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On Walkabout: South to Perth

On the Road Again

After checking out the stromatolites of Hamelin Pool, we had to take our campervan and hit the road for a long trip back to the southwest of the country. Our next destination on our trip is Wave Rock which is located way out in the middle of no where in what is known as the Australian Golden Outback because of all the wheat grown there. We had to retrace our route back down Highway 1 to Perth and then east to Wave Rock. It was going to be a really long trip and the first thing we needed was gas:

Picture from Hamelin Pool, Australia

In Australia truck stops are known as roadhouses and in the Australian Outback there is usually nothing out there for sometimes hundreds of kilometers except one solitary roadhouse. Often the sheep ranchers in the Outback open roadhouses as side businesses to their ranching operation. When buying gas in Australia don’t call it gas, call it petrol. If you say you are paying for gas they will think you want to buy propane. Everyone in Australia calls gasoline, petrol here. I have been here long enough that I am actually calling it petrol now myself.

The roadhouses in Australia are usually no where near as good as a truck stop in the US. They usually just have a few things to buy and minimal facilities. One word of advice that I have learned through experience is to not eat the food at a roadhouse. The food is nasty because it has probably been sitting there for who knows how long before someone showed up to buy it. It is best to just buy some petrol and some packaged candy and go.

We needed a full gas tank because we had a whole lot of highway ahead of us as we headed for Perth. As we continued traveling south we once again reached the Geraldton area along the coast where there is enough precipitation for farming. Something unusual in this area is that the trees only grow sideways. Yes sideways! Take a look:

Leaning Tree 2

Leaning Tree 1

The trees only grow this way because of the constant wind in the Geraldton area that pushes the trees sideways as they grow. Very unusual to say the least. As night began to set in we had the chance to witness another spectacular Outback sunset:

Outback Sunset

This lake was located about two hours north of Perth and the sunset over it was really amazing. We reached Perth after about 11 hours of driving that day from Shark Bay and it was the middle of the night. We drove through Perth and took the highway heading east towards Wave Rock. I drove another hour east of Perth into the mountains and pulled over at a camping area on national park land out there. In total I drove over 12 hours that day from Shark Bay so I was pretty tired. So after a quick dinner the wife and I got some sleep so we would be ready to head for Wave Rock the next day.

Next Posting: Wave Rock

Prior Posting: Hamelin Pool

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