WHEN YOU UNEXPECTEDLY DISCOVER NAMBUNG NATIONAL PARK

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Which award winning online travel destination gives unprecedented access to 13 million hotel rooms worldwide and 120,000 flights in 118 countries? The answer is easy – Wotif.com. And I’ve partnered with Wotif.com to share one of my favourite travel experiences, a travel utopia, so to speak. Wotifa is about creating a world filled with experience and exploration – it is whatever you and I want it to be. Take a peek at the video below to find out more. So when I was asked myself what my Wotifa travel utopia was, I knew the answer immediately – Nambung National Park in Western Australia.

I’ve been lucky to explore some of the most beautiful places in Australia and around the world. From Ile des Pins in New Caledonia to Tokyo in Japan and Wineglass Bay in Tasmania to Queenstown in New Zealand, every destination has gifted me with something unique and memorable.

My travel personality is very organised. I revel in the anticipation of travel and dive deep into pre-trip preparations. My biggest fear? Not doing enough research and missing something wonderful. In saying that however, some of my best travel experiences are those that were unplanned.

I recently found myself in Western Australia after travelling from Sydney to Perth on the Indian Pacific. Arriving in the early morning, I decided to hire a car and go for a road trip with no destination in mind, and discovered Nambung National Park.

Nambung National Park is approximately two hours north from Perth and the drive along the coast is leafy and picturesque. I decided to drive into the National Park and through to The Pinnacles; limestone formations near the town of Cervantes.

However upon entering the National Park, I was immediately distracted by large white cascading sand dunes, which opened up like an oasis. Eager to explore on foot, I parked the car on the side of the road and walked past the low-lying native shrubs and onto the ridges of the highest sand dunes.

As far as the eye could see, there was sand and more sand. Looking out to the Indian Ocean with the sand dunes behind me, I thought I had walked onto the set of Aladdin – the Australian version. This discovery was unplanned. It was not on my ‘to do’ list. It was not what I had expected. Yet I had, in the space of a few minutes, fallen in love with this wild and vast landscape.

How was it possible to have an arid desert so close to one of the largest oceans in the world? It is for that very reason I explored the dunes for a couple of hours, marveling at this natural wonder and thankful for its commanding elegance. I had found my Wotifa utopia unexpectedly and that is a beautiful thing. So did I make it to The Pinnacles? Sadly not, I ran out of time. But do I have any regrets? Not at all. I know I’ll be back.

 

This is a collaboration with Wotif.com. Concept and content by Jaharn Giles of Mister Weekender.