The journey between Adelaide and Perth is recognised as one of the world’s greatest road journeys, but its the wildlife which is key to this unique camping adventure! Swim with sea lions and dolphins if you please, relax on the beach with kangaroos and be amazed at the power and strength of the world’s largest bird – the wedge tailed eagle. With meals taken care of, unique camping locations and accommodation sorted, expert guides with local knowledge and plenty of unique adventures - this is a true Aussie adventure!
Day 1: Adelaide - Flinders Ranges National Park
Journey into the rustic, rugged gorges, abandoned homesteads and red gum trees of the Southern Flinders Ranges. With a break at Clare for those that were unable to get their morning fix of coffee/tea, we take a small break to do so. We then head north to one of the oldest mountain ranges on earth, the Flinders Ranges, where we venture to the bottom of Alligator Gorge and walk through the narrows and onto the terraces formed from an ancient seabed. Look for and feel the ripples of the sand still there in the rock today. After lunch we make our way along the eastern edge of the range towards Warren Gorge, stopping for a break in Quorn. Quorn is home to the Pichi Richi Railway, which played an important role in linking the different gauges of railway line crossing the country. It wasn’t until 1970 that the Indian-Pacific (Transcontinental) made its first unbroken run from Sydney to Perth. By 1980 the Pichi Richi line was obsolete. We stop at Dutchman’s Stern Conservation Park where we take the time to walk to the top of the range. Named by Mathew Flinders in 1802 for its resemblance to a Dutch sailing ship, this spectacular walk is a great way to finish the day and gives us our first real look to the west. As the sun is setting and while your evening meal is being prepared, you will have the opportunity to explore the beautiful Warren gorge in the Flinders Ranges. It is here that you get the opportunity to see a yellow-footed rock wallaby, almost driven to extinction by introduced species - thankfully at Warren Gorge they are beginning to bounce back!
Day 2: Flinders Ranges National Park – Coodlie Park (Eyre Peninsula)
The Eyre Peninsula is one of those great secrets many people have not yet discovered. Teeming with some of Australia's most amazing and outstanding real wildlife experiences, the lack of a major airport and a fair drive for most domestic travellers means this piece of paradise is largely undiscovered. Back on the road we pass through Port Augusta and onto Kimba. If you are lucky you might be able to spot the biggest galah you have ever seen! We will have lunch at Kimba and then head to Talia Caves, a walk across Venus Bay and the Lake Newland Sand dunes to go sandboarding. In the afternoon we arrive at Coodlie Park Farm Retreat. This working farm has traditional cropping, sheep and a project of tree planting on their land to offset their own carbon emissions. Tonight you could be sharing a meal with the bus coming from Perth.
Day 3: Coodlie Park – The Nullarbor
This morning we head out to swim with the ever cheeky and playful sea lions and dolphins at Baird Bay - a pristine coastline and sanctuary for a multitude of land and sea animals. This outsource adventure organised by Baird Bay eco tours is an optional experience ($150 per person). It is a 3-4 hour tour that will remain a beautiful memory for the rest of your life. Having had lunch at the picnic spot at Bairds, we head out to Streaky Bay. At Streaky Bay we will stop for a photo moment with a replica of the biggest white shark ever found on the coast of Streaky Bay. We will then continue our journey to the true Nullarbor with an overnight stop planned for Shelley Beach Campground.
Day 4: The Great Australian Bight - The Nullarbor
Today we blend one of the world’s great road trips with the chance of more wildlife encounters. The Nullarbor Plain and the Great Australian Bight are two of Australia’s most beloved icons and today we are heading into some of the remotest places on the planet. We cross the dingo fence, which runs a staggering 5320km from the Bight through to Southern Queensland and head through the Yalata Aboriginal lands. We stop for pictures with the famous wombat, camel and kangaroo road sign, a photo of which has become the metaphor for those who like to really get out there. We stop to take in the staggering sheer drop of the Bunda Cliffs where Australia suddenly and dramatically ends and drops into the ocean. If travelling between June and October it is very likely you will get to see some giants of the ocean, the southern right whales. A pod of about 100 whales come every year to this area to give birth to whale calves. There is no need for a boat trip as the whales come right close to the sheer drop of the cliffs and use the sheltered waters below as their resting spot. This is a truly magical sight and difficult to tear your eyes away from these creatures as they breach, roll and tail slap just off the shore below. After lunch at the border where we must hand over all of our fruit and vegetables we travel on to Eucla and see more of the remote Australian desert. Tonight you get an IMAX sized version of the great southern night sky. Pick out the star sign constellations, the Southern Cross and planets and be amazed by the show of shooting stars so prevalent in the clear skies of the desert plain. No photograph or movie could ever do justice to this night sky spectacular - it is something you simply have to experience.
Day 5: The Nullarbor – Esperance – Cape Le Grand National Park
Settle in for a big days drive across the plain. During one of the stops, we will come across Balladonia where you can read the fascinating story of Skylab. We drive further towards Norseman, a small, sprawling town driven by mining and tourism and dominated by a huge tailings dump. We will have lunch at a lookout and take in the fascinating view of Norseman. After lunch, we will be heading to Esperance. When in Esperance, the town can seem like a huge metropolis after five days out in the remoteness of the desert plain. The town is still remote but once you see the magnificent surrounds of the granite, bush and beach you can only wonder for how much longer this area can keep its quaint charm. Tonight we swagcamp at Cape Le Grand National Park!
Day 6: Cape Le Grand National Park
Get set for some of Australia's most beautiful scenery. This area of Western Australia has no less than nine National Parks, which is a testament to its beauty and uniqueness. We take in the most spectacular of all, Cape Le Grand National Park. Stunning blue seas mix with powder-white beaches and secluded bays allow for stops and swims in what can only be described as a nature lover’s paradise. Get up early this morning and take a walk down to the beach - you might even encounter a kangaroo! We continue to stretch our legs today with a coastal bushwalk, giving us a great overview of the bays and beaches and stunning views to the islands of the Recherche Archipelago. After the coastal bushwalk, we will have lunch and then spend the rest of the afternoon free to explore this stunning coastal park with its white sandy beaches and crystal clear water.
Day 7: Cape Le Grand National Park - Stirling Ranges
We are starting the morning with a hike at Frenchmen's Peak, which is sure to reward with impressive views! After the hike, we will head to the Stirling Ranges to explore the central south/west of Western Australia. Leaving the aptly named Lucky Bay behind, you'll be pleased to know that you haven't used up all your luck, this part of WA has a variety of different ecosystems and each has something special to offer. At Lucky Bay, we will have lunch and leave the day flexible as to which park we will visit depending on the time of year and weather. We might seek out an abundance of wildflowers in the spring or a forested area with flowing rivers and waterfalls in the heat of the summer. Everywhere has its greatness at some point in the year and that is where we will take you whatever time you choose to travel. Tonight we are settling in at a private camping ground in the Stirling Ranges.
Day 8: South West of Western Australia
See Western Australia’s version of the Great Ocean Road by watching how the waves have an artistry all of their own when it comes to sculpting the coast. Witness nature's amazing coastline work near Albany, where the granite has been sculptured into incredible formations that will have you reaching for your camera time and again. The Natural Bridge and The Gap are two of the other highlights you'll be seeing today, a place where towering old-growth forests once dominated the landscape of the south west. We get high in the treetops to explore this beautiful ecosystem and the tingle forests that once dominated this area. Their ability to grow enormously tall and amazingly straight made them targets for the emerging timber industry. Thankfully many areas are now protected and you get to experience the majesty of the forest in the Valley of the Giants where you can take a treetop walk through the canopy of these huge trees almost 60 metres up in the air. Afterwards, we head off to Shannons National Park for our overnight stay.
Day 9: Margaret River
We visit The Diamond tree for an early morning climb, then head on to the Margret River region. After leaving the Forestry areas we head back towards the ocean and the delicious temptations of Margaret River and its surrounding area. Sample wine, cheese, chocolate and ice cream while you're here! Then it is off to our last campsite of the tour, listening to the black cockatoos and kookaburras one last time!
Day 10: Margaret River - Perth
An early morning stop is made at Yallingup's surfer's paradise before we finish our 4000km road trip by heading up the western coast. We visit Ngilgi caves, one of the big show caves of the region to get the low-down on the underground world. See the crystalline features of the stalagmites and stalactites up close and personal. We then get some insight from the real experts on the country, the local Aboriginal people. This is a great opportunity to find out about the changes that have happened in the local environment and get a totally different perspective on the culture of the south west. Although there are no formal activities planned it is usual for the group to get together and reflect on the big journey together over a few drinks and meal.
Departure Days: Vary according to season and bookings
Departure Times: 6:45 am YHA Adelaide or 6:55 am Adelaide Bus Station
Check-in: 15 minutes prior to departure from pickup location
Tour Returns: Arrives in Perth Friday 7:00 pm