They said: Australian adventures to wild places – untouched and uncrowded! It was true!
Clayton, our guide, picked us up in a hostel in Perth Northbridge area at 6:30 in the morning. We were 15 in the group, with some people from Great Britain, South Africa, Germany, Sydney, Japan and Iran.
We headed into York – and travelled across a varied landscape – the oldest inland town in Western Australia where I had my breakfast in a Cafe, before going Wave Rock near Hyden. We stopped and saw the dog cemetary on the way.
It’s 15m high rock with different colors, it’s about 350 km from Perth. Very impressive place where we stopped for lunch.
After we went south to the Fitzergald River National Park, where we unpacked our tents and installed our bush camp. This huge national (3300 square km) park is located along lovely coast. We had a hike in this biosphere, we had to clean out shoes before, in order to avoid the spread of dieback. Unfortunately it was too late for a swim, but I enjoyed the place.
I shared my tent with Michael, an Iranian guy who is very nice, and I slept very well.
We left the national park and went to Esperance along the coastline. Then we went to Cape Le Grand National Park, where we unpacked the tents some meters from a beautiful beach. We had to share the place with two lovely kangaroos who were here. I had a wonderful swim there.
In the afternoon, we hiked the Frenchman Peak, from where I really enjoyed the beautiful landscape.
Camping facilities were excellent; they even had some showers
I enjoyed walking from 7:00AM along the coast, then had a swim on one of the lovely beaches.
Then we went back to Esperance, then headed to Norseman and reached the Eyre Highway, ready to cross the Nullarbor plain. Nullarbor name origins is from latin for ‘no trees’. Eyre is dedicated to John Eyre, the European explorer who explored this area from east to west.
We stopped and played in a salty lake, then we camped in the bush.
We stopped at the first petrol station, where we could take an enjoyable shower.
Then, we crossed the 90 Mile Straight: Australia’s Longest Straight Road (146.6
km), then the road turned left (private joke :>).
We stopped at Cocklebiddy to visit the Cocklebiddy Cave, the largest cave in the Nullarbor, where we had a swim in the undergound lake. The water seemed quite cold first, but once in, it was a real pleasure! Swimming is darkness is first weird, then very funny.
Then we saw the real Nullarbor plain, then went through Madura to fill the tank. we bushcamped in the middle of nowhere. At this point of the trip, I really realized how big and uncrowded this continent is.
We visited the old Eucla, some picturesque ruins of a telegraph station, opened in 1877. It’s surrounded and inside sand dunes.
Later, we saw the Nullarbor cliffs, where we could see dolphins swimming in the sea. Later we saw the famous wombat/camel/kangaroo road sign. Then, we crossed the dingo fence in Yalata Aboriginal lands.
In the afternoon, we arrived in Fowlers Bay, near some huge sand dunes, where we’ve been playing in the sand (jump, run and sand boarding). I still had sand in my ears two days later.
We stopped near Ceduna, then we went for a cruise on a boat, where we swam and saw the dolphins and sea lions. In the evening, we stopped in the town of Streaky Bay, where we ate and slept
We visited Murphy’s Haystacks, a very old amazing rock formation. We had lunch in the outback, near a salty lake, where I ran around. In the afternoon, we headed into Port Augusta, where we had our first traffic light since the first day! In the late afternoon, we arrived in Adelaide, after over 3500 km of travel, which is more than London to Moscow
I decided to spend the first days in Perth, where I planned to recover from nonexistent jet lag, and to see some local people who have been waiting for me for a while. I also chose that city because it’s supposed to be the sunniest city of Australia, and also the most isolated big city in the world. I *really* enjoyed that place. People are relaxed and peaceful there.
I walked around shops to get camping and backpacking stuff; I was impressed by the choice and price.
Urbanization is a bit weird when you come from Europe, but I enjoyed and realized how cosmopolitan, modern and vibrant the city is.
I spent almost four hours walking and looking in the City Business District in Hay Street and Murray Street Malls.
I bought a hat, sunglasses, a phone prepaid card, some electric stuff, first postcards, then had a swim in the hotel’s swimming pool. Temperature was between 29 and 34 degrees during the day.
I had lunch in the food court in the Carillon arcade, where you can choose between all sort of food (American, Italian, Asian, …), where I ate some Chinese cooked vegetables.
In the afternoon, I walked to the Swan Bell tower, then followed the cycle way along the Swan river, and went up to Kings Park, where we have a view on the city and the river. A part of this walk wasn’t so funny, where the cycle path went along the Freeway road, but it’s wasn’t that bad.
I walked up to the Park, and could see how local people enjoy the outside life. I spent almost half an hour to look around the CBD. Then I walked through the 17ha Botanic Garden, which has more than 2500 plant species from Western Australia. I spent all the afternoon in this park, and enjoyed the swim back at the hotel!
I also visited Perth Zoo in South Perth, using the ferry across the river, where we can see attractive plants, Australian wildlife (including koalas and kangaroos). I spent a whole day there.
Next day, I went to Freemantle, suburb on the Indian Ocean, where I had my first swim in the sea. I visited the town as well, had my lunch in the market. For the evening, I ate in a sushi bar in Perth.
Next day, I saw my friends, and the following day, I left with the-traveller for 7 days of adventure to Adelaide.
The flight was very long, but everything went alright: Thanks Qantas for providing me a place with a lot of space (near the exit door), I could move inside the plane without bothering anyone. Even check-in and boarding was quite easy, I expected it to be very stressing, but it was well organized. There was a French guy going to Sydney for business who sat down near me for only a week! He left the plane in Singapore, where we arrived at 6:00 AM after 11 hours of flight. I walked a bit in Singapore’s airport: I never saw a so well organized and clean airport in the past. We took off to Perth at 7:30 with a British man who’s been reading his book all the time, possibly even faster than anatsuno, I was really impressed. I didn’t sleep at all during the 18 hours of flight.
At around noon, we landed in Perth, I fetched my bags, went through the immigration and custom services. I was a bit scared, looked at what happened to other people (deep baggage inspection). They just asked me if I had anything to declare, they looked at my passport, asked me if the address on my passport was still correct; I answered "yes", and they just let me go in without any further questions and wished me a happy holiday in Australia.
I took the taxi to go to Perth’s Central Business District, where my first hotel was. It took about 30 minutes, and it did only cost about 30 Australian dollars.
The hotel wasn’t bad at all: swimming pool, sauna, spa, fitness room, 5 minutes walk from the mall, quiet room. I tried the shower first, then I put my summer clothes on and walked a bit around, just bought some sun screen. Then I went back to the hotel, had a swim, tried the fitness for a few minutes, and went back to my room where I unpacked my stuff. It was around 7:00PM. I just tried how good my bed was, then it was 2:00AM, and decided to remove my clothes and get in it. I woke up at six in the morning, full of energy; no problem with jet lag.