Western Australia (2017)

Dream beaches, lighthouses, lots of sunshine, friendly people.  

The 2nd part of our travel year takes us to Australia. We fly via Singapore, where we want to look around for 2 days, to Perth.
After exploring the region we will travel with a small camper along the south coast to Melbourne. By plane we go to Tasmania, where again a camper tour is announced. Afterwards we drive (without camper) to Sydney, where our flight home takes off.

A rough overview of the approx. 5500 km to be driven can be seen on the map.


After two days of sightseeing in the well-ordered Singapore we are looking forward to the relaxed atmosphere in Australia. According to the weather forecast we expect 40 degrees heat and a small camper for maximum two persons in Perth.

The anticipation lasts longer than expected; shortly before takeoff, already on the runway, a flat tire is discovered under the nose of the plane. The announced 30 minutes become almost 3 hours delay. Good thing we had ordered the car for the next day.
Jim, our host, picks us up at the airport. First we have to stow the golf baggage in the Corolla. Not easy, but in the end nobody has to walk. Because it is so hot, Jim drives us to lunch later and picks us up again.

At breakfast we talk intensively with Hillary and Jim. Jim grew up in South Africa and has been around a lot; that fits.

The Britz station is only a 5 minute walk away and the takeover of our rolling living room for the next weeks (Toyota Hiace-Hitop) is done in less than 30 minutes. Only the accommodation of our golf luggage (and the travel covers) presents us with logistical problems. In the end, somehow everything fits. Now shopping and then to the Central Caravan Park in 1 km distance, where we settle down in peace.
In the meantime it is raining cats and dogs. The 40 degrees of the day before have dropped to 18. Never mind, we need a sim card from Telstra and have to go to the city center. In the afternoon there is enough time for a trip to Freemantle with a stroll through town and along the beach.

It's still raining; time for culture (museum) and a little winetasting in Swan-Valley. Back in the kitchen of the campsite the main language is German; the average age is about 20 years. Most of them spend the last night here and are ready to fly home the following day. But then we and a couple from Bremen, both retired, join them....

Two days of acclimatization and two days of rain are enough. Next stop is Bunbury.


An afternoon excursion took us to Fremantle. According to the guidebook the town where things are really happening. That was true. Unfortunately we were only there for a short time.

Bunbury - Golf, Dolphins and Kangaroos

On the west coast the cities are quite close to each other, so there are always only short driving distances. Therefore we stop at Kennedy Bay on the way to Bunbury. There is a beautiful coastal nature reserve with seabirds, penguins and wild rock formations and the sixth best golf course in Australia, Kennedy Bay Links.

Unfortunately, we see penguins only from a great distance on a rock island, sea lions make themselves completely scarce. The short hike along the rocky coast compensates us for this.

Unexpected often comes! We see the "wild animals" while playing golf: Kangaroo families with babies (Joeys), the Australian national bird Kookubarra and colorful parakeets or parrots.

We are late to the Clade caravan park in Bunbury and have to pay 10% extra. The next day we move to the Koombana-Camping-Caravan-Park. It is located directly at the sea, which allows a relaxing walk on the beach in the evening. Right next to it is the dolphin center, where biologists and a horde of young volunteers from all over the world take care of the dolphins living off the coast and allow us tourists to observe them. Sometimes the dolphins come to the beach and swim with the visitors. Unfortunately, this was not granted to us, although we were there twice. The local golf course was also appealing but by far not as good as Kennedy Links (animals were not there either).

During the day I had quite a pain in my right leg. To rule out thrombosis we visited a doctor (imigrated from Stellenbosch, South Africa) who examined me and after a blood test ruled out DVT.

That's reassuring. I hope that the travel health insurance will replace the 150$.

Busselton - beautiful beaches and the longest pier in Australia

On our little trip to Busselton we visit the 30 km long beach and the biggest sight of the place, the wooden jetty (pier) leading 1.8 km into the sea. It is said to be the longest pier in the southern hemisphere. In the crystal clear water we can observe Stingrays, but we can't take good pictures because of the sun reflections. 

Margaret River - Cape Leeuwin

In the region around Margaret River you could easily spend 3 weeks of vacation. Besides numerous wineries there are lots of micro-breweries, which are tempting but also quite expensive (by German standards). Countless beaches on the warm Indian Ocean, art galleries and beautiful golf courses complete the offer. We experience the region rather "Japanese", rushing from place to place. Only Cape Leeuwin, the southernmost point of Western Australia, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet, and the Margaret River Golf Course give us a little more time. We meet the dream paths of the Aborigines at the beach of Gnarabup.

800 km to Esperance

First stress test for the bus - almost 800 km from Margaret River to Esperance

We decide to skip Albany as another stop and drive directly to Esperance. Without four-wheel drive it is witless there and our car is only allowed to cover a distance of 12km on sand or unpaved. In addition, there is the prospect of two golf courses and a NP where we are allowed to drive through.

We leave early and have a quick breakfast from the bakery. A short refueling, then off we go. We want to be before 18:00 o'clock at the camping place and possibly do some shopping.

We leave out 10 hotspots and worthwhile destinations on the way and enjoy the lonely drive through huge wheat fields, sheep farms, forests and national parks. For the first time we need the gas station display of the Navi. At the roadhouse in Jerramungup we finally get gasoline and coffee.

17:30 we arrive on time at the campsite "Seaside"; bad reviews but one of the few with WiFi. A goog decision that we book only for one night. Kitchen and bathroom are pretty run down; the pitch net tattered or non-existent. We'll see tomorrow what the others (also with bad reviews) have to offer. Only a great internet access could change our mind.

We have our first meal in the restaurant. There is delicious Australian fish in a relaxed atmosphere.

Esperance - bizarre lakes - friendly people

The following day we want to play the Esperance Golf Club. There is a tournament starting at 12:00 and we need to get going before then. We just pay the 30$ green fee as one of the officials invites us to join the tournament. They play in Ambrose mode, a kind of 4 player selection drive where the 3 best Stapleford scores are always written down. Our partners Toni and Blair (good to remember!) both work in a gold mine as "drillers". They each work 2 weeks and then fly home to see their families for 2 weeks. The tournament fee is already included in the green fee and the sponsor invites everyone afterwards to "Sausage Sizzle" (grilled sausage). Toni and Blair invite us for numerous beers. Sabine  gives up at some point, so she has to drive. The course is in good condition and there is water on 15 holes. The natural lakes contain salt water and are lined with white tree skeletons and populated by black swans.

We end up in the front third with 126 points. Sabine and I each win the "Nearest to the Pin", whereby I miss the "Hole-in-One" by less than 10 cm.

For the overnight stay we change to the "Pine Grove Holiday Park" for the next 2 days. It is smaller and better maintained and even offers a TT-table, which we try out as an evening excercise.

Esperance - The most beautiful beaches of Australia

On our last day in Esperance we drive the "Great Ocean Drive" in the morning and in the afternoon we visit the "Cape Le Grand National Park", 60 km away, where Lucky Beach is said to offer the whitest beaches in Australia. We agree. This is true!

Here are some photos of the Great Ocean Drive...

and the white beaches incl. turquoise water in Lucky Bay.