The road trip that we have just completed allowed us to see just a snapshot of Western Australia but we packed in as much as time, money, road conditions and weather would allow us to. Our plan from the beginning had been to see Western Australia, a state we hadn’t been to before and basically hug the coastline from bottom to top, before heading into the Northern Territory and scooting back home down the middle.
We had around three months of touring time up our sleeves from start to finish, not a lot of time when you consider that WA makes up one third of the landmass of Australia. So here are just some of the interesting statistics from our touring.
The total number of kilometres travelled on everything from smooth bitumen highways to good dirt roads, poorly maintained (are you sure this is on the map?) dirt roads, sand dunes, beaches and everything in between.
The rounded total of the cost of fuel to do the entire trip. The fuel costs were surprisingly not as bad as we had expected but you do go through a lot of it doing such a long haul, including all the day trips once you got to a destination too.
The amount that we paid in accommodation for the entire holiday. Free camping is a must to keep costs down and why wouldn’t you when there are so many good ones out there. Next best thing we found were campsites in National Parks, very cheap and the bonus of having wonderful scenery.
The approximate dollar amount it cost us for repairs to the Landcruiser in Carnarvon. Luckily this was the only setback in the whole holiday and turned out to be a problem with faulty and seized spark plugs. We couldn’t have asked for better luck on our trip with no other repair issues with the car or caravan. This is all down to good preparation before the trip.
The most kilometres driven in one day and it was our first day of the entire trip. The excitement and adrenaline of finally setting off on our long planned adventure kept us motivated to put some distance behind us. The first day wasn’t without its problems including hot and humid weather (a pattern for much of the holiday), driving through heavy rain pelting from black storm clouds and having a 170 kilometre detour due to a truck rollover on the main highway.
The amount of metres we upped and shifted sites in the same caravan park, in order to stay a few more days with the best view available. This happened in Esperance after 2 nights on one site we decided to shift to a sea view site which had become free, to spend another 4 nights to wait for the Australia Day Long Weekend to finish and give us a better chance of moving to a free camp without the crowds.
The amount of cents per litre we paid for unleaded fuel at our most expensive stop which was at Caiguna about 400kms from the SA / WA border.
The highest humidity percentage that we heard of on our trip. This was in Darwin in early April and meant a quick look around at outdoor attractions before heading into the cool of the Darwin Museum. Up to the time we left, Darwin had experienced its third ever wettest wet season on record and were expecting more heavy rains still in April. A cyclone forming late in the season and bringing high winds and more rain caused us to leave a day earlier than we had originally planned.
The number of days taken for us to travel from our home state of South Australia, across the Nullarbor Plains, to the most Easterly town of Eucla in WA, southerly town of Albany, the most westerly town of Denham and the most westerly point of the continent at Steep Point, before heading up the coast as far as Derby then cutting over to Kununurra, the largest town in Western Australia north of Broome. From here it was across the border into the Northern Territory and the homeward stretch down the centre.
How many dollars an annual parks pass will cost and give you unlimited entry to National Parks in Western Australia. You can pay as you enter or buy a 4 week pass but we found the annual pass so convenient. Buying the pass meant all we had to do was slap a sticker on our windscreen and then we were free to come and go to parks as many times as we wanted to. This was really convenient meaning we didn’t have to scramble about for daily entry fees and meant in some cases going to spots during the day and again for sunset photos.
The dollar amount per night that it cost at the most expensive caravan park we chose to stay in, at Coral Bay. It was also one of the most spectacular views we had and was an easy walk across the road to the crystal clear cool water.
The hottest forecast days on our trip which happened on two occasions, once at Kalbarri and the other at Port Hedland.
How many metres above ground level we were at the highest point of the tree top walk in the Valley of the Giants, Walpole WA.
Then number of 4wd vehicles that joined us on the night we found a quiet and peaceful free camp spot at The Pebbles in the Northern Territory. What a laugh, so much for the peace and serenity. But they turned out to be a group of happy German back packing tourists on a convoy tour of Australia.
The length in metres that freshwater crocodiles can grow to in Lake Argyle. This is despite the fact that freshwater crocs usually only grow to around 3 metres in length. The reason they are so much bigger in Lake Argyle is due to the perfect conditions they live in, pristine water, abundant food and no predators. Oh and you can share the water with them if you choose to go for a swim during a sunset cruise on the lake.
The number of caravan sites we were allowed to use at the Murchison River Caravan Park in Kalbarri. “It’s not busy you can have this site for your van, next to it for your car and spread yourselves out on the third.” This is the beauty of travelling in the off season!
The number of times I was lucky enough to be chosen to feed a dolphin at Monkey Mia. One of the highlights of our travels and another incentive to travel off peak when the crowds are down and your odds of being selected for incredible experiences like this are high.
Unforgettable experience that left the biggest impact on me was being so up close and personal with giant manta rays at Hamelin Bay. Beautiful, big, gentle giants.
The cost of our accommodation at a number of free camps in SA, WA and the NT. Some of the best including on the Bunda Cliffs, Nullarbor SA, Fraser Range rest area WA, The Pebbles NT and Lake Hart SA.
The amount of interesting people we met on the road. From first time travellers to retirees on another lap of the country, people who had never been out of WA, to world trippers, we met so many lovely, interesting, funny and warm people who all share this love of escape and enjoying the great outdoors in our beautiful, natural country.
And cheers to that.