Sun, sand and a lot more

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | VIVEK KUMAR
Published Jul 30, 2017, 12:28 am IST
Updated Jul 30, 2017, 12:28 am IST
A trip to Australia assures that the country has much more to offer than its pristine beaches and clear waters.
Salmon Holes, Albany
 Salmon Holes, Albany

Our happy Australian experience began with the super fast immigration at the Perth Airport. Prompt and hassle-free, we were out and sitting in the car in just 15 minutes post landing. With the aim of covering major tourist spots on our very first day there, we set out in Perth. Luckily for us, a friend had already booked the caravan and sorted out the paperwork for us. So all we had to do was freshen up and hit the City Beach to see the scenic sunset, and try out some of the finest seafood at Clancy’s Fish Bar, located right next to the beach. We decided to head out to Mill Point next, where we admired the skyline of Perth while sitting at the jetty, soaking the moonlight and listening to the soothing waves. Since it was Saturday night, we had pre-booked our tickets at Ellington Jazz Club, to enjoy some music while in the city.

It was soon time to hit the road with the caravan, finishing off some last minute grocery and alcohol shopping before it, to ensure we were well stocked. We were headed to Stirling Range, which is about 380 km away from Perth. Since it takes a good five hours to get there by caravan, we decided to leave as early as possible. Our first campsite was at Mount Trio Bush Camp and Caravan Park. Since it was our first ‘one of a kind’ trip, we almost got lost while spotting the caravan park while we were running extremely low on fuel. And that was an adventure in itself! We managed to finally locate the camp area finally, and settled down to cook in our own van. Interestingly, the caravans you set out with come well-equipped with entire kitchen set-up, washroom, fridge, storage space and what not.

 

The gang with the caravan, Two Peoples’ Bay The gang with the caravan, Two Peoples’ Bay

After a late night in, the next morning began early, as we started to hike up to Bluff Knoll, the third highest and one of the most spectacular peaks in Western Australia at an elevation of about 1095 meters. The trail was about three km one-way and takes about three to four hours to cover it. Back at the campsite, we realised we needed to cover only about a 100 km to Albany. So, for once we decided to take it easy. In about two hours we reached our campsite for the next two days — Emu Beach Holiday Park. Don’t be fooled by the term ‘campsite’ here, for the facilities here included Internet connection, toilets and hot showers, a fully functional kitchen, a play area and even a mini golf ground.

Country roadsCountry roads

That evening was spent in resting and the whole of next day in a lazy haze, covering the nearby beaches. After having breakfast at a cafe at Middleton beach, we made our way to Salmon Holes. Our next stop wasn’t too far off then. Little Beach and Two Peoples’ Bay is about a 35 km drive from Albany, and great to unwind at. After lazy days and facilities at campsites, we stayed at Parry Beach, a volunteer run, unpowered camping site. The site has a vehicle height restriction of 2.7 metres on camper vans but we got lucky and managed to get one spot outside camping area for our huge RV. The best part of this campsite was the stargazing it allowed you to do. Ah! A night full of stars, the sky was so bright that we could easily spot the Milky Way with our naked eye.

We had clearly not had enough of the pristine and beautiful beaches there, for the following day, we headed to Greens Pool. An extraordinarily beautiful site, it was basically a natural swimming pool of glassy-clear water edged by a beach of pure white silica sand and enclosed by granite boulders. Never stopping, we made our way to Denmark. On our way, we made a halt at this beautiful property named Old Kent River Marron restaurant, to indulge in some farm-style organic lunch and sip on their home produce wines. Apart from beaches there, we also visited the Valley of Giants, a tree top walk experience, deriving its name from large Gloucester and Bicentennial trees.

Lunch at Old Kent River Marron restaurant, Denmark Lunch at Old Kent River Marron restaurant, Denmark

We were nearly at the end of our trip, but needed to have a dose of the natural beauty of the country further. Pemberton was our second last campsite, a scenic area under the canopy of the Karri forest. It was there on the way to the Margaret River that we stopped at Jewel Cave, the biggest show cave in Western Australia and Hamlen Bay, one of the best places in the country to spot wild stingrays. The last leg of our trip was dedicated completely to wine and vineyards. We had to pre-book a full day wine tour through Bushtucker winery and brewery tours, for a perfect experience. On our way back to Perth, we touched down Busselton, a city on the southwest tip of Western Australia known for its sheltered beach. We had our breakfast from the stalls of the local farmer’s market and walked through the beachfront of the 19th-century Busselton Jetty, bringing our Western Australian sojourn to a close.

Vivek Kumar blogs regularly at loiteringsouls.com

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