Last April, we wanted to see what all the Western Australia fuss was about so we hosted our first She Flies trip and wiggled our way up the West coast. Oh my, oh my, we were in for a treat. Ain't no doubt, we'll be doing THAT again!
We so often hear the term 'no crowds' when schools, trips and kite safaris advertise but there can't be anywhere in the world like Western Australia. The Kitesurfing is so remote, that when we say 'no crowds', what we actually mean is 'no people'. In fact, you have to fill your car up with gas at every station between spots as they are so few and far between.
WA is out of this world and it's lucky that it is far away so the charm still remains. If you want adventure, perfect kiting and a touch of isolation - this is for you.
Day 1: Hangovers have never been so good!
Scooping the girls up from Perth we headed north with a trailer full of twin tips, surfboards and kites galore. Girls on tour had begun and there was a buzz of excitement as everyone started to hear each others stories - what they do, where they come from, what's their best kite spot. This time, it's a small group of 4: Brazilian, Spanish and two from the UK.
The scenic drive out of Perth isn't so scenic so we spent the time getting to know each other and what we wanted to get out of the trip. Barbara wanted to get popping to toe side, Rachael refining her general technique and our beautiful Gigi just wanted to have fun.
Just a couple of hours in, the wind was pumping and the first spot delivered, Hangover Bay. A reef stops the waves bringing in some beautiful flat water for the cross shore breeze.
Arriving at midday we had a beautiful afternoon session, the sun shone and not a cloud in the sky (mind you, clouds are pretty rare in WA). It was a perfect opportunity for the girls to ride around cheering each other on. We even had a playful seal join us too - they love to show off in front of the kiters - it was smiles all round, we all knew at that point we were in for a great week.
That happy kind of tired, we came off the water ready for rest which was a perfect time to watch the sunset at the Pinnacles Desert just behind the spot. What a view to end with and a natural treasure to remind us of how incredible this part of the world is.
Arriving in perfect time to the campsite, we cooked up a feast to feed our kite bodies and were ready for an early night. Day 1 done, jam packed and it couldn't have been better.
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Day 2: Stingrays, sandboarding and a scenic surf
Waking up in Sandy Cape, the girls weren't ready for the first view in daylight - it would be an insult to photo the beauty of this bay with a filter. Butter flat water, white sands, turquoise seas, stingrays lining the shoreline and views for days. After a fresh and fruity breakfast, and a morning class of recovery yoga, we had an early morning walk up to the look out. The views from here are quite incredible and spirits were high.
Sandboarding was on the menu for some and we got down and dirty racing the white sand to the water. If you time it right you can land with your toes in the ocean. For anyone who's done sandboarding before, you'll understand that ocean is a welcomed cooling end to a pretty hefty warm up!
Back to the plan, the afternoon brought wind, of course, so once recovered from our crazy morning and we'd cleared the sand from our….. feet, we popped up to Green Head for another great afternoon of kiting. Now yesterdays warm up was complete, we started on the progression. All of the girls nailed their targets which mean another afternoon of smiles all around. It's incredible how just riding together pushes your limits and everything seems much easier. We talked about how our targets need to be bigger next time, we know we can push ourselves harder.
Back to the campsite buzzing with a beautiful sunset, we had a delicious chef quality BBQ looking out into the ocean, reflective on the trip so far and ended our evening dancing around the fire pit. Gigi hit her targets here too and had a lot of fun giving us the wind dance!
Day 3: The windiest place in WA… (apart from today)
Waking up early to a healthy breakfast, we were pumped to pack up camp and wave goodbye to our stingray pals. We were headed for the WA Mecca of Kitesurfing, Coronation Beach - or the locally and better known, Coros. Promising incredible winds all year round and a flat water bay stretching out as far as you can see.
As we inclined down, the bay appeared and everyone started to shuffle on their seats to catch the view. The obvious sign that these girls were addicts. As we got closer we couldn't believe our (bad) luck - no wind. In what claims to be, the windiest place in WA. Ah well, everything was perfect so far and maybe Mother Nature was telling us we needed a rest.
Living up to the true Kiteboarder, we sat around talking about wind for quite some time, while we stared out into the beautiful ocean that surrounds Coronation Beach. Eventually, imagining the perfection this spot brings, we got back in the truck and made our way to the famous Pink Lake.
It didn't disappoint, and whilst the colour needs a bit of a filter to come out, the vastness of the lake it overwhelming when you walk to the middle. The lake is a natural salt lake so as it dries of water, it brings this magnesium pink as far as you can see. There are a few of these in WA and they never cease to take your breath away a little.
We took some time to take photos and breath in the freedom and we made our way to the beautiful Kalbarri, arriving late we cooked up a storm and headed to bed.
Day 4: No wind - no problem.
Kalbarri was a planned rest but after a day with no wind, we were up early and ready to get active!
Active we did; heading over to the National Park, we got a great view of the famous Natures Window. A beautiful natural opening in the rock that perfectly frames the beauty of the orange rock National Park. We trekked our way around the route, stopping for pictures of wild Kangeroos and views that you wouldn't believe on Instagram.
We had a late lunch watching the surfers on the notorious Jakes Point. The swell was a little too big for us all but we were quite content from the top with another view you could only dream about.
The day ended with our fitness class with some great yoga on the SUPs. Timed perfectly for sunset, we had the girls attempting and making headstands after the class - some had never even done them on dry land! It's so great again to push each other, even just to try something new.
Sunset beers and a restaurant treat we had another great evening filled with wine and encouragement on what was set to be an incredible last couple of days riding. Targets were set and the enthusiasm grew - we were ready.
Day 5: Are you sure this is the ocean, and not a lagoon?
After a super early rise and a quick breaky, we jumped in the car for the incredible journey to Shark Bay. Stopping frequently for, we witnessed the world class, beautiful scenery on the way and it moved the long drive along with ease. Just after you take the turning to Shark Bay, we stopped by Hamelin Pool, the picture perfect collection of stromatolites.
Arriving in the UNESCO Shark Bay, the seat shuffling began again and the wind in the trees meant we knew exactly what the plan was. Kiting, kiting, kiting. We got to the spot and met with the guys at Shark Bay Kitesurfing, within just a few minutes the pumps were out and the lines were set.
Flat water as far as you can see, you can ride and ride and ride, and you still don't hit the reef. Is it the ocean, or a lagoon? It's hard to tell but playing around the sandbanks, over the sealife and in the consistent perfect wind, we rode all afternoon. There was no excuses today and all tricks were tried, failed and won. The stoke was higher than high and our sun-kissed tired bodies came off the water just as the sun was setting.
Cliff top BBQs were on the menu with some kiteboarding debriefs from the coaches and we ended another day full of smiles.
Day 6: Shark Bay - from beautiful to beautifuller
As we started to rise, the talk began of this being our last day. These girls had become true friends on this journey and no one wanted it to end. We celebrated with a lazy breakfast after a recovery yoga session from last nights kiting.
The wind was up and the She Flies girls got preparing for our beautiful isolated and incredible downwinder. Starting in our dream spot and ending in an even more beautiful lagoon, the skills of the girls as a whole had come on leaps and bounds in just the few days from kiting together. We build each other up and we push ourselves as individuals. It was one of the most magic downwinders we'd done, no problems, no fear, just smiles and kiting.
The last night was by far the best as we ended it in the beautiful natural hot tub. A hot tub filled with hot artesian waters straight from the ground that originally supplied vital water to the station's stock. Just the perfect heat for body recovery, a recap of the week and hugs all round to celebrate our new friendships and our true She Flies community that is going to last a lifetime.
Day 7: Homeward bound!
We woke up with some heavy heads as there were quite the celebration the night before. It was a long 8 hours home today so we started early. Stopping off for frequent coffees, snacks and a cheeky final swim in the beautiful Jurien Bay. By the end, there were some tired bunnies all curled up in the back but what a week we had!