Roadtripping Western Australia: Busselton to Kalbarri
For my week long uni break, Cal and I make plans to fly to Perth and explore a bit, something that is amazingly exciting to me since I’ve yet to travel past the east coast of Australia (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Cairns, Port Douglas, the Whitsundays.. I’ve done my fair share of this coast!). I’ve actually wanted to go to WA for a while now, but the expensive and somewhat lengthy flight has prevented me from taking just a long weekend trip. Not to mention the vastness of the state― it would be hard to do WA any justice without hiring a car, and I’m too nervous of a driver to road trip alone..
Our original (and very vague) plan for WA was to spend a little time in Perth and then head south as far as Margaret River. We do spend a few days in Perth (where the highlight is definitely renting a tiny catamaran and going out for a sail on the Swan River) and visit Cal’s family in Mandurah, but, after a disgusting bout of bad weather in the south of WA, we decide to ditch all our plans, turn around, and drive 10 hours north to get to Kalbarri, where the weather is looking exponentially more desirable.
The drive is agony and we eventually have to stop somewhere outside Geraldton for fear of sleeping at the wheel (Cal, not me, considering I’ve already spent a good few hours konked out in the passenger seat). Of course, finding any available campsites at 2am proves challenging, but we do eventually find one, pitch our tent, and pass out.
We wake up around 6am to sweltering heat and more flies than you’ve ever seen in your life. We definitely got the heat we were after. The next few days are spent in Kalbarri sharing campsites with feathered friends and getting really good at putting the tent up in the dark, a skill I suspect will be very useful in coming months.
Cal plays Kalbarri tour guide and takes me to all the wonderful places he visited with family and really enjoyed. First up is Nature’s Window, an incredible rock formation in Kalbarri National Park. The terrain is very Southwest USA and I’m incredibly surprised, since I’ve never seen anything like it in Australia before, but it’s also blazing hot like SW USA and we can’t handle more than 30min of walking around the National Park before heat stroke is looming on the horizon and we have to retire back to the safety of the car aircon.
The following day, we book spots on an ATV tour and spend hours cruising over the sand dunes and catching glimpses of the Indian Ocean. One of the things we are loving most of all is watching the sunset over the water, something we obviously do not get to enjoy living on Australia’s east coast.
After a wonderful few days in Kalbarri, it’s time to make the painful drive back down to Perth, but not before some last minute googling turns up the greatest find of the trip: a pink lake in Gregory right on our way out of Kalbarri. I seriously can not wait to come back to WA.