Australia Roadtrip – Western Australia

This is the fourth in a series of posts about my 2011 roadtrip around Oz. Checkout Tasmania, South Australia and campervan purchase!

Western Australia was almost the place that never was. I think after it is all said and done, my favourite state of the not too recent Oz Roadtrip was Western Australia. Many people rave about Western Australia – particularly the backpackers we met along our journey and I always just put it down to crazy Europeans being in awe of the sun and sand that they never get at home. But I was naive. Western Australia impressed me in a way that was totally unexpected and in a way that could only have been experienced on a roadtrip.

Western Australia is a massive state that defies all comprehension. When entering the state on the Nullarbor Plain, you continue to drive for a full day before you reach a town with more than 50 people. It’s then another day’s driving to reach the western coast. The coastline extends for over 12000km (8000 miles) and most of the interior is completely empty save for a few camels, dingos and emus.

Our first stop was the remote but modern town of Esperance on the south coast, 700km east of the capital of Western Australia, Perth. It is an area with some of the best beaches you will ever see and offers some great camping opportunities in the Cape le Grand National Park.

Stunning Beach in Cape le Grand National Park
Stunning Beach in Cape le Grand National Park

The next area I really loved was Albany. Why? Well… The town itself is beautiful with some gorgeous suburbs. But around the whole area there is beach after beach and vantage point after vantage point that takes your breath away. Really! Plus, you can go on a free tour of a forest at the Valley of the Giants near Denmark which starts at 10am. The best beach I have ever been to is Greens Pool just outside of Denmark. How can a place really look like this?

Greens Pool, Denmark, Western Australia
Greens Pool - My Favourite Beach

Finally, I thought Perth was magic. I’d been to Perth a couple of times before, but not with the same spirit as I did this time. This time it was more about food and Perth duly delivered. What struck me about Perth was how new and shiny everything was. It is clearly evident that the mining boom which has been going on for about 10 years now is paying dividends for Western Australia’s capital. Thousands of people work on remote mine sites around the state and fly to and from work on what they call a “fly in fly out” basis. The mines are desperate for workers and consequently people are lured there with big pay packets. The lifestyle sounds somewhat brutal, but I wouldn’t mind giving it a go one day.

Polenta & Mushrooms at Toast, East Perth
Polenta & Mushrooms at Toast, East Perth
City Beach, Perth
City Beach, Perth

We didn’t get further north than Perth. If you look at a map, you’ll realise that Perth isn’t far north at all! So we had a fab time in Western Australia and didn’t even scratch the surface. Had we headed north to the famed areas of Shark Bay, Ningaloo Reef and the Kimberley, we would have had to drive about 5000km further and taken weeks to do it – we just didn’t have the time. But these places have reputations larger than the areas we visited and I am supremely confident that they will stack up.

I’d like to say that I cannot recommend Western Australia highly enough, but that would sound stupid. So I’ll just say that if you plan to go anywhere in Australia, try to take a roadtrip in Western Australia. It is magnificent.

13 thoughts on “Australia Roadtrip – Western Australia

  1. That polenta and mushroom dish was out of control good…been thinking about it the past few days actually!

    If I could pop back to Oz for 3 months at this very moment, I’d visit SA and WA all over again and do the coast of Queensland again. Must win the lottery first.

  2. Thanks so much for the chat we’ve had about Esperance this week Adam. I am so so excited about going now. I will report back on Ningaloo!

    1. My pleasure. It’s a top spot and you will love it! Would have loved to get to Ningaloo… But it was just such a long way. I think I will get there one day. I’d love to do another big roadtrip.

  3. Your photos are fabulous. The colors are amazing. I must say the photo of Greens Pool is one of my favorites (although the food is enticing). Love the post and love hearing more about the roadtrip and all you have seen and done. Lucky you – life is good!

    1. Thanks Camille. Greens Pool really looked like that as well. In fact all those ocean shots did. It’s an absolutely incredible part of the world I’d be back there in a heartbeat — if I didn’t have other places to go… 🙂

  4. I’ve only been southwest in WA, too – it’s so hard to go north of Perth! WA is massive. It’s got to be my next Australian trip for sure.

    1. How did you find southwest WA? I’d really like to do the NW of WA at some stage, but it’d have to be part of a bigger trip with a better van. 🙂

      1. I really enjoyed it! I’ve been to Perth a few times (always for work!) and because I used to work in the tourism industry I got a free 3 day tour of the SW…it was a very quick intro, but it’s beautiful! Would have loved to keep going across the Nullarbor all the way back to Sydney! Definitely want to do it myself in a car next time.

  5. Wow, it looks stunning! I was debating whether to go to Western Australia when I head there early next year, but I am convinced to pop over there for a bit now!

    1. Yeah it is stunning. The colours are just unrealistic! I’ve never seen water or sand like that before. Growing up on the east coast of Australia, you never consider going to WA for a holiday and consequently when foreign visitors ask you about it, you tell them not to bother with the 5 hour flight and longer drive because there are plenty of great beaches along the east coast. And there are. But over there it’s different and I will recommend it to everyone I meet from now on. 🙂 So go there.

  6. I think we will go but fly to Perth and drive. Imagine beautiful scenery and no one hassling you to buy grap!

    1. Yeah… worth the effort I reckon. Could be pricey though if you were not choosing budget accommodation…

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