We had a good run in the Lonely City of Perth, located 2,100 kilometres away from the nearest city with more than a million inhabitants. We visited Kings Park and drank in the view of the Swan and Canning River, then wandered over the Treetop Bridge. The skyline of Perth winked at us from the Memorial Drive, glinting silver in the sun.
Jeff and I spent the day exploring the city proper, taking a walk down to the water to check out the famous Bell Tower of Perth. A lucky snapshot gave me a nimbus of light around the Bell Tower, perfectly refracted. it was a hot, sunny day, exactly the kind of Australian summer day I remember from my days in Sydney.
We’d missed the ferry to Fremantle, so we hopped on the train instead to good old Freo, getting there just in time for the magic light just before sundown. The docks were empty, as it was a weekday and the markets were closed. We went by Joe’s Restaurant and Bah, then found refuge in the Little Creatures Brewery, picking up a couple of the microbrews.
The next day we headed to Yanchep National Park, where there was a koala sanctuary. Usually difficult to spot, these sleepy marsupials were relatively awake as it was early in the morning. We counted at least 17 of the furry little grey animals. Koalas aren’t really bears and are related to kangaroos. I regaled Jeff with tales of drop bears as we explored the park, chancing upon a few wild, inquisitive kangas on our walk around.
Our next stop was a perfect, turquoise bay, somewhere off the coast of Western Australia. These vistas of beach, surf and sky are what makes Australia so special. No where else in the world are there beaches like these. Absolutely perfect, untouched and isolated seascapes. After a few hours drive we finally reached the main highlight of the day – the Pinnacles National Park. Fossilized dead trunks of trees stand like sentinels on the warm, yellow sands. Some of these can be up to 2m tall, whereas others are a mere 10cm in height.
As the sun set, we arrived at Lancelin, a lobster fishing town with giant silvery sand dunes just outside the town centre. Boarding our monster bus, complete with blue strobe light and a rocking soundtrack, we skidded and rollercoasted up and down the giant dunes, finishing with a sand surf down one large dune.