We were going to do a WA Top 10, but much like our Queensland top spots post, we couldn’t limit it that much! We loved WA and have to say that since leaving Sydney it’s been our favourite state – lots of wilderness, natural beauty and peace and quiet. In the order we found them (roughly north to south), these are the activities, places and sights that we enjoyed most as we made our way down the west coast.
Remember that we’re two adults travelling in a motorhome so you won’t find any playgrounds or off-road exploits in our list, and we haven’t taken pets into account either. But don’t let that put you off reading!
- Swimming in Lake Argyle and enjoying happy hour at the same time! We took the Lake Argyle Sunset Cruise from Lake Argyle Caravan Park and lived to tell the tale despite there being up to 35,000 freshwater crocodiles in the lake with us. (Don’t panic – Lake Argyle is about 1,000 square kilometres in size so there’s plenty of room for tourists AND crocs!)
- Taking a day trip from Broome to Horizontal Falls. We’ve already written about that trip in detail here, but Chris will never forget his experience in the cockpit on the way there and back.
- Hanging out on Cable Beach in Broome, then watching the camel tours at sunset and sipping cocktails on Zanders terrace.
- Climbing down the rock face into Joffre Gorge in Karijini National Park. The rock formations and colours are what we’ll remember, rather than the icy temperature of the water. Honest! We really enjoyed all of Karijini NP but this was a particular highlight.
- Staying at Kurrajong Campground in Cape Range National Park. We loved everything about our stay at Kurrajong and it’s been our favourite place on the trip since we found it. The beach at Kurrajong is metres from the campground and we snorkelled straight from the beach with turtles, rays and a multitude of colourful fish. Just outside the ‘house reef’ we watched whales breaching during happy hour, and chatting to our fellow campers and the camp hosts added to making this a really special place for us.
- Seeing the blowholes blowing at Quobba, then staying just up the road at Quobba Station. This part of the coast is spectacular – the colours are stunning, we’ve never seen as many beautiful shells on the beach, and of course the west coast sunsets don’t disappoint.
- Star-gazing at Hamelin Outback Station Stay. Also the best shower of the trip to date for Karen!
- Whale-watching from the clifftops in Kalbarri. Another stunning part of the WA coast. Although we were pleased to get our Nature’s Window photo in Kalbarri National Park (the flies ruined the Loop hike for us), it was a bike ride along the coast to Pot Alley that allowed us to admire the colours and wildlife from each of the lookouts along that stretch that were the real highlights.
- Cycling, swimming, sealion watching and quokka spotting on Rottnest Island. One of the best days out of our trip so far.
- Finding solitude in Shannon National Park. (Chris: And snakes!)
- Cycling along the WOW Trail from Denmark to Lights Beach. Great scenery, a good workout and some black cockatoos which are under threat of extinction.
- Feeling moved by the National ANZAC Centre in Albany. A stunning setting and thoughtful treatment of some challenging material.
- Battling the elements to reach the top of Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Range. We walked through rain, sun and hail but the views from the summit, which we had to ourselves, were well worth it. Not sure about the four or five days it took for our legs to recover, but that’s another story!
- Staying at Le Grand Beach Campground in Cape Le Grand National Park. Our second favourite spot after Kurrajong. Huge sites on a small campground, only metres from an incredible beach. Hot showers (when we used them!) were an unexpected bonus. We cycled to Hellfire Bay from the campground and the colours of the water there made the effort worthwhile – every shade of blue. On our final day at Le Grand Beach Chris cycled to Thistle Cove while Karen walked on the beach. Sometimes doing our own thing for a couple of hours is just what we need. Chris was so impressed with Thistle Cove that we walked there together from Lucky Bay while we were staying there, but while the cove was pretty, the walk itself didn’t make the cut for the highlights list!
- Playing golf on the Nullarbor Links course at the Sheep’s Back hole. This was a highlight for Chris when we stopped for the night at Fraser Range Station. In a relationship first, Karen was happy to follow him round the course – all 141m of it
- Last, but definitely not least, we’ve enjoyed spending time with some lovely people in WA. Meeting our friends Stephen and Fran, who are also from the UK and doing an anti-clockwise Big Lap in their 4WD vehicle, at Kurrajong and several other spots down the coast, was great fun. Being picked up and taken to dinner in Bunbury with Nathan and Nicole who we met at Paronella Park was a treat, and getting a knock on the door out of the blue from Debbie, who we met online via our Facebook page was a delight, especially when she gave us one of her paintings of Bunbury. (Debbie, it’s already safely back in the UK waiting to be framed and hung!) Just before we left WA we spent a happy evening with another couple of UK lappers, Sheila and Mike, in Esperance. 😍
We were sorry to wave goodbye to WA. This is a list of highlights from a huge state that we’ve spent almost four months in and we enjoyed pretty much all of what we’ve seen and done. Of all the places we’ve stayed our favourites have been the National Park campgrounds because they offer such great value for money ($11 pppn) in some stunning settings. If you’re going to stay in seven or more parks that charge an entry fee, we’d thoroughly recommend getting an annual parks pass.
Look out for our report on South Australia, coming soon!