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Your adventure begins in the modern and picturesque city of Perth. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your upscale hotel in the city’s historic district.
There is so much to offer in this vibrant city. Enjoy a swim at Cottesloe Beach or take a stroll through the acclaimed King’s Park to see Australia’s largest and most diverse display of native plants and wildflowers. There’s also time for scenic cruises along the dazzling Swan River to explore the famous markets and Maritime Museum of historic Fremantle.
Your stay will include a coach tour of Rottnest Island, just 18km off the coast and a must for any visitor to Perth. The island is circled by beautiful bays and beaches and is a firm favourite amongst snorkelers, divers and surfers. You’ll also find a myriad of historical, cultural and natural attractions.
Stay: Two nights in a deluxe room at COMO The Treasury – bed & breakfast
Today you’ll pick up your hire car and drive through Western Australia’s flat bushland until you arrive at the iconic wine region of Margaret River. Just a couple of hours from Perth, Margaret River feels a world away with its rolling countryside, quiet beaches, underground caves and coastal walking trails. But the region is best known for its world-class wineries and gourmet restaurants, which you can experience on full-day wine & dine tours. Led by an experienced team, you’ll uncover the emerging wineries and hidden gems of the region, which produce some of the finest Chardonnays and Cabernets in Australia.
Stay: Three nights in a lake view villa at Pullman Resort Bunker Bay – bed & breakfast
Today you leave Margaret River and continue your drive (approximately four and a half hours) to the charming seaside town of Albany where you’ll be staying in a small but elegant boutique hotel. You’ll have a couple of nights to soak in the beauty of its rugged coastline as well as the rich history of its convict prisons, whaling ships and taverns. This is the site of Western Australia’s first European settlement, a legacy that can still be seen today in the colonial buildings that have been converted into museums, galleries and restaurants.
Stay: Two nights in a main house king room at The Beach House at Bayside – bed & breakfast
A five-hour drive brings you to Esperance where you will spend two nights in an ocean view apartment, a stone’s throw from the white sandy beach of Esperance Bay – hailed by some as the best beach in Australia. Enjoy hiking, biking and helicopter tours, or take trips to the nearby winery or to the Recherche Archipelago.
Stay: Two nights in a one bedroom ocean-view apartment at Esperance Island View Apartments – room only
The next stop on your Western adventure is Hyden, home of one of Australia’s most iconic landforms – the Wave Rock. Measuring 15 metres high and 110 metres long, this striking granite cliff is shaped like a breaking ocean wave that appears to have frozen in time. A truly spectacular sight.
Stay: One night in a standard room at Hyden Wave Rock Motel – room only
Today you head back to Perth and make your way to the historic port city of Fremantle where you’ll spend one night. The city has a rich heritage dating back to the days Australia was used as a British penal colony, with ornate Victorian buildings and the Fremantle Prison – with re-created cell blocks – still standing today.
Stay: One night in a superior room at The Esplanade Hotel – bed & breakfast
Another two-hour drive brings you to your hotel at the heart of the laidback coastal town of Cervantes. You’ll be within walking distance of the beach, and only 17 kilometres from the renowned Nambung National Park (Pinnacles Desert). The park’s unusual, other-worldly landscape is dominated by thousands of limestone pillars that rise dramatically from the desert floor. Reaching heights of up to 13 metres, the pillars were formed from seashells in an earlier marine-rich epoch.
Stay: One night in a hotel studio room at Pinnacles Edge Resort – bed & breakfast
Next comes the rugged coastal cliffs, curious rock formations, dramatic river gorges and – between July and November – beautiful wildflowers of Kalbarri National Park. A four-hour drive takes you to your apartment-style hotel on the river banks of Kalbarri – the ideal base to explore the treasures of the park and beyond. Cycle or walk along miles of uninterrupted coastline, climb, paddle, cruise, go camping or take guided tours in this stunning 183,000-hectare wilderness.
Stay: Two nights in a studio room at Kalbarri Edge Resort – room only
Bid goodbye to Kalbarri and drive five hours to Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort. Located in the centre of the Shark Bay World Heritage area, the resort is proud to be the only hotel on the celebrated Dolphin Beach. Each day a number of wild bottlenose dolphins swim into the clear shallows of the bay, dazzling visitors with their intelligence, beauty and grace. Whilst here you can also go fishing, kayaking, and snorkelling, and enjoy an Aboriginal guided walk to learn the secrets of bush survival.
Stay: Two nights in a beach view room at Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort – bed & breakfast
You now drive to Carnarvon to spend one night at the Best Western Hospitality Inn, conveniently situated on the Gascoyne River just 800 metres from the town centre. The comfortable, motel-style accommodation, warm service and modern Australian cuisine make for a lovely stopover between Monkey Mia and Coral Bay.
Stay: One night in a standard room at Best West Hospitality Inn – bed & breakfast
Your self-drive continues today and takes you on a three-hour journey to Coral Bay, the southern gateway to the Ningaloo Marine Park. A full-day, action-packed marine eco-tour on board a state-of-the-art vessel will give you the sensational opportunity to snorkel on the Ningaloo coral reef. During this five-to-six-hour adventure, you will get to swim with an array of aquatic creatures, including hundreds of colourful reef fish, reef sharks, turtles, giant clams, octopus and the majestic manta ray.
Stay: Two nights in a Ningaloo Bay view villa at Bayview Coral Bay – room only
Today you will drive into the town of Exmouth where your exploration of Ningaloo Reef – Australia’s largest fringing coral reef – continues. When you’re not enjoying snorkelling in turquoise waters with dolphins and manta rays, you could make the 30-minute drive south to the Cape Range National Park which boasts spectacular gorges, canyons, wildlife and wildflowers. During a 4×4 safari in the park, led by expert guides, you will have the opportunity to swim in a turquoise lagoon, navigate the tranquil waters of Yardie Creek Gorge and encounter some of the park’s interesting wildlife which includes red kangaroos, emus, osprey, wallabies and bungarras.
Stay: Two nights in a superior ocean view room at Mantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort – bed & breakfast
Today you will drive to Learmonth Airport and drop off your hire car. You’ll board a flight back to Perth, spending one night at The Duxton Hotel with beautiful views over the Swan River.
Stay: One night in a deluxe room at COMO The Treasury– bed & breakfast
Your adventure through Western Australia comes to a close. You’ll be privately transferred to the airport in time to catch your flight back to London, connecting in Hong Kong.
What was particularly impressive was the way in which Catherine listened to what we like to do and combined all of this in a destination we would not have considered - a truly terrific effort.- OL, Caribbean