Driving from Albany to Ravensthorpe Western Australia takes you along a dramatic coastline punctuated by rugged peninsulas and rocky points secreting peaceful coves and white sand beaches, speckled with sleeping kangaroos. Pristine national parks, wildflower spotting, bushwalking, whale-watching, and plenty of food and wine to sate you. Pack binoculars, fishing rods and a picnic basket!
Driving from Albany to Ravensthorpe Western Australia will take you along yet another section of Western Australia’s spectacular coastline. If you thought you’d seen some stunning stretches of sand on the previous drives from Perth to the Margaret River (and in the Margaret River region), from Margaret River to Denmark, and Denmark to Albany, expect to discover even more of Western Australia’s sublime beaches driving from Albany to Ravensthorpe or Hopetoun, and then on to Esperance.
Highlights of an Albany to Ravensthorpe-Hopetoun road trip include even more laidback holiday towns dotted with handsome heritage buildings, some compelling museums that take deep dives into the region’s history, pristine national parks with empty beaches and opportunities for camping, bushwalking and swimming in crystal-clear waters, not to mention the chance to do a bit of kangaroo spotting.
While there is an abundance of things to do on this stretch of coast, from whale-watching cruises to fishing charters and snorkelling and diving, there’s always the temptation to do very little at all and just enjoy the gob-smacking scenery and the simple pleasures of life, from sipping an icy cold craft beer on the balcony of an historic pub to tucking into takeaway fish and chips at a picnic table just steps from a sandy beach.
We hope you’ll enjoy driving from Albany to Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun as much as we have over the years. Next up is the long haul from Albany or Ravensthorpe or Hopetoun to Esperance, Cape Le Grand National Park and Cape Arid National Park, before taking you up to the Western Australian Goldfields, along the north coast of Western Australia, and across the Nullarbor Plain to South Australia.
Driving from Albany to Ravensthorpe Western Australia for Whales and White Sand Beaches – Where to Stop Along the Way
Driving from Albany to Ravensthorpe Western Australia is a delight if you’re a lover of white sand beaches, whale watching, wildflowers, and kangaroo spotting. To get to Albany, see the link above to our Denmark to Albany road trip. Here’s where to stop when driving from Albany to Ravensthorpe or Hopetoun.
Driving from Albany to Ravensthorpe or Hopetoun
This Albany to Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun road trip begins in the laidback seaside town of Albany that is a popular holiday destination for Western Australian families. It takes in surrounding beaches, sights and national parks, such as Middleton Beach and Torndirrup National Park before taking you to the peaceful coastal wilderness of Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve and the hamlets of Bremer Bay and Ravensthorpe, where this drive ends.
When approaching Albany from the South Coast Highway, the Chester Pass Road meets the Albany Highway at a major six-way intersection on the edge of the centre. Follow the Albany Highway southeast to the centre, turning into the main road, York Street, which finishes at the foreshore on Princess Royal Drive.
Albany, which began life as Kinjarling, which means ‘place of rain’ to the Menang Noongar indigenous peoples who spent their summers here, remains a popular summer destination, especially during school summer holidays. It’s one of Western Australia’s most alluring coastal cities with plenty of historic sites and heritage architecture, as well as an abundance of beautiful beaches and other natural delights.
The Menang Noongar, whose 13,000 square kilometres of traditional lands stretched from King George Sound to the Stirling Ranges, and from West Cliff Point through Mount Barker to the Porongurup Range, are said to have camped near Boondie Yokine or Dog Rock, a granite outcrop in the shape of a dog’s head on the road between Albany and Middleton Beach.
Albany was also the location of Western Australia’s first colonial settlement in 1826, established two years before the Swan River Colony, Perth and Fremantle. Named Fredricktown, it was hastily established as a response to French exploration of the area. However, its huge natural harbour, where the Princess Royal Fortress was built, became a strategic port on the route between England and Botany Bay in Sydney on Australia’s east coast.
Albany was a coaling station during the time of steamer ships and for many Anzac soldiers on their way to Gallipoli in 1914 it would be the last of Australia they would see.
Make your first point of call the Albany Visitor Centre (Proudlove Parade; open 9am–5pm), which has local and regional maps and brochures with walking and cycling routes, and information on flora and fauna.
Many of Albany’s monuments and historic sights are located on the foreshore, the site of the town’s first colonial settlement, and come under the umbrella of the Western Australian Museum’s Museum of the Great Southern (open 10am-4pm; entry free, donations appreciated), where you’ll find a handful of buildings, gardens, and a museum shop.
The Museum shares the stories of the indigenous Menang Noongar people, particularly that of the influence of Mokare, a young Noongar warrior, along with stories of colonial-era settlers and convicts, as well as covering the region’s unique natural landscape, fauna and flora.
The Residency Building is where you’ll find compelling displays of Albany’s early history with a focus on its indigenous history, including fascinating exhibits on Aboriginal bush tucker and traditional medicine, along with Albany’s maritime past.
Dating to 1852, the Old Gaol and Convict Museum (open 10am–4pm; night tours on weekends) is one of the oldest surviving colonial buildings while the Brig Amity is a replica of the brig that brought some 60 people here in 1826 after six months at sea.
After you’ve experienced Albany, head to Middleton Beach. From the Albany foreshore’s Princess Royal Drive, backtrack two blocks through the centre along York Street. Turn right at Peels Place, which turns into Frederick Street, which then changes its name to Burgoyne Road.
At the roundabout, take Forts Road, which leads to the Princess Royal Fortress. From the roundabout, you turn right to Apex Drive for Mount Clarence. After the roundabout, the road to the left is Marine Drive, which leads around the headland to Middleton Beach.
Middleton Beach and Surrounds
The picturesque road around the headland to Middleton Beach, Albany’s main beach and its most beautiful, offers stupendous views of the monumental natural harbour of King George Sound.
There are several lookouts with parking where you can stop along the way to Middleton Beach take in the breathtaking views, including the Princess Royal Fortress (open 9am–5pm; entry fee), a restored 19th century naval installation, and Mount Clarence Lookout, where you’ll find an Anzac memorial. You can see the Stirling Ranges, 80km to the north, from here on a clear day.
Continuing around the headland you’ll come to Middleton Beach, which is holidaymaker heaven, with a lovely white-sand beach backed by lawns shaded by lofty pines. There are seafood takeaway shops here where you can tuck into fish and chips with water views.
Backtrack to the centre of town and return to Princess Royal Drive until the fork in the road. Turn left onto Frenchman Bay Road, the main road through to Torndirrup National Park, an essential stop when you’re driving from Albany to Ravensthorpe. From Frenchman Bay Road, a number of other smaller roads branch off to the sights below.
Torndirrup National Park
A must for travellers driving from Albany to Ravensthorpe, Torndirrup National Park (if you don’t already have one, buy your WA national parks passes online) is home to a string of gorgeous bays and coves, such as calm Shoal Bay, off Quaranup Road, and the sheltered Frenchman Bay, a popular swimming spot on the northern side of the peninsula.
Some of the coast’s most dramatic cliffs and wild windswept beaches can be found on the southern side of the peninsula, at Salmon Pools, off Salmon Hole Road, and Cable Beach, off Gap Road.
There are spectacular coastal views from Stony Hill, off Stony Hill Road, from where a 1km-long hiking route leads to Isthmus Hill. From here, you can do an invigorating 4km-long walk to Bald Head at the end of the Flinders Peninsula. You should allow half a day for both walks, wear a hat, and take sun block and plenty of water.
Many travellers come to see the unpredictable blowholes, off Blowholes Road, and natural attractions of the Gap and Natural Bridge, off The Gap Road. It’s essential to take care here as people have slipped to their deaths or been swept into the sea by colossal king waves that can be indistinguishable from the swell.
Huge waves shaped the coastline in this region and have resulted in some of its wonders, such as the Natural Bridge and The Gap in Torndirrup National Park. The blowholes may be a testament to the power of nature, but these demonstrations of nature’s power also bring risks for lackadaisical visitors unaware of the king waves that hit the coast.
Having said that, while the best days to visit the blowholes are the days when there are huge swells, which are naturally the most dangerous, people have also been swept off the rocks on days when there haven’t been big swells so always pay attention to the signage at the vantage points or visit on a guided tour (see Things to Do in Albany below).
On your way back into Albany, you can take the turn-off left (west) along Princess Avenue and Sand Patch Road to Albany Wind Farm, which has a ridge-top boardwalk.
Historic Whaling Station
Located in Australia’s last whaling station, which thankfully ceased operations in 1978, the main attraction in the national park is the compelling Historic Whaling Station at Discovery Bay (Frenchman Bay Road; open 9am–5pm; free tours on the hour 10am–4pm; entry fee). Formerly called ‘Whaleworld’ it’s dedicated to the whales that were once hunted here to near extinction.
Although the exhibitions are interesting in themselves, it’s definitely worth timing your visit to do one of the fascinating guided tours, which take in the enormous Cheyne IV whale chaser in the centre of the complex.
Sadly, whaling was one of the earliest industries in the Albany region and existed long before colonisation in 1826. By the mid 1800s, hundreds of whaling ships – mainly American – were already working the coast looking for right whales, humpback whales and sperm whales. The 6-7 tonnes of oil extracted from the carcass of an average sperm whale was used as a lubricant and for illumination.
Fortunately the discovery of crude oil in 1859 significantly reduced the number of whalers, but in 1912 a Norwegian company was given a whaling license until 1916. After World War II whaling continued sporadically, but the reduced demand of whale oil and pressure from conservation groups saw the last whale slaughtered on the 20th November 1978. Power to the people!
After visiting the Historic Whaling Station continue to make your way around the peninsula along Frenchman Bay Road, taking roads to sights as you come across them. From Frenchman Bay Road, turn right (east) on to Princess Royal Drive and continue into the town centre.
Things to Do In Albany
If you prefer to experience Albany with a knowledgable local guide there are some outstanding tour operators with entertaining guides who have a deep history of the town and surrounds, making local tours some of the best things to do in Albany.
Get your bearings on the informative Albany History Highlights tour which explores Albany’s role in Australia’s ANZAC story, beginning at the National ANZAC Centre and taking in key locations, from Middleton Beach where you’ll enjoy morning tea to Patrick Taylor Cottage, one of the earliest homes in Australia.
The private guided Albany Whale Story tour brings Albany’s role in Australia’s whaling history to life on a scenic drive that takes in the Princess Royal Harbour, visits Albany’s Historic Whaling Station, and returns via stunning Torndirrup National Park.
You can discover even more of Albany’s spectacular surroundings and the Southern Australian coast’s pristine environment On The Gap Natural Wonders Tour to Torndirrup National Park. The 3.5 hour tours run in the morning and early afternoon and take you up to the summit of Stony Hill for 360-degree views of the breathtaking coastline and Southern Ocean. You’ll see the impressive Albany Wind Farm, Mutton Bird Island, and the Stirling and Porongurup Ranges in the distance, as well as feel the exhilarating force of the powerful ocean beneath The Gap’s granite walls.
One of the most popular things to do in Albany includes whale watching and learning about the history of whaling in Albany. On the Albany King George Sound Whale Watching Tour you’ll get to observe migrating Humpbacks, Southern Right Whales and Blue Whales, as well as seals and dolphins, on a cruise through the pristine, sheltered waters of King George Sound, a resting place for the whales on their northern migration.
Seeing the Southern Right whale is a real privilege as they were once almost hunted to extinction. The tours operate seasonally, are 2.5 hours long, and run in the morning and afternoon. They guarantee you a 99% success sighting rating, but if you don’t spot any, you can join a tour again for free. All cruises include refreshments.
If that gets you hooked on whale-spotting, from Albany you can also do a full-day Bremer Canyon Orca Experience between January and March each year. See the Bremer Bay section below for more details. You can do orca tours from Albany or Bremer Bay.
Diving off Albany is also popular with diving courses and dives to local sites including the wreck of HMAS Perth that was scuttled in 2001, and the older Cheyne III whaler on nearby Michaelmas Island. Equipment rental is usually included. Fishing charters also operate off the coast of Albany, which usually include fishing gear, breakfast and lunch.
Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve
Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve is another essential stop for travellers driving from Albany to Ravensthorpe. At the end of York Street, take the fork to the right to Lockyer Avenue, which becomes Ulster Road before changing its name to Lower King Road, which leads to Two Peoples Bay Road.
The peaceful coastal wilderness of Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve (buy your WA national parks passes online), is a must for lovers of wildlife and birdlife, as much as beachcombers. Located some 35 kms east of Albany, Two Peoples Bay boasts breathtaking windswept beaches punctuated by wild rocky points and dotted with sleeping kangaroos. It also offers birdwatching opportunities, along with the chance to spot the small furry Gilbert’s Potoroo, a relation to the kangaroo and one of Australia’s most critically endangered marsupials.
Off Two Peoples Bay Road, take Nanarup Road, which leads to Nanarup Beach, which is a popular spot for beach fishing. After, backtrack to Two Peoples Bay Road and continue to the end of the road to Two Peoples Bay itself, one of Western Australia’s most gorgeous beaches, backed by a lovely shady camping area.
When we last dropped in during a guidebook research trip all I desperately wanted to pitch a tent and hang out here for a few days doing very little at all except read books, swim and kangaroo watch. It was with deep regret that we had to move on, so don’t make the same mistake. Allow at least an overnight stop here, or two or three days if you can spare it.
From the camping grounds, there’s a 2 km-long nature trail around the headland to Little Beach, famed for its splendid white sands and crystal clear waters. A protected area, it’s home to a number of threatened animal species, including the rare noisy scrub nird, along with quokkas and quendas, a form of bandicoot.
Backtrack along Two Peoples Bay Road to the first turn-off right (north) along Hunton Road, then turn right (northeast) on Hassel Highway, which eventually becomes the South Coast Highway to Esperance, a 480km drive.
At Boxwood Hill turn right for the easy 62km route to Bremer Bay, another essential stop for travellers driving from Albany to Ravensthorpe or Hopetoun. If you decided not to stay at Two Peoples Bay, you could stay at Bremer Bay to do an orca tour and enjoy the beauty of the place, as much as to reduce the long haul to Esperance.
Located on the coast between Albany and Esperance at the mouth of the Bremer River, beautiful Bremer Bay is a small seaside town surrounded by heath-covered headlands and boasting beaches with turquoise waters skirted by snow-white sands.
Its serene setting, gorgeous beaches and superb fishing opportunities make it another popular summer holiday spot with Western Australians. However, its diminutive size and limited accommodation ensures it never gets uncomfortably crowded.
Situated on the Wellstead Estuary – a wide expanse of crystal clear water named after John Wellstead, the area’s first colonial-period settler – water-based activities are naturally the focus of leisure pursuits here, particularly swimming, surfing, snorkelling, and fishing.
The pristine main beach is an easy 10-minute walk from the centre where there is a sheltered swimming cove, and a marina at Fishery Beach where anglers launch their boats. Dolphins can be spotted all year, and from July to November you can watch a variety of whales, which like to take a break to rest in the calm waters here on their long journey across the southern coast, but you can only spot killer whales or orcas between January and March each year.
Bremer Canyon is the only place in Australia where you can spot large pods of Orcas, which is actually the biggest known group of killer whales in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as whale sharks, sperm whales, giant squid, and seabirds. You can do orca tours from Bremer Bay or Albany.
Don’t miss the historic Wellstead Museum and heritage-listed Currawong and Boobook stone cottages on the pioneering Wellstead family’s Peppermint Grove Farm, established in 1850. Four generations of Wellsteads have lived here, farming the land, including the current owner-managers Max and Marie Wellstead.
The museum boasts a fascinating collection of over 6,000 exhibits, including vintage vehicles, such as a 1948 Holden and Morris 1100, an antique horse-drawn hearse and a 1953 tuk tuk from Thailand, along with antique kitchen utensils and farming equipment.
From Bremer Bay, backtrack to Boxwood Hill-Bremer Bay Road and turn right for the 4.2km drive to Gairdner Road South. Turn right here and drive 22.5 kms to the South Coast Highway where you should turn right and continue for 146 kms to Ravensthorpe.
Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun
Shaded by stately salmon gums, the small town of Ravensthorpe and the picturesque hamlet of Hopetoun nearby are the gateways to Fitzgerald River National Park, home to a variety of native fauna and flora, including some 1,900 species of wildflowers.
Ravensthorpe is a convenient overnight stop for road-trippers driving to Esperance who found themselves dropping into every beach along the way and now running out of light. If it’s getting close to sunset by the time you reach Ravensthorpe, it’s best to bunk down here or at nearby Hopetoun rather than driving after dark and risk hitting a kangaroo.
If you stay overnight, it also reduces the final 187km stretch of driving from Ravensthorpe to Esperance. If you’re keen to push on, it’s a fine place to stretch your legs.
Ravensthorpe has a rich gold-mining heritage, most evident in its stately old buildings, particularly the grand Palace Hotel, dating to 1907, and the Dance Cottage, a 1900s miner’s cottage, both of which have been restored.
It’s hard not to miss Ravensthorpe’s best-known sight, its beautiful Six Stages of Banksia Baxteri painted across three CBH Group silos by Fremantle based Dutch artist, Amok Island. The public art work illustrates the different stages of the banksia’s flowering cycle from flower buds to full bloom and seedpods developing to drying out and opening. It took 338 litres of paint and 31 days to complete and is part of a larger Public Silo Trail art project.
Set within an area of diverse landscapes, from the rocky hills of the Ravensthorpe Range with its rugged river valleys, to stark, sprawling sandy plains and farmland boasting fertile red soils, Ravensthorpe boasts a number of a scenic drives and walks if you do want to explore.
Picturesque driving routes include the Ethel Daw Scenic Drive (30km) for spectacular vistas of the mountains and sea; Archer Drive Lookout (20km) for sweeping views to Ravensthorpe Range; and Mt Short Scenic Drive (40km) to the highest point of Ravensthorpe Range. All offer opportunities to get out and walk among the wildflowers.
The Ravensthorpe Visitor Centre (Morgans Street; open 9am–5pm) can provide information on these and more things to do in Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun, including the Railway Heritage Walk Trails on the old Ravensthorpe-Hopetoun rail route, of which four sections can be walked with rest areas and informative signs on the way.
If you decide to stick around and you don’t want to stay the night in Ravensthorpe, tiny Hopetoun, on the coast south of town is worth a little time. It’s just a 37km or 30 minute drive to Hopetoun from Ravensthorpe and it also has better accommodation options.
From Ravensthorpe, follow the South Coast Highway for 184km to Esperance. Turn right at Harbour Road for 2.6km, then left at Pink Lake Road for .5km, where it becomes Andrew St, which is in the heart of Esperance.
Driving from Albany to Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun – Where to Stay, Eat and Drink On The Way
Where to Stay in Albany
Albany Central Apartments
The lovely light-filled Albany Central Apartments are spread out over a remodelled 1870s heritage-listed building. The smart whitewashed rooms are airy, even if some bedrooms are a bit snug, and they have excellent kitchens and some have leafy terraces. There are nice touches, such as antique chandeliers, furry cushions and throws on the bed for the cool season, and black and white photography of local scenes on the walls. There are restaurants, cafés and shops within a 10-minute stroll.
A truly beautiful B&B, Elliot House oozes character and charm. Located at Bayonet Head in a sprawling old house with terraces, a big wooden deck, and a quaint breakfast room with exposed wooden ceiling beams, it’s just a 7-minute drive to the heart of Albany and five minutes to Emu Point for oysters. The seven rooms are super spacious with plenty of windows that look onto three acres of gardens. The warm hospitality and lavish breakfasts are a highlight. We recommend the Superior or Deluxe King Rooms for extra light, space and charm.
The delightful blue weatherboard Jeffries Cottage has a cosy lounge with fireplace for the cooler months, a well-equipped kitchen with a 6-burner stove and large oven that’s ideal for feeding a family or group of friends the feast you’ve made with all that wonderful local produce, and there’s a wooden deck out back with outdoor dining and barbecue. There’s also a big fridge, dishwasher and free WiFi.
Dog Rock Motel
Australian motels are generally incredibly boring when it comes to the décor and dining, but Dog Rock Motel has injected a touch of style to both. There are several categories of rooms and while the Heritage Queen Room is the plushest the Standard Twin has a bit of a retro vibe going on. The Dog Rock is just a few minutes walk to the centre of town and its restaurants, cafes and pubs, but for late arrivals, there is an award-winning restaurant on site called Lime 303 (see below).
Ace Motor Inn
If you can’t get a room at Dog Rock Motel and are intent on staying at a motel (and let’s face it, they’re super convenient if you’re on a long road trip with a car packed with stuff you don’t want to leave in the vehicle overnight, such as those cases of wine you bought along the way), the Ace Motor Inn is another up-styled motel, around 1.5 kms from the centre of Albany, not far from Middleton Beach. It has a decent restaurant called Ryans if you’ve driven down from Perth and don’t feel like going anywhere.
Six Degrees Boutique Hotel
Located in an old revamped pub with street art-style murals and paintings on the walls, plants hanging from the ceiling, and wooden pallets for seats, the Six Degrees Boutique Hotel offers great-value rooms that are more flash-packer level than boutique hotel. While these are cool lodgings, amenities are basic and bathrooms shared. Bonus: great views of the harbour, good food and drinks at Six Degrees Bar, and live music and DJs (Wed-Sun), which means you don’t have to stagger far to get back to your room.
BIG4 Middleton Beach Holiday Park
Just behind the sand dunes, the BIG4 Middleton Beach Holiday Park has a wide range of accommodation, including beach houses with sea views, villas, chalets, cabins, and caravan and camping sites with and without en-suites. Boasting a swimming pool, spa, camp kitchens, barbecue area, recreation space, movies, and laundries, this is ideal for families.
Where to Stay in Bremer Bay
Located on a private 15-acre property blanketed in native vegetation, Aqua Views is a striking, contemporary styled timber holiday house with a granite rock terrace is the most spectacularly sited accommodation on the whole coast. Floor to ceiling windows offer views of that dramatic coast with its turquoise waters and white-sand beaches. There’s the possibility of spotting whales in season, watching the surf roll in every day, and stargazing after dark. Expect visits by the local kangaroos. Beautifully furnished with art on the walls, a fully equipped kitchen with coastal views, plenty of books to read and boardgames, and a fireplace for the cool season, it’s the kind of place you want to settle into for a week. There are five stunning beaches nearby, the closest a 3-minute drive or 15-minute walk and the centre of town with a hotel, café and restaurant is just a few minutes away. Reserve well in advance as it’s typically booked.
Bremer Bay B&B
Just five minutes’ drive from the jetty that is the departure point for the must-do Orca Tours, Bremer Bay B&B has comfortable rooms, some offering spectacular ocean views, and a complimentary breakfast, made to order by the hospitable owners who live in a separate house on the same property. All rooms have private bathrooms and a sitting area to absorb the ocean views but there’s also a guest lounge with a TV and even more terrific views.
Bremer Bay Resort
Hilltop Bremer Bay Resort has 21 air-conditioned two-bedroom apartments with kitchens and standard motel rooms, a 10-minute walk from the beach, with views over Bremer Bay and the national park. Centrally located, the property has a restaurant and bar, and there’s also an ATM.
Where to Eat and Drink in Bremer Bay
Wellstead Museum Café
Chef Dan makes everything from scratch at the Museum Café, arguably home to Bremer Bay’s most delicious food, from relishes to his own bread. Expect anything from acai bowls for breakfast and pork belly bao buns and crispy fried buttermilk chicken burgers for lunch to wood-fire pizzas for dinner on Saturday nights. The local abalone is sourced from 888 Abalone Farm while the fresh fish is caught off shore by Bremer Bay Fish Factory. Most of the salad greens and veggies are picked daily by 84 year old Max Wellstead from his 100 year old garden while Marie Wellstead makes the homemade jams and preserves. Most wines are from Bremer Bay’s own Gnornbup Winery and craft beers come from Wilsons Brewing Co. in Albany and Boston Brewery in Denmark.
Mount Barren Restaurant
Bremer Bay Resort’s Mount Barren restaurant offers good pub grub for lunch and dinner. The menu shifts from seafood focused starters, such as panko crumbed Bremer Bay abalone with chilli, lime and herb dipping sauce; pub favourites, such as beer-battered fish and chips and steak sandwiches; plus a short list of mains that includes several pastas, steaks and a local seafood board.
Self Catering and Takeaway
If you have a kitchen, get down to the Bremer Bay Fish Processors for sustainably caught fish and seafood from the Southern Ocean, including local abalone. Pair it with some local drops from Gnornbup Wines on the edge of Bremer Bay, the Great Southern’s most eastern vineyard. The cellar door is open throughout summer and on weekends the rest of the year. Summer and school holidays also see coffee vans and food trucks staking a place by the beach, along with seasonal restaurant pop-ups.
Where to Stay in Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun
Ravensthorpe Palace Hotel
Rooms at ‘the Ravy’, either in the big old pub or concrete block of motel rooms out back, are basic, aimed mainly at local miners, truckies and budget travellers who want little more than somewhere to lay their head. Arrive without a booking and you’ll be lucky to get that, so book in advance.
Hopetoun Motel and Chalet Village
Expect comfy accommodation at the Hopetoun Motel and Chalet Village in the centre of Hopetoun, just a couple of minutes’ walk to the beach, cafes and restaurants. Some units offer sea or mountain views, while the townhouse, the smartest lodgings of the lot with polished wooden floorboards and spacious living and dining areas with sea views.
Where to Eat and Drink in Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun
Unlike Albany and Esperance, these small towns are not known for their gourmet food. Expect typical country pub counter meals at the Ravensthorpe Palace Hotel and Port Hotel in Hopetoun, with hearty portions of roasts, fillets of fish or parmas served with mash and three veg or salad, as well as pies, sausage rolls and hot chips. Wash it down with cold beers. Hopetoun has more eating and drinking options with several old-fashioned cafés and bakeries, as well as a bistro.
Our next drive will take you onto Esperance and nearby Cape Le Grand National Park and Cape Arid National Park.
We’d love to hear from you if you find yourself driving from Albany to Ravensthorpe. Over the years we’ve driven the length and breadth of Western Australia (and a fair chunk of the rest of Australia) researching, writing and updating guidebooks. Things change, places close, new spots open. We’ll update drives when we can, but in the meantime please feel free to leave your feedback and tips in the comments below.
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