Visual Diary: South West Australia

It has been 2o+ degrees Celsius in Norway this week, a good sign that summer is upon us! For those who know me, you can probably imagine how excited I am. It is undoubtedly my favourite time of the year and I’m usually chasing the sun. With such amazing weather, I’ve caught myself reminiscing about Australia.

You see, I used to live in Perth, Australia for 8 years and I consider it home. I’ve spoken to heaps of backpackers and more often than not when visiting, they stick to the East coast, rarely exploring Australia’s largest state – Western Australia. Although I haven’t seen much of the country, this corner has such beautiful gems.  In the Australian Summer of 2015, I decided to head out for one final road trip with one of my best mates (Billy) for one last hurrah before relocating my entire life to Norway.

This post is designed as a visual diary, capturing a few places on the road trip.

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Australian roads

If I’m honest, I’m going to tell you that after a while, it gets repetitive – then again, I grew up driving on these roads so I’m used to it. For newbies on the Aussie roads, you’ll probably enjoy it for a while longer. The best advice given to me was from my friend’s mother, who told me never to drive during dusk or dawn because of the kangaroos. While it is exciting to see a wild kangaroo, you wouldn’t want to encounter one on the roads. During these times they are usually roaming around and probably won’t know to avoid the roads. They are extremely strong and surprisingly large so if you happened to hit one driving at 110km/h, there’s a good chance they will crash through your windscreen. Not a pretty sight, neither would it be an ideal situation.

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Here’s a little fun fact: Perth is the world’s second most isolated city. Despite being the largest state, it’s home to only 2.6 million people, that’s approximately 11% of Australia’s population. That being said, a whooping 92% of the 2.6mil live in the South West corner so if you’re driving elsewhere, you can drive for kilometers and without coming across another person. Many people underestimate the size of this state!

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Shelly Beach, Albany

It’s easy to find heaps of paid camping grounds scattered around the place BUT did you know it’s also possible to find free designated camping areas? They tend to be quite out of the town but worth the drive. The camping ground shown above was at Shelly Beach, near Albany where we woke up to a view of the beach (living the dream, I know). This site didn’t have any showering facilities, but there was a long drop toilet – just be sure to bring some toilet rolls JUST IN CASE. With cloudless, dry and warm summer nights, it’s great to sleep under the open sky and do a spot of star gazing.

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This is a popular way of exploring Australia in all its glory. Billy and I met an older couple that was driving this bad boy. If money weren’t a restriction, I would buy something similar to this (or a vintage land cruiser) and cruise around. I’ll be back one day, ‘Straya… just you wait!

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Blow holes, Albany.

When the swell is high, the water rushes into cracks in the granite producing a loud bizarre sound. Sometimes it may not be blowing but the sight is nonetheless beautiful. Near by, the Natural Bridge and the Gap attractions has recently been reopened to the public following a face lift allowing visitors to walk onto a cantilevered platform. It’s new and improved lookout platform will bring you over the edge looking down into the rough sea waves.

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Greens pool, Denmark.

One word: heaven. It’s so tranquil and while most places in WA that I’ve been to feature crystal blue waters, this place takes the cake. The rock formations emerging from the water make this a wonderful spot to explore and sun bake. Make sure you SLIP on a shirt, SLOP some sunscreen, SLAP on hat, SEEK shade and SLIDE on a pair of sunnies (thanks Australian advertising for your catchy campaign taglines).

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Valley of the Giants, Walpole

Here you are able to walk amongst SW Australia’s forests canopy, taking you about 40m above the ground to marvel at these gentle giants. There is a fee to do the canopy walk, alternatively, look out for the free guided tours which take you to the ground level of the forest and learn a bit about the relationship between the SW forests and natives.

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Hamelin Bay – Margaret River Region.

This area is located behind the Hamelin Bay Holiday Park and is home to a variety of stingrays along the beach. While I was swimming in the area, I was oblivious about the stingrays so as you can imagine my shock when I came across one! They are a friendly bunch, coming up to you and attempting to have a nibble at your toes. Don’t be afraid – they are probably as afraid of you as you are of them.

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Remember! These stingrays are wild. Treat them with respect – don’t feed or touch them. They are very friendly and harmless unless provoked. If you happen to be fishing in the area and catch one, release it.

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Indijup Falls, Yallingup

My utopia. One day while scrolling through my Instagram feed, I came across this place and after a while, I managed to visit it myself. It wasn’t too easy to find, it’s just off Caves Road. While driving to the car park, you’re welcomed to an amazing view of the Indian Ocean. From the car park, you won’t be able to see this natural spa; you’ll have to walk down a path and towards the rocks. The area is protected from the vigorous waves so you can enjoy sitting in the spa as the waves crashes over the rocks, giving you a massage.

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I think Western Australia is such an unrated state and more people should visit it and be blown away by it’s beautiful. I urge all of you to not skip WA and road trip around it. When I return, I’d love to check out the North West and the Coral Coast because there’s really no place like it.

If you’ve ever been to any other places, I’d love to hear from you!

Peace, love and good vibes.

17 Comment

  1. This is a great summary of south west Australia. Good presentation.

    1. Such a good trip! 😁

  2. I am guilty too. I have only been to the east coast of Australia. I agree I need to visit, but there just wasn’t enough time to fit it in. Will try next time.

    1. Yea, Australia is such a massive country… it’s hard to fit it all in sometimes! Hopefully you pay WA a visit one day 🙂

  3. Nice! This stingray looks HUGE! It’s really weird that they come so close! I’d love to see that! I can’t wait to explore the west of Australia. It’s so appealing!

    1. Hahaha it was pretty scary how close it got to me! It’s so gorgeous and you should definitely visit it. That said, I’ve never been to the east coast. whoops!

  4. Jenny Calogero says: Reply

    I look forward to welcoming you back to Perf and WA. I now have a spare bedroom :). Jenny x
    I love Green Pool, thanks for the pics.

    1. I look forward to coming home too, Jenny! One day I’ll be back, I’ve told Dave that.. Green pool is such a beauty, isn’t it?! I need to find something similar to that here (although the chances of that are slim).

      x

  5. Loving the fun facts

  6. I’ve never been to Australia, but I can just imagine how wonderful it must feel to camp and swim in remote wilderness. That stingray looks evil!

    1. It’s amazing! Oh man, you’d love it. Being outdoors is such a great feeling. Hopefully one day you’ll be able to experience it and tell me your thoughts!

  7. This is an interesting guide for who wants organize a trip there! 🙂

  8. I love the knowledge you present here and can’t wait

  9. We’re also guilty of not visiting Western Australia during our previous trips. Australia is just so huge and everyone wants to see the famous landmarks. But if we return to Australia once more, we will definitely visit the Western cost and the North.
    If I can give a tip to anyone traveling to Australia, it would be to limit driving times and fly instead. The distances are big and the roads indeed very monotonous. Better spend your time sightseeing instead.

    1. It is massive and a lot of people definitely underestimate the size of this country. I have to admit, I haven’t really ventured to the east much but hopefully one day I can make my way around Australia in a campervan (that’s the dream!).

      Exactly, the distances are almost incomprehensible. If time is a factor, at least two trips to Australia are definitely needed (east and west).

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