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Western Australia

Just returned from a 3 week campervan tour of SW Western Australia a 3000 plus km flight from my home state of Victoria.
I thought I would pop some notes here rather than in trip reports. I figure anyone interested in WA travel will probably look here first.
Just a basic outline of what we saw and enjoyed.
Fremantle. Maritime Museum, Shipwreck Museum and the decommissioned Fremantle Gaol.
All 3 were fantastic and provide great insight into the local history. The Maritime is large and we explored it on our own leisurely.
The Shipwreck (free entry) is smaller but brilliant. We took a short free tour before exploring. The Batavia exhibition is the star.
We paid for a tour of the old convict built gaol. A fantastic guide made it a memorable tour.
We spent our time in Fremantle staying by beautiful Coogee Beach.
No stay in Fremantle would be complete without a trip to car free Rottnest Island. "Rotto" is famous for it's friendly Quokkas and they were out and about in numbers. We hire bikes and rode the 24 km circumnavigation.
We travelled through to Bunbury and Busselton. Busselton has a famous 1.845 km long jetty.
We stayed with some family for a few days in beachside Dunsborough near the well known Margaret River region.
We did a self guided tour of the challenging (but not risky) Giants Cave, "here's your helmet and light off you go". Plenty of excitement with that one. Also the illuminated audio guided stunning Mammoth Cave. There are numerous caves in this area.
I did a nice 14 km coastal hike with my wife's nephew from Cape Naturaliste lighthouse to surf hotspot Yellingup.
From there we continued southward to Augusta on the mouth of the Blackwood River near Cape Leeuwin (the SW point of Australia). Unfortunately Cape Leeuwin lighthouse is under repair. Cape Leeuwin is where the Southern Ocean and the Indian Ocean meet.

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395 posts

From Augusta we travelled inland to the cute little riverside town of Nannup. From there onto the forest town of Pemberton. There are 2 monster Karri trees that were fire-watch lookouts that can be climbed (if you are game).
We had a great campsite in an arboretum full of towering giants.
From Pemberton it was onto beautiful little Walpole. We did the Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk among the many towering Tingle trees. We also took an informative guided walk at ground level. My wife couldn't resist a second lap of the treetops.
Walpole and it's larger neighbour Denmark have remarkable coastlines. We spent hours exploring both the wild coast and the forests of giants. Our campsite was on the water at Walpole with dozens of pelicans for company.
We headed from there to the "capital" of these parts Albany. One of WA's first towns built around a good harbour. It became a whaling centre until the industry died off in the 1970s. The whaling museum including a whaling ship. The museum proved to be a full day. There are some other good museums and many great old buildings. There is also a significant military history and interesting related sites.
From there we headed to the amazing landscape of the Stirling Ranges. We explored Mt Trio and the highest peak Bluff Knoll.
From the Stirling Ranges we headed across good country to Mt Barker. From there we pretty much did a runner through 2 days of superstorms through forested country making our way back to Bunbury and Fremantle. One "highlight" was driving the last 60 kms on the fuel warning light to pretty little Boyup Brook. It's sometimes a long way between towns.
If anyone is interested in WA feel free to throw some questions.

Posted by
6113 posts

Thanks for the trip report. It is similar to a trip that I did a few years ago, as my brother lives in Perth. We climbed the Karri trees and visited many of the places you mentioned. We also headed north from Perth. I recognise your low fuel saga. It’s miles between filling stations.

Ah, Pemberton, the town that time forgot! We went to the main supermarket there to get some pasta. It was on the top shelf and there was so much dust on top of the packets that we drew our initials on them and put them back, as we noticed that the east by date was some three years prior. Obviously not big pasta eaters there.

A great trip.

Posted by
33107 posts

with such beautiful and fun things to do in WA I wonder why so many Australians come to Europe to go walkabout....

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6113 posts

We got as far as Exmouth heading north, but unfortunately didn’t have time to drive the loop so had to take the same road back south. It’s a long way between places up there!

Posted by
2871 posts

Love WA.
What's the latest regarding Covid restrictions while traveling within Oz in general and WA in particular, ie proof of vax, mask requirements, anything else to be aware of? Tx

Posted by
395 posts

Masks required on planes and on public transport. Not required on tour buses in WA. No proof of Vax required to enter anywhere. No proof of Vax required to enter Australia.