Esperance – The Journey Home

Perth to Esperance by Road

Western Australia is Australia’s largest state. It covers a total land area of over 2.6 million square kilometres and is the second-largest country subdivision in the world. Western Australia is made up mostly of arid Outback and, as a result, is sparsely populated. Getting to many of the States tourist attractions, means having to travel vast distances. Esperance, for example, is over seven hundred kilometres from Perth. The most direct route is along the Brookton Highway (State Route 40) and takes you through the southern wheat belt and along the Stirling Range. A worthy stop is made at Hyden where the major attraction is Wave Rock. For those wanting a stopover, Albany breaks the journey up perfectly. After almost nine hours on the road you will arrive at your destination.

On my recent visit to Esperance, I decided to take the coastal route back to Perth. The following are some of the attractions and stopovers on this less direct route, that is well over a thousand kilometres.

Esperance to Denmark

There are a number of potential first night stopovers on the route back from Esperance. Albany is one and Denmark is a second option. I decided to spend the night in the latter as I love the thick forests and tall trees in the surrounding area. The distance from Esperance to Denmark is 531 kilometres along National Route 1. The following is the sunrise that beckoned me when I woke up in my Denmark lodgings.

Denmark, Western Australia

Denmark to Margaret River

The fauna along the route from Denmark to Margaret River becomes increasingly thicker and more verdant. There are large swathes of dense forest which is in stark contrast to cleared farmland closer to Esperance. The following photo was taken as I started my journey on the road between Denmark and Walpole.Esperance to Walpole

Valley of the Giants – Tree Top Walk

By the time we reached Valley of the Giants in Walpole, we had covered a distance almost six hundred kilometres from Esperance. The giant Tingle trees in the Walpole-Nornalup National Park can reach heights of over fifty metres and many have been in existence for over four hundred years. The six hundred metre long Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk is the most visited attraction on the Rainbow Coast. It rises to over forty metres in height and has majestic views of the surrounding wilderness area.

Valley of the Giants, Walpole

Esperance to Margaret River

Margaret River is eight hundred and fifty kilometres from Esperance. This resort town is popular with tourists particularly because of its close proximity (270 kilometres) to state capital Perth. It is renowned for its fine wine and surfing.

Esperance to Margaret River

Wyadup Rocks

The last leg of the journey from Esperance to Perth takes us to Wyadup Rocks, Busselton Jetty and finally through the port town of Bunbury. Wyadup Rocks is forty kilometres from Margaret River, close to the village of Yallingup. It is a great place to swim, fish or just admire the landscape.

Wyadup Rocks, Yallingup

Esperance to Perth – Forest Areas

One of the many appeals of driving from Esperance to Perth along the coastal route, is the number of beautiful forests that you will drive through on route. This was taken close Gracetown, Western Australia.

Yalllingup Forest Area

Busselton Jetty

Busselton Jetty is the longest wooden jetty in the world, stretching 1.8 kilometres out to sea. The jetty was originally built in order that cut timber from the surrounding area could be transported to ships. It is no longer used commercially and is now a tourist attraction. Busselton Jetty

Esperance Vacation

I highly recommend taking an alternate route on the return journey from a vacation in Esperance. I also suggest breaking the journey up with stopovers along the way. There are some truly amazing place to visit and sights to see.

Sunrise at Kusamba Beach, Bali

Kusamba Village

This is my second post on Bali Click Here for a link to the previous post.

Following a day of rest and relaxation at my Legian hotel it was time to start exploring the Island of Bali. My local guide, Kasa, collected me from the lobby at the unearthly hour of four a.m. We then headed off through the densely populated suburbs of Denpasar. After almost an hour we arrived at our first destination of the day, Kusamba Village and Beach. Although it was still dark, I immediately saw the promising photographic opportunities. This would be an excellent opportunity to watch the world around me come to life and hopefully get some quality sunrise photos.

Kusamba Village Salt Farming Shack

Kusamba is situated about fifteen minutes from Semarapura City in the Klungkung Regency. The beach consists of black volcanic sand. This coarse dark sand has been the principle deterrent to the development of tourism in the area.

Life in the village continues as it has for centuries with fishing, short haul ferrying of goods and salt farming the principle activities.

Kusamba Salt Farming Shack

Kusamba Short Haul Merchants

Kusamba’s proximity to the outlying islands makes it the perfect place for merchants to base themselves. Each morning villagers fill small boats with goods and ferry these to the nearby islands of Nusa Penida and Lombok. The rest of this post chronicles the start of the day at Kusamba.

Kusamba Beach Sunrise

Kusamba Village Merchandise

Villagers are up before sunrise and manually haul a variety of goods to the beach. Merchandise included water, gas in bottles, dry goods plus fruit and vegetables. There were even bags of volcanic beach sand that is used for home building.

Kusamba Village Merchants

Kusamba Villager

The busy local folk often start the day by hauling merchandise to the waiting fleet of small merchant boats. Many will then go fishing or harvest salt in order to make ends meet.

Kusamba Villager

Kusamba Boat Launch

I was amazed at the amount of product that was loaded into the small boats and the skill of the villagers in launching these flimsy looking craft.

Kusamba Beach Boat

Traditional Jukung Fishing Boat

A Jukung or Cadik is a small wooden Indonesian outrigger canoe. Jukungs are powered by a single cloth sail which can be backed up by a small outboard motor. These graceful vessels are plentiful in Bali and are generally used for fishing. However, they can also be used to carry goods to close-by islands.Kusamba Beach Sunrise

Early Morning at Kusamba Village

The black sand of the beach provided an excellent background to fresh and dry goods waiting to be loaded on a small merchant boat.

Kusamba Beach

The Perth Collection – Volume One

I am blessed to live in one of the World’s truly beautiful cities. Perth is the capital city of Western Australia with a population of just under two million people. This clean, well planned city is  big enough to have all amenities of a major capital but is not overcrowded or unduly congested. It has a superb Mediterranean climate and is Australia’s sunniest state capital.  The city’s attractiveness is enhanced by the Swan River which flows through the centre. Furthermore, it boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia.

Perth Stadium

Australia is a ‘sport and culture mad’ nation, both in terms of participants and as spectators. Perth is no exception but, unlike the major eastern state capitals, it has long been in need of a quality stadium to showcase sporting and cultural events. After years of procrastination, the State Government announced in mid 2011 that a sixty thousand seat multi-purpose stadium would be built on the Burswood Peninsula. Work commenced in December 2014 and is on tack for completion in early 2018. A number of major events have already been scheduled, including stadium opening performances by international superstar Ed Sheeran in March 2018.

Perth Stadium

Perth City Moonrise

The Perth city skyline has been enhanced by the development of Elizabeth Quay on the banks of the Swan river. Elizabeth Quay is a popular tourist precinct and is usually teeming with people. However, later in the evening on a cold cloudless night the crowds have all disappeared and it becomes the perfect setting for a long exposure photograph. A full yellow moon adds to the serenity of the scene.

Perth - moonrise

Suburban Sunset

Where in the world would you experience a sunset like the one below from the front door of your home?

Perth Sunset

East Perth – Dawn

A view along Royal Street residential area in East Perth all the way to the city centre.

East Perth - Dawn

Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island is eighteen kilometres west of Perth and is a quick 25 minute ferry ride from Fremantle. ‘Rotto’ is without a doubt the nearby city dwellers favourite weekend and holiday getaway. Despite the Island’s popularity, the authorities have maintained strict environmental controls and both the land and surrounding ocean are in pristine condition.

Rottnest Island - perth

Winter In Perth

Perth is blessed with hot, dry summers and mild winters. For much of the year, the weather is fine and sunny, and even during the winter months the sun will often be shining.

Perth - Autumn Leaves