5 Locations you can’t miss – In Western Australia
Author: Nathalie Segelborg "A Piece Of My Pie"
I, like most of the travellers who make our way to the country down under, known as Australia, quickly learns that this large country has a lot to offer. We quickly scramble together a bucket-list, in a desperate attempt of seeing it all – which of course, is impossible. There is no secret that the eastern side draw the largest crowds, but you might be surprised over the popularity of some western locations.
I started off in the east but after a while my love for the wilderness and the off beaten path lead me to a job on an Island outside of Perth, in Western Australia. There I got to know the friendly locals who opened my eyes for this beautiful part of Australia.
Deserted beaches that will make your jaw drop, less tourists, Snorkel friendly crystal clear turquoise water, red dirt that get in everywhere and so much more! It’s hard to not fall in love and I’m here today to tell you about the experiences you can’t miss in Western Australia.
The Gorges of Karijini National Park
#1 Karijini National Park
If you read my blog, it’s no secret that I love the wild, rough and raw adventures you can take part of deep in mother nature’s astonishing creation. But to this date, Karijini is one of the most beautiful National Parks I have set foot in. A downside some may say is that you will have to unplug from your phone. But instead you get to spend some quality time with Mother Nature herself without distractions, is that really a downside?
Eco-Retreat owned by Aboriginals
With her carefully holding your hand you can spoil yourself by glamping at the aboriginal-owned Eco-retreat and take daytrips in the mighty gorges. In the gorges you will be able to swim in multiple freshwater pools, challenge your endurance and put your balance on a test while you wade through waist deep water as you explore the National Park.
If you want to take the adventure one step further, hire experienced guides to take you in to the class 6 area. An area you can only access with the help of these guides. Thanks to West Oz Active Adventures I spent almost 10 hours in breathtaking gorges beyond the area. Climbing up a 12 meter wall, abseiling down another and sliding down a waterfall are only a few of the amazing experiences I was fortunate enough to take part in during the day – all this while being fully equipped with climbing gear, safety lines and helmets of course.
The ocean view from Rottnest Island
#2 Rottnest Island
Jump on the ferry and roughly 1 hour west of Perth in the middle of the ocean you will find Rottnest Island! Quite a small Island where the only reliable transport is by bike or your legs. If you’re unable to ride a bike there is also the occasional bus that goes around the island. Where the ferry departs from is a small settlement with all the necessities you need, along with some cafes and a general store.
The Quakka of Rottnest Island
As soon as you put some distance between the settlement and your bike you will find yourself in a very calm environment full of quakkas, the Island locals. The Quakka is a nocturnal animal that inhabits the Island and it looks like a cross between a miniature kangaroo and a guineapig! They love to snooze underneath bushes and trees, hiding in the shade which protects them from the sun. They are super cute and very friendly but please keep in mind that it is illegal to in anyway interact with a Quakka. That includes both feeding it and petting it, let’s keep them wild and respect their privacy. After all, we are tourists in their home.
The Rottnest Island have many beautiful beaches to visit!
Besides the friendly locals, Rottnest Island is paradise for surfers, other water activities such as snorkelling, nature lovers and well, the ocean! Here you can come to explore for a day, or wave the last ferry goodbye and stay the night. It’s completely different at night, most of the tourists have gone for the day and the Quakka’s are now roaming everywhere. You have to be very careful not to hit them if you’re riding your bike at night!
Think about miliions and upon millions of shells - that's Shell Beach!
#3 Shell Beach
Up north, you will find quite a spectacular beach! From a distance it looks just like any other sugar-white beach but what’s unusual with this beach is that millions of tiny shells have formed it. The shells cover a stretch of 60km and varies in dept with a maximum dept of 10m. It’s a beautiful spot to watch the sunset from or to simply cool off during a hot day! When you walk along the shore you can hear the tiny shells break beneath your feet and if you have sensitive feet I would recommend to wear something to protect them.
No Sand! Just shells upon shells!
The shells covering the shore are mostly from the cockle species Fragum Erugatum that lives in the area. Thanks to the high salinity level it has made it hard for predators to adapt, making it easier for the cockle species to flourish.
#4 Pink Lake
Home to more than one of the famous Pink lakes, Western Australia does not disappoint! The most famous Pink Lake is Esperance, close to the town with the same name. Thanks to the internet today the town itself has become famous for the pink lake but recently rumours have been spreading that the pink colour is currently fading away, leaving the town with an Identity crisis!
Worry not, there are more pink lakes in this state! Witness a Pink lake for yourself simply by heading north of Perth. I would suggest Lake Hillier, located on Middle Island or Hutt Lagoon, located close to Kalbarri National Park which is the one I have been to. The strength of the colour can vary a bit depending on the weather and the alignment on the sun but I can assure you that it is pink, even with the naked eye!
Shark Bay's Monkey Mia Dolphins - now there's a perfectly good sentence with 3 (or 4) animals right there! ;)
#5 Monkey Mia
In Shark Bay, there is a Resort called Monkey Mia and although the name can be misleading the resort is not famous because of monkeys. Instead they are world known and famous for their dolphin program! Every day of the year they invite locals and tourists to come and experience these wild dolphins up close.
The Resort offers not only knowledge, but you are also able to stand on the shore with your toes touching the ocean only a few meters away from these magnificent creatures. A few very lucky individuals are then chosen to step into the water and stand only centimetres away from a dolphin as they feed it a fish, unfortunately I was not one of the chosen few when I visited. You can read about my own experience on my blog.
Dolphins up close on steerboard side
The feedings can occur up to 4 times a day, depending on the dolphins. Everything is on their terms, they are very smart individuals and choose whether or not they want to show up. They have a record over the dolphins and are only allowed to feed a selected few, each of them has a bucket with their name on so that they are not being fed more than they should. How much they are fed are carefully calculated and is more like a snack, they are very clear to inform you that this in no way disturbs their natural hunting habits. The dolphins choose to show up for the same reason we do, because they are equally as interested in us.
We need to realize that animals belong in their natural habitat, wild and free and I feel that this is something Monkey Mia is excellent at portraying.
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