So after another night sleeping in a beach carpark I got up early to head to the beach. Some of you may be asking why I went to Hamelin Bay. Well the main and pretty much only reason I went was because this beach is frequented by stingrays and they are actually protected here. The idea is that they come into the shallow waters when the fishermen are heading out or coming back in, as they feed on the scraps and you can get quite close to them. Sounds amazing right? Wrong. I came pretty much at a bad time… The seaweed was being washed up on shore in mass amounts so the crystal clear water you should experience wasn’t happening. It was also quite windy so the water wasn’t calm and definitely not ideal stingray viewing as you couldn’t tell if you were looking at a stingray or a hunk of seaweed and I don’t even know if they come in with rough waves. So you can imagine I was quite disappointed but at least the beach was worth a visit!!
So after that disappointment it was time to move on and head to Augusta. Now my local friends in Perth told me not to worry about Augusta but it was only 6km away and it was still early morning so no other attractions would be open yet so I figured what’s the harm? All I can say is I’m glad I went! Augusta itself is a small town but as I sat down to breakfast (my first real meal in 2 days) I did a bit of research to see what there was to see.
My first stop was the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse which is just outside of Augusta. I would recommend getting there early as it seems to get busy quickly but I paid the extra to go on a guided tour as that got me access into the lighthouse. This is still a working lighthouse which is why you can only access it on a tour and I must admit I was tossing with whether or not it’s worth it but the history you learn and the views from the top are definitely worth it!! The Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse is on the most Southern Westerly tip of Australia, where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet so that in itself is pretty impressive but the views are amazing too.
My next stop was Flinders Bay which you can get to either on your way to or from the lighthouse. It’s not that clearly marked but on a clear day well worth the stop! It’s a beautiful little beach with two small jetty’s and the typical white sand and crystal clear waters I have come to expect from WA.
I had to keep moving though and my next stop was at one of the many caves that are around this area. I decided on the Jewel Cave just because it was the closest to get to. Personally, I have been in a lot of caves previously and when you are travelling they all start to seem the same but I would recommend checking these caves out for those that have a general interest or have never been in one before. The Jewel cave is one of the biggest show caves in Western Australia and you have to go on a guided tour for this one.
After my cave adventures I made my way to Margaret River! For those that haven’t heard of Margaret River before, it’s ranked among the world’s most famous wine regions and produces 20% of Australia’s premium wines. Now as you may have picked up already I don’t mind a bit of wine… what is life without good wine right? My first stop was at a prestigious winery. Please imagine if you will, a beautiful winery with a mansion type building, well manicured gardens with BMW’s, Mercedes and all those expensive cars in the carpark. Now imagine me, pulling into the driveway in my classy diesel van where the petrol tank lid flaps open and with a broken side window that has an old plastic tablecloth covering it with ducktape everywhere… yep I felt massively out of place as I walked up to the building not showered for a couple of days, wearing my flip flops and a shirt that smelt reasonably clean. Hmm… but all my worries were cast aside as soon as I had my first sip of wine!! Ahh that wine was delicious and so was the wine from a few other wineries I tried!! As I was a solo traveller and only had limited time I did have to restrain myself a bit (okay a lot) but if you have the time get yourself a skipper (a designated driver) or go on one of the many winery tours that are available.
My next stop was the cheese factory and chocolate factory (because what is wine tasting without cheese and chocolate tasting too!)
Once again I was rolling myself out of another city (seems to be the trend in South Western Australia for me) and onto Dunsborough!
I made my way to Dunsborough and realised that what I really wanted to see was 30mins outside of the city. Unfortunately the sun was setting and I had to make a choice as to where I was to sleep for the night. I settled on Busselton which was a 30min drive in the direct opposite direction (Michelle logic).
Of course I arrived in Busselton trying to find a nice beach car park to pull up in and make my home for the night only to see signs everywhere stating that it was illegal to sleep overnight in vehicles and you will be fined… well hello to you too!
Now I didn’t know how strict they were with this law or how patrolled it was and I couldn’t afford a fine so off I went to search for a sleeping spot outside of this city. Just as I was kicking myself for choosing Busselton, I found a nice bush hide out and was surrounded by Australian bush and about 50 kangaroos that had come out to start playing Russian roulette with the road. Of course I would also like to mention that by this point my interior light had stopped working and so did the main side door to get into the back so it was not the best of nights (especially when you have to pee in the middle of the night and have to crawl over a bed frame to get out and pray to god that a spider, snake or kangaroo doesn’t attack you while you take a pee in the bush!).