Exploring Western Australia
Let me first give you a small introduction of my experience in Australia. First of all, when I say "Australia", I don't actually mean the whole of Australia. This mass of earth is about 2/3rd the size of Europe and just like Europe has got many different crazy, cool and not so amazing pieces of land, so does Australia.
I've spent most of my time centered in and around Fremantle. This is a small town near Perth in the state of Western Australia. From here on I've traveled the western coastline between Darwin (North) and Albany (South) in 2 parts. This is a total of about 4700 kilometers of road but you'll have a look here and there and it will be the double amount of kilometers before you know it.
First I will give you some general information about the west side of Australia. For the people that know me it's common sense, but for the people that don't know me they will found out: I'm in love with this part of the world. I like the pureness of it, the wildlife of kangaroo's and the weirdest reptiles, seeing the sun setting in the ocean and the clear Milkyway in the outback. And also, the people are super friendly. In the big city Perth strangers just start talking to each other "how are you doing?" and in the outback drivers that pass in cars always greet each other. LUFIT ♥
Then some practical things. First I'll make you moneywise: Australia is known for being expensive. Well, it's not cheap, but me as a Dutchie didn't find it THAT expensive. When you're going out for drinks it can be, and you'll pay for a glass of wine around 10 Australian Dollar / 6,50 Euro. But if you want to do it the cheap way, head to a bottle shop and get a really not that bad bottle of wine for $7. So it's up to you. Smoking is ridiculously expensive, good reason to quit straight away. Because it's $40 (Australian Dollar) for a pack. Vegetables and fruit are about 30% more expensive as in Holland I would say, but in Fremantle there are some ways to get it cheaper as I write about it in the special Fremantle blog down below. Fuel is cheaper than back home, around $1,20 in the city, in the outback it can get crazy expensive up to $2 (at the time of writing this blog). And if you work in Australia, it's all really not that bad, the minimum wage is $18.
Then let's head on to the fun part: the weather. Impossible to write about the weather in Western Australia, from north to south it's totally different.
Northern part; Broome / Darwin area
Broome is a very nice town where they don't do seasons. They have a dry and a wet season. The dry season starts around April / May and the weather in Broome will be perfect: warm days, balmy nights, clear blue skies all day every day. The wet season starts around October/November with stinking hot days, isolated thunderstorms and occasional torrential downpours. Between January and March you will see monsoonal activity, possible cyclones, lots and lots of rain and possible flooding.
Middle part: Perth area
Perth isn't always summer either, which I actually thought when I arrived for the first time in November 2015. During summer rain is unusual, it's hot and dry with very little rainfall. Average temperatures range from 17.5 - 30°C (63.5 - 86°F). In the afternoons a sea breeze called the ‘Fremantle Doctor' provides some relief from the heat.Summer starts on the first of December and heads till February.
During spring, days are warm and sunny with average temperatures ranging from 11.7 - 23°C (53 - 73.4°F). There is little rainfall at this time of year.
Winters are relatively cool and wet with temperatures ranging from 8 - 19°C (46.4 - 66.2°F). There are occasional storms, characterized by downpours of rain and thunderstorms.
During autumn Perth experiences warm, sunny days and cooler nights with average temperatures between 13.7 - 26°C (56.6 - 78.8°F). During autumn there can be occasional showers and some humidity. Evening temperatures rarely drop below 10°C (50°F).
Southern part: Esperance area
Heading south from Perth, things get colder pretty quick. When I got here in December I really needed to have a jacket by night and at some days also in daytimes. Average temperatures in Esperance vary somewhat. Considering humidity, temperatures feel nice most of the year, excluding some cold weeks in the winter. If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Esperance, the hottest months are February, January, and then March.
And how to get around? Definitely by car. I wouldn't consider trains or busses, they are quite expensive and obviously, you won't go off the beaten track and that's the thing that makes this part of Australia so amazing: camping near beaches, discover the outback and go your own way. There are many places that rent out cars, but if you stay for a longer period, I would definitely advise you to buy a car. You're lucky when you start your travels in Australia in Perth, because you can easily sell your car in the rest of Australia. When you would buy it in any other state, it's way harder to sell it in another one. The car has to be back in the state where it's been bought within two weeks. Which is not a comfortable travel if that means you have to be in Melbourne within two weeks when you are in, let's say, Darwin.
I went traveling for a month from Fremantle to Darwin and we bought a car. Sold it for a little more.
What kind of car to buy it the big question. Will you go for a four-wheel-drive car (4x4) that will get you on every wild track but has usually less space, or a van where you can head everywhere more comfortable? It's a hard one. I met quite some people in WA (Western Australia) that said "I wish I knew there where this many 4x4 tracks, because I would have bought a 4x4". But I think in case you're planning to travel all around Australia, you want a little more comfort and a van will be more relaxed. Also, I don't think you need a 4x4 that much on the other side of this continent.
Good 4x4 cars are a Nissan Patrol, Toyota Landcruiser (more expensive). I had a Mitsubishi Pajero which was a real beast but VERY expensive in fuel. Anyway, try to get a car that drive lot's in Australia so in case you have problems, you don't have to wait for ages to get the part!.
Once you hit the road, PLEASE keep this in mind:
➳ Bring enough water with you. There are long roads without fuel or water stations and you really don't want to be stuck not having enough water
➳ Always carry an extra jerrycan of fuel There are long roads where there are not many petrol stations. If you're unlucky and one is closed or FREAKINNN expensive, at least you'll have your own
➳ You won't have mobile reception everywhere. Tell someone, better someone at home then no one at all, where you should be at the end of the day. Maybe you see a cool hidden track and you like to take it and you get stuck (yep, happened to me and happened to many). at least you told someone in what part of the world they have to look for if they didn't hear about you for a few days. It's an advice I once got from an Aussie, didn't do it and learned my lesson from my own experience.
And for more specific information, insider tips and the coolest things to see, check out the blogs down below ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷ ↷