12 nights self-drive tour
Price from: £2299pp
Day 1: Fly to Perth.
Day 2 Perth: On arrival make your way to your hotel where the remainder of the day is yours to relax or head out and start taking in the sights and sounds of Perth.
Day 3 Perth: At leisure in Australia’s sunniest capital city. Its heart is bustling with bars, restaurants, shopping and cultural places, and Kings Park, one of the world’s largest inner city parks.
Day 4 Perth/Cervantes: Collect your hire car and join the Indian Ocean Drive north. Perhaps break your journey in Lancelin, a top spot for 4WD on Western Australia’s largest sand dunes. Continue to Cervantes, which was established in 1962 to accommodate workers in the local cray fishing industry.
Day 5 Cervantes: Just outside Cervantes is Nambung National Park and the Pinnacles. A visit to the Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre will explain its mysteries and introduce you to the region’s history and habitats. If time allows, stay to watch the desert moods and colours change as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean.
Day 6 Cervantes/Kalbarri: Stopping off points today include Jurien Bay Marine Park, Dongara-Denison or the city of Geraldton. Travel on to Kalbarri, where the ancient rugged outback meets white-sand beaches, providing the ultimate oceanside adventure playground.
Day 7 Kalbarri: If you’re visiting between July and October, you can see more than 1,000 wildflowers in bloom and witness the migration of humpback whales to their feeding grounds in, the southern oceans. Within Kalbarri National Park there are hiking trails to wander or you can admire the park’s beauty from aboard a river cruise or kayak. You’ll also find beaches aplenty where you can simply laze the day away.
Day 8 Kalbarri/Monkey Mia: Get a glimpse of life on Earth over 3,500 million years ago by stopping at Hamelin Pool Stromatolites to meet the world’s oldest living marine fossils. If you’re travelling with children, visit Ocean Park Aquarium for close encounters with the many marine creatures that call Shark Bay home. Continue on to Monkey Mia in time for dinner beside an ocean sunset.
Day 9 Monkey Mia: Make a beeline for Monkey Mia’s shoreline this morning, where magical and memorable encounters with wild bottlenose dolphins can be enjoyed. Spend the rest of the day swimming or exploring the bay in a kayak.
Day 10 Monkey Mia/Carnarvon: Travel onwards to Carnarvon, a palm-fringed coastal oasis offering a platter of fresh tropical flavours. The Heritage Precinct is a mustsee with several significant historical buildings or perhaps head to Fascine Town Beach for a dip. No visit here would be complete without sampling some of the local produce, be it at one of the town’s restaurants or from local growers at weekly markets (seasonal).
Day 11 Carnarvon/Exmouth: A short drive brings you to Exmouth, which is the gateway to World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef and Cape Range National Park.
Days 12-13 Exmouth: Two days at leisure. Step off the shore and swim a little way through the clear turquoise waters and you’ll find yourself drifting over the world’s largest fringing reef - Ningaloo Reef. This underwater paradise is a popular spot for all kinds of visitors, from dolphins, manta rays, turtles and humpback whales, to the largest fish in the ocean, the gentle whale shark. In contrast to the bright blues of Ningaloo, the rugged red gorges and canyons of Cape Range National Park offer spectacular outback adventures and wildlife encounters just half an hour’s drive south of town.
Day 14 Exmouth: Your tour concludes today as you return your car at the airport for your onward journey.
Accommodation: 4* Mercure Perth; 4* Cervantes Pinnacles Motel; *4 Kalbarri Edge Resort; 3* RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort; 3* Best Western Hospitality Inn, Carnarvon; 4* Mantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort, Exmouth.
Meals: Room only.
Tour price: The price shown includes international flights to Perth and from Exmouth, 13 days compact car hire and accommodation as shown.
Note: One way drop fee between Apr-Oct 20 is only AU$250. At other times it is AU$1100.