Jacada Photo Journal: Western Australia
Although I have been to Australia many times, this was my first trip to Western Australia, the largest of all the state territories. It has a lot to offer and I was fortunate enough to experience two very different areas, Perth and the Ningaloo Reef. These are a few of my favourite photos from my visit.
I arrived into Perth in the afternoon and headed straight up to Kings Park, the largest inner city park in the world. It is about a 45 minute walk from the city, or you can jump on one of the free buses that will take you right into the middle of it. Visit the Botanic gardens and war memorials if you have time, or simply take in these wonderful views of the city from the top.
I stayed at the newly opened COMO the Treasury, the first COMO property in Australia. It occupies state buildings dating back to the mid 19th century and has two restaurants, a bar and the world-renowned COMO Shambala Spa. The breakfast here is to die for, I recommend the real toast with smashed avocado – a real Aussie tradition!
We had a wonderful view of the Council building from the Wildflower restaurant (on the fourth floor of the COMO), which lights up with different patterns every night.
I flew up to Exmouth from Perth, a two-hour flight north, and the gateway to the Ningaloo reef. I stayed in a very different kind of Luxury Lodge here called Sal Salis. These stunning fixed tented safari-style camps are right on the beach, in the heart of the Cape Range National Park. Just weeks after I stayed here, Pippa Middleton visited for her honeymoon!
Each tent has an extremely comfortable king size bed, as well as an en suite bathroom and several resident kangaroos, who you may see if you are up early enough!
Every evening, everyone gathers to watch the sun set (gin and tonic optional). Canapes are served and then everyone sits down to a delicious gourmet three-course dinner. It was great chatting to the other guests around the table about their experiences from the day and what they were doing for the rest of their trips.
Ningaloo is one of the world’s largest fringing reefs, stretching for 260 kilometres off the coast of Western Australia. The real draw card of this destination is the surprisingly elegant whale sharks, who visit between May and September. They stay relatively close to the surface so you only need to snorkel. We were lucky enough to swim with four different sharks (they are actually fish), the largest being 6m long. Their silvery skin reflects the brilliant sunlight so they almost glow in the darkness of the ocean.
Whale sharks are not the only thing you will encounter on the Ningaloo reef. We also saw turtles, reef sharks as well as many different species of beautiful fish. If you visit in Australia’s spring months, between August and November, expect the magnificent humpback whales to also frequent the shores.
The extensive reef is incredible, hosting a wide range of marine life in its tropical waters. We went out with Live Ningaloo, in a boat with ten people and four brilliant crew members, to explore. We enjoyed the maximum amount of time in the water and had chance to learn more about the reef from an extremely knowledgeable Marine Biologist.
Just look at the colours of the ocean and the sky! After all that swimming, we had chance to relax on this stunning beach – it was tough leaving this beautiful area of Australia.