It’s been a long time since you’ve last seen me here, and daaaang, so much has happened since! This year has been a roller coaster ride so far. Now that I’ve got a smidgen of time, I wanted to update the blog with a quick travel post about a recent road trip I embarked on this week. Just covering half of the adventure for now — snapshots from Busselton down to Augusta. I’ll try to cover Augusta to Albany at a later date! And just a quick note about our driving soundtrack: it included the likes of Mitch King, The Black Keys, and City & Colour, among others.
We started the drive on Monday, from Perth down to Busselton. Yeah, we made the famous jetty — longest in the Southern Hemisphere at an impressive 1.8 kilometres — our very first stop. On the way there, we passed beautiful wildflowers of all colours, cows and woolly sheep grazing by slow-moving rivers, mobs of kangaroos hanging around (and when I say “mob”, I mean about 300 kangaroos in a group, being lazy and not doing much), tranquil wetlands shrouded in mist, wild lilies growing in clumps under low-hanging trees, and even a number of one-hump camels by the side of the road. The flora of Western Australia is quite different to South Queensland (where I grew up). It was certainly an eye-opener of a drive!
Busselton Jetty, Busselton
I’m not kidding when I say the jetty is almost two kilometres. It snakes its way across the protected waters of Geographe Bay. We weren’t graced with anything remotely resembling terrific weather when we first pulled up, but the skies cleared eventually and, after a filling meal of roasted seasonal vegetables tossed in rosemary salt and lavender honey at The Goose, the grey waters and gloomy clouds made way for hues of blue in the end. Lucky us!
Blackhurst Park, Dunsborough
You’ll stumble upon many parks such as this one when traversing Geographe Bay Road in the coastal town of Dunsborough. Blackhurst Park looks out toward the beautiful blue waters of Dunn Bay. There’s a little boat ramp here for fishing and boating enthusiasts to come and go as they please.
Meelup Beach, Dunsborough
Another little nook for beach lovers, Meelup Beach is a sight for sore eyes. With white sand and tranquil waters, it’s no wonder we spied a few elderly couples strolling along the shore, as well as a mother and her two kids enjoying a picnic on the beach here. That said, the winds were pretty harsh along the seafront — I have no idea whether these people were actually having much fun.
The twilight hues at Cape Naturaliste are incredible, so visit when the sun starts to go down for an unforgettable view. This is one of the end-points of the Cape to Cape Track. You can start at Naturaliste and make the trek to Leeuwin (about 80km from one end to the other; it’ll take you several days). Along the way, you’ll be graced with sweeping vistas and imposing terrain. If you’re just dropping by the cape for a look, you’ll want to keep a weather eye on the horizon for great spouts of water! September is the perfect month to be on the lookout for migrating whales in the distance.
Sculpted by the sea, Sugarloaf definitely looks imposing even from a distance. Sure, it’s just a rock, but it’s a rather pretty one, surrounded by shallower waters that glitter in the sunlight. If you love bird watching, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for red-tailed tropic birds that nest in the area from September to February. They’re the type to grace the skies with their aerial acrobatics.
Canal Rocks, Yallingup
This giant outcrop of granite gneiss rocks, with their intriguing rugged ‘canals’ carved right into the stone by the rough sea, is a fantastic place to get your fill of salty breezes and cold sea spray. It gets pretty blustery down here at this remote coastline, but the swelling and surging waters of the Indian Ocean rushing up and crashing against the granite rocks in a cacophony of loud static is something to behold, especially in stormier weather.
The nearest settlement to Cape Leeuwin is Augusta, which is a small town that boasts a brilliant view of the Blackwood River leading into Flinders Bay. You’ll definitely want to stop by the majestic Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, where you’ll be able to see the exact spot where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean. This is the tallest lighthouse on mainland Australia, and it is still operating today! If you’re willing to climb several flights of stairs to the top, the view from the balcony of this limestone lighthouse is absolutely breathtaking. It does get gusty up there, though, so be careful of your phones and cameras! Observe the playful seabirds frolicking in the wind, and make sure you take plenty of pictures!
Old Water Wheel
You’ll find the Old Water Wheel just a short distance from the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. This historic water wheel was built in 1895 to supply spring water to the lighthouse cottages. It is now fully calcified, making it look like ancient stonework. With dramatic backdrops of the sea to the west and rolling green hills to the north-east, you’ll definitely want to take a few Instagram-worthy shots here.