THE AUSTRALIA WESTERN COAST: Historic Towns, Pristine Beach, Ancient Deserts and Shark Whales
Your journey in the western coast of Australia begins in Perth, lively town with a lovely downtown, animated by numerous street artists, fine shops and good restaurants. But the real attraction is Fremantle, not far, where you can stroll through pleasant historic arcades, lose yourself in The Fremantle Market, one of the city's most iconic places, housed in a grand Victorian-era heritage and visit the old prison, the only World Heritage Listed Building in Australia. The prison has been used continuously as a detention center for nearly 140 years. Without doubt, the highlight of a visit to the prison is the entertaining tours conducted by experienced tour guides who bring the rich folklore and stories of the prison to life. For a completely different perspective, don't miss the experience the prison by night that offer a few surprises along the way to add more atmosphere.
Once left going to the north along the coast, we suggest you stop at Yanchep National Park, a small natural park that offers the opportunity to taste some amazing home cooked meals in his small café, surrounded by a magnificent garden or to walk through easy trails where you might spot Kangaroos and Koalas in the wild.
The road to the Ningaloo Reef, wonderful marine park rich in wildlife, is about 1,250 kilometers long, but you can stop several times to make your trip enjoyable. A must-stop is the Nambung National Park, home to the famous Pinnacles Desert about a three hour drive north of Perth. You can get up close to the Pinnacles on a scenic drive and walk trail that includes an amazing lookout over the park. Once out of the park, an hour's drive separates you from Jervis Bay, a beautiful bay with a long, white sandy beach and crystal clear waters. You can rest for the night, or decide to stay in this area for a couple of days. Continuing to the north, you will meet Kalbarri National Park, where you can engage yourself with a trek in the inland river gorge, take a cruise on the Murchison river or simply relax and watch the ocean from the top of the coastal cliff.
Left again, you should make a detour so as not to miss the opportunity to feed the dolphins that, every morning, swim punctually along the Monkey Mia beach in Fraçois Perone N. P.
Now a day's drive separates you from Exmouth, the town located just before the entrance of the Cape Range N. P., along whose shores lies the Ningaloo Reef. In this pristine marine park with a fantastic coral reef, at any time of the year you can make unique and unforgettable meetings, from the giant manta rays to the Humpback Whales up to the Shark Whales. The latter, indeed, every year from March to July, populates in great numbers the park waters. All Exmouth or Coral Bay agencies offer well thought-packages including transportation to the dock, boat, lunch, all snorkeling equipment and the support of a small aircraft to locate the shark whales, so as to ensure 100% view. It 'a challenging swim from a physical point of view, because you must quickly follow the shark whales, that never stop, but the view of a fish 12-14 meters long , with an average weight of 18 tons, it is a stunning experience you 'll never forget.
Besides in Australia, the nature is the undisputed master, and it will always give you great emotions, particularly in the West Coast, where nothing, or almost, has changed since Captain Cook, in 1770, discovered this wonderful Continent.
Written by Sarah Falchi - Photos by Paolo Castellari
WHERE TO STAY– SOME ADVICES
Perth: Ibis Perth
Jarvis Bay: Jurien Bay Village
Exmouth: Ospray Holiday Village
For more infos about our Australian trip visit our blog: paolocastellari.com/icastell