Wednesday, 3 February 2016

WESTERN AUSTRALIA; A Pommes Journey To The North.

If you like it hot and dry, you'll love it here!

Welcome to my travel diary entry #2. I visited Australia this christmas and had the absolute time of my life. All of these photos were taken as we made our way up in our little camper van from Margaret River in the South, to Exmouth Bay in the North.

 It never became apparent to me that a person could feel every single emotion grouped together in one day until I went campervanning. When you say to people you are going campervanning up the coast in Western Australia, you tend to be struck with two emotive responses: 1. OMG, you will have the best time ever, and 2. Are you sure you don't want to fly?

The first of these responses I felt as soon as I landed in the country. The heat physically hit me walking out of the airport and I instantly felt a sort of excitement I have never experienced before. Right then I knew that the next 5 weeks were going to be the most magical 5 weeks I had ever experienced.

Around 5 days in, we realised why people mentioned flying.. The roads that people say "seem to go on forever", literally DO go on forever, about 350km of forever on the same long road.
We did survive. 48 degrees was the hottest it got when we were travelling and even after the hundredth game of 'spot the animal', morale was high because the possibility of what was to come was the most exciting thing of all!

We started our 10 day journey in Margaret River.  Although only having two days here, we crammed it full of exciting things. Margaret river is known for its wine, so typically, we did a wine tour! This gorgeous little winery below is Watersheds. Here, we drank some of the BEST wine we've ever had. We had some added extras on our tour too. Cheese, nougat, chocolate and venison farm tours were included, as well as a drop off at a local brewery on the way back for a quick cooling beer. I would fully recommend Cheers Tours if you're going there. They're great!


As you can see.. we tried a lot of wines, and with it an early hangover announced its presence. I've never experienced a hangover at 4pm before but it was definitely worth it!


Our second stop was a little free campsite called Lake Indoon. It was just what we needed! Working facilities and just a sweet little stop off point. Great little place to recuperate for the long journey that awaited us.

Over the next 8 hours we eagerly anticipated what would lie ahead. We stopped off to see the pinnacles which were basically massive stone formations in a yellow desert. Although not much happens there, it is definitely thought provoking. Still now I think to myself on occasions, "how did they get there?"

Thinking aside, our next mission was to reach Monkey Mia with enough time for a swim! That journey was a trek! Monkey mia is situated in the middle of a little boot of rock that sits off the coast of Northern Western Aus. This was by far one of my most favourite places.

We were attracted initially by the thought of wild dolphins. I am a huge animal lover and the thought of seeing these beauties in the wild was more than enough of a reason to drive all that way. Our campsite was clean with loads of wonderful facilities and a great restaurant where we ate breakfast and I was treated to a lovely dinner. Food was unbelievable, but the best thing by far was the morning dolphin feeding. You are all asked to stand a few feet away from the water and are invited individually to go and feed them. It was absolutely magical. You are asked not to touch the dolphins and leave them once they leave in the morning but they always come back in the evening and if you just sit in the sea they swim around you which is just the most amazing thing ever. (There was a newborn baby this year.)



On our second day in Monkey Mia, we decided to be adventurous. We hired a few kayaks out and go kayaking around Shark Bay. The kayaks were super cheap to rent at $30 for a full day! Applying suncream every minute saved my skin but kayaking next to sharks and rays was more than worth a little redness.



The next leg of our journey took us to Coral Bay. It took us another 6 hours from Monkey Mia and was by far the most annoying journey as we effectively had to drive back on ourselves for an hour before going north again. It was all worth it by the time we got there. We had a beach view from our camper van and the excursions were beyond belief. We chose to do the turtle sanctuary snorkelling. 
We snorkelled with wild turtles and visited Ningaloo reef which was one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen. This is not to be missed!



Saddened by our leave from the amazing Coral Bay, we decided to take a detour on our way back South and visit the Hutt River Province. Certainly an odd experience and much less exciting that the previous days, but nevertheless it was a must for us as the 'Prince' of Hutt River Province is very poorly and so soon it shall cease to exist as he is not able to pass on claimed rights to his heirs. We skipped out early from the tour as we had gotten our visas stamped and were keen to visit our next destination!



We carried on our travels, and found what we were after. A pink lake. In a place like Australia, anything goes! Until that day, we could only dream of what a pink lake would look like, but here it is in all its pinky glory. It did smell a bit but that was because the pink in the lake was actually alive in little algae form. The smell did not detract from the magic that swished before us. You can find this little beauty on maps but it isn't well sign posted, with the only give away being a slight pinky tinge in the clouds from the reflecting water. It is about an hour past the Hutt River Province!



Natures Window, Kalbarri.
Easily one of the most beautiful places we went to, this one is very well sign posted but make sure to bring water because its a trek and it gets really hot!
The views over the valley are absolutely magical.


This little viewing post is natures window. There is a 3km hike you can take around the valley if you're after more amazing views. This is not one to miss by any means!



 Our last stop was glorious Perth. There is so much to do in this city. We sales shopped till we dropped, ate from the food halls, checked out all the little coffee places, visited Scarborough beach; another one not to miss and we walked all the way up to Kings Park. The treetop walk is spectacular and the views are not to be missed as you can see below! 







Yanchep lagoon is also a good place to visit, we did this on our last day before heading to the airport.  Unfortunately I don't have any photos of Yanchep lagoon because I was too busy crying. The realisation that I was leaving this amazing place overwhelmed me and although we had a wonderful day, the thought that I would not be able to return for another few years brought about a sadness that was too heavy to ignore. 

I guarantee that if you visit this wonderful place, you'll not be dissapointed.

Australia, you took my breathe away and with you, I left a desire to return and a piece of my heart.

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