The cold morning breeze ruffled my hair and brushed my cheek as I ran through the bustling William Street. The rainwater trickled down my temple, and the beating sound in my ears seemed like a timer going off. T-10 minutes till the ship sailed triumphantly over to the pearl-like sand waves of Lancelin and the otherworldly landscape of Pinnacles. The run was not nugatory once I saw the seventy-six crew members beaming with joy as they emerged from StudyPerth Student hub and headed towards the Adams tour bus.
Upon boarding the bus, I saw Captain Chris sitting at the helm, fixing his microphone for his intriguing storytelling session as we cruise along the ever-changing landscape of this vast continent. We embarked on our journey from Saint Georges Terrace with Chris explaining the significance of Mount Eliza in building Perth. The ride got tenfold better upon reaching the Indian Ocean Drive and observing changes in the landscape; from the troll-like bushes, coral reefs, massive windmills in the distance to the aMOOsing summer cow jokes.
The sun had been under the cloud all day, but it felt like a warm welcome when the sun shone its southern splendour as we reached the Pinnacles. As I stepped out of the bus, the heat hit me. You can always feel it straight away when you visit a new place. The Pinnacles might seem like an alien landscape, but the cultural significance of the land in Indigenous beliefs and the history of how these rock structures originated, defined the magical beauty of this land. The desert sure did feel like a set straight out of the Star Wars movies. Do not forget to carry your lightsabers whenever you head to the Pinnacles next.
After all the photo sessions and walk around the Nambung National Park (The Pinnacles), we headed for the Lobster Shack Cervantes. A trip to the Pinnacles remains incomplete without feasting on the iconic fish and chips at this family-owned restaurant. The lunch provided a bit of rest before we embarked on our most adventurous part of the tour.
About an hour after departing from Cervantes, I caught sight of what seemed like a volcano spewing ash and smoke. Upon reaching closer, all I witnessed was the vast swath of stunningly white sand dunes stretching beyond the horizon. The rush of moist air off the Indian Ocean failed to intimidate our highly dedicated StudyPerth sandboarding champions who fearlessly surfed Western Australia's biggest sand dunes.
After several embarrassing sandboarding fails, I and my friends beelined for the topmost peak. As we hunkered down, lost in all the laughter were the air and sand slamming on our faces. The changing golden and orange reflection of the dunes, the panoramic view of the ocean paired with good company felt like eternal bliss.
Tours are adventurous but these small bubbles of joy are what we aim for at StudyPerth, for experiencing the sense of belonging, comprehending the beauty of nature and appreciating the importance of conserving these natural blessings for generations to come.