TRAVELS WITH NINA

is the online portfolio and journal of Australian travel writer Nina Karnikowski.

NINGALOO REEF, AUSTRALIA

This week, I’ve been looking at this idea I have that I need to fly halfway across the world to find what I’m seeking. 

After travelling to pristine Ningaloo Reef on the north-west coast of Western Australia for a mystery birthday surprise last week, I’ve started thinking that perhaps if we all just wander out our back doors a little more, we can discover what we seek.

Which, for me, is often peace.

From the moment my man Pete and I arrived at Sal Salis, a remote eco-luxe camp set on the dunes at Ningaloo, we were completely at ease.

Sal Salis is the only lodge in the UNESCO-protected Cape Range National Park, which means everything about the sixteen wilderness tents is eco-friendly.

We were given just 20 litres of water a day for bathing (more than we need really, but less than we all usually use every day), our long-drop toilet was filled with worms to compost our waste, all lights were solar-powered, and each morning we were woken by the thumping of kangaroos as they bounced along behind our tent. Which, I should add, included lovely luxuries like wooden floors, a king-sized bed and 500-threadcount cotton sheets.

We spent our days hiking through breathtaking gorges and dry creek beds, where we caught the sunrise and searched for black-footed wallaroos nestled into the rocks. Snorkelling through reefs carpeted with blue stag horn coral and coming eye to eye with inquisitive turtles. Swimming with six-metre whale-sharks (Ningaloo is one of the best places on earth to see them) and huge, graceful manta rays. And most importantly, lazing on Sal Salis’ private beach, glasses of WA rosé in hand, letting the afternoon simply slip away.

The greatest luxury of all at Sal Salis, though, isn’t the help-yourself bar filled with WA’s finest, the adventurous excursions offered every day, or the decadent three-course feasts served in the elegant dining pavilion every night. 

It’s that it’s totally off the grid. There’s zero mobile reception, so for five days we were without email, messages, or social media. Which meant we were completely present with each other, and with those heart-achingly beautiful landscapes.

But I won’t give all the goodness away. I’ll let my latest video whisk you away to those sun-drenched gorges, those glittering waters, those star-filled skies and that impossibly peaceful camp.

 

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