- 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
- Visit Coral Bay, a small settlement where the coral starts right at the water’s edge and spend the day as you please; swimming, snorkelling, diving, touring or relaxing
- Experience the beautiful Ningaloo Reef – World Heritage area and one of the world’s largest fringing coral reefs
- Visit Karijini National Park – A vast wilderness area with spectacular natural wonders such as Dales Gorge, Fortescue Falls, Handrail Pool and Oxer Lookout
- Explore iconic Marble Bar, known as ‘the hottest town in Australia’
- Visit 80 Mile Beach, not actually 80 miles but 220km long and an extremely important feeding ground for small wading migratory birds
The Pilbara is fascinating at any time. The wildlife is plentiful, and the scenery is spectacular; 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 or swim with a whale shark. 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 (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).
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Extended Trip Details
|Day 1||Perth - Geraldton||Departing Perth early this morning we head north, passing through the northern Kwongan (sandplain heath) to Nambung National Park and the Pinnacle Desert. We then continue on through Dongara and historic Greenough into Geraldton. Accommodation: Camp site, 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: Camp site Geraldton BLD|
|Day 3||Geraldton - Hamelin||This morning we will 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. We should arrive at Hamelin this afternoon with enough time to have a look around the Bush Heritage property. Accommodation: Camp Site Bush Heritage Centre Hamelin BLD|
|Day 4||Hamelin - Monkey Mia – Hamelin (Shark Bay area)||Today we start our exploration of the Shark Bay Peninsular with a visit to Monkey Mia. We may be lucky enough to see the last dolphin feeding event; however, the timing and appearance cannot be guaranteed as the dolphins are wild. The rest of the day will be spent visiting the interpretation centre in the Francois Peron National Park, which is known for its contrasting red cliffs, white beaches and blue waters. On our way back to the campsite we will stop at Eagle Bluff to have a look at the marine life from the lookout, Shell Beach Conservation Park (a stretch of coast totally made up of small shells) and the Stromatolites in the Hamelin Pool Marine Reserve. Accommodation: Camp Site Bush Heritage Centre Hamelin BLD|
|Day 5||Hamelin - Bullara Station||An early start this morning as we continue towards Coral Bay. We will stop in Carnarvon on the way for a quick look at the town before arriving at Bullara Station (to the north of Coral Bay) in the late afternoon. Accommodation Camp Site Bullara BLD|
|Day 6||Coral Bay||An early start this morning as we head to Coral Bay for an optional (at passengers own expense) all day Whale Shark Cruise (7.45am). 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, enjoy a swim or just do some relaxing and sightseeing. Accommodation: Camp Site Bullara BLD|
|Day 7||Bullara Station - Tom Price||Leaving Coral Bay 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: Camp Site 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 refreshing waters. Mid afternoon we head back to Tom Price where there will be free time while the crew restock the fresh provisions. Accommodation: Camp Site Tom Price BLD|
|Day 9||Tom Price - Karijini National Park||Today we travel to the Dales Gorge area of the national park. Our drive will take us past the second tallest peak in WA, Mt Bruce. There will be time here to walk part of the way to the summit 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|
|Day 10 & 11||Karijini National Park||We will spend the next two days exploring the central and eastern side of the park, including Dales and Kalamina Gorges. We will take walks, swim in water holes and enjoy one of Western Australia's most spectacular natural attractions. Time permitting, we will also call into the visitor centre. Accommodation: National Park Camp Site Karijini BLD|
|Day 12||Karijini National Park - Marble Bar||Our journey today takes us to the pioneering town of Marble Bar. It has held the title of Australia's hottest town since 1924 and is famous for the banded red jasper bar across the Coongan River. We can take a long-overdue shower and enjoy dinner and a cold beer (at your own expense) at the iconic Iron Clad hotel. Accommodation: Campsite Marble Bar BL|
|Day 13||Marble Bar||Today will be spent exploring the area around Marble Bar, which is rich in natural beauty and geological wonders. We will discover the history of the regions mining and secret wartime airbase, and of course spend time enjoying the unique wildlife in the area. Accommodation: Campsite, Marble Bar BLD|
|Day 14||Marble Bar - 80 Mile Beach||This morning we take the Bore Line Road back onto the Great Northern Highway and head north to 80 Mile Beach. Our campsite is located a short distance from the ocean and is a great place to enjoy a long beach walk, watch a spectacular setting sun or discover the parks birds and other wildlife. Accommodation: Campsite 80 Mile Beach BLD|
|Day 15||80 Mile Beach - Broome||We will have one last visit to the beach before heading into Broome. Our outback adventure comes to an end with a mid-afternoon arrival into town, when we will drop you off at your chosen Broome accommodation. BL|
|NOTE: the above itinerary may be varied according to conditions and advice.|
Places available on 28 May 2022 departure
- 4 crew members consisting of a naturalist guide, driver guide and 2 camp support crew members
- Easy Camping included (camp is set up and packed away each day for you)
- Abrolhos Island flight
- Well maintained vehicle with front-facing, seat belted, mostly reclining, coach-style seats
- Meals as per itinerary: breakfast (B), lunch (L), dinner (D)
- Fruit for snacking throughout the day
- Morning tea each day
- All national park entrance fees
“It was relaxing to be driven, have tents set up and meals prepared.
Stretchers and mattresses more comfortable than i expected and I slept well; activities were within my capabilities (but I didn’t swim); Coates crew and our travelling companions were all friendly and compatible. I was impressed by the standard of hygiene and safety – there were no illnesses or accidents.
The focus on the natural world was very satisfactory. It would be impossible for the tour leaders to know the name of every plant and animal I came across! The tour leaders demonstrated respect for, and affinity with, the country and its inhabitants.”
“Karajini – wonderful landscape and waterholes. Tom, Diana, Patrick and Ness were great company and really good at their jobs and our tour companions were all lovely.”
“Great company, very helpful staff, terrific library and very good meals.”
“Passion & knowledge for/of the natural world shared by Diana was stimulating & enhanced my enjoyment.”