Tour Description

Perth and WA’s Great South West: Perth to Adelaide

(Combined Adelaide and South Coast Departure)
Fourteen Days: 31st August – 13th September 2021

Twin Share: $5895 per person. Sole Use: $6695 per person.

Included in the tour:
  • Home pick-ups & set downs (most metro areas – please contact us for details)
  • Picnic-style morning teas & all meals as per the itinerary
  • All accommodation & admissions to all attractions
  • Experienced & informative tour driver/guide.

 

Discover sensational south-west Western Australia, an area of great contrasts and incredible scenery. With spectacular coastline, rich history, natural beauty, gourmet delights and vast open spaces, this tour offers a lot of variety. We explore the historic port of Fremantle and taste  gourmet produce from the Margaret River. In the deep south we visit the Valley of the Giants with its incredible tall trees, admire the stunning coastal scenery of Esperance then head inland to experience the character of the gold mining town of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Coming home we cross the Nullarbor and take in views of the ‘Bight’ and the stunning Bunda Cliffs. This tour offers breath-taking scenery, diverse experiences and memories that will remain with you for years to come.

 

Day One – TUESDAY 31 AUGUST 2021

(includes light lunch and two course dinner)

Today our adventure to Western Australia begins! After being picked up from our homes (limited areas*) we are taken to the Adelaide Airport. On arrival we are met by an Endeavour Tours representative who assists with our group check-in and escorts us to the gate, ready to board our Qantas flight to Perth.

After disembarking, we are met by a guide who offers assistance with our luggage and takes us to meet our Endeavour Tours driver and mini coach, ready to embark on our exciting holiday.

Our accommodation for the next three nights is at the Metro Hotel Perth (Ph: 08 9367 6122).  We have time to unpack and settle in, before getting to know our fellow travellers over dinner.

Please note: With limited domestic flights currently available, our flight to Perth departs later in the day than usual at approximately 3.30pm.

 Day Two – WEDNESDAY 1 SEPTEMBER 2021

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunchand two course dinner)

After a hearty breakfast, we set out this morning to explore more of this beautiful city. Perth is known for its personal charm and hospitality. The elegant riverside parks, network of freeways and the beauty of the Swan River all combine to give the city grace and distinction. The ideal way to get to know the city is on a  guided tour and our local host will show us the highlights, while sharing stories of Perth’s history and development. With the delightful Swan River and a pleasant mix of new and old architecture, it is easy to see why so many people fall in love with this city.

From here we take the scenic ocean route north, stopping along the way to admire the beaches and views over the ocean. We arrive at Hillarys Boat Harbour, an iconic Perth destination and home to the Aquarium of Western Australia or  (AQWA) as it is known to the locals.

We stop for lunch before visiting the aquarium which has exhibits reflecting the unique marine life and environments found in five distinct regions of Western Australia’s coast. As we venture beneath the waters of the Indian Ocean in Australia’s largest walk-through aquarium, we are surrounded by sharks, turtles, stingrays and hundreds of fish. We meet the mystical leafy sea dragons, are captivated by beautiful living coral reefs and even interact with living animals in the touch pool exhibit.

Mid-afternoon, we continue our coastal drive, stopping to discover some of the popular beaches of Perth. Heading south we journey through Sorrento Beach, Mettam’s Pool—a natural rock pool protected by a surrounding reef, Scarborough Beach and City Beach, just to name a few.

We head up to Reabold Hill Lookout, located 85 metres above sea level and the highest natural point in the Perth metropolitan area. The views are magnificent from the lookout and we can see Perth, the Swan River, Rottnest Island, Fremantle and Hillary’s Boat Harbour.

Our final beach destination today is Cottesloe Beach, one of the most popular of all Western Australia’s city beaches. We stop here to enjoy the surrounds, perhaps even dip our toes in the water and maybe see the sun set, before heading back to our hotel for dinner.

Day Three – THURSDAY 2 SEPTEMBER 2021

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

This morning we journey south along the eastern side of the beautiful Swan River to Fremantle, Perth’s iconic fishing boat harbour. Fremantle is renowned for its rich maritime history, preserved 19th century landscape and vibrant street culture.

The port has always been the focal point for the growth and prosperity of Fremantle. It was a base for Allied naval ships during World War 2, the first port for thousands of immigrants following the war, hosted the America’s Cup Defence in 1987 and the International Sailing Federation World Championships in 2011, and today it boasts the largest commercial port in Western Australia.

On arrival we join a Tram Tour, where we discover there is so much more to Fremantle than just the industrial area around the docks. Aboard a replica tram we are shown Fremantle’s bustling harbours, its beautifully preserved architecture and the significant sites of this historic port city.

Following lunch, we are bound for the convict built Fremantle Prison to take the ‘Behind Bars Tour’. Accompanied by an experienced guide, we explore the prison from its convict origins in the 1850s, until its closure as a maximum security gaol in 1991. We can view life as it was for both convicts and prisoners, discover how time was passed in the yards and marvel at prisoners original works of art. We take the opportunity to browse the prison gallery and gift shop before we depart.

We return to our accommodation at the Metro with time to relax and freshen up before dinner.

Day Four – FRIDAY 3 SEPTEMBER 2021

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

We depart after breakfast to begin our travels around south-west Western Australia. Journeying south, we arrive at the pleasant coastal city of Mandurah, located at the southern end of Perth’s ‘commuter belt’.

Once a fishing village, it has now grown to a city of over 80,000 people and we stop here to enjoy our morning tea.

Following our break, we continue south to Bunbury, taking the Old Coast Road before re-joining the highway. There is no shortage of delightful waterfront settings in Bunbury, as it is surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the calm waters of Koombana Bay and the peaceful Leschenault Inlet. Bunbury is renowned for having over 100 wild but friendly bottlenose dolphins that live in the Bay and to discover more about these wonderful creatures, we visit the popular Dolphin Discovery Centre, a non-profit organisation committed to dolphin research, education, conservation and tourism.

After lunch we have plenty of time to look around the Centre, discovering all there is to know about dolphins, including their diet, where they go and what they do in the ocean. We also learn about other marine life that live in the south west waters, through the Centres discovery pool, aquariums, 360 degree digital dolphinarium and much more.

This afternoon we continue along the coast to Busselton, a favourite holiday destination for Western Australians, and home to an amazing two-kilometre-long jetty. We’ll have time here to stretch our legs before continuing our journey.

Today’s destination is the beautiful Margaret River. Well known for its wineries, there is much more to this area than just vineyards. A relaxed and pretty region, it is surrounded by several state forests and its beaches are popular with surfers. We have the next two nights to enjoy here at Stay Margaret River (Ph: 08 9757 2633).

Day Five – SATURDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2021

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

On the most South Westerly tip of Australia where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet, stands Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, built in the late 19th century. The famous maritime landmark stands at thirty-nine metres tall and its piercing beam shines out to sea for 48 kilometres, with the intensity of one million candles. The Cape is named after the Dutch ship Leeuwin which passed this point in 1622. It is the first stop on our touring this morning, and we have time to admire the stunning views and walk up to the lighthouse if we wish. We will make the most of our time here, stopping to enjoy morning tea in the café.

We leave the stunning scenery of the coast and journey north, through the equally spectacular surrounds of the Boranup Forest, with its magnificent towering Karri trees. Amidst the forest is the Boranup Gallery which houses a stunning collection of fine furniture and quality artworks by renowned Australian Artists.  From paintings to sculpture and furniture to blown glass, there really is an amazing collection here. They also handcraft custom made furniture on site, from the unique timbers found in the area.

We continue through the forest, heading north to the Margaret River Chocolate Company. Located in a peaceful rural setting, this company has grown to become a Western Australian icon and is an important business to the region, as it supplies chocolate around Australia and even overseas! Our visit will provide a fascinating insight into the world of chocolate, with interactive displays, tastings and the opportunity to see chocolate being made. Of course, we have time to purchase some goodies here if we wish!

A short distance away, we find the Margaret River Dairy Company, where premium dairy products are produced and sold using the freshest ingredients. Here in the unspoilt south-west with rich soils and rolling green pastures, the Margaret River Dairy Company has become a success story, despite at one stage being completely destroyed by fire. The Company began afresh and from the ashes an impressive state-of-the-art facility was built, including the introduction of a fresh range of delicious yoghurts and creamy cheeses. We visit the dairy, where friendly staff help us to sample some of the delicious produce.

Late afternoon, we return to our accommodation with time to relax and freshen up before dinner.

Day Six – SUNDAY 5 SEPTEMBER 2021

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

We depart this beautiful area after breakfast and begin our journey south-east towards today’s destination. Much of our travel this morning takes us through state forests and national parks. The country- side is magnificent and we stop for morning tea in the timber town of Pemberton.

From here we continue to Walpole, where we will have lunch before visiting one of the most well known attractions of south-west Western Australia, the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk. The walk suspended 40 metres high in the forest canopy, provides a birds-eye view of the magnificent Tingle Forest. Internationally recognised as one of the best nature-based tourism experiences, the walk is the first of its kind that provides inspiring views with minimal environmental impact. It is designed with a gentle gradient that takes you down to the forest below, where you can explore the intrigue and grandeur of 400 year old trees on the Ancient Empire Boardwalk.

There will also be time to stroll through the Discovery Centre to look at the unique interpretive displays and learn about what makes this wilderness so special. There is a gift shop with forest-themed memorabilia, educational materials and souvenirs.

Late afternoon we continue east through Denmark to Albany, the first settled town in Western Australia, pre-dating both Perth and Fremantle. It is located on the Princess Royal Harbour, providing excellent shelter for boats from the winds and waves of the Southern Ocean.

Our accommodation for tonight is at Ace Accommodation, Albany (Ph: 08 9841 2911).

Day Seven – MONDAY 6 SEPTEMBER 2021

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

This morning we farewell our hosts in Albany and travel along the South Coast Highway. We drive through farming country to the rural town of Jerramungup where we stop for morning tea. From here we continue our journey east, alongside the Fitzgerald River National Park, one of the largest parks in Western Australia.

By lunchtime we arrive in Ravensthorpe, a small sheep and wheat town. Like a number of other rural communities throughout Australia, Ravensthorpe has taken a group of ordinary looking silos and turned them into a giant work of art, displaying wildflowers and wildlife of Western Australia. We take time to look at the painted silos before continuing our journey.

Our afternoon drive takes us further east, through small rural communities such as Munglinup to the stunning coastal town of Esperance. From the shore we can see the Recherche Archipelago, nearly 100 untouched islands off the coast, known to the locals as the Bay of Isles. The islands boast amazing wildlife and wilderness, with some of them being granite outcrops only visible at low tide. However only one of the islands is open to the public.

Our accommodation for the next two nights is at the Hospitality Esperance (Ph: 08 9071 1999).

Day Eight – TUESDAY 7 SEPTEMBER 2021

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

After breakfast this morning, we depart on a Wildlife Cruise with Esperance Island Cruises. The vessel explores the coves and beaches close to shore before heading out to some of the islands of the Recherche Archipelago. Throughout the cruise we listen to a full commentary about Esperance’s history and wildlife and we may be lucky enough to view some of these animals in their natural environment such as New Zealand Fur Seals, Australian Sea Lions, Common and Bottlenose Dolphins and Cape Barren Geese. We enjoy morning tea in one of the protected bays while on board.

After disembarking, we have lunch in town before visiting the Esperance Information Centre and Museum Village. No ordinary museum—this group of historic buildings has been relocated from around the region and have been repurposed for local businesses selling such items as arts, crafts and giftware. Each building has its own history, some dating back to the 1800s including the Old Methodist Church, courthouse, hospital and the Salmon Gums School, which began life on the Norseman Goldfields before being relocated to Esperance!

Mid-afternoon we set off on the Great Ocean Drive. This trail takes in some of the diverse and spectacular coastline of Esperance, as well as a number of highlights throughout the town. As Esperance boasts a string of pristine beaches, including Australia’s whitest beach, we start our drive by following the Esplanade, stopping in at various lookouts and vantage points along the way. We journey past the Ten Mile Lagoon Wind Farm, the first commercial wind farm in Australia that is still in operation, and Pink Lake, although not pink in colour any more!

We return to our accommodation for our last night here in Esperance.

Day Nine – WEDNESDAY 8 SEPTEMBER 2021

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

After following close to the coast since we left Perth, we now head inland, travelling north towards the mining town of Kalgoorlie Boulder. Passing through the small towns of Grass Patch and Salmon Gums, we stop for morning tea along the way.

Back on the road we continue to Norseman, a gold mining town located at the western end of the Eyre Highway. The town was established and named, when Laurie Sinclair discovered a rich gold reef in the area after his horse ‘Norseman’ pawed at the ground uncovering a piece of gold-bearing quartz. This started a gold rush in 1894 and since then a rich history of gold mining has developed, with numerous mines operating over the years.

We take time to explore the town, visit the Beacon Hill Lookout, the statue of Norseman and the local ‘camels’. These corrugated iron life-size beasts are a tribute to the camel trains that carried the freight and mail in the early days. They are the reason why Norseman has very wide streets, in order for the camel trains to be able to turn. We enjoy lunch at a local cafe before continuing our journey.

As we continue our travels this afternoon, we notice the huge salt lakes that are dotted throughout the area. They are part of the Salt Lake drainage basin which stretches from south of Norseman to the edge of the Little Sandy Desert. As the area is quite flat with no permanent watercourses, when there is rain, it results in short-lived shallow lakes that evaporate quickly. This leaves behind salt that has accumulated over thousands of years to form the salt pans which are visible today.

We pass through the town of Kambalda. Once deserted after the closure of the local gold mine in 1908, it was reborn with the discovery of nickel in the 1960’s. Today gold mining has become a major industry for the town once again.

All of these gold-rush towns share a common and colourful past and the most famous is Kalgoorlie Boulder, now classified as a city. Kalgoorlie was born during the 1880’s gold rush when thousands of prospectors made the 700 kilometre journey east from Perth. Up until the last 10 years, it was the largest gold-producing region in Australia, built around the richest square mile of gold-bearing earth in the world!

We check into our accommodation for the next two nights at the Hospitality Kalgoorlie (Ph: 08 9021 2888).

Day Ten – THURSDAY 9 SEPTEMBER 2021

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

This morning we embark on a guided tour of the Kalgoorlie Super Pit, Australia’s largest producing gold mine up until 2012. The pit measures over 500 metres deep, is nearly 3.5 kilometres long and 1.4 kilometres wide, making the giant mining trucks with tyres taller than the average person, look more like Tonka toys as they make their way to the deep base of the mine. We will be “visitor-inducted” to the Super Pit and view the mining operations from the safety of the Mine-Spec Tour Coach. The view from Harvey Hut allows us to see the old shafts and miners’ workings alongside the work of the modern trucks, comparing old and new.

After morning tea, we visit the Western Australian Museum of Kalgoorlie Boulder, where we discover the unique role the town has played in Western Australia’s development, both as a centre of mining and its place at the edge of the Nullarbor Plain. We explore the largest display of the State’s collection of gold bars and nuggets, step back in time to see how prospectors searched for this precious metal and learn about the life and hardships faced by mining families during the early 1900s.

We enjoy lunch at a cafe and then are joined by a local guide. The towns amalgamated in 1989 to form the city we see today, and the streets still offer an insight into life in the 1890s, as we set out to discover the unique character, fascinating history and intriguing stories of Kalgoorlie Boulder.

This afternoon we have some time to relax and refresh before dinner.

Day Eleven – FRIDAY 10 SEPTEMBER 2021

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

Today marks the start of our journey home across the Nullarbor Plain. From Kalgoorlie we travel  back to Norseman where we stop for morning tea. From here we turn east and head out across this vast expanse of the Australian landscape.

The Nullarbor Plain covers an area of 270,000 square kilometres, two thirds being in Western Australia and one third in South Australia. It is the world’s largest ‘karst’ landscape. Karst is a specific kind of landscape formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone and dolomite. Despite the name (Nullarbor meaning “no trees”), the plain is covered with bluebush and saltbush plants that are drought-resistant and salt-tolerant. The spectacular Bunda Cliffs and the Great Australian Bight border the area to the south, whilst the northern border is the Great Victoria Desert.

We continue on the Eyre Highway to Balladonia where we will enjoy lunch. This area has a fascinating history including the crash-landing of the Skylab space station in 1979. The local Dundas Shire Council presented NASA with a littering fine and President Jimmy Carter even rang the Roadhouse to make his apologies!

Soon after, we begin to travel Australia’s longest stretch of straight road, referred to as ‘The 90 Mile Straight’ which in metric terms is 146.6 kilometres. Upon reaching Caiguna we stop for a break and the chance to stretch our legs.

The final section of our day’s journey brings us to the tiny community of Cocklebiddy, well known amongst the caving fraternity for being home to one of the world’s largest cave systems. We check into our accommodation for the night at the Wedgetail Inn (Ph: 08 9039 3462).

Day Twelve – SATURDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2019

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

We begin the day’s journey by travelling east to Mundrabilla, a small roadhouse at the base of the Hampton Tablelands, where we pause for morning tea.

A little further on we come to Eucla, the largest settlement on the Nullarbor Plain and situated on the western edge of the Nullarbor National Park. We turn south toward the coast to visit the ever changing landmark of the old Telegraph Station ruins which are slowly being consumed by the shifting sand dunes. The remainder of the original town is now buried under the sand, after a plague of rabbits ate most of the dune vegetation, which then caused large sand drifts to encroach on the town site.

A short distance along the highway we come to the Western Australia/South Australia border, where we will stop for a memorable photograph before continuing our journey. Just inside South Australia is the aptly named Border Village, where we stop for lunch.

This afternoon’s drive takes us relatively close to the coast and we stop at a couple of lookouts along the way to take in the views of the Southern Ocean and the cliffs of the Great Australian Bight.

Near the eastern end of the Nullarbor Plain is the Nullarbor Hotel/Motel (Ph: 8625 6271), our accommodation for the evening, where we can relax and enjoy our two course dinner before retiring.

Day Thirteen – SUNDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2021

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

This morning we drive out to the Head of the Bight, where the white sand dunes and beaches meet the Bunda Cliffs of the Nullarbor. Up to 100 whales including calves, congregate in the seas adjacent to the cliffs between June and October on their annual breeding migration. As we are here towards the end of the migration season there is no guarantee of whale sightings, however you will not be disappointed by the views. From the cliff-top viewing areas in the Nullarbor National Park, we enjoy the spectacular vistas of the towering cliffs dropping sheer into the pounding Southern Ocean. We will have morning tea amongst these stunning surroundings.

From here we travel through Yalata to Penong, a popular rest stop for travellers and the location for our lunch stop today.

We continue east this afternoon, travelling through Ceduna and Minnipa on our way to Wudinna, a friendly rural town situated south of the Gawler Ranges National Park. Our accommodation this evening is at the Gawler Ranges Motel (Ph. 08 8680 2090) where we can relax and enjoy our last evening of the tour.

Day Fourteen – MONDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2019

(includes cooked breakfast and two course lunch)

Today is the final leg of our journey home from Western Australia, and what a wonderful trip it has been!

We begin this morning by travelling across the eastern Eyre Peninsula, through Kyancutta to Kimba. We stop here for morning tea and the opportunity to admire the stunning painted silos. These are by Melbourne artist Cam Scale who spent weeks doing the artwork on this giant canvas, which is 25 metres tall and 60 metres wide.

Continuing our journey homewards, we drive through the Lake Gilles Conservation Park and see evidence of iron ore mining as we pass Iron Knob, before arriving at our lunch venue today in Port Augusta.

It is a comfortable afternoon drive along the Highway, past Port Pirie, Redhill and Snowtown. Slowly the landscape becomes more familiar as we head towards Adelaide’s northern suburbs and to our meeting place where the courtesy cars take us home to our doors.

From our stay in beautiful Perth, to the journey across the Nullarbor, we have seen and experienced the changing landscape of Western Australia and have special memories of our fantastic holiday in this diverse and beautiful state.