Western Australia

Mel from If You Wanna Go, Just Go

The journey from Perth to Broome is riddled with beauty and adventure, and it is one of the best, but oft overlooked, road trips in Australia. For 2000+km, an empty highway chases the ocean north, licked on the left by dazzling blue waters, teased on the right by breathtaking red expanses.Bikini Girl on a New Zealand Beach, Mel from If You Wanna Go, Just Go

Some personal highlights for me include off-roading through the sand dunes to isolated beaches, hiking and canoeing in Kalbarri, getting attacked by Emus and feeding dolphins at Monkey Mia, sinking into thousands of shells at pristine Shell Beach, snorkelling on the Ningaloo Reef, and trekking through endless eucalyptus bush to isolated plunge pools in beguiling Karijini. To name just a few; though of course the hidden treasures on this little-traversed stretch of paradise are endless.Swimming with Whale Sharks in Exmouth, New Zealand

The highlight for most, of course, is swimming with whale sharks in Exmouth. This is the stuff of dreams; real bucket list hedonism. I was so moved by my first encounter with these gentle giants that I almost choked to death on sudden tears and gasping breaths within the unforgiving confines of a snorkel and mask in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

>>Next: Dunedin to Queenstown, New Zealand