Any spare weekend we get, we love to hit the road. Geared up with our 4×4, rooftop tent and a passenger foot-well full of snacks, we decided that this time we were going to head south. Western Australia is the biggest state of Australia, so road trips can end up being quite lengthy, with the road from Perth to Albany taking around 4 hours. We cut off around an hour of time driving through the sunset to a town called Kojonup, as once it gets dark the roads become a bit of a nightmare with kangaroos hopping all over the place!
Setting up camp has become normality for us and it’s still a bit of a novelty! Our rooftop tent is cosy and even has little fairy lights inside (that Roisin added, of course). But unfortunately, there was a storm forecast and we only managed to get a few hours sleep before thinking we might actually get washed away! The rain was so bad, that in the morning when we had to pack the tent away we got absolutely SOAKED. But after we stopped for petrol, a piss and a panini, we continued our journey to Albany.
Stirling Range National Park
Driving south is always a favourite of ours, but having never been to Albany before we were unsure of what to expect, especially with the pants weather. However, the drive through the Stirling Range National Park had some of the most amazing scenery we’ve ever seen. It’s highest peak is Bluff Knoll that on this weekend in particular actually had SNOW! Like can you believe our luck? The Stirling Range also has a tourist hot-spot called the Granite Skywalk which we didn’t manage to visit, but we’re hoping to head back to in the summer as it looks incredible.
Albany town reminded us a lot of Reykjavik in Iceland. It might have been the cold weather, but the coffee shops, bakeries and open water had a really majestic feel to it. Between June – October most people travel here for the whale watching tours, where breaching humpback whales are a common scene.
The Gap & Natural Bridge
Our next stop was The Gap and Natural Bridge in Albany. It was an absolutely beautiful place. The waves were huge and smashed into the cliffs below, which you can walk above to see from a birds eye view. Over thousands of years, the sheer power of the waves has created a natural bridge formation in the rocks. Although, if you visit and it’s cold — don’t wear flip flops like Bradley did haha. Oh, and be prepared to get wet as the spray from the waves can get you!
Frenchman’s Bay was next on our list. A beautiful setting of perfect white sand and views to die for. With the mountains and cliffs far in the background it looks like a postcard. We also stopped at Cable Beach on the way which was full of people fishing, hoping to catch their dinner. Us however, were cold and hungry with no fishing rod, so headed to Domino’s for a $5 pizza. Yup that’s right. Less than £3 for a Domino’s pizza! How could we say no to that?
The evening left us looking for somewhere to camp and as the rain was still being persistent, we decided to just sleep in our car on a roadside pull in. We always use the app WikiCamps whenever we’re looking for somewhere as it’s great for finding spots.
The next day we drove to Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve. But after following Google Maps we ended up on the wrong side of the bay and actually got to East Bay Campground. However, we were grateful for drop toilet so we stopped for a while and had our breakfast on the beach.
Something must have been in our Weetabix as we decided to take a drive across the bay as a shortcut to get to the other side. After deflating our tyres and hoping that we wouldn’t have to dig ourselves out, Bradley took the wheel and off we went over the soft sand. The water was so blue & we loved the freedom, but in the distance we saw something. Around half way across the bay there was a fence and a sign…. NO ENTRY. We had to laugh as we had followed the tracks to this point and just had to follow them back again. Still, it was a lovely way to start our morning and just meant we had to take the long road towards the main entrance of Two People’s Bay.
Most National Parks in WA cost $13 per vehicle for the day, so we paid out fees and headed towards Little Beach. Hands down, this beach is up there with our favourites. The water was amazingly blue, white sand and beautiful scenery. There are two big boulders in the middle of the beach that you may often see drone shots of.
TIP: walk to the end of Little Beach where you’ll find a hidden pathway to reach Waterfall Beach. We stopped here and had a picnic on the rocks watching the waves. Perfect!
In the afternoon we decided to make our way towards Denmark. On the way from Albany you can find West Cape Howe National Park, which is where we set up camp on Shelley Beach. The road to get here is absolutely mesmerising and the scenery around the beach is incredible. It was really busy though as we came on the Easter Weekend, but was worth it listening to the waves crash through the night. Just to note, we paid the $13 entry fee to the national park and then $8 pp for camping.
Early morning, after a stroll on the beach we hit the road towards Denmark. It’s a cute, quaint town with old wooden buildings & little churches. We stopped for a coffee and then headed towards the next national park, William Bay. This one is actually free to enter and is where you can find Green’s Pool & Elephant Rocks. If you love natural wonders then this one is for you! It’s unbelievable how the size of the boulders ended up here, but they do in fact look like a herd of elephants! There is also another Waterfall Beach here, which did in fact have a waterfall — if you haven’t noticed already, Australian’s love original names for things haha!
After a spot of lunch by the beach, we followed the road from Denmark to Walpole. This is the beginning of the Southern Forests and is where you can visit the Valley of The Giants Treetop Walk. It’s $21 pp entry that allows you to scale the wobbly walkway that takes you over the trees which really makes you feel small! It’s a great place to stretch your legs and take in the nature, but in our opinion it’s probably a bit overpriced for what it is. On the road back towards Perth, you drive through the forests and get similar views, so maybe stop in there for a picnic if you want the same effect for free! The drive back to Perth from Walpole takes around 4 hours and is very picturesque.
It’s fair to say we packed a lot into our short 3 day trip down south, but we already can’t wait to go back. Hopefully with a bit better weather next time so we can enjoy the beaches some more. If you ever visit Western Australia, be sure to take a road trip to the South West — you won’t be disappointed!
A lovely, fun, adventuring couple from the UK, currently living in Australia!