22 Day Darwin to Perth

Explore Australia’s North West, from Darwin, through the Kimberley and Karijini National Park and down the remote West Coast. Enroute we will have you swimming in pristine waterholes, discovering the World Heritage-listed Bungle Bungles, exploring rugged desert gorges, kicking back on endless white sandy beaches, snorkelling over colourful coral reefs, telling tall stories round a campfire under a sparkling night sky… and much more! Take the road less travelled and enjoy this quintessential Aussie outback experience with us.

Highlights

Katherine, El Questro Wilderness Park, Gibb River Road, Kununurra, Lake Argyle, Bungle Bungles, Echidna Chasm, Cathedral Gorge, Windjana Gorge, Indigenous Guided Walk in Tunnel Creek, Broome, Karijini National Park, Eighty Mile Beach, Kalbarri National Park, Hammersley Ranges, Coral Bay, Ningaloo Reef, Monkey Mia, Shell Beach, Pinnacles Desert

Tour Summary

Tour Code

PDP22

Fitness level

Advanced

Price

From $3990

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Tour Details

Tour RouteDarwin-Perth
AccommodationCamping: shared facilities (11nts), Bush Camping: limited facilities (2nts), Safari Tent: shared facilities (1nt), Backpacker Dorm Room: shared facilities (7nts)
VehiclesComfortable 4WD
FitnessAdvanced
Tour CodePDP22
Duration22 Days / 21 Nights
Tour StyleOverland Adventure Tour
Maximum Passengers20 (Minimum 2)
PriceAdult $3990 *No Single Supplement
DepartsAPR-OCT: Saturdays
Meals18 x Breakfasts, 20 x Lunches, 18 x Dinners
LuggageMax 15kg in Soft Bag/Backpack & Day Bag (No Suitcases)
Private CharterAvailable On Request
Validity1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018
Reverse Itinerary22 Day Perth to Darwin
Download Trip Notes22 Day Darwin to Perth Trip Notes

Day 1 Darwin to Katherine Region

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 an optional 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). (LD)

Day 2 Katherine to Lake Argyle

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. You have the option of taking a cruise and looking for native fauna that has settled here in huge numbers – try to spy crocodiles, wallabies and rare birds. Soak up the backdrop of mountains-turned-islands as we explore some of the 700 square kilometre surface of the lake, then turn into camp under some seriously starry skies. (BLD)

Days 3-4 Purnululu National Park: Bungle Bungles

The distinctive sandstone towers of the Bungle Bungle Range only became known to wider 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. Day 4 is 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. (BLD/BLD)

Day 5 Bungle Bungles to El Questro Station

Hit the road again, this time passing Warmun (Turkey Creek) and the Durack Ranges on the way to El Questro Station. 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. (BLD)

Day 6 El Questro Station

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. (BLD)

Day 7 Gibb River Road & Mt Barnett

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 stops along the way. Tonight’s camp is at Mt Barnett station located very close to Manning Gorge. (BLD)

Day 8 Manning Gorge to Silent Grove

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. (BLD)

Day 9 Bell Gorge & Windjana Gorge

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 Leopold Ranges. The afternoon sees us head to Windjana Gorge, a segment of 375 million-year-old reef that was once under the ocean. 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. (BLD)

Day 10 Tunnel Creek & Broome

Begin the day exploring the Napier Range. The major attraction here is Tunnel Creek, an extensive limestone cave system that extends 750m underground. Inside, shards of sunlight stream in through crevices, little bats flutter about and enormous stalactites rear down from the ceiling. In the late 1800s, an indigenous man called Jandamarra waged a one-man uprising against European settlers, becoming a hero to his people. You’ll hear a bit about his legacy during a tour through Tunnel Creek, then make the final drive on to Broome, hopefully arriving in time for a stunning Cable Beach sunset. (BL)

Days 11-12 Broome

With 2 free days here in Broome there is plenty of time to sit back and relax on the beautiful Cable Beach or get out and about and explore the area. Take a 1/2 Day Broome Sights Adventure to discover the heritage and culture of this unique outback town or venture up the Dampier Peninsula on a 1 Day Cape Leveque Adventure. With 22 km of white sand and crystal waters it’s also the ideal place to watch the sunset! (Meals and activities on these days are at own expense)

Day 13 Eighty Mile Beach & The Pilbara

Departing Broome we cross the Great Sandy Desert, calling in at the coastal oasis of Eighty Mile Beach along the way where we can take a stroll along the beautiful white sand beach. We travel further South through Port Hedland checking out the enormous iron ore industry before setting up camp for an overnight station stay in the Pilbara Region where you’ll get to know your fellow travellers around the campfire. (LD)

Days 14-16 Karijini National Park

This morning we make our way to the remote but spectacular Karijini National Park, where we spend the next three days exploring the ancient gorges and stunning swimming holes. We begin our Karijini experience with a visit to the Karijini Cultural Centre before heading for Fortesque Falls where you will be rewarded with a refreshing swim. The next two days are spent exploring, swimming and relaxing in the magnificent Karijini gorges. Bring your camera as you’ll want to remember this forever. One of the oldest landscapes on earth – the region will continue to amaze you. We will explore a number of gorges including Weano Gorge, Oxers Lookout, Hancock Gorge, amongst others. Overnight at our private camp in Karijini. (BLD/BLD/BLD).

Days 17-19 Exmouth & Coral Bay

Leaving Karijini, we travel through the vast bush land and station country on our way to Exmouth and onto our accommodation for the night – our semi-permanent camp on the beautiful Yardie Creek Station. Enjoy a day of freedom and relaxation. Go snorkeling (equipment provided) or diving, search for whale sharks (seasonal and at own expense) or view Vlamingh Head Lighthouse then choose to laze on the pristine beach at Turquoise Bay and soak up the sunshine. On the afternoon of Day 18 we make the short trip to beautiful Coral Bay Spend the entire day snorkelling the world famous Ningaloo Reef and seeing the marine life that lives under the waterline. Alternatively, thrill-seekers can choose one of the many optional activities including quad biking, coral viewing cruises and scuba diving (at own expense). (BLD/BLD/BLD)

Day 20 Carnarvon & Shell Beach

Heading south we cross the Tropic of Capricorn and pass through the town of Carnarvon, famous for its bananas. We call in at unique Shell Beach – made up entirely of tiny shells before continuing on to Monkey Mia where you will be able to say hello to the famous wild dolphins that live here. (BLD)

Day 21 Monkey Mia, Shark Bay & Kalbarri National Park

Time this morning to visit your new best friends, the dolphins, before exploring the Shark Bay World Heritage area. We stop to view the stromatolites – the oldest living organisms in the world – before heading south for Kalbarri. Time permitting we will be able to view the Murchison Gorge and Nature’s Window this afternoon before arriving in this seaside resort town. (BLD)

Day 22 Pinnacles Desert & Perth

Departing via the coastal gorges of the Kalbarri National Park, we head to the beautiful seaside town of Dongara before travelling on to the fascinating landscape of the Nambung National Park where we check out the famous Pinnacle Desert. We then make our way to Perth arriving in the early evening where our tour concludes. (BL)

Live Availability

2017 Tours

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Night 1 For our first night we enjoy the comfort of our private Katherine Safari Camp. Our Permanent Tents feature twin beds while the shared amenities, including toilets and hot showers, are located nearby.
Nights 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 &13 Camping in National Parks and on Cattle Stations involves dome tents (twinshare) and swags. Most camp sites have on site ablutions including hot showers and flush toilets.
Nights 3 & 4 Camping in Purnululu National Park is at the public campground, managed by the Department of Parks & Wildlife. Facilities are basic with National Park drop toilets only.
Nights 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20 & 21 Dorm Style Accommodation is multishare in local properties chosen for their ideal location and quality facilities. These could be in budget motels, backpackers or remote area cattle stations. Shared amenities include hot showers, flush toilets, swimming pool, kitchen and dining area.
Nights 13, 14, 15 & 16 We have our own private camps at Yardie Creek Station and on the grounds of the Karijini Eco Retreat in Karajini National Park. These camps have twinshare dome tents on platforms and stretcher beds and exclusive-use kitchen areas. Shared facilities are nearby and include hot showers and flush toilets.

Inclusions

  • Experienced Guide
  • Meals as specified
  • Camping & Backpacker Dorm Share Accommodation
  • Three FREE nights in Broome
  • Sandboarding
  • National Park Entry Fees

Options

  • Abseiling – allow approx $30 per person
  • Swimming with Manta Rays – allow approx $180 per person, see below
  • Swimming with Whale Sharks (seasonal, April to July only) – allow $350-$370 per person, see below
  • Glass Bottom Boat Rides – allow approx $50 per person
  • Kayaking – allow approx $30 per hour
  • Sunset Cruise Lake Argyle – allow approx $30 per person
  • 30 minute Scenic Helicopter Flight over the Bungle Bungles – allow approx $400 per person

Your Tour Guide can assist with booking these optional activities en route. Due to a limited season and high demand, swimming with Whale Sharks can be difficult to book locally. If you do not want to risk missing out we recommend you pre-book with Kings Ningaloo Reef Tours in Exmouth for Day 18 of this tour.

 

Our Adventure Tour groups that travel through the Kimberley enjoy the comfort of our big custom-built 21-seat 4WD high clearance trucks, while we operate Adventure Tours that travel up and down the West Coast in similar heavy duty vehicles, but 2WD. All our vehicles have a PA system and built-in storage (no risky trailers!). Being larger vehicles, they allow our small groups extra space to kick back and relax as the Australian outback drifts by. They are all fully air-conditioned and are fitted with adjustable air-vents, reclinable seats and map pockets to keep your book, drink and MP3 player in. Note that the vehicle could be branded Kimberley Wild, Kakadu Wild, Western Xposure or Adventure Tours Australia!

What to Bring

It is recommended that you bring a torch, broad-brimmed hat with sun visor for all round sun protection, sunscreen, swimming costume and towel, good walking/trekking shoes, insect repellent, a personal water bottle, warm clothes for the evening (particularly if travelling in Winter), personal toiletries and first aid, with any personal medication required.

You will also need to bring a pillow and a sleeping bag. 10ºC sleeping bags are available for sale at $35pp – these must be requested with our office prior to travel and can be kept following your trip or donated to local indigenous communities.

Notes

  • Your tour vehicle may be branded as Adventure Tours Australia, Western Xposure or Kimberley Wild Expeditions, but this tour is operated by Adventure Tours Australia.
  • Itineraries may vary and/or attractions be substituted for any cause including seasonal conditions, weather extremes, traditional owner and national park requirements.
  • National Park rules request that only biodegradable soap products are used whilst in National Parks.
  • Due to distances covered, this trip involves early departures on some mornings and frequent stops between destinations.
  • This tour is not suitable for children.
  • Are you over 70 years old? Due to the remote location and challenging nature of our extended camping tours it is essential for older travellers to review and sign our Medical Form to ensure you can participate fully in the itinerary. Wild Expeditions reserves the right to assess the fitness capability of passengers prior to tour departure.
  • Travel Insurance is compulsory for all travellers on all tours and details must be presented to tour guide before departure.
  • It is your responsibility to advise Wild Expeditions if you have any special dietary requirements or medical conditions (including allergies) well ahead of departure.
  • It is you or your clients’ responsibility to contact Wild Expeditions with your preferred accommodation pick up point. Please contact our inside sales teams for information on other available pick up points. If we do not hear from you, we will assume you will make your way to our default pick up point as listed on this document. We will not be responsible for missed pick-ups (and a missed tour) if we do not receive notification from you or your travel agent, and if you are not at the default pick up point at the appropriate time.
  • This tour is a Combination of two separate tours: 10 Day Darwin to Broome and the 10 Day Broome to Perth. It may therefore have different guides for each stretch.