Refresh and fight fatigue with the best WA pit stops on your next road trip.
Our beautiful state has so much on offer from turquoise beaches to outback wonderlands, and a good old road trip is absolutely necessary to see it all.
Before you get all excited and jump straight into the car to hit the open road, you’ll need to plan out a few pit stops along the way so you’re not caught yawning behind the wheel.
Why? Because 80% of fatigue-related crashes are on country roads. Yep, that’s a big number. So it’s important to know how to recognise fatigue while driving so you know when you need to make a stop.
- Slow reactions and slower decision-making response times
- Decreased levels of tolerance
- Trouble staying in your lane
- Difficulty maintaining a constant speed
- Decreased levels of alertness
Reasons a driver might get fatigued
- Working night shifts
- Too much on their plate, eg: overloading themselves with work, studying and socialising
- Averaging less than 7.5 hours of sleep per night or poor quality of sleep
- Sleeping during the day
- Frequent night-time driving (especially between midnight and 6:00 am)
- Use of medications that can cause drowsiness
- Driving after being awake for more than 15 hours
- Driving for extended periods of time
How to avoid driving tired
When you are driving tired, you can drift in and out of sleep without even knowing.
This is called a micro-sleep, and just three to five seconds of this can be catastrophic. So what steps can you take to guard against fatigue?
You should also know the amount of sleep you need and get it regularly – 7.5 hours every night is the ideal amount.
When planning a long drive, never set off without getting a good night’s rest beforehand. Once you’re on the road, take a break every two hours and if possible swap drivers regularly so that you can catch a break and make sure you’re always fully alert.
Top WA pitstops for your next road trip
Sometimes the best and safest way to get from A to B is to go via C, D & E.
On your next road trip, why not pre-plan some added stops to ensure you not only stay alert and safe on the road, but also explore more of our great state on the way to your destination.
Perth – Geraldton
Stop in at Lancelin for stunning beaches, rolling sand dunes, a bakery for your sweet treat fix and a pub with 10/10 ocean views to park up at for lunch. It’s a mix of adventurous activities and chilled-out beach vibes, so take your pick on whichever one you crave.
A usual family fave, Jurien Bay is the perfect little coastal town to soothe those sitting too long in the car feels. Recharge on the beach or jump in for a quick snorkel, and while you’re there drop in to see The Pinnacles before you head off.
Don’t forget to grab a Lobster Shack Roll as well.
Geraldton – Shark Bay
Kalbarri has got it all. Red cliffs, breathtaking nature, crystal clear waters, and a small-town feel that will instantly refresh. Visit the iconic Natures Window to take in the views across the Murchison River, or get up high on the Kalbarri Skywalk for one of the best experiences in WA. Finish off with a dip and a bite to eat in town and you’re all set to get back on the road.
Shark Bay – Coral Bay
If a place is referred to as the ‘food bowl’ of Western Australia, you best believe we’re dropping in to check it out on our way to Coral Bay. The laidback lifestyle here will be a warm welcome to help you unwind, and there is, as suggested, plenty of fresh food to perk you up. For a quick photo op, head to Carnarvon’s Cactus Farm along South River Road or get in front of the iconic Big Banana at Bumbak’s.
Perth – Margaret River
We’ll let you in on a secret – some of the tastiest pies, rolls and slices can be found at Crooked Carrot. It’s the best spot to fill up if you’re getting peckish, and they have a huge play area for the little ones to burn off some steam on the drive (thank us later).
Stop off for a stroll along the longest timber-piled jetty in the southern hemisphere and enjoy the vibrant beachfront lifestyle with a heap of shops to browse and foodaries to enjoy.
The ultimate foodie? Need a retail therapy stop-off? Origin Markets has you all covered. It’s the best of WA under one roof, with over 100 vendors featuring everything from distillers, specialty butchers, local jewellery makers, a dumpling bar, potters, and award-winning gelato makers.
Perth – Pemberton
Quaint shops and historic quirks, you’ll be transported with country charm, tranquil forests, and the Blackwood River Valley backdrop. It’s artsy, scenic, wine-filled, and a purveyor of gorgeous fresh produce.
Don’t forget to drop into Bunbury as you head South. It’s WA’s biggest regional city, and there’s a tonne to see and do from dolphins to cosy bars to top-notch coffee stops. Or, see Black Diamond Lake and Honeymoon Pool.
Perth – Albany
Experience rural lifestyle and soak in the history with a drop by at Katanning. The Wheatbelt country town is home to people from all walks of life, and there’s usually always some community event or art exhibition to catch.
Perth – Kalgoorlie
Lying in the heart of Avon Valley, Northam is a great spot to set up by the tree-lined river banks with a book for a peaceful stopover. You can also take a trip down memory lane with over 185 heritage-listed buildings including Morby Cottage, the home of one of Northam’s first families.
Merredin is a good spot to stretch those cramped limbs and explore little cafes and all the attractions and sights of the Western Australian Wheatbelt. You can also explore and learn at the Military Museum or visit the Rabbit Proof Fence.
Get a little bit of WA mining history knowledge under your belt at this historic gold mining town on the edge of the Wheatbelt. It’s also got a notably large pub for lunch sitting on the Great Eastern Highway.
Perth to Esperance
You’ve probably not heard of it, but Pingelly is quite a charming little rural spot offering an insight into WA’s colonial Town Entrance heritage. The highlight is a few stunning nature reserves to take a breather at with a colourful mix of flora and fauna.
A more popular stop on the Perth to Esperance route, Lake Grace provides panoramic salt lake views and a slice of outback life history as you visit one of Lake Grace’s two Australian Inland mission hospitals.
Pull in at Ravensthorpe to marvel over thousands of beautiful flowering plants (at their best between August and November) or follow a trail into the pristine green bushland to stretch your legs. If you happen to stop by in winter you might be lucky enough to catch one of the world’s best whale watching shows in Fitzgerald River National Park from the cliffs at Point Ann
This is a sponsored post for Road Safety Commission – endorsed by So Perth. We value your feedback so please contact us with any thoughts in regards to our sponsored post. Thank you for supporting So Perth and our sponsors.