A friend once told me a story about her drive from Perth to Exmouth. She’d embarked on the adventure not long after finishing high school, which was nearly 20 years ago (sorry Jacqs). Through all the razzle and dazzle of descriptions that swept across western landscapes, there was one thing that stuck with me.
“An emu raced beside my car, stuck its head in the window and tried to give me a kiss,” she said.
I laughed, but didn’t believe her at the time. I’m English after all, and I’d been baited far too often with stories of mythical drop bears. Pigeons are the only kissable birds in Manchester, so I found the idea of affectionate, lightening fast emus hard to fathom. That was until we took the road from Coral Bay to Cape Range National Park ourselves.
And Jacqs was right. These long-necked birds were like the neighbourhood watch of Western Australia. Tapping on windows, looking over bushes, meaningful eye contact. This part of the road trip saw us encounter more emus than humans.
The roads were dead, the beaches were empty and the national parks weren’t overrun. Maybe it was because we were heading into the wet season. Or maybe it’s just a remote part of the country that retains that feeling of being completely undiscovered. This is our journey from Coral Bay to Cape Range on Australia’s wild West Coast.
Words by Dean Harries. Images by Trina Gill.
Check out Australia’s Wild Wild West on an epic overland adventure.