Australia Roadtrip: Western Australia

Australia Roadtrip: Western Australia

Written by Heather

Topics: Life in Oz

In 2006, my youngest sister and I popped into the pizza shop beside our hostel in Sydney to get a quick take away dinner. A friendly 20-something heard our American accents and quickly struck up a typical traveler’s conversation with us. “What, you’re only here for three weeks?! Man, you gotta make it to WA — it’s the best. THE BEST.”

It took me five years from that meeting in the pizza shop to visit Western Australia. And I agree with John, the friendly traveler who’s been my Facebook friend ever since that chance encounter — WA *is* the best!

After surviving the Nullarbor and camping and showering in Norseman, we headed toward the most southwestern bits of WA. We met many fellow 20 and 30-something travelers in vans, all willing to tell us about their favorite spots and beaches along the coast.

Our first stop was Cape Le Grand National Park. What a beautiful introduction to the WA coast! This is also the national park where we learned that we are “Whizbangers” and experienced our second overnight mouse attack.

Cape Le Grand National Park

Cape Le Grand National Park

Cape Le Grand National Park

Roos on a beach in the park as dusk approached
Roos at Lucky Bay in Cape Le Grand National Park

Video including the beaches and views above!

Kangaroos on the beach run away as more people gather

If Cape Le Grand wasn’t beautiful enough, we found one beautiful beach after another as we continued driving west.

I loved Ocean Beach and Adam loved Greens Pool

WA beach

WA beach

WA beach

As much as I loved the beaches, I also loved the capital city of Perth. If I knew nothing of Sydney and had experienced Perth first, I would have easily lived there for the live+work portion of my visa.

View of Perth from King’s Park
Perth from King's Park

Perth City Beach
Perth City Beach

Quick video of the surf at City Beach

In WA, we continued to camp for free (anywhere from 60-75% of the time). I cannot recommend the Camps Australia Wide book enough if you are road tripping and want to find free or low-cost places to spend the night. I hesitated to buy it at first ($80-ish), but it saved us heaps in the end. And sometimes, when we couldn’t find a listing in the book, we created our own free camping spot. Take, for instance, the evening in Busselton when we parked in the back corner of a parking lot adjacent to a beach. There were no signs prohibiting camping so we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. On the nights we made our own spot, we always woke up early to pack the van and avoid any potential dramas. In Busselton, we were still half asleep when an older gentleman on a bike cycled by, advising us with a smile to pack up ASAP, as the Council would be making their rounds to kick out folks like us. No sooner had we rushed around camp and tossed the last item in Paul Heinz did we see a Council truck swing into the parking lot, both passengers raising their eyebrows at us suspiciously. We smiled politely and waved, hopped into the van, and drove away. Thank you sweet man on the bike!

I’ve written about the Oz road trip — buying Paul Heinz; traveling in Tasmania for two weeks; and exploring Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia — for the last three months. With only one road trip post to go, I’ll finish this series and move to one several people have been waiting for — the stories of what it’s been like to be back in the USA and what in the world I have planned for this next chapter of my life.

16 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Kyle says:

    Are you doing something different to your photos these days? The colors look particularly vibrant! Or maybe it’s just that this part of Oz is EXTRA gorgeous. Who knows :)

    • Heather says:

      Well this part of Oz *is* beautiful, but for the last few months I’ve been doing a couple of things in Picasa (super basic) to some photos and I just got an old version of Lightroom to start playing with. Hopefully I haven’t pushed it too much with the editing!!! I’m still learning to find that balance between enhancing a photo and going too far.

  2. Camille says:

    I never get tired of reading about your experience, seeing the photos and watching the videos all around Australia. WA does look spectacular and the beaches are gorgeous in the photos and videos.

    What an amazing year you have had with all you have seen, done, and tasted!

    • Heather says:

      Thank you! You’ve been such a great supporter of me, Adam, and of course Niki!

      I still have 6 or so posts to write about Australia but then I’ll be on to new (and old) adventures.

  3. Good one. Best place alright. You’re dad had it right all along.

    • Heather says:

      I know our time was limited so we couldn’t continue north, but I’d love to venture north of Perth next time.

  4. Jaime says:

    Love this pics & the videos… yeah this looks amazing, but so do so many places I have learned about thanks to your blog!!!

    • Heather says:

      Thanks, m’dear! And when I travel to Central America one day, I’ll be reviewing your blog again for everything I need to know!

  5. Annie says:

    Since before I went to Oz I knew I should visit WA (got a recommendation from an Aussie friend) but never did. I know I will this time around and YOU WILL BE my go-to when it comes to all things to see!

    Beautiful beaches!!

  6. Nicole says:

    Heather, your photos are amazing! In addition to the beautiful colors I think it is the perspective from which you take the shots that makes them so great. Makes me feel like I am right back there. :)

  7. The images are awesome. Nice photography.

  8. chaoite says:

    I moved from Brisbane to Perth a little while ago and I love it here. It’s so quiet and beautiful. I’m keen to find some of the beaches you pictured. I’ve not travelled down south often – just to the vineyards at Margaret River and Cape Leewuwin. I’m keen to go back; it was spectacular.

    Thanks for posting your journey. I’ve enjoyed reading about it.

    :)

    • Heather says:

      Thanks a bunch! After winter is over, definitely make your way down to the southern coast. It’s well worth the trip!

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