Take a guided tour of the best kept secrets along the coast of Western Australia. From Margaret River to the Ningaloo Reef, you’ll explore the beauty and history of Australia’s hidden gems. Begin in Perth, with sightseeing and a visit to Caversham Wildlife Park to meet koalas, wombats, kangaroos, and more. Head south to the coastal town of Mandurah, and take a cruise into the estuary there to spot birdlife, cultural sites, and Wester Australia’s largest population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. Ride the train to the end of Busselton Jetty—the largest timbered jetty in the Southern Hemisphere and over a mile long. In the Margaret River region, explore Ngilgi Cave and join an Aboriginal cultural experience. Sip wine at Xanadu Vineyardand visit Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. In Fremantle, learn of the prison’s unique history. Ferry to the sandy beaches of Rottnest Islands to encounter the friendly Quokka. Continue up the coast to experience local specialties and natural beauty at the Pinnacles, Geraldton, Hutt Lagoon, Kalbarri National Park, Monkey Mia, Carnarvon, Coral Bay, and Exmouth— home of the Ningaloo Reef. Dine on lobster, encounter dolphins, see a pink lak, take a catamaran nature cruise, explore stalagmite caves, and visit a fruit plantation - just a few of the fantastic ways we’ll show you the Western Australia coastal towns. In Coral Bay and Exmouth (gateway to the Ningaloo Reef), you’ll experience the beauty of the Indian Ocean with pristine beaches, bountiful marine life, and a swim with gentle giants—Whale Sharks or Humpback whales (based on season). The remainder of your escorted vacation in Australia is three nights in Sydney, with guided sightseeing to the Botanic Gardens and iconic Sydney Opera House. There’s no end to ways to explore Sydney, its beaches, and harbor. Your vacation comes to an end with memories to last a lifetime!
Day 1: ARRIVE PERTH, AUSTRALIA.
Arrive in Western Australia’s capital city. Tonight, your Tour Director hosts a welcome dinner and briefing to get you ready for your adventure. Your hotel room is available for immediate check-in. A pre-night is not required for early check-in. Please schedule flights to arrive by 4pm in order to attend this evening’s welcome briefing and dinner.
Day 2: PERTH.
On this morning’s orientation tour, visit Kings Park Botanic Gardens, see the iconic Swan Bell Tower, and the Perth Mint. Then visit CAVERSHAM WILDLIFE PARK to see some of Australia’s unique animals such as koalas, kangaroos, wombats, and more. The remainder of your day is free to explore on your own. Your Tour Director will have suggestions for additional sightseeing, shopping, and dining.
Day 3: PERTH–MANDURAH–MARGARET RIVER REGION.
Head south to the coastal town of Mandurah with its famous canals. A CRUISE takes you into the calm waterways of the Mandurah Estuary with a chance to see abundant birdlife, cultural sites, and Western Australia’s largest population of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphins. Next, stop is at the BUSSELTON JETTY. This 150-year-old jetty is 1.1 miles/1.8 km long and is the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. Enjoy a TRAIN RIDE to the end of the jetty and learn its history and hear a few stories from your friendly conductor. Spend the next two nights in the Margaret River region, home to premium wineries, world-class restaurants, spectacular beaches, a casual laid-back lifestyle, and amazing scenic beauty.
Day 4: MARGARET RIVER REGION.
Today is spent exploring the Margaret River region. First stop is a visit to NGILGI CAVE, home to stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations. While here, enjoy an ABORIGINAL EXPERIENCE to learn more about the traditional land owners and their history and culture. We then continue along the coast with photo stops at Surfers Point and Sugarloaf Rock. A special treat is in store when you enjoy a TASTING and lunch at the beautiful XANADU VINEYARD, one of the region's earliest vineyards. After lunch, there’s time to explore the shops and galleries of Margaret River before returning to your resort.
Day 5: MARGARET RIVER REGION–FREMANTLE.
This morning, visit CAPE NATURALISTE LIGHTHOUSE, which continues to play a vital role in Australia’s maritime safety and offers amazing views of the coast below. Next, it’s on to the historic port city of Fremantle with its marinas, charming heritage buildings, shops, and restaurants. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of FREMANTLE PRISON to learn why almost 10,000 men were transported from Great Britain and Ireland, how they built their own prison, and helped shape the future of Western Australia. This evening, you may wish to explore the town’s unique winding streets or enjoy some fresh seafood and drinks at a local craft brewery.
Day 6: FREMANTLE. EXCURSION TO ROTTNEST ISLAND.
Take a short FERRY ride to nearby ROTTNEST ISLAND known for its soft sand beaches, seafaring history, and the iconic Rottnest quokka. Enjoy a tour of the island and then discover the famous marsupial unique to the island on a QUOKKA WALK. Learn about this unique animal and watch them in their natural habitat. You may even have a chance to get your very own selfie with one. Return to Fremantle where the remainder of the day is at leisure. You may wish to visit the WA Maritime Museum, which tells the story of Western Australia's maritime history, or visit the historic Fremantle Markets with its mixture of produce, art, souvenirs, food stalls, and more.
Day 7: PERTH–THE PINNACLES–GERALDTON.
Visit the PINNACLES of Nambung National Park. These amazing natural limestone structures, some standing as high as 16 feet, were formed approximately 25,000 to 30,000 years ago, after the sea receded and left deposit of sea shells. Over time, coastal winds removed the surrounding sand, leaving the pillars exposed to the elements. It’s an excellent spot to stretch your legs and snap a few photos. Next, enjoy a delicious meal straight from the ocean when we visit a LOBSTER SHACK. Here’s your chance to learn about the lobster industry, soak in the local culture, and enjoy some fresh lobster and seafood. Continue along the scenic coast to Geraldton.
Day 8: GERALDTON–HUTT LAGOON–KALBARRI NATIONAL PARK–MONKEY MIA.
Today, visit HUTT LAGOON, a pink lake created by the presence of carotenoid-producing algae. Depending on the time of day, the season, and the amount of cloud cover, the lake changes through the spectrum of red to bubble-gum pink to a lilac purple. Next, explore KALBARRI NATIONAL PARK, enjoying spectacular views of the Indian Ocean along the way. Arrive at your resort situated within the Shark Bay UNESCO World Heritage area.
Day 9: MONKEY MIA.
From the beach at your resort, witness a DOLPHIN EXPERIENCE. Monkey Mia is the only place in Australia where dolphins visit daily, not just seasonally. The friendly pod of wild bottle-nosed dolphins regularly swim to Monkey Mia's shore to interact with humans up to three times a day. Later, board a catamaran for a NATURE CRUISE. You may see dolphins playfully racing with the boat, spot a shy dugong grazing on seagrass, and possibly encounter manta rays, loggerhead turtles, tiger sharks, and other marine life. Return to your resort where the rest of the day is yours to stroll the beach, shop for souvenirs, or enjoy an evening sunset catamaran cruise. NOTE: Please keep in mind that swimming with and touching the dolphins at Monkey Mia is prohibited by law.
Day 10: MONKEY MIA–CARNARVON
Start your day with a visit to SHELL BEACH, a beautiful snow-white beach made up of millions of tiny shells. Shell Beach is one of only a handful of places on earth where shells replace beach sand in such a dramatic and picturesque way. Then, visit the HAMELIN POOL STROMATOLITES, the oldest and largest living fossils on earth dating back 3.7 billion years. Hamelin Pool in Western Australia is one of only four places on earth where living marine stromatolites exist, and the location contains by far the biggest colony on earth. Continue to Carnarvon where we visit a FRUIT PLANTATION and enjoy a delicious treat. Before dinner this evening, you may want to enjoy a leisurely stroll along the esplanade and watch the sun set in the horizon.
Day 11: CARNARVON–CORAL BAY–EXMOUTH.
Today’s travels takes us to Coral Bay, named for the beautiful coral gardens which lie just feet from the pristine white sandy beach. Enjoy a CRUISE on a glass-bottom boat that will maximize your coral viewing experience and allow you to take perfect photos and videos. Cruise the pristine water in search of dolphins, turtles, Reef sharks, dugongs, and other marine life. You’ll even have the chance to swim amongst the beautiful coral gardens, and an abundance of colorful fish. Spend the next three nights in Exmouth, situated at the gateway to the incredible Ningaloo Reef, the largest fringing reef in Australia and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Day 12: EXMOUTH. EXCURSION TO SWIM WITH THE WHALE SHARKS OR HUMPBACK WHALES.
Today, a highlight of your vacation is an EXCURSION to swim with whale sharks (April-June) or Humpback whales (July-September). Whale sharks are the world's biggest fish and can grow to lengths of 40 feet and can live to be 100 to 150 years old. Their unique spots are similar to fingerprints in humans. The Ningaloo Reef is one of the only places in the world where whale sharks appear regularly in large numbers, with over 235 individuals recorded. Another "bucket list" experience available is to swim with the Humpback whales. An estimated 30,000 humpback whales migrate along the Ningaloo Coast. The whales are easy to spot as they breach, lunge, slap the water, and blow. During the course of the day the crew will keep an eye out for turtles, dolphins, dugongs, and manta rays as well. It is sure to be a day you remember for the rest of your life! NOTE: Both whale sharks and Humpback whales are wild creatures. Everything will be done to maximize the likelihood you will swim with a whale, but it cannot be guaranteed. Since the whales will continually move, swimming is required to do the interaction. You will need to be a confident swimmer and be able to snorkel and swim freestyle. The whales are found in the open ocean so you may be swimming in currents and swells. If you do not wish to get in the water, you may remain on the boat and watch these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
Day 13: EXMOUTH.
Board a boat for a CRUISE along Yardi Creek. This ancient gorge has deep blue water, red limestone cliffs, and a wonderful array of birds and wildlife, including the rare black-footed wallaby and red kangaroos. Learn the area’s history, how the gorge was formed and have the chance to spot the animals that live here. Return to Exmouth where the remainder of the day is at leisure. You may wish to relax by your hotel’s pool, get your photo next to the town’s giant prawn statue, or explore more on your own. Tonight, join your Tour Director and traveling companions for a festive farewell dinner, the perfect ending to your Western Australia adventure!
Day 14: EXMOUTH–PERTH.
Fly from Exmouth to Perth. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 15: PERTH.
Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.
Touring with Cosmos
A forward-thinking young Italian named Antonio Mantegazza started it all back in 1928, when he purchased a rowboat to transport visitors across Lake Lugano in Switzerland. Big things come from small beginnings and as Antonio grew his business their sister company Globus was born, and from that came Cosmos in 1961.
Across the decades there were some questionable brochure covers as well as fashion choices, but most of all it was fantastic holidays at great prices. And while they’ve ditched the flares and polo necks, they’re still determined to give you superb holidays at the best prices.
They want to take you on your best holidays, full of memorable experiences and pinch-yourself moments in thrilling destinations around the world. Whether you’re cruising down a jungle river in Thailand, standing on a lava field in Iceland, or stargazing in the deserts of Western USA, they want to place you in these perfect settings.>
Cosmos offer a huge selection of tours, from classic, platinum or small group escorted tours, to private groups and single centre tours. Travel with like-minded people and get the best access to the must-see sights, and the local favourites you might have missed. Touring is a great way to see the world: they'll take away the admin and organisation headaches of your holiday, and all you have to do is soak up all the history, culture and experiences.