If you’re wonderfully wanderlust you’ve probably come across Elise Cook’s picture-perfect Instagram. We’re obsessed with the dream-worthy destinations she jets off to around the world but what’s caught our eye are the amazing, often off the radar, Australian coastal towns Elise and her husband Domenic travel through.
With their trusty Volkswagen affectionately named ‘Scout’ by their side, Elise and Domenic have everything they need to make epic #vanlife memories.
We caught up with the couple to get their picks on the pit stops you MUST make when travelling along the West Coast of Australia!
Somehow, I had never heard of Esperance until just before we crossed the Nullarbor into WA. First, my rather nomadic Uncle mentioned it to me as he helped me pack up our house right before we moved into the van. Carrying the dining table together, he said to me, "you're going to want to stop in Esperance. End of The Nullarbor, turn left, and you'll never want to leave. Most beautiful place in the world. A very quiet town, tons of islands just out from the shore, crazy blue water, and kangaroos hopping around on the sand."
"Rightio, sounds pretty nice, we'll definitely have to stop," I said.
Once on the road and heading west, a few more travellers mentioned it to us, almost as if it was a secret. Once we did make it across The Nullarbor (and only just - the accelerator cable on our kombi snapped halfway) we spent a very happy few weeks in Esperance. While our van, Scout, was being fixed we based ourselves at Esperance Chalet Village (a lovely family run joint), and then we spent the rest of our time camping in the National Parks on some of the most beautiful beaches I think I'll ever see in my life. And yep - there were plenty of happy kangaroos just living the life.
When we were there we both said so many times, "at some point, this place is going to go nuts. It's just too beautiful."
Along the south-west coastline, Albany is the biggest town, and there's plenty going on. Lots of great cafes, bars and backpackers if that's what you're into. Our preference is idyllic coastline camping, and Albany has plenty of that too. The Vancouver Peninsula stretches out and wraps around to create a bay, with one side looking back at the mainland, and the other side looking out over the big blue.
I almost didn't want to include this spot - because I want to keep it a secret. But it's too good not to share. If you are travelling the South West Coastline, you'll want to keep a few nights free for this stunning slice of paradise.
We spent the most beautiful week camping right on the beach, green grass right up to the sand, in a secluded spot nestled between green mountains and looking straight out to the turquoise water.
It’s the kind of place you can switch off and spend timeless days doing anything... or nothing at all.
Denmark is a gorgeous little town. A blend of lush green vegetation and bright blue coastline. It's quiet, there's great coffee, amazing little boutique wineries, and some of the best coastal swimming spots. Greens Pool is one to write down; a sandy white beach, with big boulders everywhere and crystal clear water.
Certainly, the most well know South West Coast destination and well worth giving yourself a bit of time to explore. It's beautiful, and there's plenty to see and do. Great surf and great swimming spots, walking trails, a town brewery with live music, and tons of wineries to fill your days. We love small wineries with a bit of soul, so our top four picks for Margaret River are; Pierro, Cullen Wines, Marq Wines, and Windows.
Another must visit spot is Injidup and the gorgeous sea spa rock pools.