Western Australia

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Top 10 Travel Destinations Western Australia

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  • Day136

    Back to reality

    March 21 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 34 °C

    After breakfast we went to say goodbye to the nice Dutch couple who were travelling in their campervan. We spoke for a good hour about Australia, their travels, our travels and corona. Then it was time to leave Karijini National Park and make our way south.

    After some hours of driving we arrived in the mining town of Newman. After a short visit to the tourist information center ("I'm afraid there isn't much to do here or on the way to Perth" is an exciting conversation starter) we caught up with the news and people after having been without reception for a couple of days. The past 48 hours had felt like a much needed break from all the sadness and worries.

    Now however, it was time to face reality again. And reality currently doesn't make us (probably actually no one) happy. For us it is clear that sooner or later our world trip will stop. Lots of questions are popping up in our heads. For how long do we need to pause it? 6 months? 1 year? Is it even feasible to start a worldtrip part 2? How do we fill the time in between? How do we get an income? Does it make sense to apply for a job we would like to have? Or is that impossible and we should just try to find work in areas that are currently looking for people? Parcel delivery, supermarkets etc? Where do we live? All these things just seem so different from how we imagined this year to go. Despite it sounding overdramatic, for us it feels like our dream is falling apart and that left us sad, hopeless and slightly panicking.

    Eventually we went to the local camping, which like the one back in Tom Price was also mainly miner accommodation, with the difference that this one still accepted tourists as long as we declared ourselves healthy. Not knowing how long we'd still stay in Australia, hence also not knowing if we had enough clean clothes, we anyways made use of the free washing machine.

    Around sunset, we drove up to the Radio Hill as we were told it had a nice view over the town and surroundings. While driving there we noticed lightning in the clouds. No thunder however, and it didn't rain either. The views were pretty great. Back at the campsite all cockatoos had collectively decided the tree above our van would be their stay for the night. At first their loudness was a bit annoying but when they all started sleeping it became cute instead.
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  • Day142

    The end

    March 27 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 28 °C

    Today we had to hand in our van. So after breakfast we had to pack our stuff. There was a bird who wanted to be packed with it, but we advised it to fly out of the van instead. Before we left Yanchep National Park we wanted to have a look at the koalas one last time. This time we were lucky and two of them seemed pretty active. While the first one seemed undecided if he was hungry enough to really do the climb to the leafs, the second one was fully enjoying his breakfast. He didn't seem to notice that it was from a 'fake' tree. It was very cute. But seeing them being so active and up close we also realised how big they were and how large their arms and claws are.

    Eventually we had to leave. We arrived in Perth, removed all the red dust from the van, dropped off our bags at the apartment, filled the fuel tank and drove to Traveller's Autobarn. This was a first glimpse into a world with corona. 3.5 weeks ago this place was busy with staff and people that picked up their van. Today it was closed, information on how to hand in your car contactless was hanging on the front door together with how to get a voucher for remaining rental days in case you delivered it early because of corona. The parking was full of returned unused rental cars and vans.

    To minimise the infection risk we took an uber to our Airbnb for the week. After giving the critical places like light switches, door handles, kitchen drawers etc. a good scrub, we felt at home quite quickly. Which is good, because it's a place for isolation.

    The last 142 days have been a great adventure for us. Thanks to everyone who followed our trip and thanks for the comments, likes and private messages! For now we will discontinue our world trip blog until there's something to write about again.
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  • Day147

    Swan Valley Wineries

    February 23 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Started the day with a bit of exercise and a few lengths of the pool. Then Annie and Justin picked us up for a Swan Valley wine tour.
    We took in a few places including:
    Sittella - ok ish wine
    Cheese barrel - a nice cheese platter and paired wines
    Harris organic wines - small scale winery and all nice.
    Feral beer - great selection of beers. Some very nice and very boozy.
    Tyler's vineyard - all very nice. Especially the port. They do this very cool thing where you print your own labels and stick it onto their wine. The whole room is covered in peoples labels.
    Finished off in a place called Swan Valley Brewery. Where everything mainly tastes like cheap piss. Only been open for a short time and definitely need to get someone who knows about brewing on board.
    Finished the day with a sit overlooking Perth city whilst the sun went down, and a night time drive through the botanical garden.
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  • Day129

    Oyster Stacks

    March 14 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Snorkel time! First we made a visit to the information center of the National Park to know a bit more about the snorkeling places and the tides. Then we quickly decided to go to Oyster Stacks. Sounds fancy, but it's just one of the 20 or so beach access places in the park. This one in particularly was a rocky one, but that had the advantage that the coral reef started almost immediately.

    When we got underwater we immediately noticed the visibility was much better than at Coral Bay. The current was stronger so it took some more effort to go in the direction you wanted to go, but at least it was safe as in that the current pushed you back towards the shore. We saw many big fishes, definitely bigger than what we've seen in Fiji or South East Asia. We spend around an hour in the water before relaxing in the van.

    Since this place didn't have any toilets, we went further to Turquoise Bay, another fantastic snorkel spot. We didn't want to go in when the sun is the strongest to avoid getting burned. So we cooked ourselves a lunch on the parking lot. Then it was time for our daily dosis of jumping dinosaurs and corona updates. We're feeling quite safe ourselves, not only because we are not part of the risk group but also because we are in remote Western Australia and there aren't even that many cases in Australia generally yet. But we don't know how our world trip can continue after Australia. More and more countries are closing their borders (which is of course understandable and necessary) and we think that by the time we want to leave Australia, we might not be able to anymore. Measurements and restrictions are changing basically at a daily rate making it impossible to predict what's smart to do in 2 weeks when we return the car in Perth. So daily discussion about corona news are also part of worldtrip life now.

    Anyways, it was time for our second snorkel session of the day. This time in Turquoise Bay. There was no current here but a whole lot of sand. We had to swim in for a while before we reached the first coral places. We again saw big fish, although mainly the same types as before. The visibility was a bit worse probably due to the sandy ground and big tides. So that was a bit disappointing at first. At the end however, Machiel proved his spotting skills and magically managed to distinguish a rock-like looking thing from the rocks. Turned out it was an octopus that looked like a rock in one moment and in the next it turned super red and stared at you with a huge eye. Creepy but super cool.

    After a quick shower at our new campsite we headed to a nearby beach to try our luck with spotting baby turtle hatching. It was nice to be at the beach with sunset but unfortunately no turtles were spotted, only their tracks.
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  • Day127

    Snorkeling at Coral Bay

    March 12 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    It was Machiel's birthday. So the day started with a call to home. On the way to Coral Bay we saw more and more termite nests, most of which were taller than we were. It gave us a new variation of the Australian bush desert to look at while driving. In Coral Bay we checked into one of their expensive campsites and relaxed in the shade. The bush flies gave Machiel a nice present by not being present, so we could use our table and chairs and sit outside without a headnet! After a few slices of regular bread lunch we went to have some birthday pie and cake at the local bakery until our stomachs felt too full.

    After our stomachs felt better and the worst heat of the day was over we went to the beach, just when it was also getting cloudier. We first wanted to go into the water a bit outside of the bay to then drift with the current back. While walking through the shallow water we saw three blue spotted rays very close to us buried in the sand. One got between us and the beach and felt cornered so swam away with hyper drive, quite close to us. As there was nobody else around in the water there and we didn't feel too confident, we walked back to the bay where there were more snorkelers. Like the brochure says: "when in doubt, don't go out!".

    Back in the bay getting in the water was easier as it was steeper. It was completely cloudy at this point and there had been some strong winds earlier, which didn't help the underwater visibility. Nonetheless, the fish activity was amazing. There were many decently sized fish right at the shoreline, curiously swimming around our feet. Then when we put our heads under water we were immediately greeted by a 1 meter long spangled emperor. Turns out he wasn't alone either, and even while standing on the shoreline we could see many of them swim by. They were intimidating at first but they seemed nice and we got well used to them. The fish and the coral was nowhere near as colorful as in Fiji, but we did see several lionfish, which are cool but also creepy being venomous and all. The water was also noticeably colder than in Fiji, where we figuratively could stay in the water the whole day without getting cold. After going in and out a few times we were losing temperature and at some point had to call it a day.

    After a shower in somewhat OK bore water, we went to the café next to the camping for a nice pizza, salad and birthday beers.
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  • Day140

    Messages and phone calls

    March 25 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 31 °C

    The day started with a new letter from the Auswärtige Amt. The message was something like 'book with Qatar Airways NOW'. This was slightly stressing as the prices got very quickly insanely high. 11000 AUD per ticket!!! Who is willing to pay this? An hour later the next message followed saying something like 'Qatar will keep connecting Australia with Europe as far as we know. So you can also book tickets for April.' Sure for April the prices looked slightly better but even those were changing while you were looking at them. Plus, we already have 1400€ in flight coupons, we don't really want another one. In corona times booking a flight for 2 weeks from now feels like booking a flight 5 years ahead normally. There's too much uncertainty.

    Just when we decided to wait for the Dutch government advice, we received an SMS from them. 'book Qatar Airways to Europe'. Ok, so again we checked the website for flights, now to Amsterdam. They were a bit cheaper. We considered booking but even then for something several days from now. Before finalising we decided to call the Netherlands. We actually reached someone quite quickly (beforehand we already tried to reach Qatar Airways or the German embassy to ask if the connection is really guaranteed in April, but neither of them picked up) . The phone line was breaking off twice but it was enough to get to know that Qatar Airways was not part the official Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs solution, but was kind of accidentally sent by the Dutch Embassy via the same communication channel.

    To add a bit more frustration to our morning, we also got to know that our Airbnb hosts don't want to host us anymore. They are not the youngest anymore and don't want to take the risk. We of course understand that but it felt quite last-minute and it added another point to our to-do list.

    We took a shower and drove to the next town hoping for better reception. Qatar Airways flights seemed hopelessly expensive anyways until 2 weeks from now. And booking that didn't really feel good. Before leaving we went to the local shop to pay our camping (10 dollars for 2 people, it was so cheap). We also bought pasta and sauce just in case. The employee working there was very kind and we had a nice conversation about our situation while of course adhering to the social distancing rule of 1.5m.

    In the next town we finally found bread which we enjoyed for lunch in the local park. Machiel called with the Netherlands again before and received the confirmation that Qatar Airways is not the official solution and that we best wait to receive a phone call from the emergency line in the next days. It however sounded as if the actual repatriation flight could still take a while.

    In the meantime we again received a letter from Germany. "Repatriation flights are also not for free. The difference is that you pay afterwards and not beforehand. The costs can be high." We of course never expected a free flight to Europe, but we appreciate a reasonable price together with the guarantee that it actually brings us there.

    Next on our to do list was a call to Etihad. Surprisingly we also got through here. We wanted to know our options apart from turning our flight into a coupon. The employee was very nice and understanding. Apparently we could also get 80% of the price back. Her advice however was to wait a few days and see if Etihad changes their policy to allow a full refund. That was interesting to hear.

    Because our flight was cancelled and we are now seemingly stuck in Perth before repatriation flights are in action, we had to find accommodation for awhile. We called OHRA to check if this was going to be covered in our travel insurance. They answered this wasn't strictly in their policy but that they would judge claims case-by-case out of 'goodwill'. Not perfect but we believe it might work for us.

    We looked a bit at other Airbnb options but decided to postpone a booking to tomorrow. We didn't have the energy for cooking today so we went to a nearby takeaway and got some burgers. For the 2nd time in Australia we camped next to as cricket field, this time in Bindoon, pretty close to Perth. One of the great things of being more south again is the weather. We're probably almost a 1000km south of where we were 4 or 5 days ago, and that's definitely noticeable. It's just a little bit cooler all the time which makes the van more livable. We can now even start sleeping in our inlets compared to being soaked in sweat in just underwear.
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  • Day45

    Broome - Kimberley / 450 km

    May 20, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Long drive again today. First 220 km on Northern Highway to Derby and then 230km via Gibb river road more or less on dirt roads to the Camping ground nearby Bell Gorge in the King Leopold Conservation park. Driving on Gibb river road was not relaxing due to quite rough road conditions and cattles crossing the road without notice out of the bush...

    Nearby Derby we made a short visit to the Aboriginal center of art. Very interesting movie about the culture, art and history of the Aboriginals from the Kimberly region.

    Beautiful landscapes while driving into the Kimberleys. Now camping here for two nights without power in the pure nature...

    First time since 1994 without access to the outer world for three days. Special situation for someone being online all the time. But there is not much to be missed....
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  • Day143

    Hand surfing with rays

    February 19 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Got up too late and did a 5 mile run. Way way to hot after 7.30 to be running. Got back and had a cold shower followed by a swim in the cold pool. After 30 mins I was finally cool.
    Met up with Andrew and co for an ice cream.
    Then had a few hours hand planing in the sea with the mask and snorkel. A few sting rays were floating around. One guy got panicked after he saw one and was shouting for everyone to get out of the water. We went in thinking he had seen a shark. 🙄.
    After that we went back to the accommodation for another swim and to do some admin in side. Was a bit too hot just to be sat in the sun.
    At 5.30 we met team Bitmead for a last supper of fish and chips before Penny and Steven leave.
    We drove into central Perth to drop the girls off for a roof top drink whilst Andrew and I watched a film about Andy Irons. Great film, well worth a watch.
    We joined the ladies after for a very expensive drink at the Aviary rooftop bar. Back home to watch some lightning over the sea.
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  • Day33

    Ellensbrook und Gnarabup

    March 3 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Ellensbrook war heute unser erstes Ausflugsziel. Das Haus wurde 1857 gebaut und diente ab 1899 während 17 Jahren als Schule für die Aboriginal-Kinder. Dort gibt es auch einen Wasserfall (zur Zeit infolge Wassermangel ohne Wasser) der von den Aboriginals als „Badeort des Mondes“ bezeichnet wird. Nach einer gemütlichen Wanderung durch das Buschland erreichten wir das Meer. Ausser uns war noch eine Einheimische mit ihrem Kind zum Muschelsuchen unterwegs. Diese hat uns auf einen Stachelrochen aufmerksam gemacht, der sich am Ufer aufgehalten hat. Ein prächtiges Exemplar!
    Danach sind wir nach Gnarabup gefahren, ein beliebtes Ziel bei Einheimischen zum Schwimmen und Schnorcheln. Fish & Chips gab es zum Mittagessen und während des Verdaungsspaziergangs entlang der Künste, konnten wir einen Delfin 🐬 beobachten, der sich die längste Zeit nahe am Strand aufgehalten hat.
    Und zum Abschluss des Tages fuhren wir entlang der Caves Road, an welchem sich die meisten Weingüter in und um Margaret River befinden. Unter anderem auch das „Voyager Estate“, dessen Baustil einem holländischen Weingut in Südafrika 🇿🇦 entspricht. Ein tolles Anwesen! An der Caves Road gibt es aber nicht nur Weingüter, sondern auch Brauereien. Eine davon haben wir besucht und degustiert 🍻...
    Morgen werden wir Margaret River verlassen und rund 400 km südöstlich zu unserem nächsten Ziel Denmark fahren.
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  • Day150

    Ninja warriors!

    February 26 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    At 11 met Andrew and nutty. Dropped nutty off with Hannah and Heather so Andrew and I could head off and play Ninjas at a nearby Ninja warrior centre. Somehow neither of us managed to hurt ourselves and we had great fun. Arms are going to be hurty tomorrow!
    Met back up with the girls for a burger.
    Chilled out for the afternoon. Then met up with Annie and Jus for a pizza overlooking Scarborough beach.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

State of Western Australia, Western Australia, WA, Australie-Occidentale, Austrália Ocidental, Западная Австралия

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