Stretching for thousands of kilometres is the red rich dirt meeting the white sand, being lapped up and pulled into the bright blue waters of the West Coast. A place where you can drive for days without meeting a single person, discover caves of hidden secrets and waterfalls untouched by mankind. Where the road snakes along the cost line as vibrant turquoise waters follow your every move.
Our old van rattles its way down the coast, the windows down to escape the hot dry air of the dessert, listening to the rattle of the engine humming in our ears. My dirty dry skin, stained with the red pindan dirt and a layer of cold sweat prickles in the fresh air, the taste of sea salt constantly on my cracked lips.
To my right the ocean is calm and inviting, and to the left a mountain range stretches far above, and as far as my eyes can see.
At night we lie on deserted beaches, the sand warmed from the day’s sun. We park up under the shade of an old oak tree over-looking the water crashing up angrily against large red rocks. The sky above us is sprinkled with stars as vibrant as cat’s eyes in the night, glowing against the black nothingness.
Sunsets the brightest shades of orange mixed with the hottest of pinks take over the sky as the sun disappears over the ocean each night, hovering long after its disappearance in a standing ovation.
We spend endless days diving into the crystal clear waters of Coral Bay, meeting the colourful array of different fish in Ningaloo Reef and coming face to face with a turtle as interested in me as I was in him. I lie floating like a starfish in the shallows of the water as the hot sun beats down harshly on my face.
As we tear ourselves away from the coast and into the main land, I find myself in the midst of Nambung National Park, filled with crashing waterfalls and gaping mountains overlooking gorges full of emerald green. Lowering my body into the fresh water of the waterfall, so refreshing and clear I can see my wrinkled toes, the mist of the water sprays down, coating my sunburnt face. The sound of wildlife all around me, the croak of frogs and call of mysterious birds from afar rings in my ears, reminding me I’m not alone.
Australia is known for its many forms of beauty, from stretches of dessert to bright green, lush rainforest, and many surrounding beaches. But the secret of its West Coast is one of the best-kept secrets in the world, a secret waiting to be discovered.