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Darwin to Perth Overland

Australia

Darwin to Perth Overland

Hiking·
Snorkeling
·
Start: Darwin
·
End: Perth

Unearth the rugged beauty of the Northern Territory and Western Australia

Activity
LocationAustralia
Duration22 days
Start / EndDarwin / Perth
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel

Australia

Darwin to Perth Overland

Hiking·
Snorkeling·
22 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: Darwin
·
End: Perth

Description

Journey through the natural wonders, vast expanses and jaw-dropping landscapes of northern and western Australia on this incredible 22-day tour from Darwin to Perth. Visit some of the region’s best national parks where you'll hike through stunning red rock landscapes and swim beneath waterfalls in the most beautiful spots. Discover the striped beauty of the Bungle Bungles, explore the glorious ...

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Itinerary

Day 1Darwin to the Katherine Region
Welcome to Darwin, where your overland adventure begins. The Northern Territory’s tropical capital is also a gateway to numerous wildlife and waterfall-filled national parks and nature reserves. Today, you visit Nitmiluk National Park. After meeting your tour leader and travel group, head south to either the cascading streams and pools of Edith Falls or the magnificent, sandstone gorges (there’s 13 in total) within the park. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the park. After a full day spent exploring the ancient surrounds, head to your private campsite at the edge of the national park, where permanent tents with swags await. Total driving time: about 4 hours Total walking distance: about 2 kilometres/1.24 miles
Day 2Lake Argle
After breakfast, begin the drive west to Lake Argyle, the jewel of the Kimberley region. It’s about a 6.5-hour drive; as the rugged peaks and cliffs of the spectacular Carr Boyd Range come into view, you’ll know you’re almost there. Stretch your legs on a walk around it’s perimeter on arrival, admiring the sheer size of the 700-square-metre manmade spectacle, which is home to tons of native fish and thousands of freshwater crocodiles. Make sure to bring waterproof hiking boots as the ground near the lake can be quite soft. Take some time to explore the sparse, yet beautiful surrounds before setting up camp nearby for the night. Total driving time: about 6.5 hours Total walking distance: 2-4 kilometres/1.2-2.4 miles
Day 3Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungle Ranges)
Hit the dusty red road for the East Kimberley and its World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park. Here, you’ll hop on a 4WD vehicle to get a closer look at the national parks famous, beehive-shaped Bungle Bungles. The sight of these orange and grey striped domes rising some 250 metres above grass-covered plains will blow you away. Discover the craggy gorges and red peaks of the Hidden Valley before a free afternoon to explore on your own. Total driving time: about 3.5 hours Total walking distance: about 5 kilometres/3 miles
Day 4The Bungle Bungles
Make sure to fill up at breakfast, as a full day of activities await. Begin by returning to the remarkable rock formations of the Bungle Bungles. Take a scenic hike to the thin, red gap of Echidna Chasm – enjoying plenty of fantastic photo opportunities as the sun’s beams illuminate the chasm to dazzling effect. Another hike leads to Cathedral Gorge, an enormous nature amphitheatre of red rock. There’s also the opportunity to experience a helicopter flight over the Bungle Bungles (at your own expense). As the sun goes down, head back to your overnight bush camp. Total driving time: about 1 hours Total walking distance: about 5 kilometres/3 miles
Day 5Bungle Bungles and El Questro
This morning, set out for El Questro, an accommodation and campsite in the heart of the Kimberley region. Drive through rugged and ancient landscapes, admiring the remarkable scenery of the Carr Boyd and Durack Ranges en route. You’ll also stop in the Aboriginal settlement of Warmun for a hike along a vast nature trail and a chance for a refreshing swim. Arrive at your campsite in El Questro in the late afternoon. After settling in, sit down for dinner and unwind with a cool drink. Total driving time: about 3 hours Total walking distance: about 6 kilometres/3.7 miles
Day 6El Questro Station
There isn’t much travel involved today; instead, you’ll spend the day exploring the spectacular surrounds of your exceptionally well-located campsite. Take in the areas scenic gorges and red cliffs in the morning. Later, hike past the towering red cliffs of the Cockburn Ranges, which are shaped like a vast round fortress. Discover its deep gorges and permanent pools, and enjoy a swim beneath the waterfall at Emma Gorge. In the evening, why not crack open a well-earned beer at El Questro’s station bar. Total driving time: about 45 minutes Total walking distance: up to 7 kilometres/4.3 miles
Day 7Gibb River Road and Mount Barnett
Get back on the road today and make your way west. Today’s journey will take you over the Pentecost River and along the famous Gibb River Road. There will be lots of hiking and multiple opportunities to swim. After lunch, head to Mt Barnett. Keep in mind that depending on weather and accessibility, your tour leader may choose alternative spots to visit. Total driving time: about 5 hours Total walking distance: about 2 kilometres/1.2 miles
Day 8Windjana Gorge
Spend another day exploring the stunning gorges of the western Kimberley region. Today, you’ll visit Bell Gorge, a bit of a hidden highlight. This idyllic spot boasts picture-perfect cascading waterfalls and crystal-clear pools surrounded by a horseshoe of rugged orange-red walls. Smooth rocks to lounge on welcome areas of shade make it the perfect place to spend a relaxing morning. In the afternoon, head to Windjana Gorge, where you’ll find a segment of 375 million-year-old reef that was once underwater. 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. Total driving time: about 2.5 hours Total walking distance: about 4-6 kilometres/2.5-3.7 miles
Day 9Tunnel Creek and Broome
Begin the day exploring the Napier Range. The major attraction here is Tunnel Creek National Park, an extensive cave system that extends 750 metres underground. This vast network is what remains of an ancient reef system that existed here between 350 and 375 million years ago, making it the oldest cave system in Western Australia. Explore its limestone tunnels on a guided walk and witness shards of sunlight that make it was through small crevices, little bats fluttering about and enormous stalactites that rear down from the ceiling. The cave became famous in the late 1800s, when local Aboriginal man, Jandamarra, waged a one-man uprising against European settlers, and became a First Nations hero in the process. You’ll hear a bit about his legacy during the tour, then make the drive to Broome, hopefully arriving in time to witness a stunning Cable Beach sunset. Total driving time: about 5 hours Total walking distance: about 4 kilometres/2.5 miles
Day 10Broome
This morning, set out for some sightseeing, learning about Broome’s rich history and pearling industry along the way. Afterwards, head to the beach for a picnic lunch. Spend a leisurely afternoon relaxing on the sand, splashing in the water and perhaps playing a few beach games.
Day 11Broome
The next two days are free for you to explore Broome at your own pace. If you’re after more beach time, perhaps head to Cable Beach, named after the undersea telegraph cable that connected Broome to Singapore in the 19th century, or Town Beach in Roebuck Bay. Between March and October (the exact time period varies each year), it’s possible to witness the ‘Staircase to the Moon’ at Roebuck Bay, a natural phenomenon and optical illusion where a staircase appears to lead to the moon during low tide (in reality, the staircase is the reflection of the bay’s exposed mudflats). A weekly Staircase Night Market sets up during this time and is also worth checking out. Sample local flavours and browse stalls selling handmade products, jewellery, clothing and art while local musicians play.
Day 12Broome
Today is another free day to explore. If you’re after some history, check out the Broome Historical Museum to learn about local Aboriginal culture and for a glimpse into the town's pearling and wartime history. Maybe take a trip to Gantheaume Point to discover 130-million-year-old dinosaur footprints or to photograph the contrasting white sand, red cliffs and blue ocean of the area. Another option is the Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park and Animal Refuge for some wildlife-viewing. In the evening, the buzzing district of Chinatown is a great place to grab a meal and a drink, or maybe catch an outdoor film at the charming Sun Pictures cinema.
Day 13Broome to the Pilbra Region
After a few relaxing days in Broome, it’s time to hit the road again in the direction of Karajini National Park. Cross the Great Sandy Desert, stopping at Eighty Mile Beach – a white sand beach famous for its abundance of tropical seashells and beach fishing – for a stroll along its shore. From here travel south, passing through the mining city of Port Hedland, where you can witness the enormity of the iron ore industry. Spend the night on a station in the Pilbara Region. Total driving time: about 4.5 hours Total walking distance: about 1 kilometre/0.6 miles
Day 14Karajini National Park
This morning, make your way to the spectacular Karijini National Park, where you’ll spend the next three days exploring. Karajini is the second largest national park in Western Australia. Covered by the Hamersley Ranges, its ancient landscape was caved over 2 billion years and features some of the most unusual landforms on Earth. You’ll be able to take some great photos while here. On arrival, visit the Karijini Visitor Centre for a crash course on the natural and cultural history of the park. Then head to Fortescue Falls for a refreshing swim. Tonight, camp in twin-share, permanent tents inside the park. Total driving time: about 4.5 hours Total walking distance: about 3 kilometres/1.8 miles
Day 15Karijini National Park
This is truly one of the most spectacular and surprising national parks you’re likely to find. There are numerous walks and sights to see, but be sure to put Dales Gorge, Oxers Lookout and Weano Gorge on your to-do list. Spend the day exploring, swimming, hiking and relaxing in this bush paradise.
Day 16Karijini National Park
Pack up your towel and walking shoes and head out for another day exploring Karijini with your guide. Swim in waterholes, hike along rocky trails and splash about in waterfalls. Anything you didn’t tick off the list yesterday you can chase up today – whether it’s a snooze in the sun, a strenuous hike to a lookout or a cooling dip in a swimming hole. Paradise! Total driving time: about an hour Total walking distance: about 6 kilometres/3.7 miles
Day 17Exmouth
Get ready for a long day of travel as you leave Karijini and travel through the vast bushlands and cattle stations of the Pilbara region en route to the west coast. The sparsely populated Pilbara desert is known for its red earth and rich mineral deposits. Spend the night at an exclusive campsite at Yardie Creek, located near Exmouth in Cape Range National Park. Total driving time: about 6-7 hours
Day 18Coral Bay
Enjoy a day of freedom and relaxation in Yardie Creek. Nestled on the shores of the Indian Ocean, it’s a great place to soak up some sun and explore the surrounding beaches. Depending on the season, you’ll have the option to snorkel or scuba dive in search of whale sharks or manta rays. Perhaps take a walk to Vlamingh Head Lighthouse or simply soak up the sun on Turquoise Bay’s pristine beach. In the afternoon, travel to beautiful Coral Bay. Its gorgeous waters contain Ningaloo Reef, one of the largest fringing coral reefs in the world, and a rich diversity of marine life. Total driving time: about 1.5 hours Total walking distance: about 2 kilometres/1.2 miles
Day 19Coral Bay
Spend the majority of today at Coral Bay, exploring the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef. The marine park is home to 250 species of coral and over 500 species of fish. Snorkel, scuba dive or cruise the reef in a glass-bottom boat to observe the tropical life teeming below the surface. You might prefer to take a joy flight over the reef for spectacular views from above, or head out on a quad bike tour of the local area. Snorkel equipment is provided, but all other activities will be at your own expense and subject to availability. Total driving time: about 1.5 hours Total walking distance: about 2 kilometres/1.2 miles
Day 20Monkey Mia
Today we cross over the Tropic of Capricorn. You probably won’t notice it, but what crossing this latitude means is that from here on south the sun will never be directly above you. You should still wear a hat though. Your main stop for the day is Shell Beach, which, much as name would suggest, is a beach made of shells. What’s quite incredible about the place however is the amount of shells there are. Locals have been using them in various industries for years, yet they still cover a stretch 60 km long and up to 7 metres deep. Continue on towards Monkey Mia Beach, famous for its friendly bottlenose dolphins. Total driving time: about 6.5 hours Total walking distance: about 1 kilometre/0.6 miles
Day 21Kalbarri
In the morning, visit the dolphins again before heading on to explore the World Heritage area of Shark Bay. See the stromatolites at Hamelin Pool. These marine rock formations are some of the world’s oldest living fossils, and suggest what the earth might have looked like 3.5 billion years ago. Head south from here to Kalbarri. If time permits, visit Murchison River Gorge and the rocky arch of Nature’s Window in Kalbarri National Park. You’ll then head to your accommodation for the night. Total driving time: about 4 hours Total walking distance: about 5 kilometres/3 miles
Day 22Nambung National Park to Perth
Cruise through the coastal gorges of Kalbarri National Park, stopping at Dongara, a seaside town gifted with great surf, soft sand beaches and massive dunes. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to test your skill at sandboarding, then it’s on to the thousands of limestone pillars that rise out of the Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park. Wander around and explore the random rock formations and then kick on to Perth, where the trip ends upon arrival (in the early evening). Total driving time: about 4-5 hours Total walking distance: about 2 kilometres/1.2 miles

More info

Trip title

Darwin to Perth Overland

Trip code

PDP22

Validity

Validity: 01 Apr 2018 to 31 Mar 2020

Introduction

Journey through the natural wonders, vast expanses and jaw-dropping landscapes of northern and western Australia on this incredible 22-day tour from Darwin to Perth. Visit some of the region’s best national parks where you'll hike through stunning red rock landscapes and swim beneath waterfalls in the most beautiful spots. Discover the striped beauty of the Bungle Bungles, explore the glorious gor... Read more

Style

Basix

Themes

Explorer,Overland

Transport

All Terrain vehicle

Physical Rating

4

Physical preparation

To get the most out of this trip you need to be prepared for walks of between 3-9 km on some days. This may be on rough ground and perhaps getting feet wet in rivers and creeks. From Oct to March in the Red Centre, West Coast, and South of Australia you will experience temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius (and sometimes well into the 40’s) so be prepared to endure extra physical stress due to t... Read more

Joining point

The Youth Shack departing 6:30am

Alternate Joining point

For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.

Alternate Joining point instructions

Meet your guide at the Youth Shack - 69 Mitchell Street Darwin We can pick up at your Darwin accommodation. Please advise your booking agent of your accommodation if it differs from this location. Pick up times and locations will be advised when booking.

Finish point

Central Perth

Important information

1. Tour commences in Darwin on Day 1 at 6.50 am and finishes in Perth on Day 22 at approx 6 pm. Onward travel must be booked the following day. 2. This trip is for FIT AND ACTIVE people and involves very basic camping and challenging hikes. 3. This trip requires a sleeping bag. 4. Minimum Age on this trip is 18 years old. 5. Trip runs in reverse, see tour code PD22.

Group leader

All group trips are accompanied by a group leader. In Australia your group leader is also your driver, taking you from start to finish in a specialised vehicle. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Yor leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, or... Read more

Safety

REMOTE AREA TRAVEL: We carry a satellite phone on all of our remote/overland trips to be used by our leaders in the event of an emergency and for your safety. In addition, all of our leaders are First Aid trained and certified. HYDRATION: Daytime temperatures can be extreme from Oct to March with temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius. Please bring a large refillable water bottle. We strongly recom... Read more

Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with ... Read more

Why we love it

Get off the beaten track as you discover the raw desert landscapes and stunning coastline of Western Australia and the Kimberley in this ultimate overland adventure

Is this trip right for you

Accommodation on this trip is multishare, meaning there are no private rooms. You'll spend some nights of the trip sleeping at camping grounds in a swag (Australian bedroll) in twin-share, permanent tents. While conditions can be very basic, this is all part of the adventure. This is a true overland trip, and the journey is a big part of the experience. On some days of the trip, you will spend se... Read more

Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/o... Read more

Food and dietary requirements

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS: Your tour includes meals as indicated in our brochure and online. On most days, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included. Our tours are activity and participation based. During your travels with us you will have the opportunity to assist with daily activities such as setting up camp, helping prepare meals and clearing dishes. None of this is difficult however many han... Read more

Money matters

Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less. The Australian Dollar (A$) is the currency of Australia.  Credit and debit cards are readily accepted just about everywhere in Australia. Occasionally there may be a minimum spend for both in smaller shops. You can usually withdraw money... Read more

What to take

Packing What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a... Read more

Climate and seasonal

WET SEASON & WEATHER: Given the unpredictable nature of weather and travel in the tropics, we are sometimes forced to make late itinerary changes due to unexpected heavy rain and/or storms and road closures. In the event of this occurring, itinerary changes may need to be implemented after commencement of you trip. In this event, your Tour Leader/Driver has full authority to change the itinerary a... Read more

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol... Read more

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential nega... Read more

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsible... Read more

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more

Transport notes

DRIVING DISTANCES IN AUSTRALIA Australia is a BIG country! In fact, the whole of Europe fits into Australia with plenty of room to spare. Australia has a total land area of 7,706,168 sq km, and the coastline spans a massive 15,049km. Here in Australia we're used to driving long distances on holiday, but you may not be. Take for example, our 10 day Perth to Broome trip will see you travelling ab... Read more

Travel insurance

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit... Read more

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weat... Read more

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nts),Camping (with facilities) (8 nts),Hostel (9 nts),Permanent safari camp (with shared facilities) (1 nt),Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 nt)
22days
€2,945per person
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Apr 20
Darwin
May 11
Perth
€2,945
Seats left: 7
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Apr 27
Darwin
May 18
Perth
€2,945
Seats left: 17
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May 4
Darwin
May 25
Perth
€2,945
Seats left: 14
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May 11
Darwin
Jun 1
Perth
€2,945
Seats left: 13
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