Wild Coastlines of the South East
Our coastline is just beautiful – sandy coves, rolling hills leading down to the water’s edge, and offshore islands with their abundant sea-life – birds, seals, Orcas, and dolphins. We will showcase the natural diversity of the regions between Perth and Esperance, particularly the coastline either side of Esperance.
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Extended Trip Details
|Day 1||Perth - Wave Rock - Hyden||This morning we'll leave Perth around 7.30 am and head south-east to Hyden to catch one of Austalia's biggest wave which is nowhere near the ocean. The famous rock formation called 'Wave Rock 'has been, 700 million years in the making and rises 15 metres above the outback plain. We will take you into this ancient landscape, where you'll discover a wide variety of striking geological features. Many are also the subject of fascinating Indigenous Dreamtime stories, and the site of beautiful Indigenous rock art. On the way, we will pass through the wheatbelt towns of York, Quairading and Corrigin. Accommodation: Motel Hyden LD|
|Day 2||Hyden - Norseman||Today we take a scenic drive on the Hyden Norseman Road through the Greater Western Woodlands with numerous granite outcrops. We will be stopping at McDermid Rock and the interesting Breakaways.Accommodation: Motel Norseman BLD|
|Day 3||Norseman - Esperance||This morning we'll head south to Esperance via a visit to Peak Charles, a 651m high granite peak, standing majestically above the surrounding pancake-flat countryside. The view from the base of the peak is very impressive. The vegetation around Peak Charles is a mixture of shrub and low mallee eucalypt trees. This habitat also supports many different species of birds and reptiles. There will be time this afternoon to have a look around the Esperance townsite and some of its magnificent beaches. Accommodation: Motel Esperance BLD|
|Day 4 & 5||Esperance||We will spend the next two days exploring the national parks in the Esperance area visiting Cape Arid and Cape Le Grande National Parks. Cape Arid lies at the eastern extremity of the South-Western botanical province and overlaps the boundary of the Eremaean botanical province (the arid zone). Therefore, alongside beaches and the Thomas River and estuary, the area includes both south-western and arid zone vegetation types, providing a broad array of bird habitats. Wild coastal scenery, rugged granite peaks, and sweeping heathlands characterise Cape Le Grand National Park. Popular and it's attractive bays with wide sandy beaches set between rocky headlands. Accommodation: Motel Esperance BLD|
|Day 6||Esperance - Recherche Archipelago Crusie and Pink Lake - Esperance||Today we'll set off on a cruise through the Recherché Archipelago to the Woody Island Nature Reserve, approximately 15km off the coast of Esperance. The Island is one of one hundred islands of the Recherche Archipelago, known to locals as the Bay of Isles. The waters around the Island make for great sightings of spectacular wildlife. All sorts of marine life thrive in these waters including fur seals, sea lions and dolphins, as well as a range of birds including Cape Barren Geese and White-breasted Sea Eagles. This afternoon we will travel to Pink Lake just outside Esperance. The unique pink colour after which the lake is named is the result of Green Algae and/or Brine Prawn. Unfortunately, the lake hasn't been pink for over ten years. The lake is also well known for its birdlife, being recognised by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA) due to its populations of Hooded Plovers and Banded Stilts. Accommodation: Motel Esperance BLD|
|Day 7||Esperance - Hopetoun||We'll leave Esperance this morning and begin our journey westward to the Fitzgerald River National Park. Our drive takes us past Stokes National Park and Stokes Inlet, one of the most picturesque estuaries along WA's southern coast. Accommodation: Motel Hopetoun BLD|
|Day 8||Hopetoun - Fitzgerald River National Park - Bremer Bay||Today we'll find ourselves on the doorstep of the Fitzgerald River National Park, which is one the largest and most botanically significant National Parks in Australia. Nearly 20 per cent of Western Australia's flora species are found in the park, many of which only occur here. Our first point of interest is Mt Barren (which we'll visit if the access road is open). We'll continue travelling through the national park on the way Bremer Bay. Accommodation: Bremer Bay Motel BLD|
|Day 9||Bremer Bay - Bremer Canyon Whale Tour||Today we will enjoy a full day out on the water. After breakfast, we will cruise from the Bremer Bay coast to the Bremer Canyon. This undersea canyon dropoff provides the perfect habitat for Orca (Killer Whales) that frequent the area on mass at this time of year and will hopefully provide us with some spectacular sightings. Late this afternoon we will return to the port Accomodation: Bremer Bay Motel BLD|
|Day 10||Fitzgerald River National Park||We will spend the entire day exploring the west end of the Fitzgerald River National Park. The park covers over 120,000 acres and houses a wide variety of habitats including heathlands, wetlands, shrublands and rugged mountains (by Australian standards). We will walk the trails and climb one of the mountains to enjoy the excellent views (optional). The birdlife here is abundant, ranging in size from large Emus to tiny Emu-wrens, Fairy Wrens and Thornbills. Accommodation: Bremer Bay Motel BLD|
|Day 11||Bremer Bay to Katanning via Stirling Range National Park||Today we head to the Stirling Range National Park. On route, you will see a change in the vegetation from shrubland to tall species of Eucalyptus, Jarrah and Marri. The Stirling Ranges are a striking feature of the landscape, with five peaks over 3000 feet high that rise abruptly from the coastal lowlands. The area receives more rainfall than its surrounding districts, allowing unique plants not found anywhere else to thrive in the ranges. After exploring the National Park, we will continue onto the historic town of Katanning. Accomodation: Katanning Motel BLD|
|Day 12||Katanning to Perth via Dryandra||After breakfast, we will depart Katanning, bound for Perth. Along the way, we will stop in at Dryandra woodland, where we may spot the endangered numbat if we are lucky! We hope to arrive back in Perth by the late afternoon. BL|
NOTE: the above itinerary may be varied according to conditions and advice.
Places available on 23 February 2022 departure
- Coates tour leader/ driver;
- Coates Naturalist leader;
- Well-maintained vehicle with all front-facing, seat-belted, coach-style seats;
- Meals as per itinerary;
- Morning tea each day;
- Fresh fruit on board daily;
- All national park entrance fees;
- Woody Island Cruise.
“… each day was spectacular. I kept thinking ‘this is the best day ever’ only to find that next day was the best day!
I’ve travelled widely and Tom and Jolanda are the best team of experts and tour leaders I’ve encountered. I knew little and they know a lot, their endless patience with questions about “which bird is that and exactly where did you say it was?” is astounding. They kept us safe, on track and their humour never wavered.”
“This was our first accommodated tour and I really appreciated it, especially the long stays. It was great to have four nights in Esperance and three in Bremer Bay.”