Broome & Overland through the Pilbara
2 spots left!

12 - 20 Sep 2023

This tour is designed to mesh-in with Across the Top End or Gems of the West or simply stand alone as an unforgettable overland adventure. You will see the sights of Broome – including an optional Horizontal Waterfalls adventure – before setting out through the Pilbara for 6-days of guided discovery of places such as the Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat, the Karijini Gorges, Tom Price, Cheela Plains and the fabulous Ningaloo Reef of Exmouth and the North West Cape.


Itinerary

View or Print Itinerary
Date
Activity
Overnight

Day 1

Tue 12 Sep
D

Arrive Broome by no later than 3 pm to enjoy a guided tour around town including the wharf, the Japanese cemetery and Gantheaume Point. Then it's dinner, accompanied by a spectacular sunset, at Cable Beach.

Our hotel is The Mangrove, overlooking Roebuck Bay.

Australia

The Mangrove
Broome view website

Day 2

Wed 13 Sep
B L D

This morning, we head north of town to the Willie Creek Pearl Farm nestled on a tropical inlet of the Indian Ocean. You will learn about the collection and spawning of oysters in the purpose-built hatchery, appreciate the delicate operations of seeding and harvesting oysters and understand the value of pearls and the creation of stunning jewellery.

A highlight of the tour will be cruising Willie Creek’s calm azure waters and view live oysters suspended in their natural environment.

After lunch, we will head back to Broome with options such as the Pearl Luggers tour, a visit to the dinosaur footprints or just some shopping for a wonderful Kimberley Pearl.

AN OPTIONAL ALTERNATIVE ON SEPTEMBER 13 (EXTRA COST):

An option to take a day trip to the Dampier Peninsula and Horizontal Waterfalls. We have an early morning departure for a scenic floatplane flight to the Horizontal Falls. Our one hour flight takes us over Cape Leveque and One Arm Point and onto the 1000 islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago. We have a spectacular water landing on the calm waters of Talbot Bay, right next to the Horizontal Falls.

We are transferred to our luxury houseboat moored nearby for a delicious buffet breakfast then it’s time to strap in for the ride of your life. Our experienced skipper will guide our 900hp fast boat through the incredible Horizontal Falls where steep cliffs meet powerful tides – and nature defies logic.

There’s also the chance to drop the adrenalin rush a notch or two as we also enjoy a tranquil cruise through nearby and untouched bays and creeks.

We can also cool off in the clear warm waters of the Indian Ocean in the safety of a purpose-built marine viewing enclosure attached to the houseboat. Here we get up close and personal with the local marine life while our guide points out the many species of fish and inquisitive sharks.

Taking off in a float plane is even more fun than the landing as we enjoy a low-level 30 minute flight across the Buccaneer Archipelago to Cygnet Bay. Here we do a fascinating tour of Australia’s oldest commercial pearl farm before returning overland to Broome (about 2 hours drive).

The Mangrove
Broome

Day 3

Thu 14 Sep
B D

There's time this morning to check out some of Broome's wonderful exhibits such as the Pearl Luggers (for those who went to the Horizontal Falls the day before) where you discover the 150 year history of Broome and how its unique maritime and pearling heritage unfolded on the foreshore of Dampier Creek. There is also the open air theatre, plus one or two shops that happen to sell magnificent pearls.

Then after lunch (own arrangements) we board our special overland coach bound for Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat, 130km south of Broome.

Eco Beach is in the heart of Yardoogarra country, amidst the pristine coastline of Cape Villaret with amazing views of the Indian Ocean.

There are a number of optional activities available including guided blue water and land-based fishing as well as bush walks.

This is eco-glamping (with ensuites) at its finest.

Day 4

Fri 15 Sep
B L D

After awaking to a beautiful Indian Ocean morning we continue south along the Great Northern Highway and into the Pilbara. Along the way we will enjoy a welcome lunch stop at the Sandfire Roadhouse. Further south, we also call into Pardoo cattle station where bore-fed centre pivots, which rarely stop, are at the heart of thriving hay and forage enterprises.

We continue down the road to Port Hedland – a town famed for its massive resource industry, long trains, big ships and salt piles. We will tap into some local knowledge to learn more about Port Hedland’s very busy port (boasting the world’s largest export tonnage) and its 15,000 or so (counting South Hedland) hardy inhabitants.

Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Day 5

Sat 16 Sep
B L D

We continue on this morning to Karijini, Australia’s second-largest national park and one of the most spectacular. Featuring ancient cavernous gorges, some of the oldest rocks on the planet, and crystal-clear waterways – all with a stunning red rock and vibrant green trees contrast – this is a nature lover’s paradise.

For overnight, we are glamping at the Karijini Eco Retreat. Here we are nestled amongst native bushland at the edge of Joffre Gorge, complete with an outback style restaurant and access to some of the park’s best walks.

Day 6

Sun 17 Sep
B D

Karijini boasts abundant native vegetation such as spinifex, mulga, ghost gums, wattles and fig trees. September is a great month to see colourful wildflowers such as lemongrass and northern bluebells bloom across the landscape. We might also spot rock wallabies, dingoes and the abundant birdlife, which call Karijini home, as we explore the park’s major highlights.

We enjoy an early morning (and easy) walk to the nearby and stunning Joffre Gorge and Falls. Then it's back to the retreat for a hearty breakfast before checking out.

We then exit Karijini to the south and call into Rio Tinto's Pilbara Agricultural Project. This project is also focussed on hay production under centre pivots with the water coming from the nearby Marandoo Mine.

We continue westward to Tom Price for lunch (own arrangements). Primarily an iron ore mining town, Tom Price is one of the more affluent non-metropolitan regions in Australia.

We continue westwards to Cheela Plains Station for dinner and overnight. This is a family owned and managed working cattle station nestled in the semi-arid, pastoral rangelands of the Pilbara. We will meet the owners who will introduce us to their very unique cell grazing operation.

We enjoy a BBQ dinner under the stars at the station.

Cheela Plains Station
Cheela Plains view website

Day 7

Mon 18 Sep
B L D

Early departure to continue west and into the Gascoyne region and onto Exmouth. We arrive in time for lunch at Adrift Café, one of the town’s best eateries.

After lunch, we will have a chance to visit the Ningaloo Visitor Centre for an excellent orientation to the Cape and Ningaloo Reef. We check into our hotel (the Mantaray Ningaloo Resort) – Then at 4.15 we are all aboard Latitude 22 which has been chartered for our group for a sunset cruise. This 21 m craft is one of the most modern, luxurious, spacious and comfortable whale spotting vessels in Australia.

We enjoy Exmouth prawns, snacks and drinks while counting how many whales we can spot. We will be cruising in the sheltered waters of Exmouth Gulf (on the eastern side of North West Cape Peninsula) where humpback whales and other large sea creatures congregate in Aug-Sep.

The Mantaray
Exmouth view website

Day 8

Tue 19 Sep
B L D

Today we enjoy the main highlights of the North West Cape. We travel north this morning for 15 mins towards the tip of the Cape for breakfast, with magnificent ocean views, at the Bundegi Beach Shack, in the shadows of the "sneaky stuff" which makes this part of WA such a strategically important location.

After breakfast we venture to the western side of the Peninsula and the magnificent Ningaloo Reef. We board our glass bottom boat, and within minutes, we are in a magical coral reef environment where we get very up close and personal with the local inhabitants – and without getting our feet wet.

After an hour or so on the reef we head back to (the very nearby) shore and continue south along the western side of the Cape for about 60 km and onto Yardie Creek Boat Tours. We jump on board our specially chartered boat and head into gorge country with expert commentary supplied by very experienced locals.

After our gorge tour we will head back north and call into a few of the many beautiful beaches of the Cape Range National Park. We stop at the Milyering Discovery Centre for lunch and a chance to check out the excellent interpretive displays and to ask any questions you have about the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area.

By around mid-afternoon we continue north to the spectacular Vlamignh Head Lighthouse and then back to the hotel and a farewell dinner.

The Mantaray
Exmouth

Day 9

Wed 20 Sep
B

Free morning and then at around 11 am we board our coach for transfer to the airport for our flight to Perth. Good idea to grab something to eat before our transfer as there are very limited options at the airport. On the way we will call into the Potshot and Jaywick/Krait Memorial. In 1942 the US Navy established a submarine base at this location under the code name “Operation Potshot”. Australian Army, Navy and Airforce personnel operated early warning radar, radio stations, anti-aircraft guns and provided fighter cover for submarines.

The famous and very successful Operation Jaywick also departed from this location. This was a commando raid by Australian special forces disguised as Singaporean fishermen aboard the Krait which attacked shipping in Singapore Harbour.

We say good-bye to our bus driver and board our flight to Perth for various connecting flights home. Booking the connecting flight is your own arrangement. Our flight from Exmouth is scheduled to arrive into Perth at 2.50 pm. Depending on the time of your connecting flight, you might have time to visit the magnificent Wildflower Festival and Display at Perth's Kings Park. The display is on during the entire month of September and is a must if you like your wildflowers. You also have the option for staying on in Perth for a few days.