London - Perth
Fly to Perth
Your luxury, coast-to-coast extravaganza begins on the far edge of the Indian Ocean, in the vivacious city of Perth. Standing on the famous Swan River – which offers you walking, cycling, sailing and picnicking opportunities – Perth provides you with the sophisticated amenities of a major European city, combined with the virtually unfailing sunshine for which Western Australia is famed. Known as a ‘two crops of strawberries a year’ climate, you’ll only want to go inside to sleep.
Stay: Two nights in the luxury, boutique Richardson Hotel.
Collect your car and head south through Western Australia’s iconic, flat bushland until you come to Margaret River. This settlement, as its name suggests, stands beside the Margaret and is a complete contrast to busy Perth. The town specialises in arty shops, quality restaurants serving artisan food and a picturesque region that stretches for 100 km between a pair of capes. The coast offers you sensational white sand beaches fringed by the cobalt waters of the Indian Ocean, with almost no buildings – or people for that matter – to clutter your photos. And then there is the wine. As many as 80 boutique wineries now produce some of the finest Chardonnays and Cabernets to be found in Australia. In fact, you’ll be staying on a small wine estate with an excellent restaurant and a 14,000-bottle cellar to contemplate. Three days may not be enough!
Stay: Three nights at Cape Lodge, a small winery, plus one night in Perth.
Perth - Adelaide
After indulging in the restaurants, riverside activities and nightlife of Perth, it’s time to explore another famous Australian city. You’ll fly from Perth to Adelaide to stay at two different venues; giving you scope to experience the city and its surroundings from two different perspectives.
Stay: One night at The Mayfair Hotel
Stay: Two nights on Kangaroo Island at Southern Ocean Lodge.
Will anything prepare you for the sense of wonder you’ll feel when you first view the phenomenon that is Uluru or Ayer’s Rock? Especially at sunrise. The monolithic red rock domes of Kata Tjuta, the miles of red earth and uncompromising bush are pretty awesome too. And the whole experience is heightened by the chance to sleep in the outback in an African safari-style tented camp. Complete with air conditioning, windows and a veranda giving great views from an advantageous position atop a huge sand dune.
Stay: Two nights in the luxury tented resort of Longitude 131˚.
Sydney is regarded as one of Australasia’s premier destinations. Small wonder; this scintillating city offers you wide-ranging cultural opportunities, sizzling restaurants and bars, outstanding architecture, the harbourside and any number of different experiences. Like strolling past the Opera House and around Circular Bay, taking photographs at every other step. Your hotel stands on prestigious George Street, so you’ll be admirably placed to browse around the Rocks and Circular Quay.
Stay: Four nights in the Four Seasons Hotel.
Lord Howe Island
Now it’s time to tick off one of Australia’s massive ‘must-sees’. The little known but scenically dramatic Lord Howe Island shows off dramatic coral reefs – even throughout the winter season. The island is not crowded, allowing you uninterrupted enjoyment of the spectacular reefs and stunning turquoise seas. As well as lovely beaches, snorkelling and diving, the Lord Howe Island’s UNESCO-listed interior offers some great hiking options.
Stay: Four nights at Capella Lodge.
From Lord Howe Island make your way home, or if you have time, we suggest either of the following extensions.
Sal Salis, Ningaloo Reef
Extend your stay in Western Australia by taking a trip up to Ningaloo Reef, home waters of the friendly whale shark, staying at Sal Salis, one of the new luxury tented eco-lodges.
Wolgan Valley, Blue Mountains
Alternatively, from Sydney, consider an extension to Wolgan Valley, a luxury conservation-based resort in the Blue Mountains.
Although we bothered Lydia on several occasions over small matters, she was always patient and very helpful. The whole organisation from Heathrow and back was seamless and first class. Game watching on this trip surpassed all that we had seen before in the one trip. Our thanks to Ultimate yet again- Colin & Wendy Crawford October 2013