On the 22nd March 2020 the Western Australian Premier announced they woul be closing the border as of the 24th March and all people coming in would have to self isolate for 14 days. The South Australian Premier announced the same for their border.
On the 23rd March, Australia starts lockdown – bars, clubs, cinemas, places of worship, casinos and gyms are closed; schools start to close.
On the 24th March, the WA Government is planning to restrict travel between Western Australia’s regions to halt the spread of COVID-19. WA residents are being asked to cancel Easter travel plans. Wow, things were really heating up and we needed to do some serious thinking about our future travel plans. The owners of our farmsit made contact and said they would be returning early but would miss the deadline of getting back into WA before the hard border shut. This would mean they would have to self isolate for 14 days on their return. We spoke to the owners of the next housesit and they were very upset to advise that for now they wouldn’t be going away. Okay so what do we do, where do we go?
We already had a booking for a week at a caravan park just outside Bunbury, a 3hr drive from the Porongorups. We made contact with them to enquire about a longer term stay. This was Waterloo Village Caravan Park in Picton. Given the cirumstances they were happy for us to stay as long as was needed. We were overjoyed at this news. Jude’s brother lived in Bunbury and was supposed to be heading off on a 6 month caravan trip around Australia with his partner, but this had to be cancelled/postponed as well. At least we would get to spend some time with them!
We spent five weeks at Waterloo Village and it felt like a very safe haven in a topsy turvy world. We were living under a raft of restrictions which included:
- only shopping for what you need, such as food or other necessary supplies;
- medical or health care needs, including compassionate requirements;
- exercise, including outdoor personal training without shared equipment.
- facilities including pubs, bars, clubs, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, cultural institutions and places of worship to close immediately
- restaurants and cafes restricted to takeaway
- staying 1.5 metres from others
- using hand sanitiser
We had enjoyed our time at Waterloo Village, but after five weeks we moved ten kilometres down the road into the town of Bunbury. We managed to get a site at the caravan park opposite Koombana Bay. We love being near the water and this gave us plenty of opportunities for walking and cycling along the beach whilst still following all social distancing rules.
We kept in touch with the Busselton homeowners and six weeks later, the regional borders were reopened and the homeowners were able to leave for their trip up north. Instead of a six month housesit, it became four months. We left Bunbury and moved to Busselton, which was only fifty kilometres along the coast.
From June until the end of September we did the housesit in Busselton which included looking after their dog. The property was outside the town but opposite the water. Again we felt we were in a safe haven, and given WA had no Covid cases at this time, and given what was happening in other States with high numbers and lockdowns, we felt life was getting back to some sort of normality. The WA Government had lifted a number of restrictions, and venues had reopened.
From October 2020 to May 2021, we did a mixture of housesits and long term stays in caravan parks. During those months we continued to experience a sense of freedom from the virus. We did have one five day lockdown when we were staying in a caravan park not far from Bunbury. We spent the time reading and watching Netflix! As time went on and WA continued to be virus free, we felt very little negative impact from it. However we were feeling a little stir crazy from being in one area for so long. We began to make plans to leave WA and head east, back to South Australia. They were virus free too.