Having been to Perth before I was very keen to have a tour up the west coast, ideally one going further but the best bet on offer was a 4 day trip up to Monkey Mia with Western Exposure who have recently taken over the recommended Pinnacle Tours.
After getting picked up and finding my mini bus we headed north, the whole group was very quiet so after a stop our tour guide made us each go to the front and do a little speech introducing ourselves. There were five people from Japan so the five English speakers were none the wiser about them after there monolgues. Us five got on really well, all very different people but we had a lot of laughs and exchanged travelling tips, that and an excellent tour guide (Tanya) helped make this a great few days.
Our first stop with temperatures already in the 40's was at the Pinnacles, a massive area with rocks about 3 feet high emerging from the red soil. From there we stopped at the pretty Juliens Bay for a lengthy swim to cool off. After lunch we went to some huge sanddunes, and with temperatures still rising, carried sandboards (like wheel-less skateboards) to the top of the dunes and you just sit on the board and fly down the sanddune. Great fun, but getting back to the top was hard work! We stopped off at another beach and then booked into our hostel for the first night, the rooms were very basic and very hot - 36 degrees when I went to bed so kipping not easy. We cooked our own dinner downstairs, and had a few beers from the local offy.
Woke up to hear tempeartures were expected to rise still futher for our second day, so we had an early start to catch sunrise and then a nature walk across some boardwalks overlooking some lovely gorges, mountains and steams. We climbed down the rocks to the bottom and sat at the riverside to try and cool off a bit before climbing up again which was tough work and the air-con coach was much in need by the time we got back. Had lunch at a pretty bay doing battle with the flies and stopped off at the quiet and very white shell beach in the afternoon. We had quite a drive to Denham where the hostel was much better than the first one, cooler and more spacious. We cooked a BBQ and some of us walked up to a pub for a beer and game of pool.
The other two groups were on slightly different tours to us but were following us for the first 2 days and I was so glad I wasnt on there bus. One group had no interest in helping with cooking or helping out at all - these trips are very hands on and are more fun as a result. The other tour were just so "chavvy" and selfish, making loads of noise at 4am and just laughing at people who complained. One of these groups had the air con break on there bus on the 2nd day so I fear to think how hot they were. They were not happy but we could resist not rubbing it in just a bit "Its so cold on our bus with the air con on" and after they complained that there beer was warm after a few minutes on there oven like coach "Well, you wouldnt want a warm beer would you?"
On the third day we went straight to the lovely Monkey Mia for the dolphin interaction, they come right up to you when you stand about shin deep in the sea. After a morning chilling and an hours catamaran trip we had a lengthy drive to the Stragolites(?) which are apparently the oldest living organism - but in truth are just dull rocks in the sea. We drove down to a Farm Stay for our last night, the grimest of the rooms so far - very hot, small and dusty and the odd insect about. On the brighter side the farmer cooked a great meal and gave us some funny and interesting farming stories.
On the way back to Perth we stopped off an another country with a population of 2, heard of Hutt River Provence? No, nor had I. A fella set his own country up in 1970 and can stamp passports etc, very weird. Then we had an hour at a wildlife park having snakes wrapped around us before my ipod was out yet again for the lengthy drive back to Perth.