Days
21
Price from
$3,690AUD

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
PD21

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
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)
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

Today we’re back on the road. First stop is the Willare Bridge at Fitzroy River, then it’s on to Tunnel Creek. Extending 750 metres under the Napier Range, this vast subterranean cave system houses 5 species of bat and contains freshwater pools in which freshwater crocs are sometimes found wallowing. It was also the hide-out for the indigenous freedom-fighter Jandamarra; a character you’ll learn more about during a tour led by a local Bunuba 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
If you didn’t spy any freshwater crocs in Tunnell Creek, don’t despair – you’re more than a little likely to in Windjana Gorge. More a series of shallow pools than one continuous river, this is widely considered the best place in Australia to spot them. The iconic Gibb River Road then takes us on to our campsite at Manning Gorge. Along the way, and depending on the time of year, we’ll have stop offs at either Galvans or Adcock Gorge.

Note: Total driving time today is around two hours. Total walking distance is approximately six kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Windjana Gorge
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Spend the morning exploring the bushland of Manning Gorge and splashing about in its cascade-fed swimming hole. Getting back on the Gibb River Road, we cross the Pentecost River and drive into El Questro Station.

Note: Total driving time today is around three-and-a-half hours. Total walking distance is approximately five kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Gibb River Road
  • Manning Gorge
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
El Questro, which doesn’t actually translate to anything, is a sprawling swathe of wilderness more than a million acres in size. It was originally established as a cattle station by a fella named Thomas McMicking, but in 1991 new owners – evidently thinking the place too pretty to waste on cows – opened it up as a private wilderness park. Good thing they did, too. This place is spectacular. We’ll spend the day exploring the region, cooling off with soaks in Zebedee Springs and a shower in Emma Gorge’s waterfall. A beer or two at the Swinging Arm Bar is the only way to see out the day.

Note: Total driving time today is only around 45 minutes. Total walking distance is up to five kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Departing El Questro, we make for the Bungle Bungles of World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park. With their alternating horizontal orange and black bands, these massive sandstone domes are quite a sight. How they came to be still isn’t completely understood… but that only adds to their timelessness. You’ll get to know the site – it’s gorges, gullies and indigenous rock art – pretty well on a guided hike. Then it’s time to watch the sun set over the Osmond Ranges and settle in for a night camped out under star-cluttered skies.

Note: Total driving time today is approximately three hours. Total walking distance is approximately five kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today’s dedicated to exploring Purnululu further. We’ll enter Echidna Chasm, where two ochre-coloured rock walls 200 metres tall have hemmed in a long, narrow walkway, and visit the natural rock amphitheatre of Cathedral Gorge. If you want to take in the Bungle Bungles from another angle altogether, there’s also the opportunity to fly over the park by helicopter. A bit of an extravagance, yes, but one well worth the dough.

Note: Total driving time today is around an hour. Total walking distance is approximately five kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic 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
It’s a bit of a bumpy drive today out of Purnululu, but that’s what 4WDs are for. Our campsite tonight is by the shores of Lake Argyle, where there’s the option of finishing the day with a sunset cruise.

Note: Total driving time today is around three-and-a-half hours. Total walking distance is approximately three hours.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
At over 18 times the size of Sydney Harbour, Lake Argyle is Australia’s largest man-made lake by quite a stretch. It was created as part of the Ord River Irrigation Scheme, which was built to develop agriculture in the Kimberley. After taking a tour of the lake we continue on across the state border for a final night camped out in the Katherine region.

Note: Total driving time today is around five hours. Total walking distance is approximately one kilometre.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Lake Argyle Cruise - AUD30
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Nitmiluk National Park, previously called Katherine Gorge National Park, is a vast expanse of escarpment country carved through with gorges, rivers, gullies and cataracts. Enjoy a swim in Katherine Gorge or Edith Falls, then hop back in the car for the final leg to Darwin. Your adventure ends upon arrival in this, the Northern Territory’s capital city.

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

Meals

17 breakfasts, 19 lunches, 17 dinners

Transport

All Terrain vehicle

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (2 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
  • Kalbarri National Park Entrance
  • Ningaloo Reef Marine Park
  • Karijini National Park Entrance
  • Tunnel Creek exploration walk
  • Bunuba Indigenous Experience
  • Windjana Gorge
  • Gibb River Road
  • Manning Gorge
  • 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 21 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 PDP21.

Essential Trip Information

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