— Friday 4th
Your tour starts with a flight from Adelaide into Port Lincoln at 3pm. So you have the choice to arrive into Adelaide this morning or arrive the day before and stay an extra night or two in Adelaide.
If you arrive this morning, there are a range of eateries in the airport terminal itself and the Atura Airport Hotel also has a couple of eateries and bars. Luggage lockers are available for hire on the ground floor of the multi storey car park.
If you arrive a day or two earlier, please make your way to Adelaide Airport by 2pm to meet Andrew for our group check in. Your flight to Port Lincoln lasts approximately 45 minutes and upon arrival into Port Lincoln, you’ll be collected by Sacred Earth Safaris.
On the way to our hotel, we’ll take a detour to Winters Hill Lookout, for panoramic views over Port Lincoln.
Tonight we’ll have our first group dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight accommodation- motel room with en-suite, Lincoln Motel, which is situated right next to the beach ! (2 night stay)
Day 2 — Saturday 5th March (B,L,D)
Today we head south through the city towards the entrance of the “Whalers Way”, a 14km unsealed track along one of the most spectacular stretches of coastline in SA, which takes us to the very tip of Eyre Peninsula. The coast is inundated with a series of natural crevasses, giant fissures in the rocky coastline which have created deep bays, chasms and caves into which the sea surges back and forth. Cape Wiles is a 100 metre high cliff face above the swirling sea, with pillars of rock and an island offering continuing resistance to the Southern Ocean. Fur seals can often be seen here (a zoom lens is handy !).
Overnight accommodation- motel room with en-suite, Lincoln Motel
Day 3 — Sunday 6th March (B,L,D)
Departing Port Lincoln, we now head along the Flinders Hwy on the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula. Our first stop along this stunning ocean drive is at the Leo Cummings monument lookout, for views of Point Drummond and the cliffs of Sheringa. The craggy pinnacle opposite the lookout is home to a family of osprey.
We drive past Lake Newland Conservation park to Talia Beach and Talia Caves. The Woolshed is a large cavern carved into the granite cliffs and is accessed by a walkway and wooden steps. The cave has a honeycombed ceiling and dark crevices with blowholes nearby. We also explore The Tub and enjoy the dramatic views to the south of the beach.
Turning off the main highway, we stop at Murphys Haystacks. Made up of pink Hiltaba granite, the haystacks have stood on top of the earth in their present form for nearly 34,000 years. They’re very photogenic !
Overnight accommodation- motel room with en-suite, Streaky Bay (2 night stay)
Day 4 — Monday 7th March (B,L,D)
This morning we have a very special experience- a swim with sea lions and possibly dolphins. Unfed, untrained, totally wild, a place where the Lions of the sea and their close friends, bottlenose dolphins, will choose to interact with you on their own terms.
The “call of the wild” echoes around you as you are literally welcomed into a water world of pure magic by the very things that live in the sea.
The experience takes place at Baird Bay, about an hour south of Streaky Bay and you have the option of swimming OR being an observer of the boat- having the opportunity to take photos from the boat but not actually swimming. If you choose to be an observer, rather than swim, please remove $30 from the quoted price.
As an alternative for those that don’t want to swim or observe, we can visit the nearby Point Labatt, where a high cliff top lookout allows us to view a sea-lion colony 50m below. If you choose to do this, remove $200 from the tour price. On the way back to Streaky Bay, we take the Westall Way loop drive , where we can enjoy a variety of landforms and seascapes, including rugged limestone cliffs, striking granite boulders covered in golden lichens and secluded granite pools.
Overnight accommodation- motel room with en-suite, Streaky Bay
Day 5 — Tuesday 8th March (B,L,D)
This morning we continue north to Ceduna, the major regional business centre of the Far West Coast of Eyre Peninsula. Ceduna is also the start of the longest golf course in the world, spanning 1,365 kms to Kalgoorlie, with one hole in each participating town or roadhouse along the way.
After a short break, we continue west along the Eyre Highway, through Penong, with dozens of windmills scattered around the town. We’re now travelling along the Nullarbor Plain, the world’s largest semi-arid karst (cave) landscape. Most of the park’s landscape is flat except where the surface has collapsed into sinkholes revealing large underground caverns.
We reach our accommodation but take a slight detour, hitting the dirt, to the nearby Murrawinjinnie caves – a group of three caves we can explore and photograph.
Overnight accommodation- Motel room with en-suite on the Nullarbor.
Day 6 — Wednesday 9th March (B,L)
This morning we visit Head of Bight, where we view the sheer Bunda Cliffs, where Australia dramatically drops into the ocean. The Bunda Cliffs are a magnificent sight in themselves and stretch in an unbroken line for 200 kilometres to the Western Australian border. Continuing west, we stop several times at fantastic coastal lookouts.
We then turn off again, onto the unsealed old Eyre Highway, and drive to the ruins of Koonalda Homestead, one of a number of important way stations along the old road, years ago, providing a rare piece of civilisation, fuel and emergency services. After a look around the ruins, we drive north to Heritage listed Koonalda Cave, a huge sinkhole with a cave and underground stream system at the bottom. The site was important to the local Aboriginal people and much evidence of their visitation has been found. After viewing the cave from the top, we drive south again and re-join the main highway. We now cross the border into Western Australia, put our watches back and continue to our accommodation.
We check in and then finish the day at the ruins of the Eucla telegraph station, which is being swallowed up by the Delisser sand dunes.
We can also take a walk to the beach and old jetty (very photogenic).
Overnight accommodation- room with en-suite at Eucla
Day 7- Thursday 10th March (L)
Back on the road again this morning, we pass through Mundrabilla and Madura, stopping en-route at the Madura Pass Lookout, for sweeping views of Madura Pass and the Roe Plains.
We pass through Caiguna and enter the longest straight stretch of road in Australia, which is 146.6km.
Just outside Caiguna, we stop at the Blowhole, formed by chemical and physical weathering processes that erode the limestone bedrock common in this part of Australia. The name blow hole refers to the fact that these natural features breathe air in and out as high and low pressure weather systems pass across the Nullarbor.
Our destination this afternoon is Balladonia, a thriving and prosperous wool producing area which made worldwide headlines in 1979 when fiery pieces of a wayward NASA space station called Skylab, landed around the grounds of the hotel ! The hotel museum houses documents from NASA, a recreation of actual events, photos and related ephemera as well as information on Balladonia’s early pioneering days, Aboriginal heritage and the construction of the Eyre Highway.
We arrive mid-afternoon so you have some time to relax and take a look at the museum before dinner.
Overnight accommodation- Balladonia, motel room with en-suite
Day 8 — Friday 11th March (L,D)
This morning we leave the Eyre Highway and make our way south on the unsealed Parmango Road, to Cape Le Grand, one of WA’s best known and most spectacular National Parks. The scenery ranges from wild coastal scenery, stunning beaches and rugged granite peaks to sweeping heathlands, which are home to a range of animals and flowers.
En-route we stop at the Deralinya Homestead ruins.
At Cape Le Grand, we visit Thistle Cove, a beautiful bay with a spectacular coastal outlook and a ‘whistling’ rock, and you can take an optional, easy walk along the coast to Lucky Bay. Keep an eye out for dolphins as you look out over the Recherché Archipelago islands.
Lucky Bay is famed as having one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia. Here we can swim and snorkel or take a walk. Keep an eye out for kangaroos on the beach !
Late afternoon we drive onto Esperance and make our way to our accommodation.
Overnight accommodation- Esperance, motel room with en-suite
Day 9 — Saturday 12th March (B,L,D)
This morning we take the Esperance Great Ocean Drive, which is a 38km scenic drive following the coastline and including highlights such as Rotary Lookout, Twilight Beach, Observatory Point, the Wind Farm and Pink Lake.
Then we drive to Albany which will take the rest of the day. The King George Sound at Albany was the site of WA’s first European settlement and on the foreshore is a full scale replica of the Brig Amity, which brought the first settlers and convicts into Albany in 1826.
We arrive into Albany and then up to the Anzac Memorial, which also offers views.
Overnight accommodation- Albany, Dog Rock Motel, motel room with en-suite.
Day 10 — Sunday 13th March (B,L,D)
We head further west today, driving to Denmark and a little later we come to the stunning Greens Pool, a beach and swimming area at the eastern end of William Bay National Park. It’s almost completely sheltered from the waves of the Great Southern Ocean by the rounded rock boulders typical to this area and from the car park we can also take a 10 minute walk to Elephant Rocks, which look exactly like a herd of elephants, paddling in the shallow waters.
Further along the coastal drive is the tree-cloaked Walpole-Nornalup National Park, home to tingle forests, which occur nowhere else in the world. Here we take The Valley of the Giants – Tree Top Walk, featuring a stunning walkway positioned 40 metres above the ground amid the dizzying heights of the tingle forest canopy. Experience walking in the Tree Top canopies of tall karri trees with views over core wilderness and then venture to the Ancient Empire of 400 year old red tingle trees along a boardwalk that meanders across the forest floor.
The trail follows the story of the lost era of Gondwana.
Our next stop is inland, to Pemberton, the closest town to the Gloucester National Park, home of the Gloucester Tree.
Overnight accommodation- Pemberton, motel room with en-suite
Day 11 — Monday 14th March (B,L,D)
Today starts with a visit to the Gloucester Tree, which is one of only 3 remaining tall Karri trees that were made into lookouts during the 1930’s and 1940’s. This was a way of spotting fires in the tall Karri forest and this tree was named after the then Governor-General of Australia, His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester, who was visiting Pemberton at the time. Today, visitors can climb up the 61m to see one of the most spectacular views of the Karri forest.
We continue to nearby Greater Beedelup National Park, where we take a short walk to the beautiful Beedelup Falls.
The final leg of our trip takes us into Busselton, where you have some free time if you’d like to walk along the jetty (or take the train- additional cost).
Making our way into Perth now, our final dinner tonight will be served at the hotel and this is a great chance to reminisce over our adventures from the past 11 days.
Overnight accommodation- Hotel room with en-suite in Perth
Day 12 — Tuesday 15th March (Departure Day) (B)
At your leisure, please make your way to Perth airport from your onward flight. Transfers can be arranged by the hotel for you.
B = Breakfast L= Lunch D = Dinner