[AUSTRALIA 2014] Perth, Margaret River & Western Australia (Guilderton, Lancelin Sand Dunes & Pinnacles Desert)

I have to thank my bff for basically making my trip to Perth, Australia a total blast! For some reason, I never had any thoughts or dreams to go to Australia because it just wasn't the highest place in my Travel Bucketlist. I wish it was higher on my list now that I've been! I've only been to Perth  so far and already I'm loving how much beauty and awesomeness Australia has to offer.

We started off our trip to Perth and proceeded to have a great night out with the girls for my bff's hen's night :D I mean, hen's nights are fun in itself, but a hen's night in Australia and with your best friends with you? What more could you ask for?



Off to Perth via AirAsia!

The lady of the hour has been one of my best friends since high school (we were dancing queens at seventeeennn *cue Abba song*), and it was her terrific idea which brought all of us to congregate in Perth. One of our best friends had recently given birth a cute baby boy, so it was a perfect idea to come to Perth to visit the baby mama and the baby too :)



Lady of the hour
Guilty as charged lol
Getting ready for our awesome night out!
 
    
 
 


After a great hen's night, some of us continued on a road trip from Perth's city centre up until Margaret River. We rented a car which would fit 6 of us and made our way to Margaret River (also amazed that everyone keeps to the appointed speed limit, whereas in Malaysia the majority of Malaysians would just be like "Speed limit? What speed limit? Oh shit there's a speed trap here slow down slow down! .... Hi abang polis"). 

Along the way we stopped by anywhere which we thought would be great for a photoshoot lol. (It's a road trip so we're definitely allowed, heh.)



  
A road trip is never complete without a jumping shot.
Tbh I don't remember where this was lol (somewhere in the Mandurah area). Excuse our not-ready faces since the photographer didn't warn us when s/he was taking the picture lol.



The road to Margaret River was pretty uneventful, and after we arrived and checked into our hotel, we decided to make our way to Yallingup Reef Beach. The drive took us through some pretty scenic forest roads (kinda reminds me of those US roads during a foggy day), and when we caught our first glimpse of Yallingup Beach over the horizon, we were all positively gobsmacked by the sight. It's amazing how they incorporated the road / routes into the scenery - I wish Malaysia could do the same. 

The sunset during this time was amazing, subhanallah. 


Too bad we went during winter, so it was too cold to go swimming or snorkeling. Apparently it's one of the more amazing sites to go to for snorkelling.



I mean, who wouldn't want to be greeted by this kind of sight???

   


 
We also decided to make our way to another side of the beach to catch a different perspective of the sunset, and it was pretty amazing. I would love to go to Margaret River again to see the difference it makes when you go during summer.


 

After our awesome day, the Lake Cave was our next stop for the trip - so-called Lake Cave as it is one of the only caves to have a permanent lake inside. It's pretty awesome how the site was discovered, considering how it was back in the days without all the technological advancements that we have today.

The tour guide told us that a wo/man actually discovered this site accidentally and bravely decided to explore the site with no lights and no proper safety guidance - I mean, it's 62meters deep, how?! (Lol I can't imagine this happening now with all the health & safety procedures we have going on. Can't just go "welp, I found a 60m deep cave, I'm just gonna go down there for a bit and see what I can find with just a rope and no lights! See you in a few!" - an SHE engineer would probably have a coronary if that happened.)


 
 
  

After a pretty exciting 2 days 1 night trip to Margaret River, we had to go back to Perth because we were born cute, not rich :P Gotta pay those bills somehow!


Goodbye, Margaret River :'(
My friend and I were going to go on a day tour to the Sand Dunes and the Pinnacle Desert (tour operated by Tours with a Twist). I wasn't expecting a lot on the tour because it was an impromptu one for me, but it turns out to be one of the best decisions I've made.

We made our way to the pick-up point of the tour, which was around the CBD area, and we took off in a mini-van. There were less than 10 of us so the tour felt pretty intimate and I think it only cost me around 100AUD at the time. Would highly recommend going on this day tour as we started early and got back to the CBD quite late - well worth your money for all the sights and activities you get to see and do along the way.


Our first stop of the tour was the Yanchep National Park where we got to see kangaroos and koalas (a must if you're in Australia I'm told, by brochures, pamphlets, and the entire internet).









After that, we were taken to the locals' (not-so-secret) hideaway, a small retreat town called Guilderton, where Moore River meets the sea.

 
 


I was pretty ecstatic with the tour by now, and then we had a quick lunch break at an amazingggg location by the beach and I couldn't be happier! Seriously, would you look at the amazing view we had at lunchtime?


 

After that, we went to the activity I was looking forward to the most: sandboarding on the Lancelin sand dunes! The sand dunes itself was so amazing and impressive (the hike up was pretty tough!) and the formations was awe-inspiring. Looking around you really feel like a small speck on this planet we call home.

Sandboarding itself was pretty tough lol, and yeah I did wipe out a few times and ate dirt :P All in good fun! I brought back some of the sand from the sand dunes back to Malaysia, nicely tucked into the creases of my jeans (seriously, if you think the sand from the beach is irritating, it's nothing compared to the sand dunes lol). Luckily I managed to escape from immigration intact.




 
 

After the sand dunes, we were off to the Nambung National Park & Pinnacles Desert! Seriously, I have never seen this kind of rock formation in my life. Theories abound on how the formations were created, but truthfully I was there to just enjoy and soak in the amazing sceneries around us. Our guide was so nice in letting us have a lot of fun photos (even offering to take some for us), and obliged us with a longer stay than we deserved because the setting sun was so amazing (we could see the moon! And the sun setting at the same time! Seriously, one of my top 10 sunsets).

 


  

I must go, my people need me #beammeupscotty

All in all, I truly truly enjoyed my trip to Australia more than I thought I would. I have a dream of doing a road trip across the Great Ocean Road next. Who knows where my plans will take me, but hopefully I won't see the last of Australia yet!

Places visited:
- Perth City Center (Nadia's Hens' Night!)
- Fremantle
- Road trip to Margaret River
- Tours with a Twist tour: Yanchep National Park, Guilderton, Sandboarding at Lancelin Sand Dunes, Pinnacles Desert.

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