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West Australian Explorer Tour

12 days 11 nights
Perth to Perth
from AUD$3,193pp
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Explore the city sights of Perth and visit Rottnest Island, famed for its marsupial inhabitants, before beginning your road trip. Prepare for an epic adventure past captivating landscapes, native wildlife, isolated beaches and rural towns. Drive to Margaret River, where you may learn about Aboriginal culture, spend the day hiking or taste your way through award-winning cellar doors. Walk amongst the treetops in the Valley of the Giants on your way to Albany, where you will admire stunning natural landmarks in Torndirrup National Park. In Esperance, fly above Pink Lake and Le Grand National Park, known for its resident kangaroos who sunbathe on the white sand beaches. Continue your journey, arriving at Wave Rock, one of the only waves you can surf without getting wet! Once you come to Perth, you may explore Fremantle and go on a Torchlight Tour at the old Fremantle Prison. Beware, this is not for the faint of heart!

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Tour full itinerary
Itinerary
West Australian Explorer Tour - Day 1
Perth

Perth is the capital city of Western Australia developed on the Swan River, which is a sacred place for its traditional landowners, the Noongar people. The city has a rich history, from indigenous culture through to colonial architecture. The city is a hub for indigenous and modern art and award-winning restaurants, while a short drive will take you to some of the best beaches in Australia with white sand and crystal blue water. Just 19km off the mainland is Rottnest Island, also named Wadjemup by the Noongar people. The island is a protected nature reserve and one of the few homes to the native marsupial the Quokka, but also boasts a range of activities including skydiving, kayaking, snorkelling and historical points of interest.

Private transfer Perth Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, you will be met by a private driver outside customs exit and delivered to your Perth accommodation.

Your accommodation: Pensione Hotel Perth

The hotel is nestled in the Perth CBD, it offers a classic 1960's modernism and refurbished rooms. It provides a range of accommodation choices and spaces for guests to relax. The hotel prides themselves on providing comfort, value and exceptional service.

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West Australian Explorer Tour - Day 2
Explore Perth

You may like to start your day with a stroll through the city streets to take in the abundance of street art. Taking its place as Australia's second street art city, streets and laneways are decorated with funky murals and sculptures highlighting Perth in all its colour and diversity. Check out the city's street art map online to immerse yourself in the mesmerising art, stopping for coffee at any one of the trendy cafes and espresso bars scattered through the city. Head to Kings Park (Kaarta Koomba) for an authentic experience of Indigenous culture. The base of Kings Park was an important ceremonial and dreaming area for Aboriginal males, while The Boodja Gnarning Walk takes you through a diverse range of flora which were used for survival by the Noongar people, and captures this knowledge through interpretive signage and artworks. For a relaxing afternoon, catch the train down to Fremantle and wander through heritage listed buildings, stumble into the oldest record store in Australasia, and have a tipple at a one of the many breweries and much-loved local haunts. The nearby South Beach comes alive in the evenings with impromptu performances such at tight roping and fire twirling, so pull up a patch of grass on the foreshore at sunset with a local brew in hand to end the day in a quintessentially 'Freo' way.

Perth and Kings Park Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour

Jump on the board and see all the best sights of Perth & Kings Park on top of an iconic open-top double-decker bus. You can use the hop-on hop-off option to take a closer look at the sights if you wish, or just stay on board for a complete 2-hour sightseeing circuit. From the top deck, you can take beautiful photos as there is no window to spoil the view! Your tour includes a full commentary along the way by knowledgeable and professional drivers.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Perth Bar & Street Art Tour with Oh Hey WA

This walking tour offers a complete city overview. It is a perfect introduction to Perth. You will discover many hidden gems, heritage buildings, gorgeous gardens, riverside precincts, and laneways with friendly and fun-loving guides. You will hear quirky stories and fun facts along the way. Discover parts of Perth you would never find on your own and gain many suggestions of great cafes, bars, restaurants, and more to visit in Perth. 

Your accommodation: Pensione Hotel Perth

The hotel is nestled in the Perth CBD, it offers a classic 1960's modernism and refurbished rooms. It provides a range of accommodation choices and spaces for guests to relax. The hotel prides themselves on providing comfort, value and exceptional service.

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West Australian Explorer Tour - Day 3
Discover Rottnest Tour with Rottnest Express - Includes Lunch

See the whole of Rottnest in a day with a return ferry trip combined with a full-island bus tour. The 90-minute tour visits the island’s most spectacular locations, with insightful commentary shining a light on "Rotto’s" unique flora, fauna, history, and culture. The bus stops at two key vantage points – Wadjemup Lighthouse and the rugged West End, where passengers can hop off, take a short walk, and soak up the views. You might even meet a quokka or two along the way.

Your accommodation: Pensione Hotel Perth

The hotel is nestled in the Perth CBD, it offers a classic 1960's modernism and refurbished rooms. It provides a range of accommodation choices and spaces for guests to relax. The hotel prides themselves on providing comfort, value and exceptional service.
Meals included: Lunch

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West Australian Explorer Tour - Day 4
Collect your rental car

Our rental car range includes the latest vehicles from the top suppliers. We have a fantastic range, from economy hatchbacks to prestige sedans and SUVs. Insurance can often be included with a small excess or deductible.

Perth to Margaret River via Busselton

The journey from Margaret River takes approximately three hours by car. Take the Kwinana Freeway out of Perth, this later becomes Forrest Highway. Head towards Bunbury, then onto Busselton.
Busselton's calm turquoise bay is the perfect place to stretch your legs. Take a walk or train ride over the Indian Ocean on the 1.8km (1.1 mile) long jetty - the longest timber-piled jetty in the southern hemisphere. Visit the Busselton Museum, Old Courthouse or the beautiful St Mary's Church for a taste of what the area was like in the 1800s, and then treat yourself to lunch at one of the many cafes and restaurants before continuing on your drive. Margaret River is just 50km (31 miles) south of Busselton and when you start to see vineyards – you’re almost there.
Margaret River is one of Western Australia's most famous wine regions. Over the last 50 years, it has reached internationally-acclaimed status specialising in cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay, with nearly 100 cellar doors to experience.

Margaret River

Margaret River is a town that perfectly encapsulates the surrounding nature, arts, and culture in its very essence. The town itself exudes an indelible buzz with its perfect mix of artisan stores, galleries, street art and diverse bars and restaurants, yet is surrounded by the serenity of tall trees, open ocean, rocky cliffs and undulating plains across which vineyards stretch in every direction. Arguably, the region is best known for its world-renowned wine region and showcases an abundance of award-winning wines and friendly cellar doors. But this isn't the only attraction on offer - the town also has a prominent surf culture and some of the best surf conditions in the world. Home to the Margaret River Pro, Surfers Point is the iconic spot to either catch a wave, or simply grab some fish and chips and watch the spectacular western sunset from the lawn amphitheatre. If you are in town on a Saturday morning, you can't miss the local farmer's market. With a smorgasbord of local produce to choose from, whether you prefer to cook or pack picnic goodies for your day ahead the offerings will be sure to get your tummy grumbling.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Underwater Observatory Tour at the Busselton Jetty

The Underwater Observatory tour starts with a relaxing train ride on the Stocker Preston Express along the length of the Jetty with 360-degree views across Geographe Bay. Descending 8 metres below the ocean's surface, this tour then explores the natural wonders that lie beneath the Jetty where it’s piles create Australia’s greatest artificial reef host to 300 different marine species with an inspiring forest of vividly-coloured tropical and sub-tropical corals, sponges, fish and invertebrates. 13 underwater Sculptures have been built to form a snorkel trail for everyone to enjoy.

Your accommodation: Stay Margaret River

Set amongst the beautiful bushland with stunning outdoor spaces and modern rooms, Stay Margaret River provides all the comforts of home while you explore this beautiful region.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 246 kms / 153 miles : 2.8 hours

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West Australian Explorer Tour - Day 5
Explore Margaret River

Margaret River is home to incredible hiking trails, surrounded by national parks with pristine coastlines and rugged granite outcrops. Take a short drive out to Gnarabup beach and enjoy a morning walk along this pristine coast and the views from Gnarabup lookout. Stop for a coffee at the local cafe and if you continue a little further north, you will find the world-renowned Surfer's Point, a great spot to sit and watch the surfers in some impressive waves. You can also drive 30 minutes north to Yallingup to experience the local indigenous culture and the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. Take to the cellar doors for an afternoon of tasting premium wines and snacking on platters full of local produce. With over 90 award-winning cellar doors in the area, you will be spoiled for choice. If wine isn't your priority, you can spend an afternoon amidst the magic of the area's ancient caves, or the majestic Cape Leeuwin lighthouse.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Art & Wine pairing

At Leeuwin Estate Winery in Margaret River, Australia, the Art and Wine Pairing experience offers a unique fusion of fine art and exceptional wine. Visitors are guided through a curated selection of Leeuwin Estate's acclaimed wines, each meticulously paired with artworks from the Leeuwin Art Series collection. Discover why a deep appreciation of fine wine and art often go hand-in-hand. Enjoy a delicious morning tea upon arrival as your host introduces family-owned Leeuwin Estate, its commitment to the arts and winemaking philosophy. Following morning tea,enjoy a guided tour of the Leeuwin Art Gallery, showcasing the compelling collection of contemporary Australian artworks featured on the winery’s iconic ‘Art Series’ labels. Your art and wine adventure concludes with an indulgent tutored tasting, featuring five wines accompanied with West Australian delicacies.

Your accommodation: Stay Margaret River

Set amongst the beautiful bushland with stunning outdoor spaces and modern rooms, Stay Margaret River provides all the comforts of home while you explore this beautiful region.

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West Australian Explorer Tour - Day 6
Margaret River to Albany via Denmark

Today's journey begins by heading inland to the old timber town of Nannup – famous for its gardens, spring wildflowers and craft shops. From here, head south to Pemberton, home to the Gloucester Tree - the world's tallest fire lookout tree. At 61m (200ft) the lookout platform is roughly the same height as the Sydney Opera House.
Continue on the Vasse and South Western Highway to Walpole and continue towards Denmark, stopping off at William Bay National Park, where the towering forest meets the Southern Ocean and you can take a short walk to see Greens Pool and the Elephant Rocks rock formations. Denmark has wineries and gourmet produce stores surrounding the town, so there's not shortage of great options in the cafes and restaurants to take a late lunch or grab a snack.
From Denmark, it is just 40 minutes to Albany, the place that the first European settlers set foot in Western Australia. Home to more than 50 heritage buildings and the Historic Whaling Station Museum at Discovery Bay, there is no shortage of history waiting to be discovered.

Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk - suggested activity

The Valley of the Giants is an iconic region on the south coast of Western Australia between Denmark and Walpole. The area is world famous for the Tree Top Walk suspended 40 metres high in the canopy of the ancient tingle forest. Designed to immerse you in the forest and leave the eco system untouched, the walk blends seamlessly into its surrounds, inspired by the sword grass and the tassel flower it serves to protect. Suspended effortlessly in the air, the walk moves gently just like the sway of the trees. In a busy world be inspired to stop, reflect, and connect with nature.

Your accommodation: Ace Mandala Accommodation Albany

Cosy and contemporary, Ace Mandala Accommodation Albany offers a relaxing haven for guests to enjoy while exploring the region. Dine onsite or within Albany's central hub, a short drive away.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 384 kms / 238 miles : 4.5 hours

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West Australian Explorer Tour - Day 7
The Gap & Natural Wonders Tour with Albany Tours

Embark on an adventure around to Albany's most impressive landscapes in this half-day Gap and Natural Wonders tour. Take in the 360-degree views from the summit of Stoney Hill, looking over the Southern Ocean and rugged coastlines which early explorers first encountered as they rounded the peninsula for the sheltered waters of Princess Royal Harbour. In Torndirrup National Park, journey to the iconic Gap and Natural Bridge where you will see the waves thrashing against the granite walls. Take in the view from Albany Wind Farm and see the granite formations of the Stirling and Porongurup Ranges in the distance.

Your accommodation: Ace Mandala Accommodation Albany

Cosy and contemporary, Ace Mandala Accommodation Albany offers a relaxing haven for guests to enjoy while exploring the region. Dine onsite or within Albany's central hub, a short drive away.

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West Australian Explorer Tour - Day 8
Albany to Esperance

Heading north east from Albany on one the most enjoyable roads you will begin the 5 hour journey along the national route 1 to Esperance the town of the pink bubble-gum lake and picturesque white sandy beaches. After 2 hours you will reach Jerramungup, a small sheep settlement on the coast which provides a popular stop on the journey. With the heritage trail, Fitzgerald River National Park and the chance to spot a whale during the winter months its a great place to enjoy a picnic lunch. You will then pass through a small town of Ravensthorpe, the home of 3 silos that represent a beautiful wildflower mural which is part of the public silo trail in the area. From here it is an easy 2 hours to reach your destination of Esperance full of natural wonders.

Esperance

Esperance is an absolute haven for sea, sun, and adventure lovers, nestled on the south coast of Western Australia about 8 hours drive from Perth. The town is surrounded by untouched beaches, bushland and an abundance of national parks such as Cape Le Grand National Park, the many trails and coastal walks of which are a big drawcard for the nature lovers. Another natural highlight is the nearby string of 105 islands known as the Recherche Archipelago, a breathtaking seascape that has seen Esperance affectionately titled the 'Bay of Isles'. One of these islands, Middle Island, even cradles its very own bubblegum pink salt lake, Lake Hillier. Contrasting the striking blue waters and green bushland, it is a truly astonishing view to witness by air. From island cruises to diving, surfing, fishing charters and scenic flights, Esperance has something to offer every vibe. If you're looking for something a little different but equally as impressive, check out the Esperance Stonehenge - the only full-size replica of the original, totalling 137 stones of Esperance Pink Granite.

Your accommodation: Best Western Esperance

Looking over the glorious Esperance Bay, Best Western Esperance offers comfortable and well-appointed accommodation in a perfectly central location. Relax by the pool, grab a cocktail at the bar, or take some time out at the adjacent beach and watch for dolphins in the bay.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 483 kms / 300 miles : 5.1 hours

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West Australian Explorer Tour - Day 9
Le Grand Pink Lakes Scenic Flight with Fly Esperance

Discover the stunning scenery of the Esperance Region during this 80-minute Scenic Flight over one of the Australia's most beautiful coastline. You will fly over the snow-white beaches of Cape Le Grand National Park and the surreal pink colored Lake Hillier, located on the Middle Island. You will also see unique lake systems, home to almost 200 individual Pink and Rainbow Lakes, Woody Island, Frenchman Peak, Lucky Bay, Duke of Orleans, Cape Arid, Wharton Beach and beautiful turquoise waters that make the Esperance region so spectacular. From June to October, there is even a chance to spot a migrating whales.

Cape Le Grand National Park

Cape Le Grand National park is located just under an hour's drive from the coastal town of Esperance, and is an absolute must-do when visiting the area. The park stretches for ... of ancient rugged coastline, idyllic white beaches rolling heathlands. You'll find unbelievably picture-perfect beaches perfect for swimming, surfing, fishing and boating, and even kangaroo spotting. There aren't many places you'll see kangaroos sunbathing on a white sand beach, but Cape Le Grand is known for it. If you're here in the spring months (September to October), you will likely spot some incredible carpets of wildflowers along the roadsides and further into the bushland. Far more than just a pretty beach, the national park also offers over 20 kilometres of walking trails. For a moderate hike, head to the Frenchman's Peak trail in the morning to see the amazing morning sunlight shine across the park from the summit. Although steep, this 3km walk gaining 140 metres elevation rewards you with spectacular panoramic views over the park and the southern coastline, dotted with islands of the Recherche Archipelago. The top is also home to a cave-like structure that is thought to have formed by underwater activity around 40 million years ago, when the area would have been submerged in the waters of what is now known as the Great Australian Bight.

Your accommodation: Best Western Esperance

Looking over the glorious Esperance Bay, Best Western Esperance offers comfortable and well-appointed accommodation in a perfectly central location. Relax by the pool, grab a cocktail at the bar, or take some time out at the adjacent beach and watch for dolphins in the bay.

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West Australian Explorer Tour - Day 10
Esperance to Hyden

As you leave Esperance, drive to the west of the town and make the breathtaking Great Ocean Drive a priority, stopping at stunning Blue Haven, Salmon or Twilight Beach. You can make a little detour to Observatory Point and walk up to the top of the lookout to admire the harsh beauty of Esperance's coastline. Continue driving on Twilight Beach Rd and you'll pass Ten Mile Lagoon; which is a great spot for a swim (clothing optional on a if it's only you there!) in a protected lagoon. After a dip keep driving on Eleven Mile Beach Rd towards the 'Pink Lake', which is unfortunately no longer pink, but there are still beautiful lookouts. Follow the South Coast Highway towards Ravensthorpe, a town surrounded by incredible wildflowers - if you are visiting in September, don't miss out the Wildflower Show! Ravensthorpe is also known for the very popular Yummylicious Candy Shack, home to the World's Largest Lollypop!
From here, it is about 2 hours drive to Hyden, via State Route 40. While in Hyden, you must see the Wave Rock. It is a carved granite cliff face, resembling a wave, which has been forming for millions of years. You can take a bush walk around the rock to see native flowers and birds; and also visit Lake Magic, which is 1 km north of Wave Rock. The best time to experience the changing colors of the lake is at sunrise or with a glass of wine at sunset.

Hyden & Wave Rock

Hyden is an inland town of Western Australia famous for its recognisable Wave Rock formation and other natural landscapes which you can easily spend a day exploring. Rising an astonishing 15 metres from the ground and more than 100 metres in length, the multicoloured granite formation looks like a giant surf wave, juxtaposed against the red sand desert and bushland it rises from. Nearby you will also find Hippos Yawn, a 12-metre rock named for its resemblance to the animal.
A 10-minute drive north of Wave Rock you will find the Humps and Mulka's Cave, named for an Aboriginal legend associated with the cave. Inside, you can see hand stencils and line paintings on the walls that are thought to date back around 400 years.
Alongside its rich cultural experiences, Hyden also offers contemporary experiences such as the Salt Pool. End your day of exploration soaking in this 20 metre round and 6 metre deep manmade gypsum pond. It has buoyancy and therapeutic properties greater than those of the Dead Sea - right in the middle of the Australian Desert!
Lake Magic at sunrise or sunset provides amazing photo opportunities, and is the naturally occurring alternative to the Salt Pool with its gypsum base, salt water and sandy beach edges. Whether exploring the outdoors or relaxation is your main goal, your stay in Hyden will provide.

Your accommodation: Wave Rock Hotel Motel

Wave Rock Motel is located just 5 km from the iconic Wave Rock. It offers a premium accommodation and comfort overlooking picturesque billabong swimming pool and gardens.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 401 kms / 249 miles : 4.2 hours

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West Australian Explorer Tour - Day 11
Hyden to Perth (via Kulin)

The drive from Hyden to Perth takes about 4 hours by car; you'll travel through an area known as the Wheatbelt and there's plenty of places to stop on the way. Start the journey heading southwest on State Route 40 towards Karlgarin. If you haven't had time to see the Wave Rock in Hyden, there is an opportunity to visit Jilakin Rock today. This rock is far less impressive than Wave Rock itself but from here you will see incredible views of Jilakin Lake. Continuing on you'll drive towards Kulin, a town famous for the Kulin Bush Races and now even more popular for its Tin Horse Highway, recognized as one of the Wheatbelt's most popular drive trails. The tin horses were created by community members out of bits and pieces found lying around farms in the area. See how many tin horses can you spot on your way?
After Kulin continue toward Corrigin along State Route 40, pass by the Gorge Rock Reserve, where, just off the main road you can observe an old local swimming pool, have a picnic or walk up the Gorge Rock. Our final suggestion for this journey is a stop at the very popular Cohunu Koala Park, (40 minutes from Perth) where you can get up close with Australia's most loved animals - koala bears and maybe hand feed the friendly kangaroos, wallabies and other wildlife. Once in Perth, you can enjoy soft-sand beaches, scenic parks as well as a thriving metropolis of small bars, creative restaurants and street art.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Torchlight Tour with Fremantle Prison

Explore the darker side of Fremantle Prison’s history. The Prison walls echo with stories of loneliness, pain and suffering, of executions gone wrong, of the innocent unjustly imprisoned and the guilty punished. Join Fremantle Prison Guides in the dark as they entertain you with sordid and ghastly stories. Be warned - these tours are not for the faint hearted.

Your accommodation: Pensione Hotel Perth

The hotel is nestled in the Perth CBD, it offers a classic 1960's modernism and refurbished rooms. It provides a range of accommodation choices and spaces for guests to relax. The hotel prides themselves on providing comfort, value and exceptional service.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 337 kms / 209 miles : 3.6 hours

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West Australian Explorer Tour - Day 12
Return your vehicle to Perth airport

Explore more of Perth before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

Farewell from Perth

Your tour comes to an end today, but if you are itching to explore more amazing sights, we can customise your holiday to include more days or additional destinations. Our trusted travel specialists can book transfers to your onward flight, and even assist in booking these flights for you. Our team can't wait to help you design your ultimate getaway!

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