Ten reasons to go to Western Australia
Western Australia amazed me, detoxed me and inspired me.
It is difficult to put into words the kind of experience this place has to offer. All I can say is, if you are thinking of going to Australia, think beyond the Gold Coast. And do consider the amazing west. It will blow your mind away.
Here are ten reasons to go to Western Australia.
I will not say the attacks on Indians that had taken place in Australia a few years ago were not at the back of my mind when I landed in Perth. But without exception, everyone who came up to talk to me either when I looked lost, or if they just wanted to say hi, were nothing less than friendly. Once you are a little bit out of Perth and on the highway, you’ll find all the drivers you pass waving at you. That time when our van got stuck pretty bad in the loose soil by the road, we asked for help from the next car that was passing by. Mic from Carnarvon literally threw himself on the ground trying to figure out how bad our van was stuck. It was with his help that we were able to pull our van back on the road. What’s more, he even invited us to stay at his place when we were around Carnarvron, which we did after a few days.
Incredible marine life
If you are around in June to November, the whale season, you should be able to see some (or many!) of these huge mammals. I didn’t see any whales, but I did swim with manta rays, the largest species of rays with a wing span of around four metres or more. And sharks, too! They weren’t five-metre great whites of course, but several reef sharks.
Curious land creatures
I’m of course talking about kangaroos and emus. If there are cows standing by the road and if they see a car approaching, they will usually move away. It’s different with kangaroos and emus. Both these creatures are extremely curious and would come forward to check out the car if they hear one coming. This is probably the reason you will see many dead kangaroos along Australian highways. Cars travelling at high speed are unable to stop in many cases to avoid hitting them. Though I didn’t see any dead emus on the road, I can assure you they aren’t any less curious. An emu and her four chicks were standing in the middle of the highway and we had to stop. The family came towards us and the mother peeped in through the window and would probably have put her head in if we didn’t put up the window glass.
Get away from it all
Western Australia is a great place to get away from all the humdrum and routine of daily life. The highways pass through hundreds and hundreds of kilometres of desert. Tiny towns are at times 350 kilometres or further away from each other. I lost count of days and dates during this trip.
Perfect place for a road trip
Public transport is virtually non-existent in Western Australia and if you don’t want to hitchhike, the only want to see this state is by doing a road trip. And since I, as a budget traveller, am always thinking about how to minimise my costs, I think hiring a camper van to do a road trip here makes perfect sense. With your own vehicle, you can move at your own pace and stop whenever and wherever you want to. You have more control over your trip and this is the perfect place to do your dream road trip.
One with nature
When you’re sitting under a glittering night sky and cannot see a single artificial light even when you have a 360 degrees view of the horizon around you, you know this is as close to nature as it gets. It’s a whole new feeling to be able to be so far away from the crowded world that most of us live in.
Western Australia has at least two pink lakes – one near Esperence in the south and the other near Port Gregory. I didn’t see the Esperence one. But the one I saw took my breath away. You had to walk a very long way to get to the water. So, the place that I hung around was basically a huge pale pink expanse with very shallow water at some places.
Before Australia, my only experience with gorges was middle school geography books. So you can guess that I was impressed to say the least. But of all the gorges I saw in Kalbarri and Karijini national parks, the one that I decided was the most awesome was Weano Gorge in Karijini National Park, through which I walked to the Handrail Pool, beside which Milton could have sat and written Paradise Regained. The sunlight fell on the water and the patterns reflected on the gorge wall. We had this pool to ourselves for at least an hour before more tourists arrived. #Magical
If you don’t know what they are, you’d probably dismiss them as weird-shaped rocks in the water. But stromatolites are the modern version of the planet’s most ancient life forms. Around 2.5 billion years ago, these structures, formed by layers of oxygen-producing bacteria, gradually changed the Earth’s atmosphere from a carbon dioxide-rich mixture to the present-day oxygen-rich atmosphere. This ultimately helped in the evolution of more complex life forms, and ultimately you and me.
Bluest skies and the sight of rain
I have never seen bluer skies anywhere. There were times when there was not a speck of cloud in the sky and it was such a brilliant blue. Since there are such huge open spaces, you can actually see rain falling from a cloud across a certain area.