Our Roadtrip through Australia

After we finally arrived in Darwin, our camping adventure was just about to start. The first day in Australia did we spend on the Darwin waterfront bevor we started our Roadtrip on the next day. After the previous renter crashed our “meant to be” camper, we had to downgrade to a smaller model. Within the weeks we called him “booty call” because of his stickers on the side. We were a tourist attraction for sure as people recognized us because of our vehicle and once even took pictures of it when we already were in bed :) So, after we picked up booty call we started heading south. Our first stop was the Litchfield Nationalpark located about 200km south of Darwin. Already on this first stretch we realized that booty call was really thirsty:P He drunk about 14 liters per 100km and a full tank only lasted for about 300km. At our first fuel stop we met Rinaldo, a Swiss guy from Ostermundigen who came to Australia 40 years ago :)

The Litchfield Nationalpark was a highlight for sure and still is one of Mikael’s favorite spots on our whole trip. There was a lot to see, but some of the attractions were closed due to the rainy season. Here in the northern territory was still offseason which had pluses and minuses. A big minus was that lot of the attractions were closed due to the weather. Big pluses where that there weren’t many tourists and it was all green and not brown as in high season when it’s rarely raining. Here we saw termite mounds, waterfalls and even rock pools where we could swim in. These were always very welcome when facing temperatures around 40°C. But you have to be aware of the signs which tell you whether it is safe to swim in or not. You never know where to meet a crocodile :)

Sun sets early in the northwest of Australia, so we had to plan our days carefully and start early. In Australia you should never drive outside city limits at nighttime. That is because of the wildlife (especially because of the kangaroos and wallaby’s). So by 5pm you needed to check-in at a campground to make sure that there’s enough time to get some food and get dinner ready before the daylight faded away. By 8pm it was often quite and everyone was in bed. Our first night we spent in the Litchfield Nationalpark on a campground where we were the only guests :) I had to share the shower with a variety of insects and for dinner we were joined from wallaby’s mowing the grass.

You can follow our route to the south on the map. On our way through the northwest of Australia we had to schedule many days just driving. If you ever were in Australia, you know how far the distances are. Some days we just drove for 600km with one or two stops on roadhouses to fill up and stack on snacks :) roadhouses are fuel stations in middle of the nowhere also offering food and accommodation. Not rarely you’ll find nothing before and after those for 300km. So the choice where and for how much you will fill up your car is not to make 😛

Broome was the first place we felt being back in civilization. What a lovely place on the west coast. As we were on the west coast, it got more and more touristy. We realized this as we headed more southwards. In Broome we enjoyed 2 days not doing much and rest from the long drives in the car. The pool at our campground was great and the city itself invited to stay. At the Gaunthemepoint we could see some dinosaur footprints from 150 billion years ago, but unfortunately it was high tide and so they were not visible.

From Broome to Port Headland we had another day just driving. 613km with only one roadhouse in between. We weren’t sure if our vehicle would make this, as the stretch to the Sandfire roadhouse was 320km. Shortly before reaching the roadhouse our car started to complain showing weird maneuvers 😛 Luckily we made it to the throttle :)

The next day we visited “Karijini Nationalpark”. We could only see a little part of it as most of the park was gravel roads. We are not allowed to go on gravel roads and driving the west coast in most parts 4wd vehicles are recommended or necessary. Next time we would definitely switch to a 4wd to get the best out of it. As always, the views in the park were great, but we also wanted to go down to see the waterfalls. So we ascended 800 meters to the ground and later back up again 😛 We wanted to take a bath in the pool but as it was not clearly marked, I didn’t feel very comfortable. I definitely didn’t want to meet a crocodile. So we just jumped in very quickly!

Another 2 days we spent in Exmouth to explore the nearby “Cape Range Nationalpark”. This was one of my favorite places travelling through Australia. The park is quite big so we had to schedule two days to see most of it. On the campground there was an invasion of Swiss people and we were also visited from local emus :)

At the park we hiked along a gorge which was a really nice walk. On our way back we did even see some rock wallaby’s. These wallabies are a lot smaller than normal wallaby’s and they live on the rocks what gives them their name. In the evening we visited the lighthouse and watched the sunset at the beach looking for turtles to hatch. This was the one and only time we drove after sunset in Australia and it was just horror! There were kangaroos and wallaby’s every 5 meters and we had to be extremely careful not to hit them. On the second day in the Nationalpark we went swimming and snorkeling even the water was chilly. As we headed down the west coast the water became colder and colder, not to the amusement of Mikael.

Coral Bay was another wonderful place on the west coast. A little town with only 250 inhabitants. You walk through the town in only 10 minutes and you will find 2 restaurants, a bakery, a grocery store and a bar :) Despite that, Coral Bay is very touristy and a lot of locals come here over their weekends. You’ll find out why by looking at the pictures. There are not many places where you can find such a stunning beach with shallow turquoise blue water. We would love to stay longer.

On our drive to Denham, Mikael was very unlucky. Beside all the insects and butterflies you collect while driving he also killed 3 birds on that day :/ Denham was just a gateway to Monkey Mia where we went to the morning after. At Monkey Mia the dolphins live near the coast and often come to the beach in the morning for the feeding which is organized by the rangers. A big, but cute tourist trap :) As they want to leave the dolphins in their natural habitat they only do three feeds max a day. And the dolphins have to choose themselves if they want to come in and get some fish or not. Also do they only get 500 grams a meal not to spoil them. I was randomly chosen to feed one of them which was a great experience 😀

On our way to Kalbarri we stopped at the “shell beach” and at the “stromatolites”. This shell beach was only existing from shells which was amazing. Stromatolites are living creatures looking like rocks growing at the coast. When its low tide you are able to see them.

The Kalbarri Nationalpark was another highlight on our Roadtrip. Here we had to go over the rule not driving on gravel roads as the main attraction the “nature window” was only accessible by a gravel road. We didn’t feel too good about it and I got kind of a feeling being a milkshake:P After several lookouts we continued to Geraldton where we met a Swiss couple for the third time in those 3 weeks. Sometimes the world seems to be really small. In the evening we went to the harbor to see the fireworks from the Australia Day celebrations.

Slowly we came nearer to Perth and we also had the Pinnacles Nationalpark on our list. Unfortunately, we had to skip this due to the weather. On our way to Lancelin we faced a bushfire and the road through the Pinnacles was closed. As bushfires in Australia often last for days we had to cancel this.

On our way to Perth we drove by Yanchep Nationalpark. There we did a short walk around a lake which was nice. And there were a lot of kangaroos in the park and in the shade under the trees. We could also see some koalas, but they were kept like in a zoo. Koalas only live on the east coast of Australia in wild.

Perth was our last destination on our trip and not to recommend getting around by car. But we wanted to keep our booty call as long as possible :) We had 4 days to spend in Perth and around. The Northbridge quarter is great for going out and eating. We did go there twice. For swimming we can recommend the Scarborough beach. It’s nice and has good waves too, even the water was chilly. Mikael finally enjoyed his first surfing lesson there. Unfortunate for me it did rain the whole 2 hours this day and I had to freeze at the beach making photos :/ What you do for love :) Kings Park is definitely a must do when in Perth. It’s quite big and from up there you can see the skyline of Perth city. Being in a big city we also had to go to an escape room once again. It felt like ever not be able to go in one for the last 3 weeks 😛 The room unfortunately was one of the boring ones we did, but it was the first time we escaped :) Visiting Perth another place to go is Fremantle located 30 minutes south of the city. A little coast town with a great charm. There we visited the Fremantle prison. It was a high security prison till its closure in 1991. The tour was fascinating and also shockable seeing what happened there till 1991 which is not that long ago. Check the pics!

February 1st was our last day in Perth and we had to bring back booty call :( But before, we let him clean and polish to look nice :) That’s something you can let do at some of the shopping centers. For only 50 dollars they clean your car while you go shopping. A great invention! Our last evening in Perth we spent having a beer in a rooftop bar writing cards and talking to a local.

We look back to a fascinating, wonderful and adventurous Roadtrip in Australia. In three weeks we drove 7035km and visited many gorgeous places on our way. We would love to come back and see more of what that country has to offer. Next time probably with more offroad features to see even more of this beautiful piece of land. Whoever loves nature will not get disappointed in Australia!

 

 

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