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Adelaide to Perth Road Trip: The Awe-Inspiring Drive You Need to Take

Who doesn’t love a road trip? Make it an epic one across the Nullarbor Plain from Adelaide to Perth.

Gawler Ranges

You could certainly fly from Adelaide to Perth or take the iconic Indian Pacific train but then you’d miss out on one of the most epic road trips of all time. In fact, driving across the Nullarbor Plain at least once in your lifetime is an Australian rite of passage.

Spanning over 2,700 kilometres, and depending on the route that you take, you could make the drive comfortably in about four to five days, but we recommend taking your time and immersing yourself in the landscape and characters you’ll meet along the way.

Here are just a few highlights to expect on our Adelaide to Perth road trip guide.

Adelaide (Image Credit: City of Adelaide)


Since award-winning restaurants line the streets, it’s unlikely you’ll ever sample all the outstanding dishes on offer, not to mention the surrounding wine regions such as McLaren Vale, the Barossa and Clare Valley.

You might enjoy reading our guide to Adelaide but if you’re short on time and raring to get going on your Adelaide to Perth road trip, Adelaide’s East End never disappoints for its range of dining options, boutiques, bars and galleries. Get your steps in along the Rundle Street Mall and the Adelaide Botanic Gardens or a dip at Brighton or Glenelg beaches before hitting the road.

Don’t miss: For a taste of South Australia, don’t miss the Adelaide Central Market. Showcasing over 70 traders under one roof, it’s the perfect spot to stock up for epic adventures.

Clare Valley (Photo credit: South Australian Tourism Commission & Harry Vick)

Clare Valley

Let’s ease into this unforgettable road trip with a spot of wine tasting in the Clare Valley where Riesling is the star of the show. From the oldest winery Sevenhill Cellars to Pikes Wines, O’Leary Walker Wines, Jim Barry Wines or Mitchell Wines, to name a few of the 40 cellar doors, grab your favourite labels to keep you sustained along the way, responsibly of course. Enjoy lunch at the Watervale Hotel, Bush DeVine Restaurant (at Paulett Wines) or Mr Mick Cellar Door and Kitchen.

Stay: Since you’re in a premium wine region, it makes sense to stay among the vines at a two-bedroom villa at Neagles Retreat Villas (from $340 per night), preferably with a local drop-in hand on the deck overlooking vineyard vistas.

Whyalla (Photo credit: Victoria Kronsell)


Situated on the eastern side of the Eyre Peninsula, Whyalla is a four-hour drive from Adelaide. Boasting over 300 days of annual sunshine and visited by over 250,000 giant Australian cuttlefish each winter, it’s the only place on earth you can snorkel with these alien-looking sea creatures. The quirky town is also worth checking out for its unexpected Elvis Presley Museum and unique circular jetty. Relax on the pebbled beach of Fitzgerald Bay, set against a backdrop of the southern Flinders Ranges.

Explore: Between May and August and September and April, join Whyalla Diving Services to swim with the giant Australian cuttlefish or stay dry onboard Cutty’s glass bottom boat tours. 

Greenly Beach (Photo credit: City of Port Lincoln & Kingship Productions)

Port Lincoln

After spending all that time in the car, you deserve some adventure in Port Lincoln, the unofficial capital of the Eyre Peninsula. Famed for adventure, the wild coastline promises kayaking, surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, swimming with sea lions and dolphins or take it up a notch with shark cage diving.

Or if sounds a bit too adventurous, head to the tip of the Lincoln National Park, where you can drive onto the beach and spend the day frolicking among the ridiculously blue water and kangaroos, if you’re lucky.

However, if the weather has other ideas, the Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area in the Lincoln National Park is home to rugged cliffs, birdlife, kangaroos, dolphins and whales when in season. To see koalas in their natural habitat, head to Mikkira Station. Don’t forget to check out our accommodation guide to Port Lincoln.

Dine: You’re at the epicentre of seafood, so you can’t pass by Coffin Bay, about 20 minutes away, without sampling the region’s famous oysters at 1802 Oyster Bar or Oyster HQ. Join a Coffin Bay oyster farm tour and then relax on the pure-white sands on Almonta Beach in Coffin Bay National Park.

Mt Ive Station (Photo credit: South Australian Tourism Commission & Rob Blackburn)

Gawler Ranges National Park

Believed to have been formed over 1500 million years ago after a volcanic eruption, the Gawler Ranges National Park is most famed for Kolay Mirica Falls and the Organ Pipes, aptly named for its prism-like columns. Sprawling across 1600sqm, the Gawler Ranges are also home to kangaroos, dingos and echidnas living among the diverse volcanic, basalt, salt lake and sand dune landscape.

You’ll probably pass through the township of Kimba, the gateway to the Gawler Ranges and known for its creative community, so be sure to check the Workshop26 art district and the silos painted with artwork on a grand scale.

Stay: For an outback adventure, stay on a family-owned sheep station at Mt Ive Station in the heart of the Gawler Ranges. They have a range of accommodation options, including camping, dongas, shearer’s quarters, or self-contained huts. While here, you’ll have private access to Lake Gairdner, a vast salt lake sprawling for 150km.

Streaky Bay (Photo credit: Brooke Montgomerie)

Streaky Bay

On the Eyre Peninsula’s wild west, Streaky Bay is wonderfully isolated and about an eight-hour drive from Adelaide. Stretch your legs in town and follow the Streaky Bay Historic walk and don’t miss the Powerhouse Museum and the Streaky Bay Jetty. While in town, you will want to stock up for an unforgettable stay at the Camel Beach House (from $390 per night). The Westall Way, Cape Bauer and Point Labatt are three scenic drives to follow for vistas of the unique rock formations, including Murphy’s Haystacks, the Granites, Whistling Rocks and Smooth Point.

Stay: Set in the middle of a 250-acre conservation sanctuary, Camel Beach House (from $390 per night) is the ultimate sustainable getaway in earthy luxury. Recharge and connect with nature among the wildlife, home to Australian sea lions, dolphins and migrating Southern Right Whales from May to October, set against the soundtrack of the Southern Ocean’s crashing against your private beach.

Image Credit: South Australia


Ceduna is the last major town before hitting the Western Australian border. Delve into the region’s culture on the Encounter Walking Trail and check out the Aboriginal arts centre on the peninsula at Arts Ceduna, showcasing over 130 artists.

From May to October, witness migrating Southern Right Whales from the Head of Bight, which is one of the best whale-watching spots in Australia and about three-and-a-half hours west of Ceduna, or join a cruise for a closer vantage point. Since you’re in the Nullarbor, one of the most remote places in the country, there’s almost zero light pollution, so don’t forget to look up.

Stay: Enjoy an unforgettable stay at the iconic Nullarbor Roadhouse (from $173 per night), where you can dine on pub grub, explore the ancient limestone Murrawijinie Caves and tee off from the Dingo’s Den on the world’s longest golf course at the Nullarbor Links spanning 1365 kilometres.

Lake Ballard (Photo credit: Tourism Western Australia & @apertunity)


One of the most direct ways from Adelaide to Perth is via the goldfields and through the mining town of Kalgoorlie, built on the fortune of gold discovery in the 1890s. While the historic town is definitely worth a visit, starting with the Museum of the Goldfields, explore the ghost towns of Leonora and Gwalia and the outdoor art gallery at Lake Ballard. Continue your golf game on the Nullabor Links at the Par 4 Golden Mile at the Kalgoorlie Golf Club.

Visit: Kalgoorlie's Super Pit is one of the largest open-cut mines on earth and the biggest gold mine in Australia, with 900,000 ounces of gold harvested each year. 

Esperance (Image Credit: Esperance Chalet Village)


Located approximately 700km southeast of Perth, there’s no denying Esperance is remote and has one of the most pristine environments in the country. You’ve probably seen the promotional shot of kangaroos lounging on a snowy white beach – that was taken along the 21km stretch of Lucky Bay, located within Cape Le Grand National Park. Sandboarding down the dunes inspires fits of carefree euphoria.

There’s no denying the mystery of Esperance Stonehenge, and built from locally quarried pink granite, all 137 stones are arranged as an exact replica of the original and are aligned with the winter and summer solstices. For vistas of the iconic pink Lake Hillier, you’ll need to take to the skies for a flight over Middle Island.

Stay: Head to Bandy Creek for self-contained comfort at the Esperance Chalet Village (from $312 per night), the ideal location for setting off on adventures and chilling out.

Valley of the Giants (Image Credit: Explore Parks WA)


Situated in Australia’s Great Southern Region, the coastal town of Albany has a rich and fascinating history dating back to its dark whaling history at Albany’s Historic Whaling Station. Albany is also home to charming heritage architecture and the National ANZAC Centre overlooking the dramatic King George Sound, honouring Australia’s and New Zealand’s war heroes. The Gap, in the Torndirrup National Park, is one of the most formidable rock formations. Wine and food lovers will adore exploring the town and region and a cosy stay at The Beach House at Bayside (from $345 per night) boutique bed and breakfast is a must.

Don’t miss: On your way to Margaret River, don’t miss the 600-metre treetop walk perched 40 metres above the forest floor at The Valley of the Giants. Add the elephant rock formations at Elephant Rocks and Greens Pool in William Bay National Park to your itinerary.

Image Credit: Margaret River Region & South West WA

Margaret River Region

Spanning 120 kilometres of pristine coastline, rugged cliffs, idyllic beaches and skyscraping forests, the Margaret River Region is most famous for hundreds of cellar doors, restaurants, fresh produce outlets, breweries, cideries and distilleries. Mix in its creative community of writers, artists, photographers and musicians drawn to the landscape and a wide range of accommodation options.

It's no wonder the Margaret River Region is one of the most popular holiday destinations, especially since Perth is only three hours away. Check out our guide to the region for a taste of what to expect. 

Must do: Since over half of the region’s wineries have received a Halliday rating, you can’t visit the region without a wine tasting. Follow the golden triangle in Wilyabrup, between Gracetown and Cowaramup, as a starting point and just see where the road takes you. Or follow our wine lover’s guide to the best wineries in the Margaret River Region



Congratulations! You’ve completed this epic road trip of a lifetime. So it’s time to celebrate in the cosmopolitan capital of Western Australia. Check out our Perth guide for a few ideas of where to dine, stay and play but if you’re short on time, explore the city’s mix of eclectic and high-street fashion in the heart of the city.

Then reconnect with nature at the Australian Botanic Gardens in Kings Park, climb the Matagarup Bridge or stroll around Elizabeth Quay, where you could jump on a ferry to East Perth or Fremantle. Northbridge, an inner-city suburb north of the railway, brims with multi-cultural dining options, a range of small bars and the Perth Cultural Centre.

Stay: Now you've officially finished your Adelaide to Perth road trip, treat yourself with a stay in a heritage suite at COMO The Treasury (from $1195 per night) in the restored State Buildings and a fancy dinner at Wildflower with sweeping city vistas. However, if the budget doesn’t quite extend that far, the refurbished Parmelia Hilton Perth (from $213 per night) in the heart of the CBD offers excellent value and beautifully appointed rooms. 

Has our Adelaide to Perth road trip guide ignited your wanderlust? Plan a local stay in Perth and one of these luxe hotelsor pay a visit to one of South Australia's best wineries.

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