West is best in Australia

From Cairns, it was back on a plane to fly across the country to Perth where I had two weeks staying with my friend’s family. As a backpacker in the middle of my travels it was so nice to have duvets, carpet, a/c, home cooked meals and all the other creature comforts of a home again! I settled into daily life, shopping and enjoying the nightlife. We did the Perth walking trail (another Lonely Planet tip) checking out the Perth Mint, the Swan Bells and the park.

We did a day trip to Fremantle (to see the Round House, prison and markets), a wine tasting cruise up the Swan River, and day trips to the beaches of Scarborough, Coogee, City and Cottesloe. We also took a picnic to Kings Park to take in the amazing views, as well as to enjoy the Moonlight Cinema which shows cult and classic movies while sitting on the grass with your own food and drink.

We took an overnight trip to The Pinnacles, the first stop however was a brewery in the Swan Valley for beer tasting followed by a vineyard for wine tasting. The Pinnacles were stunning, especially as we saw them at sunset – such a strange set of rock formations. That night we slept in swag under the stars in the open air and in the middle of nowhere, trying not to think about the scorpions we had been shown minutes earlier! In the morning we headed to the small fishing town of Lancelin, spotting wild kangaroos and emus on the way, and spent the morning sandboarding and dune bashing in the wide expanse of sand there.

One of my favourite trips was to Rockingham Dolphins to swim with wild dolphins, the company was suitably strict to ensure the encounter is harmless, and there was therefore no touching of the dolphins. We were in groups of five floating on the surface with snorkels and holding on to each other in a line while the leader had an aquascooter to pull us along gently. We were really lucky and a school of five young dolphins swam up to us and later two mothers with their calves, which was very cute. We also watched the dolphins playing with a stingray, digging for worms, catching and eating an octopus and playing seaweed tennis.

For our final few days, we went out to Rottnest Island which was stunningly beautiful, we toured all the way around on the hop-on hop-off bus and snorkelled in the green waters, drinking in the great scenery and meeting the very inquisitive wild quokkas (wild animals that looked like small wallabies with rats tails).

After an amazing few months we had to bid a sad farewell to Australia as we were running short of time and money and were keen to start the Asian leg of the adventure, so we said our goodbyes to the family and headed off to Bali (via Sydney).

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