We are back from our holiday and we had the most amazing time, Western Australia is beautiful and just as you think it can’t get any better, it does!
We know that the thought of driving 17,290 km in 2 months across Australia, locked in a car together 24 hours a day isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, but we couldn’t think of a better holiday. The lack of toilets and showers, the millions of flies, eating bugs in your dinner, constantly being covered in red dirt, doesn’t bother us at all. If that’s the price you pay to see the amazing places we’ve experienced, then we can deal with that!
Below is our basic itinerary
Bungle Bungle National Park (Purnululu)
Mt Elizabeth Station
Eighty Mile Beach
Millstream Chichester National Park
Karijini National Park
Kalbarri National Park
Great Central Road
What a blessing it is to be able to travel this country, we are so privileged to have the opportunity to see our amazing land. It’s a big world out there and it’s totally different, the people you meet are genuinely good kind-hearted people, it’s a pleasant change!
To say we visited some wonderful places is an understatement. Western Australia is amazing, so many beautiful places and we experienced so much in such a relatively short period of time.
We stood on the western most point of Australia, Steep Point. This was pretty special for us as it meant that we now only have the southernmost point to visit. The day we visited was actually only a week or two short of being exactly 3 years since we stood on the northern most point of Australia at Cape York. Most people probably think, ‘what’s the big deal, it’s just a sign’, but it’s a great feeling to reach the tip and stand there knowing that we’ve marked another thing off our bucket list, we’ve conquered another place that most Australian’s haven’t, and probably never will, visit.
Karijini National Park and the Horizontal Falls were the definite highlights for us. A visit to Karijini National Park should be on everyone’s bucket list. We had seen many photos over the years and had always wanted to visit, but wow, the photos are nothing compared to being there and seeing this with your own eyes. There are so many gorges to see and each is better than the last. They aren’t all easy to get to though, they require bushwalks of at least a couple of kilometers and some basically require feats of acrobatics to get there, clambering over rocks, wading through water, squeezing along narrow ledges ….. but it’s all an adventure!
The Horizontal Falls tour was the best day. You can’t explain what it’s like to fly in and land on the calm tranquil waters of Talbot Bay and then the next minute be flying through the falls in a high-powered jet boat! The adrenaline rush is like nothing else, this whole day was full of adventure. It wasn’t cheap, but it was worth every cent.
Travelling the Gibb River Road had been something we’d wanted to do for a while and we loved every minute of it, could have easily spent a month exploring this area. The gorges are just beautiful, although it’s a miracle we saw them as 2km or more bushwalks is not really our idea of fun, but it was so worth it! To walk through the pitch black Tunnel Creek, trying not to run into crocodiles that live in there was an experience! We loved getting up close with the crocodiles at Windjana Gorge, it’s amazing how many live there.
As for our new Cub Camper, we couldn’t have been happier with this. We weren’t sure it was even going to make it on the trip with us, but it ended up finally being ready, we picked it up on the Friday before we left! Obviously we didn’t get any time to do any test runs as we should have, so it was thrown straight into it. Just over 2 months old and it’s already due for its first service! It certainly made life so much easier than using a tent, it was like our little bit of luxury! Couldn’t fault it, it was made to do what we do and loved being off-road!
Below is a summary of our trip.
Total KM travelled 17,290 km
Total time away 58 days (2 months)
Total amount of money spent on fuel $3,539
Most expensive fuel $2.20 per litre at Yuendumu
Cheapest fuel $1.17 per litre at Mildura
What we missed the most while away Gelly & Charli (and the rest of our pets) and our family
Best meal Port View Restaurant, Geraldton (the service and the food was amazing, can’t thank them enough for accommodating us, see here)
Biggest surprise How much we loved Broome, could have easily spent more time there. It’s got a great mix of a larger type town, with the casual relaxed outback style of life.
Most Scenic Karijini National Park and all the gorges on the Gibb River Road
Favourite campground (remote) Our second night of ‘free camp’ on the Great Central Road. Views of the ranges, surrounded by bush, the clear sky full of stars and not another person in sight.
Favourite campground (city) Belair Gardens Caravan Park, Geraldton (huge sites, good amenities and excellent service)
Most expensive place in general El Questro and Ayers Rock Resort
Most expensive campsite El Questro ($62 per day)
Cheapest Campsite Can’t get any cheaper than our ‘free camping’ nights in the bush! Otherwise, Balranald, Marla, Nanutarra and Millstream National Park were all $20 per night.
Biggest Adrenalin Rush Horizontal Falls jet boat rides
4WD Tracks driven Tanami Track, Gibb River Road, Great Central Road, Oodnadatta Track.
States travelled to NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Northern Territory, Western Australia
What exceeded our expectations Horizontal Falls, Broome, Geraldton (in particular the HMAS Sydney II memorial)
Strangest place Province of Hutt River! We still can’t explain this one, read our blog here if you missed it!
Biggest disappointment That we weren’t able to drive to Steep Point ourselves, but happy we found a work around, even if it cost us a lot of money! That we didn’t have time to swim with the Whale Sharks in Exmouth or ride camels on Cable Beach. Oh and the fact that the Pentecost River basically had no water in it, so disappointed with that water crossing!
What we wouldn’t take with us again Drill, second battery pack, one less sleeping bag and blanket
Best Purchase before the trip Our camper trailer!
Tips for travelling to WA Time your visit to see the ‘Staircase to the Moon’ phenomenon, visit the Horizontal Falls, look out for 24hour unmanned refuelling stations (generally there is a significant saving from filling up at the servo). Buy the National Parks yearly pass (if you look around you can actually get this cheaper – we joined RAC and then purchased the parks pass for 1/2 price and overall still saved money! Plus with RAC you get a discount on fuel at some servos)
We do need to thank our wonderful house sitter, Hannah who looked after the house and our mini zoo! It was scary getting a stranger in for the first time, but it all worked out well, she sent us update photos of the pups and looked after all the issues Charli created! The dogs clearly loved her and were well looked after. They even kept going to her room looking for her after we got back!
Also thanks to Kylie & Ben for reluctantly taking Sam the snake to the vet while we were gone. It was unfortunate timing that he got sick just before we left, but were happy to hear that he was on the road to recovery and started eating again while we were away.
As usual we need to thank our mechanic, Adam, who always does a great job on our cars. The Prado had no issues at all (well not mechanical anyway!) We know you aren’t a fan of working on our dirty 4WD’s, but we do appreciate it!
And lastly thanks to our mate Vic from Great Divide Tours who again prepared our trip plan for us, we couldn’t live without your trip notes now! Anyone planning a trip like ours needs someone like Vic and his knowledge to help!