Western Australia: favourite finds during our roadtrip

We explored Western Australia (WA) in a super small campervan in 10 days. But we could easily have spent more time driving around: WA has so many amazing places to discover! East coast, eat your heart out! 

Rather than sharing our itinerary, I will list the places we really enjoyed and would recommend you to visit. Our itinerary was not the most ideal, since the weather was not on our side and we sometimes changed our plans to have better weather. Also, we first planned to see more of the area North of Perth, including Kalbarri National Park, but on our first day we realized driving was much slower than expected and we did not have the time. So after seeing Pinnacle Desert, we turned around and headed South, where everything is a little closer together. That means we still have some of WA left to see on another trip, because we will definitely be back!

All places are listed in a more or less logical order in terms of location.

Pinnacle Desert
After a long day of driving from a town south of Perth we arrived at Pinnacle Desert, near Cervantes, around sunset. You can drive through this park but we chose to follow the walking track.

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Pinnacle Desert

Busselton
The first time we visited Busselton, the Ironman competition was held so the jetty was not open and it was super busy. All campsites were fully booked. So we decided to stay somewhere else and return at the end of our trip. The second time around, it was much more quiet and the weather was much better. We liked the jetty and the little museum / shop at the beginning of the jetty. We ate fish & chips on the beach and ended our day with pizza and beer in the central street. A great town to spend your day, and if it’s warm enough for a swim, I think you could enjoy yourself here a lot longer.

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The Busselton Jetty shortly before sunset

Yallingup Beach & Holiday Park
We ended up here by coincidence, after we found out the Busselton area was fully booked. And it was such a lucky find! Our pitch was just steps away from the wonderful beach. The campsite also has a grassy area with BBQ’s for communal use with an ocean view. So we spent our afternoon and evening there, first for a long BBQ dinner and then enjoying the sunset with a wine in hand. It was a perfect and relaxed day.

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Entry to Yallingup Beach, just steps away from our pitch!
The perfect end to our day

Injidup Natural Spa
This place is known for the natural spa, but that part of it was very crowded (even though the weather was cold). So we explored the place and after some climbing found another small natural pool and beautiful view all to ourselves.

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Blue waters at Injidup
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So many rocks: lots of climbing and balancing!

Margaret River Wineries
This area has A LOT of wineries. Really, just drive around and there are cellar doors scattered around. On our first day we visited Robert Oakley. We drove by the entrance and caught a glimpse of a pictureque lake, and spontaneously decided to take a look. My husband tasted some great wines (I had to drive) and we took one home.

The next day I felt like tasting some wines as well, so we booked a half-day wineries tour. We and another couple were driven around to four wineries for tastings, two of them sitting down. Our favourite tasting was at McHenry Hohnen: amazing wines, paired with wonderful home-made sausages. The most beautiful estate however was Voyager Estate, featuring a large garden to walk around in.

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Lake views at Watershed Winery
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Tasting wine at Mc Henry Hohnen’s cellar door
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The gardens at Voyager Estate

Hamelin Bay
After having heard of this place where rays get super close to the beach, I had to go here. We were told it was not the right season to see rays here, but we were lucky! One happened to visit the beach and it came so close I was able to touch it. Not a HUGE stingray like the ones you see in the right season, but still pretty special.

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The rays come SO close!

Quinninup Tourist Eco Park
We ended up at this campsite – in the middle of nowhere – by coincidence, but were so happy we did! The caretakers made us feel very welcome, and the place was absolutely PACKED with kangaroos. It was the first time we saw them up close instead of just seeing them cross the road at dusk. We had the opportunity to pet and feed some of them, including one with a joey in her pouch. So cute! Also, this campsite features a huge collection of garden gnomes.

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Feeding the young kangaroo
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Besides lots of kangaroos, there is a decent collection of garden gnomes here too!

Diamond Tree Lookout
Close to Quinninup you will find this tree, that was once used as a lookout to spot bushfires. It is a very tall tree and you can climb it all the way to the top (50+ meters) – if you dare. There are no safety measures in place, but it is free as well. We felt that is one of the things making this such a great stop: it really reflects the relaxed, less touristy character of WA. We are not afraid of heights but still only climbed halfway to the top, simply because the climbing was pretty exhausting and we had to go back down as well.

 

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Looking up before we started climbing

Denmark’s wineries
On the day we arrived in Denmark, it was rainy and we were looking for an indoor activity. We ended up at Singlefile Wines, a beautiful estate that offers a wine- and chocolate tasting: two of my favourite things. Seriously, can you think of anything better? The place was wonderful, featuring large Chesterfield chairs, a super friendly dog who came sit with us and views over the estate. Also, the wineries in Denmark seemed much less well-known than those in Margaret River: we had the place to ourselves. So if you are looking for a very personal wine tasting, try your luck at one of the wineries in Denmark.

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Tasting wine & matching chocolates at Singlefile Wines

Green’s Pool & Elephant Rocks
This was one of the our favourite places in WA. From the parking lot, you do not see the beach yet, but once you start descending the stairs, this beautiful bay comes into view. It was too cold to swim when we were there, but Green’s Pool looked perfect for snorkeling and swimming. After Green’s Pool we made our way to the Elephant Rocks, just a short walk away. These rocks really do look like elephants! There was another stairs here, that leads to a small ‘cave’. It has a gap, and if you walk through that, you will find a pretty little beach. Must be great in summer!

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First glimpse of Green’s Pool descending to the beach
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See the strange colors on the rocks?
The elephant rocks

We liked WA best of all the places we visited in Australia. The atmosphere is relaxed, there are SO many wonderful bays and beaches and there are not many other tourists – except for visitors from the Perth area in the weekend. We will definitely come back here in the future, hopefully when the weather allows for swimming.

Besides these places, we also visited Fremantle and Perth, but these places have so many sights they deserved their own posts. You can find the one on Fremantle here, a post on Perth will follow soon.

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