Coffee in hand and we set off on a coast drive with my friend Emma (the lucky girl now calls Dunsborough home). She was the perfect tour guide showing us her beautiful backyard. Our favourite stop was Meelup beach which is less than ten minutes out of Dunsborough.
That afternoon we cruised south through Gracetown for a bite to eat and to gawk at the surfers in amazement.
Then to the caves! Mammoth and Lake cave. Which are only 4km apart on caves road (thirty minutes before you get to Augusta). Mammoth cave was mammoth in size and in spectacle. Headphones on for an educational audio guide and an optional 700m bush hike to finish. Lake cave newly fitted with a light show was a beautiful sight. It took a few hundred stairs down a sinkhole to reach the cave entrance (note: if you go down, you must come back up).
That was enough stalactites and stalagmites for one day so we settled in at Flinders Bay Caravan Park in Augusta.
Today’s plans were to go snorkelling and explore a cave!
The drive from our campsite to Busselton Jetty was about 10 minutes. We brought our own snorkels and fins so we could dive straight in and start exploring. We soon found out the best snorkelling was way out at the end of the jetty which is a 1.8km walk – but well worth it. Dive and snorkel equipment is available for hire and the designated swim spot here is supervised by staff. So many little fishies to see and we even spotted a sting ray!
We wanted to capture our underwater adventures so Denver used his Go Pro and I took a risk with my new Lifeproof (apparently waterproof) Iphone case. Both worked a treat underwater and now we have some amazing snaps to share.
On to Ngilgi Cave, in Yallingup, 20 minutes from the campsite. We bought entry to all four caves to make it a bit cheaper ($67). This tour starts with a guide for the first 10 minutes and then you a free to explore the cave for yourself taking about an hour in total. There are lots of steps and we were constantly ducking our heads under rocks so be ready for a bit of physical activity. Apparently the depth we hiked was equivalent to a twelve story building. The sights inside were beautiful. I’m excited to see the next few caves.
I drive a Ford Fiesta Zetec and we packed that little car like a game of Tetris. I can confidently say it was not designed for long road trips. Tyres pumped, petrol filled and surfboard strapped to the roof – off we went.
First stop: Collie, approx 2 hours South-East of Perth. Rather than heading straight down we took a detour east for a dip at Honeymoon Pool and Black Diamond Lake (these stops are just before Collie town center). Honeymoon pool looked lush and green, water was cold but this didn’t stop Denver diving in. I loved Black Diamond Lake. It was a beautiful bright blue scene. Water was warmer as it was exposed to the sun – perfect for a swim once you got over the squishy clay under your feet. People were SUP boarding, paddling and floating around on various inflatable animals.
We only did a quick drive through Collie to visit the Woolworths and then continued on to our second stop: Busselton. The drive from Collie to Busselton took approx 1.5 hours. We pitched our tent (thanks Aldi) at the RAC holiday park in Busselton. Personally I think this campsite is fantastic. I know it’s only our first stop but we have free WiFi, a fully stocked kitchen, clean bathroom facilities, a pool and spa, bikes, BBQs – I’m a happy camper here.
After hearing about the amazing South-West coast of Australia we decided we had to see it for ourselves. Nothing but a couple of amateur surfers, amateur campers (well one of us) but a keen sense of adventure and a few spare weeks on our hands. If you’re trying to plan a great Australian adventure and don’t know where to begin, this blog might shed some light on the highs and lows of crossing the Nullarbor form Perth to Adelaide.