AUSTRALIA

Exmouth, Western Australia – A Journey

Exmouth, Western Australia

The Resort town of Exmouth is situated almost one thousand three hundred kilometres north of Perth. It is the northern gateway to the world-heritage listed Ningaloo Marine Park which is its main tourist attraction. The Ningaloo Reef is one of the longest fringing coral reefs in the world. It totals two hundred and sixty kilometres in length from Bundegi Beach near the main township down to Red Bluff at Quobba Station in the south.

There are a number of marine parks close to Exmouth, including Bundegi Coastal Park and Jurabi Coastal Reserve. The latter is a seasonal nesting ground for green and loggerhead turtles. The turtle spotting season is from November to March but tourists are encouraged not to disturb these majestic creatures.

Whale sharks are the world’s biggest fish and they gather in large numbers along the Ningaloo Reed from April to July each year. Everyone’s bucket list should include snorkelling with whale sharks as they cruise along close to the surface devouring large quantities of plankton.

The waters surrounding Exmouth are regarded by a number of anglers as Australia’s premier fishing destination. Beach, reef, game, sport, flats and fly fishing are all possible in this area.

Carnarvon, WA – Exmouth Stopover

Carnarvon lies at the mouth of the Gascoyne River just over nine hundred kilometres north of Western Australia’s capital Perth. It is an important fruit growing area but is also recognised for its all-year round warm climate and fine seafood. Carnarvon is an excellent stop-over destination for visitors to Exmouth as it leaves less than four hundred kilometres for the final leg of the journey.

Carnarvon, Western Australia

Turquoise Bay, Exmouth

Turquoise Bay is renowned for its superb snorkelling, pristine white sand and crystal clear water. This gem of Western Australia’s north is rated by travel web site TripAdvisor as one of the top twenty beaches in the world. It is Exmouth’s premier snorkel site and the Ningaloo Reef is just a short swim from the beach.

Turquoise Bay, Exmouth

Whale Sharks – Exmouth

There are number of different whale shark tours to choose from in Exmouth. Most tours operate from mid March to mid September each year. All of these companies have access to spotter planes that locate the whale sharks and then guide the boats to where they are. Swimming with these magnificent fish rates as one of my best experiences ever!Whale Shark, Exmouth

Abundance of Termite Mounds

An interesting feature of the Exmouth region is the large number of termite mounds. They are prominent amongst the scrub and bring a rich red colour to the landscape.

Exmouth Ant Hill

Exmouth Sunset

It is not difficult to find a deserted beach to enjoy a quiet sun-downer and a magical sunset in the Cape Range National Park.

Exmouth Sunset

Yardie Creek, Exmouth

A highlight of the Cape Range National Park is the two kilometre walk above the Yardie Creek Gorge. The creek flows between the spectacular sheer cliffs and you might be lucky to spot a black-footed rock wallaby.Yardie Creek, Exmouth

Esperance – Farewell to a Beautiful Landscape

This week I will post my last photos of Esperance in Western Australia’s south. Beach lovers who like secluded white beaches, clear blue sea and stunning rocky coastlines will fall in love with this region. As will adventurous surfers, fishermen and landscape photographers. There are beaches to relax on, trails to explore and stunning vistas to take in. I have visited Esperance twice in 2017. On the first occasion the weather was variable and I vowed to return as soon as I possibly could. On the second visit, the weather was perfect and a repeat of the long drive was worth it! I look forward to finding an excuse to once again return to this little bit of Paradise.

The photographs in this post need little introduction. Lucky Bay, Frenchman’s Peak, Twilight Beach and a Farm are four attractions that visitors to the area should not miss. None of these need much of an introduction. as such, I will let the images do the talking. This is the beauty that is Esperance.

Lucky Bay – Cape Le Grande National Park

Lucky Bay – Cape Le Grande National Park

Frenchman’s Peak – Cape Le Grande National Park

Frenchman’s Peak - Cape Le Grande National Park, Esperance

Frenchman’s Peak Cave at Dusk

It is an eerie feeling sitting inside the cave close to the peak of Frenchman’s Peak at dusk. The feeling is heightened by grey a sky that is caused by a number of back-burning fires in the area below. Frenchman’s Peak Cave , Esperance

Twilight Beach Sunrise

Twilight Beach Sunrise - Esperance

Esperance – Rocky Coastline

The coastline around Esperance is very different to regions further north. There is an abundance of small rocky islands in this area that add to the wild beauty.

Esperance – Rocky Coastline

Esperance – Farm Entrance

The major industries of the Esperance region are tourism, agriculture, and fishing. It also has the only port in the south-east of Western Australia. Agricultural activities include the rearing of sheep and cattle and the growing of wheat and canola.

Esperance – Farm Entrance

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.