22 Days Perth to Darwin Safari (Apr to Oct )

22 Days Perth to Darwin Safari  (Apr to Oct )

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.

Tour Highlights

  • 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
  • Galvans Gorge
  • Adcock Gorge
  • Manning Gorge
  • Gibb River Road
  • Cathedral Gorge Walk (Bungle Bungle)
  • Echidna Chasm Walk

Tour Info

Code AD-PD22
Style
  • Road Trip
Duration 22 Days
Price From $3990
Departures

This is a seasonal Tour opeerates only in April to Octber

Apr - Oct : Every Saturday

Vehicle Bus / 4WD
Suitability 18+ Years
Start Perth @ 07.00 am
Finish Darwin @ 06.00 pm
Travel Insurance Required

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.

, 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

Galvans 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

(Bungle Bungles)

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 - AUD90

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

Included

  • 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)
  • Experienced Tour guide

 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 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

 

Suitability

  • 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.

What to bring

  • Sturdy walking shoes (ankle high)
  • hat and sunscreen
  • two towels
  • toiletries
  • swimming gear
  • warm clothing in winter
  • Spare pair of shoes that can get wet
  • water bottle
  • torch/flashlight
  • insect repellent
  • camera
  • pillow
  • sleeping bag (can be purchased)

 

Notes

  •  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.
  • 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.
  • This trip is for FIT AND ACTIVE people and involves very basic camping and challenging hikes.
  • This trip requires a sleeping bag.
  • Minimum Age on this trip is 18 years old.
  • Trip runs in reverse, see tour code AD-PDP22.
  • 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, 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.
  • A 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, and sometimes well into the 40's. 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.

ACCOMMODATION

Please note that standard accommodation on this trip is:

7 nights multishare accommodation with shared facilities, 14 nights camping. There are no upgrade rooms available on this trip.

Basix accommodation on the West Coast consists of multishare accommodation and simple permanent tents when camping. Multishare accommodation may be in mixed gender dorms. Camping in the Kimberley between Broome and Darwin is simple pop-up tents and swags. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag or pre-purchase one from us for the nights spent camping. Please also provide your own pillow if you wish.

This trip is specifically designed to embrace the outback and provide an authentic camping experience. It is for this reason, that we do not offer upgrades on this trip. Six out of the eight nights in the Kimberley have basic toilet and shower facilities, however on nights 18 and 19 we stay in the remote Purnululu National Park where only basic long-drop toilet facilities are available. Shower facilities are not available on these nights. Please ensure this level of camping is suitable for you.

Night 1: Kalbarri Backpackers – multishare. Hostel facilities

Night 2: Denham, Bay Lodge – multishare. Hostel facilities

Night 3: Coral Bay, Ningaloo Club – multishare. Hostel facilities

Night 4: Yardi Creek - simple permanent twin share tents. Hot showers and flushing toilets. Caravan park style amenities

Night 5: Yardi Creek - simple permanent twin share tents. Hot showers and flushing toilets. Caravan park style amenities

Night 6: Karijini National Park - simple permanent twin share tents. Hot showers (eco, solar heated) and flushing toilets

Night 7: Karijini National Park - simple permanent twin share tents. Hot showers (eco, solar heated) and flushing toilets

Night 8: Karijini National Park - simple permanent twin share tents. Hot showers (eco, solar heated) and flushing toilets

Night 9: Pardoo Station – multishare. Hot showers and flushing toilets. Caravan park style amenities

Nights 10, 11, and 12: Broome – multishare. Hostel facilities

Night 13: Windjana Gorge - Pop-up tents and swags. Basic toilet and shower facilities.

Night 14: Silent Grove - Pop-up tents and swags. Basic toilet and shower facilities.

Night 15: Mount Barnett - Pop-up tents and swags. Basic toilet and shower facilities.

Night 16: El Questro Station - Pop-up tents and swags. Basic toilet and shower facilities.

Night 17: El Questro Station - Pop-up tents and swags. Basic toilet and shower facilities.

Night 18: Bungle Bungles - Pop-up tents and swags. Drop-Toilet, no shower facilities.

Night 19: Bungle Bungles - Pop-up tents and swags. Drop-Toilet, no shower facilities.

Night 20: Lake Argyle - Pop-up tents and swags. Basic toilet and shower facilities.

Night 21: Katherine - Permanent tents with swags. Basic toilet and shower facilities.

 

PARTICIPATORY CAMPING

To participate in this trip you must be prepared to assist with preparing meals, cleaning dishes, collecting firewood, setting up and packing up camp every day, in all conditions.

While camping in dome tents you will be expected to erect your tent and pack it away as well as roll up your swag/bedroll your leader will demonstrate how this is done on tour.

Dietary Requirements

Passengers with special meal requirements or food allergies MUST ensure they or their travel agent inform Operation 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.