There is hardly a day goes by that doesn’t have me thinking at some stage, “how lucky am I”, lucky to have a wonderful, healthy family, lucky to have good, solid friendships, lucky to have taken a leap of faith several years ago, and after a few topsy turvy years, very lucky to have landed on my feet approximately 300 metres from gorgeous Geographe Bay. Lucky to be alive! And in this crazy, crazy, Covid world, I am so, so lucky to be not only living in Australia, but to be living in the big, and relatively safe state of Western Australia (touch wood that it stays safe).
The America’s, Europe, Africa, India, and much of Asia are having a terrible time. Their elderly are dying, as are some of their younger folk, hundreds of thousands of them. Their personal livelihoods are decimated, and their economies are in tatters.
The population in Australia is approximately 25 million. We’re not an over populated country. So far we’ve had approximately 27,000 recorded cases of Covid, and thanks to our freely available medical system, most People have recovered. The recorded deaths currently stand at less than 800. Whilst devastating for those directly affected, as far as the country goes we’re not doing to badly.
The State of Victoria is in In the midst of a second wave. There is also a few cases of community transmission going on in Queensland and NSW. Victoria has had to go back into lock down, and state borders have been closed again on the Eastern side of our country. By far, the majority of deaths in this country have occurred in Victoria, with more than 650 recorded. Western Australia, with its borders virtually closed to the remainder of Australia, and to the world, has to date suffered only 9 deaths. We currently only have two active cases, both of which are returned overseas travellers who remain in hotel quarantine.
Mark McGowan, our state‘s premier is responsible for our closed state borders, despite this becoming a bone of contention with our country’s Prime Minister, and with some of our Eastern Staters. I’m sure there are also a few people within WA who would like our borders to be opened, but these people are in the extreme minority. I certainly aren’t amongst that small minority. I’ll show you why:
Look at the size of WA compared to the other states. The bottom of our state experiences four seasons per year, spring, summer, autumn and winter. The top half of the state experiences only two seasons, the wet, and the dry season. The dry season has temperatures around 30°C each day, at the same time as those of us living in the south are freezing our butts off with daily highs of around 15°. Now look at the size of the other states. With the exception of Queensland, the border closures between the states On the East coast prevent the residents in the southern states from freely travelling up to the warm dry season in the top of the country. Queensland, whilst not as big as WA, does have a reasonable seasonal difference between the bottom and the top of their state.
Now let me show you what it means to be living in WA. Let me take you on a six month caravan trip around Western Australia. I promise you good weather, and I promise you there will be plenty of things to see, and plenty of things to do.
We’ll start off in Albany around the 25th April. Autumn is well under way, and the weather while not yet really cold, is getting a little chilly. What better place to remember the brave ANZACS who left our shores early last century to go off and fight the war that was supposed to end all wars. A visit to the National ANZAC centre is a worthwhile place to begin this trip around this wonderful state.
As I said though it’s starting to get a little cold, so with ANZAC day done and dusted it’s time to move a little further north. Exmouth should be perfectly warm by now and the summer winds should be dropping. The whale sharks will be arriving. The month of May is a perfect time to be up in the Exmouth area, and while you are there you could perhaps go snorkelling with these gentle giants of the sea on Ningaloo Reef.
Next stop is Broome. Lots of walks down Cable Beach, and perhaps an iconic sunset camel trip. It’s easy to spend a month or more in Broome, and in June the weather is rather pleasant.
I know, you could happily spend the rest of the dry season here in Broome, a month is barely enough, but there’s still lots more to see. Lets travel a bit further and take a look an those famous Bungle Bungles you’ve heard so much about.
You’re now getting close to the Northern Territory border. Lake Argyle which is very close to that border is an amazing place to spent a few days. Maybe you could take a sunset cruise on the lake, and you’ll definitely want a swim in the infinity pool that overlooks the lake.
It’s now the end of July and only another month before the humidity that precedes the wet season will be on its way. There’s still lots to see so it’s time to start our slow meander back down. If you didn’t stop off at Kununurra on the way to Lake Argyle, you’ll want to stop there on your way back. There’s plenty to see in Kununurra. It’s a big agricultural basin, irrigated by the Ord River. Kununurra supplies much of WAs produce throughout the year. If you’ve never experienced the wonderful flavour of a juicy, ripe, red Pawpaw (sprinkled with fresh lime juice) then this is the place to do it. Forget those insipid, tasteless yellow pawpaws you’ve had the south – there is no comparison. Try it – you’ll be hooked.
A few nights later will see you in Port Hedland and you can see what a real mining town looks like. Take a tour of the harbour, and a minesite. Juxtapose yourself beside one of those massive trucks. There’s a lot to see in the iron ore country of our stunning Pilbara.
No trip to the Pilbara would be complete without a visit to Karijini National Park. It’s easy to spend a week here, hiking the gorges, photographing the most amazing scenery, and swimming in some stunning pools.
Next we’ll be travelling down the Great Northern Highway during August so we’ll be travelling through wild flower countryside at the height of wild flower season. Stunning vistas of amazing colour including fields of glorious everlasting daisies will have you enthralled.
Perhaps there’s time for a trip out to the old gold mining town of Kalgoorlie before you head home for summer. See the ladies of the night at the famous Pink House in Kalgoorlie’s famous Hay Street (I believe tours are now available, mmmm interesting!) or you could test your luck at the only legal Two Up ring, a betting game synonymous with the ANZAC spirit, a game which seemingly kept our World War One heroes amused during their free time when serving in the Middle East. With those two attractions I’m sure you can understand that Kalgoorlie is not your run of the mill type of town! Could be worth a look…..
Down from Kalgoorlie you’ll find the town of Esperance in our far south. The sands, as white as snow, in Cape Le Grand National Park are a sight to behold. And those turquoise waters – wow, wow, wow!
It’s now October. The weather’s warming up again in the south, so it’s a good time to conclude our trip around WA back in Albany.
I’ve now taken you on a reasonably full circuit of Western Australia. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I always do. I have only shown you a brief snap shot of what there is to see. There’s so much more. The horizontal Falls, The Gibb River Road, Coral Bay, Kalbarri, Geraldton, my home town of Busselton, Margaret River – the list of places goes on and on. There’s forests, and oceans, and walk tracks, and vineyards…..And of course there’s the capital of the state – Perth. For me there’s a lifetime of travel and experiences still in front of me without ever having to leave this wonderful big state.
I hope I haven’t upset anyone by bragging about how lucky I am to be within living within the closed borders of Western Australia. I hope you understand why I think I’m one of the luckiest people in the world to be living where I’m living in this insane world. For those of you in less fortunate places, I hope you are making the most of whatever opportunities you can. Keep safe everyone, and do what you can to stay healthy and sane. Thanks for following along – it’s great to be alive!