Adelaide to Perth: 14-Day Campervan Itinerary

A Transcontinental Adventure via Esperance and Kalgoorlie Gold Country

With this Adelaide to Perth itinerary, you’ll visit magnificent beaches, impressive botanic gardens and national parks and cross the dry and empty Nullarbor Plain—the vast limestone landscape that separates South Australia (SA) and Western Australia (WA). It’s a long road trip, but it will be very rewarding if you love rugged coastlines and stunning white sandy beaches. And so memorable. Keep your camera ready!

Between the two state capital cities, you’ll experience the desolate Australian outback where pretty much nothing grows – except one of the world’s biggest gold mining operations. You can explore lovingly maintained heritage buildings from the mad gold rush days.

Adelaide direct to Perth is 2600 km, but then you’d miss the Goldfields and the Wheatbelt with their iconic silo art, so your campervan holiday will loop through those iconic regions as well.

First off, why does this road trip take 7-14 days?

While it’s possible to make this epic trip in just 7 days, our advice is not to try. The distances in the Australian outback are vast, and the coastal scenery is unforgettable. So 14 days is a better plan, and we’ve designed this Adelaide to Perth itinerary to allow you to spend one day or two days doing each “stage”.

  • One day per stage = the 7 day experience.
  • Two days per stage = 14 days.
  • Or do it in 10 days by adjusting times to suit your interests.

Take the stress out of finding a rental motorhome in Adelaide with Camper Champ. Alternatively, you can pick up a camper in Perth and drop it off in Adelaide.


Although many brilliant experiences await you between Adelaide and Perth, crossing the Nullarbor desert is perhaps the most unforgettable part of this road trip. There are three things you’ve got to know before you go.

  • Crossing the Nullarbor is: 4 days, three time zones and the longest strip of dead straight road anywhere in the world, all 146 km between Balladonia and Caiguna (91 miles, though it’s signposted as “90 Miles Straight”).
  • Nullarbor means “no trees”, but in the dim distant past, the area was densely forested, including eucalyptus and banksia trees. Not anymore!
  • Contrary to popular belief - there is a speed limit on the Eyre Highway: 110 km/hour. And yes, they do run speed checks!

Stage 1: Adelaide to Port Augusta (3-4 hours)

Port Augusta is a significant seaport in South Australia. Surprisingly for a port, it’s also the closest population centre to the geographic centre of Australia. It’s also where the Eyre Highway (aka, the Nullarbor highway) starts. Located on the west coast of Spencer’s Gulf, Port Augusta is home to a large fishing fleet and a major seafood product export hub.

Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden 144 Stuart Highway Port Augusta

It’s the largest arid zone botanic garden in the world. It showcases the plants and animals of the Outback. Located on the outskirts of Port Augusta, the park covers an area of 1.5 hectares and is home to more than 1,000 species of plants, including many rare and endangered species.

The Port Augusta Wharf (surprise! - it’s in Wharf St) is a heritage-listed wharf on the Spencer Gulf. Built in 1881, it’s the oldest surviving pier in South Australia and is now used as a public jetty and a popular fishing spot.

Other tourist attractions include the Port Augusta Maritime Museum, the Wadlata Outback Centre, the Port Augusta West Beach, and the Flinders Ranges.

Stage 2: Port Augusta to Ceduna (5-6 hours)

With about 3,000 people living there, Ceduna is the gateway to the Nullarbor Plain. As the last central town before the Eyre Highway crosses the Nullarbor, it’s an important service centre for travellers.

The town has a wide range of facilities and services, including a hospital, shopping centre, golf course, bowling club, and swimming pool.

The surrounding area is known for its fishing and its crayfish in particular. Ceduna is also a popular holiday destination, with its beaches and nearby national parks such as the Gawler Ranges National Park and the Nullarbor National Park.

Stage 3: Ceduna to Nullarbor Roadhouse (3 hours)


  1. Never go past a petrol station on the Nullarbor unless you’re sure you can make it to the next fuel stop. Just don't! Download the Fuel Map Australia app, or similar.
  2. Be sure you have plenty of food and water, as well as a good map and a reliable vehicle.
  3. Don't buy up big on fresh fruit and veg because there is a quarantine checkpoint at the SA-WA border and your fresh produce will end up in their bin.
  4. Best not to drive at night but if you must, be extra cautious of animals that might be on the road. It’s their desert too! Adult male kangaroos and can weigh up to 90 kg (nearly 200 pounds) so you definitely don't want to smash into those fellas. Emus and wombats also live in the desert, and camels.

The Nullarbor is a vast and flat expanse of land in Australia that covers around 270,000 square km along along the southern coast, straddling 2 states (SA & WA). It’s the world’s largest limestone plain and is known for being very dry, very flat, very hot, and very boring to drive. Oh yes, and for having very little water or vegetation. The Nullarbor is, however, home to some of the world's largest salt lakes and a variety of unique plants and animals, including the world's only species of eucalyptus tree that grows in the shape of a spiral.

Nullarbor Roadhouse

In case you think this is just another dusty roadhouse, nope, not at all. The Nullarbor Roadhouse is legendary. Be sure to stop there!

The Nullarbor Roadhouse is pretty much an institution. They generate their own power and water. The water comes up from 70m below the vast limestone plains but it’s too salty to drink, so their desalination plant produces 11,000 litres of drinking water every day. The food there gets great endorsements from travellers. Access to ancient caves, too.

Stage 4: Nullarbor Roadhouse to Esperance (11-12 hours)

After you leave the Nullarbor, you’ll pass the road to the Bunda Cliffs Lookout on the coast, and later a road to the Great Australian Bight Lookout. Any of these coastal lookouts will give you a stunning view of the southern ocean from quite a scary (though safe) height of 70-100 meters.

Next you’ll enter WA (Western Australia) where the first place of note is Eucla, the easternmost settlement in the state. It’s also where the Quarantine Station is. Declare your fresh fruit and veggies here.

Naturally Eucla is a popular stopover for travellers on the Eyre Highway, and there are a number of tourist attractions in the town and surrounding area. These include the Eucla Telegraph Station, the Old Police Station, the Old Telegraph Station Reserve and the Eucla National Park.

Once you leave Eucla, the only settlements you’ll see on the 720 km (450 mile) stretch through WA are the roadhouses (general stores that also sell petrol and where you’ll probably run across fellow travelers gagging at the outrageous price tags!).

Cocklebiddy is notable for 2 things: the Eyre Bird Observatory and the longest (so they say) cave dive in the world. At 6 km long, and mostly underwater. How to find the caves? Ask at the Cocklebiddy Roadhouse.

Esperance, on the southern coast of WA, is the end of this leg of your road trip. (Next we head north and inland to Kalgoorlie, gold country!)

The beautiful town called Esperance is home to a number of beaches and is the perfect place to rest and recover for a while after the long dry drive you’ve just done.

There are a number of things to see and do in and around Esperance, including shops, cafes, museum, and the art gallery. But you won’t want to miss the white sandy beaches with their crystal clear blue waters. The beach sand is so white you’ll need your sunglasses! Perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing, and there are several national parks nearby which are great for hiking and bird watching. Also there are several local wineries.

Pink Lake, on the edge of Esperance, is full of wildlife but is no longer vivid pink due to a change in the composition of the lake’s water. Nevertheless, it’s a delightful and peaceful spot in nature.

Or check out the Esperance Stonehenge. It’s a lifesize replica of what’s in England. Crazy, eh? Apparently it’s astronomically aligned, too.

Stage 5: Esperance to Kalgoorlie (5-6 hours)

Stop in Norseman if you need a break. The Norseman Visitor Centre (at 68 Roberts St) has a beautiful park, friendly staff, and spacious parking for your campervan or motorhome otherwise we suggest pressing on.

Lake Ballard, located in Western Australia's Goldfields region, is a stunning salt lake that is home to the internationally acclaimed sculpture exhibition, the "Inside Australia" project. The lake is located approximately 140 km north of Kalgoorlie and is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike.

The "Inside Australia" exhibition features 51 sculptures created by the British artist, Antony Gormley, and is spread over an area of 10 square kilometers. Each sculpture is made from stainless steel and is a representation of a local resident, making this exhibition a unique and personal experience. Visitors can take a self-guided tour around the lake on foot, or by car, and explore the sculptures at their own pace.

Lake Ballard is a Ramsar-listed wetland, which means it is considered to be of international importance for migratory birds. It's a great stopover for those traveling from Adelaide to Perth, the lake is an excellent place to spend a few hours, or even a full day, exploring the sculptures, birdwatching, and taking in the natural beauty of the area.

Only half an hour out from Kalgoorlie is Coolgardie, which curiously describes itself as a “ghost town” even though it’s thriving in its own small-town way. The last population survey (2016) identified 878 local residents. The town has 10 high schools, go figure!

Goldfields Exhibition Museum 62 Bayley St, Coolgardie

Visitors rave about this place. Coolgardie is one of Australia’s best preserved gold rush towns, with more than 20 heritage-listed buildings on and around its wide main street.

Old Coolgardie Railway Station, 75 Woodward Street, Coolgardie

No trains these days, but campervan parking is free and includes a free dump point, right next to the old station.

Warden Finnerty's Residence 19 Morgans St, Coolgardie

Although built in 1895 to accommodate the region’s first magistrate, this old stone house has been beautifully restored. You’ll love the wide wrap-around verandas and louvered windows. It even has a ventilated roof lantern that cools the house on the hottest of days. The restoration work is exquisite.

Kalgoorlie is built on the world's largest gold deposit and the city is home to the Super Pit which was, until 2016, the largest open cut gold mine in Australia. And yes, you can jump on a 2.5 hour bus tour and see it all. (What happened in 2016, you ask? That year, another WA gold mine aced it for size… the Newmont Boddington.)

These Kalgoorlie goldfields are still some of the richest in Australia, and have produced over 50 million ounces of gold.

The Fimiston Super Pit 8 km south-east of Kalgoorlie on the Goldfields Highway.

  • It’s big. At 3.5 km x 1.5 km, and 500+ meters deep, it’s so big that it can be seen from space. No wonder they tagged it the super pit!
  • It’s busy. 24 hours a day, every day, the pit is working with massive trucks on the move all the time, hauling out precious metals and rubble.
  • It’s noisy. Explosives are used as they dig deeper. If you want to either hear them or miss them, phone the pit to find out when the big bangs are scheduled.

Mount Charlotte Water Reservoir & Lookout. Even more impressive than the gold is, really, the fact that more than a century ago, they built a 300-mile pipeline to bring water all the way from Perth to the goldfields. It’s still operating today, delivering water to the entire region. Be sure to visit Hannan Street to see the reservoir and marvel at the engineering that made the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme possible.

Stage 6: Kalgoorlie to Perth (6-7 hours)

About half way to Perth is Burracoppin. The only reason it’s on this itinerary is so you can see the longest fence in the world. What? Yep, the Rabbit-Proof Fence. Known now as the State Barrier Fence, it was built as a way to protect WA’s crops and pastures from the rabbit plagues that were coming from the eastern states. It's a whopping 3,256 km in length, and has 3 sections. At 1,833 km, the Esperance to Pilbara section was touted as the world's longest continous (unbroken!) fence. Burracoppin is one place you can see it. Be sure to take a selfie next to the sign, ‘coz the longest fence in the world is a great talking point, to be sure. And also be sure to tell them this: it also keeps out emus, those great big flightless birds. During the 1976 drought, there were over 100,000 of them lined up along the fence, trying to get into WA.

Merredin, a thriving regional town in the Central Wheatbelt, as it’s known. From June to October, the wildflowers are in bloom, but anytime is a good time to be wowed by the silo art. These grain silos are 35 meters high and covered with impressive art. Silo art, yes, it’s a thing and you can see 8 more at Northam, your next stop en route to Perth.

Mundaring: By now, you might really need to see some water. The glorious beaches of Perth await you, but a small side trip to the Mundaring Weir will be refreshing. Lake O’Connor is the artificial lake created by the Weir. Its deep blue waters are a beautiful sight. As Perth's most famous dam, it was originally built as part of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme.

Stage 7: Perth

And finally, welcome to Perth, you made it! There are so many things to see and do in Perth. Some of the most popular tourist attractions include the Swan River, the very popular Kings Park which overlooks the city and the river, the Perth Mint, the Perth Zoo, the WA Museum, and Elizabeth Quay. And all those beautiful beaches!

Aussie Rules Football? If you’re there during the AFL season (Mar-Sept) and love the electrifying buzz of watching the game live, check out what’s on at the Optus Stadium, voted as the “Most Beautiful Sports Facility in the World” in 2019. The stadium also hosts soccer, both rugby codes and cricket.

Leederville Skate Park (at 64 Frame Court, Leederville) has free parking while you watch the skill and antics of skaters, BMX riders and rollerbladers.

Aussies are famous for loving the beach. Nowhere more so than in Perth, where we reckon the top 4 beaches are Cottesloe Beach, Mettams Pool in the north, City Beach, and Scarborough Beach. Whatever you do, don’t leave Perth without spending time at the beach. Any beach!

Campervan Itineraries