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