Journeys of freedom & discovery. Travelling in purpose-built trucks or 4x4s you’ll see all the highlights but also get far off the beaten track. Led by a professional crew or driver, groups help with the cooking & setting up camp, enjoying a real hands on experience.
Our Basic tours offer superb value and are ideal for those who are happy to forgo some creature comforts in favour of an authentic and fun experience. Under the leadership of a fully trained tour leader, you will enjoy all the highlights and freedom of independent travel with the convenience, security and companionship of a small group.
Leaving Perth we enter Nambung National Park to explore the Pinnacles Desert - A unique landscapes unlike any other in the country. We then journey to the massive sand dunes around Jurien Bay where you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a sandboard down the slopes and perfect your technique. From here we continue on through Geraldton to Horrocks where we stay overnight. (LD)
Hostel (1 nt)
It’s a short drive to the Kalbarri National Park where we explore Murchison Gorge, Natures Window, the Loop and Z-Bend Gorge (it’s a steep descent but worth the effort for a refreshing swim). There’s also the option to abseil here (own expense). After lunch we visit beautiful Shell Beach as we travel towards Denham and Shark Bay. (BLD)
Hostel (1 nt)
After a short drive across the Peron Peninsula we make our way down to the beach and the world famous Monkey Mia dolphins – it’s a unique experience with some fantastic photo opportunities. As we travel towards Carnarvon, we stop to view the fascinating Stromatolites at Hamelin Pool. After a break in our journey at Carnarvon we continue along the highway to Coral Bay, the Jewel of the North. (BLD)
Hostel (1 nt)
Today is yours to explore Coral Bay and the wonders of the Ningaloo Reef and its fantastic marine life. You can go snorkelling, cruise on the glass bottom boat, take a quad bike tour or even a joy flight over the reef (all at additional expense). Today is a day to relax. Late afternoon and its time for the short drive into Exmouth. (BLD)
The following day we explore Yardie Creek in the Cape Range National Park, have a swim, snorkel or sunbathe at beautiful Turquoise Bay and admire the view from historic Vlahming Head Lighthouse. We return to our hostel late afternoon. (BLD)
Hostel (2 nts)
Heading inland through the vast cattle stations of the Pilbara region, our destination is the oasis of Karijini. This afternoon we pass through Tom Price, a little town known for its iron ore mining, before reaching our camp overlooking the magnificent Hamersley Range. (BLD)
Two full days of adventure is the perfect amount of time needed to explore Karijini National Park and its amazing gorges. Formed over 2,500 million years ago, the Hamersley Ranges are some of the most unusual landforms on earth. Deep in the gorges you’ll come across cascading waterfalls and fresh, still waterholes – perfect for swimming. Dales Gorge, Fortesque Falls, Fern Pool, Circular Pool, Weano Gorge and Hancock Gorge are just some of the stunning areas we’ll get to. Definitely a highlight! (BLD)
Camping (with facilities) (3 nts)
We depart Karijini this morning and travel towards the coast and the iron ore port of Port Hedland. We have time for a quick town tour and marvel at the sheer size of the iron ore industry. After lunch we continue on towards overnight station stay. (BLD)
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
En route to Broome we enjoy a leisurely break and take in the glory of the stretching sands of the 80 Mile Beach. Enjoy a stroll along the beach and get some fantastic photos, before our final leg into Broome. (BL)
Take two days to get to know Broome and relax on the beautiful Cable Beach - with 22 km of white sand and crystal waters it’s the ideal place to watch the sunset with a drink in hand. Visit a local pearl farm and make sure you see Horizontal Falls, the town’s ‘big ticket item’. Meals and activities on these days are at own expense.
Hostel (3 nts)
PICK UP DAY 13: Kimberley Klub, 06:30am
Leaving Broome we make our first stop at Willare Bridge at the Fitzroy River (seasonal). From here we hit the outback and leave the open road behind as we head for the Oscar Range and on to Tunnel Creek, where a 750m tunnel passes under the Napier Range. (LD)
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Today we explore Windjana Gorge where there are plenty of freshwater crocodiles – so have your camera handy! We then hit the road again to travel along the famous Gibb River Road, a 600km dirt track that runs right in the heart of the Kimberley region. Depending on the time of year, we may be able to explore Galvins or Adcock Gorge before setting up camp at Manning Gorge. (BLD)
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Explore Manning Gorge and time permitting we head into Barnett Gorge. Trust your guide to point you in the direction of the best gorges to explore. We pass through some historic and unusual country as we travel along the Gibb River Road giving you another taste of remote Australia. Crossing the Pentecost River, we get a true outback experience as we reach the famous El Questro Station where we camp for the night. (BLD)
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Today we spend the day exploring the amazing sights of El Questro station highlights include a hike in the beautiful Cockburn Ranges for a swim under the waterfall at Emma Gorge. Tonight we enjoy another night at our El Questro campsite where you might choose to enjoy a well earned beer at the station bar. (BLD)
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Today sit back and admire the awesome scenery of the Carr Boyd and Durack Ranges as we head to Turkey Creek. We take an adventurous 4WD trip into the Bungle Bungles (Purnululu). The rock formations of the Bungle Bungles are remarkable and we visit the breathtaking Echidna Chasm and Cathedral Gorge. There’s time to get another perspective of the Bungles by helicopter if you’re up for it (at own expense) to see the rocks from the air. We bush camp night 5 and 6 inside Purnululu National Park. (BLD)
Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nts)
It’s time for some serious 4WD action as we wind our way out of the Bungle Bungles towards Kununurra. Time permitting we will have the opportunity to explore the Hidden Valley, just a stone’s throw from Kununurra township before making camp at Lake Argyle. (BLD)
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Today we visit Lake Argyle, created by the Ord River Dam. Lake Argyle is the biggest manmade lake in Australia and is 18 times bigger than Sydney Harbour! From here we cross the state border into the Northern Territory to reach camp in the Katherine Region. (BLD)
Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 nt)
We’re on the home stretch now! Today we stop at either Katherine (Nitmiluk) Gorge or take one last swim at the beautiful Edith Falls. We then make our final journey into Darwin where we bid each other farewell. (BL)
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
Please note due to cultural sensitivities, entry to particular parts of local Aboriginal communities may be unavailable.
Where Aboriginal guide is unavailable in Red Centre an Intrepid guide will lead the interpretive cultural walk. In Kakadu the Aboriginal Wulna-Limilngan cultural experience is only available during the dry season (Apr-Oct) as site is subject to flooding (contact our customer service team for availability). Participants may be absent due to cultural commitments with minimal prior notification and Intrepid reserves the right to amend the itinerary in these circumstances with no obligation to refund.
To get the most out of this trip you need to be prepared for walks of between 3-8 km on some days. This may be on rough ground and perhaps getting feet wet in rivers and creeks. From Oct to March you will experience temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius so be prepared to endure extra physical stress due to the heat at these times, especially while on walks.
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
In Australia, tipping is expected for certain things, but not everything. As a guide, tipping applies when you sit down in a restaurant for a meal (10% is a general rule). When using taxis or buying drinks at a bar, rounding up is acceptable.
You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline AU$2-5 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
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 and/or order of activities and substitute alternative destinations and activities as necessary. No refunds are available due to itinerary changes and missed activities caused by extreme weather conditions and/or road closures.
The minimum age of clients on this trip is 14 years. Please note that anyone aged under 18 must be accompanied by (and share accommodation with) a parent or legal guardian.
Maximum of 20 travellers per group.
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.
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
Hostel (8 nts), Camping (with facilities) (7 nts), Camping (with basic facilities) (4 nts), Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 nt)
To participate in this trip you must be prepared to assist with preparing meals, cleaning dishes, collecting firewood, setting up and packing up camp every day, in all conditions.
Camping consists of portable, easy to erect, dome tents. We provide comfortable swags (canvas bedroll including 2 inch mattresses). You can either bring your own sleeping bag or purchase one from us at AU$30.00 per person. Pillows are not provided so you can bring your own if you wish.
While camping in dome tents you will be expected to erect your tent and pack it away.
When not camping the standard accommodation is multishare.
18 Breakfasts, 19 Lunches, 17 Dinners
Your tour includes meals as indicated in our brochure and online. On most days, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included. Your leader will prepare most of the meals whilst on tour. Please make sure you advise us of any special dietary requirements well prior to travelling and we will endeavour to do our best to cater to them.
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 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.
Passengers with special meal requirements must ensure they or their travel agent inform Intrepid of this at the time of booking. Food for the trip is purchased prior to commencement and special requirements cannot be catered for after departing. Vegetarians and those with any special meal requirements may need to provide additional assistance to the leader for meal preparation.
All Terrain vehicle
You will be travelling in a vehicle specifically designed and built for Australian outback conditions. All our vehicles are air conditioned for your comfort, have CD players and/or Ipod connections and large panoramic windows for uninterrupted sightseeing.
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 safari 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. They 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 cooked meals (though passengers are required to help out) and 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.
Default pick up Barrack Street Jetty @ 07.15am
Tour departs from Shop 1, Barrack Street Jetty, Perth at 7:15am or select accomodation. Please confirm alternative pick up with our customer service team who will advise pick up locations available and time of pick up.
Select Darwin accommodation
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
Belgium: Yes - required in advance
Canada: Yes - required in advance
Germany: Yes - required in advance
Ireland: Yes - required in advance
Netherlands: Yes - required in advance
New Zealand: Not required
South Africa: Yes - required in advance
Switzerland: Yes - required in advance
United Kingdom: Yes - required in advance
USA: Yes - required in advance
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/index.html
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 negative impact on the rest of your trip.
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 to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
Larger suit cases are not appropriate for this trip and risk damage in the loading and unloading of the vehicle.
Due to the longer haul overland nature of this trip, the amount of camping equipment needed and space limitations within our vehicles, a 15 Kg (33 Lbs) luggage limit per person applies for this trip. If you are travelling with more than this amount of luggage, your driver can assist you to make arrangements to have it couriered to our finishing point city for pick up at the end of your trip. This luggage transfer is at your own expense but is for the safety and comfort of all members of the group.
During the cooler months (April to October) day or night time temperatures can reach below zero. Please ensure you pack your bags appropriately. Warm jacket, thermals and a woollen hat are advisable year round. Australia has relaxed attitudes to standards of dress, however the extreme sunshine can cause sunburn- particularly in summer. We recommend that you bring loose, cool, cotton clothing to protect yourself from the harsh sun. A sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses are essential from October to April due to high UV radiation.
Comfortable foam sleeping mats are provided. Please bring a sleeping bag or purchase one for $30. (if you do not wish to keep your sleeping bag they are donated to local charities).
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Please avoid the purchase of bottled water by using the chemically sterilized water stored in the purpose-built storage tank or in water jerry cans in your overland vehicle. You're free to refill your bottle as many times a day as you like.
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. Your vehicle will be equipped with a 12 volt “cigarette lighter” socket which may be used at the crew’s discretion, however, do bear in mind that only one piece of equipment can be charged at a time and it will not be allowed if there is a risk of running the vehicle’s batteries low. Batteries may also be recharged from hotel room wall sockets. We suggest you bring a mix of normal and rechargeable batteries and the appropriate recharging unit. Hotels and many campsites have electricity and charging of batteries is advised before checking out the following day.
A headlamp or torch is recommended for around your accommodation at night. Some properties have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time. It’s a good idea to bring a headlamp or torch to navigate your way around at night.
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/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
Dengue, Murray Valley Encephalitis (MVE) and Ross River Fever occur in northern parts of Australia (the Northern Territory, Northern Queensland and northern Western Australia). All three viruses are transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against them, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn. January 2009 saw an earlier than usual seasonal outbreak of dengue fever in northern Queensland, with over 600 confirmed cases in and around Cairns and Townsville.
There have been 77 confirmed cases of Whitmore disease (melioidosis) in the Northern Territory, mainly in greater Darwin, but with cases reported in the Katherine and East Arnhem regions too. One case has occurred as far south as Tennant Creek. The risk of melioidosis will continue to be present as long as the rains continue. Those most at risk are those with underlying conditions that impair the immune system such as diabetes. Please visit the NT Department of Health and Families website – http://www.health.nt.gov.au - for more information.
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.
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.
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.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Travel Insurance for Australians travelling on trips within Australia only: Australians are not required to be covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation for trips within Australia. However we strongly recommend that you have a domestic travel insurance policy which covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
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.
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
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