Perth to Exmouth road trip: whale sharks and beaches

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    Experience spectacular land & seascapes at Francois Peron National Park | Travel Nation
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    Dive in the Coral Bay | Travel Nation

    Swim with colourful fish on the Ningaloo Reef

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    Look through nature's window in Kalbarri National Park | Travel Nation

    Gaze through Nature's Window in Kalbarri National Park

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    Rottnest Island near Perth, Western Australia, Australia

    Explore the beaches and coves of Rottnest Island

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    Get a birds eye view of Murchison River from the Twin Skywalk, Kalbarri NP | Travel Nation

    Head out onto the Sky Walk in Kalbarri National Park

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    See dolphins swimming at Monkey Mia | Travel Nation

    Meet the dolphins in the bay of Monkey Mia

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    Whale shark, Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

    Swim with whalesharks in the Ningaloo Reef

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    Enjoy the nightlife in Perth | Travel Nation

    Explore the bustling city of Perth

Tailor-made holidays

Duration(in days): 17

From: UK

To: Australia



Inc. International flights (Per person, based on 2 sharing)

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See more ideas for: Australia

    Explore Western Australia on this Perth to Exmouth road trip, with beautiful beaches & incredible marine life along the unique Australian coast. Start in Perth, where you can discover the Aboriginal history of the city before heading down the Swam River to explore the quirky suburb of Fremantle. Head to Rottnest Island to cycle to tiny beaches and meet the local quokkas before collecting your car to drive north. Fly over the unique Abrolhos Islands, hike the red rock gorges of Kalbarri and look for dolphins and dugongs in the turquoise waters of Monkey Mia. Look for manta rays in Coral Bay before finishing your road trip in Exmouth, where you’ll finish your holiday on a real highlight – swimming with whale sharks on the colourful Ningaloo Reef.            

    This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.

    This holiday includes

    • International flights
    • All transfers
    • All accommodation in Australia 
    • Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary
    • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary        


    You’ll remember…

    • Learning about local aboriginal culture in Perth  
    • Meeting the friendly quokkas in Rottnest Island
    • Flying over the scenic Abrolhos Islands  
    • Hiking along Kalbarri’s deep gorges
    • Exploring the red sands and turquoise waters of Shark Bay           
    • Swimming with manta rays from Coral Bay          
    • Snorkelling with whale sharks on the Ningaloo Reef        


    Itinerary in brief:

    • 3 nights Perth
    • 1 night Rottnest Island
    • 1 night Cervantes
    • 2 nights Kalbarri
    • 2 nights Monkey Mia
    • 2 nights Coral Bay
    • 3 nights Exmouth

    Day 1: Depart UK

    Depart the UK from your chosen airport.

    Included: International flight

    Day 2: Arrive Perth

    On arrival in Perth, you’ll be met at the airport and driven to your hotel in the city, checking in for three nights.

    Included: Transfers, 4* hotel  

    Days 3 & 4: Perth

    Start your holiday with a couple of days to enjoy Perth – on your first day we’ve included a 90 minute walking tour of beautiful Karrgatup (Kings Park) where you’ll learn about the area’s intriguing past and spiritual significance to Noongar People. Start your experience with the Noongar welcome and ochre ceremony before hearing a Dreamtime story, traditional songs and Noongar language against the backdrop of modern day Perth.

    On your second day, why not hop on a cruise down the Swan River, passing by the famous zoo and the university, looking out for dolphins along the way. Emerging at the Port of Fremantle, a cruise is the perfect way to reach the coolest suburb of the city. Grab a box of fish and chips by the harbour and explore the world-heritage-listed Fremantle Prison, before spending the afternoon paddle boarding in the turquoise waters off Cottesloe Beach.

    Included: Perth Karrgatup (Kings Park) Walking tour, 4* hotel         

    Day 5: Ferry to Rottnest Island

    This morning, you’ll take the ferry from Perth to Rottnest Island. You’ll be staying at Discovery Rottnest, a glamping property on the island. You’ll be sleeping in the best tent there is, with a large deck and a barbecue. Discovery Rottnest is right in front of Pinky’s Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. It’s also next door to the Basin, a huge bay with clear blue water, which is perfect for snorkelling and swimming.

    Today is yours to explore Rottnest Island. Why not hire a bike, pop your snorkel and fins in your bag and head off to discover the island? There are 63 spectacular beaches to explore but our favourite's are Little Parakeet Bay, Ricey Beach and Little Salmon Bay. You can also kayak along Pinky’s Beach and relax in the warm shallow waters of Porpoise Bay.

    Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the happy quokkas, the tiny local marsupials that have made Rottnest their home. You won’t need to go out of your way to meet the little animals – you’ll find them munching on berries in the shade of the trees or lurking behind fishermen in search of a snack. They are very friendly and cheeky, but you mustn’t feed them – hard to resist as they are so cute!

    Included: Ferry, bike hire, 4* glamping lodge     

    Day 6: Ferry to Perth, drive to Pinnacles Desert

    This morning, you can take a final swim in the clear water off Pinky’s Beach before hopping on the ferry back to Perth, to pick up your hire car. Head north for a couple of hours drive before you reach one of Australia's most unique and fascinating natural landscapes, the Pinnacles Desert. Settle into your hotel for the night and head to the beach for a beer watching the sunset.

    Included: Ferry, car hire, 4* hotel            

    Day 7: Drive to Kalbarri National Park

    This morning, you’ll be able to explore the lunar-like Pinnacles in the Nambung National Park. These amazing limestone spires are fantastic for photographers who want to capture the mustard-coloured peaks against the bright blue sky – perfect to wander around for the morning and learn about how they were formed. In the afternoon, you’ll continue to drive north to Kalbarri National Park – this park is split into two areas, so we’d recommend exploring the coastal cliffs with spectacular views along the shore and out across the Indian Ocean.

    Included: Hire car, 4* hotel        

    Day 8: Abrolhos Islands Tour

    This morning you’ll head off on a scenic flight tour to the Abrolhos Islands, just off the coast between Kalbarri and Geraldton. Start with a scenic flight over the coastal cliffs of Kalbarri, before heading out over the ocean towards the Abrolhos Islands, home to a mesmerising underwater world, an abundance of wildlife and the Batavia shipwreck site.

    The low lying islands are dotted like jewels in the ocean, where fishermen live seasonally and pull spiny rock lobsters from the shallow waters. Enjoy the flight over the 3 island groups before landing on East Wallabi Island and spending the day snorkelling amongst the pristine coral, hiking through the shrub land to find the eponymous wallabies and wandering along the empty beaches enjoying the solitude of the tiny island. Tuck into morning tea with an antipasti spread before flying back to Kalbarri over the coral atolls and the historic shipwreck site.

    Included: Hire car, full day tour of the Abrolhos Islands, 4* hotel

    Day 9: Drive to Monkey Mia

    Before you leave Kalbarri, make sure you head inland and explore the heart of the national park, including visiting Nature’s Window to see the rock formations and the skywalk, for otherworldy views out over the river and Kalbarri’s natural landscape.

    In the afternoon you’ll, drive north to Monkey Mia in Shark Bay, stopping in at Shell Beach on your way. This unique beach is entirely covered in tiny shells! Finish the drive up to Shark Bay and you’ll check into the resort for two nights.

    Included: Hire car, 4* hotel        

    Day 10: Francois Peron National Park

    Today we’ve included a 4WD tour of Francois Peron National Park, a world class park filled with nature and culture. This unique spot is where the red sands of Australia meet the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean; you’ll visit lookouts like Skipjack Point and Cape Peron to enjoy the spectacular views across the bay. You’ll head out for a snorkelling session in one of the many sheltered bays – look out for turtles, dugongs and manta rays!

    Included: Full day tour, hire car, 4* hotel             

    Day 11: Drive to Coral Bay

    Meet the dolphins this morning! Each morning the dolphins arrive on the shores of Monkey Mia to be fed – however the experience is highly controlled and the dolphins are never interacted with too much to maintain their wild instincts and make sure they continue to hunt and behave naturally. It’s a unique experience to be so close to wild dolphins and is a special way to finish your time in Shark Bay.

    After your dolphin experience, you’ll drive north to Coral Bay, a tiny village on the edge of the coast, famous for its access to the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef.

    Included: Hire car, 4* hotel        

    Day 12: Coral Bay

    Today you’ll head off onto the crystal-clear waters of the Ningaloo Reef for the day, on an Marine Eco Safari to swim with manta rays. You’ll start the day with some snorkelling in Bills Bay, where you’ll spot clouds of colourful fish and reef sharks in the coral gardens. Enjoy morning tea onboard before heading out again to find some turtles. After a delicious lunch on board you’ll head to Bateman’s Bay, where, with the assistance of a spotter plane who will be looking for the majestic creatures from above, you’ll have the opportunity to swim with manta rays. These gentle giants are enormous, with wingspans of up to four metres. Swimming with them is sure to be a highlight of your trip!            

    Included: Hire car, Marine Eco Safari tour, 4* hotel        

    Day 13: Drive to Exmouth

    After breakfast, drive north once more to your final destination of Exmouth, the entry point to Cape Range National Park. Make sure you check out the Big Prawn as you drive into town, before checking into your hotel for three nights.

    Included: Hire car, 4* hotel        

    Day 14: Turquoise Bay and Yardie Creek

    Today is yours to explore the breathtaking Cape Range National Park at your leisure. We recommend driving round the top of the cape and heading south down the west coast to Yardie Creek. This ancient gorge has deep red cliffs and lots of wildlife to spot, including wallabies and kangaroos along the bank, as well as turtles in the bright blue water. You can take a cruise along the limestone gorge, or head out on a walking trail with a picnic to enjoy the views.

    In the afternoon, head to Turquoise Bay; a stunning beach with azure water and sand like sugar. The real highlight of this beach lies under the water, in the fringing Ningaloo Reef that lies just offshore. Turquoise Bay is home to a drift snorkel  – just walk to the end, pop on your snorkel and you’ll be gently carried along the beach! Only a few metres into the water and you’ll be surrounded by shoals of pink and yellow fish, dark green corals and the occasional blue starfish. Spend the afternoon enjoying this gorgeous spot.

    Included: Hire car, 4* hotel        

    Day 15: Ningaloo Reef snorkel

    This morning, you’ll head out beyond the reef to look for whalesharks, in an exciting full day adventure swim tour. Snorkelling with the largest fish in the sea is an incredible experience! You’ll start the day on your large and stable boat watching the spotter plane up above looking for the majestic whale sharks. The animals are completely wild and nothing is done to attract them, including feeding. On board, you’ll learn about the whale sharks and the ecology of the reef, before jumping in with your experienced guide. Coming face to face with these gentle giants is an awe-inspiring experience – if you want to hear from someone who has done it, then just ask. Several of us at Travel Nation have been lucky enough to experience this very special moment. Hopefully you’ll have several opportunities to go into the water with the whale sharks, as well as the possibility of seeing humpbacks, mantas, dugongs and dolphins. Enjoy lunch with morning and afternoon tea onboard before being dropped off back in Exmouth at the end of the day.      

    Included: Whale shark snorkelling experience, hire car, 4* hotel               

    Day 16: Depart Exmouth   

    This morning, you’ll return your hire car to the airport before hopping on the internal flight back to Perth, where you’ll connect onto your international flight home.

    Included: Hire car, internal flights, international flights               

    Day 17: Arrive UK

    Perth is officially the sunniest capital city in Australia enjoying 131 days of perfect sunny weather every year, the average temperature in summer (November - February) is around 29c and around 12c in winter (Jun to Aug). The South West enjoys temperatures between 25c & 35c in summer and the cooler winter months are perfect for forest walks. The North West has a more tropical climate with the dry season (April - September) showing long sunny days and a maximum temperature of 29c. Wet season (Oct to Mar) brings tropical rainstorms, high humidity, and temperatures into the high 30s.

    We've made a similar trip

    If you'd like to get a feel for this trip, read our blog post A Perth to Broome road trip with campervans, quokkas and camels - written by one of our consultants who has been there.

    This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.           

    What's included
    • International flights
    • Return airport transfers
    • Accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary   
    • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
    • Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary
    Not included
    • Any meals not mentioned
    • Personal expenses
    • Tips & gratuities
    • Fuel