“Two Boxing Kangaroos Beat Up Each on Suburban Street in Australia”
“Ga day!”, and welcome back to “It’s A Bloody Long Way” blog. When you think of Australia, you probably have in mind an image of a kangaroo. The reference is Skippy the busk kangaroo, in the 70’s it was a really famous TV-show. Nowadays, they are usually represented with gloves for kids cartoons. Where am I going with this point? The boxing kangaroo symbol is often displayed by Australian spectators and sporting events, which I have seen myself during a footy match (Have a look!). However, we are not here for a cricket, footy or rugby league match. No! We are here to see a world heavyweight boxing champion match between Mr “East Coast” and Mr “West Coast”!
“Choosing between the East Coast and the West Coast is not an easy task. You want to swim with the whale sharks? Go West! But you don’t want to miss out the Whitsundays…? Then go East! Lucky are the travellers who have time to do both (I was one of them), but for the rest of us, an interesting match with an uncertain denouement is going to start, ready!?”
You want to travel the East Coast of Australia? Well, I hope you’ve prepared your savings. You have already heard about the highlights from other travellers or did your own research , such as diving on the Great Barrier Reef, driving 4x4s on Fraser Island and sailing the Whitsundays. But don’t forget the transportation as well to go to those attractions. South to North, the coastline is 3500 km long. Those activities and transportation have cost me a harm. However, for every part you already know about, there are countless other amazing trips and activities to experience; and the sceneries are also extraordinary and mesmerising! The East Coast is not a place you want to miss out so make sure you plan your trip well. No-one and I want you to have regrets. I did my first diving by The Great Barrier Reef and 2 days later I jumped out of a plane above it. I have no regrets and only have wonderful memories of it. Whether you’ve just arrived in Australia, or you’re finishing, or you will start it, the East Coast is a rite of passage. During my lonely trip in the far East, I have met lot of people at hostels. However they were more interested in partying and drinking, that I had decided to start travelling with “Couch surfing”. It’s a free website where locals host you during a few days. Sometimes I have been lucky enough to have my private guide and special tips. I have met wonderful person! In the West, don’t rely on it.
Such a wonderful location, weather, dazzling Indian Ocean sunsets and an easy-going character, you might find it hard to actually get on the road and leave this region! I had. But once you do, you’ll be wowed by all the West has to offer.
Driving the Coral Coast is one of a road! An amazing place with so many landscapes! We drove around 500km per day, and we were never bored. Leaving Perth, you will hit the splendid Pinnacles Desert near Cervantes, which contains thousands of intriguing limestone pinnacles. Further north we arrived in Geraldton, where we almost ran out of petrol. It’s the perfect place to have fabulously fresh seafood, in particular the famous western rock lobster. Exquisite! Then it was time to pull on our hiking boots for some trekking through the gorges at Kalbarri National Park. A good way to digest. During July to October is wonderful location to be, over 1000 varieties of Western Australian wildflowers are transforming the rude and deserted outback into a sea of colour. It was just mesmerising.
Next stop is a small seaside village of Coral Bay. A wonderful decor is awaiting you with an ocean of three shades of blue. This reef is teeming with unique marine life. If you have enough money (I didn’t at this time), you should plan and take the opportunity to swim with the whale sharks (March to July). Nearby, Cape Range National Park has beautiful sceneries of deep canyons, limestone ranges and spectacular gorges. It’s a nice place to be one with Miss Nature. The West coast is as long as the East. From Exmouth, you can continue the roads to the East to Karijini National Park, or north to Broome, the Dampier Peninsula and the Kimberley wilderness, and finish in Darwin. In between my friends and I have decided to visit the second largest crater in the world, and also famous place for his horror movie “Wolfe Creek”. The story is we spent 6 hours on off-road to do 350km. It was a bloody long way, tiring and we were thinking about the movie (scary!). We were in the middle of nowhere with nobody to help us, but we survived and I literally kissed the smooth road!
Great counter of East!
Farm work is a great experience and adventure that everyone should do at least once if they travel to Australia. The East coast offers more possibilities than the West coast. I am not talking about fruit picking or woofing, but working as real Jackaroo (=cowboy in aussie) in cattle farms. I worked 3 months in order to get my second year working holiday visa and going out of my comfort zone. As my boss said once: “if you stay long enough, you will go home as a true man!”. I think I am now. Moreover, I am not taking the girls out of the competition. During my stay, I have seen girls mentally stronger than young men. But if you are too “girly”, you won’t stand a chance. You shouldn’t be scared of blood, wake up really in the morning (5 or 6am 6 days a week!), being isolated of the civilization and working with the same people. Gentlemen, you should consider it as well.
Great coming back of West!
The region is also well known for its food and wine. I have a short story to tell you, which will make food lovers crazy about it. My friends and I have made a wonderful free tasting tour in Margaret River region, from chocolate factory, to cheese factory and to a few vineyards. Delicious! I have probably eaten for a week. Sure, the drinking part wasn’t really smart of us. If I do it again, I will make sure to have a non-alcoholic friend as a spare tire. Furthermore the road continues inland, and make sure to drop by the Valley of the Giants, not actual giants by the way! There is a nice walk in the trees which is 38 metres above the ground. The most exciting and scary part was, when I was able to climb a sixty meters high tree! There is a few in this region used as fire watch. Finally being at the top of Knoll mountain will make you feel as a king dominating the region. However, I first spent two hours climbing it. It was tiring but a fun experience. At the end the view was extraordinary!
(Ding, ding, ding)
I would say the final answer is yours! You will be the one to decide. This blog is really short compared to what I have experienced. The East coast is a wonderful place to visit, however from what I have seen lot of people do like to party a lot. Why should you travel the all world, if you can drink and party at home. From my experience, the West coast shouldn’t be disregarded. However, everyone has different personality, emotions and tastes. Remember you are your own master!
Take it easy! Next time there is will be no world heavyweight boxing match, but some revelation will be told, be patient! See you soon.
PS: Personal pictures.