1 Car, 7 girls, 10 days, 3200km

By Rachael Harrison, University of Western Australia

So it’s been a while since I last posted, but Australia is keeping me very busy. This blog post is seriously long overdue but I hope you’ll all still be interested, but it will probably also be very long, I apologise!

The mid semester break saw us travelling in excess of 3000km North along the beautiful Western Australian coast, for a total of 10 days. Day one saw seven very excitable girls, trying strategically pack all belongings into one very small boot. We had a one backpack limit for each person, but obviously there were some people who did stick to this, which meant it was time for a game of Tetris. We left on a Thursday afternoon and out first stop was at the Breeze inn lodge in Dongara, a very small time with not much to offer. This was only a overnight pit stop before we headed to explore the town of Geraldton, for the afternoon before driving another two hours to Kalbarri. This was to be our home for the next two days.

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The beach was our first priority, we unloaded our belonging and tried to catch as much of the afternoon sun we could get this proceeded with a very short pedalo ride across to the sand bar on the other side. We made friends with some of the local pelicans, before swiftly heading back to shore to go and get food. The next morning saw us rise early to make our way to the national park, where the geographer in me came out. The first stop was Natures window. With some fascinating geological surroundings, you can see the rippling of the rock, formed though the once overlying ocean. As the afternoon sun began to sore and temperatures reaching +35 degrees, we took another short 2km walk down to the river. Lets just say the walk down was more a rock-climbing excursion, in which many of us were unprepared for!

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Natures Window
Sunset at Kalbarri
Sunset at Kalbarri

It was time to leave Kalbarri and head to Monkey Mia. This was to be a 5 hour journey, but that wasn’t to phase us as we have the classic car tunes blaring. Monkey Mia Dolphin resort located on WA’s shark bay coastline, is home to a Pod of dolphins. This made it very exciting for us as we were almost guaranteed to experience close up encounter with nature’s creatures. We first took a short trip through the coastal time of Denham, which reminded me a little of back home, except with blue waters, white sand and a lot more sun ha! After arriving we took some time to treat ourselves and relax with a cocktail or two watching the sunset over the endless horizons of the Indian Ocean.

Relaxation time at Monkey Mia
Relaxation time at Monkey Mia
Stunning Sunset over Indian Ocean
Stunning Sunset over Indian Ocean

Day Five saw us get a little bit active again. We decided to hire some kayaks and kayak along the coastline with the prospects of seeing some Turtles and maybe even more dolphins. After about an hour of kayaking we saw nothing, slightly disappointed, but then we looked and saw the views. It was almost as though we were stranded on a desert island. There was no one else around us and nothing but blue ocean ahead of us. This is where we thought life had peaked, that was until the journey back to the resort. It was very windy and some of the group struggled to make it back. As I waited for the others to get back to shore, I looked up and found myself in the presence of three dolphins casually swimming next to me, a great end to a great day!

Kayaking in Monkey Mia
Kayaking in Monkey Mia

Onwards an upward we continued on our journey to Coral Bay, home to the Ningaloo reefs and again white sand beaches. We hired some snorkels and attempted to see creature number two… turtles. Unfortunately after many hours swimming around, we still hadn’t found any, but we had seen some beautiful reefs. As temperatures soared we lay on the beach to get our tan on, but of course many of us just ending up getting burnt. A reminder for next time : More sun cream! After a quiet night in playing some pool and bored games, we got an early night to prepare for the drive to Exmouth, our final destination on our trip.

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Mandatory snorkelling photo

Exmouth is a town located on the tip of the Northwest cape in WA and home to Turquoise bay. As it was already late when we arrived we made our way up to the Vlamingh head Lighthouse, to watch the sunset and potentially see some whales basking in the evening sun. It was clearly a very popular destination, but it is no surprise as the views here were stunning. It had been a nice few days away from the hustle and bustle of university college life. The next day we went back to the beaches in search for out beloved turtles. After a couple of hours out in the ocean we were about to give up hope, until one of my friends suddenly starting waving about shouting a muffled TURTLE TURLE, though the snorkel. I grabbed mine from the shore and entered the water and there its was swimming nonchalantly though the waters. This is where life actually peaked!

Sunset at the Lighthouse
Sunset at the Lighthouse
Turtle time
Turtle time

It was then time to head back down, back to Trin life and university work, but not before we made the stop in Kalbarri again to watch the AFL final as the local pub. The final was being played by a Western Australian side- West Coast Eagles and a Melbourne team, Hawthorn (the Hawks). It was a very exciting time, but also a commiserating one as West coast Eagles lost, fairly significantly.

Seven people and one car later we arrived safely back home after 10 days of sun sea and sand. We were all very tired, but the tiredness was all worth it. This is a trip that won’t be forgotten anytime soon but one that I would gladly repeat. That is all for now, but you’ll hear from me shortly .

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