Vagabonding Down Under: Our Travels in Perth

If you thought Bali was amazing, hold on to your pants because we’re going from paradise to heaven! Australia is definitely one of my favorite places in the world! I’m not sure if it’s the stunning landscape, the endless adventures, the incredibly kind people or the exotic wildlife…honestly, it’s all of them combined! I first visited in 2009 while studying abroad in college, and immediately fell in love! It was one of those trips that happened at a crucial moment in my life and shaped me into the person I am today – not exaggerating! So, when we started planning for our trip together, there was no question that Australia was a must-see!

Back when we were in Pamplona, we met an amazing Aussie couple from Perth. With neither of use having been to Perth before, we figured it was a good place to start! Our friends graciously agreed to a visit, and after a short flight from Bali, we were greeted by our wonderful friend Vinny. He brought us back to their place, where we met their adorable Frenchie named Kanye, and met up with his girlfriend Ashlee for dinner. They took us to a food truck festival near Scarborough Beach where we ate, drank, and caught up on the last few months!

The next day, Ash and Vin took us on a trip to Rottnest Island off the coast of Perth. After a short boat ride, we stopped to get some provisions for lunch when we got our first look at the adorable Quokkas! They are a small marsupial only found in Western Australia and look like the happiest animals on the planet. We spent a glorious day lounging on the beach, swimming in surprisingly cold water, and for lunch we had a small Aussie barbeque! Ash and Vin invited some friends along, and it was so nice to get to meet other people, especially ones we could speak to!

Another exciting part of our Australian adventure was our plan to explore it by car over the next few months. Our first goal in Perth was to find the car! We had heard about this cohort of cars that are bought and sold between backpackers, so we assumed that finding one wouldn’t be too tricky. We started by looking on Facebook and Gumtree (like an Aussie Craigslist) for cars in the area. Thankfully, we were able to find a suitable ride after only seeing two. We bought a white station wagon for $1,800 that was decked out in camping gear – mattress with sheets in the back, grill, cooler, kitchenware, snorkel gear and even a portable shower! Although it needed a bit of cleaning and a few more supplemental items, we were super excited to make it our new home!

Honestly, the process of buying the car was a bit fuzzy now…for more information on how to buy a backpacker car in Australia, check out this blog from Grad Gone Global – http://gradgoneglobal.com/buying-car-australia/.

After finding our car, the last few days were spent exploring Scarborough Beach and Perth city. We saw some lovely beaches, boat quays, Kings Park botanical gardens and had a beer tasting at Swan River Brewery. Ash and Vin had a backyard barbie where we got to meet more of their awesome friends and enjoy amazing food! On one of our last nights, we cooked our hosts an authentic American Thanksgiving dinner. It took all day to find the ingredients, but we were pleased with the feast when we were done. We gave a huge thank you to our wonderful hosts, who were super kind, generous, and started off our trip with a bang! Later that night, we hit up a local dive bar with Vinny and his friends for some good ole’ fashion Aussie craziness!

It was the perfect start to what we knew would be an unbelievable trip! Huge thanks to Ashlee, Vinny and Kanye again for their hospitality – you’ll always have a place to stay in USA when you come visit!

Matthew & Stephanie

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