- Cable Beach Sunset Drinks
- Gantheaume Point Broome – Dinosaur Footprints
- Karijini National Park – Falls, Gorges, Lookouts, Swim
- Coral Bay Glass Bottom Boat Cruise – Ningaloo Reef
- Space & Technology Museum Carnarvon
- Hamlin Pool Stromatolites
- Shell Beach
- Monkey Mia Dolphins
- Kalbarri National Park
- HMAS Sydney Memorial Geraldton
- Pinnacles at Nambung National Park
- Yachep National Park – Aboriginal experience
- Specialist team of two highly experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide
- Local Specialists (Guides)
- Centrally located premium hotels
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- International Flights
- Optional activities
- Airfare unless specified as included within the itinerary
- Taxes as applicable
- Gratuities for Local Guides, Tour Managers, and/or Bus Drivers
- Travel Insurance and Cancellation Protection (strongly recommended, ask us for a quote!)
- Meals not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
- Items (attractions and sightseeing & entrance fees) not listed as included in the itinerary
Tue, 20 Jun 2023
Sun, 02 Jul 2023
Tue, 11 Jul 2023
Sun, 23 Jul 2023
Tue, 04 Jun 2024
Sun, 16 Jun 2024
Tue, 18 Jun 2024
Sun, 30 Jun 2024
Tue, 09 Jul 2024
Sun, 21 Jul 2024
Tue, 23 Jul 2024
Sun, 04 Aug 2024
Almost two weeks of adventures lie before you, the first a tour of Perth. The Western Australian capital almost steals the street-art trophy from Melbourne, the city’s alleys and warehouses decorated with eye-popping murals and installations from local creatives. It’s also remarkably green, with 400-hectare Kings Park and Botanic Garden sitting pretty in the CBD, on a lazy bend of the serpentine Swan River. Two thirds of the grounds are reserved for native plants, but there are also seasonal wildflowers, all enveloping the Anzac Memorial. If you don’t know your fellow travellers by now, you will by the time your welcome dinner is over.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Two wilderness highs provide a fitting start to this journey of contrasts. Venturing north, you soon reach Yanchep National Park. Here, Noongar man Derek Nannup’s Dreamtime stories tell the tale of how the land was created from an Aboriginal perspective. He’s quite the character and likes his guests to get hands-on. Think tasting native bush tucker, smelling medicinal plants, and maybe even trying to play the didgeridoo. Derek will make it look easy. It’s not… Think the day couldn’t get any better? Think again. Within Nambung National Park, the Pinnacles create a moonscape that appears plucked from a sci-fi film, its staggering collection of natural limestone structures jutting into the sky – some are 3.5 metres high. For all their mysterious appeal, geologists tell us the spires were formed 30,000 years ago when an inland sea receded. It’s a spiritual place. Arriving in Geraldton, pay homage to sailors lost off the WA coast during WWII at the HMAS Sydney Memorial.
While stromatolites might sound like something belonging in a cave, these ‘living fossils’ grow in the water at Hamelin Pool. Rock-like in appearance, they’re actually alive, and reveal what life might have been like 3.5-billion years ago, when there was no other complex life on Earth. Remarkably, this is the world’s most abundant colony of them. It’s just one of the natural allures of the state’s World Heritage listed Shark Bay, the largest bay in Australia with more than 1,000 kilometers of beaches. Not all of them are sandy – welcome to Shell Beach. Here, the snow-white colour comes from billions of tiny coquina bivalve shells, up to 10 metres deep and stretching for 70 kilometers. And just when you thought the outlook couldn’t get any prettier, you arrive at Monkey Mia.
Overnight: Monkey Mia
Sparkling turquoise water, powdery white sand, ochre dunes – Monkey Mia knows how to dial up the drama. And then there are the wild resident dolphins, which famously swim to shore in a pod every morning to splash about in the shallows and interact with humans before dancing away to catch a few waves. It’s a hard act to follow. Our suggestions for your afternoon of leisure? Yet more dolphin spotting on an optional sunset cruise around the coast, or seeing Shark Bay as the birds do, on an optional scenic flight. Even from the sky you’ll likely spot dolphins, humpback whales, turtles, and perhaps even dugongs. Or indulge in both. The afternoon is yours.
Overnight: Monkey Mia
Carnarvon calls, the beacon its not-so-under-the-radar satellites. The unassuming Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum played a huge role in global history, helping to beam the 1969 moon landing to TV sets around the world. That’s just one of its claims to fame, as you’ll discover touring the gallery’s collection with a passionate guide. The experience is interactive, so budding astronauts can try on space suits and climb aboard a spacecraft simulator.
You don’t need to get your hair wet to experience the sheer wonderment of Ningaloo Reef. A Coral Bay glass-bottom boat cruise jettisons you within a whisker of turtles, colourful coral and an embarrassment of fish – some 500 species have been recorded. You won’t know where to look, although your on-board naturalist will help guide your gaze. This is part of the World Heritage listed Ningaloo Coast, a popular hangout among larger-then-life migratory marine life. Like whale sharks, the world’s largest fish, which amass here between March and September every year. Before you settle into your plush Exmouth hotel, admire the curves of the coastline from Vlamingh Head Lighthouse. Your gaze will hold firmly on the ocean for the next couple of days.
Steel yourself for a few ‘pinch-me’ moments today. Opt to snorkel (with an ethical operator) over Ningaloo Reef. Time your visit right, and you could have whale sharks and humpback whales in your company. Nothing quite prepares you for the moment you glimpse these gentle giants up close, gliding gracefully through schools of fish. It’s a full day of unbridled, and unrivalled, marine immersion. We understand if you’d prefer to stay dry, and instead choose to book an optional sunset cruise or simply spend the day strolling the sand on the lookout for dolphins. The choice is yours.
It’s an epic commute across the Pilbara from Exmouth to inland Karijini. But it’s oh-so worth it. If you’ve ever wanted to fall in love at first sight, it’ll happen at Karijini National Park. This is nature writ large, a place of immense gorges and deep, dark chasms; waterfalls and gem-like rock pools. This red slice of the Hamersley Range is a magnet for nature lovers, not only for the earthly delights but also the creatures that call the cliffs home. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think someone had taken the glasses off your nose and cleaned them for the first time. Even darkness doesn’t temper the natural drama. You’re hundreds of kilometers from the nearest town, so expect dazzling Southern Hemisphere stargazing from your safari-style tent.
It took billions of years to create the geological wonders of Karijini: the striking red escarpments and the quiet gorges all enveloped by tall gums and pocked with enormous termite mounds. You have a single day to explore, so bring your stamina and sense of adventure. You’re heading deep into the national park, which covers 630,000 hectares just north of the Tropic of Capricorn. It’s WA’s second-largest national park, and the scale can be daunting. Thankfully, you’re in the company of a guide who knows all the hidden nooks and cool waterholes just begging for a swim. Things get hot here – why not dive in?
At first glimpse of the Pilbara, you may well think you’ve been transported to Mars, the ethereal landscape almost glowing in the sun. The soil couldn’t get any redder, the skies any wider, the rock formations any more dramatic, with much of the countryside streaked with mineral deposits. People are few and far between until you reach the town of Port Hedland. There are plenty of local characters to meet over dinner at your hotel, which gets busy when musicians begin to play. Before you leave, head to a lookout to spot migrating humpback whales and snubfin dolphins cruising along the coast, season pending.
Overnight: Port Hedland
Skirting the edge of the Great Sandy Desert, your morning outlook is flat – almost as far as the eye can see, the sand eventually giving way to mountain ranges and then multicultural Broome. The city delivers many surprises, from its eclectic restaurants and colourful Chinatown to its long pearling history – the pristine waters produce some of the most prized pearl oysters in the world, and fortune-seekers from around the world descended during the region’s ‘pearl rush’. Traditions linger today, with pearl farms and boutiques tempting you inside. It’s time to discover Broome’s other standout attraction: its sunsets. Follow locals to the sand on Cable Beach, which is so long that it can accommodate 4WDs, camel trains and foot traffic. Salute the end of your first spectacular Broome day.
Which direction should you choose to venture today? Head north deep into the Kimberley on an optional experience where the Horizontal Falls reveals the power of nature. Here, changing tides push an immense amount of water through two narrow chasms in a short period of time. And then – the appearance of a waterfall, tipped on its side. What does one do when faced with this rush? Tackle it in a speedboat, of course. For a different perspective, head to the skies on a scenic flight. This one’s for the record books. Alternatively, veer off to a pearl farm to witness the precision that goes into growing and harvesting these gems. Or simply enjoy Broome’s tropical climes, strolling along Cable Beach, hunting for dinosaur footprints, and browsing boutiques. The choice is yours.
How do you pick a favourite adventure from the last 12 days? You don’t have to – let them all shine in equal measure in your memory.