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  • Best of Western Australia Touring Holiday

     

    Best of Western Australia Touring Holiday 

    13 Nights / 14 Days 
    Perth – Margaret River – Ningaloo Reef/Kimberley
     
    About this tour 
    The Best of the West Touring Holiday is the perfect tour for those looking to find a road less travelled in Australia. Closer to Bali than it is to Sydney, the isolation of the West has helped this region keep hold of some of Australia’s best kept secrets. This region is entirely unique, refreshingly untouched, and offers a completely different flavour of Australia to usual the East Coast tourist route. Over the course of 13 nights, we will introduce you to the wonderful variety of this state, from the state capital Perth, to the Margaret River region, and then north to the waters of the Ningaloo Reef, or the landscapes the East Kimberley region. 
    Highlights
     
    This list includes optional activities possible in the featured locations of the tour, they will entail an additional cost on the base price of the itinerary. 
    • Discover the laid-back and sophisticated ambience of bustling Perth 
    • Find pristine parkland, exceptional beaches, and an enviable climate in this unique and isolated city 
    • Embark on an Indian Ocean road-trip south to find the world renowned vineyards of the Margaret River 
    • Sample Western Australia’s best wines and lose yourself in the idyllic countryside 
    • Surf on the exceptional beaches of Margaret River Mouth and Southside 
    • Dive into the crystal clear waters of the swimming beaches at Prevelly and Gracetown 
    • Fly north to the tropical waters of the Ningaloo Reef, or into raw beauty of the East Kimberley region
    • On the Ningaloo Reef, swim with dolphins, whale sharks and whales on one of Australia’s most pristine coral reefs, and discover the unique flora and fauna of the rugged Cape Range National Park 
    • In East Kimberley, find deep gorges, majestic mountains, thermal springs, mud and salt flats, rainforests and cascading waterfalls, and the unique flora and fauna that calls this environment home 
    Tour description 
    Starting in the laid-back and sophisticated ambience of bustling Perth, this tour will take you south on an Indian Ocean road-trip into the world-renowned vineyards of the Margaret River. Here, sample some of Australia’s best wines and dive into Western Australia’s best beaches as you explore the idyllic landscape of the region. For your last stop on this tour, the choice is yours. For those looking to snorkel or scuba dive in pristine waters, the Ningaloo Reef provides one of the most incredible coral reefs found anywhere in the world. Here, swim with dolphins, whale sharks and whales, and discover the unique flora and fauna of the Cape Range National Park on a truly Australian Safari. Others may choose to travel further north to the untamed beauty of the East Kimberley region. This incredible conservation area is home to deep gorges, majestic mountains, thermal springs, mud and salt flats, rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and an incredible diversity of wildlife. 
    Our range of accommodation includes everything from luxury boutique hotels, to remote wilderness eco-lodges, and safari-style luxury camping. Hand-crafted experiences make your bespoke family holiday to Australia even more special, and a seemingly infinite number of possibilities are available upon request. Please do not hesitate to get in touch and let us know how we can further personalise your once-in-a-lifetime tour Down Under.  
    Prices 
    From £5,600 per person for the Ningaloo Reef Option. 
    From £5,900 per person for the East Kimberley Option. 
    Please see our hotel list for more information on what is included in these basic rates. 
    Dates 
    This holiday can be arranged throughout the year. Timings may vary depending on the month and day of the week. 
    What’s Included 
    • Return scheduled flights with British Airways, Qantas or Emirates from London to Perth, returning from Perth to London in economy class. 
    • Domestic flights from Perth to Exmouth Learmonth Airport, or from Perth to Kununurra in economy class. 
    • Transfers where specified in our itinerary. 
    • Accommodation sharing a double or twin room. Please see our suggested list of hotels for details of base accommodation type.  
    • The meals included with your tour will vary by chosen accommodation. Please see our hotel suggestions for included board basis. 
    What’s not included 
    • Meals and drinks, except as specified in our hotel suggestions. 
    • Optional tours and activities within each location, except where explicitly specified as included in our itinerary, or by hotels in our hotel lists. 
    • Personal expenses. 
    • Insurance. 
    • Visa and Passport. 
    You will need a full British passport with at least six months validity, and a Visa for travel to Australia. Visas requirements should be checked with the Australian authorities. More details are available from www.eta.immi.gov.au

    Day One: Perth
    Arrive in Perth. You are met upon arrival and transferred to your accommodation by private chauffeur. Spend the day adjusting to the time zone, and introducing yourself to the delights of the warm and pleasant climate. 
    Day Two: Perth
    Enjoy a day of leisure as you explore Australia’s most remote city. This bustling metropolis perched on the pretty Swan River has so much to offer as it continues its remarkable ascendency as a modern-day boom town. From its glitzy central business district to the hip and trendy cultural precinct of Northbridge, and out to the recent developments of Elizabeth Quay, the recent economic boom has helped create a cosmopolitan sheen to the historically laid-back city. Great restaurants, bars, a wealth of leisure facilities and a superb public-transport system conspire make Perth a truly liveable city. 
    Day Three: Perth 
    Despite its recent economic success, the heart of Perth remains focused on its wonderful natural assets. With a myriad of pristine Indian Ocean beaches on its doorstep, today could be best spent cooling offer on the white sand and aquamarine water that fringes the city. For swimmers, Crawley, Peppermint Grove and Como are wonderful beaches, whilst surfers should head to the Cottesloe, Scarborough, City and Floreat, or brave the challenging surf of Trigg Island. 
    Day Four: Perth 
    On your final day in Perth, choose from a range of optional tours to discover some more of the wider region. Whilst technically a suburb or Perth, Freemantle maintains a unique identity to establish itself as a fantastic choice for a day trip. Located on the mouth of the Swan River, you can explore the port, harbour front restaurants or the maritime museum in the developing Victoria Quay precinct. A laid-back bohemian ambience, and fantastic bars and restaurants make Freemantle a perfect city escape, where the ‘Freemantle Doctor’ helps keep the fashionable district cool on scorching days. 
    Day Five: Margaret River 
    Collecting your 4x4 hire car from Perth, today you commence your road trip south to the Margaret River region of Western Australia. Today’s drive will take you along the Indian Ocean coastline. Spot the breaching of whales in the pale blue of the Indian Ocean waters, and be sure to stop at a myriad of wonderful highlights along the way. The laid-back Bunbury or the cultural hub of Dunsborough for example are perfect rest stops, whilst the breath-taking white sand beaches of Meelup Bay, Eagle Bay and Bunker Bay will delight. For those looking to learn more of Indigenous culture, you could also choose to explore Ngilgi Cave with the help of expert guides. Arrive in the Margaret River around late afternoon and settle into your idyllic surrounds. 
    Day Six: Margaret River 
    Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before spending a full day to explore the internationally acclaimed wineries of the region. Margaret River alone produces an astonishing 20% of Australia’s premium wine, testament to the ideal growing conditions as pristine environment conspires with the many micro climates to create wine that is both varied, and fantastic. With more than 95 cellar doors listed on the Margaret River wineries list, a full day can be spent meandering through the countryside in search of the best. Many vineyards also have excellent cafes and restaurants attached, meaning you are never far from good food to accompany this natural bounty. 
    Day Seven: Margaret River 
    Another great attraction of the Margaret River region is its superb Indian Ocean coastline, home to around 40 different surfing spots. One of the most iconic is Surfers Point, near Prevelly, which is home to the Margaret River Pro surfing competition and provides a great spot from which to relax in the sunshine and watch the professionals at work! Otherwise, why not get involved yourself by joining one of the many superb surf schools dotted up and down the coastline. Margaret River Mouth and Southside are perhaps the best surf spots, but there are a number to choose from whatever your criteria. 
    Day Eight: Margaret River 
    On your final full day in the South West of Western Australia, you could choose to potter up and down Caves Road, and stop at one of a number of attractions on the way. From vineyards, to breweries, to farms, it’s a fantastic way to spend an un-taxing day exploring the countryside. Alternatively, this region is also home to a string of beautiful limestone caves, complete with dramatic ceilings of stalactites and floors of stalagmites. Learn about the geology as well as the cultural significance of these sites.
    Day Nine: Ningaloo/Kimberley 
    Today, it’s time to hit the road again as you journey north back to Perth. Break up your drive by visiting any of the coastal towns and beaches that you missed on you first drive, before continuing to Perth International Airport to catch your flight to the far north of Western Australia. For those seeking pristine coral reefs, exceptional marine life, and a safari style experience, Ningaloo Reef near Exmouth is the perfect destination. Others will favour to varied and dramatic landscapes of the East Kimberley region, and here the wilderness that surrounds Kununurra will provide an incredible natural escape. Whichever you choose, you are sure to be met by a warm welcome, and a sky full of stars. 
    Day Ten: Ningaloo/Kimberley 
    Wake up in your chosen wilderness and enjoy a leisurely morning as you adjust to the warmer climate. On the Ningaloo Reef, it would be a great day to take your first dip in the crystal-clear waters of the coral reefs, whilst guests travelling to the East Kimberley region might want to cool off in one of the many swimming holes or thermal springs that are found throughout the 700,000 acres. 
    Day Eleven: Ningaloo/Kimberley 
    Having adjusted to the climate, today you could choose to get a bit more adventurous. On the Ningaloo Reef, there is the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with either Whale Sharks or Humpback Whales. These majestic creatures are one of the pinnacle encounters listed on the bucket lists of wildlife enthusiasts the world over, and their graceful and inquisitive nature will charm and delight as you glide next to them in the crystal-clear water. In the East Kimberley, why not join one of the full day tours that will introduce you to the hidden delights of this pristine environment. There are variety on offer, with some introducing you to gorges, others rainforests, and others more ecosystems still. 
    Day Twelve: Ningaloo/Kimberley 
    There is ample opportunity in either of your chosen destinations to find a change of scenery today. Those on the Ningaloo Reef could venture away from the inviting waters of the Indian Ocean, and instead choose to join a guided walk of the spectacular Mandu Mandu gorge or the Yardie Creek Gorge. As well as being home to an incredible diversity of wildlife including the rock wallabies and emus, this area is steeped in 30,000 years of human history, and the stories and artefacts are still being discovered to this day. In the Eastern Kimberley a new perspective can be gleaned by a spectacular helicopter or airplane scenic flight over the extraordinary region. A number are on offer that will allow your pilot to focus on a feature of your interest, from waterfalls to the coastline, to the red desert of the outback. 
    Day Thirteen: Ningaloo/Kimberley 
    On your final day in Western Australia, choose your adventure wisely. There are so many on offer in either location, from sea kayaking to big game fishing on the Ningaloo Reef, from horse riding to fishing throughout the ancient landscapes of the East Kimberley. Either way, allow yourself plenty of time to dine under the stars, and to raise a glass to Australia’s best kept secret – the West. 
    Day Fourteen: Return Home 
    Wake to soak up the last of the climate and scenery before being transferred back to your regional airport, and starting your journey home to London via Perth.

    Best of the West Touring Holiday map

     Perth
    Como The Treasury
     
    Casting enviable views over Perth’s most scenic quarters, this stunning restoration of the former 19th century State Buildings has preserved the elegance of a grand Victorian-era façade to provide the perfect luxury hotel in Perth. We include Breakfast for two and accommodation sharing 1 x Heritage Room. 
    Margaret River 
    Cape Lodge
     
    This stylish country estate is idyllically set amongst gardens, forests and lakes, as well as its own vineyard. With a welcoming and cosy feel, Cape Lodge is the perfect retreat for visits to the Margaret River. We include Breakfast for two and accommodation sharing 1 x Garden View Room. 
    Ningaloo Reef
    Sal Salis

    A luxury ‘glamping’ experience like no other, Sal Salis is an exclusive safari-style camp set on Ningaloo Reef beaches within the 60,000-hectare wilderness of the Cape Range National Park. We include 1 x Wilderness Tent for two on an All-Inclusive basis. 
    East Kimberley 
    El Questro

    Nestled within the vast and ancient wilderness of the East Kimberley region, El Questro boasts luxurious exclusivity with a safari park atmosphere on a 700,000-acre playground of stunningly diverse landscape. We include 1 x Homestead Garden Room for two including All Meals.

     All about Australia 
    Australia is a vast landscape of contradiction and variety. From the distinct, dusty red of the outback in Ayers Rock to the tropics of the Daintree Rainforest in the Far North Queensland, from the superb ski resorts of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, to the humid plains of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. For this reason, the only true way to visit Australia is by undertaking a touring holiday. To travel between the dynamic corners of this magical continent, and to make the most of the multifarious activities on offer. You have to be prepared to travel far, but you will be richly rewarded with awe-inspiring landscapes that exist on a scale that is barely imaginable. 
    Surrounded by 18,000km of beaches, this is a nation that thrives on the outdoors. From sailing in the Whitsunday Islands to Aussie Rules football, from skiing in the Snowy Mountains to scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and everything in between. Yet in contemporary Australia, the thriving cosmopolitan city centres are also important sites of interest in their own right. Here you will find distinct local cultures, outstanding food and wine, and a refreshing al-fresco café culture that is typically laidback. From the chic and fashionable Melbourne to the elegance and sophistication of Adelaide, not to mention Sydney, Hobart or the up-and-coming bustle of Perth.
    Australia facts 
    Location: Australia comprises the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania, and is neighboured by Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east, and New Zealand to the south-east. 
    Time difference: Canberra has a time zone of GMT + 10 hours. There are several time zones within Australia. 
    Language: English. 
    Population: 24.889 million. 
    Size: 7,692,024 km2, roughly 2,290 miles from north to south and 2,500 miles from east to west. 
    Currency: Australian Dollars (about 1.82 to the pound) 
    Capital: Canberra, located in the Australian Capital Territory between Sydney and Melbourne. 
    Geography and climate 
    Australia’s size results in a variable climate. The expansive interior is hot throughout the year but can often be very cold at night. The southern third of the country enjoys warm summers (December – March) and mild winters (June – August), although there are extremes of this, such as in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, where ski resorts are found. The Far North of the country has just two seasons because of its position on the monsoon belt – hot and wet, and hot and dry. 
    Cities and Culture 
    Australia is often thought about in terms of its natural bounty. The mind quickly wanders to images of beaches, landscape, wildlife and weather. Yet modern Australia is also home to a rich tapestry of cultures, and a wonderful array of buzzing urban centres. To the East, the iconic Sydney stands proud in its beautiful Harbour home, where miles of waterways, the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and a gleaming CBD coincide invitingly. To the West lies pretty and friendly Perth, the most isolated city in the world, located closer to South East Asia than any other Australian city. Here, find a rich and relaxed quality of life, where great food and wonderful scenery are perched on the banks of the Swan River. In the South, fashionable, sporty and arty Melbourne has cemented itself as the centre of the Australian cultural sphere, whilst elegant, sophisticated and green Adelaide boast the country’s best food and wine, and an enviable Mediterranean climate. With so many other exciting destinations on offer, such as the historic and alternative Hobart, or the sparkling CBD and gorgeous sunshine of Brisbane, clients will find exceptional stays in the many cities of this wonderful country. 
    Landscape and Coastline 
    Whilst many minds would simply conjure an image of a beach and a eucalyptus tree, Australia’s landscapes are more varied than one can truly comprehend. From the distinct, dusty red of the outback in Ayers Rock to the tropics of the Daintree Rainforest in the Far North Queensland, from the superb ski resorts of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, to the humid plains of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. To the same degree, the coastline of Australia matches this variety. For example, two extensive areas of coral reef are found here; Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia, and the Great Barrier Reef in the North East, each with warm, calm and crystal-clear water. Yet elsewhere, the coastline can take on a decidedly temperate tone, such as is found on the Great Ocean Road of Victoria and South Australia, where striking and jagged limestone cliffs bravely stand to the onslaught of the Southern Ocean. 
    Wildlife and Ecology 
    For nature enthusiasts, Australia offers a pilgrimage unlike any other. Its geographical isolation has resulted in more than 80% of the flowering plants, mammals, reptiles and frogs being unique to Australia, along with most of its fresh water fish, and almost half of its birds. Within this unique list, iconic species are often members of the marsupial family, and these include classic images of Australia such as its friendly and inquisitive kangaroos, koalas, wombats and wallabies. Elsewhere, you may encounter the weird and wonderful animals that are unlike anything found on earth. In the Tropical North of Queensland, for example, the Cassowary is an elusive and beautiful flightless bird which is often seen through the densest patches of rainforest. In freshwater, other guests may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a platypus, a wonderful creature that has challenged taxonomies of the natural world for years. With so many more interesting species on offer, from echidnas to crocodiles to emus, wherever you are in Australia, the variety of landscapes will have provided an entirely unique assemblage of species that have captured the imagination of naturalists the world over. 
    Underwater, things are even more interesting still. In the North East of the country, the Great Barrier Reef lies in the shallow, warm and calm waters of the Coral Sea. One of the seven natural wonders of the world, such is the scale of the Barrier Reef that it can clearly be seen from space. Here, 3000 individual reef systems are host to an astonishing variety of coral and reef animals. Yet it is not the only series of coral reefs in Australia. To the North West, one can find the spectacular Ningaloo Reef, a favoured home of pelagic species such as Whale Sharks, Cetaceans and Manta Rays, whilst Lord Howe Island in the South Pacific Ocean contains the southern-most barrier reef found anywhere in the world. Elsewhere in Australia, these warm and tropical waters meet the nutrient richness of the temperate zone, creating a home for a wonderfully vibrant array of species. The crystal-clear waters of Jervis Bay, for example, provide a playground for seal colonies and tropical fish species alike. Again, due to the scale of Australia, a wide variety of marine ecosystems are found which provide a totally unique assemblage of species to explore wherever you may find yourself. 
    Also calling Australia home, however, are of course the snakes, spiders, crocodiles, sharks, jellyfish, blue-ringed octopus and various creepy crawlies that send chills down the spines of many would-be-tourists. In truth, these animals are rarely seen by anyone who isn’t explicitly searching for them, and the majority of trips to Australia are trouble free. Expressions Holidays recommend that clients follow local advice when travelling within Australia, to best avoid incident with potentially dangerous animals. 
    Food and Wine 
    Australia has recently established itself as a great culinary destination, a result of excellent local produce and immigration. ‘Modern Australian’ describes the country’s new cuisine – a blend of east and west. Dishes are generally unfussy, with often bold and interesting flavours. Whilst cuisine does not really alter from region to region, there are some obvious influences such as Southeast Asian in Darwin and Italian in Melbourne. Undoubtedly Australia’s best food is seafood, which is taken from some of the purest waters and usually cooked with great care. Especially prized are Sydney rock oysters, sea scallops from Queensland, fantastic rock lobsters and sweet mud crabs. Meat is also excellent, tender and full flavoured. Very few dishes can be called uniquely Australian but the range of cuisines on offer here span the globe – from Indian and Vietnamese to Fijian and Jamaican – it can all be found in Australia. The size of Australia means that there is some incredible and varied produce on offer – from sublime Tasmanian strawberries to highly prized lamb from the lush Gippsland of Victoria and plentiful mangoes in Queensland. Elsewhere, the ‘bush tucker’ of Aboriginal Australia is on offer to adventurous tourists in the Northern Territory. 
    With vineyards found in every state of Australia, and a total cultivated land mass of 160,000 hectares, Australia’s wine scene has matched the rise of its gastronomic fare. A varied climate, and a history of geographically diverse immigration, have resulted in a full range of wines, from full-bodied Merlot to the scintillating acidity of Sauvignon Blanc. Indeed, a whole suite of regions have become iconic as part of this trend, including the Barossa Valley in South Australia, the Yarra Valley in Victoria, the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, and the Margaret River Valley in Western Australia. Each boasts spectacular rural scenery, and undoubtedly first-class cuisine to match the fruits of the land. 
    Government advice 
    The UK government has an excellent website www.fco.gov.uk which you must use to obtain up-to-date information about worldwide destinations. This site gives details about trouble spots but also general advice about most countries. We advise most strongly that you check notices about your intended destination before you book and travel. 
    Passport and Visas 
    A full British passport is required for travel to Australia. Please bear in mind that it is your responsibility to ensure that your passport is valid and still has six months validity before you book your holiday and it can take some time to obtain a new one. Each individual needs his or her own passport so if you are thinking of taking an infant, allow plenty of time to get a passport. Visas are required for travel to Australia, and the details of this should be checked with the Australian authorities. You may be eligible for an Electronic Travel Authority which can be arranged very quickly on-line. More details from www.eta.immi.gov.au Visas are not required for Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Dubai or Malaysia. Visitors may enter the USA as part of the visa waiver scheme, details of which should be obtained from www.usembassy.org.uk 
    Health 
    There are no required vaccinations for travel to Australia but you should nevertheless always check with your doctor before travelling. A leaflet is available from the Department of Health called ‘Health Advice to Travellers’, by telephoning 0800-555777. If you are suffering from any disability or illness, this should be communicated to us at the time of booking. Please note that pregnant passengers are not accepted by airlines usually after about 28 weeks into the pregnancy. You should check this with us before you make a booking. 
    Insurance 
    It is your own responsibility to ensure that you are adequately insured for your holiday. Please refer to our statement on insurance in our booking conditions. Insurance for the activities you choose to undertake during your holiday is also your own responsibilities. Additional requirements are needed for scuba diving, such as a doctor’s certificate. 
    Security and personal safety 
    When travelling you should take sensible precautions wherever you are and take care of money and personal valuables when passing through crowded and public places and cities in particular. In Australia, you should advise your accommodation when you set out on a long walk, drive, or venture into the wilderness. It is sensible to top up with petrol whenever you are about to leave a town for a long rural drive. 
    Wildlife hazards 
    In Australia, you should heed local advice as far as crocodiles, sharks, spiders, snakes, jellyfish and other species are concerned. Mosquitoes are a fact of life in the tropics. In fact, it is advisable to take your own anti-mosquito creams and lotions with you. Other insects (large beetles, cockroaches, sand flies etc) and some rodents are also common in tropical places. We cannot prevent these creatures from entering your accommodation. If this is a worry, perhaps a holiday to the tropics is not right for you. Guide books available will give you more advice on wildlife hazards. 
    Getting around 
    Main roads in Australia are very good. Some roads are not surfaced, particularly side roads, rural roads and private roads. These often lead to lodge accommodation. 
    What to wear 
    Due to the incredible diversity in climate and landscape, a trip to Australia will require a range of clothing. We advise you check local recommendations. 
    Tipping 
    Tipping us generally expected for many services throughout Australia. Around 10 per cent of the bill is sufficient. This does not apply to your hotel stay.

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