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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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!

The Most Livable City in the World?! One Week in SYDNEY | Diary 008

After a wonderful week in Bondi, I now had another week to fully experience Sydney together with my cousin that just arrived from Germany to visit me for three weeks and be my travel buddy.

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Sunday 28/10

Sadly, it wasn’t just Lisa’s first day in Down Under… it was also Meikes last day and I had to say goodbye to a wonderful travel mate, that I spend a lot of time with over the last month. Three days on the Great Ocean Road, one week in Adelaide and then we met again in Bondi.

But that’s also what makes travelling and backpacking so amazing! You meet so many great people and we will probably stay in touch forever and meet again for sure back in Germany!

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So it was our first day in Sydney and it kind of was a special feeling to walk through its streets – I mean it’s Sydney!

As you only pay 2,70$ for the whole Sunday on the Opal Card (a prepaid card you need, to use the public transport in Sydney – in Melbourne it’s called Myki) we decided to go to Manly by ferry to make the most of the cheap fare.

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The ferry drive was already a spectacular thing hence I really would recommend to take the ferry at least once from the Darling Harbour! We saw the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge from the water as well as the city skyline and it was an amazing view!

 

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In Manly itself, we did the coastal walk along the shore which was truly beautiful and we saw so many colourful birds, flowers and lovely houses. Manly is really a great place to live in Sydney!

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We went to the main beach and there were markets and lots of the popular shops in the pedestrian precinct.

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For lunch we had super delicious sushi rolls with brown / black rice that I had for the first time and I completely fell for the black rice! It tastes so so good and I’ll for sure always eat that now when it’s available. It has so much more flavour (and it’s super healthy as well!).

We walked to Shelly beach as it’s meant to be the most beautiful beach in Sydney (I’m not sure if that’s really true tho :D )

 

Then we found these crazy Nutella filled Bombolinis and my cousin still declares them as the highlight of her whole vacation :D

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After 28.000 steps we were completely exhausted when we came back home in our little apartment back in Surry Hills, but it was a wonderful first day!

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Monday 29/10

On Monday we walked to the Royal Botanical Garden. There are so many different and beautiful parts and we probably didn’t even managed to see just half of them.

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From the Mrs Macquarie point, we had a stunning view over the city, the harbour and the Opera House with the Harbour Bridge in the back.

It was crazy how many joggers were in the park and used their lunch break to run along the Botanical Garden – but I also have to say that this view even tops my running view in Bondi Beach!

 

 

We went to the Opera to see it from close up, but I have to say that it’s definitely more impressive from far away. We bought tickets for a behind the scenes ballet training for Spartacus and Cinderella which I was so so excited about! I really wished we would have been able to see one of them (or both) in a real performance, but sadly the tickets are super expensive…

For lunch, we had Sushi Hub (they sadly don’t have brown or black rice – you need to change that Sushi Hub!), which is always the cheapest and most delicious choice when it comes to eating out.

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Afterwards, we walked over the Harbour Bridge and had a great view over the Sydney Opera and the skyline of the city.

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Tuesday 30/10

Tuesday we went to Newtown and walked through the two big shopping streets there. I feel like you could compare Newtown to Fitzroy in Melbourne as both are very hipster and cool with a lot of vintage stores and many famous vegan restaurants, that I already knew from one of my YouTube favourites Bonny Rebecca, like Gigi’s pizzeria, Golden Lotus, Gelato Blue, Soul Burger and Lentils as Anything.

I really want to go back, to at least try one or two of them and have some more epic vegan food. Sydney hast (just like Melbourne) so many great options and places – I’m in heaven!

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For lunch, I took my cousin to Lentils as Anything as I was so so in love with it when I was there in Melbourne. We had yummy vegan food and the great thing about it is, that you only pay as much as you want to. But I have to admit that the food in Melbourne was much better when we ate there for dinner… but it was still good!

 

Later on, we shared a Macadamia Brownie that was amazing, as well as three scoops of super delicious ice cream! It’s sad that the ice cream is so freaking expensive here, but it is also so so good!

When we came back home we just cooked some food and chilled in bed as our feed were completely exhausted again from walking so much.

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Wednesday 31/10

On Wednesday we went to Paddy’s Market in Chinatown. They have a lot of souvenirs and other knick-knacks for very cheap prices but also fruits and veggies stalls that are super fresh, delicious and cheaper than in the supermarket.

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I also bought some nuts for my porridge in the morning (nuts are so so expensive here!) and some apricot and strawberry squares with shredded coconut (they are a bit similar to bliss balls but without the nuts and much cheaper – a great healthy treat that is not too expensive).

 

 

 

 

 

In the shopping centre above Paddy’s Market, they have an IGA supermarket that mostly sells Asian food so we had a look around and I for sure buy tofu, rice, rice pasta or soy sauce in Asian markets only in the future as it is so much cheaper!

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We bought some vegan Mango Ice Mochis that where made with coconut milk and they were so so delicious! I have never eaten Ice Mochis before and they were just amazing! If you don’t know what Mochis are: they are rice dough and filled with savoury or sweet stuff and in this case, they are filled with ice cream.

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Afterwards, we had a lunch salad at TheSandwichShop which was super good! They also had amazing looking sandwiches but I craved some greens!

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We walked past the Chinese Gardens and to the Darling Harbour into the city centre to stroll around the Queen Victoria Building and ended up at Jet- Bar Café where I’ve already been last week that have super yummy carrot cake for a fairly cheap price. Nevertheless, I tried their cheesecake which was amazing as well and as Lisa also loved the cake, it wasn’t the last time we went there!

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For dinner, we bought frozen Dumplings at the Asian supermarket as we never had them and wanted to change that. I got mixed veggie ones and mushroom, pack-choi ones and they were super delicious! They basically are Asian Ravioli / Tortellini :D

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Thursday 1/11

The Blue Mountains are located in the west of Sydney, only one-and-a-half-hour drive away from the city and very famous for the citizens as a near nature-hiking-weekend-place and for tourists because of the beautiful nature and the famous Three Sisters.

 

We booked a Sunset Tour to go a bit hiking, learn something about nature and the wildlife there, have some amazing views over the mountains and see the Three Sisters for sunset. It was a great tour, even though it was very short, but it was still worth it as we really wanted to see that place.

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Friday 2/11

On Friday I took my cousin to my favourite place in Sydney: Bondi Beach! We enjoyed the hot 37 degrees (Yep! It was HOT and it’s only spring :P ) at the beach with literally whole Sydney – it was so crowded!

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For lunch we had sandwiches at ‘Cali Press’ and I ate the yummy Avo Smash Toast.

 

We also had the best Ice Cream at Gelato Messina and strolled through the shops for a bit.

For dinner, we had poké bowls that were very delicious and healthy. As you can already tell, my cousin and I share the love for good food so we ate out and spend a lot of money on food when we were together those three weeks :P

 

Saturday 3/11

Saturday was our last day in Sydney for the moment and we went to the National Art Gallery of New South Wales which was great. I really enjoy going to museums here and there, even though I believe that you shouldn’t go to every sight and every museum as a tourist and better experience the city by walking through it and doing things that locals do.

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In the afternoon we took the Premier Hop-on-Hop-off Bus to drive north to Port Macquarie. The Premier buses are basically the same as the Greyhound buses, but they are cheaper and less travelled (because they are not that popular for backpackers).

We arrived late at night and went straight to bed the hostel we booked for two nights.


What an amazing week in Sydney! Have you ever been in this beautiful city? Do you want to go?