WesternXposure Bus Tour from Perth to Exmouth
Perth Travel Blog› entry 46 of 59 › view all entries
I've decided to take a last minute tour from Perth to Exmouth to go diving and swim with the whale sharks.
I'd researched a bunch of tour operators and they all seem to have the same itinerary. I'd narrowed it down to two companies: Adventure Safaris and WesternXposure. After serious debating using a game of "eeeny, meeny, miny, mo", I went with the latter. WesternXposure happened to be "mo".
The trip leaves early Saturday morning and gets us to Exmouth Tuesday night with some touring around Exmouth on Wednesday. We seem to stop in at every attraction between Perth and Exmouth so I'll be covering lots of ground in 4 days and about 1,100km.
Here's the link to the itinerary, with a copy of it from the website below.
Day 1 Perth - Kalbarri (H)
Departing from Perth around 7.30am we soon leave the early morning city traffic behind. Traveling past market gardens and vineyards on the outskirts of the city we join up with Highway 1 on our way to Nambung National Park and the fascinating Pinnacles Desert. These ancient rocks have been visited and photographed by people from all over the world and are a ’must see’ item on many travelers itineraries. After exploring these unique formations we continue our journey northwards along coastal roads passing by seaside fishing towns such as Jurien Bay, Greenhead, Leeman and finally Port Denison where we pause to refuel.
After a short break we head out to some local sand dunes for an adrenalin rush sand boarding down these huge slopes. From here we continue on to toward the city of Geraldton arriving mid afternoon. Geraldton is the major port, administration and commercial center for the Midwest agricultural and mining district. Another brief stop and it is time to complete our touring for the day by driving through rolling farmlands of Northampton to the seaside resort town of Kalbarri and our overnight accommodation. (L,D)
Day 2 Kalbarri - Shark Bay (H)
After an early rise we leave Kalbarri and take a short drive to Murchison River Gorge in Kalbarri National Park. Here we take time to view Natures Window and the Loop in the early morning light. Later we discover the wonders of the Z-Bend Gorge where it is an exhilarating 150 metre descent into the heart of the gorge - well worth the effort - here there is time to explore and swim in the tranquil fresh water pools. For the adventurous there is even an opportunity to try your hand at abseiling (optional activity at additional cost) at one of the most beautiful abseiling sites in the country.
After all this activity it is time for a well earned lunch break.
Following lunch we make our way toward Monkey Mia. Leaving the Park we are soon passing through a variety of everchanging outback countryside before entering the Shark Bay World Heritage area and stopping at the beautiful Shell Beach. Finally, in the late afternoon we arrive at our Shark bay accomodation for our second overnight stop. (B,L,D)
Day 3 Shark Bay - Coral Bay (H)
Today is our chance to meet the world famous "beach" dolphins of Monkey Mia. Leaving Denham nice and early we have a short drive across the Peron Peninsula before making our way down to the "dolphin" beach. This group of dolphins and their offspring have been providing visitors with a unique interactive experience for many years and there can be some fantastic photo opportunities. The new Visitors Centre will also provide you with a wealth of information about the history, and flora and fauna of this very unique World Heritage area.
All too soon its time to continue our journey northwards. As we travel back along the Peron Peninsula to the North West Coastal Highway our guide will be able to point out some of the remarkable reasons why Shark Bay is such an important area for conservation.
Back on the highway it is time for a brief stop at the isolated Overlander Roadhouse, in the middle of one of the longest straight sections of road in Australia - nearly 100km without a bend or turn.
Soon we are back on the road again and mid afternoon finds us stopping at the semi tropical town of Carnarvon to refresh ourselves and to refuel our vehicle. Depending on the season our guide will usually be able purchase some fresh fruit for the next few days from one of the many banana plantations along the Gascoyne River where they also sell yummy chocolate coated frozen bananas - a true local delicacy.
Leaving Carnarvon we cross the Gascoyne River and continue northward. For much of the year the Gascoyne appears quite dry and one wonders where all the water to irrigate the many plantations along it’s banks come from. (Ask your guide for the answer and he will tell you the secret of the mighty Gascoyne River)
Late afternoon and Minilya Roadhouse is our final stop before reaching our overnight accommodation at Coral Bay, the Jewel of the North . (B,L,D)
Day 4 Coral Bay & Exmouth (H)
Here the Ningaloo Reef is just metres from the shore and today is yours to explore the wonders of the Reef and its fantastic marine widlife. You can catch some sun on pristine beaches, go fishing in specially designated areas, swim amongst thousands of multi-coloured fish - perhaps even Whale Sharks or giant Manta Rays during the right season, go snorkeling over beautifully coloured coral, cruise on the glass bottom boat, take a quad bike tour or even a joy flight over the reef (some options are at extra cost). Today is a day to relax.
Your guide will happily tell you more about each option BUT remember to BOOK YOUR SELECTIONS EARLY.
Late afternoon and sadly it is time to leave Coral Bay follow the setting sun into Exmouth. (B,L,D)
Day 5 Exmouth
Another day to kick back and relax. Exmouth is world famous for its fantastic SCUBA diving locations with reef and jetty dives providing exciting sites for novices and experienced divers alike. (Optional activity at extra cost)
If you are not into SCUBA why not just laze around on the beach, or perhaps jump on the bus and join your guide as he tours around the area including Turquiose Bay and Yardie Creek. Your guide will advise you of the many options available on this leisurely day.
Today is the last day of our tour. Tomorrow some of our new-found friends will be returning to Perth and the rest may be staying on in Exmouth or continuing their journeys further north. Because Travelabout can offer 2 departures returning to Perth each week, passengers who have booked a return trip can choose to return with their guide tomorrow or stay on in Exmouth till the next return trip. The only thing we ask is that you check with us to ensure that seats are available on the date you wish to return. (B,L)