A couple of months later, finally sharing some pictures from the gorgeous wild west coast of Australia. To attempt and give you an idea of just how wild, here’s some numbers:

  • 20,000km of coastline in the state of Western Australia
  • Perth is the capital city and with 1.9m people, accounting for over 70% of the population of the whole state
  • The 2nd largest city (Bunbury, if you have to know!) has 70,000 people and is close to Perth. Actually, the next 5 largest cities (less than 30,000 people each) are all relatively close to Perth, in the very Southern tip of the state

This means that well… there aren’t all that many people left on the rest of the coast! (also, as we travelled during the hot low season in November, so there were almost no tourists anywhere). Let’s say that when we arrived to Broome (whopping 15,000 souls, and even a proper supermarket), we felt like we reached a metropolis.

The other reason we were happy to reach Broome, is that on the beach we didn’t find any terrifying warning panels about deadly sharks, saltwater crocodiles or jellyfish. We actually saw a couple of people in the water – and figured it must be OK to swim 😀

 

After Broome, we drove 1,300km through… well, mostly nothing. It’s just a wild coast with little access to beaches, punctuated with a couple of mining ports (Port Hedland and Karratha – this is where Australia ships most of its iron from the inland mines, and produces industrial salt). So we reached Exmouth and the Ningaloo marine park – a real paradise with transparent aquamarine waters, where we snorkelled with turtles and endless kinds of tropical fish. The corals may not have been as impressive as elsewhere in Asia, but contrary to Asia this is a pristine environment with no rubbish and no people – it was incredible to have this beauty just for ourselves. The only strange thing was that from that part of the coast and for another 2000km, there was absolutely no trees, only dry grass and some bushes.

Another 500km later (i.e nearby, by Australian measures), we half-unexpectedly ended up in another glorious location – Shark Bay and Francois Peron National Park. Only  “real” 4×4 vehicles are allowed there, because the only way to access the peninsula is a 50km deep, red sand track. Imagine how excited Cesar was to see our Landrover Discovery on the “allowed vehicles” list!

 

After driving so much, we decided to have a break and stay at a helpx farm (working in exchange of food and accommodation). We ended up in a huge seaside farm on top of amazing sand dunes, and belonging to a family that lives the “Crocodile Dundee” lifestyle in real life! Like what? Think big 4×4 driving like mad in the fields, fishing 1m-size fish, catching lobsters with bare hands, hunting emus and kangaroos, mustering cows by car, raising and slaughtering pigs, catching wild goats… Here we discovered another dimension of the Australian Wild West!

And just like that, a month and a half passed… It was then time to move on as we wanted to visit more of Australia and also found a wine job for Ieva in the state of South Australia, 4500km away.  On the way, we visited the “green corner” of south-west Australia, where it actually rains sometimes, which means that it’s…full of trees!! Crazy how we missed seeing trees during our 3 months in the outback.