Pilbara Reef & Ranges
Perth – Perth
- Abrolhos Islands
- Monkey Mia
- Coral Bay
- Ningaloo Reef
- Karijini National Park
The Pilbara is fascinating at any time, the wildlife is plentiful and the scenery is spectacular. Green covered hills and refreshing rock pools. The contrast between the red soil against the rocky outcrops are sure to create lasting memories.
This tour has it all. The Ningaloo Marine Park is one of the world’s largest fringing reefs, home to 200 species of hard coral, 50 soft coral and over 500 species of fish. It’s a great place to swim, snorkel and enjoy a cruise in a glass-bottomed boat to see the colourful sea creatures.
The Abrolhos Islands consist of 122 islands, approximately 60 km off Western Australia’s coast. The marine environment surrounding the Abrolhos is a meeting place for tropical and temperate sea life. It is also one of the most important seabird breeding sites in the world. More than 90 seabird species have been identified on the islands.
Karijini National Park contains some of the oldest rocks on the continent with many beautiful gorges and rock formations. The park is also home to approximately 800 plant species. Two small, carnivorous marsupials are endemic to the area, the Pilbara Ningaui (Ningaui timealeyi) and the Little Red Antechinus (Dasykaluta rosamondae). Other marsupials that call the park home include the Western Pebble-mound Mouse (Pseudomys chapmani), Rothschild’s Rock-wallaby (Petrogale rothschildi), Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus) and the Common Wallaroo (Macropus robustus).
Join us and discover the spectacular natural wonders of this remarkable area.
Day 1 – Perth to Geraldton
Departing Perth early this morning we start the journey north, passing through the northern Kwongan (sand plain heath) as we head to the Nambung National Park and the Pinnacle Desert. We continue northwards, traveling through Dongara and historic Greenough into Geraldton.
Accommodation: Campsite, Geraldton – LD
Day 2 – Geraldton
Today’s flight to the Abrolhos Island group will provide some spectacular views of the island group. The flight lands on one of the islands where we will have time to explore the abundant wildlife in the area which includes a variety of birdlife and you may also find bottle-nosed dolphins and sea lions.
Accommodation: Campsite, Geraldton – BLD
Day 3 – Geraldton to Hamelin
We continue our northward travel as we head for Hamlin. This afternoon there will be time to visit Shell Beach and the stromatolites at Hamelin Pool.
Accommodation: Camp Site, Hamelin – BLD
Day 4 – Hamelin – Monkey Mia – Hamelin (Shark Bay area)
Today we explore some of the natural history highlights that this area has to offer. There will be time this morning to undertake a cruise off Monkey Mia looking for dolphins, dugongs and all the other magnificent marine life that this area has to offer.
Accommodation: Camp Site, Hamelin – BLD
Day 5 – Hamelin to Coral Bay area
An early start this morning, leaving Hamelin we continue our trip towards Coral Bay. There will be time in Carnarvon for a look at the town. We will arrive in Bullara late afternoon.
Accommodation: Camp Site, Bullara Station – BLD
Day 6 – Bullara Station – Coral Bay – Bullara Station
An early start this morning to allow time for those who want to participate in an optional (Own expense) 7.45 am, all day, Whale Shark Cruise. For those who don’t wish to join the cruise there is plenty to do:- undertake an optional glass bottom boat / snorkelling cruise over the famous Ningaloo Reef, swim or just do some relaxing and sightseeing.
Accommodation: Camp Site, Bullara Station – BLD
Day 7 – Coral Bay to Tom Price
Leaving Coral Bay we continue north to Nanutarra Roadhouse which is on the banks of the Ashburton River Then head east towards Tom Price. There should be a number of opportunities to stop for wildlife sightings during the day.
Accommodation: Campsite, Tom Price – BLD
Day 8 – Tom Price – Hamersley Gorge – Tom Price
This morning we drive along the west side of Karijini to Hamersley Gorge. There will be plenty of time to fully explore the gorge and enjoy a swim in its cool waters. Mid afternoon we head back to Tom Price where there will be some free time while the crew restock the fresh provisions. Accommodation: Campsite, Tom Price – BLD
Day 9 – Tom Price to Karijinin National Park
Today we travel to Dales Gorge area of the national park. Our drive will take us past the the second tallest peak in WA, Mt Bruce. There will be time here to walk part of the way to the sumnmit and experience the expansive views. The Dales camp ground will be our home for the next two days. Accommodation: National Park Camp Site, Karijini – BLD
Days 10-11 – Karijini National Park
We will spend the next two days exploring and photographing the natural wonders of central and eastern side of the park including Dales and Kalamina Gorges along with many other highlights. There will also an opportunity to call into the visitor centre and see the informative display that has been developed there.
Accommodation: National Park Camp Site, Karijini – BLD
Day 12 – Karijini National Park to Gascoyne River area
Moving on today we head south for our bush camp in the Gascoyne River area. We will spend time in Newman restocking with fresh food
Accommodation: Bush Camp, Gascoyne River – BLD
Day 13 – Gascoyne River area to Cue
Today we will visit the highlights that this area has to offer including Meekatharra and the gold mining history of Cue.
Accommodation: Campsite, Cue – BLD
Day 14 – Cue to Paynes Find
This morning we will explore Walga Rock and spend time looking at the sites Aboriginal art. We will also visit the ghost town of Big Bell as well as the meteor crater at Dalgaranga. After this we continue our journey south.
Accommodation: Bush Camp, Near Paynes Find – BLD
Days 15 – Paynes Find to Perth
Leaving our camp site we continue our journey south. Passing trough the wheat-belt towns of Wubin and New Norcia there will be plenty to see and photograph during the drive. Our arrival in Perth should be mid to late afternoon. – BL
NB: The above itinerary may be varied according to conditions and advice.
14th – 28th April 2019
- 3 crew members consisting of a naturalist guide, driver guide and camp roustabout
- Accommodation as per itinerary
- Abrolhos Island flight
- Well maintained vehicle with front-facing, seat belted, mostly reclining, coach-style seats
- Monkey Mia Cruise
- A self-inflating air mattress and stretcher bed
- All eating utensils
- Fruit for snacking throughout the day
- Campsite fees
- Morning tea each day
- All national park entrance fees
Download Trip Dossier (PDF)
“Tom and Patrick,
Thank you very much for such a thoroughly enjoyable and excellently organised trip to the Pilbara April 2016.
I set out with the idea, that I may have had to settle with sitting at the top of the Gorges. Thanks to your determination and Patrick’s skill in helping me to get into Dale Gorge and Kalamina Gorge, the goal of getting me into and out of Dale Gorge, more particularly, was achieved. I very much appreciated Patrick’s assistance, especially at times on the return, when he was literally walking backwards. I had learnt about grasping the helper’s wrist when tackling gorges in 1999 when I was tackling Bell Gorge with friends. It was very good to have Patrick’s wrist always available if necessary. I was certainly delighted to find a beautiful, cool and refreshing place as Fern Pool. It was no hardship to spend a few hours there.
I feel sure you must have been very pleased with the way in which the vehicle performed. I was so impressed with the way in which everything fitted into to its place, which must have been the result of years of experience and planning. Congratulations! As passengers, I think we all settled into it very well and were very comfortable. I really appreciated the availability of good fruit and the great meals.
I cannot recommend Coates Wildlife tours highly enough. I am now very happy to be able to tick Coral Bay and Karijini off “my list”.
“Sylvia and Tom, just a brief note to say what a wonderful trip that was!
Red and Wayne are fantastic group leaders – knowledge and experience plus lots of patience, tolerance, good humour and helpfulness is a set of qualities that is hard to beat. Plus Red is an excellent chef.
The country, birds and weather were all magnificent too. Marvellous trip – I feel hugely refreshed and inspired. Thanks all round”
“A quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed my trip to Karijini and the Pilbara recently. Rick was wonderful and worked so hard to make sure we all enjoyed ourselves, as did Mike.
They both made a big effort to look after the two oldest codgers on the trip (Mal and me) and gave us the confidence to tackle the gorge walks. As a result, Malcolm only missed out on one and a half walks, and I only the half walk. We enjoyed the thrill of seeing the gorges fully, knowing this will be the last time we will probably be able to do this. I will never forget the beauty we saw and have told many since returning of our experiences.
Please thank Rick and Mike for helping us in so many ways, AND saving us from an embarrassing rescue by the Flying Doctor, should we have fallen somewhere awkward! Our best wishes to Rick and Mike and to you both for providing such lovely experiences and opportunities to travel in your beautiful state of W.A.”
Thanks for the great trip to the Pilbara . It was one of my best. As always enjoyed your hearing about the plants and wild life from you.Barbara Goldin