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Flight from Munich via Singapore to Perth with Singapore Airlines. Duration: 11 hrs + 5 hrs.
After snow in Munich and rain in Singapore, Perth welcomed us for the first time with a violent thunderstorm that is actually not known in local regions. In the hour before landing the weather was gracious, so that we were rewarded for the exertion of the flight with a magnificent view of the coastline of Western Australia including the Ningaloo Reef. To see the combination of red sand on the land side and turquoise-blue water on the ocean side from the air was a real highlight.
After a pleasant immigration without long waiting times, we took a taxi (20 AU $) to the nearby camper station (Apollo). After briefing and paperwork for the rental, we stocked up with food for the next few days in the supermarket „Coles“. Fully equipped, we arrived in Brookton - a small village in the middle of the Wheatbelt of Western Australia (WA). On the way there, the darkness broke over us and accompanied by thunder and lightning we reached the small campsite next to the road and spent the first night in our little camper.
Distance: 86 km
After a delicious first breakfast in the red sand of the outback and a nice chat with the caretaker of the campsite, we continued our trip towards the city of Hyden.
At noon we went on towards the coastal town of Esperance. The further south we came, the more obvious were the severe flood damages that the heavy rainfalls of the recent weeks have caused here. Between the two small towns of Lake King and Ravensthorpe, our road suddenly led into a small lake that was produced by the rain. We had no chance to cross this little lake, so we followed the redirection, that led us over gravel roads and dead ends. We had to turn around again and again because the track was not made for a 2WD car. Our camper threatened to fall apart at every pothole. Unfortunately we didn't fuel up in Lake King, because the tank was still three quarters full and Ravensthorpe - not far away - promised the next gas station. But the Outback and its detours had other plans. After hours on unpaved outback roads without cell phone reception, without seeing other cars and with declining fuel level we arrived at the petrol station in Ravensthorpe with the last drop of fuel.
On the way to Esperance we stopped briefly at the Pink Lake in Esperance and had a look at the cheesy Stonehenge of Esperance from the street. Both are not really worth stopping.
What a start in our journey. This is probably the way WA puts its visitors to the test. We spent the night on a camp site in Esperance. Nothing special, but clean and nice people.
Distance: 580 km + countless miles detour
The next morning we got up early and hurried to the Cape Le Grand National Park because people told us that the campsites in the park were very popular and rare. The entrance gate of the National park was not yet occupied, so we could not buy our WA National Park pass. Unfortunately we had to pay this park individually by putting the $12, which each NP in WA costs, into an envelope and throwing it in the letterbox. Somehow we have not managed to buy the WA National Park pass for the whole four weeks of our trip because we either arrived outside the opening hours or it was no longer worth to buy the passport at the end of the trip. So we had to pay for each national park individually.
Well, in any case, we got a great place with sea view at Lucky Bay camp site. There is no electricity connection at this campsite – as in most of the NP campsites in WA. So we got our place, we had breakfast and then we just got down to the legendary Lucky Bay to find the famous beach Kangaroos. Unfortunately, we didn't see a single kangaroo on the beach, so we decided to take a long walk to the end of Lucky Bay. The sand of the bay is so fine that it squeaks at every step and so bright white that even in cloudy skies you can't keep your eyes open without sunglasses. The white sand and the turquoise water are insane. Quite honestly, the most beautiful beach of the whole trip. If the waters of the Southern Ocean were just a little warmer, Lucky Bay alone would have been worth the trip.
When we came back from the beach to our place, we realized the reason we saw no kangaroos on the beach. They were relaxing in the shadow of our camper.
In the afternoon we visited the other bays of the Cape Le Grand National park: Thistle Cove with its huge granite rocks, Le Grand Beach with its brilliant white sand and the sparkling blue waters and the wild Hellfire Bay with its beautiful beach, but plenty of sea grass. All bays are definitely worth a visit.
Distance: 63 km
We left the NP and drove past Esperance, over the Great Ocean Drive to the famous Twilight Beach, which recalls the Seychelles with its large granite rocks and the water shimmering in all blue-faceted waters. The water does not have a bathtub temperature with less than 20 degrees, but a small round of swimming is ok.
In the late afternoon we hit the road towards Hopetoun, the gateway to the Fitzgerald National Park, where we stayed at a campsite.
Distance: 250 km
We made the decision to drop this National Park and continued our journey to Albany. On the way we wanted to visit the idyllic Little Beach, but also have to give up this endeavor, because our camper was not able to do the dirtroad leading to Little Beach.
So we went to Albany and found a place to stay for the night on a well-equipped beach-front campsite. Albany has a beautiful beach promenade and a gated swimming area on the city beach. The locals also went swimming outside the protected zone, although there were warning signs everywhere that drew attention to the daily sightings of white sharks.
Distance: 350 km
After a week of south-west Australia we were already completely enthusiastic. Quote Dominik: "Even if we had to fly home again now, the whole thing would have been worth it."
The South is definitely worth it.
With this feeling of enthusiasm and joyful anticipation for all what is still to come, we followed the southern Coast Highway in western direction to William Bay NP. In this free NP there are some hidden bays, which can be reached with the 2WD camper via a gravel track, but still easily. Waterfall Beach is rather unspectacular, but there are almost no people. Madfish Bay, Elephant Rocks and Greens Pool are all beautiful for snorkeling, swimming and cliff jumping.
We continued our journey through the southern forests, where we strolled through the crowns of ancient eucalyptus trees in the valley of the Giants on the tree top walk at 40 m height.
In the afternoon we hit the road for the artist village of Margaret River, where we found a place on a campsite in the forest and grilled juicy lamb chops.
Distance: 350 km
In the morning we strolled through Margaret River. Really a great little town with nice shops and especially the great Margaret River Bakery with heavenly sandwiches and divine sourdough bread. A little piece of home down under. In the supermarkets you actually only get toast-like bread.
Today I (Kathrin) can finally redeem my birthday present from Dominik. We had a private tour of the Voyager Estate vineyard in Margaret River and were allowed to stroll through the vineyards. The winery cultivates Chenin blanc, Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
After that little walk we tried the wines of the estate and came to the conclusion that the Sauvignon Blanc Semillon is our favourite. This was actually our favorite wine for the rest of the trip. With the Australian Chardonnay we could not even befriend ourselves, although Chardonnay is actually one of our favourites at home.
Afterwards we were pampered with a 6-course-menu, which was actually a 10-course-menu. Our waitress Sandy told us a little story about each course targeting the origin of the ingredients and the intention of the chef. A great and merry experience.
Im Verlauf des Tages machten wir uns auf den Weg nach Busselton, wo wir auf einem Campingplatz in Strandnähe die Nacht verbrachten. Am Strand von Busselton haben wir dann bei einem traumhaften Sonnenuntergang ein Glas Wein im Sand getrunken und auf unsere Entscheidung, Westaustralien zu bereisen, angestoßen. Als dann auch noch Delfine vor der untergehenden Sonne nur wenige Meter vom Ufer entfernt vorbeizogen, wurden uns der Kitsch zu groß und wir sind ins Bett. 😉
Distance: 50 km
After a relaxing night and a great breakfast in the shade of our camper, we took a morning walk at Busselton Beach and met some fishermen and other locals. Especially the older people are very interested in tourists and like to chat. The school children spend their breaks on the beach. What a luxury.
After that we made our way to Busselton jetty, that leads about 2 km into the ocean. The jetty is the second longest of its kind at 1,841 m. Another peculiarity is the presence of tropical corals. Normally there are no corals so far south, but the Leeuwin current conveys warm water from the tropics in the north to Busselton and thus ensures the colourful coral magnificence under the Busselton jetty. So we continued our morning walk and marched to the end of the jetty. Alternatively, you could take a little train. At the end of the jetty, there is the Busselton observatory - a concrete pillar with large panoramic windows. In the inside of the observatory you can descend on spiral staircases to the 8 m deep seabed. On five floors you can observe marine animals like fish, sea urchins, crabs, seahorses and octopuses. The most impressive are the amazing hard and soft corals in all colours of the rainbow.
After this great impression, Dominik and I wanted to explore the mystical world under the jetty itself. On the way back from the observatory, after about 50 m there is a platform on the right side under the jetty. Once you got used to the fresh temperatures, you don't want to lift your head out of the water anymore. The underwater world impresses with the colorful corals, which grow in abundance at the logs of the jetty. Always watched by a fat box fish that guarded the exit ladder, we snorkeled for about 45 minutes.
In the late afternoon we went on to Mandurah, where we had a delicious lamb wrap at a food truck and then opened the camp for the night.
Distance: 150 km
After breakfast we went for snorkeling in the Shoalwater Island Marine Park (Cape Peron). If you are on the way to the north towards Ningaloo Reef, you can skip this. If you're just doing a daytrip from Perth, think about snorkeling here.
We have left Perth behind us, knowing that we are going to spend three days in Perth at the end of our journey.
After a few hours of driving the Indian Ocean Drive, we arrived in the dreamy fishing village of Cervantes early evening, looking for our campsite. Equipped with two iced beer we visited the Nambung National Park with its fascinating pinnacles. Of course we had to pay the full entry fee of $12 due to the late hour and again could not buy the WA National Park Pass. Definitely try to be at the pinnacles in the evening for sunset or moon rise. We strolled through the most beautiful parts of the park, took photos and just laid down in the desert sand and enjoyed the moment with our beer. Indescribable. When people are getting out of the park and the shadows are getting longer, the mood becomes mystical. The setting sun immerses the desert landscape in the most beautiful pastel colours and makes the 3 to 4 m high rock needles look like a small forest. An experience that you will never forget.
The Pinnacles are made of hard limestone rock. The ground was a few meters higher than the pinnacles 500,000 years ago and there were trees growing in this area. Lime-containing water seeped down at the roots of the trees, crystallized and petrified over time. The surrounding softer sandstone was removed over thousands of years, the harder limestone pillars remained. Seeing the Pinnacles in the moonlight was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.
Distance: 270 km
After breakfast, freshening up and refueling, we visited Thirsty Point - a white sandy beach washed by turquoise blue water. There is a small panoramic hill - altogether this beach is unspectacular and quite windy, so bathing here is rather uncomfortable.
The near coastal town is called Jurien Bay, where you can enjoy the lovely relatively warm water on the beach. It is worth to take a dive mask and fins and examine the many colourful starfish underwater. This is already a few hundred kilometres north of Perth and we are approaching the Tropic of Capricorn from south. That means we will soon enter the tropical climate zone.
Todays goal was Geraldton - the last major city before Exmouth. As a result, we wanted to replenish our supplies again, but the supermarkets was already closed at four pm. We came back the next day.
This evening we met some other German campers and chatted about our trips and plans. The more we heard about the north and its Outback, the more we realized that we could not do the trip to Karijini National Park. That would have been just 800 km from Exmouth, the next day we would do trips to the gorges of Karijini and finally the following day back to Exmouth. Some days they close the gorges due to hot temperatures, and the forecast was more than 40 degree. So we canceled our plans and invested the three days gained in the area around the Ningaloo Reef. This should be a real stroke of luck later on.
Distance: 220 km
On the morning of this day we had an appointment with Geraldton Air Charter at Geraldton Airport. Together with some other passengers, we received a briefing and got on a small propeller plane and flew towards the Houtman Abrolhos islands. I was a little frightened of this flight after the experiences in Africa last year. But it turned out be a calm flight. The closer we came, the more impressive the shades of crystal clear water became. In the shallow waters around the islands, we could see the silhouettes of sharks patrolling the coral reefs.
After overflying the islands, we finally touched down on East Wallabi Island, a small uninhabited island paradise in the Indian Ocean. Our pilot prepared some delicious sweet and savory snacks as well as cold drinks. The rest of the day we spent sunbathing at the sugar white beach, snorkeling in between colourful fish in the hard corals off the coast of the island and hiking the island where we met the namesake inhabitants of the island - the Wallabis. We really recommend this trip with Geraldton Air Charter. You will not be disappointed.
After the return flight, we hit the road for the small town of Kalbarri, the starting point for the famous Kalbarri National Park, which we absolutely were looking forward to visit, because the national park is close to the Karijini National Park regarding landscape. Unfortunately the highlights of the park are currently not accessible for private cars due to road renovation. We arranged a guided tour by e-mail with a local provider who had the permission for the highlights.
Distance: 155 km
Early in the morning we were picked up at the visitor center in Kalbarri with a 4WD bus and we made the 50 km to the entrance of the park together with some other visitors. The rock formations Nature window, Westloop and Z-bend are really impressive. From the paved road it is just quick hike to the sights. The fascinating views are a perfect reward for the heavy heat and the almost unbearable fly plague. Thousands of small flies try to fly into every face opening. Be sure to carry a hat with integrated fly net, otherwise you will go cracy. Of course, you also need to carry enough drinking water with you, especially if you plan to do a longer hike in this arid area.
Shortly after noon we were back at the visitor center, from where we made our way to Monkey Mia. After some hours of driving to the Shark Bay Peninsula, we arrived at the Monkey Mia campsite and got a very nice spot on the relatively crowded place. Monkey Mia is famous for its wild dolphins that come to the beach every morning. Of course we didn't want to miss this and and gained some information about the morning ritual. On the way back to the camper we ran in some Emus.
Distance: 400 km
This day we went to the beach before breakfast to get a good spot for dolphin watching. Unfortunately, this idea also had all the other campers, so the beach was crowded at 07:30 am. Swimming in the Dolphin Interaction Zone is forbidden. After a short briefing by the researchers, all the spectators set out in five rows at the water line. The dolphins were already there. In total we counted 14 dolphins. The National Park employees gave us information about dolphins and Monkey Mia in general for about 20 minutes. Thereafter, volunteers were selected from the audience, who were allowed to feed dolphins with one fish each. There are very few places in the world, where humans can encounter wild dolphins that close. The whole procedure was then repeated three times from 8 -10 am. If you want to join the spectacle, join the third feeding at 10 am, when there are very few other tourists.
A local told us that mortality among dolphin babies is about 95%, because mothers prefer to spend the whole day on the beach and wait for free fish instead of teaching their offspring how to hunt. That's what we experienced. When you go swimming next to the interaction zone, the animals are always present and approach the swimmers at a distance of half a metre and beg for fish. However, employees make sure that no one touches or harasses the animals. The whole thing looks more like a zoo or SeaWorld and probably has less to do with scientific interaction than with the fact that no one would visit Monkey Mia without the dolphins.
But that would be a huge miss, because the real treasure of Monkey Mia is not far away. Rent a kayak at Monkey Mia Boat hire – you can't miss it. They are the only provider on the beach. For $30 you can paddle around all day. Just ask the renter for recommendation where you see most animals. He is a very experienced underwater cameraman filming tiger sharks off Monkey Mia coast. He knows the waters very well. We came to talk to him by chance and listening to him convinced us to spend one more day and encounter the treasure of Monkey Mia.
Early in the morning we started our adventure equipped with a precise description of the area and where to spot what. On the way we stopped to taste the delicious rock oysters directly from the rocks. We cracked the delicacies with stones and sipped it directly. Actually, we both don't like oysters, but these rock oysters are in no way comparable to any other oysters. Really tasty. After half an hour of rowing, we came to the area which our the boat rental guy has indicated as the target area. What swam there under our little kayak is not really to be described with words: Countless stingrays, giant loggerhead turtles, jumping eagle rays, guitar rays as big as a kitchen table and many small sharks. Most of these animals we have seen elsewhere, but not in this incredible number and size. The real treasure of Monkey Mia. Having such an experience for only 30$ is really awesome.
Completely flashed from this experience, we made our way from the Shark Bay Peninsula back to the mainland. If you take the small detour, you will be rewarded at Eagle Bluff with a grandiose view of the turquoise sparkling bay. Armed with binoculars or tele-lens, you can watch rays and sharks.
Another stop on the way back is the famous Shell Beach: a kilometre long beach consisting only of fingernail-sized white mussels. A 10 – 20 meter thick layer. Unbelievable how many mussels it must be. These are mussels, which probably only live here in this very salty bay.
Only a few kilometres further you will find the stromatolites of Hamelin Pool, the oldest living creatures on earth. These are carpets of bacterial that are so old that they are already petrified in the older parts and still alive in the younger parts. These creatures are supposed to be up to three billion years old. We were at there at high tide and it was not very spectacular to be honest. Back on the road we saw a huge monitor lizard crossing the track just in front of us. It was much more spectacular than the stromatolites. From here we went to the town of Carnarvon, where we spent the night at the campsite.
Distance: 350 km
On this day we were on the road very early, because we planned to spend the afternoon at the beach of Coral Bay. On the way we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn and entered the tropical climate zone for the first time on this journey.
Once we arrived in Coral Bay, we found a great campsite close to the sea. The heat here was really heavy, so we spent a lot of time snorkeling and bathing. The beach here is wonderfully fine and snow-white, the water sparkles as always in the most beautiful turquoise colours. At high tide you wade about 50 m through knee-deep water until the seabed suddenly drops steeply to 3 to 4 m. Here the reef begins immediately. At low tide you can walk to the reef with dry feet and start snorkeling directly. Here in Coral Bay is the southern tip of the Ningaloo Reef, which then moves 200 to 300 km to the north. You can simply drift through the reef in the midst of colourful reef fishes and corals. We were lucky enough to spot blue spot sting rays and an eagle rays. The water is delightfully warm, but a little cloudy, as the coral spawning took place just before our arrival.
Every year shortly after the first full moon in March, all corals spawn their polyps as if by a secret signal at the same time. These masses of plankton of course also attract the large animals of the seas. But more on that later.
Distance: 240 km
We also spent the second day in Coral Bay hiking, sunbathing and snorkeling right on the beach. In the afternoon it got so hot, that even we had to move in the shade. Coral Bay itself is not more as a sleepy nest with two campsites. Most people come here to take part in whale sharks and mantas watching tours, but we had planned this for Exmouth.
In the morning we started towards Exmouth and made the last 150 km in heavy heat. At noon we arrived at the northernmost point of our route. We took a campsite in the city and replenished our supplies at IGA.
The rest of the day we spent in the shade of date palms, which were populated by snow-white cockatoos, at the beautiful pool. In the evening we had wonderful fish & chips in The Blue Lips Restaurant.
That day we went to bed early to be fit for the Whaleshark tour the next day. For Dominik this day should be the highlight of our journey. Seeing a whale shark has always been his dream since he heard about these giants of the oceans.
Distance: 150 km
At 7:00 o'clock we were picked up at the visitor center, in Exmouth. Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim will pick you up at any other place in Exmouth for the tour if you wish. We arrived at the boat ramp in Tantabiddi at 8:00 pm where our boat for the day was waiting for us.
After a short briefing, we went to the Ningaloo Reef, which is a few kilometres off the coast.
After a really delicious breakfast, we went snorkeling the first time this day. It was an easy drift snorkel on the reef. There were no whale sharks to be expected, but the guides told us that lucky snorkelers will seee mantas or sharks. Unfortunately, we were not granted this. But drifting above large coral blocks and admiring the colourful fish in the water, was amazing though.
Back on the boat, the guides explained the exact rules of conduct when interacting with whale sharks in order not to disturb or scare the animals. Our boat now took the passage through the reef, course to the open sea. Are you wondering how to track a whale shark in the middle of the ocean? Our spotter plane always circled over us. This serves only to scan the water surface from above and to look for the outlines of the huge fish. Once the pilot has spotted a whale shark, he will send the captain of the boat a radio call and guide him to the fish.
Unfortunately, we were not granted this experience that day. A few times we were told to get ready to jump in the water, because the pilot spotted a shark. However, when we got to the said spot, the fish was gone. Well, it's not a zoo. Fortunately. After an excellent lunch and a second snorkelling on the inner reef, we sailed back to the boat ramp again.
The rough sea made it difficult for the pilot to spot the whale shark from above. Difficult for some passengers was to keep the contents of their stomach. The swell really made it a hard day for everyone. Only we were fine. This was probably due to the Vomex and the fact, that we were drinking a lot of water and tried to stay hydrated. Anyway. At about 3 pm we were back on land and half an hour later back at the campsite.
Most tour operators in Exmouth have a no-sighting policy that guarantees the customer a compensation in the event of a tour without a whale shark. Either you get half of your money back (tour price 390 AU$), receive a transferable, several years valid voucher for another tour or you get a seat on the next available tour. We opted for the latter and booked us for the tour in 3 days.
We set up our camp for the night at North Kurrajong camp site. None of the campsites in the park offers shade, running water or electricity. There's only waterless toilets. We were the only campers at this site, until our Swiss friends, which we had already met in Kalbarri and Monkey Mia, arrived. The location is just great.
After we found our place in Cape Range, we made our way to Turquoise Bay. Another wonderful beach, which is characterized by a dangerous current towards the open sea. There we actually spent the whole day reading and sleeping.
Dominik was awakened from sleep in the afternoon, when someone threw sand on his face. When we both woke up, we quickly realized who was it. It was a monitor lizard that dug a hole in the sand next to us. We suspect he was digging for turtle eggs there. When he noticed us, he backed off and slowly disappeared in the bushes behind us. The wildlife here in Western Australia is really crazy.
Distance: 70 km
Today the fourth week of camping starts and our bio-rhythm has adapted for long time. We wake up with the sun and go to sleep with the sun. The spirit is slowing down totally – especially if you don't have an internet connection or other distractions like here in the National Park. When we woke up today, two kangaroos were examining our camping chairs and our dishes that we had forgotten to wash yesterday. Luckily, the two didn't notice us and we could observe them.
This day we started with a long walk on the dunes and on the beach, where we spotted a lot of kangaroos, small crabs in the sand, rays and small sharks chasing in the shallow water. Later we went to the beach Oyster Stacks - a great spot for drift snorkeling. You just lay down on the surface of the water and let yourself drift effortlessly above the corals and fish. Among them you can see giant clams, schools of reef fish and luminous corals. We went snorkeling several times, because it was so great. The beach itself is rather rocky, brown and not comfortable for sunbathing.
In the evening we returned to the campsite and after dinner we went on night walk with our friends from Switzerland equipped with the headlight. From everywhere, tiny little green eyes mistrustfully observed us from the darkness. What a spooky sight. We suspected that it must be a kind of spider, but we are not sure.
Then we went to sleep to be fit for the second attempt to see a whale shark.
At 8 am we met with the other tour participants and the guides again at the boat ramp. The procedure was identical to the one last Saturday.
Barely after the first time we were snorkeling again aboard the ship, we heard "Get ready guys, we have a shark". We equipped ourself with snorkel gear. First, a guide jumps into the water and makes the "spots – no stripes" test and checks if it is really a whale shark and not a tiger. The guide made the signal that it was a whale shark and the first group jumped into the blue water. As previously discussed, we lined up and waited. The guide pointed in the blue water and we wondered what´s there. But suddenly a giant mouth as big as a garage door appeared out of the blue. My heart almost stopped beating, but it was fantastic. The whale shark is the largest fish on our planet and still moves gracefully.
We were swimming for several minutes very close to the 8-metre beauty and tried to follow in a given distance and with the necessary respect. Also as a good swimmer/snorkeler you can not keep up with the fish for long. Seeing this beautiful animal with its blue-shining skin and the many small white dots I will not forget all my life. The guide called „Stop“, everybody was swimming towards him and we were collected by the boat again. The feeling of drifting here in the hundreds of meters deep blue waters of the Indian Ocean and waiting until the boat picked us up was very scary.
In total, we could swim with the whale shark four times. What an experience.
Around 2 pm we were back ashore and went back to the campsite in Exmouth to shop and recharge our battery, because our fridge started to warm up. In the evening we spoilt ourselves tin the restaurant BBQ Godfather to celebrate the day. Delicious pizza and amazing grilled seafood.
Distance: 70 km
Well we drove back the 800 km from Exmouth to Kalbarri, what was not particularly exciting. Everything feels like leaving WA, even though we stay a short week here.
Distance: 800 km
After just one night at the campsite we visited the impressive Kalbarri coastal cliffs in the morning. In particular Natural Bridge and Castle Cove are worth a visit.
After one hour we hit the road again and stopped at Pink Lake in Hutt Lagoon and this one is really pink. The irradiation of the sun probably plays a big role in how one perceives the color. Be sure to have a view from the west side of the lake. The lake is, in fact, salt water, where nothing but a certain species of bacteria can survive. These creatures produce beta-carotene while digesting, which gives the lake its great color. Definitely worth a visit.
In the afternoon we made a short break in Greenhead, where there have been a cute seal in the shallow water in front of the jetty says „Hi“ to us. But that was the only highlight in Greenhead.
Our goal for today is the campsite in Ledge Point, where we spent the night. Especially at night it was quite cold again. To be honest we never had a really comfortable night in the camper because it was either too cold or too warm. You are helpless against heat, you could buy a thicker blanket against cold, but prices in WA made us freeze.
Distance: 460 km
Today should be our last day as campers – at least on this trip. All in all, I was really skeptical about camping in the beginning, but it definitely was the right decision and we never regretted it. The other campers were very nice and helpful. Although we will have been travelled more than 6,000 km at the end of our trip, we met the same people again and again what led to real little travel friendships.
So we drove from Ledge Point to Yanchep National Park, where we visited the only koala colony in WA. But actually the koalas could hardly be seen, because they slept in a fenced enclosure on high trees. They're rather boring. The sweet little kangaroos were present again everywhere. We then took part in a one-hour guided tour of the Crystal Cave. That was quite nice, but not very exciting either. I wouldn't visit Yanchep National Park again.
We made our way back to where our journey started 25 days ago – Perth. Here we had booked a small cabin at a campsite near the airport. We spent the evening cleaning the camper of red sand and repacking our backpacks.
Distance: 150 km
Today we returned our camper and took the bus to our hotel in the city.
We were really looking forward to visit Perth as we had not seen anything from Perth when we arrived.
We explored the city centre with its lovely marina. We also made the strenuous steps up to the Botanical garden at Kings Park and were rewarded with a gigantic view of the skyline and the Swan River.
Later that day we were strolling through the shops in the lively Hay road. In the evening we tried various regional and international snacks and beers at the Landing festival.
Today we got to the Port of Fremantle by train. Fremantle is considered the city's free-spirited artistic district.
First of all, we admired the statue of Bon Scott of AC/DC.
Then the ferry took us to Rottnest Island (duration: 25 minutes), where we first checked into the hotel and got us bikes. There are no cars on Rottnest – so we made a tour around the island and were lucky enough to spotone one of the most famous islanders. This is a very small kangaroo called Quokka. These cute guys are known to be willing to make selfies with tourists and smile properly. Look at the photos. Really awesome.
In the evening we had an excellent grilled seafood platter in the restaurant Aristos. It is important to ask for grilled seafood. Usually the locals eat it battered and fried. At least that's our taste.
On our last morning in WA, we had breakfast in a sweet little cafe and then took the bus to the airport. Actually, this is the end of our time in Australia. At noon we took our flight to Singapore (5.5 hours) and then to Munich (12.5 hours).
What an adventure.