Pilbara Reef and Ranges
- Visit Nambung National Park and the Pinnacles Desert to see the thousands of limestone formations called ‘pinnacles’
- Fly to the Abrolhos Islands and explore this unique marine area and its abundant wildlife; 122 islands, crystal blue waters, tropical and temperate marine life, over 2 millions birds
- Explore the Shark Bay peninsular (World Heritage Area) and visit Monkey Mia to experience the dolphin feeding
- Visit Exmouth, a small town located right on the doorstop of Ningaloo Reef and Cape Range National Park – we spend one day in the National Park and you have a second day to spend as you please
- Explore Cape Range National Park and enjoy a cruise on Yardie Creek; with rocky red gorges, blue winding rivers, limestone cliffs, rugged green vegetation and abundant wildlife
- Experience the beautiful Ningaloo Reef – World Heritage area and one of the world’s largest fringing coral reefs
- Two full days in Karijini National Park – A vast wilderness area with spectacular rugged scenery, ancient geological formations such as Dales Gorge, Fortescue Falls, Handrail Pool and Oxers Lookout
The Pilbara is fascinating at any time. The wildlife is abundant, and the scenery is striking; green covered hills, red soil and refreshing rock pools.
The Abrolhos Islands consist of 122 islands, approximately 60 km off Western Australia’s coast. The marine environment surrounding them 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.
Ningaloo Reef is one of the world’s most extensive fringing reefs and is home to 200 species of hard coral, 50 species of 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. Colourful coral communities make up the reef while sea creatures thrive; sharks, dolphins, whales, whale sharks, birds, turtles, fish and more!
Karijini National Park has some of the oldest rocks on the continent and contains 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 and the Little Red Antechinus. Other marsupials that call the park home include the Western Pebble-mound Mouse, Rothschild’s Rock-wallaby, Red Kangaroo and the Common Wallaroo.
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Extended Trip Details
|Day 1||Perth - Geraldton||Early this morning we head north, passing through the northern Kwongan (sandplain heath) to Nambung National Park and the Pinnacle Desert. We continue north, passing through Dongara and historic Greenough to Geraldton. Accommodation: Motel Geraldton LD|
|Day 2||Geraldton||Today’s flight to the Abrolhos Islands will give us panoramic views of the island group. We will land on one of the islands and take a look at the wildlife, including a variety of birdlife. There will be time for a swim and a snorkel, and you may even spot bottle-nosed dolphins and sea lions. Accommodation: Motel Geraldton BLD|
|Day 3||Geraldton - Denham||Before leaving Geraldton, we'll visit the HMAS Sydney memorial where a guide will take us through the Sydney story, and the Maritime Museum which has a great display of the Batavia and Abrolhos islands. After morning tea, we continue north to the quaint seaside town of Denham. Accommodation: Heritage Motel Denham BLD|
|Day 4||Denham - Monkey Mia – Denham||Today we start our exploration of the Shark Bay Peninsular with a visit to Monkey Mia, in time to see the dolphin feeding. (As as the dolphins are wild, their appearance cannot be guaranteed). We will then visit the interpretation centre in the Francois Peron National Park before returning to Denham in the mid-afternoon for some free time. You can either relax, explore the town or visit the Shark Bay World Heritage Discovery Centre. Accommodation: Heritage Motel Denham BLD|
|Day 5||Denham - Carnarvon||We leave Denham early this morning and visit Eagle Bluff (the lookout here is a good place for spotting marine wildlife), Shell Beach Conservation Park (a stretch of coast made up entirely of small shells) and the Stromatolites in the Hamelin Pool Marine Reserve. We will arrive in Carnarvon mid-afternoon with plenty of time to have a look at the town and to do some shopping. Accommodation Motel Carnarvon BLD|
|Day 6||Carnarvon - Exmouth||This morning we continue north to Exmouth, stopping in at Coral Bay for lunch on the way. There will be free time in Exmouth to explore, relax or catch up with messages or washing. Accommodation Motel Exmouth BLD|
|Day 7||Exmouth||Today is a free day in Exmouth. You may want to take an optional Whale Shark Cruise or one of the many other shorter trips that are available (at own expense), or just relax and do some sightseeing. Accommodation: Motel Exmouth BLD|
|Day 8||Exmouth - Cape Range National Park - Exmouth||Today we will be visiting Cape Range National Park. We take a guided boat trip up Yardie Creek between sheer cliffs to enjoy the serenity of the gorge. Keep an eye out for Euros, wallabies, emus and perenties that are regularly found, and the threatened black-footed rock-wallaby may also be spotted on the cliffs. Accommodation Motel Exmouth BLD|
|Day 9||Exmouth - Tom Price||Leaving Exmouth, we continue north to Nanutarra Roadhouse on the banks of the Ashburton River, where bustard and bush stone-curlew can be found along the banks. We then head east towards Tom Price, the highest town in WA (‘Top Town in WA’). There should be several opportunities to stop for wildlife sightings during the day. Accommodation: Motel Tom Price BLD|
|Day 10||Tom Price - Hamersley Gorge - Karijini National Park||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 it’s refreshing waters. After lunch, we head back to Tom Price where there will be some free time while the crew restock the fresh provisions before we head out to Karijini National Park. Accommodation: Karijini Eco Retreat BLD|
|Day 11 & 12||Karijini National Park||We spend the next two days exploring Karijini National Park. We will visit Oxers lookout, Weano Gorge, Handrail pool, Kalamina and Dales Gorges. We will take walks, swim in water holes and enjoy one of Western Australia's most spectacular natural attractions. Accommodation: Karijini Eco Retreat BLD|
|Day 13||Karijini National Park - Newman||We leave the national park behind this morning as head to the mining centre of Newman, arriving late morning marking the end of your outback adventure. We will transfer you to either the airport or your chosen accommodation. B|
|NOTE: The above itinerary may be varied according to conditions and advice.|
Places available on 23 April 2022 departure
- 2 crew members consisting of a naturalist guide and a driver guide
- Accomodation as per the itinerary
- Abrolhos Island flight
- Well maintained vehicle with front-facing, seat belted, mostly reclining, coach-style seats
- Yardie Creek Cruise
- Meals as per itinerary: B (breakfast), L (lunch), D (dinner)
- Fruit for snacking throughout the day
- Morning tea each day
- All national park entrance fees
“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.”