My girlfriend and i are landing into perth in february/march 2009. I was wondering does anyone have any suggestions on a good itinerary for backpacking the west coast. After we finish our backpacking we would like to go back to perth to start working for a few months before moving on to melbourne then moving on up and doing the east coast before we set off for New Zealand. We will be meeting 4 other friends so we may think about buying a van between us.
-How long does it take to do all the main sights on the west coast?
-What sort of budget would this take?
-Is perth easy to get work in?
Hi again Jim,
I can't help you with working in Perth, but I can assume that it would have the regular job offering that any city it's size would have.
Buying a van is a fantastic idea and in my opinion the only way to get around. You could take a tour up the west coast, but having your own wheels allows you to go where you want at your own pace. Especially with a number of you, it will probably work out cheaper too. It was definitely the cheapest option even for just my girlfriend and I. Not only can you share transportation costs, but you can also carry your own food and self cater, and camp along the way to save money. There's tons of places along the way where you can camp for free, or very cheap in parks, and I can assure you there is no better or freer feeling than waking up on the beach with nothing but a few friends and the open road.
I would reconsider doing the west coast and then heading back to Perth simply because that's a whole lot of driving. While there are a few highlights, there's not really a whole lot on the west coast and you may not want to drive it twice. I would say you are better off working first, then hitting the road and not coming back. Or, wait and work in Melbourne. This way you can also head down the center of the country, which for me was THE highlight of Australia.
The main highlight for me on the west coast was Nigaloo Reef at Exmouth. You'll be a certified diver then after Koh Tao, so you can do some diving. We opted just to go snorkeling just off the beach in Exmouth and it was better than any diving we did on the Great Barrier Reef or on Koh Tao. Don't miss it. Broome is also nice to hang out in for a couple days and has a great beach.
How long it will take to see the sights depends on how fast you like to travel. It's hard to judge. The west coast I did a bit quick because we had to catch a flight out of Perth and needed time to sell our car. We probably went from Darwin to Perth in about 2 weeks. But most of Australia we did much slower and spent several days at a time on the beach or national park until we were ready to face another looonnngggg drive through nothingness. If you have a relaxed attitude like that it could take a month to see the west coast, but if you just have a few specific sights in mind to see, you could do it much quicker.
Money is also hard to say. As I said in another repsonse, we are very very budget minded travelers. For a couple months from Melbourne through the center and all down the west coast we only paid for accomodation a couple times. A couple times we paid the nominal fee to pitch a tent in parks, but for the most part we slept at roadside rest stops, or on the beach. We cooked 3 meals a day with our camp stove, and had few other expenses. I would say our average daily cost was about 30 bucks together plus fuel. But if you aren't a camper and you prefer to eat in restaurants, dive, and pay for various sights, your budget will be much more.
If it's of interest to you, my photo website is www.degolasse.myphotoalbum.com I have a route map of Australia with loads of pictures, as well as a route map of Southeast Asia which you might find useful when planning that part of your journey. Might give you some ideas on what to see and do.
Thanks for your help Degolasse. I had a look at your photos, youve done loads of travelling. How do you afford it. I hope some day i get to see as many places as you have.
My main worry with australia is trying to get enough money that can let me see as many things as i can while in australia and after i leave it. After Australia i go to New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii, then San Fran, LA, San Diego, Vegas, Grand Canyon, New York (Fly from LA) and Wasington then home to wonderfull Belfast I have give myself about 3months max to do all the countries after australia, would this be about right???
Is it possible to work while travelling up the west coast???
I have all the flights paid for with the RTW ticket i bought (Except internal flights in USA excluding LA to New York). The only thing about the ticket i bought is that it only lasts a year meaning i wont be able to work for a full year in australia.
id say a month minimum from perth north to darwin... we took 3 weeks to go from perth to exmouth and back again... do you plan on going south? thats beautiful too, i wouldnt miss that at all! 2 or 3 weeks would be enough to see the south, and then perth needs a few days, then head up north but i wouldnt bother heading back again. you should try and fly from darwin to melbs, theres no point driving up north and then all the way back to perth...
QUOTE: I have all the flights paid for with the RTW ticket i bought (Except internal flights in USA excluding LA to New York). The only thing about the ticket i bought is that it only lasts a year meaning i wont be able to work for a full year in australia.
I have the same problem... we have a RTW ticket (Leaving Aug 09) and only have 8 months in Oz for our year working visa... all i can say is that im gonna try and do the three month harvest work so i can get my second year and go and live with my Brother out there. Maybe you could consider doing harvest work if you really loved it enough to want more time there?
QUOTE: Is it possible to work while travelling up the west coast???
I didnt have a working visa when i went last time but my brother and his wife did, we took a month getting up to Broome without them having to work and then they worked in Broome and we stayed there for 2 months, they had the moto of only working when it was really really necessary lol. Could also stop at Monkey Mia and see if they have jobs avalible?
I disagree with Degolasse on the fact that WA doesnt have much to offer... personally i was never bored... saying that... people make a place and not the other way around... meet the right people and no matter where you are you will love the place.
sorry to ramble on but i really do recommend the West Coast
After reading this thread it has definately made my mind up that I am going to hire a van to live in. My original plan was just to travel from place to place and jump in and out of hotels.
God I have been on this forum for 10 mins and I love it already..... so much info.... Reading Reading Readin.... arg my eyes are bleeding....
I would recommend a travel to the South West while you are in WA. 3 hours south of Perth you will fine the Margaret River wine region, which is great for work in Feb/March - Grape picking season! Good money. You should definitely head to Dunsborough/Eagle Bay area - some of the best beaches in Australia in my opinion, especially Eagle Bay in Summer. Crystal clear blue waters as far as the eye can see
the west coast is most definatly the best part of aus in my opinion and i wish i had spent more time traveling up it.
i did a tour which was great but if i was going again would get a van and drive it. make sure you visit karajini(sp) national park it was my highlight also went swimming with manta ray in coral bay that was great fun. there was when i was there loads of work in both Perth and broome personally i preferred the layed back beach lifestyle in broome and even tho i spent my time there selling cooked chicken it was an amazing time. broome time!!!
Hi all. Top post and must say i think it may have just changed my travel plans. Was originally starting in Sydney but by the sound of it the West coast sound pretty cool and laid back. Like the sound of the van idea. Does anyone know how much one would cost. Nothing special just one that works + do you need a special license etc???
Also a question for Naytobes84
Really is there loads of work come feb/march Grape picking?
Also whats the weather pattern WA? I was hoping to follow the decent weather.
Thanks in advance
head north in the winter, south in the summer.. thats the pattern
yeah theres work grape picking all over the place, some backpackers have deals with farms going - if you stay at their place theyll hook you up with a job. there are ads on the net n on hostel noticeboards etc. theres also other fruits as well, but grapes is popular and not toooo hard work. just make sure you go for WINE grapes not table grapes. they have to be picked carefully and the right weight per bunch etc. more shit to remember, wine grapes can be ripped off the vine faster herefore more money!