Days
22
Price from
$3,990AUD

Travel from the national parks of the Outback to the pristine coast of Western Australia.

Get to know Western Australia inside-out on this three-week roadtrip that travels north from Perth, along the WA coastline, through the Kimberleys and into Darwin. Check out the scenery of Kalbarri National Park, feed the friendly dolphins of Monkey Mia and snorkel in search of turtles and whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef. Check out the natural treasures of Karijini National Park, creep through Echidna Chasm in the Bungle Bungles and enjoy a splash in Katherine Gorge. Think of this little ditty as your definitive adventure through Australia's wild west.


Start
Perth, Australia
Finish
Darwin, Australia
Destination
Western Australia, Outback, Kimberley, Northern Territory
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer, Indigenous Culture, Overland, The Great Outdoors, Walking & Trekking, Wildlife
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 1, Max 20
Code
PD22

Why we love this trip

  • Get off the beaten track as you discover the raw desert landscapes and stunning coastline of Western Australia and the Kimberley in this ultimate overland adventure

  • It may be a cliche, but life is all about the journey. Explore the major highlights between Perth and Darwin at a slower pace, allowing you to really get under the skin of a place

  • Enjoy the flexibility of a private vehicle, the local knowledge of a passionate guide and the magic of camping under the great southern sky, Australian-style

  • The cattle stations, red earth and mining communities of the Pilbara are reminiscent of the sun-baked Australia much of the world imagines

  • Hike and swim in the ancient gorges and waterholes of Karijini National Park

Is this trip right for you?

  • Accommodation on the first half of this trip and in Broome is multishare, meaning there are no private rooms. You'll spend some nights of the trip sleeping at camping grounds in a swag (Australian bedroll) in twin-share, permanent tents. While conditions can be very basic, this is all part of the adventure.

  • This is a true overland trip, and the journey is a big part of the experience. On some days of the trip, you will spend several hours driving, often through very sparse areas of desert. Crank up the tunes and sit back to enjoy landscapes that you would miss in any other form of travel.

  • This trip requires a decent level of agility and stamina, as it involves a lot of walking, allowing you to really get among nature. The hikes in the Kimberley are particularly challenging. Please bring sturdy, comfortable walking shoes and comfortable clothing.

  • Temperatures in regional Australia can be extreme. During the day the weather can be hot (and the Australian sun is strong) so please bring appropriate clothing, use sun protection and drink plenty of water. In the evenings temperatures really drop, so ensure you have base layers and warm clothing.

Itinerary

Perth’s one of those places that’s practically impossible to dislike. The weather’s great year-round, the vibe’s decidedly easygoing and there’s a good beach never too far away. If you have the time, book in a few days here before the trip starts. You’ll be happy you did. Two-hours north by road, on the edge of Western Australia’s Wheatbelt region, is Nambung National Park. The Pinnacles Desert is the highlight attraction here, with giant shards of limestone thrusting up from the earth to create an atmosphere that some find kinda spooky. The local emus don’t though – you’ll probably see them strutting about, wondering what all the fuss is about. From here it’s on to the dunes of Jurien Bay, where you might like to give sandboarding a shot. Then it’s back on the road Kalbarri, our base for the night.

Note: Total driving time today is about four-and-a-half hours. Total walking distance is approximately two kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nambung National Park (Pinnacles) Entrance
  • Sandboarding Jurien Bay
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning we drive to Kalbarri National Park for a hike through its diverse scenery. Following the Loop Walk, we arrive at Nature’s Window, which frames impressive views of the Murchison River Gorge below, before walking down for a dip in Z-Bend Gorge (at extra cost, there’s also the option to abseil down). After lunch we drive on to Shell Beach, supposedly one of only two beaches in the world composed completely of shells. We finish up the day in Shark Bay.

Note: Total driving time today is about four hours. Total walking distance is approximately five kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Abseiling in Kalbarri National Park - AUD30
Included Activities
  • Kalbarri National Park Entrance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Monkey Mia, on the other side of the Peron Peninsula, is a pretty little headland of white sands and turquoise waters. Better yet, it’s a place where, every day for the last 40 years, a pod of local dolphins has swum into shore for a free feed. This morning we’ll be there to welcome them, and then we’ll continue on to Carnarvon to see the stromatolites of Hamelin Pool. While not as visually impressive as their cousins, stalagmites, these rocky clumps are some of the oldest living things in the world. The day’s final driving will bring us to Coral Bay.

Note: Total driving time today is about five-and-a-half hours. Total walking distance is approximately two kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Monkey Mia Dolphins
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
World Heritage-listed and one of the largest fringing coral reefs in the world, Ningaloo Reef is a right national treasure. More than 500 species of fish and 200 species of coral are said to live here, along with turtles, dugongs, manta rays and whale sharks, so strap on a snorkel, head out, and see what’s swimming about. If you’re the type who prefers keeping dry, there’s also the option of cruising out to sea in a glass-bottom boat. Today’s a free day and what you spend it doing is entirely up to you. If you’re sea-shy, snub the beach altogether and head out on a quad bike ride. Tonight we make camp at our exclusive tent site in Yardie Creek.

Note: Total driving time today is about one-and-a-half hours. Total walking distance is approximately two kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Yardi Creek Camp (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Snorkel with Manta Rays - half day trip - AUD165
  • Whale Watching (seasonal) from - AUD85
  • Glass Bottom Boat Cruises from - AUD37
Included Activities
  • Ningaloo Reef Marine Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today’s a free day, so do whatever you feel. Head out on a dive trip in search of whale sharks (seasonal dependent and at extra cost) or wander up to Vlamingh Head Lighthouse with your guide and stake out your own little slice of tranquility in Turquoise Bay.

Note: Total driving time today is about one-and-a-half hours. Total walking distance is approximately two kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Yardi Creek Camp (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Snorkel with the Whalesharks (April to July only) from - AUD350
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Leaving the coast behind, we head into the Pilbara – a region famous for its wild, rust-coloured terrain and underground riches. Mining is big business here, which you’ll come to see when we pass through the iron-ore outpost of Tom Price on the drive to Karijini. Our campsite tonight overlooks the Hamersley Range. How many 5 Star resorts can boast that?

Today’s travel will take around six-and-a-half hours in total.
Accommodation
  • Karijini National Park Camp (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Were it not slap-bang in the middle of nowhere, Karijini National Park would likely attract visitor numbers that would rival Kakadu and the Daintree. Fortunately though, it is. So it doesn’t. Which means the two days you’ll be spending exploring Karijini should be relatively crowd-free. Today you’ll visit Dales Gorge, Weano Gorge, Circular Pool, Fern Pool and Fortescue Falls – lovely places to swim, each and all.

Note: Total driving time today is only around 40 minutes, but you could be walking up to six kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Karijini National Park Camp (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Karijini National Park Entrance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
There’s a whole lot more exploring scheduled in for today, but the highlight attraction is a navigation of Hancock Gorge. This isn’t the easiest walk around – it includes clambering down a ladder – but your reward is a swim in the emerald waters of Kermit’s Pool.

Note: Total driving time today is only around 30 minutes, but you could be walking up to six kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Karijini National Park Camp (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Prepare for a bit of driving today; we’ve got a fair distance to cover. On the plus side, the scenery is pretty captivating and you’ll get a good sense of the region’s immense scale. The major stop for the day is lunch in Port Hedland, and we spend the night at a working cattle station.

Today we drive for about five hours
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast, the drive to your next destination of Broome will take around five hours. En route, enjoy a leisurely break and stroll on the white shores of 80 Mile Beach, made entirely of tiny seashells. On arrival into Broome enjoy an idyllic sunset, which the town is famous for. Tonight, check into your accommodation ahead of two free days in this beautiful city.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Located at what often feels like the ends of the earth, with the ocean on one side and desert the other, Broome is a great place to chill out in for a few days. And that’s exactly what we do. With no scheduled activities for the next two days, how you spend your time here is completely up to you. Potter down to Chinatown, check out the Staircase Night Market, bask yourself on Roebuck Bay and perhaps sign up for a sunset camel safari along Cable Beach.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Broome may well be beautiful, but it has a pretty dark side too. The pearling industry, which made the town its fortune, was one largely built on the practice of ‘blackbirding’, in which enslaved indigenous people were forced to dive for the shells. When slavery was abolished, the Japanese took up the work, and the town’s Japanese cemetery contains more than 900 headstones commemorating the lives lost. In 2010 a memorial was also established in honour of the Indigenous Female Pearl Divers. Learn more about the town’s history at the Broome Historical Museum, then perhaps catch a flick at the world’s longest-running outdoor cinema.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
PICK UP DAY 13: Kimberley Klub, 06:30am

The town of Broome made its fortune from the pearling industry,
though these days
it’s better known as an easy going tourist town with a pretty striking
strip of coastline.
We set off into the West Australian wilds pretty early today, so
consider arriving a
day or two early if you fancy getting to know Broome better. After a
bit of highway
driving we reach the Fitzroy River, then it’s all off-road to the Napier
Range. The
main attraction here is Tunnel Creek, a vast cave system that
extends 750 metres
underground. It’s from here that the indigenous renegade
Jandamarra waged his
rebellion against the colonial authorities – a legacy you’ll learn more
about on walk
through the tunnel with your guide.

Note: Total driving time today is around four hours. Total walking
distance is
approximately six kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tunnel Creek exploration walk
  • Bunuba Indigenous Experience
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
It might be hard to imagine these days, but Windjana Gorge was
once an underwater
reef. During the wet season a river flows all the way through it, but
during the dry it’s
really more a series of ponds and billabongs. We’ll set out on a bit of
an explore,
hopefully spotting a freshwater crocodile or two. The western
Kimberley region is full
of endless stunning gorges that have to be explored and this
afternoon is no
exception. After Lunch we adventure to Bell Gorge home to a
stunning cascade of
water flowing from the previous wet season rains that fall in the King
Leoplold
Ranges. We enjoy an afternoon swim in the large plunge pool before
making our
way back to camp.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Windjana Gorge
  • Bell Gorge
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
We spend the morning exploring Adcock or Galvans gorge before
making our way to
Mt Barnett Station which will be our camp for this evening. After
lunch we have the
whole afternoon to explore and enjoy Manning gorge. After
stretching your legs on
the hike in you will be rewarded with a swim in a large rock pool at
the base of
Manning Falls.
Note: Total driving time today is around two hours. Total walking
distance is
approximately 6-8 kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Galvins Gorge
  • Adcock Gorge
  • Manning Gorge
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Fording rivers and weaving through gorges, travel by 4WD along the
wild Gibb River
Road – a 600-kilometre stretch that winds right through the heart of
the Kimberley.
We’ve got a fair bit of ground to cover today, so there is a fair bit of
drive time, but
we’ll be breaking the journey up with lunch and at a few stop-offs
along the way. This
journey includes the iconic Pentecost river crossing in our 4WD. How
Australian is
that.

Note: Total driving time today is around five hours. Total walking
distance is
approximately 2 kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Gibb River Road
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Originally established as an enormous cattle station, El Questro is
now a vast
wilderness reserve sprawled over more than one million acres.
Camping out here,
you’ll really feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere – albeit an
extremely beautiful
middle of nowhere. The ochre-coloured massifs of the Cockburn
Ranges frame the
landscape whichever way you turn and numerous natural springs
offer plenty of
opportunities for a refreshing cool-off. Following a soak in Zebedee
Springs, enjoy a
short trek to either El Questro or Emma Gorge (where there’s a very
pretty waterfall).
Then it’s another night camped out in El Questro.

Note: Total driving time today is only around 45 minutes. Total walking distance is up to six kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
So long El Questro, hello Bungle Bungles. Today we drive through
the rugged
landscape of Carr Boyd and the Durack Ranges into Purnululu
National Park. This
park is home-ground of the Bungle Bungles, a UNESCO World
Heritage Site
dominated by massive sandstone karsts that rear hundreds of
metres above the
surrounding grasslands. We arrive at our bush camp in time to sit
back and watch
the sun set over the Osmond Ranges. If you’ve had enough of tent
camping by now,
you might want to spend tonight sleeping out beneath the stars
snuggled up in a
swag.
Note: Total driving time today is approximately five hours. Total
walking distance is
approximately five kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Strangely enough given their size, the Bungle Bungles only became
known to white
Australia in 1983 when they were ‘discovered’ by a film team – who
then had to fly
over the top by plane to find a route in by land. We know the way in,
but you can sign
up for a helicopter ride over the site if you wish. At ground level, we’
ll go on a walk
through Echidna Chasm – a long and narrow ravine banked on either
side by 200
metre high rock walls – and enter the massive natural Amphitheatre
of Cathedral
Gorge.
Note: Total driving time today is around an hour. Total walking
distance is
approximately five kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Helicopter Flight - Bungle Bungles - from - AUD350
Included Activities
  • Cathedral Gorge Walk (Bungle Bungle)
  • Echidna Chasm Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today we leave the Bungle Bungles for Kununurra, the largest town
between
Broome and Darwin. Tonight’s campsite is on the shores of Lake
Argyle. There are
no further activities booked for the rest of the day, but an optional
sunset cruise out
on the lake is highly recommended.
Note: Total driving time today is around three-and-a-half hours. Total
walking
distance is approximately three hours.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Lake Argyle is actually a man-made lake, though you’d never have
guessed so from
looking at it. For a body of water situated in the centre of the world’s
second driest
continent, it looks pretty at home. Barramundi, birds and freshwater
crocs thrive in
these waters, and the islands look like they’ve always been there
(they used to be
mountains). In the afternoon we push on across the state border into
the Northern
Territory.
Note: Total driving time today is around six-and-a-half hours. Total
walking distance
is approximately one kilometre.
Optional Activities
  • Lake Argyle Cruise - AUD30
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
On the final day of the trip, the group will either stop at the secluded gorge of Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) or take one last plunge into the cool waters of Edith Falls. In the afternoon, make your way to Darwin, where your adventure comes to an end. There are no more activities planned for today and you’re free to explore Darwin, but please book any onward travel the following day.

Note: Total driving today is around four hours. Total walking distance is approximately two kilometres.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Meals

18 breakfasts, 20 lunches, 18 dinners

Transport

All Terrain vehicle

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Camping (with facilities) (8 nights), Hostel (7 nights), Permanent safari camp (with shared facilities) (2 nights), Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Nambung National Park (Pinnacles) Entrance
  • Sandboarding Jurien Bay
  • Kalbarri National Park Entrance
  • Monkey Mia Dolphins
  • Ningaloo Reef Marine Park
  • Karijini National Park Entrance
  • Tunnel Creek exploration walk
  • Bunuba Indigenous Experience
  • Windjana Gorge
  • Bell Gorge
  • Galvins Gorge
  • Adcock Gorge
  • Manning Gorge
  • Gibb River Road
  • Cathedral Gorge Walk (Bungle Bungle)
  • Echidna Chasm Walk

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Tour commences in Perth on day 1 at 7:00am and finishes in Darwin day 22 at approx 6pm. Onward travel must be booked the following day.
2. This trip is for FIT AND ACTIVE people and involves very basic camping and challenging hikes.
3. This trip requires a sleeping bag.
4. Minimum Age on this trip is 18 years old.
5. Trip runs in reverse, see tour code PDP22.

Essential Trip Information

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