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The south west loop - Trip reportssss

Incheon Korea
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The south west loop - Trip reportssss

Hi all, as promised here are my reports from our two week (Jan 24th - Feb 6th) adventure in SouthWest WA. Thanks once again for all your super advice. There is no way we would have been able to have done so much without your help.

I was blown away with the secenry and fell in love with the place. The hospitality and kindness received from locals was a breath of fresh air. We will be back for sure. Ok, here goes...

Jan 24th Perth - Day 1

We arrived early at around 5:20am to a cloudy and slightly chilly summer morning in Perth. Very strange weather ideed! It's was only about 20c.

We waited about an hour to get the free shuttle bus into the city, as the first scheduled bus decided not to turn up. We finally arrived at the Hotel Comfort Inn Perth (127$) at 8am. Unfortunately, we couldn't check-in so we put our bags into their storage room, got some maps and decided to see the much talked about Kings Park. We had the choice of taking the free CAT bus there, but me being me decided to walk! On the way we stopped off at a roadside cafe and got some breakie. We went a bit crazy and bought way too much, but the rolls and sandwiches were so tasty, and the coffee, a flat white was awesome! We continued to walk along Hay Street nosing around through shops and consulting the map just to get our bearings. As we continued the weather, which was quite chilly due to the wind, turned and it began to rain. Not heavy, but enough to put you off a hike around the park. So we decided to stay in the city and enjoy the window shopping. Shame really, as I was looking forward to seeing the park.

The city itself seemed small, nothing like we are used to in Korea. It was clean, and very easy to navigate! We didn't see many tourists; instead the streets were full of businesses men and women heading to and from work. Most locals we saw seemed under dressed and we could hear everyone complaining about how untypical the weather was being.

By early afternoon the effects of two nights sleeping on the plane were begining to catch up with us, and we decided to catch the bus back to the hotel. (should have done this in the first place! We might have made it to the park - oh well) On the way we stopped off at the bell tower on the River edge, but we weren't impressed and swiftly got back on the bus. Back at the hotel we got washed and changed and made our way to the car rental place (Bayswater) which was just round the corner. Getting the car was a piece of cake, but we had to pay 5$ a day extra for my gf to be able to drive. Oh well! She's not getting out of it, I thought.

We left the car park hesitantly and programmed Fremantle into the GPS and off we went. Half an hour later we arrived. Parked our car in a stupid 1 hr maximum place for 2$ and decided to have a quick look around and hopefully find a better space. However, we kind of got lost and I was dying for the bathroom so we wasted a lot of time trying to find one! Bathrooms are not easily found, and are far and a few. Gonna have to be more careful.

As the weather was so miserable we weren't overly impressed with Fremantle either, oh no!. This was disappointing, as so many people had said how lovely it is. I can only imagine that on a nice day things would have looked a lot more attractive. We made our way to the harbor to have a look, but we were now pushed for time so doubled back to the car. We gave up on exploring Fremantle more and decided to head back as we were feeling rather zonked by this time.

That evening we got a nice Chinese meal from a local takeaway and took it back to the hotel to enjoy with a few bottles of VB. That was nice! Early night as tomorrow is our first full day of driving!

Not a very successful first day. Let’s hope things get better!

Colorado
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1. Re: The south west loop - Trip reportssss

So far, so good, looking forward to your next installment.

A J
Subiaco, Australia
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2. Re: The south west loop - Trip reportssss

Oh dear...off to an unimpressive start :-(

Looking forward to the next part and hoping the weather (and everything else) improves.

Incheon Korea
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3. Re: The south west loop - Trip reportssss

Sorry i should have done this in the first post

My girlfriend and i spend two weeks touring or should i say racing around the south west. We took in Perth (as you already know) Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Albany, Pemberton, Augusta and then drove back to Perth through Margaret River.

Sorry for the long daily reports, but i thought you'd appreciate something in a little detail. If not then i appoligise now. Right, so here's day 2.

Jan 25th.

We woke up early 6:30 and left the hotel at 7:10. It was a lovely morning and hot. Wow! My dreams had come true.

Thanks to the GPS we easily made our way out of town, where as I drove, I distinctly noticed the number of traffic lights diminishing. And before long we were out of town and speeding along the county roads, taking in the beautiful scenery, heading towards the tinyl town called York which is about 1:20 mins away from Perth. We were going here to meet some friends who had promised to cook us a BBQ breakfast in the park by the river. Awesome! We arrived before 8am and ended up having the most amazing feed of sausages, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and toast, all washed down with tea and coffee. Lovely!

Full and in need of some exercise we then set off on a little explore around the tiny town. This didn’t disappoint. It was so small with one main street and a selection of shops. We stopped at a cafe and had a break, talked to a few local, who were all super friendly and admired the old buildings lining the streets. The weather was perfect too, which made up for yesterday I guess, where it was cold, dull and rainy! We really enjoyed York and highly recommended it as stop for anyone who is doing the drive from Perth to Kalgoorlie.

We then drove down some quieter country lanes for about 2 hrs before reaching the highway. We had to consult the map a few times though as the goldfields highway wasn't easy to find, but we found it in the end. The scenery was amazing I loved just watching the never ending fields and bush, scrubs and trees. Suk had to warn me on several occasions to keep my eyes on the road! We finally reached Tammin, a small settlement; I wouldn't call it much of a town, just a post office and a gas station if I remember correctly, and took a quick toilet break. Nothing else worth stopping for here, so we left Tammin and powered along the highway towards another small town called "southern cross" where we stopped to find a late lunch lunch. It was about 2pm i think.

The towns out here are all so small, but each has its own unique character, giving them the charm that makes them so appealing to me. After Southern Cross we drove straight on to Kalgoorlie. We stopped a few times to take photos of the scenery and were amazed at the long straights of road without a bend. This is the true oz I came for! I'm a sucker for the outback!

We arrived in Kalgoorlie around 5:30 checked into our hotel (the York hotel) which was built about a hundred years ago. This place is like a Wild West town full of heritage buildings, hotels, bars, and an array of shops all lining the one main street of town. Actually Kalgoorlie is, I think the biggest outback town and it sure was substantially bigger than anywhere else we had passed through today. That night we enjoyed a few beefs in the York pub. Sat on the terrace watching the sun go down which was the perfect reward after such a long drive. We then had a little look around Hannan street, before tucking into a nice little pub behind the famous Exchange hotel, for an awesome meal.

On the way back we detoured to McDonalds where we enjoyed a nice cuppa and used their free wifi to catch up on emails.

Great day, with some really interesting country towns, and watching the scenery change from city, to wheat belt, to outback was definitely a highlight. Bring on tomorrow!

Colorado
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4. Re: The south west loop - Trip reportssss

Reading your report with great interest seoulite. I certainly hope you didn't leave Perth at 7:10 am arrive in York before 8 am! I'm glad you enjoyed York - I personally don't understand the draw of the place (ducking from YorkFoodie:) but it's always good to hear the impressions of others.

Incheon Korea
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5. Re: The south west loop - Trip reportssss

Yeah silly me. You are all thinking I'm a lunatic on the road takin only 50 mins to get to York. No It was more like 6:45 when we left.

York makes for a great stop. The cafes are nice (maybe there is only one, but that's all you need), the people very friendly, and it is nice to take a stroll along the main street. Oh and the town hall is lovely. Really glad we made it there. Would have surely missed it without the recommendations from many of you.

Melbourne, Australia
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for Perth, Antarctic Adventures
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6. Re: The south west loop - Trip reportssss

seoulite33 I am enjoying your trip reports and have put a link to them on the WA Trip Reports pages for future travellers to benefit from :)

Uden, The...
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7. Re: The south west loop - Trip reportssss

Great TR's. Waiting for more...

Incheon Korea
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8. Re: The south west loop - Trip reportssss

Ok all, here is day 3. Our first full day in Kalgoorlie

Jan 26 - Australia Day..

I was up early and enjoyed a nice cuppa sitting on the balcony looking over Hannan street. It was so peaceful and quiet. I couldn't believe that the main street of any town could be this dead. It was a little chilly, but perfect with a fleece on. I noticed that our car was the only one parked on the road, which I thought was strange. Where is everyone, I thought. Then I rememberd that today was Australia day (Jan 26th)so I guess most people have ran off to the beaches in Esperance, or having great BBQs in a park somewhere. I hope things will be open.

Right the plan for today was to first go to the visitors centre to get some info on what to do, and then to have a nice breakie somewhere. Yesterdays fine BBQ breakie will take some beating though, so I didn’t have high hopes.

We had to wait until 9:30 for the visitors centre to open, but once inside we were greeted with a smile and shown around. A lovely lady introduced the main attractions and assured us that everything was open and provided us with a map of where all the hot spots were; including a super nice cafe for breakie.

The cafe was right at the top of the street just across from the mining museum. So that was our first stop. We ordered bacon sandwiches and 2 large flat whites and sat outside on the street to enjoy them. I'm gonna love doing this every day. There were a few locals sitting around reading papers and people watching minding their own business, but we didn't see any other tourists. Fine with us we thought.

The museum was quickly explored. I particularly liked going up to the top of the museum to marvel at the distant views. Also the display of gold nuggets and bars down in the basement was also interesting. Arh I nearly forgot, the first bank and the narrowest pub are also both on display here, but we weren't allowed in the pub! Oh well! I wonder how many people could actually fit in there when it was running. Hmm.

Our next stop was the Miner’s Hall of Fame, which is only a 5 min drive away. Here we explored a giant CAT pickup truck which is on display just after you walk through the main building. It looks small from a distance, but the closer you get the more amazed you are at the sheer size of the thing.. The wheel alone are way bigger than me. You could easily sit in the wheel arch! That was awesome. Next we took the "pitch black" tour and scrammbled down 3 levels of an old mine shaft. As we were the only ones on the tour we got the guide to ourselves and pounded him with questions. He was very knowledgeable and taught us all about the history of gold mining in Kalgoorlie and how the miners lived and worked down the shafts. Interesting!

That afternoon, we grabbed a quick lunch from a cafe and decided to take a drive through the town of boulder and some other parts of Kalgoorlie. We visited a famous pub in boulder where the miners actually purpose built a mine shaft up into the pub, coming up right in the bar. Cool hey? After a beer and a game of pool we visited the famous sweet shop. Wow! it was really cute and had all the old favorites like kola cubes, rhubarb and custard, strawberries and cream, sherbet pips, etc... Really cool to see all those tubs lined up on the wall behind the counter. So we had to buy some! Suk loved it!

We discovered through chatting to the locals that much of Kalgoorlie and boulder was damaged by a big earthquake last year. Many of the heritage listed buildings were damaged so there is still a lot of scaffolding around, and the fact that it was also Australia day everywhere really did seem deserted!

We then drove to a park recommended by some people but when we arrived it was closed. Everything always closes early here! So I suggested a drive out of town to take some pics of the outback. I love driving in the outback, but as soon as you get out of the car you feel like your gonna die from the heat. It was hot today about 35c I think. It's really not a place for people. We got some pics and then suk drove back to our hotel. It was her first time driving in Australia. She had no idea when it came to roundabouts, but she soon got used to it! Thankfully the roads in Kal were empty.

When we got back to the hotel we sat on the balcony overlooking the main street and relaxed with a cold beer. I love just watching the street down below, the buildings are all around 100 years old and it does feel like you are in a western movie sometimes. Intriguing little town!

I met another traveler staying in a room nearby and we got chatting. Together the three of us enjoyed a beer together and took lots of photos of the sunset. Later we all went back to the pub suk and I went to the night before to have dinner together. We had a nice time, but Suk left her bag there so I had to run back and get it. We were in luck as it was still there!

All in all a great day, very full on, perhaps too full on, but it was great getting to know the town and its history.

Hope i'm not boring you all to death.

More tomorrow

Colorado
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9. Re: The south west loop - Trip reportssss

No, you're definitely not boring us.

I hope you made it to the Super Pit?

<It was hot today about 35c I think. It's really not a place for people>

LOL, I feel that way most of the summer.

Uden, The...
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10. Re: The south west loop - Trip reportssss

Boring? Are you kidding? Loved it again. You perfectly described Kalgoorlie and around. Hot, yes, what did you expect-lol-