Perth to Melbourne Drive: 10-Day Itinerary and Guide

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Looking to drive from Perth to Melbourne?

Then you’re in the right place. This road trip holds a special place in our hearts because it’s the one that was the start of our incredible journey.

With months of meticulous planning, we traded our settled life in Perth, WA (Western Australia), for the open road, towing the remaining belongings of our life in a trailer across the breadth of Australia.

From the historic gold mines of Kalgoorlie to the breathtaking Great Ocean Road, each kilometre became another vibrant stitch in the tapestry of our grand adventure.

And most importantly, we started to learn how to get along as a couple when road-tripping together 24/7!

Join us as we journal this epic journey, peppered with practical tips and candid experiences, to help you plan a road trip from Perth to Melbourne.

infographic showing travel time and distance driving from Perth to Melbourne

Page Contents

Perth to Melbourne Road Trip Guide: Overview

You’ll find helpful information and tips to drive Perth to Melbourne here.

Key Information: Covering a distance of 3745 km with approximately 34 hours of driving, this road trip includes:

  • Places to visit between Perth and Melbourne
  • How to drive the Nullabor
  • Tips on accommodation
  • Camping tips and campsites
  • Essential road safety precautions​

Perth to Melbourne 10-Day Itinerary Overview

1. Day 1: Perth, WA to Kalgoorlie WA

  • Distance: 593km 
  • Driving time: 6 hrs 30 mins
  • On the Way: Stop off on Northam and have a picnic or wander along the banks of the Avon Valley. Spot the rare white swans here and explore the craft and curios shops.

2. Day 2: Kalgoorlie, WA to Fraser Range, WA 

  • Distance: 289 km
  • Driving time: 3hr 10min
  • On the Way: Visit the Kalgoorlie Gold Mine Super Pit and one of the oldest working brothels in Kalgoorlie. At Norseman, you hit the Eyre Highway, which links Perth to Adelaide and takes you across the Nullarbor Plain and the world’s longest straight road.

3. Day 3: Fraser Range, WA to Madura, WA

  • Distance: 426 km
  • Driving time: 4hr 20 min 
  • On the Way: On this part of the Nullarbor, you drive the 90-mile straight road… and it really is straight!

 4. Day 4: Madura, WA to Bookabie, SA (South Australia)

  • Distance: 565 km
  • Driving time: 5 hr 50mins
  • On the Way: Pass Border Village, leaving WA and entering SA, and you’ll have great views of the Great Australian Bight.

5. Day 5: Bookabie, SA to Kyankutta, SA

  • Distance: 328 km 
  • Driving time: 3hr 30min
  • On the Way: You’ll pass SA’s Quarantine Border and come to the end of the Nullarbor at Ceduna.

6. Day 6: Kyankutta, SA to Middle Beach, SA

  • Distance: 518 km 
  • Driving time: 5hr 30 min 
  • On the Way: Relax amongst the mangroves when you arrive.

7. Day 7: Middle Beach, SA to Tintinara, SA 

  • Distance: 240 km
  • Driving time: 3 hours
  • On the Way: You can stop in Adelaide on the way.

8. Day 8: Tintinara, SA to Port Fairy, VIC (Victoria)

  • Distance: 390 km
  • Driving time: 4hr 15min
  • On the Way: Go by Mount Gambier to see its ultra Blue Lake

9. Day 9: Port Fairy, VIC to Apollo Bay, VIC 

  • Distance: 185 km
  • Driving time: 2hr 40min
  • On the Way: A little way past Port Fairy, you’ll come to the iconic Great Ocean Road, with the Twelve Apostles, beautiful beaches and lush rainforests

10. Day 10: Apollo Bay, VIC to Melbourne, VIC

  • Distance: 197 km
  • Driving time: 2 hr 30 mins  
  • On the Way: Stunning beaches, Erskine Waterfall and the end of the Great Ocean Road

This 10-day journey from Perth to Melbourne is not just a drive; it’s an adventure through the heart of Australia’s stunning landscapes and cultural tapestry, promising memories that will last a lifetime.

The Journey Begins

This was it.

Months of planning, saving, selling off all of our belongings and saying goodbyes.

Hitting the road with everything we owned in one tiny trailer. Driving from Perth to Melbourne and then onto Brisbane.

We planned to leave the trailer with a friend in Brisbane while we set off on our five-month campervan trip across Europe. 

Those five months changed to 12 months, and those 12 months gradually morphed into us road-tripping around the world with no end date in sight.

Ute and trailer in Perth driveway ready for the Perth to Melbourne drive
Ute and trailer packed for our Perth to Melbourne Drive ©Lifejourney4two

Perth to Melbourne Road Trip: Interactive Map

This interactive map shows the following  information for your drive from Perth to Melbourne:

  • Driving route from Perth to Melbourne
  • Our road trip overnight camp stops (free and paid)
  • Accommodation (camp and motels) on the Nullarbor
  • Gas Stations along the Nullarbor
  • Places of interest on the drive from Perth to Melbourne

Choosing Your Perth to Melbourne Road Trip Route

When driving from Perth to Melbourne, you must take the Eyre Highway (Nullarbor) in Norseman.

However, to reach Norseman, there are numerous routes you could take:

  1. Perth → Kalgoorlie → Norseman = 780 km / 8.5 hours
  2. Perth →York → Wave Rock (Hyden)→Norseman = 644 km / 8.5 hours
  3. Perth → Margaret River → Esperance → Norseman = 1185 km /13 hours
  4. Perth → Margaret River → Albany → Esperance → Norseman = 1300 km / 14 .5 hours
  5. Perth → Margaret River → Augusta → Albany → Esperance → Norseman = 1354 km/ 15 hours

The easiest way, though, is to drive to Norseman via Kalgoorlie, along National Highway 94. This is the route we took for this Perth to Melbourne road trip.

There is plenty to explore along the way, including the wild plains of the Nullabor and the stunning coastal Great Ocean Road. If you have more time though and want to explore more of Western Australia before hitting the Nullabor, we’ve suggested a few options below.

Map of Australia and the route from Perth to melbourne
The quickest route for driving from Perth to Melbourne is via Kalgoorlie to Norseman

We chose to drive via Kalgoorlie, but if you have. a little more time and want a more varied road trip, we’d recommend the Perth to Wave Rock road trip which takes in a few interesting Golden Outback stops on the way.

You could then travel to Norseman from Hyden along the Granite and Woodlands Discovery Trail to Norseman. The road is gravel, and although suitable for most vehicles and trailers it can be muddy and boggy in wet weather and is sometimes impassable and flooded in the winter.

Wave Rock with a few people at the base
Wave Rock might be a stop you’d like to include on your Perth to Melbourne Route ©Lifejourney4two

If you haven’t visited Southern Western Australia, another option is to travel via the scenic south of Western Australia. You could head south from Perth and include the popular tourist town of Margaret River and the southwestern gems of Augusta, Albany, and Esperance.

If you choose this route, you might like to take a break from driving at the quirky, fun, and free Gnomesville in the Ferguson Valley, just east of Bunbury.

view along the coast line near Margaret River
The coastline at Margaret River, Western Australia ©Lifejourney4two

From Esperance, you would then drive north to Norseman and join the Eyre Highway (and the Nullabor), the only road across the south of Australia.

However, travelling via the southern route would entail an extra 500 km on your drive from Perth to Melbourne. Also, there is so much to explore that you’d need to add at least a week or more to your itinerary.

Because we had visited southern Western Australia several times, we chose to take the quicker route through Kalgoorlie.

As you map out your route, remember that the journey is as rich as the destination itself.

Here are some insider tips from our experiences in Perth to ensure you start your epic road trip on the right note.

Before You Leave Perth: Insider Tips

Before hitting the road from Perth to Melbourne, soak up the local scene.

I’ve lived in Perth for over 20 years, so it would be remiss not to suggest at least a couple of my favourite places I would encourage you to visit before leaving Perth.

Kings Park offers stunning views over the city and a chance for a serene stroll in one of the World’s largest inner city parks. Kings Park Botanic Gardens is a beautiful place for a picnic, especially during the spring wildflower festival.

view of Perth City from Kings Park in western australia
View of Perth from Kings Park ©Lifejourney4two

I’ve spent many mornings enjoying breakfast or coffee at Zamia Cafe and burning off some calories later by climbing the DNA tower and strolling through the many bushland trails at King’s Park.

Another iconic place to visit in Perth is Cottesloe Beach—or Cott, as we locals call it. It’s a vibrant spot where you can people-watch or sit with an ice cream from the Gelato Bar and gaze out at the ocean under the shade of towering Norfolk pines.

Of course, there’s plenty more to see and do in Perth, but these iconic spots provide a perfect, relaxing start to your journey.

Where to stay in Perth

If you’re wondering where to stay in Perth before you hit the road, these are a few great options that I have stayed at:

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Day 1: Perth to Melbourne Road Trip

📍 Distance: 593 km, Driving Hours: 6 hr 30 min 

On the first day of our Perth to Melbourne road trip, pumped with adrenaline and eager to get on our way, we did one of our longer drives, stopping for the night in a motel in Kalgoorlie.

We knew we were doing a long first drive and it would likely be dark on arrival, so we had pre-booked accommodation for the first night rather than pitching the tent.

On the way to Kalgoorlie, we recommend stopping off in Northam, one of Western Australia’s Astrotourism towns. Here, you could have a picnic breakfast on the banks of the River Avon, watching out for the rare white swans that call this place home.

📍 Perth to Northam: 95 km/ 1 hour 20 mins

Or, if you want a real treat, start your day watching the sunrise over the Avon Valley in a hot-air balloon ride from Northam. This ⭐️ 5-star reviewed tour begins at dawn and includes breakfast.

Day 2: Kalgoorlie to Fraser Range WA

 📍 Distance: 265 km, Driving Hours: 2hr 50 min

That was our last night in a proper bed until we reached Melbourne (tenting the rest of the way). We started the day exploring a little of this famed gold digger’s outback town, Kalgoorlie.  

Kalgoorlie Boulder, or ‘Kal’ as locals affectionately term it, is in the Goldfields region of WA. It grew up around the great gold rush of the 1880s, and to this day, gold is still being mined from ‘them there hills‘.

Here, you’ll find one of the largest open-cut mines in the world and the biggest in Australia. The super pit in Kalgoorlie is 3.5km long and 1.5 km wide.

In this photo, you can see the haul trucks, which look tiny, at the bottom of the pit.

Kalgoorlie gold mine pit
Kalgoorlie Mine, Western Australia ©Lifejourney4two

Among the old colonial buildings in the centre of Kalgoorlie is a rather flat-looking pink building. In fact, it looks more like a container than a building.

This is Casa Questa, the Pink House, one of the world’s oldest working brothels. Although it no longer operates as such, you can book a tour and learn about its history by calling (08) 9021 4897.

Sights on the Perth to Melbourne Drive - Kalgoorlie brothel - the pink house
Questa Casa – the original brothel of Kalgoorlie ©Lifejourney4two

Kalgoorlie Accommodation

We stayed at the Hospitality Kalgoorlie, SureStay Collection by Best Western| ⭐️ 7.6 Review Rating

Other Kalgoorlie Accommodation with good reviews include:

Head to the West Australian Tourist Board for more information on what to see and do in Kalgoorlie.

About 188km and a two-hour drive out from Kalgoorlie, you’ll come to the small outback town of Norseman.

Here, you turn onto the Eyre Highway, one of Australia’s longest roads. The Eyre Highway links Norseman to Port Augusta in South Australia (SA) and entails 1675 kilometres of driving.

It crosses the Nullarbor Plain, and driving this route is known as ‘crossing the Nullarbor’.  

Planning a Trip to Australia?

Driving the Nullabor

There’s no doubt about it: the Nullarbor road trip is an iconic Australian outback adventure that has to be done at least once in a lifetime.

With magnificent cliff faces, epic wide open spaces, and chance encounters with kangaroos, emus, wombats and camels, this is an authentic Australian journey not to be missed.

The adjacent Great Australian Bight offers a remarkable detour as you drive the Nullarbor. This marine park is a sanctuary for endangered southern right whales and Australian sea lions.

You might spot these majestic creatures from coastal lookouts between June and October.

This rich ecosystem and significant cultural area offer a profound connection to nature, adding depth to your Nullarbor adventure.

Here, the stars are brighter, and you can experience the essence of Australia.

three signs with camel, wombat and kangeroo on them
Nullabor road sign ©Lifejourney4two

How long Does it Take to Drive Across the Nullabor?

From Norseman to Ceduna, the total amount of driving hours, without stops, is approximately 12.5 hours, with a total distance of about 1200 kilometres.

We travelled across the Nullarbor in about three and a half days, camping at three spots along the way.

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Driving The Nullabor: Road Conditions

  • Terrain: The Nullarbor is mostly a sealed highway, with off-road camping spots being primarily dirt tracks.
  • Common Hazards: Be aware of large road trains, wildlife near the roads, and remote stretches with few services.
  • Road Trains: Road trains can have up to four trailers, so you need to give them ample space.
  • Wildlife: You may also see wild camels, kangaroos, emus and wombats on your trip across the Nullarbor, which is great. But for a safer journey choose to drive in daylight hours. Kangaroos tend to stay close to the roads at night and can suddenly appear out of nowhere. 
  • Driving Tips: Ensure your vehicle is serviced, carry extra water and fuel, and consider driving during daylight for safety. Have a spare tyre and know how to change it.
  • Take Breaks: Don’t drive tired, take regular breaks.
  • Fuel Stops: Stations are marked on the map, with distances between them provided for planning. Use apps like Petrol Spy to find the latest prices. Fuel prices can be high – but we’d recommend either carrying a jerry can or filling up when you get a chance regardless of price – better safe than sorry.

See the Perth to Melbourne Drive map at the beginning of the post for marked pins showing gas station locations on the Nullarbor. 

😂 Fun fact: Did you know that wombat poo is square?

How far is it between Petrol Stations on The Nullabor?

When planning your drive from Perth to Melbourne, you may want to take into account the distances between fuel stops on the Nullabor.

So we’ve marked them on the map above and listed them below to make planning easier.

  • Norseman ⇒ 190 km
  • Balladonia ⇒ 181km
  • Caiguna ⇒ 65.5km
  • Cocklebiddy ⇒ 91km
  • Madura ⇒116km
  • Mundrabilla ⇒66km
  • Eucla ⇒12km
  • Border Village ⇒ 184km
  • Nullarbor Road House ⇒144km
  • Nundroo ⇒ 81.5km
  • Penong ⇒ 71.5km
  • Ceduna
Australian Road Train with three large trucks attached
An Australian Road Train

Precautions For Driving the Nullabor

  • Vehicle Check: Ensure any servicing is done before you start the journey.
  • Water and Food: Carry extra supplies.
  • Mobile Reception: Get a TELSTRA sim card for the best rural coverage.
  • Fuel: Carry spare fuel in approved containers.
  • Spare Tyre: Ensure it’s pumped up and ready.
  • Daylight Driving: Consider travelling only during daylight hours.
  • Travel Plans: Inform someone of your itinerary and expected arrival.
  • Emergency Kit: Pack essentials like a first aid kit and flashlight.
  • Wildlife Awareness: Know how to observe or avoid local animals safely.
  • Weather and Roads: Check conditions before and during your journey.
  • Rest Stops: Plan them to avoid fatigue.
  • Road Trains: Give them space and refer to this safety tips card.

Nullabor Certificates

You can pick up a Nullabor Certificate at Ceduna Visitor Centre to show you have crossed it. You can also pick one up at Kalgoorlie or Norseman Visitor Centres if you are travelling east to west.

Ceduna Visitor Centre is open Mon- Friday 9 am-5 pm, and 10 am – 4 pm on weekends.

You can also get a Nullabor Links Certificate – to show you have completed the 18-hole course – but the relevant town/roadhouse needs to stamp each hole.

The World’s Largest Golf Course

If you love golf, you might be interested to know that you can play 18 holes along the Eyre Highway!

The Nullabor Links golf course has holes in roadhouses and towns along its route, which means that it stretches from Kalgoorlie to Ceduna, a total of 1365km.

You can buy a scorecard at Kalgoorlie, Norseman, or Ceduna Visitor Centres, and if you don’t have your own golf clubs, you can hire a set at each hole for around $5.

Accommodation Along The Nullabor

If you are camping or driving a motorhome or campervan, you can stop at the points marked on our itinerary or find a spot using a camping app such as WikiCamps,  which is what we use when looking for free camping in Australia.

If you are looking for accommodation, then these are a couple of the main hotels/motels/roadhouses along the Nullarbor:

  • Border Village Roadhouse:  Border Village Roadhouse offers pet-friendly accommodation, an outdoor pool, a restaurant, a bar and a games room. | ⭐️ 7.3 Review rating
  • Nullarbor Road House: Near the Great Australian Bight, this hotel’s reviews say it is comfortable, clean and has great food | ⭐️ 7.9 Review rating
Distance from NorsemanAccommodation along Nullabor
191 km 🛌 ⛺️ Balladonia Hotel Motel: Hotel and Caravan Park (08) 9039 3453
372 km 🛌 ⛺️ Caiguna John Eyre Motel / Caiguna Caravan Park
437 km 🛌 ⛺️Madura Pass Oasis Motel and Madura Road House Caravan Park
528 km 🛌 ⛺️Mundrabilla Roadhouse and Caravan Park
644 km 🛌 ⛺️Nundroo Hotel Motel and Nundoo Caravan Park
709 km 🛌 ⛺️Eucla Motor Hotel Eucla: 12km west WA/SA Border – Tel. (08) 90393468
750 km 🛌 ⛺️Border Village Roadhouse and Camping
905 km 🛌 ⛺️Nullarbor Roadhouse and caravan park
1049 km 🛌 ⛺️Nundroo Hotel Motel and Nundoo Caravan park
1128 km 🛌 ⛺️Penong Hotel and Penong Caravan Park

See the interactive map at the top of this post, where all accommodation options have yellow pins.  

Wild Camping on the Perth to Melbourne Road Trip

After about 120 km of driving the Nullarbor, we found a pull-off on the side of the road and set up our tent. 

Refer to the ‘Perth to Melbourne Drive Map’ at the beginning of the post to get exact coordinates and details. 

Campsite on the Perth to Melbourne drive
Fraser Range Wild Camp ©Lifejourney4two

If you are camping while driving from Perth to Melbourne, for a more enriching camping experience, remember these quick tips:

  • Leave No Trace: Always clean up after yourself to preserve the natural beauty. When wild camping, remember always to leave the place as you found it. We always have a shovel to dig a toilet hole in the bush area away from the main tent-pitching area. 
  • Wildlife Respect: Keep a safe distance from animals and never feed them.
  • Fire Safety: Check fire regulations in the area and never leave a fire unattended.
  • Be Prepared: Have a first aid kit, extra water, and a reliable communication device.
  • Snake Awareness: Be cautious and aware of your surroundings to avoid unwanted encounters. Remember to stomp into the bushes when you go to the toilet to scare off any snakes.
  • Deet Protection: Use against flies and mosquitoes for comfort and safety.
  • Fly Screen Canopy: Consider bringing one to sit outside without being bothered by pests.

Day 3: Fraser Range to Madura, WA

  📍 Distance: 426 km Driving Hours: 4hr 20 min  

This leg of the Perth to Melbourne drive takes you further along the Nullarbor and onto the 90-mile straight. This road is one of the straightest in the world, with no bends for the whole 90 miles.

Driving this iconic stretch, it’s mesmerizing how the landscape unfolds.

With each kilometre, the vastness of the Australian outback becomes more palpable, a reminder of this country’s sheer scale and beauty.

The spirit of adventure truly comes alive in moments like these, with the road stretching endlessly ahead.

Ute and trailer on the Nullarbor, during our drive from Perth to Melbourne
The start of the 90 Mile Straight on the Nullarbor ©Lifejourney4two
90 mile straight sign on the Nullarbor stretch of road on the drive from Perth to Melbourne
The obligatory Nullarbor photo 🙂 ©Lifejourney4two

Madura Road House Campsite

We stopped the night at the Madura Roadhouse Caravan Park, which had good showers and a basic restaurant.

  • Address: Eyre Highway
  • Phone: 08-90393464

Strange Time Zones on the Nullabor in the Eucla

🕥 Something strange happens after you pass Caiguna Roadhouse on the Nullabor – you enter a different time zone, even though you are still in Western Australia. The Eucla has its own time zone along the Eyre Highway, so your phone won’t automatically pick up.

Driving from Perth uses AWST (Australian Western Standard Time) (UTC +8); you need to add 45 minutes to the time (UTC +8:45). Once you pass Border Village, you’ll hit South Australia time, which is UTC + 9.30 or UTC +10.30, depending on whether it is summer or winter.

Confused yet?

It’s certainly an interesting quirk of Australia!

Hopefully, it won’t affect you too much – only if you are expected at one of the camps or roadhouses along this stretch of road that are on Eucla Time or ACWST (Australian Central Western Standard Time) or hoping to grab a bite and the restaurant is closed because you are on the wrong time!

The towns/roadhouses that use ACWST time are:

  • Cocklebiddy WA
  • Madura WA
  • Mundrabila WA
  • Eucla WA
  • Border Village SA
Perth to Melbourne - Timezone changes
Standard Time Zone changes for the route from Perth to Melbourne

In regards to the infographic above:

For Adelaide (SA) and Melbourne (VIC), add one hour to the UTC to adjust for Summer Daylight saving time (the first Sunday in October to the first Sunday in April). Perth (WA) and Eucla time do not use daylight saving time.

Day 4: Madura WA to Bookabie, SA

   📍 Distance: 565 km Driving Hours: 6 hrs

On day four of this Perth to Melbourne Itinerary, you will leave Western Australia and enter South Australia after passing through Border Village.

From there, you will pass plenty of lookout areas to stop and take in the views of the Bunda Cliffs overlooking the Great Australian Bight.

It was April, so we were too early to spot any whales, but if you travel between June and October, you can spot hundreds of whales and their young off the coast here.

Lars at Bunda cliffs on the Nullarbor Plain - on the Perth to Melbourne Drive
Bunda Cliffs overlooking the Great Australian Bight ©Lifejourney4two
Camp along the side of the road on the Perth to Melbourne route
Free Camp near Bookabie, SA ©Lifejourney4two

Day 5: Bookabie to Kyanutta, SA 

📍 Distance: 328 km Driving Hours: 3hr 30 mins

Day five of this itinerary takes you along the last stretch of the Nullarbor, ending at the town of Ceduna.

💡NOTE: Just before you reach Ceduna, you must stop at the Quarantine Station. You cannot take any fruit, vegetables, or plant material into South Australia, a rule in place to prevent fruit flies.

If you breach these regulations, you risk possible fines of up to $100,000. Therefore, before passing the quarantine station, either eat or dispose of any fruit and vegetables in the bins provided. 

Photo of the quarantine border crossing with lots of signs by the side of the road
Quarantine border station into SA

Once we arrived in Ceduna, we stocked up on supplies and had a picnic on the foreshore overlooking Murat Bay.

At the end of the day, we pulled off the road at a free spot near Kyankutta. It looked like a lovely place to camp.

However, just after we finished setting up the tent, whether it was the season, environment, or bad luck, we were ambushed by one of Australia’s most ferocious beasts known to campers.

The horsefly.

The female, with her scissor-like jaws, relentlessly attacks, painfully extracting your blood. She can easily penetrate through clothes, and even DEET insect protection doesn’t seem to deter her vampire desires.

This one occasion was so bad that we had to forgo cooking dinner and hastily dive into the tent for cover.

We love wildlife and can handle a lion walking into camp and elephants interrupting lunch, but these guys were just a tad too wild for us.

🪰 To handle pesky horseflies, consider wearing light-coloured clothing and using a physical barrier like a head net or tent screen. Apply a strong insect repellent specifically formulated to deter biting flies for extra protection.

Staying informed about the local insect population and peak activity times can also help you plan to avoid the worst of the swarms. Summer is generally the worst time, but we were travelling in early April, so always be on guard!

Remember, while these encounters can be challenging, they’re also part of the adventure and the stories you’ll tell later!

Day 6: Kyanutta, SA to Middle Beach, SA

📍 Distance: 518 km Driving Hours: 5hr 30min

Luckily, the flies weren’t too bad when we woke in the morning, but we didn’t hang around to wait for them to amass their army.

On day 6 of our Perth to Melbourne drive, we didn’t stop apart for a lunch break and headed straight to our next paid campsite at Middle Beach.

Middle Beach Campsite

  • Address: 555 The Esplanade, Middle Beach Rd, Middle Beach SA 5501, Australia
  • Phone: (08) 8520 2374
car and trailer parked on dry grass
Middle Beach Campsite

This site is on the edge of the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary National Park—Winaityinaityi Pangkara – and is surrounded by mangroves.

Perth to Melbourne Drive:Mango groves at Middle Beach, SA
View near the campsite at Middle Beach, SA ©Lifejourney4two

Day 7: Middle Beach to Tintinara via Adelaide

📍 Distance: 240 km Driving Hours: 3 hours

An hour’s drive from Middle Beach will take you to South Australia’s capital, Adelaide.

If you love gardens – head to the Adelaide Botanic Gardens – It’s free and there’s also a free guided tour at 10.30 am daily.

And, if you are a foodie, Adelaide Central Market is a must-visit. It’s one of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest undercover markets, offering an extensive range of fresh produce, meats, and seafood.

You’ll also find a diverse selection of eateries where you can sample local and international dishes. It’s a straightforward, no-frills destination for quality food and a genuine local experience.

If you’re looking for something more structured, you might like:

We spent a good part of the day exploring the city before heading to our next free campsite at Tintinara, SA.

Day 8: Tintinara, SA to Port Fairy, VIC

 📍 Distance:  390 km Driving Hours: 4hr 15min 

On this leg of your Perth to Melbourne road trip, make sure to stop off at Mount Gambier to see its beautiful Blue Lake sitting in the crater of an extinct volcano.

Mount Gambier’s Blue Lake showcases an ever-changing spectrum of blue hues throughout the year. From November to late February, the waters shift from a dark blue to a vibrant turquoise.

A 3.6-kilometre track encircles the lake, offering several viewpoints. The most notable is between Blue Lake and Leg of Mutton Lake, providing a splendid vista of this natural wonder’s seasonal transformation.

Blue lake surrounded by scrubby hills
Blue Lake at Mount Gambier, SA ©Lifejourney4two

Just after Mount Gambier, you enter the state of Victoria, Australia.

Port Fairy Accommodation

We spent the night at Catalina Caravan Park at Port Fairy – they have a small restaurant there, and the fish and chips were delicious.

  • Address: 531 Princes Hwy, Port Fairy VIC 3284
  • Phone: (03) 5568 1608

For more accommodation options for Port Fairy, check out deals on Booking.com

Perth to Melbourne drive Catalina-caravan-park,-Port-Fairy-halfway-between-Adelaide-and-Melbourne camper trailer and tent
Our camping set up Catalina Caravan Park at Port Fairy

Day 9: Port Fairy to Apollo Bay

 📍 Distance:  185 km Driving Hours: 2hr 40min

Just after Port Fairy, at Allansford, you’ll turn onto the famed Great Ocean Road.

The Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives. It has amazing surf beaches, stunning rainforests, wineries, breweries and arts and cultural events galore.

The Great Ocean Road is not just a drive; it’s an odyssey through time and nature. Built by returned soldiers, it’s a memorial to those lost in WWI, winding through landscapes narrating Australia’s soul-stirring coastal story.

Some of the most famous natural landmarks on the Great Ocean Road are the dramatic rock stacks called the Twelve Apostles.

Funnily enough, they used to be called the Sow and Piglets, but the Tourism Board changed the name to The Apostles. This name then morphed into the Twelve Apostles, even though, at the time, there were only nine stacks.

Today, there are eight rock stacks with some reaching 50 metres high.

They remain a huge drawcard for tourists and locals alike.

The ‘Twelve Apostles’ are just one group of rock formations along the coast. There are incredible rock formations all along this stretch of coast, with various names and stories behind them.

For example, the ‘Tom and Eva’ rocks were named after the only two passengers that survived the shipwreck in 1878 of the clipper ‘Lord Ard’. 

Perth to Melbourne drive - great ocean road
Tom and Eva, on the Great Ocean Road ©Lifejourney4two
Rock formation in the ocean that looks like a bridge
The London Arch along the Great Ocean Road ©Lifejourney4two

You will pass many lookouts and viewing points for these stunning spectacles.

The main ones are:

  • The Bay of Islands
  • The Grotto
  • The Arch
  • The London Bridge
  • The Lord Ard Gorge
  • The island Lookout
  • Tom and Eva Lookout
  • The Twelve Apostles
  • Gibsons Steps
Perth to Melbourne Drive: The arch rock formation on the Great Ocean Road, Victoria
The ‘Arch’ on the Great Ocean Road ©Lifejourney4two
Perth to Melbourne Drive: The island arch on the great Ocean Road
The Island Arch, Great Ocean Road ©Lifejourney4two

Great Ocean Road Accommodation

That night, we camped at Apollo Bay Holiday Park.

  • Address: 27 Cawood Street, Apollo Bay
  • Phone: (03) 52377111

For the latest Booking.com deals on the Great Ocean Road, click here.

Day 10: Apollo Bay to Melbourne

 📍 Distance: 190 km Driving Hours: 3 hours

There are so many places to stop along the Great Ocean Road, but we were on a schedule and couldn’t indulge ourselves too much.

On our final day, before arriving in Melbourne, we walked along Apollo Bay in the morning and then headed off along the coast to Lorne.

Perth to Melbourne Drive: Lars and Shelley of Lifejourney4two at Apollo bay
Apollo Bay, along the Great Ocean Road ©Lifejourney4two

After coffee and cake in lovely Lorne, we headed to the lush Erskine Falls

The Falls are one of the most popular attractions in Otway National Park and are only a 9-km drive from Lorne.

There is a lookout over the Erskine Falls just a five-minute walk from the carpark, but if you want to get to the base of this 30-metre waterfall, you have 240 steps to climb down.

Coming back up is great exercise.

This waterfall amongst lush vegetation
Erskine Falls ©Lifejourney4two

The Great Ocean Road ends just past Torquay. From there, you conclude the long drive from Perth and reach Melbourne in about another 100km.

Melbourne

Your road trip from Perth finally brings you to Melbourne, one of Australia’s most hip and happening cities.

Melbourne awaits with its labyrinthine laneways and coffee aroma, which guides you through its vibrant arts scene. Don’t miss the National Gallery of Victoria or the bustling Federation Square before you delve into the city’s pulsating heart.

For the many fun things to do in Melbourne, check out this link below: 

Melbourne Accommodation

If you are looking for accommodation in Melbourne, you can check out the best deals on Booking.com here.

Perth to Melbourne Road Trip Planner

You can grab a free travel planner to ensure your journey is memorable.

Just download it and start planning your epic adventure. Remember, it’s all about making this trip the best it can be, so don’t miss out on this great resource!

brown arrow
Road trip planner with car at front

Click here to sign up for your FREE PLANNER

Perth to Melbourne Road Trip Fun

There is no doubt that the drive from Perth to Melbourne is a long road trip, and driving long distances can sometimes be a little tedious. But we managed to keep ourselves occupied with some car karaoke.

You might like to check out our great road trip tips for couples for more ideas on how to make your Perth to Melbourne road trip run smoothly.

Perth to Melbourne Road Trip Karaoke Video

Enjoy our embarrassing example of how to stop the boredom setting in on a long drive.

Long Road trip Car Karaoke

What’s the Best Time of Year for a Road Trip from Perth to Melbourne?

When planning a road trip from Perth to Melbourne, the best time generally falls between spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May).

These months offer milder temperatures, less rain, and comfortable conditions for long drives and outdoor activities.

Avoiding the peak of summer can also mean less crowded attractions and cooler weather, making your journey more enjoyable.

Always check local weather and road conditions before setting out, as Australia’s vast landscape can bring varied climate conditions.

Perth to Melbourne Road Trip… That’s a Wrap

We hope our Perth to Melbourne Drive Itinerary has ignited your travel spark and equipped you for an epic journey.

Do you have questions or want to share your own tales from the road? We’d love to hear from you — drop us a comment below or send us a message!

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Perth to Melbourne Drive pinterest pin

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PLANNING YOUR TRAVELS?

These are the travel resources we recommend and use when planning our trips.

For a more thorough list visit our Travel Resources page here.

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Shelley

Shelley, a former primary school teacher with a law degree, and her husband Lars co-own Lifejourney4two. Their adventure began in Perth, Australia, and has since taken them through Europe and Africa in motorhomes and bush campers. Shelley's travel guides combine practical advice with engaging stories, mirroring their shift from 'One Day' to 'Day One'. Together, they aim to inspire others to embark on their own travel dreams.

10 thoughts on “Perth to Melbourne Drive: 10-Day Itinerary and Guide”

  1. Hi, I’m looking to travel from Perth to Melbourne this October via motorcycle and travelling alone. Is the route you guys did suitable for motorcycle, not planning any off road routes.
    Many thanks Graham

    Reply
    • Hi Graham, that sounds exciting! Yes, the route we took is suitable for a motorcycle, it’s perfect for a bike trip. Enjoy and we’d love to hear about your trip afterwards.

      Reply
  2. Wow. Super awesome page and adventure! Very nice. Favorite part is the information on locations and map. Thank you😀

    Reply
  3. Hi both, thank you for this post, this sounds great – I am planning such a trip for end of March next year.
    I was in Australia twice and did amazing road trips with 3 friends of mine (first one was Melbourne – Adelaide – Sydney – Melbourne and second one was Mackay – Brisbane – Gold Coast – Sydney – Melbourne) and i loved it, especially the 4 days it took us to get from Adelaide to Sydney: Nothing but red desert and every 2 hours a lovely small town.
    I plan to add some days (maybe 4) at the beginning to head south for the more scenic drive you also recommend in your post (Margaret River, Pemberton, Abany, Esperance, Norseman…).
    Let’s assume i can spare one day to go to a place which is not on the route – any recommendation?
    Shall i head north from Perth for 2-3 hours by car – is there sth I HAVE to see? Or go to Kalgoorlie Boulder before I take the Nullarbor? Disadvantage: I have to go back the same way again for some hours.
    Or does it make more sense to stick to my planned route and add one day to the beautiful southwest area?

    GOR: Did you miss to stop for the Koalas? We at that time drove through Otway Lighthouse Road and we saw plenty of them sitting in the trees. For free and not crowded. I loved it and for sure will stop there again, but maybe Koalas are not so interesting for Aussies 🙂

    We are a family of 4, kids will be almost 2 and almost 6 at that time. Still don’t know if we will hire a campervan or a car.
    If car: do you think it is easy to get a room in a motel without reservation at that time of the year (end of summer) when we arrive at 7pm or maybe giving them a call in the morning?

    Enjoy your long trip through Europe. I am looking forward to your post about Germany, as this is where I come from originally (living in China now).
    If I stay in Asia for some more years I plan to come back to Australia for another road trip from Perth to Darwin in 2 years, so if i do not see anything north or Perth this time i probably will see it in 2 years. If I manage to do that one I actually HAVE to come back a fifth time and drive from Darwin to Brisbane to finish Australia 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Sven, thanks so much for sharing your experiences in Australia:) It sounds like you have already had some great trips and we agree, the huge expanse red desert sands are something else. And yes we missed the Koala stop – what a shame! Always love seeing these little fellows 🙂
      With regards to your trip from Perth across the Nullabor, we would recommend sticking to your planned route and adding an extra day in the south-west, especially as you have little ones with you. There is a Giant Tree Top walk down south that the kids may like ( and adults too:). My own children loved going there when they were young. Here’s the link for more info on their site:
      https://www.valleyofthegiants.com.au/listing/tree-top-walk/
      I can’t really advise about accommodation, but I would definitely call in the morning rather than waiting until 7pm in the evening. To be on the safe side I would plan ahead where you think you be and book ahead. Also note that it will be the Easter school holidays in Western Australia from 9/4/20 – 27/4/20 and the south-west will get busy at those times 🙂
      Hope this helps and let us know and let us know how your trip goes:)

      Reply
  4. What a great blog, we will continue to follow your travels with interest. We are a couple of Aussies about to head to America and hopefully buy a motor home and get traveling again.

    Reply
  5. This sounds like quite the trip to undertake. Such beautiful scenery. I would love to go to Australia someday, though I’m not sure I would be up to such a long drive like this, yet at the same time, I would love to experience all the things to see and do along this route.

    Reply

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