AROUND THE WORLD.ORG

travelling the seven parts of the world
Feb 2nd, 2008
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After spending a day in Perth we decided to see what the Australian Outback (Australian for countryside) is like over here. There are 2 main sights to see in South West Australia - The Pinnacles and Wave Rock. Both are located approx. 500 km from Perth, which appears to be the average distance between two interesting points anywhere in this country.

We decided to take the bite and see what driving around here is like, and rented a car for a couple of days. People here drive on the left side of the road, which wasn't easy to get used to, but is doable. Liene is the driver, so we had a mantra of "I have to be on the outside", which is an easy way to remember that the left side has to be on the side of the street.



The only thing that was difficult was right turns (ooops!) and switching on the windscreen cleaners instead of turning lights (which have swapped places).

Driving down here is really easy - there aren't many cars and the roads are generally straight, so if you're looking to practice driving on the other side of the road, this is the middle of nowhere you are looking for. The only thing to look out for are road trains, which are massive trucks with up to 3 carriages and 50 wheels. Passing one without a separate passing lane is very difficult.

Several hours of driving and about 300 km later we were at the pinnacles, near the Indian Ocean. These are interesting rocks spikes going upwards from the ground. The guidebook said they were up to 4 meters high, but you are gonna have a hard time finding one that high, some of the biggest ones we saw are in this picture:



The whole place is a big desert. It was very windy and the wind blew sand on our legs, which actually had a burning feeling. This was actually pretty close to what Death Valley in USA was like, except not as hot. The Pinnacles themselves stretch all the way through the desert:



The desert is near the Indian Ocean, but there is no direct access. We went to the town nearby to see what it was like. Guess what, not much different from any other ocean, just very green and very windy.



After that we started making our way to the Wave Rock. This is diagonally to the Southeast, with a driving distance of about 500 km through the Outback. I think we went up to 50 km without seeing a single car or person pass us either way. We did some kangaroos. I had the wrong zoom on the camera which means I couldn't zoom in far enough, so here's a blurry picture:



We stayed in a motel in what was apparently the largest inland town of western Australia. It had about a population of about 5000. One interesting thing about the motel was how the room cost only $88, but eating dinner costs $46. Just shows how disproportionate prices are here.



The Wave Rock is just, as the name says, a rock that has, over millions of years, been turned into a wave like formation. It is several meters high and about 50 meters long, and is a pretty cool sight. The first thing that comes to mind when you see it is skateboarding, I guess if I was a fan, I would go nuts here. This is the sort of a place where things like the half tube could be inspired. Other than that, you can try running up the wave, which is not nearly as easy as it seems at first. Here's me giving it a try.







Overall, the Southwest Australian outback has some nice sights, but they are too far away to drive, and too close to fly to. Our total driving distance came to 1144 km to visit just 2 places. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't, the long drives are just too boring. If it was possible to see them without the driving, that would be a completely different thing.

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