The itinerary for this massive road trip up the coast of Western Australia can be found here.
This trip was simply awesome! I swam with huge mantarays and sharks and came closer to big stingrays than I had ever expected. I hiked, climbed and swam through the ancient gorges of Karijini like Lara Croft.
It is hard to remember it all, luckily I have my photos! Australia’s west coast is stunning, now I can finally understand those people who claim the Ningaloo Reef on the west coast to be more beautiful and more exciting than the Great Barrier Reef on the east coast. Here I have seen so much more impressive wildlife, prettier corals and more colourful fish, and this only with snorkeling! I can’t imagine what I would have found going diving. Unfortunately I didn’t have the time for that, the schedule was too packed with snorkeling with huge mantarays (wingspan over 3.5 meters), grey reef sharks, big stingrays (3-4 meters long including tail, main body about 2 meters diameter), turtles, crabs, fish, …..
Then we went inlands to Karijini National Park, one of Australia’s oldest and most stunning national parks. We hiked/climbed/swam through heaps of beautiful gorges, whith lots of opportunities for awesome photos, beautiful waterholes, waterfalls and more. The climbing was really exciting and dangerous, I felt like Lara Croft in Tomb Raider.
I brought of one really hilarious thing: one of the days I decided to bring my snorkel gear and have a look around in one of the big waterholes at a waterfall. Well, I found an unopened bottle of Jim Bean whiskey! The others couldn’t believe it! I generously gave it to Sam for his birthday the next day, who of course shared it with the whole group.
After this successful found I continued my search, and indeed found 3 pairs of sunglasses! Bollé, Oakley and Ripcurl.
When I had cleaned them later on the Oakley and Ripcurl one turned out to be in really good shape, but rather girly and too small for me, so I gave them to Paula who really liked them.
On this trip we have heard even more often than on the previous “Don’t do X, keep Y in mind and always take care of Z or YOU WILL DIE!”. Alright, follow the rules and you live 😀 twice I slipped in a very dangerous place but managed to catch my balance in the last moment, while I was already thinking “that’s it, you’re falling down, will crash onto the rocks and die”. Thus I can now tell you with absolute certainty that during the last seconds before your (assumed) death your life does not flash past your eyes like a movie, that’s pure myth promoted by Hollywood.
Similar when snorkeling: I dived very close (~2-3 meters) to one of the huge stingrays that lay asleep on the ground when it suddenly woke up and hurried away. Damn that was a shock! But because I followed the rule to approach them up front where they can see and avoid you I was safe.
A few hours later when I was snorkeling and diving in a different place the visibility was really bad. The bay was usually a great spot to see turtles. I dived down to a shadow on the ground and suddenly found my face at armlenght away from the back of another stingray, although smaller than the one before. Damn that was another shock! I gave up my search for turtles and returned to shore. I had already seen heaps of turtles the day before.
Because Western Australia is so very big there are huge areas without mobile phone reception. For example for 3 days in a row at Kanjini (one of the most dangerous bits of the journey) our mobile phones were useless. And that’s why our guide was carrying a satellite phone at all times 🙂
Another big issue where all the insects: by day there were so many flies we all had nets over our heads, caps and hats to stop the flies from sitting on our eyes, in our ears and crawling up our noses. At night time the flies were asleep, but the mosqitoes became active. We used insect repellent with tropical strenght but it didn’t help enough – by night we still got bitten heaps.
And then of course there was the heat and humidity, quite a test for me. I have really trouble with the humid warmth, I sweat a lot and cannot sleep. So the whole trip was quite exhausting, mentally and physically. Luckily it was overcast during our 3 days in Karijini, so the temperature was bearable for me.
Anyway, it was all worth it! My personal highlight were the adventurous gorges of Karijini, followed by the snorkelling with all these (dangerous) sea creatures. I’m alive and kicking, so don’t be afraid 🙂 our tourguide was the best we could have for this tour (according to several trusthworthy sources) and we all arrived in Broome unharmed (except for the mozzy bites).
Now I really need some time to recover for my next tour 🙂
Enjoy the photos! This time it payed really off to have my waterproof Panasonic Lumix, but see for yourself.
“10 days Perth to Broome”
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