To say that I dreamed of living in Australia is an understatement. I longed for it. And, in 2009, when it became a reality, I made it a personal goal to see as much of this great southern land as I could. Being based on the East Coast, I have hoped around from Melbourne to Brisbane to Tasmania with an ease of an hour-long flight and long weekend of exploring. But, the big feat has always been Western Australia (WA – for the locals). It seems like some far-off, distant land and, frankly, it is. The flight from Sydney to Perth is no easy jaunt, but what I found once I arrived is that Western Australia is an endless bounty and once you make it there, all you have to do is just take it all in.
First off, Western Australia is massive. It takes up for than a third of the country of Australia but only 11% of the population and – 92% of that – live in the small, south-west corner that runs from Perth to Albany. It is also pegged as one of the most isolated cities in the world, being more than 2,139 kilometres / 1,336 miles from the nearest “city” which is Adelaide.
Having this information in mind, I made it my mission to see as much as possible of the expanse of land in the 12 days that I had to explore! My goal was to fly into Perth, rent a car and travel up to the western-most peninsula and visit the randomly named, Monkey Mia and then head back down to the south-west and check out the Margaret River and Busselton. It was a big task, but I did and below, I have posted a few photos to document my journey and share the wonders of extraordinary Western Australia.
I found Perth to be an amazing, little place. Sure, it’s quieter than Sydney and things shut down a little earlier than I am used to but, beyond that, the city is teeming with things to explore. From stunning King’s Park that overlooks the beautiful skyline and Swan River to the trendy neighbourhoods of Fremantle, Subiaco and Northbridge, Perth did not disappoint.
If you visit Perth, you have to see Rottnest Island. Just a short ferry ride from Perth or Fremantle, this island is a holiday-maker’s mecca. You can swim, snorkel, bike, explore, relax or even check out the little-known, Aussie marsupial, the quokka! It’s a spectacular piece of Western Australia and a must-see on any visit to Perth.
Many kilometres and seemingly endless hours north of Perth is the little, reclusive settlement of Monkey Mia. Made famous for its daily visits from dolphins, this spot is truly where the desert meets the sea. From the moment you arrive you are inundated with electric blue water that caresses the burnt red soil that is only separated by a few metres of shining, white sand. The colours and general environment provide a sensory overload and a sense of remoteness and uniqueness that I long for when I travel.
In the long road that winds from Monkey Mia back down to Perth, I stopped over in quaint, sea-side town called Kalbarri. Having never heard of Kalbarri, I didn’t have much planned but I was more than pleasantly surprised. The town itself is an enclave of Kalbarri National Park and is bubbling with people and a surprising number of diverse food options. The top things to see, however, are Red Bluffs Beach and Nature’s Window nestled deep within the National Park – a far drive but well worth it.
On the drive between Kalbarri and Perth, I looked out of my window and noticed a bright, pink lake staring back at me. I quickly turned the car around, pulled well-off the road and begin snapping pictures. It is absolutely stunning and is by far the best, random find I have ever had while travelling. The pink colour is due to algae that live in the lake and it shines so bright against the red earth. I took a moment to just sit in awe at how random and amazing nature is when I stumbled across this rare gem.
Last, but not least, my journey lead me down to the south-west corner where I visited the Southern Hemisphere’s longest jetty in Busselton and explored massive Mammoth Cave in the Margaret River region. Now, granted, the Margaret River is world-renowned for its wine offerings; however, I was behind the wheel – so, responsibility prevailed and I took the detour to the caves.
Honestly, Western Australia was such an amazing surprise. From the city lights of Perth to the distant stars that shone above my head in the middle of nowhere, it was an experience that I will not soon forget and one that I long to repeat. If you’re interested in learning more about Western Australia or any of the places mentioned, send us a message and we can share all the best places to stay and play while your journey through WA.