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Dusting off an Old Post: Exploring Southwestern Australia (March – April 2011)

Let’s go back to Australia again. This time we’re visiting the beautiful southwest of Western Australia, where I spent my days driving around, looking for jobs and hanging out on beaches, in hostels and in car parks.

In the spring of 2011 I arrived in remote Western Australia after a long drive across the Nullarbor Plain. I had no idea what I was going to do there. The only reason I went there was because I had a ticket to the Soundwave Festival in Perth. I was running low on money, so I planned to look for a job somewhere as well.

Therefore, before going to Perth, I drove to Margaret River, a place famous for its world-class wine and surfing competition.

Wave Rock, Western Australia.
Wave Rock.

I didn’t take the shortest and fastest way though. I like to explore and see as much as I can on the way while I’m there. So I made a detour to Wave Rock, went to the crystal clear and amazingly blue waters in Esperance, walked the Tree Top Walk and drove through the Valley of the Giants.

Blue ocean in Esperance, Australia.
The bluest of waters in Esperance.
Tree Top Walk in Denmark, Australia.
Tree Top Walk in Denmark.
Valley of the Giants, Western Australia.
Valley of the Giants.

Then I got to Margaret River, where I figured, because of all the vineyards, there would be plenty of job opportunities too.

I was wrong… Margaret River was crawling with backpackers and locals looking for work. North and eastern Australia was flooded at that time and everyone moved west. Long story short, I did not find work there.

Instead I spent my days on the gorgeous beaches, fishing, cooking and drinking in car parks and going on road trips through southwestern Australia. By then I had been in Australia for over half a year, but that was the very first time I felt like I was on a holiday. Before that I was traveling around, which is absolutely not the same as going on a holiday.

Prevelley Beach, Margaret River.
Prevelley Beach, Margaret River.

On those road trips I explored large parts of the southwest. I drove to Cape Leeuwin, where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet, and visited a few caves on the way.

Cape Leeuwin, Western Australia.
The meeting of the oceans, Cape Leeuwin.
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.
Cave in southwestern Australia.
Exploring some caves.
The Wheatbelt, Western Australia.
The Wheatbelt, Western Australia.

After hanging out in Margaret River for a few days I drove to Perth for the festival. That was awesome! Queens of the Stone Age and Iron Maiden were definitely the highlights of the day.

I spent two days in Perth, one at the festival and one walking around the city. I drove back south to Margaret River still hoping to find some kind of job. After several more days it became obvious that that was hopeless. So, a couple of friends and I decided to move and go to Bunbury, the second biggest town in Western Australia.

Bunbury, Western Australia.
Bunbury.

We signed up at job agencies and walked and drove around town looking for ‘workers wanted’ signs. And we did manage to land a job at the local turf club. There was going to be a huge horse race in a couple of days and they needed people to set up tents, fill fridges,… that kind of stuff. It was a great deal of fun. (I wrote a guest post about finding a job in Australia a while ago. Check it out here.)

Bunbury Cup, Western Australia.
Horse race in Bunbury.
Bunbury Cup, Western Australia.
Working at the Turf Club.

Unfortunately that lasted only a week. Therefore the job hunt had to start all over again. In the meantime we spent our days hanging out at the hostel, playing golf, football or volleyball and drinking beer on the beach.

Bunbury Dolphin Retreat Hostel
An evening at the hostel.
Beach golf in Bunbury, Australia.
Playing some golf on the beach.

We also went back to Margaret River to watch one of the world’s main surfing competitions.

Margaret River Pro.
Margaret River Pro.

The weather was incredible as well. There hadn’t been one day of rain during the first four weeks I was in southwestern Australia. Perth, for example, had had 56 continuous days of sunshine.

Beach sunset in Bunbury, Western Australia.
Sunset at the beach. (Do you see the dolphins?)

Bunbury was also the place where I met Caroline. And after she had finished her volunteering job at the local wildlife park, and I still hadn’t found work, we drove to Perth…

An overview of all my ‘old posts’ can be found right here.

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