Off the Path of the North West Coastal Highway you can find one of the secrets Australia tries to hide for more than 30 years.
Most people dream that they could stop paying taxes in their life, to stop giving away at least 25 % of their income and being able to keep everything they earn, everything they work so hard for that their hands are lined with dirt for their own.
So while you are on your backpacking adventure, why not visit the Principality of Hutt River? As you wander around, you are sure to see many of the beautiful native wild flowers. It is the oldest micronation in Australia, where the residents don’t pay Australian taxes, just 0.05% on financial transactions by foreign companies.
Prince Leonard and his wife Shirley are not such dreamers, in 1970 they seceded together with their children from Australia and founded their own country. Since then their land is known as “Hutt River Province” and the country is booming, their main income is due to tourism. By being mentioned in the lonely planet of Australia, thousands of backpackers find their way to the province yearly.
The principality has a size comparable to Hong Kong and only a population of 23 people but over 14000 residents who live overseas.
Prince Leonard has achieved a lot during the 30 years of his governance, he built & owns flats, is exporter of fruit and vegetable to foreign countries outside of Australia, is an accountant, a copper miner, a governor, a commander in chief of The Royal Hutt River Defence Force. He did pretty well for being a farmer back in the days.
And the 86 years old prince is not finished yet and definitely not thinking of retiring. He plans to set up a university and wants to start with a medical research centre trying to find new health therapies and bush medicines.
Nowadays, the principality has an own postal service, its own defence forces, its own royal mint and an own church where he knights people to “sir”.
Early in 2010, he got a Rolls Royce as a present and proudly presents it to its guests in front of his souvenir shop/museum.
For entering the Principality you have to posses a valid passport with you in which you will get a visa stamp from the government office. Normally, Prince Leonard himself issues the visas which are available from $ 2.
The Principality of Hutt River Province cannot be found on official maps of Australia neither on Google Maps, to get there you have to drive about 600 km north of Perth on the North West Coastal Highway (1) and turn left in Binnu, keep on that road all the time and you eventually end up at the principality. Once you got there, you are truly off the path!