Australia, The Motorhoming Years, Travel

The Aussie Road Trip – North of Perth

After surviving our first, campervan road trip, with no body parts missing and not too many insect bites, plus driving thousands of kilometres encompassing just a small piece of Australia’s Big Backyard, we were keen to explore more.

Our second venture heading out into the blue yonder was to eventuate on the other side of Aussie, 3 years later in 2012.

With more motorhoming experience this trip was to prove far more relaxing.  Resulting in us exploring a few more far-flung corners in the outback and coastal areas.  Best of all was the freedom of camping in the outback and on a deserted beach with just the stars and the odd noisy critter for company.  I tried not to overthink what sort of critter it was just as long it was not entertaining the idea of keeping us company in the van.

The Squire was there to protect me or was it the other way around?

On awakening, we were as good as gold and now focussed on our list of sights to see along the way to our next overnight location.  We alternated between freedom camping and staying at caravan parks, due to insufficient solar energy.  Our bible was “Camps Australia Wide“.

This trip was approximately the same amount of time as our previous 6-week campervan adventure. But involved a slightly bigger van with a small leaning towards more comfortable.

In the first part of our time over in Western Australia, we headed from Perth to Exmouth, below is a rough guide to where we explored and parked up.

Perth to Exmouth

The Lowlights on the first leg

  • New Norcia – an altercation between a Butcherbird and myself, that pesky bird won.  Leaving me running around like a madwoman trying to avoid another headbutt with its beak.  Damn that hurt!
  • A stream of cold water made snorkelling not as pleasant as we imagined.  Though we still managed to enjoy it, in fact, more than once.
  • Be careful where you park after rain as Aussie ants are seriously angry critters and will be up your leg into your van before you can scream “WTF”.

The Highlights on our first leg

Desert pea

The simply delightful desert pea. We enjoyed viewing what seemed millions of wildflowers was one of the attractions of heading over to Western Australia.  Breathtaking vistas of colour when we least expected it.

Pinnacles Western Australia and Me

The Pinnacles,  200 kms from Perth is one of the most iconic sites to visit.  It has a rich history thanks to the Aboriginal people [Yuart tribe].  It has been there home for years.  In fact, there have been artefacts found dating back 6,000 years and has appeared in Aboriginal Dreamtime for many generations.  I love the concept of Dreamtime.

New Norcia Benedictine MonasterySt Ildephonsus Chapel, New Norcia, Western Australia

New Norcia Monastery, Australia’s only monastery town.  Founded in 1847 by Spanish Benedictine Monks, the place has had many purposes; a mission, a monastery, a provider of education and now as a place of spiritual retreat.

Me off on a walk

I can never resist a sign that says “Walk Trail”, even if it’s just for a short walk, this was in the Kalbarri National Park.

Parked up sunset

Freedom Camping.  To the left of the van is a few more campers, we weren’t that brave to park up by ourselves.

Shark Bay World Heritage shell beach
A beach made up of the most delicate-looking shells, easily walkable.  An incredible place to experience mother nature doing what she does best.

The Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve is a protected marine nature reserve located in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Shark Bay in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia. The 127,000-hectare  nature reserve boasts the most diverse and abundant examples of living marine stromatolites in the world, monuments to life on Earth over 3,500 million years.

Stromatolites in Hamelin Pool Western Australia.jpg
Marine stromatolites

Ningaloo Reef - World Heritage Les posing

Ningaloo Reef is situated in an isolated area on arrival we exclaimed it was worth the drive to get there, though I must admit there were moments when we were so tired and so much over driving long distances, that we thought twice about going further north.

Luckily we did as at the end of some very long straight roads with a few curves, is a spectacular view with the honour of being a World Heritage Site.  The Ningaloo Reef is one of those treasures.

Butterfly fish

Leaving the best for last – Snorkelling around the Ningaloo Reef at Exmouth.

Have you had a chance to read about our first road trip from Melbourne to Brisbane?  If not, just click HERE.

54 thoughts on “The Aussie Road Trip – North of Perth”

  1. What a great trip. When I looked at the map, I thought, ‘Oh a coastal drive, can’t beat it’ I do love driving or walking along a coast. That pesky bird, Ouch! But beautiful flowers to make things a little better 🙂 I haven’t done a lot of snorkelling and certainly haven’t seen the gorgeous fish such as the ones in your photo. Still lots to do for this fifty-something 🙂 I love reading your road trips

    Liked by 2 people

    1. More to come 🙂 We head over to Northern Queensland next week. Love coastal areas, though the outback around Western Australia is more picturesque. The next trip is more about the coastal areas, rainforest, Great Barrier Reef and the National Parks.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Great your comment came throught! Yes it was our first introduction to one. It was nesting and I obviously got to closs for comfort. All the reefs need special protection and we made sure we didn’t break any coral. I’m sure you would love it!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. WA is high on our travel list, but haven’t got there yet. This is very useful for ideas – thank you! Will keep it for reference. And the photo of that desert pea is stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Suzanne, WA is definitely on our bucket list and your photos are always inspiring and motivating to get out there and see the world. There are always low lights to travelling but the highlights usually outweigh them, don’t they? Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL and showing off some beautiful parts of Australia. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Suzanne, just discovered your blog! Love this post! I’m a Perth girl (although been away from ‘home’ for 12 years now. I’ve driven from Perth to Geraldton before, but your photos make me want to do it again, and go even further! I’m looking forward to your south of Perth post (as I’ve lived in Albany and Mt Barker, and my grandparents settled in Denmark when I was a young girl. Thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pleased that my post brought fond memories back for you and yes we explored around Denmark another picturesque town from around the Southern Western coast. Thanks for your lovely comment Cheryl.


  5. Well you certainly covered a lot of ground! I’ve lived in WA all my life and haven’t been to all those places! Lovely photos and you obviously enjoyed your time touring the North of my lovely state.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was only half of our trip, I have yet the south of Perth to publish . You need to go exploring Leanne, it is certainly worth the mileage 🙂


  6. Taking the time to motor around the US as you motored around Australia is on our bucket list. But right now, we’re busy exploring Florida, which is fairly big considering I came from Connecticut!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Firstly, that desert pea is gorgeous, and secondly, the stromatolites (try saying that quickly after a few wines), but mostly Nigaloo Reef. It’s a long-time bucket list item for me. Visiting from #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Donna, thanks for that lovely comment. The low lights were supposed to make you laugh, and we certainly laughed afterwards or we would’ve gone mad 🙂


    1. Thanks very much for commenting and yes that was the whole idea regarding the photos. Don’t they say “A picture is worth a thousand words”?


      1. We did a short road-trip around the south of Perth on our holiday in 2003. Drove around the coast from Perth to Albany and then inland to Wave Rock and York before heading back to Perth. Loved the Margaret River area. But not the smell of the some of the karri trees down there which was like cat pee!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I can’t remember the trees that smelt like cat pee, must have missed that gem 🙂 Part 2 will be about that area, as we looped around from Perth around the coast to Kalgoorlie back to Perth.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh wow, that looks and sounds spectacular—the reef. the Pinnacles and the desert pea especially. Itching at the thought of the ants, though!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Another fantastic post Suz! I learnt so much from you and I actually live in this country, I didn’t know much at all. Your photos are stunning and I love the stories that go with them. You’re inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much Deb, that is very kind of you to say. We have siblings that have lived over in Australia for 10 years and more who haven’t ventured that far from their own backyard. Which we find rather sad.

      You have done quite a few road trips and I enjoyed your trip to the Flinders area, which included Aboriginal history which I am really interested in. Victoria state is a favourite area for both of us.

      Got to explore your own backyard before the world, so they say 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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