I have just finished a few weeks of camping around West Australia, spread over three trips. Travelling locally since we can’t leave our state easily. First there was a long weekend in the Perth Hills, mainly to test out the equipment. Then there was two weeks going up the Coral Coast. Lastly a few days down in the Karri Forest to escape the Perth heat.
Driving along the middle of the WA coast was the highlight. I hadn’t been through there for over 35 years, so it was mostly new to me. Apart from one or two days (hot!) the weather was perfect - very lucky. We had a competition for who could see the first cloud. It took a couple of days for someone to win. The land is dry and scrubby - not far from semi-desert in many places. So the water is the main focus. The beaches are sandy white, and at many places (Oyster Stacks, Coral Bay) the reef starts just a few metres offshore. The snorkling is incredible. There are numerous boat and dive companies around too if you want to head out a little further. We saw lots of wildlife: kangaroos, emus, turtles, manta rays, sharks and tons of different fish. A good trip. Next time I’ll have to go even further north (we stopped at Exmouth). The main problem is the time required to get around. We drove nearly 4000km in a fortnight, including over 6 hours non-stop just to reach the starting point (Kalbarri). Although the roads are fairly empty, so a good speed can be maintained.
Pemberton is quite the opposite of the Coral Coast. Nestled in forest and only a few hours from Perth. We spent our time hiking through the forest. The Karri trees are not as big as I remember but still very tall. Again we were lucky with the weather. While Perth suffered a heatwave, it was pleasant down south.
Some notes about camping:
Some photos from the trip are in a short slideshow available here.