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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Outback – Roadtrip through the Red Centre | Diary 006

After a few relaxed nights in Adelaide, I went on my second group tour that led us from Adelaide over Coober Pedy, the world famous Uluru to Alice Springs in 6 days. Like on the Great Ocean Road I did this tour with Groovy Grape* and it was once more an awesome experience.

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Saturday 13/10

Saturday started early with a pickup from the hostel and meeting our tour guide Bronny and my new travel mates. We were 13 people (a couple from Germany/the US, a mom and her daughter from the US, two Asian girls, a Dutch family of three and 3 solo travellers: Charlott from Amsterdam, Stephanie from Guatemala living in Canada and Harri from Wales). We were a great group and especially with the 3 other solo travellers I got along well.

The tour started with a long drive to our first stop and was only the start to very long upcoming drives. For lunch, we stopped at a super cute vinery run by an old couple who invited us to eat on their property and enjoy the idyllic scenery of their home. We had yummy buns and once again I was super happy to get great, fresh and mostly healthy food on tour.

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Afterwards, we drove to Alligator Gorge to hike through the canyon and enjoyed the nature and the silence in the gorge.

Arriving at our campsite for the night we got ready for our first night in a swag under the stars. We had a BBQ and delicious salad for dinner and crawled into our sleeping bags next to the campfire.

Swags are basically bigger sleeping bags with a thin mattress inside and made from thicker and denser material. In the inside, you have your real sleeping bag and that was our bed on the ground under the stars for 4 of 5 nights on tour.

 

The first night in nature immediately made me fall in love with sleeping outside and I enjoyed every single night. Even when it started to rain a little bit because it is such a cool feeling and you can easily put a cape over your head.

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Sunday 14/10

On tour, we either woke up early for a sunrise hike or to start driving to get to our next destination earlier. Sunday we finally made it to “the outback”. Red sand, less vegetation and less green outside the window.

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For lunch, we stopped at a super small “town” that consists of only one roadhouse with a refill station and about seven trailers. As there was basically nothing around, we had a very windy and sandy lunch: couscous salad, green salad and sandwiches.

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In the late afternoon, we arrived in Coober Pedy and got a very informative and interesting tour through old opal mines. Afterwards, we were able to shop some pretty jewellery and I bought something for my mom. As most things were made with silver, I didn’t buy anything for me as I usually were rose gold, but I already regret it as they had very pretty rings and necklaces…

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While watching the sunset from above the hill, we ate pizza and enjoyed the view.

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Afterwards, we went to one of my highlights of the tour: visiting a kangaroo sanctuary and being able to pet and watch disabled adult kangaroos that live there, and baby kangaroos, called Joey’s, that will be released back to wild when they are big enough. It was so cute to see this little animal with its big ears and eyes.

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This night we slept in another unusual place: under the rocks. Most houses in Coober Pedy have rooms under the earth as it gets super hot here and it was very nice to sleep in a cold and very dark dorm, so I had a great night sleep.

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Monday 15/10

On Monday we had to drive the most kilometres on tour (over 600km) so we got up at 5.30 am to see the sunrise over the opal minefields and fall asleep again afterwards on the bus.

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That day, we passed the border to the Northern Territory which was basically the highlight of the day.

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We arrived at the Kings Canyon Creek Campground, where one of my favourite picture from the tour was taken. It really sums up the vibe of our tour: many sunsets and sunrises, beautiful star skies, campfires and good company.

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Tuesday 16/10

Tuesday was finally the day of less driving and more adventures and we started right away with a hike around and through the Kings Canyon.

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We got up at 4 am, jumped in our comfy clothes, had a big breakfast and drove to the beginning of the trail called ‘heart attack hill’. It is named like that because the beginning of the hike super steep and exhausting, to get on top of the canyon. From there we watched a beautiful sunrise and then hiked around and into the canyon which wasn’t that difficult anymore. We had many wonderful views over the breathtaking nature and in that park, this first hike was my favourite.

When you wake up super early every day feels like two days because you do so much. It was only 11am when we finished the walk and drove to the Ayers Rock.

 

Arriving at the Uluru our guide told us about the history of the rock and some Aboriginal stories around it and we walked a bit around the Uluru/Ayers Rock.

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For sunset we drove to the best place with the best view on the rock and had yummy cheese and crackers while admiring how the red rock changes its colours while the sun sets.

For the next/last two nights we stayed at the Uluru Campground.

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Wednesday 17/10

Another day another hike. So we got up at 4am again and drove to the famous Olgas/ Kata Tjuta. The scenery was amazing once again and on top of the mountain ranges our guide had the idea to stay completely silent for 3 minutes and just be in the moment and I really enjoyed that quiet time and it was a beautiful experience.

On our way back, I got to know Stephanie the Guatemalan girl more and we had such a fun time together. We really got along so well and I was once more amazed by how easy it is to meet likeminded people while travelling – but that’s probably because you already have one similarity: the urge to travel and adventure.

Steph invited me to come to Guatemala one day when she is there too and she would be my travel guide and show me around her favourite places and I already know, that I’ll do that for sure!

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For our last dinner together we had an amazing veggie curry with coconut milk and rice noodles (called Laksa) – a special recipe from our guide Bronny.

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We had another wonderful sunset view in the evening. This time with a view over the Olgas and the Uluru from more far away and it was gorgeous once again!

And then it was already the last night under the stars. I am already considering getting one myself at home to be able to go to beautiful places in summer and sleep outside wherever I want to…

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Sleeping under the stars was an awesome experience every night. I really enjoyed sleeping with fresh air, light wind and snuggled up into my warm sleeping bag. The matrass in the swag was comfy and it is the best feeling to fall asleep looking at the beautiful dark sky full of light stars and when you wake up at night (to go to the toilet or turn to the other side) you are amazed every single time by the beauty of nature and I could never resist smiling. Furthermore, waking up at 4 am is much easier when the first thing you see is the endless sky.

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Thursday 18/10

This day, we got up early for the last time again to see sunrise over the Uluru. Another special morning and wonderful view. We enjoyed pancakes for breakfast while watching the sun rise and it was another favourite moment on this tour for me.

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Afterwards we did the base walk around the Uluru (around 8km) which was a great and easy trail and I had time to talk and get to know my travel buddies even more.

As Alice Springs is another 5-hour drive north from the Uluru, we had a last very hot and exhausting drive, but arrived full of new memories at our final destination.

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In the evening our tour group met again at Uncle’s for burgers and waffle fries (so yummy!), beer or cider for me and playing pool, which was so much fun. Afterwards, we went to another pub and had a great night, but didn’t go home that late because we were all super tired from the eventful last days.


My days in Alice Springs

…consisted of going food shopping with my friends from the tour, writing the blog, saving pictures and editing and cooking a yummy dinner together at night. We had sweet potato spinach bowls topped with salted cashews (so so amazing!) and watched Karate Kid and talked.

Saturday and Sunday I basically did the same: went for a run, bringing postcards to the post, working and cooking dinner.

On Monday I flew to Sydney and left the red outback with hundreds of new memories, experiences and new friends.

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*Disclaimer! Just to clarify that: I got a discount for my tour with groovygrapetours, but I am obviously still 100% honest with all my reviews and thoughts!

Rest Week in Adelaide | Diary 005

As Adelaide isn’t a huge city and hasn’t many sights and things to do, I was happy to enjoy most of my five days very relaxed with another German girl I met on my Great Ocean Road Tour.

The evening we got to Adelaide after our tour, we had the best Ice Cream in the World (voted 2017) and I talked about that in my last post as well.

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In Adelaide, I stayed at the Tequila Sunrise Hostel*. It is located perfectly central, only a 5-minute walk to the main shopping streets as well as the huge park area. My room was pretty small, but as the communal area was huge and they had some extra couches and tables to work at upstairs, I didn’t need to spend a lot of time in there. The kitchen was the cleanest I’ve had until now and they have many kitchen utensils you only wish to find in other hostels like mixers, peeler or proper sharp cutting knives. The bathrooms where alright and I could imagine that they will get renovated soon as there was some construction and renovation going on in the hostel at the moment.

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Monday 8/10

I started my first day in Adelaide slowly. Slept in and went for a morning run in the park. The cool thing about Adelaide is, that the centre is surrounded by a circle park area and I had a lovely running route along the river, with space to stretch and workout.

Afterwards, I had to organize some things on my laptop. Save pictures, write my diary, book flights and accommodations for the next few weeks and get my Australian bank account working.

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I went for a stroll in the park and later met with two of my travel mates from the Great Ocean Road. We went food shopping and had a lovely picnic in the park at the riverside and talked a lot.

It is always fun to get to know so many people in such a short amount of time – that’s why I love going on tours! We all have our different lives at home but experience the same adventure called Australia at that time.

At night I did laundry and just watched YouTube in bed. After the three exciting and eventful days on the GOR I really needed some rest, chilling and sleep.

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Tuesday 9/10

On Tuesday I worked out again and had a big oatmeal for breakfast as I found oats in the free food shelve in the hostel – lucky day! I really missed my porridge and I’m now eating it daily again.

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Afterwards, I met Meike to go to the market and we were completely impressed by Adelaide’s Central Market. Many great fruit & veggie market stalls, you can often try apples or mandarins or sugar cane juice. The food court offers amazing options and everything looked so yummy: homemade pasta, freshly baked bread, different cheese and meat, Asian food, cakes, biscuits and tarts as well as healthy juices and smoothie bowls or raw slices.

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In the afternoon we worked side by side on our laptops and as the weather was shit we stayed inside watching YouTube and had a yummy Wrap night!

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Wednesday 10/10

The next day started again with more working and planning. Later I met Meike and a German woman (who has been travelling for two years now!) and we strolled through the shopping streets.

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In a Mall, we had a late lunch/early dinner Pho as we were super hungry and bought some vegan Ben & Jerry’s afterwards as dessert.

This was my first vegan Ben & Jerry’s in the flavour Peanut Butter & Cookies and I really liked it, but it could not compete with my favourite Ben & Jerry’s (with caramel). When my family visits me in December, I’ll for sure try all the other flavours!

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As it was Meike’s birthday, we met in a pub to have some drinks and talked a lot. I really was impressed by how many interesting people you meet on your travels and I love it!

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Thursday 11/10

This morning we had to get up early, ate the free pancakes in the hostel and took a bus north to Port Adelaide to go Kayaking with dolphins.

It was an overall fun experience and we saw seven dolphins in total, two very close to our Kayak and two that even jumped out of the water!

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As it was pretty exhausting to kayak against the wind (and we weren’t very good paddlers :D) we had lunch in the sun and drove back to the hostel afterwards.

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For dinner, we had wraps again because we got to take the leftovers from our GOR Tour and saved some money which was great and chilled and watched YT again in the afternoon.

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Friday 12/10

On Friday I worked out again, went for a run and stretched afterwards (which is always a little bit weird to do in public, but I already got used to it) and had porridge again for breakfast.

Afterwards, Meike and I had to run some errands: going to the post to send a package with warm clothes from Meike to Germany and then we took the tram to the beach.

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It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed the sun, talked a lot and observed people passing by at the beach. I had a fresh green juice and showed Meike how awesome the vegan burgers at Lord of the Fries are.

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Doesn’t this look as it’s painted?

We watched the amazing sunset, took hundreds of pictures, had wraps for dinner again and back at the hostel I just packed and got ready for my Outback Tour that started early the next day.

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So stay tuned for my review about the Red Center and my biggest adventure so far!

*Disclaimer: I got a discount for my booking at Tequila Sunrise Hostel. I am obviously still 100% honest with all my recommendations and info about it.