This comprehensive West Coast itinerary starts in sunny Perth, where days can be spent shopping, lazing on golden sands, and strolling through wildflower filled parks. Before starting your self-drive, you’ll visit the historic town of Fremantle with its whaling ships and convict jails, and Rottnest Island with its beautifully secluded bays and fabulous under water activities.
Next comes Cervantes, an easy going coastal town and gateway to the spectacular limestone formations of the Nambung National Park. The unusual beauty of Nambung then makes way for the dramatic coastal scenery of Kalbarri National Park, where you can indulge your adventurous side by hiking, biking, climbing and more. Exceptional dolphin encounters await at the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort, and finally, in Coral Bay and Exmouth, you’ll get to snorkel over the Ningaloo Reef, an underwater paradise of vibrant coral, brightly coloured fish and just about the clearest turquoise water on Earth.
London – Perth
Upon arrival in Perth, you will be met and transferred to your hotel which boasts a fabulous location just minutes from the city’s parklands and riverside walks.
There is so much to offer in this vibrant city, from fine dining to great shopping and a buzzing nightlife. You can take a stroll through King’s Park – a scenic spot filled with native plants and wildflowers – or enjoy a swim at Cottesloe Beach. Browse the colourful markets of Fremantle, and enjoy a full-day coach tour of Rottnest Island – just 18km offshore. The island is circled by beautiful bays and beaches and is a firm favourite amongst snorkelers, divers and surfers.
Stay: Three nights in a standard room at the Duxton Hotel – breakfast included
Today you will pick up your hire car and drive to your hotel in the laid-back coastal town of Cervantes. You’ll be within walking distance of the beach, and only 17 kilometres from the renowned Nambung National Park (Pinnacles Desert). The park’s unusual, other-worldly landscape is dominated by thousands of limestone pillars that rise dramatically from the desert floor. Reaching heights of up to 13 metres, the pillars were formed from seashells in an earlier marine-rich epoch.
Stay: One night in a hotel studio room at Pinnacles Edge Resort – breakfast included
Next comes the rugged coastal cliffs, dramatic river gorges and – between July and November – beautiful wildflowers of the Kalbarri National Park. A four-hour drive will bring you to your apartment-style hotel on the river banks of Kalbarri – the ideal base to explore the delights of the park and beyond. Cycle or walk along miles of uninterrupted coastline, climb, paddle, cruise, go camping or take guided tours in this stunning 183,000-hectare wilderness.
Stay: Two nights in a studio room at Kalbarri Edge Resort – room only
Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort, Shark Bay
Bid goodbye to Kalbarri and drive five hours to Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort. Located in the centre of the Shark Bay World Heritage area, the resort is proud to be the only hotel on the pristine Dolphin Beach. Each day a number of wild bottlenose dolphins swim into the clear shallows of the bay, dazzling visitors with their intelligence, beauty and grace. Whilst here you can also go fishing, kayaking, and snorkelling, visit Shark Bay and enjoy an Aboriginal guided walk to learn the secrets of bush survival.
Stay: Two nights in a beach view room at Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort – breakfast included
Spend one night at the Best Western Hospitality Inn, conveniently situated on the Gascoyne River just 800 metres from the town centre of Carnarvon. The comfortable, motel-style accommodation, warm service and modern Australian cuisine makes for a lovely stopover between Monkey Mia and Coral Bay.
Stay: One night in a standard room at Best Western Hospitality Inn – breakfast included
Today continue your drive for three hours until you reach Coral Bay, the southern gateway to the Ningaloo Marine Park. A full-day, action-packed marine Eco tour on board a state-of-the-art vessel will give you the sensational opportunity to snorkel amongst the Ningaloo coral reef. During this five-to-six-hour adventure, you will get to swim with an array of exciting aquatic life, including hundreds of colourful reef fish, reef sharks, turtles, giant clams, octopus and the majestic manta ray.
Stay: Two nights in a Ningaloo Bay view villa at Bayview Coral Bay – room only
Today you will drive into the town of Exmouth where your exploration of Ningaloo Reef – Australia’s largest fringing coral reef – continues. When you’re not enjoying sensational snorkelling in turquoise waters with dolphins and manta rays, you could make the 30-minute drive south to the Cape Range National Park which offers spectacular gorges, canyons, wildlife and wildflowers. During a 4×4 safari in the park, led by expert guides, you will get a chance to swim in a turquoise lagoon, navigate the tranquil waters of Yardie Creek Gorge, and encounter the area’s rare species including red kangaroos, emus and bungarras.
Stay: Two nights in a superior ocean view room at Novotel Ningaloo Resort – breakfast included
Learmonth – Perth – London
Return your hire car at Learmouth Airport before midday, and board your flight back to Perth where a connecting flight will take you to back to London.