South West Loop (Perth to Esperance, return)

Jump on the Share Bus South West Loop road trip from Perth to Esperance and back to discover beautiful South West beaches, forests, hikes, wine and animals.

How it works

We’re not a tour – we’re a shared rental! So that means it works a little differently to any tour or car rental you’ve done before. The people joining the trip share the driving, camping, trip planning and experience. This way of travelling offers a more flexible and self-guided trip. However, you get everything you could need for a camping road trip plus an awesome group of travel mates! Additionally, it’s great for travellers on a budget.

About the route

You have 10 days to do the Share Bus “South West Loop”, a Perth to Esperance return trip. On this trip you travel from Perth, all around the South West as far east as Esperance, and then return to Perth via Wave Rock.

Enjoy part of your summer exploring the South West of Western Australia. This is one of Earth’s biodiversity hotspots, with many species endemic to the region. So enjoy the forests and nature around you! Here, you’ll get to pat stingrays, chill with kangaroos and climb giant trees. ​Luckily, This place is also famous for wine and food so enjoy a few cheeky tastings as well. It also has excellent beaches and coastal scenery that you’ll see throughout the whole trip as you follow the coast. One of these coastal highlights will be Esperance – home to the whitest beach in Australia, as well as it’s beach-loving Kangaroos. Also, If you don’t catch a wave in Margaret River, you’ll probably love Wave Rock (much easier to catch) when you stop by on the road back to Perth.

The destination is set, but the route is not – take control of your own adventure! Expect to get fit with lots of hiking, snorkelling and exercise as you appreciate the natural sights. This is a no-frills adventure – you’ll be setting up your own tents, cooking your own dinner and sharing your tent with other 1 or 2 travellers. The target age group is 18-35.

Things to note

Please note this is a minibus rental, not a guided tour. Therefore, the group share the rental of a minibus, trailer and camping equipment. You essentially ‘rent your seat’ on the minibus!

We provide a recommended itinerary to help you. This includes recommendations for different places, camps and activities (like beaches, snorkel spots and hikes!). We also teach you how to use the equipment before you leave, teach you how to attach, detach and pack the trailer. We also remain fully contactable during your trip for any questions.

You will rent your seat as either a ‘driver’ or ‘non-driver’. If you choose non-driver you must never drive. Drivers can share driving and must be aged 21+. The minibus seats 12, and anyone with a regular driver’s license can drive it.

Please bring your own water bottle and sleeping bag. However, limit your luggage to about 20kg – 1 big bag, and one day bag/small backpack. The trailer is full of all the camping equipment you need and has space for your bags. You should also be prepared to free camp at least half the time!

South West Loop/ Perth to Esperance road trip highlights

  • See stingrays, kangaroos and whales
  • Forests, climbing a giant tree and the white and isolated beaches in the South-West
  • ‘Surf’ Wave Rock

Inclusions

General inclusions

  • Your Toyota Hiace Minibus, to drive to the places you choose (but not on 4WD roads!)
  • Fully equipped trailer with everything you need for camping, cooking, and fun (equipment list)
  • Consumables such as: toilet paper, oil, salt and pepper, gas, bin bags etc
  • Recommended itinerary (but you have freedom!)
  • Guidebook (for activities and camping locations – both free and pay sites)
  • Fuel consumption for unlimited km
  • Comprehensive insurance with roadside assistance
  • Special discounts on activities and accommodation
  • National Park Entries

Trip-specific inclusions

  • Western Australia National Park entry fees

Exclusions

  • Accommodation: although you can choose to stay at plenty of free camps, or budget pay camps
  • Food: We will give you all the equipment you need to cook what you like!
  • Sleeping bag: bring your own for hygiene reasons
  • Guide: it’s just you and fellow “rentees” driving this minibus. Enjoy!

Recommended itinerary

Please note this is the recommended itinerary and not set in stone, you can update it with your crew and be flexible.

Day 01: Dunsborough/ Eagle Bay

Time to start your South West Loop / Perth to Esperance Road trip! You will meet in the morning to load up the Share Bus, meet your trip mates and do a big food shop for the next few days. Then, spend your day on beautiful beaches. Start by heading to Busselton to see the longest wooden jetty in the world. Afterwards, drive to Dunsborough and Eagle Bay regions, stopping to see all the amazing beaches in the region on the way. They must be among the best in the world. Also, make sure you grab an ice cream at Simmos in Dunsborough as well.

Day 02/03: Margaret River

See any of the beaches you didn’t manage to the day before, then check out Margaret River region known for it’s food, wine and surfing. Once there, go to a few cheeky wine/cheese/chocolate tastings, and check out surfer’s point. Afterwards make sure you go on a trip to Hamelin Bay. In this spot stingrays come right up to the beach, close enough you can even pat them.

Day 04: Pemberton

Pemberton has an incredibly beautiful forest and is filled with GIANT trees. You can climb to the top of several giant trees such as the Gloucester tree which is 58m high. It’s a little bit scary, but amazing. While in Pemberton you should also choose a walk or hike in this region so you can enjoy the forest (or dams/cascades). A part of the Bibbulmun track could be a good choice for this.

Day 05: Walpole and Denmark

Check out the beautiful forests and tall trees of Walpole before heading into the hippy town of Denmark. Walpole is famous for the Giant tree top walk, however there are also other free walks you could do to enjoy the region. Once in Denmark visit the inlet here Ocean Beach to surf, or Greens Pool to chill. You should definitely check out the Elephant Rocks as well. The bakery here is also popular with Aussies.

Day 06: Albany

Spend a day in the town of Albany. Remember to stock up on your food! Visit the natural parks (i.e. ‘the Gap) nearby and perhaps make a trip to hike up Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Ranges, which is the only place in Western Australia that sometimes receives snow (not that there will be snow in November!) However, there are two much closer national parks worth exploring if you dont want to trek up to the Stirling Ranges

Day 07: Fitzgerald National Park

Fitzgerald River is a large National Park located between Albany and Esperance. It has swimming beaches, fishing beaches, rocky sea cliffs, calm inlets, both steep and easy hikes, unique vegetations, and diverse landscapes.

Day 08/09: Esperance and Cape Le Grand

Esperance is the place where all the beautiful photos of incredibly white beaches and kangaroos are taken. Make sure you go to Lucky Bay for this experience, and maybe later hike up Frenchman’s peak. For many people this is the highlight of their Perth to Esperance and back road trip. After the fun, in the afternoon of Day 9, start driving towards Wave Rock

Day 10: Wave Rock

Check out ‘Wave Rock’ in Hyden as well as nearby Hippos Yawn Loop, Hyden Rock and the breakers. Then its the return part of this Perth to Esperance ‘return’ trip. So, start your drive back to Perth. If you find you’re ahead of schedule stop by Black Diamond Lake, a few hours south-east of Perth. It is a beautiful blue lake and local treasure. Finally, finish your day in Perth, clean/tidy the bus and trailer and enjoy your night at a hostel.

Trip details

South West Loop

Trip length: 10 days

Prices:
Early bird: $486 (4+ weeks before Start Date)
Full fee: $515

Start Dates:

  • 10th January 2022
  • 31st January 2022
  • 14th February 2022
  • 28th February 2022
  • 21st March 2022

Discounts

Discounts are available:

  • if you book more than 4 weeks in advance
  • for groups of friends travelling together
  • if you want to stay on the Share Bus for more than one trip

Please send us an email for details and to ask for your discount eligibility.

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