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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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?

Up North We Go! – Travelling the East Coast | Diary 009

After my cousin and I spend a wonderful week in the big city Sydney, it was time for us to drive through the countryside and explore some cute towns and cities up the east coast as we headed to Brisbane.

Unfortunately, we only had a week time to travel up north to Brisbane because my cousin only had three weeks of vacation in total, so we could only stay for one or two days at each place and had to minimise the stops.

That’s why I will probably travel this part of the East Coast once again myself and go to the places that we didn’t make it to this time.

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Sunday 4/11

Our one and only day in Port Macquarie started with pancakes for breakfast at Port Macquarie Backpackers. The hostel is super cute, very small and I really liked the relaxed and familiar atmosphere there.

We walked to the city centre, strolled through the streets and later on to the koala hospital. This is the highlight of Port Macquarie for sure and it is definitely worth to stop by.

At 3pm they do a free tour of the hospital where one of the volunteers tells a lot about the history of the hospital and its patients, how the koalas get treated, as well as some stories of already released patients.

It was super interesting and so nice to see koalas awake (they sleep about 20 hours per day, but at 3pm it is their meal time so they wake up) and very close, but without them being used as a show animal and to amuse tourists.

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Afterwards, we walked to the beach with the famous coloured stones and back to the hostel to eat and go to sleep early as we had to wake up in the middle of the night to catch our bus to go to Byron Bay.

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Monday 5/11

After trying to sleep half of the night in the bus we arrived in Byron Bay, had some struggles finding a place to store our bags for the day (because we couldn’t check in that early) and strolled through the city centre.

I really like Byron and its chilled, relaxed surfer vibes with cute little cafés, surf and bikini shops and stores with the cutes hippie chic fashion – I love it!

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In the afternoon we decided to do the lighthouse walk and started along the main beach, barefoot in the sand. Later, it got a bit steeper and it was super hot but we made it to the top and had an amazing view. I really want to do that walk once again for sunset as it must be magical lightning at that time!

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On that hike you also pass the most eastern point of the Australian main country and get to the famous lighthouse.

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On the way back you walk through a beautiful forest and see so many birds and plants.

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After the hike, we treated ourselves with some cake. I got a vegan chocolate berry cake and Lisa went for a berry cheesecake.

We checked into the best Airbnb we had on our whole trip. Super big, clean and calm.

 

 

I cooked some yummy cheesy vegan pasta. It only took me about 12 minutes and it’s healthy and delicious –  you can find the recipe and many more in my blog post on Quick, Cheap, Healthy & Vegan Dinner Recipes!

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From that day I got my first little sunburn ever :D I usually never get sunburned, but I probably didn’t apply sunscreen carefully enough. Luckily it didn’t hurt and was already gone after two days.

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In the morning Lisa and I worked out in the Airbnb together and had breakfast afterwards.

We went to Tallow beach that was just two streets away from our home and we were almost completely alone at that beach. It is not the main beach in Byron Bay and very long so it felt almost like we had the whole beach to ourselves. But it was also pretty windy which means it was sandy and after that beach day, we had sand EVERYWHERE.

 

In the late afternoon, we walked to the city and I met Steph again who I met on the Outback tour and I was so so happy to catch up with her and see her before she left to go home to Guatemala a few days later.

 

Wednesday 7/11

The next morning we had a few hours left in the city before we drove further north to Surfers Paradise.

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Surfers Paradise is part of the Gold Coast. A part of the east coast south of Brisbane that is very long and includes many cities without endings and beginnings of new cities – they all flow into each other.

 

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At least the view from our Airbnb was nice :D

We walked through the centre of Surfers Paradise, sat at the beach and later drove to our Airbnb by Uber. That Airbnb was the least nicest and I wouldn’t recommend it, but it was cheap so we survived the two nights there :D

We went grocery shopping at Coles, cooked dinner and enjoyed the wi-fi (a big advantage for Airbnbs! Their internet is always so much better than in the hostels).

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Thursday 8/11

We worked out again that morning and had a wonderful view for our daily breakfast: porridge, cooked with oats, cinnamon and water, with fruit and some nuts on top.

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Then we walked to the city which was another good workout (1h 15 min) and talked a lot which made it way shorter and more enjoyable. Because the weather wasn’t that great, we sadly couldn’t make a beach day on the Gold Coast…

For lunch we decided to eat very unhealthy that day because we wanted to (and we deserved it :D ) and we had Domino’s pizza. They have a 5$ deal here in Australia with a few of their pizzas and I tried their pizza and their vegan cheese for the first time – and it was great! If I ever crave pizza again, I’ll eat that one again.

And as a dessert we got the Churros from Dominos that were pretty good as well, but not as good as the ones from the Churro shops here.

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Even though that day wasn’t that exciting, we were super tired and exhausted from all the walking (and eating :D ).

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Next day we went to Brisbane and I’ll tell you all about our days in Brisbane in the next post!