As I prepared for my travels, I started following several Australia-based instagram accounts. Based on some of these locations, I decided to rent a car for a long weekend and explore Margaret River in Southwestern Australia. Not only did I drive on the left for the first time (that I can remember) I also enjoyed some great company. Vera, a dutch traveler I met in Perth, was spending a week working on a horse ranch half way between Perth and Margaret River, so I picked her up and we hit the road.

Our first night, we caught the sunset at Prevelly Beach, where Margaret River meets the ocean. As we drove around the bend, we both gasped at the beauty of the valley below. Magnificent rolling hills met the coast line, the sun covering everything in gold. It was breathtaking.

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Wind surfers caught the last waves before night fall, couples and groups ate their dinner’s on the recently built look out. We watched the sun go down and headed back to Margaret River.

The next few days, we drove around the entire area of Margaret River. First, we headed to Augusta, the southern most spot in Western Australia. This is where the Indian Ocean and Southern Ocean meet. A beautiful old light house marks the spot. In town, a shallow river, fed by the Southern Ocean, brings in kite surfers, dolphins and paddleboarders. I tried the (shark) fish and chips, which is a local favorite and recommended by the shop owner. Now that I’ve got another notch on my belt, I’ll pass next time. Too chewy.

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We headed north, along the tourist drive, stopping at one of the caves for coffee and a little hike in the woods. In the afternoon, stingrays came close to the beach at Hamelin Bay. The sand is soft and pure white.

On the way home, I saw my first herd of Kangaroos grazing in the late afternoon sun, moments later we saw two wild emus looking for food along the road. How awesome is it to see wildlife where they live?

Some of our favorite spots we the secluded rock pools near Smith Beach, the Busselton Jetty walk (1.8km) into the sea and a lavender-everything cafe.

On our way back to Perth, we stopped by the Cottesloe Sculpture by the sea Exhibit. It was a lovely way to end the last few days, it seems our paths will cross again in New Zealand. Looking forward to having a friend on the bus : )

Rocks at Smith Beach