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Exploring the West Coast: A New Year’s Adventure in Australia

As the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2024, I stood on the shores of Australia, enveloped in a land of captivating beauty and unique traditions. The past seven days had unfolded as a magnificent tapestry of exploration, adventure, and cultural immersion during the West Coast Group Explorer tour with Bamba Travel. 

From the enchanting Pinnacles Desert to the pristine shores of Coral Bay and the breathtaking Turquoise Bay, each day brought new wonders and experiences. Join me on this detailed journey as we delve into the Australian New Year traditions that made this trip truly unforgettable.

Day 1 to Day 2: Perth to Kalbarri

Elizabeth Quay Train Station, Perth, Australia

The adventure commenced with a guided tour through the otherworldly Pinnacles Desert, a surreal landscape where limestone formations rose like ancient sentinels from the desert floor. The experience was not merely a drive; it was a journey through time and nature’s artistic prowess. Following this, a seaside lunch at Jurien Bay provided a delightful pause, allowing travelers to savor the coastal ambiance and local cuisine.

The Indian Ocean Drive then led us along a picturesque route, unveiling breathtaking coastal vistas that stretched as far as the eye could see. The highlight of the day was undoubtedly the visit to the Pink Lake, a mesmerizing attraction just outside Geraldton. The lake’s vivid hues, dependent on weather conditions, painted a picturesque scene that resonated with the awe-inspiring beauty of Western Australia.

The day concluded in the charming coastal town of Kalbarri, where the night was spent at the Kalbarri YHA Backpackers Shared Dormitory. The 575-kilometer drive and a 2-kilometer hike were not merely a physical journey but a metaphorical step into the heart of Australian wilderness, setting the tone for the adventures that lay ahead.

Day 2 dawned with a sunrise photo opportunity at either Nature’s Window or the Kalbarri Skywalk, capturing the magic of a new day in the Australian outback. The exploration continued with a deep dive into the wonders of The Murchison Gorge and Z-Bend in Kalbarri National Park. Here, the relentless flow of water had artistically carved its path through sandstone, leaving behind a geological masterpiece.

If one visited during the spring, the landscape transformed into a canvas of vibrant wildflowers, adding bursts of color to the journey. A leisurely lunch by the river mouth set the stage for the journey to Monkey Mia, where beachside accommodation promised not just rest but a serene setting for the night.

Day 3 - New Year, January 1: Denham to Coral Bay

Coral Bay, St. John, Virgin Islands, USA

New Year’s Day dawned with the enchantment of meeting the renowned Monkey Mia Dolphins. These playful creatures provided a perfect start to the year, their antics a joy to witness and capture on camera. It was not merely a wildlife encounter but a moment of connection with the natural world, a theme that resonated throughout the journey.

Following this magical experience, a visit to Eagle Bluff offered cliffside vistas overlooking Denham, providing a panoramic perspective of the coastal beauty. A leisurely stroll along a shell-adorned beach added a touch of tranquility, a moment to reflect on the year past and the one unfolding.

The day’s adventure culminated in Coral Bay, where our accommodation perched on the pristine shores of the Ningaloo Reef promised a memorable New Year’s celebration. As evening fell, the beach became a canvas for fireworks, marking not just the beginning of a new chapter but a celestial celebration amid the sounds of waves crashing and laughter echoing. The transition to the new year was not just a moment; it was an immersive experience in the beauty of Australian coastal traditions.

Day 4 to Day 5: Coral Bay to Exmouth

swimming in exmouth australia

Day 4 allowed for immersion in the wonders of the Ningaloo Reef. Whether opting for a boat tour, snorkeling escapade, or a stroll along the shoreline, Coral Bay provided an array of choices. The day unfolded as a canvas of marine adventures, each stroke painting a vivid picture of the rich biodiversity beneath the turquoise waters.

The evening brought a short drive to Exmouth, where accommodation in the town center awaited for a two-night stay. The town, with its blend of coastal charm and vibrant community life, was not just a stopover but a destination in itself.

Day 5 unfolded in the captivating Cape Range National Park, a place of striking limestone ranges, dramatic deep canyons, and an impressive stretch of unspoiled beaches. Turquoise Bay, with its crystal-clear waters, offered an opportunity for snorkeling in the company of vibrant marine life. The morning of exploration concluded just in time for a satisfying lunch, a culinary interlude in the midst of natural wonders.

The afternoon was a canvas of personal choices, allowing travelers to take a short 500-meter stroll to discover the charming township of Exmouth or simply relax by the pool at our accommodation. For those seeking an extraordinary encounter, the option to join a Whaleshark or Humpback swim tour presented itself, an opportunity to meet some of the Ningaloo Reef’s most renowned visitors.

As the day drew to a close, we made our way to the Vlamingh Head Lighthouse to witness the stunning sunset, a fitting conclusion to a day filled with exploration and adventure. The sunset, with its hues of orange and pink, was not just a celestial event; it was a reflection of the day’s experiences, a moment to appreciate the beauty of nature and the vastness of the Australian coastline.

Day 6 to Day 7: Exmouth to Perth

perth overrhead view australia

Day 6 commenced with a visit to the charming town of Carnarvon, where we had the chance to explore one of the local banana or mango plantations, depending on the season. This excursion was not just a visit to a plantation; it was a journey into the heart of Western Australia’s agricultural life, a connection with the land and its produce.

After this delightful excursion, we gathered for a waterfront lunch in Carnarvon, savoring not just the flavors of the local cuisine but the ambiance of a coastal town. As we continued our journey, we made a stop at a prime spot overlooking the picturesque Murchison River, perfect for capturing some memorable photos. Each pause during the journey was not merely a break but an opportunity to soak in the beauty of the surroundings, to appreciate the vastness of the landscape.

Along the way, we also paused at Billabong for a refreshing break, offering coffee and indulgent ice creams to recharge our spirits. Our final destination for the night was Geraldton, where we settled in for a well-deserved rest. After a day of travel, we came together for our last group dinner at The Murchison Tavern. While discounted meals were available, they were at guests’ own expense. It was a fitting conclusion to our adventure-filled day, a shared meal not just as a necessity but as a celebration of the experiences we had shared.

The final day began with a visit to the HMAS Sydney Memorial in Geraldton, offering breathtaking vistas of the town. Following this, we took a leisurely stroll along the scenic 3-bay walk at Green Head, immersing ourselves in the coastal beauty. The journey continued to Lake Thetis, where intriguing Stromatolites awaited exploration. This geological wonder was not merely a stop on the itinerary; it was a glimpse into the ancient history of the Earth, a moment

Final Word

In conclusion, this West Coast Group Explorer tour has been a symphony of experiences, a harmonious blend of nature’s wonders and human connection. As I bid farewell to the land Down Under, I carry with me not just photographs and souvenirs but a profound appreciation for the vastness and diversity that Australia offers.

This journey has been a reminder that travel is not just about the destinations; it’s about the moments, the people, and the stories woven into the landscapes. Australia’s west coast has been an immersive canvas, and each day has added strokes to a masterpiece etched in my memory. As I leave, I carry with me the echoes of laughter, the colors of sunsets, and the warmth of Australian hospitality, knowing that this adventure has left an indelible mark on my soul. Until we meet again, Australia, may the Southern Cross guide my dreams and the memories of this journey linger in my heart.

Check out Bamba Travel’s free itinerary to Australia below:

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Guest post written by Veronica Santi

Veronica Santi, an intrepid reporter with an insatiable wanderlust, combines her passion for storytelling with a love for exploration.