Leaving Perth was not easy, not at all. Emotionally, leaving our dear friends Daniel and Crystal who hosted us and spoiled us thoroughly was hard. But what made us coming back after a few kilometers was really our camper van. We booked a normal van from Wicked Campers, one of the hundreds of van rental companies in Australia.
Wicked were the most affordable ones, especially as we discovered their special offer: 30 days for 2900 AUD (1900 EUR) including insurance and outback fees. But when we wanted to use the fifth gear for the first time on the highway, it made weird noises, I shifted back down immediately. After Fabs tried to use it too we decided that this would not work for the next 6500 kilometers and that we better turned around. So we went back to the garage and office of Wicked. When we arrived there again, they checked the car and admitted that it won't work out for our plans to drive to Melbourne. So they asked us wheather we'd want a brand new car. Sure we said yes and a bit later we stuffed all our luggage into a white, clean, brand new van.
|Our first kangaroos|
We loved the safety features the new van had and the AC turned out to be extremely convenient on the road through the desert. With the brand new car we drove off, our big adventure through Aussieland could finally start for real. As we filled the tank of the first van, the guys in the office in Perth told us to keep the receipt for the second full tank, as they got the first van back full. We did that, but we're still waiting for the promised 36 AUD today... Well, not everything is perfect.
As soon as we were out of Perth, we realized that Australia really is a huge national park with a few bigger cities and a couple more small villages in it. When you leave the bigger cities, you find some connecting roads through savannahs, deserts, forests, jungles and what ever else the spectacular nature of Australia has to offer. The outback is huge and wild animals live
|Emus on our campground|
everywhere. For this was our first adventure down under we were happy with our very comfortable 2WD van. But in the future we definitely will skip the comfort and go for the more adventurous - but also way more expensive - version of a 4WD through the Outback.
Western Australia is not too wild though. The mediterranean climate is perfect for a drive through beautiful forests and wineries. Every couple of kilometers one can taste wine, cider, honey, cheese or chocolate, some farmers offer also more exotic delicatessen. The quality as well as the price in this region are quite high, teasing and in the meantime a bit shocking after the pure opposite in SEA.
|In winter, you'd see a lake here|
We decided to only taste a few things along the special tasting tour around Denmark, as we had to drive and our funds were limited. Still, we bought a delicious bottle of port wine and a jar of hazelnut honey that we later enjoyed with beautiful sunsets along the southern coast. When you buy things like that while travelling you have to be aware that pests, diseases and weeds can spread from one part of Australia to another. That is why they have domestic quarantines where you can not transport any plants or plant products, honey is one of them. Always only buy as much as you can consume before crossing state borders in Australia.
|Plenty of beautiful beaches|
Finding a place to sleep with the van was rather hard in the beginning. Apps like wikicampers or map.me are extremely helpful once you figure out how to use them on your tour. Many of the areas around Perth prohibit camping outside of camp sites though, and these are super expensive. Also we were stricktly not allowed to drive in dusk, dawn and darkness, as it is too dangerous, especially because wildlife literally jumps in front of your vehicle. We parked along the road, hoping nervously that nobody would discover us, always prepared to leave in a second. That consumed a lot of energy and we only half enjoyed the first couple of days. As soon as we figured out how to plan and where good spots are, it got much better.
Our favourites between Perth and Esperance (besides these two places): Margaret River Area, Augusta, Denmark and around, and our absolute top favourite: Lucky Bay. Yes, everybody loves it, no surprise there. But it really is the whitest sand and the most perfect shades of blue and turquoise we have ever seen. The only not perfect thing was the strong wind and the cold water temprature. But for the eye, it was really spectacular. Stunning scenery, frequently visited by kangaroos (that we still considered cute back then) and a camping spot right on the beach for 10 AUD (6.5 EUR) per night.
The entire national park around Lucky Bay is
fantastic, we would have loved to stay longer, but there was so much more to be discovered. We hit the road again and saw our first snake (that was still alive) down under. A pretty big one, about two meters long, dark brown. Fabs could just steer the car around it and the snake was smart enough to turn around and disappear. I think that was best for all of us... Somehow I am still incredibly scared of them. But I am very happy that they are still there in the mean time. Snakes are crucial for pest control, and they are shy enough to usually not interfere with humans. I highly appreciate that.
Not to far from Lucky Bay we found the city of Esperance. Well, it is very small, but lovely. The public library offers affordable Wifi with reasonable speed, so we spent a couple of hours there to get back in touch with our beloved ones and to see what the rest of the world did while we were enjoying nature in the Outback.
All our pictures from the road trip between Perth and Esperance
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