We finally arrived on the Australian West coast, after what felt like crossing all of Europe. One of the first things we did, yes we cheated a little, we rented a little cottage in Esperance for a week. This helped us explore and just relax without having to worry about finding a toilet, shower, or place to sleep. Esperance is truly a little piece of heaven. Actually, the entire South-West coast is. If you’re on the West coast you’ll find one beautiful beach after the other and as everywhere in Australia, there were lots of wholehearted and friendly people too. It was however a place where rules were stricter and backpackers felt a little less welcomed due to its ‘higher class status’. It’s the land of wineries, craft-breweries, and high-end boutiques. As you can imagine, walking through fancy-lane with a toothbrush in your hand whilst in search for a public bathroom makes you feel a little out of place. It didn’t stop us from loving it though. What follows are some of our favourite excursions in Perth and the South-West Australian continent:
Just grab your stuff and go. Whether you want to just spend some time for leisure enjoying the beaches, want a quiet getaway with your loved one, need a place for a family stay, or want to attend a great party – it’s your place. It’s truly a diverse and bustling town with white sandy beaches and dunes that are just at the foothills of one of our favourite mountain hikes: The Cape Le Grande Coastal Trail. It is a 15km trail along the coast featuring rocky headlands, beaches, and sketchy trails. Classed at difficulty 5/5 in two sections, 4/5 in one, and 3/5 in the last, I will let the pictures below do the describing for me:
Tree Top Hike
As you venture down the coast, you’ll notice Albany and Denmark. Stop in, check them out, spend a few days exploring – there’s lots to do and see! The fascinating 400m loop in the surroundings called the “tree top hike” is one of our favourites. You can extend this by hiking along the bottom. You essentially traverse self-standing platforms attached to the tops of ginormous trees. You are 40+ meters in the air and are able to experience a forest from the view of the birds and koalas. Admittedly, we are afraid of heights but that just helped the adrenaline pump a little harder.
If not just for its sheer beauty, go here because it is Australia’s biggest show cave. It has three massive chambers and is the proud owner of Australia’s longest straw stalactite. You get to admire thousands of years old crystal formations that look like they came from another planet. It is really special to see mother nature undertake one of her most time-consuming creations. And if your tour guide likes you, you might even see the remains of a possum and those of an ancient Tasmanian tiger who fell to his death in this dark cave a long time ago. I won’t give the story away because its discovery and that of the cave are truly unique.
Busselton Jetty Sunrise
If you notice you really need an awesome party town Busselton is your place to go. It is probably one of the bigger towns coming from Adelaide on your way to Perth. But our favourite bit is something you miss if you stay up late! Busselton has a 1.8km Jetty stretching out into the sea and it gave quite a spectacle during sunrise.
Perth: Rottnest & Fremantle Prison
There are so many awesome things to do in Perth that it is hard to pick just one. So we picked two. Of course there are countless amazing art galleries, street art walks, museums, cafes, and beaches but for us it came down to Rottnest Island and Fremantle Prison. Going to Rottnest to experience the qwokka, the cutest animal we’ve ever seen, is a once in a life time experience. It could make the coldest Siberian melt. On top of that, Rottnest has some awesome volunteers who take care of the Island and provide some free tours whilst you’re there. Grab a bike and explore!
Number two would be Fremantle. Go there and enjoy a more modern and almost Berlin-like atmosphere. There are art pieces being showcased in containers, so much good coffee, and if you’re lucky, lots of food trucks around. Fremantle is also home to the infamous Fremantle Prison. It is listed as a World Heritage site and probably has some of Australia’s darkest history. Go there for a night tour and be amazed at not only what was still occurring 20-30 years ago, but at the great guides who will amaze you with some possibly scary stories of what went on within those walls.
As a side note, what we didn’t mention is that whilst we were in Perth we were with Victoria and Liam. Victoria is a wonderful musically talented person that was in Simone’s high-school. They played in band together. Liam is her super friendly and equally musically talented boyfriend. Guess what. She has a Winston (yes she also owns a Mercedes MB-100D Van! And! She was house-sitting in Perth. So we got to spend almost two and a half weeks discovering Perth together! There’s nothing quite like running into someone from home.