? Make a last stop at Yanchep National Park for a close-up look at kangaroos and cheeky koalas.

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Cost: AU$15 per car (up to 12 people) for entrance to Yanchep National Park for the entire day; free with WA Park Pass
Opening Hours: 24 hours
How to get there: 1hr 47-min drive from Jurien Bay Harbour

Driving in Western Australia

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Our car rental from Hertz brought us through changing landscapes — from the city streets of Perth to vibrant green plains and outback roads in the countryside.

For an express pick-up and drop-off of your rental car, sign up for free as a Gold Rewards Member, so you can spend less time in the queue and more time on the road. You’ll also earn loyalty points that you can use to redeem future car rentals with Hertz — check out the latest deals here!

Road tripping in Western Australia? Here’s more Western Australia road trip itineraries for your epic adventure Down Under.


This post was brought to you by Tourism WA.

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