Exploring the Secrets of Esperance in Western Australia

I decided to skip writing my diary blog posts with daily reviews of what I am up to. Even though it is a nice memory for myself to look back on later, it doesn’t really give any value to you and isn’t very interesting either. I much rather want to focus on the exciting things that I experience, my thoughts on different topics like travelling solo & being homesick and sharing content that brings value and inspiration to your life.

So if you have requests of blog posts or topics you would like me to talk about, please let me know down below!

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When I came to Western Australia, I suffered a little bit from the feeling of loneliness. I already wrote a little more about it in this blog post and also some of my tips against feeling lonely as a solo traveller.

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Anzeige |  So I wanted to get rid of these negative feelings inside of me and socialize more and as I already had two amazing tour experiences, I decided to book another six-day tour. This time Nullarbortravel* took me and my eleven travel mates from Perth to explore the south-west of Australia, the Secrets of Esperance and many more wonderful places.

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Day 1: Wave Rock & Fitzgerald River National Park

The first day is always very exciting when you meet your tour guide and group because I think they are the most important factors to make a great trip. Just like on my other tours we had a small bus (for around 20 people) and luckily, we were only 12 travellers, which is a great group size in my opinion as the chance of some cool people is big and you still get to know everybody in the six days quite well.

Once more I was blessed with a lovely tour guide. Nat (aka. Natalie) was just super funny, cute and she really cared for each and everybody.

My travel buddies were: an Aussie couple (Virginia and Mathew) from Victoria state, two more Aussie girls (Emily from Victoria and Tiffany from Sydney), Jeff from Canada, James from London, Josefine from Sweden and four other solo travelling girls, two from Swiss and two from Germany.

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Our journey started with a long driving day and our first stop at the famous Wave Rock. Before I came to Australia I was always keen to see this weird rock transformation in the shape of a wave. Now I have to say that it was not as impressive as I thought but still kinda cool though.

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We had lunch with thousand flies around our heads and then drove further into Fitzgerald River National Park, which is such a beautiful place on earth. We climbed up one of the mountains in the NP for a spectacular (almost) sunset view. The hike was the toughest I did in Australia (until now) because it was super steep and had many loose rocks, even though it’s quite short.

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The first night in a swag again was a little bit weird and I had to get used to it again. Also, it was freezing cold (summer nights in December can still get very chilly in the south) and our camping space had no light at all.

Those of you who already read my Outback Diary know what sleeping in a swag means, as I explained a bit in that blog post.

Nevertheless, it was wonderful to sleep under the stars again and I was excited for 5 nights of camping adventure.

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Oh, and we also spotted this beautiful huge spider at our camping toilet – fun, isn’t it? :D

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Day 2: Esperance & Cape Le Grand National Park

The next day we had a stop at “Pink Lake” that actually isn’t pink anymore which is a little disappointing, but the algae that create the pink colour isn’t thriving at the moment because the water level is too high… still a pretty view though.

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We had several stops at different beaches that are all breathtaking: turquoise water, white sand and we were blessed with the nicest weather as well. So we enjoyed some time in the sand, sun and waves.

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We weren’t lucky to see kangaroo’s at the beach, but @lene_merle was.

Then we drove into Cape Le Grand National Park right to our camping spot for the night: Lucky Bay. One of the most famous beaches in whole Australia, because it is one of the whitest and very special for the fact that you can be lucky to see some kangaroos at the beach.

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In the afternoon we did an amazing 3-hour coastal walk from (I think) Hellfire Bay back to Lucky Bay. It was such a beautiful walk with so many great ocean and beach views and I think it would have been my favourite if we would have done it in the morning. I just prefer working out/hiking in the morning so much more! Especially for sunrise, but the sunset views we had at Lucky Bay afterwards were just insane!

Day 3: Frenchman’s Peak & Stirling Ranges

In the morning of day three, there was another hike on our to-do list. I love how you hike so much on these tours! I really enjoy being in nature, walking, getting a sweat on, feeling my legs the next day and having the greatest views at the top.

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But before, I got up at 4.10am to watch the sunrise at Lucky Bay – definitely worth getting up early!

Frenchman’s Peak is a rock (yep, it’s basically just one solid rock) not far from Lucky Bay, that is pretty steep and slippery. Especially the way down was difficult and not super safe. But we made it, and it was a great morning workout before we had our second breakfast: pancakes.

Afterwards, we could enjoy ourselves at Lucky Bay, soak in some sunshine and jump into the beautiful turquoise (but chilly) water.

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In the afternoon we had a long drive to the Stirling Ranges and saw the reddest sunset that I ever experienced before.

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Oh and we also had sooo many yummy strawberries! It’s so nice that it’s getting into strawberry season here now – I love it!

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Day 4: Climbing Castle Rock, Coastal Drives and Tingle Trees

Another day, another hike. But sadly the last one for our tour. We walked up the Castle Rock hill through a beautiful forest and this hike was my favourite because the way reminded me of hiking at home. I really enjoyed it and walked all by myself. The view from the top wasn’t as spectacular as the other ones we had before, but the little bit of climbing to get there at the end was super fun.

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The weather wasn’t that great that day, but we still enjoyed the views over the beautiful coastal scenery. We saw Elephant Rock, the Green Pools and the huge tingle trees.

In the evening we arrived at a rainy and wet campsite. I had a wonderful experience with a kangaroo that came so close to me (for more roo stories head to my Instagram @mind.wanderer), we had a birthday boy Mathew that day and celebrated with chocolate cake and had to sleep in the kitchen area of your campsite because it was so rainy outside – what an eventful day.

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Day 5: Tasting us through Margaret River

Day 5 wasn’t around hiking and moving, but more around driving around in Margaret River and testing us through all the different factories. We went to a distillery, several wineries, a dairy factory that sells super yummy ice cream and a chocolate factory. Had lunch at the beautiful Margaret River and went to a super fun pub where you can play a lot of funny games in the outside area.

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For sunset, we went to surfers point beach and had a beautiful pre-sunset view. Sadly, when the sun set there were too many clouds, so we could only see a slight red shimmer, but it was still super pretty.

Day 6: Ngilgi Cave Stories & Back to Perth

On our last day, we went to a cave in Dunsborough and heard some stories, information and wonderful didgeridoo songs by the Aboriginal Josh. He showed us traditional fire lighting, bush medicine and hunting equipment from his tribe, the Wardandi.

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Afterwards, we had a wonderful last lunch and swim in the most turquoise water I’ve ever seen and drive to Brusselton for our last real stop on tour before we headed back to Perth.

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To conclude: it was once again a great tour experience and I am very happy that I decided to book it and got to see some of the beauty that Western Australia has to offer. I’ll for sure come back to see the West Coast as it is supposed to be the most beautiful and untouristic part of Australia (but it’s not season right now).

And I learned on this tour that the first impression of people can sometimes be the complete opposite. At first, I thought, I would get along very well with my German speaking travel mates, but after day three I decided to try to stay away from them as much as possible as they only spread negativity against everything (and I mean really everything). And the people I thought would be boring turned out to be the nicest, loveliest and funniest! But that’s the great thing about these tour groups, you really get to know each other when you hang out for six days and usually, you get along very well because you already have a commonality: the urge to travel and adventure.

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*Disclaimer: I got a discount for my booking with Nullabor Travel, but I am obviously still 100% honest with all my reviews and thoughts.

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Loneliness – The Downsides of Solo Travel

When my cousin left me after three weeks of travelling together, I could quickly feel the negative sites of travelling solo.

I was really in love with it beforehand for two months, enjoyed my freedom and the advantages of hostel life and meeting people easily when you have no other chance of socialisation.

But after I fell in the laziness and easiness of living in Airbnbs and spending every day with my cousin, it was harder to get back to it than I thought.

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There also were a few problems I had to face that didn’t make it easier for me to get back to it: First of all, my flight from Sydney to Perth got cancelled and the stress and tiredness affected my mood. I also had a lot of blog work that I wanted to catch up on after enjoying most of my time with my cousin, which made me feel like I want to be alone to work. On the other hand, I missed the socialisation and talking to others, but my hostel in Perth was also home to some alcoholics (yes, they really were, starting to drink in the morning and already being drunk after lunch) who didn’t make me feel comfortable to stay in the common area for long. In that period of time, I also met two nice boys/men that I started spending some time with, but who started liking me more and saying/doing things that annoyed me and made me wanna rather spend time on my own. Knowing that my family would arrive in only 3 weeks made the time even harder, as I knew it was so close but still not there yet.

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Of course, there were also silver linings. Knowing that my family would arrive in Australia soon and that it wasn’t many days to get through until I could finally spend some time with them. Long phone calls with my parents and friends, that almost made me feel like sitting on the sofa next to them talking. A lovely German couple I met and spend two days with baking brownies and playing lots of cards. Using the time to treat myself – sleeping in, working out in the morning, having a big healthy brunch. Watching Youtube videos in bed without feeling guilty for the time I could have done something productive.

Experiencing the feeling of loneliness and being homesick is part of travelling solo and I think that every traveller faces these kinds of days in some stage and at some point of their travels.

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For me, this week in Perth was the first time on my Australia journey of negative emotions for several days. Before I was feeling very comfortable in my situation, knowing what to do to keep me feeling great, but after my cousin left I kind of fell into a hole that I couldn’t get myself out of completely.

Luckily, I never felt a really strong depressive mood or anything, as I always tried to keep myself busy, around some nice people and thinking positive, but I also didn’t get back into feeling like myself.

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Because of that, I decided that it would be time to change something and as I had really amazing experiences so far with taking part of guided tours for several days (like I did on the Great Ocean Road or in the Outback), I booked another 6-day-tour to see the beautiful South-West of Australia.

I knew that having an adventurous and busy schedule with many great places to see and awesome things to do, as well as a group of people around me,  would make me feel good and just like I hoped so, it was a great decision. The six days flew by very fast and even though I returned to the same hostel and the same dorm room afterwards, everything felt different.

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I had a much better experience being in Perth afterwards, even though I didn’t have touristy things to keep me busy and have things to do, but instead I had met some nice people on the tour that I also spend time with afterwards back in Perth and I also met new faces in my hostel that I could hang out with. Once again, I used the time to work on my blog, work out and take time for myself and this time I could luckily enjoy it much more.

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Things that Help Me when I feel Unhappy, Lonely or Homesick while Solo Travelling

  • Surrounding myself with people. Going in the common area/kitchen, find people to talk to or just listen to their conversations. Working on my laptop in the common area instead of the dorm, going into bookshops and reading/browsing through their books, going in the park to listen to music/podcasts.
  • Watching your favourite Youtubers that make you feel cosy, inspired and just overall good
  • Focussing on yourself. Taking time for body and mind care, working out
  • Call or text with people that you miss. It might make you miss them more, but sometimes all we need is crying a bit and feeling better afterwards
  • Thinking about all the positive things. That I am currently living the life of my dreams and doing every day whatever I desire
  • Keeping myself busy with touristy stuff, blog work, food shopping and cooking, working out… find something that you like to spend your time with
  • Reading, listening to podcasts and audiobooks or music
  • Book a tour for a few days. In my eyes they are worth the money and you meet great people and have great experiences. It is also great for couples/travel mates that are together 24/7 to be on a tour with more people to hang out

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My Everyday Breakfast – Cheap, Easy, Healthy, Vegan & Delicious

Today I want to show you my go-to breakfast that I have almost every day here in Australia because it is healthy, cheap, quick & easy to make, super delicious and keeps you full for long.

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Sometimes I have the unhealthy (but also delicious) free breakfast at the hostels like pancakes or toast with peanut butter and jam, but I try to stay away from it and make my own healthy bowl of oats.

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This recipe is nothing special, I just want to share how I make it with you as you were super interested in my cheap, easy and healthy dinner recipes for backpackers. This time it’s all about the breakfast porridge, but I still hope you enjoy it and I’ll for sure share more cheap but healthy recipes with you soon!

 

Some days, when I sleep in and work out afterwards this oatmeal is my breakfast and lunch that I have at around noon. Other days, I eat this and still have lunch, an afternoon snack and dinner (for example when I traveled with my cousin).

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I don’t exactly measure the amount that I eat. It depends on how hungry I am, what time it is and what my plans for the day are, so this recipe is more about the idea and not the exact amounts that I have as it varies daily.

Ingredients

  • quick oats (around 1 cup)
  • water (around 2 cups)
  • flax seed flour (around 1 tsp)
  • cinnamon (around 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 apple/pear
  • nuts, seeds, raisins, (granola)

What to do

  1. mix the oats with water, the flax seed flour and cinnamon in a pot and cut the banana in thick slices into it
  2. Slowly bring to a boil and stir often
  3. Let it simmer and soak up the water on low heat until it has the consistency that you like (I like it very thin, so sometimes I even add more water)
  4. Pour into a bowl, cut the apple on top and add your nuts, seeds, raisins (or other toppings you like/have)

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Nuts are very expensive here in Australia. That’s why I buy these nut and fruit mixtures with raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and nuts. Still very expensive (500g for around 6$) but it’s worth it in my opinion because it is super delicious and very healthy and nutritious.

I also don’t cook with oil here and my only other resource of healthy fat is Avocado (and the fat I have when I eat out/ buy food), so the nuts are great to get the good fat in.

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Until 2 weeks ago I haven’t had to buy oats at all because I always find packages in the free food shelve which is super handy. They are not very expensive, but it’s still better to get them for free :D The flax seed flour is also from the free food shelve (I know! I am so lucky with that!) and I wouldn’t have bought it otherwise.

At home, I usually used half water, half plant milk for my oatmeal but it is cheaper that way and it still tastes very creamy. When you let your oats allow to sit in the water for long and take your time to cook the porridge, the water will kind of turn into oatmilk anyways.

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The banana is the key to this recipe as it gives the porridge the sweetness and without it, it is not even half as delicious! The apple or pear is not as important but still gives the cold freshness, crunchyness, fruityness and deliciousness to the bowl. You can also have other fruit instead obviously, but usually apples or pears are the cheapest here.

 

Once I found Chrunchy Peanut Granola on Sale at Woolworths which was super delicious to have as a topping, but usually, it is very expensive when you don’t want to have the unhealthy ones with a lot of sugar.

 

 

So this is all you need to know about my daily backpacker breakfast in Australia! It obviously varies sometimes with what I get cheap at the store/market, but that’s the usual – very simple, but delicious and healthy!

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What is your go-to Breakfast?