With so many beautiful beaches in Australia, I wouldn’t have thought that any one could stand out above the others. But when Francesco and I travelled to the southern part of the country, we quickly found that the small town of Esperance has what must be one of the country’s best beaches.

Esperance itself is remote and there isn’t a lot to see there, but the beach, which is surrounded by boulders and is largely untouched, is pristine and lovely. It is also very close to Lucky Bay, where—if you’re lucky—you’ll catch kangaroos basking in the sun. There are one hundred islands outside of Esperance, and none of them are inhabited, but a day trip to Woody Island Nature Reserve is a must for anyone who loves wildlife and enjoys being in the water. The nearby port town of Albany gave us a chance to explore Australia’s rich history, as it was there that European settlers first arrived in the country. The city was once a major whaling center and whale-watching is now one of Albany’s most popular activities. One of the most fascinating places we’ve seen so far is the town of Coober Pedy, a tiny town which has the distinction of being the source of most of the world’s opals. Years ago, when miners flooded into the area to try their luck, they dug homes underground to avoid the intense heat, and many of Coober Pedy’s residents still live that way!