Western Australia in Feb

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Western Australia in Feb

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:11 am

I'm considering a trip to Western Australia that would have me in Albany either Feb 1-9 or Feb 11-19 (actually arriving in Albany the day before). What other activities in WA would you suggest along this trip? I was thinking about scuba diving out near Exmouth but that would obviously entail an extra day of travel just to get up there. Are there any outfits you'd recommend?

Is it worth spending a day or two in Perth? If so, to do what?

Unfortunately, I'm probably dipping into unpaid vacation time to do this trip (if I do it) so can't make this a 3-4 week venture like I'd like.
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Re: Western Australia in Feb

Postby onyx007 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:49 am

It's a very short trip for a great state of Australia. (I spent there more than three month of my life in 2003, visiting a language school in Perth):

- Albany (natural bridge)
- Perth is great, with Fremantle and Rottnest Island
- Margret River (Wineries and Caves)
- Walpole (Tree Top Walk)
- Wave Rock (Hyden)
- Kalgoorlie (Mining Town; Outback experience...)

anything else is only worth if you have more time (Exmouth, Monkey Mia, Sharks Bay....)

(We did the journey Perth-Margret River-Walpole-Albany-Wave Rock-Kalgoorlie-Perth within 4 days with a rental car, it was a long trip, most of the time above the speed limit ;-)
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Re: Western Australia in Feb

Postby markmol » Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:52 pm

hi
Not far from Albany is Bluff Knoll, at just over a 1000 metres it is the highest point in WA, great veiws from the top. Also on the way to Walpole is the valley of the gaints, massive Karri trees line the highway. If you head the other way along the coast to Esperance there are some of the best beaches in Australia, Cape Le Grand National Park about 40 Klms east of Esperance is spectacular.
In Perth go to Kings Park, sweeping Veiws of the city. Exmouth is a 15 hour drive north of Perth, if you do want to go it may be worth checking out flights. It is well worth a visit, great diving on the Ningaloo reef. Coral Bay is about a 2 hour drive south of Exmouth also well worth a visit as well. Remember that it is mid summer & it is likely to over 40 degrees most days so cover up & take plenty of water where ever you go.
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Re: Western Australia in Feb

Postby clairew85 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:47 am

Is there a reason for so long in Albany. Whilst it is lovely there is so much more to see in WA. All around Margaret river, dunsborough, and bussleton are lovely.

As Markmol said it is the peak time of our summer in February and the weather will be hot.

The distances between everywhere here are big. You will either need a car, be willing to do buses for many hours or else look at doing tours around.
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Re: Western Australia in Feb

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:30 am

clairew85 wrote:Is there a reason for so long in Albany. Whilst it is lovely there is so much more to see in WA. All around Margaret river, dunsborough, and bussleton are lovely.

As Markmol said it is the peak time of our summer in February and the weather will be hot.

The distances between everywhere here are big. You will either need a car, be willing to do buses for many hours or else look at doing tours around.


Yes, I understand distances are long in Australia. The primary reason for the trip is to assist with some conservation research in the Walpole Wilderness area (hence structuring the trip around those dates). Not a lot of time for sightseeing during the research and I'd probably fly from Perth to Albany (and back) so not sure how I'd see this valley of the giants but it sounds neat.

I AM willing to do buses if that's what it takes to see what I should in the most efficient manner -- in many ways, it's preferable to driving on the "wrong" side of the road ;) Actually, I've developed a tolerance -- if not fondness -- for bus travel precisely because I can pay more attention to the surroundings than the traffic or grab a nap between sightseeing points.

How long would I want to dive at the Ningaloo Reef? Is one day enough or would I really want two days? I was thinking I could maybe tack 2 days at Exmouth plus 2 days at Perth to the additional travel days to bounce around. 2 days at Exmouth would give me enough time for a day of diving as well as a day to explore (including renting a car and driving down to this Coral Bay). I wouldn't want to pay rental charges on a car during the week in the wilderness otherwise it sounds like it would be doable to drive from Perth to Albany and see the wineries and caves on the way then catch Wave Rock and Kalgoorlie on the way back.

It is indeed a short time for such a vast country with so many great sights but I know I'll want to return in the future -- probably trying to catch Eastern Australia at the same time as South Island in New Zealand. I had someone else recommend the Margaret as well as something she called "the Kimberly"? Are there bus tours from Perth to the Margaret? I'd rather visit the wineries last just so I know how much room I have left in my luggage. ;)
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Re: Western Australia in Feb

Postby clairew85 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:32 pm

I haven't been diving at ningaloo so sorry cannot comment on that.

With regards Margaret river. There are plenty of yours there you can do it in a long day or spend a night there. The Kimberley is right at the top of WA ad includes broome and beyond. I have spent a lot of time working up there and it is stunning. It will be the ever season up there in February and will be very hot and humid. Not the best time to go as things like the gibb river road will be closed.
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Re: Western Australia in Feb

Postby markmol » Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:23 pm

if you are travelling to Walpole from Albany you will drive on the highway which is lined with the Karri trees & pass the valley of the giants.

you can also do a wine cruise on the swan river in Perth, the boat takes you to the swan valley, it is not a bad day out.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
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Re: Western Australia in Feb

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:28 pm

Thanks for all the information and suggestions. It turned out we had a couple Perth boys on my expedition in Namibia and after discussing my limited schedule and interest in the outdoors, they suggested I spend 2-3 days on Rottnest Island. The Margaret River area sounds lovely but I'm more interested in reefs than wine. I'd probably need another week if I wanted to visit NW Australia so guess I'll just have to add it to my "revisit" list.

Are the Mt. Melville Lookout, Whale World and Amity replica worth spending an extra day in Albany to look at? I'm also wondering about cutting a day off Rottnest to go visit the Nambung National Park as I grew up on beaches in Hawaii but Nambung looks fairly unique.

At present, the schedule I'm toying with looks something like this:

7-10 Feb: Travel from US to Albany (possible overnight in Perth on 9th), overnight in Albany
11-19 Feb: Walpole
19 Feb: Travel from Albany to Perth, overnight in Perth
20-22 Feb: Rottnest Island
22-23 Feb: Travel from Perth to US

Suggestions?
Not all those who wander are lost. -- J.R.R. Tolkien
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Re: Western Australia in Feb

Postby markmol » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:59 am

Hi
i would cut out 1 day at Rotto & go to Nambung, there are various day tours that run out of Perth or you can hire a car & go yourself.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
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Re: Western Australia in Feb

Postby clairew85 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:32 am

I would have to agree. I would say 3 days on rottnest would be too much and 2 days better. Try to be at the pinnacles for sunset and as such I would suggest a tour so you are not driving on your own in dusk/ darkness on remote roads.
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