28 Day Darwin to Perth Road Trip Itinerary


Welcome to Darwin


Darwin is nearer to Singapore than it is to Sydney, which gives you an idea of the sheer size of Australia. This multicultural, fast-developing city has a chilled-out feel and a beautiful climate.

Between cyclones and bombing by the Japanese in World War Two, Darwin has been rebuilt several times in its history. While the architecture is modern and stylish, it's still very much a "frontier town" with a small-town feel.

Visit Crocosaurus Cove

After settling into your hotel it's time to meet the Top End's most unique inhabitants at Crocosaurus Cove. Armed with a VIP Pass, you can hold a baby crocodile, take part in feeding or simply watch some of the largest saltwater crocodiles in Australia as they interact with each other.

Later you can relax and see a movie at the outdoor Deckchair Cinema, catch the sunset over the Timor Sea, or try street food at the Mindil Beach Markets. You'll feel like a laid-back local in no time.

Accommodation: Darwin - 2 Nights

Argus Hotel offers modern contemporary style accommodation. Each room at this hotel is air-conditioned and is equipped with a flat-screen TV with cable channels. The rooms have a private bathroom. For your comfort, you will find free toiletries and a hair dryer.
Argus Hotel Darwin


Litchfield National Park Full Day Tour

Learn the real story on this small-group day tour from Darwin to Litchfield National Park. Explore the area with a personable Indigenous guide with countless generations of history in the region. Get hands-on as our guide demonstrates bush resources in season. See and refresh yourself at iconic waterfalls. Experience dramatic stone country as it comes alive in our tropical summer. Enjoy a flame-grilled lunch of ocean-caught barramundi, marinated kangaroo, and crocodile eye fillet, in beautiful shaded surrounds. Be treated to expert natural and cultural interpretation from guides with unrivaled knowledge of the area. Take home memories you’ll never forget.


Inclusions—Small-group touring by air-conditioned tour vehicle; pickups from any Darwin accommodation; expert interpretation of the natural and cultural environment from an Aboriginal viewpoint; lunch of freshly cooked ocean-caught barramundi, crocodile, and kangaroo; cool water.


Drive to Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park is renowned for the richness of its Aboriginal cultural sites. It covers an area of 19,804 square kilometres which is the size of Israel or nearly half the size of Switzerland! Aboriginal people have occupied the Kakadu area continuously for at least 40 000 years.

There are more than 5000 cave paintings and rock carvings illustrating Aboriginal culture over thousands of years. Kakadu is a magnificent area with many different landforms and habitats. There are over 60 species of mammals and a great many reptiles including goannas, frill-necked lizards and the frightening saltwater crocodile. The Park also supports more than 280 species of birds what is about one-third of Australia's bird species.

Approximate Distance: 151 km | 93 miles   Total Driving Time: 1 hour 44 mins

Accommodation: Kakadu - 2 Nights 

The indigenous owned luxury accommodation is uniquely shaped to represent Kakadu's most famous inhabitant, the saltwater crocodile. Relax in the recently refurbished rooms, unwind in your private courtyard, by the shaded outdoor pool or take in the landscaped interior garden view from the balcony.
Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel


Yellow Water Billabong Cruise

Yellow Water Billabong is Kakadu's most famous wetland and is located at the end of Jim Jim Creek, a tributary of the South Alligator River. The river system is the largest in Kakadu and contains extensive wetlands that include river channels, floodplains and backwater swamps. About one third of Australia's bird species are represented in Kakadu National Park, with at least 60 species found in the wetlands. Whistling Ducks and Magpie Geese are the most abundant. There are plenty of crocodiles in their natural habitat, and buffalo on the floodplains, as well as a huge Jabiru's nest nearby.

Outstanding Rock Art at Ubirr

In the afternoon, make your way to Ubirr Rock, the site of some of the world’s oldest rock art. Your guide will walk you through the ancient rock galleries, where you will hear about the history and culture of the traditional custodians.


Drive to Katherine

Katherine is the third-largest town in the Northern Territory, located three hours' drive south of Darwin on the banks of the Katherine River. A Katherine holiday combines some of the Territory's best nature and culture experiences with pioneering history and heritage. Explorer John McDouall Stuart visited the region in 1862 and named Katherine after the daughter of one of his expedition sponsors.

Once established, the town became a popular base for pioneers whose legacy continues to live on at the many historic sites. Katherine is the perfect base for exploring the Gulf region, the southern part of Kakadu National Park and the Victoria River region - places where you can immerse yourself in nature.

Approximate Distance: 210 km | 130 miles   Total Driving Time: 2 hours 40 mins

Accommodation: Katherine - 2 Nights 

Cicada Lodge opened in 2013 and delivers the highest standards of non-intrusive, world-class service in a modern architect-designed lodge. The Lodge is elegantly furnished in a contemporary, sophisticated style fusing international, modern Australian and Indigenous design elements.
Cicada Lodge Katherine


Nitmiluk / Katherine - 3 Gorge Cruise

Relax as you cruise the waters of the Nitmiluk Gorge and travel back to Australia's dreamtime. Your expert tour guides go into depth about the history and function of the eight to ten-thousand-year-old Indigenous rock art you will see on this journey.

Once you get to the third gorge, you will have an opportunity to swim at the Lillypond seasonal waterfalls or at the shallow rock pools. Depending on what time of the year you visit you may be able to swim in the many rock pools in gorges 1 and 2.


Western Australia & Lake Argyle

Continue South from Katherine until you get to drive through the vast Kimberley landscape to the east Kimberley hub of Kununurra, right on Lake Argyle.

The wildlife-rich waters of Lake Argyle, near Kununurra, is the biggest man-made lake in the southern hemisphere. Created by the Ord River Dam, it's classified as an inland sea and at its peak in the green season Lake Argyle holds a staggering 32 million cubic metres of water. That's more than 20 times the size of Sydney Harbour

Approximate Distance: 511 km | 317 miles   Total Driving Time: 4 hours 55 mins

Accommodation: Lake Argyle - 3 Nights 

The Kimberley Grande’s guest rooms reflect the Kimberley’s sense of space and the character of an Australian outback homestead whilst boasting contemporary style and comfort. Featuring cool polished concrete floors graced by cattle hides, artwork by prominent indigenous and regional artists, an abundance of natural light and wide verandahs, the mix of colours and textures in all rooms creates a calm and restful atmosphere.
The Kimberley Grande


Lake Argyle Cruise

The best (and only) way to experience the full length of Lake Argyle is on a cruise. From the rugged northern end to the vast expanses of the southern reaches and 120km in between, this is a must-do for anyone wanting to experience the heart and soul of this beautiful lake!

The bird is the word in the lake’s Southern wetlands, being home to a myriad of birdlife that sometimes numbers into the tens of thousands! Take a gander through the binoculars for an up-close look at the many different species of birds and other wildlife including wallabies and crocodiles.

Stop on a remote island to fossick for the intriguing Zebra Rock. Unique to Lake Argyle, this rock is alluring with its perfect stripes and spots that can appear to be painted on. We’ll cruise past the submerged site of ‘Argyle Downs’, the Durack Family’s Homestead, while listening to stories about the pioneering families and how they began the pastoral industry in the Eastern Kimberley.

Includes: Complimentary lunch, afternoon tea and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.


Bungle Bungle, Lake Argyle and Ord River Scenic Flight

Scenic Flight over the beautiful Bungle Bungle Range 

Take off in our fixed wing aircraft for an amazing two-hour air adventure to see the famous Bungle Bungle Range, Lake Argyle and the Ord River Irrigation Area. The beehive like orange and black striped sandstone domes of the Bungle Bungle Range are one of the Kimberley’s favourite attractions

This is an unforgettable adventure over the Bungle Bungle Range, Lake Argyle, the Argyle Diamond Mine and Ord River Irrigation Area. Your aircraft is an air-conditioned, high wing, beautifully presented aeroplane offering comfort, safety and spectacular viewing opportunities.

This award winning scenic flight from Kununurra to the Purnululu National Park is an exhilarating adventure taking in the Kimberley's best scenic views.


Drive to Halls Creek

Halls Creek is a busy service town for surrounding pastoralists, Aboriginal communities and travellers exploring northern Western Australia. Situated in the heart of the Kimberley, Halls Creek is the gateway to a range of world-renowned natural attractions, including the World Heritage-listed Bungle Bungle ranges of Purnululu National Park. Halls Creek offers a genuine insight into the spectacular Australian outback. Covering some 142,908 square kilometres of predominantly desert and pastoral country, Halls Creek has something for everyone, from wide-open spaces and magnificent natural attractions.

Approximate Distance: 164 km | 131 miles   Total Driving Time: 2 Hours 31 mins

Accommodation: Halls Creek - 1 Night 

The Kimberley Hotel is conveniently located adjacent to the local airport and approximately 500 metres from the town centre. It offers stylish Kimberley accommodation and boasts the largest motel units in the region so if you like a little breathing space within your accommodation you won’t be disappointed.
Kimberley Hotel


Fitzroy Crossing & Geikie Gorge National Park

Fitzroy Crossing is one of only two "towns" along the over 1000 km stretch of highway between Broome and Kununurra. Today Fitzroy Crossing is a welcoming, pleasant little township with a mostly Aboriginal population.

For a taste of Aboriginal culture and stunning outback scenery, visit Geikie Gorge near the town of Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The floodwaters of the Fitzroy River have carved out the ancient 30 metre deep gorge through Geikie Range. Here you can see layers of fossils and an ancient reef, which show glimpses of life before reptiles or mammals evolved. The traditional owners, the Bunaba, call the gorge Darngku. You can hear Aboriginal Dreamtime stories of how the gorge was created on a special boat tour. You'll also see the steep 30-metre high rock walls, dazzling reflections in the water, freshwater crocodiles, fish and freshwater stingrays.

Approximate Distance: 290 km | 180 miles   Total Driving Time: 2 Hours 57 mins

Accommodation: Fitzroy Crossing  - 1 Night

Fitzroy River Lodge is located in the heart of the Kimberley. Situated on the banks of the mighty Fitzroy River, Fitzroy River Lodge offers a wide range of accommodation to suit all travellers. At the Fitzroy River Lodge you can relax on fifty acres of natural bush with shady trees and landscaped gardens.
Fitzroy River Lodge


Travel to Broome

Once a sleepy outback pearling town, Broome has long been renowned for its relaxed atmosphere and unique character. This pearl in the heart of the North West is a gateway to the West Kimberley with all of its adventures, but offers plenty of reasons to stay for a relaxing getaway or romantic break, a family holiday or a fishing adventure.

The town is surrounded by the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, with the white sandy stretch of Cable Beach contrasting with the red rocks of Gantheaume Point and the dusky sands of Roebuck Bay.

Approximate Distance: 396 km | 246 miles   Total Driving Time: 3 Hours 59 mins

Accommodation: Broome  - 2 Nights

Centrally located in Broome, this 4-star hotel offers a spa and an outdoor pool. Guests can enjoy views of Roebuck Bay. Cable Beach is a 10-minute drive away. Moonlight Bay Suites provides a variety of spacious fully self-contained apartments. The suites are located in landscaped gardens with a large swimming pool and spa pool, along with free barbecue facilities
Moonlight Bay Suites Broome


Horizontal Falls Scenic Flight

The Broome to Horizontal Falls half-day tour lets you experience the incredible Horizontal Falls and the pristine beauty of the Kimberley.

Enjoy a flight over spectacular coastlines, striking rugged landscapes and colourful characters. You will see horizontal waterfalls, giant tides, cliffs that glow red. You will land at remote Cape Leveque and enjoy a relaxed breakfast or lunch at Raugi's open air restaurant at Kooljaman. Swim in the cool, sparkling turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean before you return by plane with more coastal views


Port Hedland: Staircase To The Moon

Get set to head to Western Australia’s famous Pilbara region, known for its rich cultural landscape, red earth, and vast mineral deposits. Port Hedland is a hub for major resource activity and is a powerhouse of the Australian economy.

If the dates are right you may witness the Staircase to the Moon.

This natural phenomenon is caused by the rising of a full moon reflecting on the exposed mudflats at extremely low tide - creating a beautiful optical illusion of a staircase reaching up to the moon (check for dates).

Accommodation: Port Hedland - 1 Night

Approximate Distance: 598 km | 371 miles   Total Driving Time: 6 hours 

Discovery Parks – Port Hedland is a great base for outdoor adventures, from off-road driving to coastal walks and endless fishing hot spots. The world's largest bulk tonnage export port is perfect for fishing, crabbing and whale watching. Take a BHP Billiton Iron Ore Tour or a Reef Walk to discover Port Hedland’s rich ecosystem.
Port Hedland


Drive to Karratha

Taking its name from the local Indigenous word meaning 'good country', Karratha is the youngest and fastest-growing town in the Pilbara. It is situated right in the heart of the Central Pilbara Coast. Karratha was established in 1960s due to the tremendous growth of the iron ore industry.

Today, it is a busy, modern and well-serviced town and a great base for exploring Millstream Chichester National Park, Karijini National Park and the 42 islands of the Dampier Archipelago. Walk the Jaburara Heritage Trail and discover Indigenous rock engravings and artefacts. Head for Hearson's Cove for a swim and catch the 'Stairway to the Moon' from May to October. Or take a picnic or swim at Miaree Pool.

Accommodation: Karratha - 1 Night

Approximate Distance: 238 km | 148 miles   Total Driving Time: 2 hours 30 mins

The Best Western Plus The Ranges Karratha is a quiet oasis; our tropical gardens provide a vibrant, invigorating environment for guests to work, sleep and play and our large, private pool offers cool solace from the Western Australian heat. The bright, modern King apartments are completely self-contained, featuring full kitchens and washing machines.
The Ranges Karratha


Drive to to Exmouth


Exmouth is the perfect base to explore the grandiose landscapes of the Cape Range National Park and the northern reaches of the Ningaloo Marine Park. Visitors flock here from around the world to swim with whale sharks and humpback whales.

Exmouth is also the gateway to the rugged Cape Range National Park, which features breathtaking canyons, limestone ranges, and 50 kilometres of unspoiled coastline.

Approximate Distance: 549 km | 341 miles   Total Driving Time: 5 hours  40 minutes

Accommodation: Exmouth - 2 Nights

Featuring ocean or marina views from the private balcony, Novotel Ningaloo Resort overlooks Exmouth's stunning Sunrise Beach and provides an infinity pool, a restaurant and a bar. Guests have direct access to Ningaloo Reef. Ningaloo Resort is just a 5-minute drive from Exmouth Golf Club and a 10-minute drive from Cape Range National Park. All accommodations feature high ceilings, contemporary furnishings and satellite TV. Each has a private bathroom with a shower and a hairdryer. All apartments and villas include a 2-person spa tub.
Mantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort


Marine Adventures in Exmouth

Sit back for a joyride as we travel to our snorkel site around the Ningaloo area. We get to snorkel with gorgeous colourful fish, corals, with opportune sightings of Dugongs, Turtles & much more! Then we venture out to look for mantas from the deck of one of our big stable boats. Get ready for an added bonus of humpback whale watching in whale season. Equipment, and full lunch drinks and snacks are provided along with our professional in-water guides for extra safety.


Coral Bay

Coral Bay is a marine paradise and one of Western Australia's premier family holiday destinations. Named Coral Bay due to the beautiful coral gardens which lie just metres from the pristine white sandy beach. Enjoy the Coral Bay Walk Way which is a stunning beach walk fringing the coastline along Ningaloo Reef. As a result of the reef's proximity to the shore, you have a unique opportunity to witness dolphins, manta rays and a large variety of fish swimming through the crystal clear waters from a number of vantage points along the shore.

Approximate Distance: 152 km | 95 miles   Total Driving Time: 1 hours 45 mins

Accommodation: Coral Bay - 2 Nights

Whether you’re getting away for a family holiday, backpacking or caravanning along the Ningaloo coast, we offer a range of accommodation, as well as powered and unpowered camp sites for your stay at Ningaloo Coral Bay.
Ningaloo Coral Bay Park


Ningaloo Marine Interactions

Your day will include snorkelling amongst beautiful coral gardens and the chance of observing other wildlife including turtles, dolphins, sharks, dugong, humpback whales (seasonal) and more!

We pride ourselves on delivering you a memorable and informative day on the Ningaloo Reef, gaining a greater respect of all things Manta Ray with minimal impact on this fragile, pristine environment. We offer you the chance to participate in research and give you the opportunity to name any newly discovered Manta Rays!


Travel to Carnarvon

Welcome to the food bowl of Western Australia. Famous for its banana plantations, Carnarvon on Australia's Coral Coast is the southern gateway to the world-famous Ningaloo Reef and provides the ideal base for exploring Mount Augustus and the Kennedy Ranges to the east and coastal stations to the north. A friendly community nestled at the mouth of the Gascoyne River, Carnarvon lies just over 900 kilometres north of Perth on the North West Coastal Highway. Skippers Aviation offers daily flights from Perth to Carnarvon. 

Accommodation: Carnavon - 1 Night

Approximate Distance: 338 km | 210 miles   Total Driving Time: 2 hours 28 mins

Set on the banks of the Gascoyne River, the Best Western Hospitality Inn offers accommodations with free Wi-Fi, and is just a 5-minute drive from Carnarvon Airport. It features a restaurant, a bar and a swimming pool. All air-conditioned rooms at the Carnarvon Hospitality Inn feature a TV with free cable channels, tea/coffee making supplies and ironing facilities. Each has a private bathroom with a hairdryer and free toiletries.
Best Western Hospitality Inn Carnarvon


Travel to Monkey Mia

In the heart of Western Australia's Shark Bay is a place where you can experience the mystical world of wild dolphins. Monkey Mia is one of the world's premier natural dolphin sighting areas; a destination of magical encounters. Located at Dolphin Beach, famous for its kilometres of secluded crystal blue waters and pristine white-shell beaches, Monkey Mia has attracted schools of dolphins to its tranquil shores daily for more than forty years. This dolphin interaction is known to be one of the most reliable meeting places for dolphins in the world. Dolphins have visited everyday in the last five years excluding only four times. It is the only place in Australia where dolphins visit daily, not seasonally, and costs nothing. 

Accommodation: Monkey Mia - 2 Nights

Approximate Distance: 349 km | 216 miles   Total Driving Time: 2 hours 28 mins

Situated on the Western Australian coastline within the beautiful shores of Shark Bay, Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort offers beachfront accommodation. Shark Bay is home to one of the world’s best-known dolphin encounters. The property features a swimming pool, hot tub, bar, restaurant and tennis and volleyball courts. Facilities nearby the property include a general store and gift shop, and two food and beverage outlets located just a short walk from the Resort.
Monkey Mia


Monkey Mia: Francois Peron National Park 4WD Tour

Join an unforgettable 4WD Adventure with a local Aboriginal guide and explore the amazing Francois Peron National Park.

Francois Peron National Park

Immerse yourself in nature and culture of this world-class park, where the red desert sands meet the Indian Ocean's beautiful turquoise waters. Visit fantastic lookouts like Skipjack Point, Point Peron, and many other scenic locations that provide breathtaking views across the beautiful bays.

Look for turtles, rays, sharks, dugongs, manta rays, birds, and much more. We also look for the amazing Thorny Devil Lizard, the elusive Echidna, Kangaroos, Snakes, and other rare and endangered wildlife.

Guests can even enjoy a refreshing snorkel and swim in one the many sheltered bays, if weather permits. Your tour finishes with a relaxing dip in the natural Hot Tub at the Peron Homestead.


Travel to Kalbarri National Park

Kalbarri National Park is located 485 kilometres (301 mi) north of Perth. The major geographical features of the park include the Murchison River gorge which runs for nearly 80 kilometres on the lower reaches of the Murchison River. Spectacular coastal cliffs are located on the coast near the mouth of the Murchison River and the town of Kalbarri. Hike the rugged ranges and canoe past the rust-red rock gorges on the Murchison River which carved them. Between July and October, the landscape comes alive with the colours of 800 wildflower species. See banksias, grevilleas, kangaroo paws and red-blossomed eucalypts scattered across the landscape.

Approximate Distance: 399 km | 248 miles   Total Driving Time: 4 hours 15 mins

Accommodation: Geraldton - 1 Night

Kalbarri Edge Resort comes alive at sunrise, coaxing guests to wake to uninterrupted views of the Coral Coast. Enjoy a five minute walk into Kalbarri town centre, The Murchison River foreshore, or a 5 minutes' drive to Kalbarri Golf Club.
Kalbarri Edge Resort


Pink Lake - Geraldton

Heading south to Geraldton, stop off to see Hutt Lagoon and the Pink Lake.

Sometimes bright bubblegum pink, sometimes lilac, and occasionally even red, the waters of Hutt Lagoon can be an extraordinary sight on the drive between Port Gregory and Kalbarri. Kalbarri National Park surrounds the lower reaches of the Murchison River, which has cut a magnificent 80 kilometre gorge through the red and white banded sandstone to create formations such as Nature’s Window and The Loop, Z-Bend and Hawks Head, with scenic gorge views at the Ross Graham Lookout and views of the town and river mouth at Meanarra Hill.

Continue on to Geraldton is the capital of Western Australia's Mid West and gateway to the magnificent Abrolhos Islands. Geraldton is perched near beautiful coastline to the west and rolling hills and breakaway ranges to the east. The Chapman and Greenough Rivers frame the city to the north and south. This superb positioning, combined with the friendly feel of a country town, makes for a truly memorable holiday experience. 

Approximate Distance: 433 km | 269 miles   Total Driving Time: 4 hours 31 mins

Accommodation: Geraldton - 1 Night

Looking for somewhere to stay in Geraldton? You want location, you want comfort, you want value. Mantra Geraldton hotel has it all and it's right on the Batavia Coast Marina, Champion Bay. Mantra Geraldton's spacious apartments are close to the region's best attractions like the Western Australian Museum, Geraldton CBD and the HMAS Sydney Memoria
Mantra Geraldton


Pinnacles Desert / Yanchep National Park

Pinnacles Desert

Head South this morning and prepare for a weird and wonderful sight. The sandy yellow Pinnacles Desert is filled with rocky spires as far as the eye can see. There are thousands of these strange limestone formations, like giant stony desert mushrooms.

Yanchep National Park

This afternoon heading further South along the West Australian coastline, stopping in Yanchep National Park to enjoy a fascinating Aboriginal cultural experience. 

Approximate Distance: 413 km | 256 miles   Total Driving Time: 4 hours 26 mins

Accommodation: Perth - 3 Nights

The serviced apartment-style hotel offers spacious 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments or studio rooms, which all feature balconies. Each apartment includes a fully-equipped kitchen and full laundry facilities making it suitable for both short term and long term stays. Accommodation also features cable TV, air conditioning and luxury bathrooms. Guests receive 572KBps of free WiFi per 24 hours.
Adina Apartment Hotel Perth Barrack Plaza


Ferry to and Bike Rottnest Island

Unlock your adventurous side by using pedal power to explore Rottnest Island at its best! With no cars allowed on Rottnest Island, cycling is the best way to explore.

Set off at your own pace and make your way around to all of the different bays, take a ride to Wadjemup Lighthouse, or race out to West End - the opportunities are endless!


Explore Australia's Sunniest City

With soft sandy beaches, epic skyscrapers, huge green parks, and a thriving street art scene, Perth is a fascinating town to explore. It's home to one of the biggest city parks in the world – Kings Park & Botanic Garden – right in the heart of town. It's even bigger than Central Park in New York! This is a great place to get your bearings with sweeping views of the Swan and Canning rivers.

Perth's urban villages and small bistros offer plenty of dining options.



Depart Perth

Say farewell to Perth today as you board your onward flight, taking with you the magical memories of a truly exceptional Australian experience. We know you will enjoy your 28 Day Darwin to Perth Self Drive vacation and we hope you will return soon to discover even more highlights of this incredible continent.

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What Natalie says about this tour: Four weeks is the perfect length for this Road trip from Darwin to Perth. Driving days are tempered by stunning scenery and comfortable hotels at days end. You will visit no less than six national parks and coastal regions of international significance at Ningaloo and Monkey Mia. Nature, wildlife and dramatic scenery served up 24/7.
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