Road Trip! Perth to Melbourne

Road Trip! Perth to Melbourne

I Must Brie Crazy

Hi Everyone! We're Travelling the World! Atlanta>England>Egypt>South Africa>Sumatra>Bali>Australia>New Zealand>South America>Central America>Where next??? I really hope you enjoy my blog. I'm new at this, so be kind.

Car Rental

We spent around ten days in Perth. We didn’t do a whole lot and used our time to rest and relax. After ten days though, Andrew started to worry that we hadn’t moved on. We had not found a car we wanted to buy (which was our original plan). We decided to try a car transfer. You can use the following sites to find a really cheap, and sometimes free car to rent. The catch is that it is one way, and usually on the dates they want you to move the car. We found and were approved for an SUV with a rooftop tent!

We arrived at the rental place and waited and waited and waited. It took hours before it was time for us to hit the road. Liam was way nicer than I would have been and he spent the whole afternoon waiting with us to see us off on our journey. It was a little sad to say goodbye to friends we made in Perth, not knowing at the time how many more friends we’d be making in the next few weeks.

Perth to Busselton-Nov 4

We headed out of Perth much later than we anticipated. This put our entire trip behind schedule. The car was due by 3 p.m. in Melbourne in just under a week. We were hoping to Margaret River so we could enjoy a few wine tastings the next day. Unfortunately we only made it as far as Busselton. We arrived at the caravan park just before the sun started to set. Since it was the first time we had to set up the rooftop tent it took a while longer, especially once it started to get dark.

We spent a little while cooking dinner and surfing the internet. It was an uneventful evening trying to get accustomed to our new living arrangements for the next week. The weather was pretty perfect. A little chilly when the wind was blowing, but a great night for sleeping in a tent. We met a family who seemed to be spending the whole week there when Andrew couldn’t get his air mattress inflated. Luckily, good ol’ Google helped us out.

Busselton to Albany-Nov 5

We woke up early the next day to break down the equipment and had some breakfast. We were so tired from our first night sleeping in a tent and waking up earlier than we’d been used to, but we had a very busy day!

Sugarloaf Rock

We headed out of the Caravan Park to Sugarloaf Rock. It would have been nice to see it at sunset since it faces west, but it didn’t disappoint. If we would have had time we would have done the suggested walk to the lighthouse which I’m sure would have been beautiful. We’re both suckers for lighthouses. Instead, we hiked down to the shoreline and took a few photos then got back to our road trip.

Margaret River Wine Tastings

We arrived in Margaret River around lunch time. Torn between having a wine tasting (or two) or just continuing on-wards, we realized we are also suckers for wine tastings! We’ve been enjoying wine tastings together since we were married and enjoyed a few days after our wedding in Sonoma Valley.

We explored the gardens of one or two wineries. Met a few great sommeliers, and had some decent wine! I’m not a huge fan of Australian wines, but if you’re going to drink them, the Margaret River wines are much better than the other regions of grape production, in my opinion.

Hamelin Bay

Next we stopped in Hamelin Bay. Hamelin Bay is a beautiful white-sand beach with clear blue waters. It was still spring so the water was cool, but it didn’t stop us from getting in and enjoying a quick dip! Hamelin Bay is not only a popular destination for the gorgeous beach, but also for the sting rays that visit the shallow waters and let people touch them and take photos. Sadly there were no sightings during our short visit, but I love looking at the photos online of them.

Skippy Killers

We changed our clothes and got our salty selves back on the road. We knew we were running late for our arrival in Albany. Stefan offered us a place to stay in Albany and he was waiting our arrival. The sun began to turn beautiful colors and we thought we might make it to Albany by sunset. What we didn’t account for was the wooded area we would be driving through during the last part of the evening. Within the wooded area the sun looked as if it had set. It was dusk. I was looking at my phone when WHAM!

Andrew said in a shaken voice that we had hit a kangaroo. There had been a thud, but since we were pushing our luck with time and there was nothing we could have done with the animal we did not stop. The kangaroo had appeared out of nowhere. It’s head was just at the top of the front of the car. We hoped and prayed the car wasn’t damaged as we continued to Stefan’s.

Albany

Andrew remained shaken the rest of the drive. I honestly have never seen him so shaken before. We arrived at Stefan’s and were able to assess the damage. The front bumper was destroyed. Most cars and trucks in Australia (especially in that area) have bull bars to protect them from this very issue. We had been warned not to drive at night, but no one had told us that the kangaroos are most active during dawn and dusk.

We didn’t rest much again after the events of the day also knowing we had a long drive ahead of us the next day. Luckily, we didn’t have to set up our tent. Thanks again, Stefan for the hospitality!

Albany to Esperance-Nov 6

Our trip from Albany to Esperance was long and uneventful. Unless you count the dead kangaroos on the side of the road like we did. Today began our crossing of the Nullarbor; the flat, almost tree-less area of Australia on the southern coast. When we made it to the main highway we couldn’t help but notice a lot of dead kangaroos on the side of the road. Over the next two hours of the drive we counted almost 200. It was disgusting. We only wish we had seen all of them before we hit one the night before. We may have stopped earlier and just not gone to Stefan’s house.

There were a lot of kilometers to do so we didn’t stop and do or see a whole lot. It was mostly wide open spaces with blue skies above. We did stop for lunch in the middle of nowhere to make a sandwich and the flies were insane! You would think in the middle of nowhere, there may not be flies. But boy, there were tons. 

We finally arrived in Esperance before sunset and were rewarded with some excellent beaches and views. We spent the evening with a couchsurfing host having burgers and just relaxing. After a decent night’s sleep and were off the next morning.

Esperance to Bunda Cliffs-Nov. 7

Esperance to Bunda Cliffs was another long drive day. Apart from the occasional dead kangaroo, some interesting signs, and the crazy large road trains we didn’t see a whole lot. We found a place to make camp along the coast. The wind was crazy! Luckily we found some large enough rocks to hold the tent down and were able to make dinner in the back of the car. It was an interesting time trying to sleep with the noise the tent was making from the wind and the cold night air.

Bunda Cliffs to Adelaide-Nov. 8

Boy are we not good at planning sometimes. We woke up bright and early and got packed up as fast as possible to hit the road again. We we really proud of ourselves for waking up so early and making some headway finally. Unfortunately, we were punished by awkward time zone changes! We pulled in to a petrol station to grab some fuel and ask what time it was. Thinking it was 8 am we were quickly set right and informed it was in fact almost two hours later! We had missed a time zone change the day before.

We made it to Adelaide around 9 p.m. and were welcomed to the home of McGee, our couchsurfing host for the next two nights! She had a full house of guests. Her girlfriend, Claire, and another surfer and a girl he met. They had a whole spread of bbq and cheese and beers! It was a great home to show up to tired and hungry.

Adelaide-Nov 9

We spent the day in Adelaide calling Toyota companies to try and get the car fixed. It wound up being a waste of time since the rental company would not let us fix it on our own. Instead they charged up a few hundred dollars more than it would have cost if we had fixed it at the dealership.

We took some time to walk around town and see a few nice buildings and have some dinner, but sadly did not get to do much in Adelaide. Our plan was to come back after we arrived in Melbourne and bought a car, but life happens and plans change. Now we have another reason to visit Australia again.

Adelaide to Melbourne-Nov. 10

We said goodbye to our awesome hosts and got on the road to Melbourne for our last of the road trip. We needed to be in Melbourne to return the car by 3 p.m. so we had to get a really early start. The drive was a little boring, but had some nice parts with lakes and bridges and different scenery. A lot better than the Nullarbor. We made it to the dealership in time and were sad to say goodbye to it. At least I was. It was pretty fun camping on top of the car when we got to and having all our gear in the back.

So that was our first road trip in Australia! Little did we know we’d be facing a lot more in the next few weeks ahead.

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