Southwestern Discovery

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18 days | Departs May to Oct 2019 –
Experience the best of Western Australia’s beautiful southwest region & west coast before travelling across the Nullabor Plain to Adelaide aboard the Indian Pacific.

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Highlights
  • Enjoy a guided tour of Boddington Gold Mine
  • ‘Surf’ Wave Rock
  • Explore white sandy beaches near Esperance
  • Commemorate at the National Anzac Centre in Albany
  • Walk high above the trees at Valley of the Giants
  • See the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, the tallest on the Australian mainland
  • Indulge in Margaret River food & wine
  • Explore cosmopolitan Fremantle & its market
  • Delve into indigenous culture at Yanchep National Park
  • Marvel at the Pinnacles
  • Visit Geraldton’s HMAS Sydney Memorial
  • Learn about Hamelin Pool’s ancient Stromatolites
  • Get up close to the dolphins at Monkey Mia
  • Experience Kalbarri National Park
Inclusions
  • Return flights to Perth & from Adelaide (as required)
  • Luxury coach touring around Western Australia
  • Indian Pacific train journey from Perth to Adelaide
  • 17 breakfasts (B), 3 lunches (L) & 12 dinners (D)
Itinerary

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Day 1 – Homeport to Perth (D)

Your journey begins with a flight to Perth, Western Australia. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After meeting your Travel Director at your hotel this afternoon, set off on a tour of the friendly West Australian capital. Laid-back, liveable Perth has wonderful weather, beautiful beaches and an easy-going character. Visit Kings Park, the largest inner-city park in the world, and explore its delightful Botanic Garden on the broad expanse of the Swan River.

You’ll notice many public art installations around the city and develop a feel for the varying precincts surrounding the CBD. This evening, enjoy the company of your fellow travellers over a delicious meal.

❱ Hotel stay: Travelodge Perth (1 night)

Day 2 – Perth to Wave Rock (BD)

Journey through the Golden Outback to Hyden, where you’ll tour Boddington Gold Mine with a local guide. Australia’s largest gold mine, it produces more than a million ounces of gold per year. Continue to Wave Rock. This magnificent rock formation resembling a gigantic wave was formed over three million years ago. Explore the formation and then take a short walk to discover Hippo’s Yawn, another fascinating rock formation.

Afterwards, you may like to wander through the visitor centre’s eclectic collection of lace and the largest collection of toy soldiers in the world, or even take a tour of Hyden Wildlife Park. This evening dine at your hotel.

❱ Hotel stay: Wave Rock Motel Hyden (1 night)

Day 3 – Wave Rock to Kalgoorlie via Coolgardie (BD)

This morning you’ll take an exclusive farm tour to hear about life in the Outback with Wave Rock local, Sheena. You’ll have to opportunity to take part in the morning cattle feed then explore a private collection of vintage cars.

Pass through the former gold boomtown of Coolgardie, surrounded in spring by carpets of wildflowers. Continue to Kalgoorlie for spectacular views over the famous Super Pit open cut gold mine, which produces up to 850,000 ounces of gold annually. Later, discover the character and stories of this historic town on an orientation tour.

❱ Hotel stay: Rydges Kalgoorlie (1 night)

Day 4 – Kalgoorlie to Esperance (BD)

Visit Cape Le Grand National Park for breathtaking views of the wild coastal scenery, rugged granite peaks and sweeping heathlands. Stop at awe-inspiring Thistle Cove and marvel at its jaw dropping white sand and crystal clear blue water.

At Lucky Bay, one of the most unique and stunning bays in Australia, you may see grey kangaroos that like to laze on the pristine beach.

❱ Hotel stay: Comfort Inn Bay of Isles (1 night)

Day 5 – Esperance to Albany (BD)

This morning, see the mysterious Pink Lake just outside Esperance. In the right weather conditions, the lake turns a soft shade of pink due to the high concentration of algae in the water. Travel on through Ravensthorpe and the unique Fitzgerald Biosphere, recognised by the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program.

Later, at Bluff Knoll Lookout, you’ll witness the rugged beauty of the Stirling Ranges National Park, one of the world’s richest in flora. Continue to Albany, a town imbued with Anzac history, and settle in to your hotel for the night.

❱ Hotel stay: The Dog Rock Motel (2 nights)

Day 6 – Free Time to explore Albany (B)

This morning, take your time to explore this historic town, which boasts many heritage-listed buildings. During the last decade of the 19th century, Albany served as a gateway to the Eastern Goldfields, and for many years, it was the colony’s only deep-water port.

In 1914, 41,000 Australians and New Zealanders left from Albany on their way to the WWI battlefields. Later, visit the recently-inaugurated National Anzac Centre. The award-winning centre is the focus of one of Australia’s most important cultural pilgrimages.

Day 7 – Albany to Margaret River (BD)

Visit the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk this morning to explore the canopy of the ancient, majestic Tingle forest. The Red Tingle is a species of eucalypt that grows up to 55 metres in height, and occurs nowhere else in the world.

Then travel on to Cape Leeuwin, where the Indian and Great Southern Oceans meet. You may like to take a guided tour to the top of the famous lighthouse before leaving for Margaret River, one of Australia’s premier wine-growing regions. Beaches and surf breaks line the nearby coast, whose waters host migratory whales between Jun – Nov.

❱ Hotel stay: Quality Inn Margaret River (2 nights)

Day 8 – Margaret River Food & Wine Tour (BL)

First up you’ll get the chance to see fossils, stalactites and stalagmites in the impressive Margaret River caves with a local guide. Then get ready to delight your taste buds! Margaret River is known not only for its fabulous wines but also for its boutique producers.

At Vasse Virgin you’ll learn about olive oil, taste gourmet produce, and sample a range of beauty preparations made from the oil of olives grown on the property. Continue to a local winery for tastings and a lunch prepared solely from fresh local produce. Your afternoon and evening is at leisure.

Day 9 – Margaret River to Fremantle (BD)

On arrival in Fremantle, the afternoon is yours to explore this wonderful town. You may like to visit the colourful Fremantle Markets to purchase local arts and crafts and taste local produce.

We recommend taking a wander along the Fremantle foreshore to observe the impressive fishing fleet and perhaps partake of a refreshing ale at Little Creatures Brewery. A former crocodile farm on the water’s edge, this popular destination is the home of an iconic Australian beer.

❱ Hotel stay: Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges (2 nights)

Day 10 – Fremantle Prison Tour (B)

Join a private tour of historic convict-era Fremantle Prison, the largest and most intact convict-built prison in Australia, and Western Australia’s only World Heritage-listed building. The rest of the day is at leisure.

You might choose to take a boat trip to Rottnest Island, a gazetted A-class nature reserve which lies just eighteen kilometres off Fremantle that is best known for its population of quokkas. The island is also home to colonies of Australian sea lions and Southern fur seals. Closer to home, you might like to take a ride on the popular Fremantle Tram.

Day 11 – Fremantle to Geraldton (BD)

Stop in Yanchep National Park for an Aboriginal cultural experience with a member of the local Nyoongar people. Continue along the coast to the seaside hamlet of Lancelin and then to Nambung National Park, home of the marvellous Pinnacles, a stunning series of intriguing limestone formations. Explore the seaside township of Geraldton and visit the evocative HMAS Sydney memorial. The memorial commemorates the loss of HMAS Sydney II, the greatest single tragedy in Australian naval history, and is dedicated to the lost crew and their families.

❱ Hotel stay: Mantra Geraldton (1 night)

Day 12 – Geraldton to Monkey Mia (B)

Travel to Shell Beach, one of only two in the world, formed from billions of coquina bivalve shells. Continue north to Denham. Visit the Shark Bay World Heritage Discovery and Visitor Centre with its state-of-the-art displays including soundscapes, historical and contemporary film footage, interactive multimedia and objects of rare scientific and historical significance. Continue to the crystal blue waters and pristine beaches of Monkey Mia.

❱ Hotel stay: Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort (2 nights)

Day 13 – Free Time to explore Monkey Mia (B)

After a leisurely breakfast overlooking the tranquil turquoise waters of the bay, watch as the famous Monkey Mia dolphins swim into shore to be fed. The friendly pod of wild bottlenose dolphins regularly swim to Monkey Mia’s shore to interact with humans up to three times a day. (Note: As the dolphins are wild creatures, their appearance cannot be guaranteed.)

The rest of the day is at leisure: why not take a scenic flight over Shark Bay Marine Park or a wildlife cruise aboard a sleek catamaran? In the evening, relax with a cocktail or a glass of wine as the sun sets over the bay.

❱ Hotel stay: aaaaaa (1 night)

Day 14 – Monkey Mia to Kalbarri (BD)

This morning, travel to Hamelin Pool to discover a unique colony of Stromatolites, described as the earliest record of life on earth. Venture into Kalbarri National Park today to witness the spectacular scenery of the Murchison River Gorge. During wildflower season, the National Park is alive with blooms. Enjoy dinner tonight at your hotel.

❱ Hotel stay: Best Western Plus Kalbarri Edge Resort (1 night)

Day 15 – Kalbarri to Perth (BD)

Today you’ll travel back to your final destination, Perth. Join your Travel Director and fellow travellers this evening for a Farewell Dinner.

❱ Hotel stay: Travelodge Perth (1 night)

Day 16 – The Indian Pacific, Perth to Kalgoorlie (BLD)

Take in your last whiff of Indian Ocean air as you step from the platform at East Perth Station onto the Indian Pacific. The comfort of your cabin awaits as does your first onboard dining experience in the elegantly-appointed restaurant car. Reflect on the menu as you watch the suburbs of the Western Australian capital roll past your window and the verdant greens of the Avon Valley.

The afternoon is yours to relax, socialise and get acquainted with the novelty of rail travel. First stop that evening is the wild west town of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, home to the staggering 3.6km wide Super Pit – an open-cut gold mine that has yielded riches 24 hours a day since 1989.

Continue on your Indian Pacific train after your stop in Kalgoorlie and continue on your journey across the Nullabor to the town of Rawlinna. Experience a unique Outback experience in Rawlinna. Squatting on the fringes of Australia’s biggest sheep stations, this little outpost on the Nullarbor Plain is pure jackaroo country. The Rawlinna Station is home to up to 80,000 sheep spread across 2.5 million acres. To put that into perspective, one paddock alone takes 8 hours to muster by plane.

During the summer months, you will be invited to disembark and partake in a traditional Outback lamb roast dinner under the wide Nullabor skies. Otherwise, you may also choose to dine onboard. During the cooler months, drinks and canapes will be served around the bonfires with entertainment from the onboard musicians. Dinner will be served onboard the train. Continue on your journey across the Nullabor after your stop in Rawlinna.

❱ Rail journey: Indian Pacific Train – Gold Twin or Gold Single Cabin (2 nights)

Day 17 – The Indian Pacific, Cook & the Nullabor (BLD)

Upon waking, set your sights on the vast horizon beyond the window – you have arrived on the edges of the sweeping Nullarbor Plain. Big blue skies await you, the ancient stillness of the desert landscape broken only by a mob of friendly kangaroos or the occasional circling bird of prey. By the time you have refreshed and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, you’ll be stepping off the train for a short stop in Cook. Once a bustling railway community, now effectively a ghost town, Cook gives new meaning to the expression “middle of nowhere”.

Get a sense of the Nullarbor’s intense remoteness as you wander through Cook’s abandoned buildings and learn more about the town’s intriguing history. Back onboard, the beverages are cold and the welcoming atmosphere of the Outback Explorer Lounge inspires conversation and laughter. Sit back and relax as the train continues its trek across the longest single stretch of railway in the world.

Day 18 – The Indian Pacific, Adelaide (B)

Looking out of your window this morning you’ll notice a dramatic change in landscape as the dry tones of the Nullabor make way for the beautiful green fields and pastoral lands of South Australia. After breakfast, you’ll have time to reflect on your journey before The Indian Pacific rolls into Adelaide. A transfer will meet you on arrival in Adelaide to take you home (if you reside in Adelaide) or to Adelaide Airport for your onward journey.

Additional information
Departure City

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Departure

11 May 2019, 06 Jul 2019, 24 Aug 2019, 07 Sep 2019, 14 Sep 2019, 21 Sep 2019, 28 Sep 2019, 05 Oct 2019

Terms

The following terms & conditions apply to your booking in addition to our General Booking Terms & Conditions:

  • Flights are included from all departure cities shown as required. These are based on Virgin Australia ‘Q’ Class Economy airfares, and are subject to availability at the time of your booking confirmation.
  • The following fees apply for cancellations made once your booking is confirmed:
    After deposit is received – loss of deposit;
    After final payment is received – 100% of total booking value.
    We recommend purchasing travel insurance for your holiday.
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