Western Australia + Where?


Jul 7th, 2017, 11:57 PM
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Western Australia + Where?

Hi--we are starting to plan a mega trip to celebrate my upcoming retirement, and my husband's 70th birthday in October 2018. Our previous trip to Australia, we traveled to Tasmania, Melbourne, Bogong Mountains (pack trip), Sydney, and Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef. On previous trips, we have visited Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Palau, Singapore, Maldives, Raja Ampat (Indonesia), Malaysia.

For our return trip to Australia, we are thinking of 1-2 weeks in Western Australia, and then somewhere else. Wakitobi (Indonesia) has been suggested for having a good house reef and snorkeling but for the price of 4 nights there, we could spend 2 weeks elsewhere. We enjoy snorkeling, birding, wildlife, nature. Taking a look at the Perth airport website as to flights, we could consider Sri Lanka, Mauritus/Madagascar, other parts of Indonesia, etc. There are several discount airlines flying from Perth (e.g, Air Asia).

Would greatly appreciate your thoughts as to highlights of Western Australia, and what would be good to pair it with for about a 4 week trip.

Thanks so much!
LaContessa1 is offline  
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Jul 8th, 2017, 03:40 AM
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Congratulations on your upcoming retirement.

There is so much to see and do in WA. We lived there for seven years and really miss it. Do allow yourself the full two weeks if you can.

Our favorite bits of WA were south of Perth - the Margaret River region, Denmark, Pemberton, Albany, etc.

I have several trip reports posted here about those trips that might help you get started.






These are just a few; you will find more by clicking on my screen name and scrolling down through several pages of trip reports.

Bali is considered a suburb of WA, so if that appeals you'll find many cheap flights there from Perth.

You said you've been to the Maldives, but have you been to Bandos?

My husband has been every year for the past 25 or so - it's his favorite dive destinataion - it's moderately priced for the Maldives and they have a house reef too.

Or, if you'd like to see more of Australia, you might consider flying to South Australia after WA. It's about a 3.5 hour flight as I recall and there's plenty to do there as well.

Do expect plenty of black flies in October in both WA and SA though.
Melnq8 is offline  
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Jul 8th, 2017, 04:42 AM
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Do consider going north to the Kimberley region from Broome . I'm here at the moment - so different from the rest of Australia.
northie is offline  
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Jul 8th, 2017, 05:34 AM
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Thanks for the replies. Where we stayed in the Maldives was Ellaidhoo Tourist Resort. Since we arrived the day after the tsnami to the Maldives, we were not able to get in the water for the first few days. The coral was either bleached or covered with sand, and there were few fish when we finally got in. Was an emotional trip for us in any case.
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Jul 12th, 2017, 04:30 PM
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LaContessa, as this will be a special celebratory trip for the two of you, maybe you're committed to traveling to another country in addition to Australia, but as you are asking for ideas, I thought I'd suggest the possibility of seeing more of Australia instead.

Because you're interested in "birding, wildlife, nature" Darwin, with its nearby Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks, might appeal. The Kakadu is home to more than a third of Australia's bird species, and October is a good time for spotting wildlife as you're reaching the end of dry season, when wildlife concentrates around shrinking water sources. Here's a link to birdwatching in the Kakadu, note how its annual Bird Week occurs in October.

The Kakadu is also known for Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr and Nourlangie.

The Top End will be hot in October, but judging by the other places you've traveled to, this shouldn't be a problem. I've traveled to Darwin-Kakadu-Litchfield in both May and October, and, as expected, the landscape was greener and lusher in May than in October.

Nitmiluk (Katharine Gorge) National Park can also be visited from Darwin (I've yet to get there myself; it's on my to-do list).

Darwin is an interesting, multicultural city. Its Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory is well-worth visiting. While its beaches are attractive and its waters warm, snorkeling isn't a great idea due to saltwater crocs and box jellyfish.

There are places in Western Australia where you can snorkel, with Ningaloo Reef probably being the best known:
The peak season for visiting Ningaloo is from March to July, when you can snorkel with whale sharks. However, it's possible to snorkel with manta rays year-round and, in season, humpback whales.

There are two main places to stay in this area, Coral Bay and Exmouth. It's been a while since I've been there, but Coral Bay offered basic accommodation and limited dining options. There was snorkeling right off the beach, but my husband and I opted to explore the reef on a boat to snorkel with manta rays (they use spotter places to locate mantas, whale sharks, and humpbacks). This was our primary reason for going to Coral Bay. We also scuba dived.

Exmouth was much larger. This is where we snorkeled with whale sharks (we were there during whale shark season; they arrive after the coral spawn). We also dived out of Exmouth. We found the area around Exmouth attractive (outback, beaches, wildlife). Cape Range National Park is nearby.

By the way, I think Wakitobi looks amazing. I scuba dived in Bunaken Marine National Marine Park in North Sulawesi many years ago and it was incredible, however, it's close to the city of Manado so in the years since my visit in the 1990s, it has suffered from increasing pollution and other human activities. Whereas Wakitobi, in Southeast Sulawesi, looks remote and pristine (and expensive).

It seems you'll have to pass through Bali to get to get to Wakitopi. If you've not been to Bali before, try to stay at least a few days, so you can attend a cultural performance at one of the temples.
Diamantina is offline  
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Jul 30th, 2017, 08:19 PM
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I can re-inforce there is plenty to do in Western Australia that will fill two weeks. In addition to the South West consider Kalgorlie [gold and the wild west]+ Ningaloo [ snorkelling] + Karajini National Park [gorges]. Broome is good for a couple of days but very expensive to get there. [ The Broome local product is South Sea Pearls but they are best purchased in Perth]

For places/countries after Perth I suggest you look at East Malaysia [ Sarawak & Sabah] . Also Singapore as a very clean introduction to Asia or Penang in West Malaysia.
The younger generations from Perth do holiday in Bali but also in Thailand [ Phuket, Ko Samui, Bangkok].

If you want a stop on your way home try Hong Kong. [ Same time zone as Perth so you get half way home without jet lag].
Barneytwo is offline  
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Jul 30th, 2017, 10:37 PM
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Broome good for a couple of days !!!!!!
Lots of travel out of Broome - Horizontal Falls, Cape Leveque, Fitzroy Crossing, Windjana Gorge, Bungle Bungles, and more - you could fill a month touring the Kimberley
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