Today we finally arrived in Perth. On our list was Perth Art Gallery, Western Australia Museum and Perth Zoo. However, it was not without problems, but let’s start from the beginning.
Our ambitious plan was to wake up at 6 am, have a quick breakfast and get to Perth in the morning. In reality, we didn’t leave until 8.30 am. It doesn’t matter what time we get up, we can’t be ready at any decent time anyway.
We drove through the picturesque surroundings as we chose the tourist drive along the coast. The advantage of this path was the beautiful views, but the disadvantage was the lack of civilization.
On the right, we could see beautiful beaches and the sea, on the left empty spaces and dunes. Sometimes we could see a mob of emus grazing in the distance.
The problem was we burned a lot of diesel yesterday while looking at The Pinnacles and we didn’t even notice it (we could not turn off the car as it wouldn’t have started again).
We drove on a totally empty highway. It was beautiful and sunny and we felt relaxed. It was only 120km to Perth. Then, we noticed we had to refuel.
Ledge Point - we almost got stuck
We decided to go back 10 km to a small village called Ledge Point. Ledge Point is located by the coast where we found a petrol station as marked on the map. Later on we discovered that due to safe swimming beaches and great fishing Ledge Point became a popular destination to families.
Ledge Point turned out to be a small settlement with a single shop in front of which stood a lonely diesel distributor. We drove up to the building. The trailer did not fit and slightly protruded into the street, completely blocking access to the distributor from the other side.
We refueled with no worries and then we tried to start the car. Unfortunately, the car finally refused to obey. It hummed, huffed, groaned, but did not start at all.
At that time, the store manager turned up next to us. He, little nervously, began to figure out how to ‘clean up our wreck’ (car was only 10 months old) from the distributor.
Ledge Point locals started gathering interested that something was finally happening in this quiet place. I called Nissan assistance for help. When people heard that a local mechanic should come in 20 minutes to 1 hour top, they started laughing out loud and sneeringly said that it was unrealistic and we would wait a bit longer.
Maybe a week or ten days would be more reasonable. Then the topic of clearing up the distributor also returned. At one stage there was even a brilliant idea to push us down the hill, hoping that the car would start ‘with a push’.
The plan was simple. However, the hill was quite high and ended with a beautiful beach at the bottom. If the engine did not start, we would have landed with a big splash in the ocean.
We got a different idea. As the car with the trailer was parked on a little slope we thought a push backward could trigger the engine to start. So, this is what we tried.
When pushing the car into the street, Marius started in reverse gear and the engine suddenly decided to cooperate! We could go on and leave Ledge Point. Diesel engines will probably never cease to amaze me.
Final road stretch to Perth
It was still another 120 km from Ledge Point to Perth and it was already afternoon. We were booked for car and camper trailer service.
The time was running out and we had to hurry. Fortunately, the rest of the day went according to the plan. We did a quick assessment at Coromal for what had to be fixed in the trailer and we made a booking for a visit in a couple of days.
Then, we took the car to Nissan service. As we could not turn off the engine, a technician came with us to the caravan park. We parked the trailer, emptied the car fridge and took everything that could not stay in the car. Then, the technician took the car to Nissan service.
What was wrong with our 4WD? - contaminated fuel
At the end of the day we were already exhausted. Tomorrow was definitely a day of rest. We don’t have a car, so we are justified.
It took a few days for a Nissan mechanic to fix our four wheels. The car starts again after a second or two and it is nicely washed and looks like new. The cause of the trouble turned out to be very prosaic – contaminated fuel filled up somewhere along the way.
As a result, it was necessary to remove and clean two fuel tanks, clean the pump and injectors. A four digit bill slightly bent our knees. Oh, I don’t think we can afford another cleaning like this one in the future.
Next day we went for our trailer service. As our plan was to drive through the Great Central Road (1300 km dirt road from Laverton, WA to Yulara, NT), we also asked to install two additional baskets for diesel canisters.
Nissan instructed us to always ask at the petrol station when they last cleaned the fuel tanks. However, the problem is if you have an empty tank and 1000 km to drive, your choice is also rather limited.
Install additional fuel filter and use fuel funnel when refueling in remote places.
We calculated the fuel consumption and we found that we should get to Alice Springs on our own diesel if we refuel only in Laverton.
As for the trailer, all 15 faults were accepted as legit, with the exception of replacing the plastic (!) lock which broke on Gibb River Road.
We asked to replace it with a different one, not original, but metal. What a nonsense to put plastic in a trailer that is subjected to prolonged shocks.
In addition, we also did a 10,000 kilometre service and we were ready to go off road again!
Next week we went back to Nissan to repair the air conditioning (under warranty) and move the refrigerator door in the trailer to the other side (it opens to the wall and you have to hang on the door to reach something).
We also serviced Nell – the eye test showed little improvement. Unfortunately, the frames of the glasses are already in such a condition that we had to order another pair. Her first glasses were only 4 months old so this time we bought a pair made of titanium.
Living around swooping magpies
We spent the last few days at the caravan park. We were placed at the very beginning next to tall trees where Magpie have their nests. We like magpies as they are clever birds and they sing beautifully.
Unfortunately it was the time of the year when this amazing bird turned into a fiercely territorial monster in order to protect its young. It was a breeding season, so magpies were swooping around.
Nell couldn’t get out of the trailer. We were afraid she would lose her eye by accident, like the boy from Queensland a few weeks ago. She wore Marius’s hat for a while. The hat had a large rim and was stiff, but it was too big for her. To improve the effectiveness of the hat, Marius drew big eyes and attached them on the top of her hat and the attacks stopped.
Perth is a perfectly located city at Swan River. The weather was changeable but not as much as it does in Melbourne. We had two heavy rain days and one with very strong wind.
It was warming up with temperatures greater than 20 degrees and the spring knocked the door already. Definitely Perth is much warmer than Melbourne and weather more predictable.
We spent already 5 days in Perth and we haven’t seen the city yet. Next day we planned on going to Perth Zoo.
Last time we had an opportunity to visit a zoo or sanctuary was back in Broome (read about it from our Broome visit). Nell could not wait to see all the animals.
We spent the whole day in Perth Zoo next day. Nell was overjoyed. We walked around the vast park that was full of lush vegetation. What we particularly liked was we could make close contact with animals and birds.
The weather was checkered, but luckily it wasn’t raining. Nell took a ride on a historic carousel. In general, we had a fantastic few hours.
Perth City - our first impression
On our way back, we drove right next to the city center and I must admit Perth is a very picturesque city. Swan River makes a fantastic impression as it is wide and meanders right next to the city center.
Perth reminded us of Melbourne. It is a vast city with similar urban solutions. The vegetation is confusingly similar to the one I had in my garden back in Melbourne.
Without much enthusiasm we went to see the city center today. I have to admit that the cultural part of Perth (museums, galleries etc.) is very good.
The modern city has been integrated into the old architecture and the huge screens standing on the promenades add a futuristic flavor.
There were many young people around. Artists were painting on old paving slabs and music sounded somewhere. There was always something going on, the city was very busy.
After many quiet months spent in the Australian outback, it was a surprising discovery for us. We have finally been in a large city and back to civilization We perceive it completely differently than before.
We were planning a visit to Western Australia Museum and Perth Art Gallery. First, however, we had to find a parking spot. It was not easy as with the canisters on the roof the car was too tall for most underground or shopping parking sites.
So, we started looking for a spot on the street. Finding a parking spot on the street is almost a miracle too. Finally, we could only get parking for two hours. It was official, we reached a civilised place. I know from experience there is no problem to park in the outback.
Western Australia Museum
The Western Australia Museum is located in an old, beautifully restored building with a huge multi-level library. We visited some very interesting exhibitions dedicated to meteors, gemstones, animals, oceans and Nell’s favorite dinosaurs!
What I liked the most was the exhibition where I could see what homo sapiens currently living in Western Australia looked like – I just saw my face in the mirror.
Perth Art Gallery
We had an opportunity to admire everyday objects like: clothes, shoes (they were made identical without distinguishing between right and left foot), furniture, sacred objects, porcelain, marble busts, weapons and many other things.
Everything was exposed under dimmed light and low temperature due to its age. It was fantastic and only Nell got bored and started to be a nuisance. She wanted to check what is under the tapestry, if you can pick up the sculpture. At the end of the tour, two guards were walking with us.
In the evening the strong wind was blowing. Apparently, such winds in Perth are nothing unusual, people got used to it. Nope, Perth is definitely not my place.
Driving to Perth summary
To summarize our drive to Perth I have to say it was rough. We skipped some interesting attractions that were on our list. We were scared to turn off the car. And finally we almost got stuck in Ledge Point as we could not start the car.
All of that does not matter. Things like this are part of any adventure. Luckily for us it ended well and we could drive on and continue are best life trip.