Pinnacles and Sandboards

I debated back and forth quite a while on what to do in Western Australia. The problem with travelling the state is that, like most of Australia, is that is is massive, remote and often difficult to get around. I originally had just planned to see Perth and Fremantle in order to save my money for the East Coast. Once I got there and starting hearing about the West Coast, especially further north…my resolution broke and I decided to join a tour. And not just a short tour either, this would be a 14 day monstrosity covering 6,000km and seeing many of the highlights scattered across the vast expanse of Western Australia.

To that effect I found myself on a sunny late-September morning boarding a small van and heading north. Our first destination was the sand dunes of Lancelin.

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The Crown Jewel of Perth

For being the most remote, isolated large city in the world, Perth doesn’t feel like it. The population of ~1.75 Million likely has something to do with that – Perth isn’t small. It has all the usual amenities and conveniences of living in a large modern metropolis with a few surprises as well. Kings Park was most decidedly the best surprise.

I awoke one morning and put my walking shoes on (which oddly look a lot like my lazy-day shoes, my hiking shoes and my dress shoes). My first stop was the Swan River, which runs beside the downtown area of Perth and connects the city to the sea. At least it did when the town was first formed – Greater Perth now sprawls all the way to the Indian Ocean, some 10km away from the downtown. On the river lies this oddity:

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Exploring the Yuppie Wasteland

The next sunny day I was out and about in Fremantle again, this time hitting the beaches. To be honest, there wasn’t much more to Fremantle that I wanted to see, the city was somewhat of a disappointment. Many had mentioned it as a great place to stay and find work, relax in, etc. While I guess I could understand that to a certain extent, the denizens that took to Fremantle were hippies, yuppies and druggies, at least in my hostel (the highest rated one in the area) and surrounding area (the main part of Fremantle). Not to mention the hostel was a disaster and in rather squalid shape. I’m not entirely sure where the high reviews of the place came from. So in general, I was pretty exasperated with Freo.

On the other hand, the beaches lived up to their billing as fantastic.

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The Long Ride West

It was time to head to Perth. I boarded the Indian-Pacific train in the evening. Following my eventful day and given my continuing cold, I pretty much passed out as soon as the train was moving. I awoke the next morning to find myself crossing the Nullarbor Plain.

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St Kilda

Free from my work commitments and feeling like a huge weight had been lifted, I spent the first nice day of unemployment exploring south of the downtown of Melbourne. I was headed towards the beachside destination of St. Kilda. This was a place most people would visit via the tram system. I decided to use my feet instead.

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Three Weeks In One Post (more or less)

My time in Darwin complete, it was time to leave. But it turns out that leaving Darwin can be quite tricky. Darwin is REMOTE. There is nowhere nearby to go to next. I explored flights, trains and buses, and came to the realization that the cheapest option to go anywhere would be to actually fly there. Perth and Melbourne were to the two cheapest options. As I was familiar with Melbourne and liked the city well enough on first go, I decided I would try to live there and find some work. I’d spent quite a bit of money over the last month travelling through the vast expanses of the Outback.

The flight was uneventful and I arrived in Melbourne without issue. I stayed at a different hostel this time, hoping for a better place than my first go around. It was indeed better. The kitchen was usable and the place was kept moderately clean. The hostels in Australia so far have ranged from downright poor to okay, with Adelaide having the best hostel of the bunch (the lovely Adelaide YHA).

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