Tour Description

Pilbara and the Coral Coast: Broome to Perth

Fifteen Days: 5th 19th August 2019

Twin Share: $7795 per person. Sole Use: $8995 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.

 

The Pilbara stretches over 400,000 square kilometres and contains some of the world’s most ancient natural landscapes, dating back two billion years. It borders the Coral Coast, which boasts over 1000 kilometres of stunning coastline of white sandy beaches and coral reefs just metres from shore. This journey from tropical Broome to metropolitan Perth brings amazing contrasts and provides some of the most breath taking scenery and incredible experiences to be found in Australia. We journey through the rugged landscape of the Pilbara, take a glass-bottomed boat cruise on Ningaloo Reef, meet dolphins at Monkey Mia and tour both Broome and Perth. This journey offers something for everyone and is the perfect way to escape Adelaide at winter!

 

Day One – MONDAY 5 AUGUST 2019

(includes lunch and three course dinner)

As we rise this morning to a wintry Adelaide day, it’s wonderful to think that this evening we will be in sunny Broome! 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 us with check-in, security procedures and guides us to the gate, ready to board our Qantas flight to Broome, via Perth.

On arrival at Broome Airport we will be taken to meet our driver at the Endeavour Tours mini-coach, ready to begin our Pilbara adventure.

Originally founded as a pearling port over one hundred years ago, Broome has a rich history and unique multi-cultural mix of people. We check into our accommodation for the next three nights at the Oaks Resort Broome (Ph. 08 9192 9500) with time to settle in before coming together for dinner.

 

Day Two – TUESDAY 6 AUGUST 2019

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

We spend today getting to know Broome with the assistance of a local guide. This will help us understand the town’s rich history while we take in the sights and sounds of this wonderful coastal destination.

Late morning we take a short drive out of town to The Mango Place. This farm is a little oasis of mango delights, with an extensive range of unique products and produce, from homemade ice-cream, teas and sauces to essential oils and beauty products. We can sit under the shade trees and enjoy a mango wine, peruse the shop or take a leisurely wander along the Rainbow Walk Trail to explore the gardens and mango farm. We also enjoy lunch in this beautiful setting.

Making our way back into town, there’s time to explore Broome’s popular export industry. It is often said that Broome’s pearling industry is as rich in culture as it is in pearls, so at the Pearl Luggers Experience we discover the impact pearling has had upon north-Western Australia and the character of Broome. We see an interesting array of pearling equipment and memorabilia, from actual hard hat diving suits to the hand-powered pumps which fed precious air to the divers below.  Also on display are Broome’s last remaining wooden pearling luggers; the Sam Male and DMcD, as well as rare artefacts and archival footage of the divers at work. There is also a  pearl on display valued at over $100,000!

On our return to the motel there will be time to relax and change before departing for dinner. This evening we make our way to Cable Beach where we can enjoy a beautiful Broome sunset. With 22 kilometres of spectacular white sand and glistening turquoise water, it is the ideal spot to enjoy dinner at a seaside restaurant as we admire the views.

After making the most of our evening, we return to our motel for a good night’s rest.

 

Day Three – WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST 2019

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

Broome’s history is based around the exploits of the men and women who developed the pearling industry and today the industry remains a vibrant part of the town, which proudly produces some of the world’s finest pearls.

We will be taken to the WA Tourism Award winning Willie Creek Pearl Farm today to see how the stunning rare Australian south sea cultured pearl is produced. On a guided tour and cruise, we are shown the intricate processes of Broome’s modern cultured pearl industry, from the seeding of an oyster to the harvesting and grading of a pearl. We will enjoy lunch here and have time to browse through the showroom where we can see these magnificent pearls set in beautiful pieces of jewellery.

On our return to Broome, we have some free time to explore. We can spend time walking along one of the stunning beaches, enjoy a camel ride (times vary and is at passengers own cost), shop in town or simply relax on the foreshore.

Back at the motel we enjoy our dinner together before retiring to our rooms for the night.

 

Day Four – THURSDAY 8 AUGUST 2019

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

It is now time to farewell the lovely town of Broome and set off down the West Coast. Today we pass through some of the most sparsely populated and remote areas of Australia as we travel between the Great Sandy Desert to the east and Eighty Mile Beach to the west. Eighty Mile Beach lies along the north-west coast of Western Australia about half-way between the towns of Broome and Port Hedland. It is a beach some 220 kilometres in length, forming the coastline where the Great Sandy Desert approaches the Indian Ocean.

We stop at Barn Hill for morning tea, before continuing further south to Sandfire where we enjoy lunch in the remote roadhouse nestled between the last sand dunes of the Great Sandy Desert.

We are now entering the Pilbara region, and the scenery is fantastic. Further along the North Western Highway we pause for a comfort stop before commencing the final leg of today’s journey. Taking us further west, we cross the De Grey River which boasts a stream bed 100 to 130 metres wide.  Although dry throughout most of the year the shore land is fertile with grass and trees.

Late this afternoon we arrive in Port Headland, the second largest town in the Pilbara region.  Our accommodation this evening is at the Ibis Styles Port Headland (Ph. 08 9173 1511).

 

Day Five – FRIDAY 9 AUGUST 2019

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

Port Hedland is a dynamic town of over 14,000 people and is fuelled by the millions of dollars poured into the local mining industry. The main industries are iron ore processing, salt production and the shipping of manganese and other minerals. The town is situated on tidal flats and is a unique blend of spectacular natural wonders and industrial businesses. The original inhabitants call the place Marapikurrinya, for the hand shaped formation of the tidal creeks coming off the natural harbour.

We take a drive around the town this morning to learn more about its culture and heritage before setting off along the North West Coastal Highway.

We pause in Whim Creek for morning tea before continuing our drive to Roebourne,  located on the central Pilbara Coast where the outback meets the islands. Roebourne was a former gold rush town in the Pilbara region and prospered during its gold boom in the late 19th century. The settlement was once the largest between Darwin and Perth but today has a population of less than one thousand people. We visit the Roebourne Tourist Information Centre which is situated within the Old Roebourne Gaol and houses a fascinating museum. This Centre provides an insight into the history of the Pilbara Coast, a collection of local arts and crafts and information on the area.

From Roebourne we continue on to Karratha, a town that emerged in the 1960’s due to the development of iron ore and salt operations in the area. We enjoy lunch here before departing for Dampier, situated just 20 minutes drive west of Karratha.

Named after the explorer William Dampier, the town overlooks the ocean and islands of the Dampier Archipelago and is the largest tonnage shipping port in Australia. While here we will stop at the Red Dog memorial, made famous by a movie of the same name released in 2011 and enjoy a bit of free time to look around the town. We also take the opportunity to visit the North West Shelf Project Visitors Centre, which overlooks the Karratha Gas Plant. The project is a joint venture between six major international companies and we will learn of its significance through the interactive displays at the Centre.

Late afternoon we return to Karratha where we are staying at the Karratha International Hotel (Ph. 08 9187 3333). Here we can relax in the comfort of our motel rooms before our dinner this evening.

 

Day Six – SATURDAY 10 AUGUST 2019

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

After breakfast we continue our journey through the Pilbara region. We depart Karratha travelling further south west, enjoying the wonderful scenery as we cross the Maitland River. Our first stop this morning is at Fortescue River, the third longest river in Western Australia which runs into the Indian Ocean at Mardie Station. We stop for refreshments at the Fortesque River Roadhouse.

We get a real sense of how truly remote this north-western region is from the number of roadhouses servicing the highway traveller—the only settlements dotted along the large stretches of road. Crossing the Ashburton River, we arrive at the Nanutarra Roadhouse where we have lunch today.

Continuing to follow the North West Coastal Highway, we head out of the Pilbara region and into the Coral Coast. We detour from the main highway to Coral Bay, a small coastal town based near the Ningaloo Reef, and a stark contrast to the environment we have driven through today.

Ningaloo is Australia’s only fringing reef. It has been nominated for World Heritage listing for its natural beauty, biological richness and international significance. In contrast to other reefs, the coral starts right at the water’s edge, making the fish and the coral very accessible to all. More than five hundred species of tropical fish and two hundred and twenty species of coral make up the protected marine park of Ningaloo Reef.

We check into our accommodation at Ningaloo Reef Resort Coral Bay (Ph. 08 9942 5934) before coming together for dinner.

 

Day Seven – SUNDAY 11 AUGUST 2018

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

This morning we embark on a special exploration of the beautiful Ningaloo Reef. We make our way to the foreshore of Coral Bay where we board a glass bottom boat. This boat will take us out to the Reef, which stretches 260 kilometres from Bundegi Reef near the town of Exmouth, to Amherst Point near Coral Bay in the south. These boats are powered by environmentally friendly motors and have huge glass panels to maximise our coral viewing experience. We enjoy open uninterrupted views from both above and below as we cruise the pristine waters of the bay. (Timing of this tour is dependent on the tides.)

After disembarking, we have lunch at the Resort before departing Coral Bay and travelling further south. We arrive at Minilya, situated on the Minilya River in close proximity to Lake McLeod. It is here that we stop to stretch our legs.

The final part of today’s journey takes us past the full length of Lake McLeod. The lake occupies 2072 square kilometres and is only separated from the Indian Ocean by coastal dunes and rocky outcrops where both gypsite and salt are mined on the huge evaporation beds.

South of the lake we reach Carnarvon, a small coastal town at the mouth of the Gascoyne River on the Indian Ocean. The Carnarvon area was first settled in 1876 and the town named after Lord Carnarvon, the then British Secretary of State for the Colonies.  Our motel for tonight is the Best Western Hospitality Inn (Ph. 08 9941 1600).

 

Day Eight – MONDAY 12 AUGUST 2019

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

Departing Carnarvon this morning, we follow the North West Coastal Highway further south and around Shark Bay. Our destination today is Monkey Mia and one of the highlights of our tour, but before arriving there is so much to see along the way.

We stop at Wooramel for morning tea before detouring off the highway to Hamelin Pool. Home to a colony of Stromatolites (fossil micro organisms), we’ll take time to look at this natural phenomena, which dates back to the beginning of life on earth.

We have our lunch at the Hamelin Pool Telegraph Station, built in 1884 as part of the vital communication line between Perth and Roebourne. The original building is now a museum housing many fascinating artefacts and while here we have a guided tour of the station.

This afternoon we pass through Denham, the most westerly town in Australia and the access point to Monkey Mia on the north eastern arm of the Peron Peninsula. On arrival, we settle into our rooms at the delightful Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort (Ph. 08 9948 1320), where we will be staying for the next two nights.

 

Day Nine – TUESDAY 13 AUGUST 2019

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

Monkey Mia is best known for the numerous bottlenose dolphins that regularly visit and interact with humans at the local beach. This all started back in 1964 when a lady from a nearby fishing village befriended the dolphins, feeding them on a regular basis. It has now become a part of the dolphins’ daily lives, as they visit the shores at Monkey Mia each morning.

We have a relaxed start to the morning, with plenty of time to wander down to the Dolphin Interaction Beach to watch these beautiful creatures up close.

Mid-morning, we travel back to Denham and visit the Shark Bay Discovery Centre. Denham used to be a pearling port, but is now better known for its seafood, particularly its prawns. Here at the centre is a world class museum which explores all of the natural wonders of World Heritage listed Shark Bay, its incredible wildlife and historic treasures.

After lunch we travel a little further south to Eagle Bluff, a great place to view rare marine life. This area is named after the osprey or sea eagles which nest on the rock island just offshore.

We return to Monkey Mia for some free time around this lovely resort before another delicious dinner.

 

Day Ten – WEDNESDAY 14 AUGUST 2019

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

After a relaxing stay in Monkey Mia, we depart this morning to continue our journey further south.

As we leave the Peron Peninsula we stop at Shell Beach in the Shark Bay region. Shell Beach is one of only two beaches in the world made entirely from shells. Here the beach is covered with shells for about 60 kilometres along the coast and the visual effect of the snow-white beach with the blue ocean waters behind is stunning. We’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the view, take photos and have our morning tea.

Late morning we re-join the main highway, having lunch at a roadhouse along the way. After following the highway for some time, our driver turns west to head towards the coast to enter the Kalbarri National Park which surrounds the lower reaches of the Murchison River. Over time, the river has cut a magnificent gorge through the sandstone, leaving bands of red and white colour through the magnificent rock formations.

Crossing the River we come to the beautiful township of Kalbarri where we check in to our accommodation for tonight at the Edge Resort Kalbarri (Ph: 08 9937 0000).

 

Day Eleven –  THURSDAY 15 AUGUST 2019

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

Pelican feeding has become one of Kalbarri’s most well known attractions. It started in 1970 when Cliff, a local fisherman, would feed the Pelicans the scraps left over after he had cleaned his morning catch. Volunteers have now taken over the tradition, so after breakfast this morning we can join the pelicans on the foreshore.

The Murchison River is the second longest in WA, flowing from the southern edge of the Robinson Ranges to the Indian Ocean at Kalbarri. Mid-morning we embark on a Wilderness Cruise along this tranquil waterway.  As we journey, we are sure to see the variety of native birds and animals who call this area home, adding to this wonderful experience.

We have lunch upon disembarking our cruise before taking time to explore more of Kalbarri, its many lookouts and spectacular views, from dramatic coastal landscapes to the gorges of Kalbarri National Park.

We return to our accommodation with time to relax before meeting again in the restaurant for dinner.

 

Day Twelve – FRIDAY 16 AUGUST 2019

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

This morning we depart Kalbarri, following the coastal road through Northampton on our way south to Geraldton. With a population of approximately 25,000, the city of Geraldton is the commercial centre and port for the Batavia Coast. We drive around the town to see the local sights including the port area, the St. Francis Xavier Cathedral and the HMAS Sydney Memorial.  This national memorial is dedicated to the lost crew and families of the HMAS Sydney II, said to be the greatest single tragedy in Australia’s Naval history.

From Geraldton we take the Brand Highway along the Coast, past Cape Burney and on through towns such as Greenough and Dongarra, stopping for lunch along the way.

Veering off the Highway we take the Indian Ocean drive along the coast. After passing through Green Head we come to the coastal town of Cervantes, and our accommodation for the evening at the Pinnacles Motel (Ph. 08 9652 7145).

 

Day Thirteen – SATURDAY 17 AUGUST 2019

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

This morning we visit the Nambung National Park, which features pristine coastal bays and white sandy beaches. The vegetation here usually bursts into flower from August to October, creating a memorable  spectacle. The Park is also home to Western Australia’s Pinnacles; impressive limestone structures that are up to five metres tall, creating a peculiar moon-like landscape. We take the opportunity to visit the Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre and viewing area.

Continuing down the coast we reach the small fishing and tourist town of Lancelin. Boasting clear turquoise waters and relaxed seaside lifestyle, Lancelin is most famous for its amazing white sand dunes.  We take a drive around town and see the wonderful views of the Indian Ocean before having lunch.

This afternoon we continue our journey along Indian Ocean Drive before taking the more scenic coastal road. Our destination today is the state capital of Perth, known for its personal charm, elegant riverside parks and the beauty of the Swan River. For the next two nights we will be staying at the Metro Hotel Perth (Ph. 08 9367 6122),  located less than a kilometre from the bank of the river.

 

Day Fourteen – SUNDAY 18 AUGUST 2019

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

We begin our exploration of Perth with a cruise to Fremantle. As we journey along the Swan River we can see so many of Perth’s attractions. We’ll enjoy morning tea on board, whilst listening to the Captain’s commentary.

On arrival in Fremantle we visit the WA Maritime Museum, which houses several unique galleries exploring the relationship between Western Australia and the sea. We’ll have time to explore before enjoying our lunch in the Museum Café.

This afternoon we join the Freemantle Tram Tour, which demonstrates that 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, it’s beautifully preserved architecture and significant sites of this historic port city before returning to Perth and our accommodation for dinner.

 

Day Fifteen – MONDAY 19 AUGUST 2019

(includes cooked breakfast and light lunch)

We farewell our hosts in Perth after breakfast before setting out on a guided tour.  A local joins our bus, taking us around the city whilst sharing stories of Perth’s history and development.

We then make out way to Perth Airport, arriving with plenty of time for a relaxed check-in. We are assisted through security to the departure gate ready for our flight to Adelaide.  Arriving in Adelaide in the early evening, we are met by an Endeavour Tours representative who takes us to meet the cars that will take us home after an unforgettable journey of discovery exploring the Pilbara and Coral Coast regions of Western Australia.