14 Day - Pilbara - Western Australia Tour

Tour Dates & Route Map

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Departs 5th May 2017

This tour offers a unique insight into a wide variety of beautiful desert areas of Central and Western Australia, and the rugged and beautiful Western Australian Pilbara, one of Australia's best kept secrets!   We visit the small and remote community of William Creek, overfly Lake Eyre, Ayers Rock, and visit remote aboriginal communities in the Gibson and Great Sandy Deserts, an iron ore mine in the Pilbara, and the beautiful gorges of the Karijini National Park, staying at the unique Eco Retreat.  This area of the Pilbara boasts some of the most truly spectacular and rugged scenery in Australia.  We spend three days relaxing at Coral Bay on the Ningaloo Reef, staying at the Ningaloo Reef Resort, right on the coast where you may choose to take part in some of the many optional activities available, including fishing, swimming with the whale sharks, snorkelling, quad bike rides, glass bottom "submarine" boat or just soaking up the relaxing atmosphere and visiting the local bakery and shops. This is an unspoilt location without the highrises of the East Coast, just the beautiful weather and coastal scenery in which to recharge and relax.  After leaving Coral Bay we overnight at a station property in the Murchison region, and visit the sights of Kalgoorlie/Boulder, returning via the Nullarbor Plain, landing at Forrest which was once a refuelling stop for early airliners, and the Cliffs of the Great Australian Bight, where you may see whales at the Head of the Bight. We round off the trip with two nights in beautiful Port Lincoln, returning via the Coorong coast.

This morning we depart Stawell early to track across the freshly sown crops of the Wimmera area of Victoria to Mildura before continuing on to Broken Hill, over the lakes of the Anabranch system, arriving in Broken Hill for a fuel stop and early lunch.  Departing Broken Hill we track north west across Silverton and the Mundi Mundi Plains to the northern South Australian sheep station country, passing over Lake Frome, a vast salt lake on the eastern side of the Flinders Ranges.  Continuing on over the Flinders Ranges we cross the Strzelecki Track, Birdsville Track to the south eastern edge of Lake Eyre, overflying the Goyder Channel, over Madigan Gulf, Jackboot Bay, Belt Bay to William Creek.  William Creek is located on Anna Creek Station, the largest station in the world.  

After an early morning breakfast this morning we are airborne for the direct flight north west to Ayers Rock.  We track parallel for the first part of the journey with the old Ghan Railway Line, passing south of Oodnadatta, we cross the Stuart Highway near Indulkana, passing the Musgrave Ranges.  Mt Connor will then come into view.  Many people mistake this for their first view of Ayers Rock.  Upon arrival at Ayers Rock Airport we pick up our transport and drive to Ayers Rock Resort where you have free time for lunch and an opportunity for those who wish to make the optional drive to Uluru to see the Rock up close.   We depart mid afternoon for the 1¼ hr flight to overnight at Warra Kurna near Giles Weather Station in the Gibson Desert.  

After breakfast we take a short walk to the Giles Weather Station to watch the daily weather balloon launch.  This weather station provides very important meteorological information which is used by meteorologists and aviators all over Australia to predict forthcoming weather. The hydrogen filled balloon ascends to 70,000 feet and transmits information back to the station.    Following the launch we depart and track north west across some of the most remote areas of Australia passing the Rawlinson Ranges and following the Gunbarrel Highway for part of our trip landing at Patjarr in the Clutterbuck Hills, one of the most remote aboriginal communities in Australia.  This is a “dry” Aboriginal Community, home of the Patjarr people.   This remote community is home to some of the country’s finest aboriginal artists and sometimes the opportunity exists to view some of their work.  Early afternoon we will depart across the Little Sandy Desert crossing the Canning Stock Route near Well 15, passing south of Durba Hills and Lake Disappointment.  Upon arrival at the mining town of Newman we will transfer to our accommodation for dinner and overnight.

This morning we meet at the Newman Tourist Information Centre to view a video of the operation of the huge Mt Whaleback Iron Ore Mine before joining our guide and boarding the bus for the morning tour.  On this tour you will see the huge 250 tonne Haulpak trucks carting iron ore from the mine and loading the 4.8 km long trains which transport the ore to Port Hedland.   After the tour we have morning tea and depart for the 40 minute flight to the Karijini National Park where we have a late packed lunch which you can collect and pay for on arrival.  We land near the National Park Visitor Centre and after a visit to the centre we are transported the 26km to our overnight accommodation at the new Karijini Eco Retreat. This evening we dine at the Al Fresco Licensed restaurant and retire to our accommodation at the new Karijini Eco Retreat.  

You will collect and pay for your packed lunch this morning prior to meeting our local guide for our day tour to some of the magnificent gorges in this park situated in the Hamersley Ranges.  This area of the Pilbara includes the picturesque Hamersley Ranges and offers the visitor very spectacular rugged scenery at every turn.  Our guide will take us to some easily accessible lookouts and show us truly magnificent sights throughout the park.

We depart Karijini in a south westerly direction over many iron ore mines of the Hamersley Ranges and the pastoral country to the west.  We pass the iron ore mining town of Tom Price, cross the headwaters of the Ashburton River and on for a landing at Coral Bay, on the Ningaloo Reef, our home for the next three nights. 

Coral Bay has much to offer during our stay at the Ningaloo Reef Resort.  You can choose to do as much or as little as you like during your time at this beautiful beachfront resort.  During your free days you may choose to go snorkeling in the Ningaloo Reef which is the largest fringing reef in Australia and the only one of its kind on the western side of a continent.  There are also glass bottom boat tours, for those who only want to get their feet wet wading ankle deep to the boat, to see some of the 250 species of coral and 500 species of fish found in this area.  You may choose a day trip to go swimming with the magnificent Whale Sharks and Manta Rays, or take a fishing charter for some reef, deep sea and game fishing.  You may like to take part in an organised quad bike ride, or just laze away the hours by the resort swimming pool or the beach which is just across the lawn. The small shopping centre and bakery is only around 300 m away. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you don’t miss the beautiful Coral Bay sunsets.

Free day at Coral Bay

Free day at Coral Bay

We reluctantly depart Coral Bay this morning, for our flight to Wooleen Station in the east Murchison region of inland WA, approximately 8 hours drive north of Perth.  Wooleen Station covers a quarter of a million acres of the picturesque Murchison outback region of WA.  It was formerly a sheep station, but now runs cattle and is playing a leading role in preserving the ecology of the area.  The homestead is listed by the Australian National Trust.  This evening we enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this beautiful station.  There may be an optional sunset tour this evening depending on the workload at the station at the time of our visit.

This morning we track to Kalgoorlie, arriving late morning where we pick up our transport and travel into the city for lunch. This afternoon we tour around Kalgoorlie,  including the Super Pit, the huge open cut gold mine and on to the historic town of Boulder. We will travel along the famous “Hay Street” red light district, and later in the afternoon we will check into our accommodation for the evening, the imposing Palace Hotel in the centre of town and this evening we meet for a Chinese banquet at the New Hong Kong restaurant within walking distance of our hotel.   

This morning we depart Kalgoorlie flying east long the transcontinental railway line to Forrest for fuel, and our lunch stop.  Forrest was once the intermediate fuel stopover between Perth and Melbourne in the days of piston engine airliners. We then track south to the Great Australian Bight and follow the 150m high Cliffs to Head of the Bight and our overnight destination at Nullabor.

Departing Nullabor we track for Head of the Bight, where you may see southern Right Whales.  The Whales migrate here each year to breed and are often clearly visible as we fly over.   Tracking inland over Penong and on to Ceduna airport for our packed lunch and fuel stop before following the coast over Streaky Bay, Venus Bay and on to Port Lincoln where we collect our vehicles and drive to our accommodation at the Port Lincoln Marina.  Tonight our dinner is gourmet pizza from the nearby Marina Hotel.

Today is a free day to explore this area with plenty of activities available including a trip to the tuna farms to name just one, perhaps lunch at Coffin Bay, internationally famous for its wonderful Coffin Bay oysters.  Dinner tonight will be freshly cooked local seafood.

This morning we depart Port Lincoln and track south of Adelaide across the Spencer and St Vincent Gulfs for lunch stop at Aldinga and then via the Coorong National Park, returning to Stawell mid afternoon.