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The west coast of Australia was initially just an embarrassment destination for us, because Australia was never at the top of our list. After four weeks, the west coast of the red continent completely enchanted us and became our dream destination. If you are planning to visit the west coast of Australia, our travel tips will definitely help you.
If you fly to the west coast of Australia, you will most likely get off the plane in Perth.
For normal tourist activities you have to apply for the free eVisitor visaonline before arrival. This allows you to stay in the country for up to 3 months at a time. As visa regulations change from time to time, be sure to check the official website for the current regulations before you arrive
Depending on what you plan to do, you can take the airport bus into town or have it brought to your camper rental company. Unfortunately, most camper companies are not directly at the airport, so you need a taxi.
The west coast of Australia is very sparsely populated, so there is almost no public transport outside of Perth. Of course, one or the other small town has a city bus, but it doesn't help us much as a traveler.
We picked up our reserved camper directly and drove inland. In the following, our tips therefore focus primarily on life in the camper and on campsites. Of course you can also travel the country by car and sleep in hotels.
The camper pick-up takes about 40 minutes with instruction and paperwork.
We can only advise you to check your camper thoroughly before you travel. With us the CD player didn't work because a CD from the predecessor was in it and didn't want to move. Since the radio reception in WA is very poor, we listened to the same 11 songs from Kathrin's cell phone for four weeks. In addition, the air conditioning controller could not be turned, a screw on the sink cabinet was missing and that caused a nasty squeak. The provider offered to visit a workshop on our route, but it wasn't worth the 1 to 2 day break.
The large distances and the sparse population in WA force you to refuel in time. Detours and unannounced road closures can sometimes lead you to travel one to two hundred kilometers longer than planned, without having to pass a petrol station. A can of petrol and a spare wheel certainly make sense. We didn't have both.
Since in some national parks you can only drive with four-wheel drive or one or the other flood causes you to drive on gravel roads or through deeper water, we definitely recommend renting a 4WD camper for your trip to the west coast of Australia. Of course, that also depends on your route.
Since you cannot rely on the WiFi reception on the campsites, you should definitely buy a prepaid SIM card. We chose Vodafone. We had good reception in Perth and the surrounding area, but for the rest of our tour on the west coast of Australia we were virtually cut off in terms of communication. The provider Telstra (status 2017) offers much better network coverage on the west coast.
During our west coast trip, we mostly cooked ourselves. Our camper had a small kitchenette, which was perfectly adequate. Nevertheless, next time we would make sure that you also have a possibility to cook outside of the camper. We mostly bought from Coles or IGA and then cooked fresh and delicious in the evening. This is important to us and is part of camping. Accordingly, we grilled a lot of lamb and seafood and made delicious salads as side dishes. For us there is nothing better than sitting alone in the sand dunes and enjoying great food and a bottle of Australian white wine. This lifestyle when traveling is not exactly cheap, especially on the west coast of Australia. Accordingly, we also met many other campers who mainly lived on pasta with tomato sauce.
A visit to a restaurant in Western Australia almost brings you to financial ruin. There is often no operation. You order at the counter, pay there and it is then brought to your table. The food is delicious, but it is often fried and greasy. We also grilled our seafood everywhere instead of being breaded - even if it wasn't on the menu.
No matter how you do it, eating in WA will cost you a lot of money.
Outside of Perth, ATMs are in short supply and there is no guarantee that the available ATMs are always full. We once felt that the ATM didn't spit anything out and that we stood there without cash. Credit card is generally accepted, but depending on the receipt, it can always happen that the payment portals do not work properly and it says "Only cash is true". If you want to be on the safe side, then equip yourself with enough cash in Perth that you can get to the nearest major city. Until then, it is usually several hundred kilometers on the west coast of Australia. The larger cities that we visited on our tour are, besides Perth, Albany, Esperance, Geraldton, Fremantle and Exmouth.
Nature and animals are the reason for a trip to the west coast of Australia.
Huge whale sharks and rays, turtles, kangaroos and breathtaking nature. Take a look at our highlights in Western Australia or in our article on the most beautiful beaches on the west coast of Australia..
If you plan to visit more than three national parks - and you should - get the Holiday Pass, which allows you to enter all of the national parks on the west coast of Australia. You can buy the Holiday Pass either online or at the National Park ticket booths. But be careful: these ticket booths are only occupied at peak times. You can also buy day tickets to national parks using a form that you put in an envelope with the entrance fee and then throw in a mailbox. You can only buy the Holiday Pass from the cashier. Since we actually always try to be at the highlights outside of peak hours, we stupidly had to buy each national park pass individually.
In some national parks you only get ahead with all-wheel drive. So consider when deciding 4WD camper vs. Minivan campers which national parks you want to see.
Campsites located in national parks usually have no electricity and water sources, so you should take precautions accordingly.
We liked the Cape Le Grand National Park with its famous Lucky Bay and the Cape Range National Park, where we stayed at the North Kurrajong campsite.
The Cape Range National Park is located on the Ningaloo Reef and is perfect for snorkeling. At the tourist information there is information about the tides.
We particularly liked Turquoise Bay, where the reef begins about 50 m from the shore and a relaxed drift snorkeling is possible.
Oyster Stacks is also really cool. The entrance is a bit rocky, but the subsequent insight into the underwater world is really great.
At this point we want to give you some general travel tips for Perth and the surrounding area.
If you want to visit a club or a party somewhere in Perth, don't forget to bring your ID with you - no matter how old you are, otherwise you won't have a chance to be part of this party ;-).
Opposite Perth station is The Globe Bar. Super cool flair, delicious food and cool drinks.
Rottnest Island - the island of cute quokkas - is about a 20-minute boat ride from Fremantle.
The easiest way to get to Fremantle is by train.
There are no cars on Rottnest Island, but more and more cyclists. Bikes are offered by the Rottnest Express ferry company. However, behind the Hotel Rottnest there is also a bike rental with many different bike models, different helmet sizes and well-maintained bikes. You pay $ 30 for 24 hours.
There is a supermarket, bakery, ice cream parlor, subway, fashion store and restaurants on the island.
TIP: If you are not too picky and want to save some money, you can buy great sandwiches from the day before at the bakery. We can only recommend it.
The temperatures between the northern and southern parts of Western Australia can vary widely. If you are happy to have air conditioning in your car in the north, you need warm clothes and a thick blanket in the southern part at least in the evening and at night. Of course, all of this depends on your travel time.
According to some online sources, a pink lake can be found in Esperance. However, when you are there, you understand that the lake has not been pink for a long time. So we would advise against stopping here. If you want to see a pink lake, you should visit the Hutt Lagoon in Port Gregory. Really awesome.
If you want to stay in Cape Le Grand National Park, you have to be quick. There are two campsites with limited and particularly popular weekends. We really wanted to stay at the campsite on Lucky Bay. Early in the morning, when the national park entrance is not yet occupied, you should already drive through the entrance gates. Then there are volunteers who take care of the allocation of places.
The receptions at many campsites are no longer occupied from 6:00 p.m. at the latest. We therefore recommend either booking the campsites on the website or planning an early arrival there. However, some campsites also have keys (for bath houses) with envelopes on site, in which you fill in the completed arrival form, the fee and take the key. On a trust basis.
Depending on the location and facilities of the campsite, you have to plan 30 to 50 Australian dollars per night.
Here you come to our travel report, so that you can assign these campsites Western Australia to the experiences that we made on our tour.
The holiday parks / campsites are not cheap, but very well equipped. You will always find a BBQ area and camping kitchen, as well as sinks, refrigerators and gas stoves. The toilets and showers are also in very good condition. The WiFi is poor almost without exception.
The campsites in the national parks usually have no electricity or water connection, so you should take precautions and calculate the battery and supplies accordingly. Most of the time, the campsites in the national parks also have relatively poor sanitary facilities and only outhouses and no showers.
If you want to stay overnight at the RAC Monkey Mia Resort after Monkey Mia, you have to pay a holiday fee in addition to the parking space fee (as of 2017: stay 1 day: $ 12; several days: $ 18).
A tour in Western Australia is pretty much the most expensive thing you can afford. The unique landscape compensates for this 100%. Here you can find our travel report. Let yourself be inspired.
We always live on foot when traveling. The time when we slept in hostels and ate canned ravioli is over for us. However, we only did a few things - such as restaurant visits and hotels - in absolute exceptional cases. But since we are passionate eaters, we never miss out on culinary delights. In Western Australia, it's fairly easy to get groceries yourself. We usually stocked up a good supply of good meat - mostly lamb or beef - and fresh vegetables and stored them in the camper fridge. It should always be noted how long the fridge in the camper has been supplied with electricity. So it is best to take into account the upcoming destinations and routes when shopping and how long your refrigerator can keep the food cool and fresh. So we could always eat delicious, high quality and regional food on our Western Australia tour and at the same time not spend any fortune.
We did not show any nakedness on the excursions either. Some destinations simply cannot be explored on your own, because you need a boat or an airplane. Most of the time, however, these are the experiences that will be remembered for a long time and are therefore worth their money. Just watch our video about Abrolhos Islands and you will know what we mean. So we spent a lot of money on food and experiences.
The Western Australia tour can certainly be made cheaper than we did, but it is certainly more expensive.
Requirements: For this you have to download the offline maps beforehand.
Description: You can navigate anywhere offline.
Cost: € 4.99
Requirements: For this you have to download the offline maps beforehand.
Description: You can search for campsites. The campsites are provided with additional information such as WiFi reception, water, electricity and the like. displayed.
Requirements: Internet connection is required.
Description: Entry of start and end point in Perth. The app provides you with the best connection in combination with walking, bus and train travel.
We absolutely loved the west coast of Australia. Cruising the lifestyle with the camper through the lonely landscape of the red continent is unique and we have never experienced it again before or after. Above all, the animals and nature, but also the friendly nature of the Aussies are really unique. The planning for our next trip to Western Australia / West Coast Australia is already in full swing. This time we want to push further north towards the Kimberleys.