Esperance & Southwest Adventure Western Australia

Esperance & Southwest Adventure

Western Australia

Hiking
6 days
2019

Sun, Dec 01

Fri, Dec 06

€655

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Overview

Discover the exquisite natural beauty and sublime solitude of Western Australia's Esperance area on this round-trip journey that begins and ends in Perth. Explore the hidden coves of Fitzgerald River National Park and bask on Cape Le Grand's white powder sands. Hit the hiking trails of the Stirling Ranges and take in breathtaking views from the summit of Frenchmans Peak and Castle Rock. Explore ancient forests and pristine coastline, and encounter Noongar culture from a Traditional Custodian. This 6-day adventure is just the trip for those wanting to experience a spectacular range of natural attractions found in Western Australia's south-west corner.

Map

Itinerary

Day 1Perth to Fitzgerald National Park
Arrive in Western Australia’s state capital. Though Perth has the distinction of being one of the world’s most remote cities, it also boasts beautiful beaches, sprawling parks, a thriving craft beer scene and some pretty spectacular nearby scenery; as this tour doesn’t involve any time in Perth, it’s worth arriving a few days early to get to know this cosmopolitan city. Leave Perth bright and early on Day 1, as you head east for Fitzgerald River National Park via the Darling Ranges, also known as the Perth Hills. It’s a beautiful drive through a leafy region of forested hills, charming country villages, scenic swim spots and boutique wineries. It’s also a long drive – ten hours total – so the journey will be broken up with several stops. First stop: a coffee break in the morning in the historic township of York, WA’s first inland town. Next is a stop for lunch by the unusual granite formation, Wave Rock, which is arched like a 15-metre high breaking ocean wave. Tonight, you’ll camp Aussie-style in a swag beneath the WA sky at Fitzgerald River National Park. Driving Time: about ten hours Walking Time: about one hour
Day 2Cape Le Grand National Park
Welcome in the day with a brisk hike up East Mt Barren, one of the three peaks that make up the Barren Range, for incredible views across the rugged coastline and waters of The Bight, or don’t – it’s your call. Sleep in if you’d prefer. Afterwards, hit the road, taking the scenic coastal route to Cape Le Grand National Park. It’s a three-hour journey with stops along the way to properly take in the extraordinary surrounds – we’re talking nine national parks, chalky white beaches (the sand at Lucky Bay was ranked ‘Australia’s whitest’ twice), hidden bays and sunbathing kangaroos. You’ll also stop for a coffee and a stretch in the charming little town of Esperance. After setting up camp at Cape Le Grand, there’ll be a free afternoon for swimming, coastal bushwalks, lazing on the sand or whatever else your heart desires. Driving Time: about three hours Walking Time: about three hours
Day 3Stirling Ranges
Begin the day with a morning bush walk to the top of Frenchman’s Peak. It’s a bit of a trek, but your effort is rewarded with sweeping views over the park’s southern coastline and Recherche Archipelago. Following the walk, make tracks for the Stirling Ranges, a mountainous national park of rugged peaks, stark cliff faces, sheltered gullies and colourful wildflowers. The region is also renowned for its spectacular cloud formations, which are known to blanket the Range. Stop for lunch near Esperance along the way. Tonight, you’ll swag camp at a private campground in the Stirling Ranges. Driving Time: about six hours Walking Time: about four and a half hours
Day 4South West Coast
Embrace an early start and head to the Porongurup National Park for a hike through its unique landscape. Cross spectacular marri and karri forests and the famous Balancing Rock on a hike to Castle Rock, a huge granite outcrop. It’s a bit of a climb to the summit, but the breathtaking views of the region make it worth the effort. Afterwards, set out on a scenic drive along WA’s answer to Victoria’s Great Ocean Road – Great Ocean Drive. Make sure to have your camera handy as you’re treated to incredible coastal scenes; think postcard-perfect turquoise seas, dramatic red-rock cliffs and pristine beaches replete with perfect sands and sun-bleached boulders. Stop along the way to take a closer look at some of the area’s natural attractions such as the Gap and Natural Bridge, Elephant Rocks and the largest tingle tree in the state. Driving Time: about four hours Walking Time: about one and a half hour
Day 5Margaret River
Begin the day with a visit to the famous Diamond Tree, a gigantic karri tree that was once used as a fire lookout. If you’re feeling brave and aren’t afraid of heights, climb the 50 metres to the lookout. Then you’re off to encounter local Margaret River flavours with a tasting tour that will take you to some of the region’s boutique wineries and breweries, chocolate factory and cheesery. See for yourself why Margaret River’s wineries have built a reputation on their cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay. Driving Time: about five hours
Day 6Margaret River - Perth
Enjoy one last morning waking to the warble of kookaburras and cockatoos; this is the last day of your tour of the south-west corner of South Australia, but a memorable last day it is. Head to Dunsborough where local Wadandi custodian, Josh ‘Koomal’ Whiteland will shed insight into the world’s oldest living culture. On a bushwalk led by Josh, learn to identify native bush foods and medicines; discover the art of fire-lighting and tool-making, and be treated to a live didgeridoo performance inside Ngilgi Cave. Continue to the tourist town of Busselton, which owes its popularity to beautiful Geographe Bay. Enjoy lunch and a swim in the turquoise waters of one of its excellent beaches before continuing to Perth, where the trip ends on arrival. There are no planned activities in Perth and you are free to depart at any time, though its usual for the group to get together and reflect on their journey over a few drinks and a meal. Driving Time: about four hours

Trip title

Esperance & Southwest Adventure

Trip code

PE6

Validity

Validity: 01 Apr 2018 to 31 Mar 2020
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Introduction

Discover the exquisite natural beauty and sublime solitude of Western Australia's Esperance area on this round-trip journey that begins and ends in Perth. Explore the hidden coves of Fitzgerald River National Park and bask on Cape Le Grand's white powder sands. Hit the hiking trails of the Stirling Ranges and take in breathtaking views from the summit of Frenchmans Peak and Castle Rock. Explore ancient forests and pristine coastline, and encounter Noongar culture from a Traditional Custodian. This 6-day adventure is just the trip for those wanting to experience a spectacular range of natural attractions found in Western Australia's south-west corner.

Style

Basix

Themes

Overland

Transport

Private vehicle

Physical Rating

2

Joining point

Default pick up location Perth YHA (300 Wellington Street) @ 7:00am

Finish point

Central Perth

Important information

1. This trip starts in Perth at approximately 7 am and finishes on Day 6 approximately 7 pm. Onward travel to be booked the following day. 2. This trip requires a sleeping bag, you will need to provide your own. 3. This trip is basix swag camping. 4. Please note there is no single supplement is available for this trip.

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, organise the camp and cooking for camp or kitchen cooked meals (though passengers are required to help out) as well as recommend great local eating venues. They will also introduce you to our local friends along the way. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the areas visited on the trip, including historical, environmental, cultural and social aspects.

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 recommend the use of dehydration salts and sports drinks as a way to combat dehydration during times of extreme heat. BEACH SAFETY: Rip currents are the leading surf hazard for all beach users. They can occur at any beach, and can sweep even the strongest swimmer out to sea. Rip currents are responsible for around 15,000 beach rescues and up to 120 people being drowned each year in Australia (source: Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA). To enjoy Australia's beaches safely, take the following simple precautions: * Always swim between the red and yellow flags, as these indicate it is a supervised location where a lifesaving service is currently on duty. * Do not swim at unsupervised locations. * Observe and obey safety signage, which indicates current and typical hazards for that location. * Ask a lifeguard or lifesaver for advice on conditions; they are there to make your experience safer and more enjoyable. * Always swim with a friend; never swim alone. * If you get into trouble, stay calm and signal for help by calling and waving your arm above your head. Be aware of your own limitations in terms of your physical health and your swimming ability in the given conditions. Never swim while, or after, consuming alcohol.

Communications

Wireless (wi-fi) is common across accommodation in Australia. Some accommodation may charge a fee for usage. Cafe's and pubs may have limited wi-fi or charge a small fee, with those in tourist area's generally offering limited free useage. Shopping centre's, airports and other public spaces may also offer limited free wi-fi access. Australia’s main telecommunication companies all operate in towns and cities in Western Australia. Different networks will work in outback or regional area's. Pay phones (most are prepaid card only) are rarer than hen's teeth but can be found in some campsites as well as service stations. If you are spending longer in Australia, it might be a good idea to purchase a local SIM card for data and your mobile device. if you need to purchase a phone locally. look for Telstra's 'blue tick' phones with better coverage in rural areas.

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 acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. All travellers, except New Zealand citizens, must obtain a visa or travel authority before travelling to Australia. Failure to do so means you may not be allowed to board your flight to Australia. Most nationalities can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority via the internet before arrival. Please check the following website or with your relevant Australian visa issuing office for your nationalities requirements. http://www.eta.immi.gov.au/

Why we love it

Get up close to some of Mother Nature's finest creations while exploring WA's spectacular coast.

Is this trip right for you

This trip is swag camping only, and whilst we think this adds to the experience, it might be an interesting style of accommodation for you There are quite basic facilities on this trip, and one night with no shower available. National Parks are generally quite minimal with facilities offered We will travel through some quite remote regions of the South West, most of the time we won't have phone reception or internet access

Health

MEDICAL CONDITIONS: Please note this tour operates in remote regions and as such medical facilities may be difficult to access. If you have any medical conditions or take any form of medication please provide full details & nature of condition. Please provide details of medication taken.

Food and dietary requirements

On most days, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included. Your leader will prepare most of the meals whilst on tour but 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 hands make light work and any assistance provided to crew is always much appreciated. Most people agree that this type of activity helps you feel like less of a tourist and more of an explorer. DIETARY REQUIREMENTS: Passengers with special dietary requirements or food allergies MUST ensure they or their travel agent inform Intrepid/ATA at the time of booking. Food for the trip is purchased prior to the start of the trip and special requirements cannot be catered for after departing Darwin. If you have not notified us prior to departure, you may be asked to pay for any additional food yourself. Due to the nature of our trips, food is basic but plentiful. We provide the below substitutes, please bring your own staples if you require specific foods not listed below: No Pork (Ham alternative provided) No Dairy (soy milk provided) Vegetarian (additional veg and veg burgers provided) Vegan (supply of additional fruit and veg provided) Gluten Free (cereal, bread, wraps, pasta, snack bars, sweet and savoury biscuits provided) *Unfortunately religious dietary requirements and specifically prepared/sourced produce are generally unable to be catered for on these remote trips.

Money matters

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 from shops where EFTPOS is available. Automatic teller machines (ATMs) are common across Australia. ATM's may be limited in remote areas and your leader will advise you when to withdraw extra cash.  Credit cards in Australia require a pin number rather than a signature and may have a small surcharge for purchases. Tipping is not expected but appreciated. 

What to take

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 shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day. LUGGAGE LIMIT: Please keep your luggage to a minimum. Due to limited space and strictly enforced road laws regarding weight limits, Intrepid travellers can carry a maximum of 15 kg. One small soft-sided bag plus a day pack is essential. We recommend against bringing hard/externally framed suitcases as they are difficult to store and can damage equipment and other travellers' belongings. If your trip is beginning and ending at the same location, excess luggage can usually be stored at your arrival/departure hotel and can be collected after your trip. If your trip does not return to the same starting point we suggest you look at freighting your excess luggage. One option is with greyhound: http://www.greyhoundfreight.com.au/ SLEEPING BAG and SWAGS This trip uses swag camping, this is an 'Aussie Bed Roll' made from canvas. It has a mattress built into the swag, you will need to bring your own sleeping bag for this trip. Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip. ESSENTIALS: - Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing and layers. Long shirts and pants are useful to protect against the harsh Australian sun. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. - Southern Australia can get cold and wet even in summer. A good quality rain jacket is a good idea as well as warm clothing (think layers). Check the weather a few days before you leave home. - Comfortable closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings. - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses RECOMMENDED: - Personal medical kit. A larger kit will be on hand with your guide, but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, Band-Aids and insect repellent. - Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. - A headlamp or torch is recommended for around your campsite at night. - Camera with spare batteries. OPTIONAL: - Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather. - Ear plugs - A good book, a journal and music player - Pair of thongs for the beach and shower block VALUABLES: Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary. BATTERIES/POWER: Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case MORE! If you need some further tips for packing, you can always check out our ultimate packing list. https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

Climate and seasonal

Perth is the sunniest capital city in Australia. The average maximum summer temperature is 29°C, and February is generally the hottest month. Temperatures hover around 12°C in winter (June to August). Margaret River and the south west region of WA boasts a Mediterranean climate. Summer see’s temperatures sit between 25 and 35°C, with the cooler winter months between 8 to 16°C Its always a good idea to check the local weather temperature in the days prior to travel. ITINERARY CHANGES: Please note that some of our planned activities are contingent on seasonal conditions. We will arrange alternative activities if this is the case. This is a flexible itinerary and may be altered to allow for better times to view certain inclusions depending on sunset/sunrise and weather conditions.

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 while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

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. https://bookings.adventuretours.com.au/bookings/en_AU/feedback/

Emergency contact

ISSUES ON YOUR TRIP: While we always endeavor to provide you 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/specialist guide or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader/guide to speak to their direct manager. In the case of a genuine emergency, or concerns about a missed pick-up on the day of departure please contact your local ground operator on 1800 816 858. For all other enquiries please contact our reservations team on 1300 654 604 Nullarbor Traveller: 1800 816 858

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/responsibletraveller

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 more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

Accommodation notes

This trip is BASIX swag camping. Swags are 'Aussie Bed Rolls' made from sturdy canvas with a mattress built into the swag. We also carry 3 person dome tents which are shared by 2 people. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag for this trip. Please also provide your own pillow if you wish. Camping locations may vary depending on weather and conditions. Night 1: Fitzgerald River National Park - swag camping. Toilet facilities, no showers Night 2: Cape Le Grand National Park. - swag camping. Toilet facilities, solar powered showers Night 3: Stirling Ranges private campground - swag camping. Toilet and shower facilities Night 4: Shannon’s National Park - swag camping. Toilet facilities, solar powered showers Night 5: Big Valley Campground - Toilet and shower facilities FINISH TIMES: Our trips generally finish early evening. We recommend booking one night post accommodation in your end city and planning onward travel for the following day. We cannot accept responsibility for missed onward travel if we are delayed for some reason on the last day of travel.

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 about the length of Portugal. Driving from Alice Springs to Darwin is about the length of the UK, and our 10 day Perth to Adelaide trip is about the same distance from Spain to Poland. Yep, it's a big country! However, that's why we think seeing Australia from the ground is better. We live in a country that has it all; stunning coastline and beaches, the outback, tropical rainforests, and some seriously amazing landscapes and wildlife. Whilst you may spend some days in the vehicle a little longer than others getting to the next destination, we think it's worth it! From October to March it is likely that you will experience temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius, and sometimes well into the 40’s. Be prepared to endure extra physical stress due to the heat at these times, especially while on walks. These extreme temperatures can also place stress on the air-conditioning units within our vehicles which can make travelling uncomfortable. Your tour guide will assist with regular breaks and information to assist keeping hydrated. In July and August, very cold temperatures can be experienced both in the outback and along the coast, especially overnight. Please come prepared for all extremes.

Travel insurance

Australians are not required to be covered for hospital care due to being covered by Medicare. However we strongly recommend that Australians have a domestic travel insurance policy which covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. It is also strongly advisable that Australians have current ambulance cover in the case of emergency evacuation or incidents requiring ambulance transportation. Travel insurance is compulsory for all international travellers and should be taken out at the time of booking. Your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses and emergency repatriation with a recommended minimum coverage of US$200,000 for each of the categories of cover. We also strongly recommend it covers cancellation, curtailment, personal liability and loss of luggage and personal effects. You must provide proof of your travel insurance on the first day of your trip; you will not be able to join the trip without it. If you obtain travel insurance through us you acknowledge that you are satisfied with the level of insurance we have arranged.

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 of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

Itinerary disclaimer

The relationship between ATA and Intrepid Australia For over 25 years, Intrepid Travel and Adventure Tours Australia have been leading brands in the adventure travel business. With Intrepid’s global product range and Adventure Tours’ local knowledge, the two brands joined force in 2011 to provide the ultimate range of Australian product with Intrepid running all of it’s local trips under the Adventure Tours Australia name. Today we’re proud to bring Aussie-made trips to the world, both here with Adventure Tours and overseas through the Intrepid brand, so no matter which brand you have booked through, you’re travelling with the best. 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 weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

Accommodation

Swag Camping (5 nights)

Map

Itinerary

Day 1Perth to Fitzgerald National Park
Arrive in Western Australia’s state capital. Though Perth has the distinction of being one of the world’s most remote cities, it also boasts beautiful beaches, sprawling parks, a thriving craft beer scene and some pretty spectacular nearby scenery; as this tour doesn’t involve any time in Perth, it’s worth arriving a few days early to get to know this cosmopolitan city. Leave Perth bright and early on Day 1, as you head east for Fitzgerald River National Park via the Darling Ranges, also known as the Perth Hills. It’s a beautiful drive through a leafy region of forested hills, charming country villages, scenic swim spots and boutique wineries. It’s also a long drive – ten hours total – so the journey will be broken up with several stops. First stop: a coffee break in the morning in the historic township of York, WA’s first inland town. Next is a stop for lunch by the unusual granite formation, Wave Rock, which is arched like a 15-metre high breaking ocean wave. Tonight, you’ll camp Aussie-style in a swag beneath the WA sky at Fitzgerald River National Park. Driving Time: about ten hours Walking Time: about one hour
Day 2Cape Le Grand National Park
Welcome in the day with a brisk hike up East Mt Barren, one of the three peaks that make up the Barren Range, for incredible views across the rugged coastline and waters of The Bight, or don’t – it’s your call. Sleep in if you’d prefer. Afterwards, hit the road, taking the scenic coastal route to Cape Le Grand National Park. It’s a three-hour journey with stops along the way to properly take in the extraordinary surrounds – we’re talking nine national parks, chalky white beaches (the sand at Lucky Bay was ranked ‘Australia’s whitest’ twice), hidden bays and sunbathing kangaroos. You’ll also stop for a coffee and a stretch in the charming little town of Esperance. After setting up camp at Cape Le Grand, there’ll be a free afternoon for swimming, coastal bushwalks, lazing on the sand or whatever else your heart desires. Driving Time: about three hours Walking Time: about three hours
Day 3Stirling Ranges
Begin the day with a morning bush walk to the top of Frenchman’s Peak. It’s a bit of a trek, but your effort is rewarded with sweeping views over the park’s southern coastline and Recherche Archipelago. Following the walk, make tracks for the Stirling Ranges, a mountainous national park of rugged peaks, stark cliff faces, sheltered gullies and colourful wildflowers. The region is also renowned for its spectacular cloud formations, which are known to blanket the Range. Stop for lunch near Esperance along the way. Tonight, you’ll swag camp at a private campground in the Stirling Ranges. Driving Time: about six hours Walking Time: about four and a half hours
Day 4South West Coast
Embrace an early start and head to the Porongurup National Park for a hike through its unique landscape. Cross spectacular marri and karri forests and the famous Balancing Rock on a hike to Castle Rock, a huge granite outcrop. It’s a bit of a climb to the summit, but the breathtaking views of the region make it worth the effort. Afterwards, set out on a scenic drive along WA’s answer to Victoria’s Great Ocean Road – Great Ocean Drive. Make sure to have your camera handy as you’re treated to incredible coastal scenes; think postcard-perfect turquoise seas, dramatic red-rock cliffs and pristine beaches replete with perfect sands and sun-bleached boulders. Stop along the way to take a closer look at some of the area’s natural attractions such as the Gap and Natural Bridge, Elephant Rocks and the largest tingle tree in the state. Driving Time: about four hours Walking Time: about one and a half hour
Day 5Margaret River
Begin the day with a visit to the famous Diamond Tree, a gigantic karri tree that was once used as a fire lookout. If you’re feeling brave and aren’t afraid of heights, climb the 50 metres to the lookout. Then you’re off to encounter local Margaret River flavours with a tasting tour that will take you to some of the region’s boutique wineries and breweries, chocolate factory and cheesery. See for yourself why Margaret River’s wineries have built a reputation on their cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay. Driving Time: about five hours
Day 6Margaret River - Perth
Enjoy one last morning waking to the warble of kookaburras and cockatoos; this is the last day of your tour of the south-west corner of South Australia, but a memorable last day it is. Head to Dunsborough where local Wadandi custodian, Josh ‘Koomal’ Whiteland will shed insight into the world’s oldest living culture. On a bushwalk led by Josh, learn to identify native bush foods and medicines; discover the art of fire-lighting and tool-making, and be treated to a live didgeridoo performance inside Ngilgi Cave. Continue to the tourist town of Busselton, which owes its popularity to beautiful Geographe Bay. Enjoy lunch and a swim in the turquoise waters of one of its excellent beaches before continuing to Perth, where the trip ends on arrival. There are no planned activities in Perth and you are free to depart at any time, though its usual for the group to get together and reflect on their journey over a few drinks and a meal. Driving Time: about four hours

Trip title

Esperance & Southwest Adventure

Trip code

PE6

Validity

Validity: 01 Apr 2018 to 31 Mar 2020

Introduction

Discover the exquisite natural beauty and sublime solitude of Western Australia's Esperance area on this round-trip journey that begins and ends in Perth. Explore the hidden coves of Fitzgerald River National Park and bask on Cape Le Grand's white powder sands. Hit the hiking trails of the Stirling Ranges and take in breathtaking views from the summit of Frenchmans Peak and Castle Rock. Explore ancient forests and pristine coastline, and encounter Noongar culture from a Traditional Custodian. This 6-day adventure is just the trip for those wanting to experience a spectacular range of natural attractions found in Western Australia's south-west corner.

Style

Basix

Themes

Overland

Transport

Private vehicle

Physical Rating

2

Joining point

Default pick up location Perth YHA (300 Wellington Street) @ 7:00am

Finish point

Central Perth

Important information

1. This trip starts in Perth at approximately 7 am and finishes on Day 6 approximately 7 pm. Onward travel to be booked the following day. 2. This trip requires a sleeping bag, you will need to provide your own. 3. This trip is basix swag camping. 4. Please note there is no single supplement is available for this trip.

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, organise the camp and cooking for camp or kitchen cooked meals (though passengers are required to help out) as well as recommend great local eating venues. They will also introduce you to our local friends along the way. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the areas visited on the trip, including historical, environmental, cultural and social aspects.

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 recommend the use of dehydration salts and sports drinks as a way to combat dehydration during times of extreme heat. BEACH SAFETY: Rip currents are the leading surf hazard for all beach users. They can occur at any beach, and can sweep even the strongest swimmer out to sea. Rip currents are responsible for around 15,000 beach rescues and up to 120 people being drowned each year in Australia (source: Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA). To enjoy Australia's beaches safely, take the following simple precautions: * Always swim between the red and yellow flags, as these indicate it is a supervised location where a lifesaving service is currently on duty. * Do not swim at unsupervised locations. * Observe and obey safety signage, which indicates current and typical hazards for that location. * Ask a lifeguard or lifesaver for advice on conditions; they are there to make your experience safer and more enjoyable. * Always swim with a friend; never swim alone. * If you get into trouble, stay calm and signal for help by calling and waving your arm above your head. Be aware of your own limitations in terms of your physical health and your swimming ability in the given conditions. Never swim while, or after, consuming alcohol.

Communications

Wireless (wi-fi) is common across accommodation in Australia. Some accommodation may charge a fee for usage. Cafe's and pubs may have limited wi-fi or charge a small fee, with those in tourist area's generally offering limited free useage. Shopping centre's, airports and other public spaces may also offer limited free wi-fi access. Australia’s main telecommunication companies all operate in towns and cities in Western Australia. Different networks will work in outback or regional area's. Pay phones (most are prepaid card only) are rarer than hen's teeth but can be found in some campsites as well as service stations. If you are spending longer in Australia, it might be a good idea to purchase a local SIM card for data and your mobile device. if you need to purchase a phone locally. look for Telstra's 'blue tick' phones with better coverage in rural areas.

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 acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. All travellers, except New Zealand citizens, must obtain a visa or travel authority before travelling to Australia. Failure to do so means you may not be allowed to board your flight to Australia. Most nationalities can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority via the internet before arrival. Please check the following website or with your relevant Australian visa issuing office for your nationalities requirements. http://www.eta.immi.gov.au/

Why we love it

Get up close to some of Mother Nature's finest creations while exploring WA's spectacular coast.

Is this trip right for you

This trip is swag camping only, and whilst we think this adds to the experience, it might be an interesting style of accommodation for you There are quite basic facilities on this trip, and one night with no shower available. National Parks are generally quite minimal with facilities offered We will travel through some quite remote regions of the South West, most of the time we won't have phone reception or internet access

Health

MEDICAL CONDITIONS: Please note this tour operates in remote regions and as such medical facilities may be difficult to access. If you have any medical conditions or take any form of medication please provide full details & nature of condition. Please provide details of medication taken.

Food and dietary requirements

On most days, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included. Your leader will prepare most of the meals whilst on tour but 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 hands make light work and any assistance provided to crew is always much appreciated. Most people agree that this type of activity helps you feel like less of a tourist and more of an explorer. DIETARY REQUIREMENTS: Passengers with special dietary requirements or food allergies MUST ensure they or their travel agent inform Intrepid/ATA at the time of booking. Food for the trip is purchased prior to the start of the trip and special requirements cannot be catered for after departing Darwin. If you have not notified us prior to departure, you may be asked to pay for any additional food yourself. Due to the nature of our trips, food is basic but plentiful. We provide the below substitutes, please bring your own staples if you require specific foods not listed below: No Pork (Ham alternative provided) No Dairy (soy milk provided) Vegetarian (additional veg and veg burgers provided) Vegan (supply of additional fruit and veg provided) Gluten Free (cereal, bread, wraps, pasta, snack bars, sweet and savoury biscuits provided) *Unfortunately religious dietary requirements and specifically prepared/sourced produce are generally unable to be catered for on these remote trips.

Money matters

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 from shops where EFTPOS is available. Automatic teller machines (ATMs) are common across Australia. ATM's may be limited in remote areas and your leader will advise you when to withdraw extra cash.  Credit cards in Australia require a pin number rather than a signature and may have a small surcharge for purchases. Tipping is not expected but appreciated. 

What to take

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 shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day. LUGGAGE LIMIT: Please keep your luggage to a minimum. Due to limited space and strictly enforced road laws regarding weight limits, Intrepid travellers can carry a maximum of 15 kg. One small soft-sided bag plus a day pack is essential. We recommend against bringing hard/externally framed suitcases as they are difficult to store and can damage equipment and other travellers' belongings. If your trip is beginning and ending at the same location, excess luggage can usually be stored at your arrival/departure hotel and can be collected after your trip. If your trip does not return to the same starting point we suggest you look at freighting your excess luggage. One option is with greyhound: http://www.greyhoundfreight.com.au/ SLEEPING BAG and SWAGS This trip uses swag camping, this is an 'Aussie Bed Roll' made from canvas. It has a mattress built into the swag, you will need to bring your own sleeping bag for this trip. Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip. ESSENTIALS: - Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing and layers. Long shirts and pants are useful to protect against the harsh Australian sun. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. - Southern Australia can get cold and wet even in summer. A good quality rain jacket is a good idea as well as warm clothing (think layers). Check the weather a few days before you leave home. - Comfortable closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings. - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses RECOMMENDED: - Personal medical kit. A larger kit will be on hand with your guide, but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, Band-Aids and insect repellent. - Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. - A headlamp or torch is recommended for around your campsite at night. - Camera with spare batteries. OPTIONAL: - Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather. - Ear plugs - A good book, a journal and music player - Pair of thongs for the beach and shower block VALUABLES: Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary. BATTERIES/POWER: Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case MORE! If you need some further tips for packing, you can always check out our ultimate packing list. https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

Climate and seasonal

Perth is the sunniest capital city in Australia. The average maximum summer temperature is 29°C, and February is generally the hottest month. Temperatures hover around 12°C in winter (June to August). Margaret River and the south west region of WA boasts a Mediterranean climate. Summer see’s temperatures sit between 25 and 35°C, with the cooler winter months between 8 to 16°C Its always a good idea to check the local weather temperature in the days prior to travel. ITINERARY CHANGES: Please note that some of our planned activities are contingent on seasonal conditions. We will arrange alternative activities if this is the case. This is a flexible itinerary and may be altered to allow for better times to view certain inclusions depending on sunset/sunrise and weather conditions.

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 while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

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. https://bookings.adventuretours.com.au/bookings/en_AU/feedback/

Emergency contact

ISSUES ON YOUR TRIP: While we always endeavor to provide you 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/specialist guide or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader/guide to speak to their direct manager. In the case of a genuine emergency, or concerns about a missed pick-up on the day of departure please contact your local ground operator on 1800 816 858. For all other enquiries please contact our reservations team on 1300 654 604 Nullarbor Traveller: 1800 816 858

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/responsibletraveller

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 more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

Accommodation notes

This trip is BASIX swag camping. Swags are 'Aussie Bed Rolls' made from sturdy canvas with a mattress built into the swag. We also carry 3 person dome tents which are shared by 2 people. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag for this trip. Please also provide your own pillow if you wish. Camping locations may vary depending on weather and conditions. Night 1: Fitzgerald River National Park - swag camping. Toilet facilities, no showers Night 2: Cape Le Grand National Park. - swag camping. Toilet facilities, solar powered showers Night 3: Stirling Ranges private campground - swag camping. Toilet and shower facilities Night 4: Shannon’s National Park - swag camping. Toilet facilities, solar powered showers Night 5: Big Valley Campground - Toilet and shower facilities FINISH TIMES: Our trips generally finish early evening. We recommend booking one night post accommodation in your end city and planning onward travel for the following day. We cannot accept responsibility for missed onward travel if we are delayed for some reason on the last day of travel.

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 about the length of Portugal. Driving from Alice Springs to Darwin is about the length of the UK, and our 10 day Perth to Adelaide trip is about the same distance from Spain to Poland. Yep, it's a big country! However, that's why we think seeing Australia from the ground is better. We live in a country that has it all; stunning coastline and beaches, the outback, tropical rainforests, and some seriously amazing landscapes and wildlife. Whilst you may spend some days in the vehicle a little longer than others getting to the next destination, we think it's worth it! From October to March it is likely that you will experience temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius, and sometimes well into the 40’s. Be prepared to endure extra physical stress due to the heat at these times, especially while on walks. These extreme temperatures can also place stress on the air-conditioning units within our vehicles which can make travelling uncomfortable. Your tour guide will assist with regular breaks and information to assist keeping hydrated. In July and August, very cold temperatures can be experienced both in the outback and along the coast, especially overnight. Please come prepared for all extremes.

Travel insurance

Australians are not required to be covered for hospital care due to being covered by Medicare. However we strongly recommend that Australians have a domestic travel insurance policy which covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. It is also strongly advisable that Australians have current ambulance cover in the case of emergency evacuation or incidents requiring ambulance transportation. Travel insurance is compulsory for all international travellers and should be taken out at the time of booking. Your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses and emergency repatriation with a recommended minimum coverage of US$200,000 for each of the categories of cover. We also strongly recommend it covers cancellation, curtailment, personal liability and loss of luggage and personal effects. You must provide proof of your travel insurance on the first day of your trip; you will not be able to join the trip without it. If you obtain travel insurance through us you acknowledge that you are satisfied with the level of insurance we have arranged.

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 of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

Itinerary disclaimer

The relationship between ATA and Intrepid Australia For over 25 years, Intrepid Travel and Adventure Tours Australia have been leading brands in the adventure travel business. With Intrepid’s global product range and Adventure Tours’ local knowledge, the two brands joined force in 2011 to provide the ultimate range of Australian product with Intrepid running all of it’s local trips under the Adventure Tours Australia name. Today we’re proud to bring Aussie-made trips to the world, both here with Adventure Tours and overseas through the Intrepid brand, so no matter which brand you have booked through, you’re travelling with the best. 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 weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

Accommodation

Swag Camping (5 nights)

All prices are indicative only and subject to availability and changes without obligation.

Time until next start
11
days
13
hours
:
23
min
:
20
sec

Price

€536

Duration

6 days
2019

Sun, Dec 01

Fri, Dec 06

€655

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