After following the navigators instruction “go 995 km straight and then turn left” we reached the Fraser Range Station campground just after sunset. In the middle of nowhere – this is pretty true here.
|Destination||Australia, Brisbane to Perth; this post: part 4, Fraser Range to Perth|
|How and when I got there||Campervan “Hitop” from Apollo via ADAC (General German Automobile Club) -> please find the different campgrounds/holiday Parks in the Posts; Prices 30-60 AUS; March 2017|
|Where I stayed (Fraser Range – Perth)||The Alex Hotel (https://alexhotel.com.au/)|
Lot Twenty (http://www.lot20.co/), great Cocktails, good Food
Outback Jacks Northbridge – Australian Steak House (http://www.outbackjacks.com.au/), “yes, we serve….” almost everything non-vegetarian; great steaks
Restaurant Sorrento (http://www.sorrentorestaurant.com.au/), good italian food
|Things to do||Explore Cape Le Grand, enjoy the cultural experiences of Perth|
|Recommendations in a nutshell||our favourites: Cape Le Grand / Hellfire Bay; Perth: Art Gallery of Western Australia, King’s Park|
|Recipe||Scaloppine al Limone (see bottom of the post)|
Here’s the fourth part of our journey along Australia’s coast from Brisbane to Perth: this part starts at Fraser Range and goes to Perth. The first part of the journey (Brisbane to Sydney) is here, the second part (Sydney to Melbourne) here, and the third part (Melbourne to Fraser Range) here.
Fraser Range – the Middle of Nowhere
After 1100 km behind us on that day, we finally arrived at the Fraser Range Station and just had a beer, a quick do-it-yourself dinner and an early good-night.
As it turned dark very fast – and it got really dark – we postponed any exploring of the surroundings for the next morning.
In fact, there’s not a lot to see (except some nice green parrots in the bush), but we went for a short walk in order to absorb the feeling of being “in the middle of nowhere”. And then moved on: the last leg via Norseman to Esperance was waiting and comparably short, just a bit over 300 km. We made it in less than 4 hours, eager to see the ocean again.
Esperance turned out to be a nice little city (city compared to towns like Robe or Ceduna…).
We got us a place on the “Esperance Seafront Caravan Park”, which didn’t turn out a highlight among our Campground experiences. Our place was located in the “back region”, without sea view, too far away from the city center to walk…Therefore we decided to stay just one night and move on.
Lucky Bay – Kangaroos on the Beach
And – luckily! – we decided to explore the Cape Le Grand National Park, although this meant going another 50 km back to the East again. We got the almost last place on the Lucky Bay Campground – here’s the view from our place at sunrise:
There are only very few (around 20, I think) campground places, and they didn’t take any reservation by phone or internet. Just first come, first serve. But it’s worth a try: Cape Le Grand was one of the most amazing experiences ever, an absolute “must-see”. The whitest beaches (I’m pretty sure, despite Hyams beach!), the campground with the most spectacular sea view, the most romantic bay, swimming with dolphins, cute little kangaroos at the beach…
Sweet Baby kangaroos (and big ones as well) right on the beach – just great! But the most amazing experience of all was swimming with dolphins, and that came up just by chance.
Hellfire Bay – Swimming with Dolphins
We went to Hellfire Bay quite early in the morning and were the very first visitors on that day. As it was still a bit cool, we just climbed the rocks at the left end of the bay and sat down, watching the turquoise water and enjoying the silence.
After some minutes we saw the movement in the water – a large group of dolphins, going up and down the bay (the dark spots in the water on the right side of the Picture).
After having watched them for an hour, we decided to get nearer and walked back to the beach. At that time another group of three young people had come over from Lucky Bay for swimming. They got into the water and the dolphins immediately swam up to them. In less than a minute we were in the water as well.
Incredible, but true: the dolphins came over to us, obviously curious. They were really close – we could hear their breathing, sounding like a horse snorting. Then they swam forth and back between us and the other group of people, for 15 minutes at least. Finally they got probably a bit bored and moved on further down the bay. We sat on the beach and watched them for another hour, happy smiles all over our faces.
On that day, we visited the other extremely beautiful beaches around Esperance like the famous Twilight Bay. Of course, we were spoilt by Cape Le Grand. Although the beaches near Esperance were not as deserted as those at Cape Le Grand, they still were a real sight.
And fortunately the weather gods were merciful: we could spend aother very nice day on the beach.
As there were some deadlines coming up (dropping off the campervan, taking over a car, hotel reservation in Perth, flight back home), we spent just one more night in Esperance and then moved on to Perth. Unfortunately, due to our “dates” we had to skip all of the area south of Perth, like Margaret River and Bunbury, but we take it as a good justification to come back another time. So, we went straight from Esperance to Perth, 770 km, 8,5 hours. Including a trip over dirt roads, due to construction works:
First thing in Perth was dropping off our “hightop” campervan, which we really had started to love over the weeks and kilometers. But staying at a hotel made the campervan needless. However, assuming that public Transport might be a problem, we had booked a rental car. In the end, you can get around Perth perfectly with a bus, so the car was not a good idea. In contrast – it caused a bit of trouble (keyword: parking!). Again, it was not possible to buy a ticket for an entire day, but we had to renew the tickets twice a day, one ticket running out in the middle of the night. We finally decided not to go to the car park at 3 in the morning to renew the ticket. Fortunately, this time we didn’t end up with a fine.
We stayed at the “Alex Hotel” on James Street, a modern 4 star hotel with a kind of “hostel appeal” (but in a nice sense) – there was a commonly used public area, comprising a mixture of kitchen, living room and dining room.
And a very nice rooftop terrace with a great view:
The location was top: in the middle of the “nightlife quarter” Northbridge, close a bus station and to many Restaurants. Too lazy to go far, we tried three different dinner places in the Northbridge area: Sorrento – a nice Little Italian place; Outback Jacks Northbridge – a good place for any kind of meat, and Lot20 vis-a-vis the Hotel Alex.
Sight-Seeing in Perth
And the hotel was Close to the Art Gallery of Western Australia – one of our favourites in Perth; I’d love to show some examples of the exhibition, but this would probably cause copyright issues. So, here’s just the link to the museum: http://artgallery.wa.gov.au/
We had allowed ourselves four days in the Perth region, without much travelling (after all, we had covered 7700 km in the last weeks). So, we basically relaxed on the really nice rooftop terrace of the hotel, went out in our neighboring “nightlife Quarter” and visited the main touristic sights like the Kings Park,
Freemantle: historical wooden City centre
and the harbour site:
and Scarborough Beach in Perth:
We even met a pretty scaring looking thunderstorm:
And then, finally, five weeks of road trip, freedom, beaches, rain forests and vastness were over. We did have a great time – even living in a campervan was OK, sometimes even terrific, like Cape Le Grand. We’ll definitely come back some time to see the rest (which in fact is a lot bigger than what we saw).
And here’s my favorite dish from the Western Australia trip – Scaloppine al Limone á la Sorrento
Australia is pretty multicultural, and this gets quite evident when searching for Restaurants. Perth, and in particular Northbridge, offers a huge variety of international Options, from everything Asian to everything European. We opted for Italian, and here’s my favorite dish, Scaloppine al Limone.
Ingredients for 4 persons:
Grind the skin of one lemon, squeeze one lemon and mix juice and lemon skin with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Marinate the veal escalopes with this mixture and keep in the fridge for at least two hours. Heat the remaining olive oil in a pan. Drain the meat, fry on each side for approx. 2 minutes, salt and pepper and set aside. Pour the marinade and the juice of the second lemon in the pan, cook vigorously, add the butter in small portions while stirring. Finally add the meat again and heat briefly. Decorate with a bit of parsley and lemon slices and serve with fresh tagliatelle.
|Part 1: Brisbane to Sydney||and Part 2: Sydney to Melbourne||Part 3: Melbourne to Fraser Range|
*According to a German Court decision, all texts containing links to commercial pages (e.g. links to Tripadvisor, Airline, hotel or restaurant websites) have to be identified as “commercial” (in German “Anzeige”). As my texts do contain links like that, I therefore identify each post and page containing a link as “Anzeige”. However (and referring to the “About Me” page) I would like to point out that I do NOT post any sponsored content in my texts; I pay for all my trips myself.