22 Days Darwin to Perth Explorer

22 Days Darwin to Perth Explorer

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.

Tour Highlights

  • Lake Argyle
  • Cathedral Gorge Walk (Bungle Bungle)
  • Echidna Chasm Walk
  • Gibb River Road
  • Manning Gorge
  • Windjana Gorge
  • Tunnel Creek exploration walk
  • Karijini National Park Entrance
  • Ningaloo Reef Marine Park
  • Kalbarri National Park Entrance
  • Monkey Mia Dolphins
  • Nambung National Park (Pinnacles) Entrance

Tour Info

Code AD-DP22
Style
  • Explorer Tour
  • Adventure Tour
Duration 22 Days
Price From $3999
Departures
Vehicle All Terrain vehicle
Suitability 18+ Years
Start Darwin @ 06.50 am
Finish Perth @ 06.50 pm
Travel Insurance Required

This overland adventure kicks off from the Northern Territory's tropical capital with a drive south to Nitmiluk National Park. Depending on the season, your adventure will get underway with a swim in the natural pool by the base of Edith Falls or cruise through the croc-filled waters of Katherine Gorge. After lunch it's on to our private campsite on the edge of Nitmiluk, where you have the option of spending the night in a permanent tent or snuggled up in a swag (an Aussie bedroll).

Note: Total driving time today is around four hours. Total walking distance is approximately two kilometres.

** Accommodation

Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)

** Meals Included

Lunch

Dinner

The Outback of the Kimberley region, which spreads across the northern region of Western Australia, is not as flat, dry and barren as many first expect. Today we'll visit enormous Lake Argyle, which looks perfectly at home despite being entirely man-made. Native fauna have settled here in huge numbers - try to spy crocs, wallabies and rare birds on a walk along the lake's shores. Soak up the backdrop of mountains-turned-islands, then turn into camp under some seriously starry skies.

Note: Total driving time today is around six-and-a-half hours. Total walking distance is approximately 2-4 kilometres.

** Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (1 night)

** Optional Activities

Lake Argyle Cruise - AUD90

** Included Activities

Lake Argyle

Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

(Bungle Bungle Ranges)

The distinctive sandstone towers of the Bungle Bungle Range only became known to wide Australia when a group of documentary filmmakers stumbled across them in 1982. Travelling by both foot and vehicle, we'll take you through the craggy gorges, past unique rock formations, and to hidden waterholes. The day closes with a stunning Kimberley sunset witnessed from this evening's bush camp.

Note: Total driving today is around five-and-a-half hours. Total walking distance is approximately five kilometres.

** Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)

** Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Today's all about getting to know the Bungle Bungles proper. First stop for the day is the ever-narrowing gap of Echidna Chasm. Formed over millions of years by water flowing through an opening in the sandstone, the path winds through palm-filled gorges up to 200 metres high though in parts only 1-2 metres wide. Next, trade the tight spaces of Echidna Chasm for the wide-open natural amphitheatre of Cathedral Gorge. From feeling dwarfed by these giant rock structures, get a very different perspective with a helicopter flight over the Bungle Bungles. Though an optional activity at extra cost, this is definitely an experience worth shelling out for.

Note: Total driving time today is around one 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

Hit the road again, this time passing Warmun (Turkey Creek) and the Durack Ranges on the way to El Questro. Not too long ago, it was mostly cattle that got to enjoy the million-acre sprawl of El Questro. Thankfully for the rest of us, the owners recognised the beauty they had on their hands and turned it into a wilderness park in 1991. Arriving at our campsite, there'll be time for a beer or two at the Swinging Arm Bar before dinner.

Note: Total driving time today is around three hours. Total walking distance is approximately six kilometres.

** Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (1 night)

** Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

At more than one and a half times the size of the UK, there are plenty of scenic spots to explore in El Questro. On the drive in you will have got some clue as to the huge cliffs, deep gorges, waterfalls and swimming holes contained in the Cockburn Ranges, but now you'll be exploring them on foot. Walk to Emma Gorge, cool off in a waterfall-fed subtropical pool and bliss out in the thermal springs of Zebedee.

Note: Total driving time today is around 45 minutes. Total walking distance is up to seven kilometres.

** Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (1 night)

** 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.

Tonight's camp is at Mt Barnett station located very close to Manning Gorge.

Note: Total driving time today is around five hours. Total walking distance is

approximately two kilometres.

** Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)

** Included Activities

Gibb River Road

Manning Gorge

** Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

We spend the morning exploring the stunning Manning Gorge and enjoy a swim in

the pools under Manning Falls. Depending on the season, post-lunch we spend the

afternoon exploring Adcock or Galvans gorge before making our way to Silent Grove and setting up camp for the night.

Note: Total driving time today is around two hours. Total walking distance is

approximately 6-8 kilometres.

** Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)

** Included Activities

Windjana Gorge

** Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

The western Kimberley region is full of endless stunning gorges that have to be

explored and this morning is no exception. After breakfast 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. The afternoon sees us head to Windjana

Gorge, a segment of 375 million-year-old reef that was once underwater. Cut

through by the Lennard River, which runs during the wet season then breaks up into

little billabongs during the dry, this gorge attracts many species of bird and bat and is

a great spot to see wild freshwater crocodiles.

Note: Total driving time today is around 2.5 hours. Total walking distance is

approximately four to six kilometres.

** Included Activities

Tunnel Creek exploration walk

** 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.

Leaving Broome in the dust, we kick-start this adventure with a drive across part of Western Australia's Great Sandy Desert. At an area of roughly 285,000 sq km, this is Australia's second largest desert. And while certainly very sandy, the terrain also consists of dune fields, spinifex grasslands and salt lakes. After a bit of driving we'll make a stop at Eighty Mile Beach. Aside from being a pretty lovely spot for a beach stroll, this coast is a major nesting area for flatback turtles - a species found only in Australia. Tonight we stay at an outback cattle station.

Note: Total driving time today is around six hours. Total walking distance is approximately one kilometre.

** Accommodation

Cabin (1 night)

** Meals Included

Lunch

Dinner

This morning we head toward Karijini National Park with a quick stop in Port Headland to check out the iron ore mecca of Australia. If time permits, we may duck into one of the Gorge's this afternoon. If not, we'll set up camp in the National Park and get a good nights rest before we head in for a full day of exploring tomorrow.

Total driving time today is around six hours. Total walking distance can be up to three kilometres, come sections may be through water.

** Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (1 night)

** Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

This, without any doubt, is one of Australia's most magnificent national parks (and it's not like Australia has any shortage of them). Freshwater springs trickle through chasms to form translucent rock pools, walking trails weave between dramatic rock ravines. A visit to the Karijini Cultural Centre will introduce you to the many sights you can expect to see here over the three days. Spend a full day exploring the gorges, gullies and secluded swimming spots of Karijini. Weano Gorge, Hancock Gorge, Dales Gorge and Oxers Lookout are just some of the better-known sites we'll get to.

Note: Total driving time today is one hour. Total walking distance is approximately six kilometres, some sections may be through water.

** Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (1 night)

** Included Activities

Karijini National Park Entrance

** Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Enjoy another day searching out Karijini's natural treasures or head back for more time spent at your favourite spots.

Note: Total driving time today is around an hour. Total walking distance is approximately six kilometres.

** Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (1 night)

** Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Jump back in the truck for a drive through classic outback terrain to Cape Range National Park. Extending inland from the Indian Ocean across the North West Cape peninsula, this protected landmass feels like a patch of the outback relocated seaside. Here we have an exclusive campsite, so it's here that we stay the night.

Today is a long day of driving, about 8 hours with rest stops.

** Accommodation

Yardi Creek Camp (1 night)

** Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Today's yours to spend how you wish. Become acquainted with the region's underwater inhabitants on a snorkeling or diving excursion, set out by boat tour in search of whale sharks (seasonal) or just while a day away on the flawless sands of Turquoise Bay. Take in the panoramic views of the ocean from the Vlaminghead Lighthouse. In the afternoon we travel on to Coral Bay.

Note: Total driving time today is around two hours. Total walking distance is approximately one kilometre.

** Accommodation

Hostel (1 night)

Optional Activities

Snorkel with the Whalesharks (April to July only) from - AUD350

** Included Activities

Ningaloo Reef Marine Park

** Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

If you didn't squeeze a snorkel in yesterday, today you get to; if you did, you get another one. Everyone wins. Ningaloo Reef is one of the world's largest fringeing reefs, meaning that it starts practically from the water's edge. You just swim out from shore and suddenly you're in a world of coral, fish, turtles and manta rays. Swimming above these enormous majestic creatures is really something else, they might even put on an acrobatics show for you! Not much of a swimmer? There's also the option of taking in the scene on a glass bottom boat tour, along with many other optional activities. We'll introduce you to the friendly staff at Coral Bay Eco Tours

There is no driving today, just a short walk to Coral Bay Eco Tours and water activities.

** Accommodation

Hostel (1 night)

** Optional Activities

Glass Bottom Boat Cruises from - AUD37

Whale Watching (seasonal) from - AUD85

Snorkel with Manta Rays - half day trip - AUD165

** Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Today we cross over the Tropic of Capricorn. You probably won't notice it, but what crossing this latitude means is that from here on south the sun will never be directly above you. You should still wear a hat though. Main stop for the day is Shell Beach, which, much as name would suggest, is a beach made of shells. What's quite incredible about the place however is the amount of shells there are. Locals have been using them in various industries for years, yet they still cover a stretch 60 km long and up to 7 metres deep. Tonight we stay in the small seaside town of Denham, in the Shark Bay world heritage area.

Note: Total driving time today is around six and a half hours. Total walking distance is approximately one kilometres.

** Accommodation

Hostel (1 night)

** Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Moving on, we arrive in Monkey Mia, where bottlenose dolphins have been showing up every day for a free feed going on forty years. These are probably the tamest wild dolphins you'll ever meet.

Up early this morning for a short drive across the Eastern Peninsula. See stromatolites, the oldest living organisms in the world, then continue south for Kalbarri. Time permitting, there'll be a stop-off along the way at Murchison Gorge, where there's the opportunity to admire the landscape through Nature's Window.

Note: Total driving time today is around five and a half hours. Total walking distance is approximately five kilometres.

** Accommodation

Hostel (1 night)

** Included Activities

Kalbarri National Park Entrance

Monkey Mia Dolphins

** Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Web description It's a driving day today, but a spectacular one. Cruising through the coastal gorges of Kalbarri National Park, we come to the quaint coastal town of Dongara, which sits at the head of the Irwin River. Any keen to give sandboarding a shot will get the chance at Sandy Cape/Lancelin, a vast sand desert peopled by the strange limestone structures of the Pinnacles Nambung NP. After a walk around here it's to Perth, where this adventure winds up.

Today's driving will take approximately 6.5 hours (with about two kilometres of walking). There are no more activities planned for and you're free head to your accommodation for the night.

** Included Activities

Nambung National Park (Pinnacles) Entrance

** Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Included

  • MEALS - 18 breakfasts, 20 lunches, 18 dinners
  • Transport- All Terrain vehicle
  • Accommodation- Cabin (1 night), Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nights), Camping (with facilities) (8 nights), Hostel (7 nights), Permanent safari camp (with shared facilities) (1 night), Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)

What to bring

  • Sturdy walking shoes
  • hat & sunscreen
  • towel & toiletries
  • swimming gear
  • warm clothing in winter
  • water bottle
  • torch
  • insect repellent
  • camera
  • pillow
  • sleeping bag (can be purchased )
  • 2 towels
  • 2 pairs of shoes that can get wet

Notes

  • Tour size- minimum 1 Maximum 24
  • Tour commences in Darwin on day 1 at 6:50am and finishes in Perth on day 21 at approx 6pm. Onward travel must be booked the following day.
  • This trip is for FIT AND ACTIVE people and involves very basic camping and challenging hikes.
  • Style - Explorer, Indigenous Culture, Overland, The Great Outdoors, Walking & Trekking, Wildlife
  • This trip requires a sleeping bag.
  • Minimum Age on this trip is 18 years old.
  • Trip runs in reverse, see tour code AD-PD22.
  • Itinerary may vary and/or attractions substituted for any cause including seasonal conditions, weather extremes, and traditional owner/national park requirements. The Gibb River Road and Purnululu National Park may be closed in the shoulder seasons (approx. April and October). See terms and conditions of travel for full details.
  • Operation reserves the right to assess the fitness capability of passengers prior to tour departure.
  • National Park rules request that only biodegradable soap products are used whilst in Karijini National Park.
  • Due to distances covered, this trip involves early departures on some mornings and frequent stops between destinations.
  • This package is made up of 2 separate tours( Darwin to Broome and Broome to Perth) , so you may travel with a different guide and passengers on each section. 
  • Our tours are activity and participation based. During your travels with us you will have the opportunity to assist with daily activities such as setting up camp, collecting firewood, helping prepare meals and clearing dishes. Many hands make light work and any assistance provided to crew is always much appreciated. Most people agree that this type of activity helps you feel like less of a tourist and more of an explorer.
  • Tour is not suitable for children.
  • Travel Insurance is compulsory for all travellers on all tours and details must be presented to your tour guide before departure.
  • STRICT luggage limit of 15kg applies.
  • This tour requires a sleeping bag. You may bring your own or pre-purchase a sleeping bag from us.
  • It is your responsibility to advise us if you have any special dietary requirements, allergies, or medical conditions well ahead of departure.
  • On this tour it is likely that you will experience temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius. Be prepared to endure extra physical stress due to the heat at these times, especially while on walks. These extreme temperatures can also place stress on the air-conditioning units within our vehicles which can make travelling uncomfortable. Your tour guide will assist with regular breaks and information to assist keeping hydrated. In July and August, very cold temperatures can be experienced in the outback, especially overnight. Please come prepared for all extremes.
  • The default pick up point is where we will meet you for your tour, unless you or your travel agent requests an alternative location (contact our Reservations team for more information). It is your responsibility to contact us with your preferred pick up point well ahead of departure. We do not take responsibility for missed tours if we have not been advised of an alternative in advance and you are not at the default location on time.

Highlights

  • 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 the Australian outback
  • 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

Suitability

  • Accommodation on this trip 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.

Dietary Requirements

  • Passengers with special meal requirements or food allergies MUST ensure they or their travel agent inform  of this at the time of booking. Food for the trip is purchased prior to commencement and special requirements cannot be catered for after departing. If you have not notified us prior to departure, you may be asked to pay for any additional food yourself. Due to the nature of our trips food is basic but plentiful. We provide the below substitutes, please bring your own staples if you require specific foods not listed below:
  • No Pork (Alternative to Ham provided)
  • No Dairy (soy milk provided)
  • Vegetarian (additional veg and vegie burgers provided)
  • Vegan (supply of additional fruit and veg provided)
  • Gluten Free (cereal, bread, wraps, pasta, snack bars, sweet and savoury biscuits provided)
  • *Religious dietary requirements and specifically prepared/sourced produce is not able to be catered for.

Cancellation by the traveller

If you cancel some or all portions of your booking cancellation fees will apply. A cancellation will only be effective when we receive written confirmation of the cancellation. If you cancel a trip:

- 30 days or more prior to departure, we will retain the deposit;

- between 15 and 29 days prior to departure, we will retain 50% of the total booking cost

- 14 days or less prior to departure, we will retain 100% paid by you in connection with the booking.

Cancellation By Us

We may cancel a trip at any time up to 30 days before departure, subject to clause 13. We may cancel a trip at any time prior to departure if, due to terrorism, natural disasters, political instability or other external events it is not viable for us to operate the planned itinerary. If we cancel your trip, you can transfer amounts paid to an alternate departure date or alternatively receive a full refund. In circumstances where the cancellation is due to external events outside our reasonable control refunds will be less any unrecoverable costs. We are not responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred as a result of your booking including but not limited to visas, vaccinations, travel insurance excess or non-refundable flights. Please note that different cancellation conditions may apply to some styles of trips; your booking consultant will advise if differences apply.