Outback Western Australia Self-Drive Itinerary
Explore Western Australia’s true Outback with this 12-day loop out to Kalgoorlie via Wave Rock, then north up to Leonora, on to Mt Magnet and continuing back to the meet the coast at Geraldton before returning south to Perth.
- Perth to Wave Rock
- Wave Rock to Merredin
- Merredin to Southern Cross
- Southern Cross to Kalgoorlie
- Kalgoorlie to Menzies
- Menzies to Kookynie
- Kookynie to Leonora
- Leonora to Mount Magnet
- Mount Magnet to Geraldton
- Geraldton to Perth
Upfront not so small print
Be prepared. As you will be travelling in remote areas with limited mobile phone coverage in some areas, it is critical that you take important supplies with you including spare water, food and any prescription medication. Discuss your chosen route with your rental company when picking up your vehicle.
Day 1. Perth
Pick up your rental car or campervan in Perth today. If you are collecting a campervan or 4 wheel drive allow at least one hour to become fully familiar with your vehicle. Take some time to discover what Perth has to offer before beginning your journey.
Western Australia has a proud gold-mining history, so why not start your education at The Perth Mint. The mint was established in 1899 as Britain’s Royal Mint, and continues today to refine gold from the goldfields. The mint has many activities to try out including watching a gold pour, engraving your own coin and seeing the gold exhibition.
Stay: Discovery Holiday Parks, Perth.
Day 2. Perth to Wave Rock
Depart this morning and take State Route 40 to Lovering Road in Hyden.
Wave Rock is an amazing natural feature and one not to miss. From weathering and water erosion, the granite cliff has been shaped in a wave formation. The rocks are thought to be as old as 2700 million years, some of the oldest rocks in Australia. Also check out the Pioneer Museum while in town to learn about the early pioneers of the town. The museum transports you back in time to 1900’s with authentic props from the time.
Distance: 340 km, 3 hours 45 minutes
Stay: Wave Rock Caravan Park
Day 3. Wave Rock to Merredin
Depart this morning and follow Hyden-Mount Walker Road, Mount Walker Road and Merredin-Narembeen Road to Merredin.
In the afternoon, go on “The Rock Walk” and see the picturesque town from up high. The walk will take roughly 30 minutes and you will see how the granite rocks were used as water catchments in the 1890s. Walking along the rocks will also show you an old World War 2 field hospital and where prospectors would camp out before heading to the Yilgarn Goldfields.
Distance: 163 km, 2 hours 10 minutes
Stay: Merredin Tourist Park
Day 4. Merredin to Southern Cross
Depart this morning and follow National Highway 94 to Southern Cross.
Southern Cross was named after the constellation of the stars that guided Tom Risely and Mick Toomey to discover gold, and therefore the town. Check out the Southern Cross & Yilgarn Districts Historical Museum, which is located in the 1890’s courthouse and mining registry building. You will be educated about the extensive gold mining and farming history of the town, using real memorabilia from the time.
Distance: 109 km, 1 hour 10 minutes
Stay: Southern Cross Caravan Park
Day 5. Southern Cross to Kalgoorlie
Depart this morning and continue along National Route 94 to Kalgoorlie.
While in Kalgoorlie, make sure to check out one of the many museums in town detailing different parts of the history. The WA Museum of Kalgoorlie Boulder informs you of the great mining heritage and the goldfields. The Royal Flying Doctor Service Information Centre gives you an insight into the amazing work the Flying Doctors do for regional areas of Australia.
Distance: 225 km, 2 hours 20 minutes
Stay: Two nights at Discovery Holiday Park, Kalgoorlie
Day 6. Kalgoorlie
Take a tour of the Super Pit, which is Australia’s largest open cut gold mine. The tour takes you into the workspace as you drive past the huge machinery, and witness the old mine shafts from the internal viewing platforms. The tour is full of a rich history of the area, and especially highlighting the story of Kalgoorlie and gold.
After your drive in the morning, spend the afternoon relaxing in Hammond Park. Surrounded by desert, the luscious green flora and fauna transports you into a different arena. The animal sanctuary gives you an opportunity to get close to kangaroos, peacocks and emus. Make sure to also see the miniature Bavarian Castle, which has roughly 40,000 gemstones decorating it.
Day 7. Kalgoorlie to Menzies
Depart this morning and follow the Goldfields Highway until you reach Menzies.
While in Menzies, you must travel to Lake Ballard to see the world-renowned Antony Gormley sculptures. The collection showcases 51 sculptures which stand over 10 kilometres a part on the salt plains of Lake Ballard. The sculptures were a part of the Inside Australia exhibition, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Perth International Arts Festival. It is now a permanent exhibition for tourists and locals to enjoy.
Distance: 131 km, 1 hour 40 minutes
Stay: Menzies Caravan Park
Day 8. Menzies to Kookynie
Depart this morning and follow the Goldfields Highway until you reach Kookynie Road.
Kookynie is a great example of an Australian ghost town. During the gold rush era, it was a bustling hotspot, and even had the first swimming baths in Western Australia. Today, the town consists of the Grand Hotel, a quintessential Australian outback pub. You can explore the historical buildings of the town, or head out to Morapoi Station for an Indigenous tour.
Distance: 67 km, 1 hour
Stay: Grand Kookynie Hotel Caravan Park
Day 9. Kookynie to Leonora
Depart this morning and go back to the Goldfields Highway. Follow it until you reach Leonora.
Visit the Gwalia Ghost Town & Museum to discover the extensive gold rush history of small mining towns. The town’s dramatic decline in population from 1200 to 40 only happened in 1963 so a lot of the buildings are still well maintained and quite eerie. You can visit Herbert Hoover’s house, who was the first manager of the mine and later went on to become the 31st President of the United States.
Distance: 87 km, 1 hour 20 minutes
Stay: Leonora Caravan Park
Day 10. Leonora to Mount Magnet
Depart this morning and continue along the Goldfields Highway until you turn left at Agnew-Sandstone Road.
Approximately 9 km north of Mount Magnet along the Great Western Highway are The Granites. It is a cave and rock formation which is over 15 metres tall and is a great place for a picnic. The Granites also has great cultural significance to the Aborigines, with paintings on the rocks being dated at 9,000 years old. Visitors are asked to respect the cultural significance of the land.
Distance: 432 km, 6 hours
Stay: Mount Magnet Caravan Park
Day 11. Mount Magnet to Geraldton
Depart this morning and follow Geraldton-Mt Magnet Road to N W Coastal Highway in Geraldton.
A must-see of the area is the HMAS Sydney II Memorial. It commemorates the loss of the HMAS Sydney II and is dedicated to the crews and their families. In 1941, the ship disappeared without a trace and is considered one of the greatest tragedies in Australian naval history. The memorial and museum is a beautiful tribute to those lost, and something you will not forget.
Distance: 342 km, 4 hours 40 minutes
Stay: Belair Gardens Caravan Park
Day 12. Geraldton to Perth
Depart this morning and follow the National Route 1 south back to Perth.
Enjoy some more time in Perth, and discover all that the city has to offer. Or prepare for your trip home. Allow up to 60 minutes to return your campervan.
Distance: 418 km, 4 hours 30 minutes
DriveNow's suggested itineraries are made available to assist travellers create and build personalised journey plans.
DriveNow does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of these itineraries and they are provided as is and as advisory only.
Special caution and planning should be taken when travelling in remote areas to ensure sufficient provisions, fuel and prescribed medicines are carried.
Weather conditions can make sealed roads impassable particularly during the northern Wet season. All rental vendors in Australia have restrictions on where their vehicles can be taken, therefore it is recommended that you consult with your vehicle provider on your intended journey when collecting your vehicle. Travelling where restrictions are imposed voids all insurance cover.
You acknowledge that any reliance on or use of any itinerary shall be at your sole risk.