• Discover Australia: The Tour of a Lifetime
  • 13 August – 27 September 2017
  • 46 days/ 45 nights

An amazing trip … Charters Towers Guided Tour, Kronosaurus Corner, Rainbow Springs Thermal Pool, Nitmiluk Gorge, Yellow Water Billabong Cruise in Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park, enjoy a beautiful sunset on a Darwin Harbour Cruise, The Defence of Darwin Experience, Lake Argyle & Ord River Cruise, The Argyle Diamond Mine, the famous El Questro, Chamberlain Gorge, Geikie Gorge, King Sound, BHP Billiton’s Iron Ore Facility, Karijini National Park, Rio Tinto’s open cut iron ore mine, the coral gardens of Ningaloo Reef, meet the dolphins at Monkey Mia, Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park, Perth & Fremantle, Margaret River Wine District, Valley of the Giants Tree-Top Walk, Oyster Bay, Wave Rock & Stirling Ranges National Park, Cape Le Grande & Lucky Bay, Nullarbor Plain, Head of the Bight Whale Watching Platform, Point Labatt Seal Colony, Whyalla Maritime Museum, Murray River Cruise, and more!

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Day 1 Sunday 13th August 2017

Northern Rivers-Mundubbera

LD

We begin our outback adventure today, travelling north through Ipswich, Nanango and Gayndah to our overnight stay at Mundubbera.

ACC: Billabong Motor Inn

Day 2 Monday 14th August

Mundubbera-Capella

BLD

Our travels take us through Biloela and Dingo, our lunch stop, then on to Clermont, a major hub for the large coalmines in the region.

ACC: Dooleys Hotel

Day 3 Tuesday 15th August

Capella-Charters Towers

BLD

We really hit the Outback today, where the only settlement along the way is Belyando Roadhouse. We arrive in Charters Towers and take a step back in time with a local guide to discover the enchanting outback town which is like viewing a living montage of Australian history and heritage. When gold was first discovered in Charters Towers in 1871, Charters Towers became a gold rush town and quickly grew to become the second largest town in Queensland. Today, the magnificent heritage buildings are testament to the prosperity of years past.

ACC: Cattlemans Rest Motor Inn

Day 4 Wednesday 16th August

Charters Towers- Cloncurry

BLD

Our first stop today is Hughenden, located at the edge of Australia’s ancient inland sea and where a number of important fossils have been found. Then, on to Richmond for lunch and a visit to Kronosaurus Korner, Australia’s premier marine fossil Museum, displaying local fossils from the Cretaceous Inland Sea that covered a large section of Queensland 120 million years ago. Our home for tonight is Cloncurry, famous for being the birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

ACC: Gidgee Inn

Day 5 Thursday 17th August

Cloncurry-Mt Isa

BLD

First this morning is a visit to Cloncurry Unearthed Museum, housing memorabilia from the Mary Kathleen Uranium Mine and Township as well as local history and photographs. We travel on to Mt Isa arriving late morning. We visit the award-winning Outback at Isa. From the fascinating insight into the mining industry development to the cultural diversity of Mount Isa shown in the theatrette movies, to the depictions of the quirkiness of daily life in the early days, the exhibit is vibrant and entertaining. Then enjoy lunch in the Outback Park, an extensive creative landscape that captures visitors’ attention, with a central lagoon surrounded by lush native plantings and a Lawn Hill gorge inspired waterfall.

ACC: Burke and Wills Motor Inn

Day 6 Friday 18th August

Mt Isa-Tennant Creek

BLD

Continuing through the Outback, we’ll stop for a cuppa at Camooweal, before crossing the border into the Northern Territory and travelling on to Tennant Creek, our home for tonight.

ACC: Eldorado Motor Inn

Day 7 Saturday 19th August

Tennant Creek-Mataranka

BLD

Because of the Outback distances, we have a very early start this morning, stopping for morning tea at Three Ways Roadhouse, then turn onto the Stuart Hwy, travelling north for lunch at the historic Daly Waters Hotel. Our overnight stay is at Mataranka Homestead where you can enjoy a swim in the beautiful Rainbow Springs Thermal Pool.

ACC: Mataranka Homestead Motel

Day 8 Sunday 20th August

Mataranka-Kakadu

BLD

We have time this morning for an early morning dip in the thermal springs before our departure for a cruise through the stunning Nitmiluk Gorge (formerly Katherine Gorge). After the cruise we’ll travel on to Kakadu, our overnight destination.

ACC: Cooinda Lodge

Day 9 Monday 21st August

Kakadu-Darwin

BLD

What a start we have today with a sunrise cruise on the magnificent Yellow Water Billabong at the heart of Kakadu offering a remarkable journey through the region’s wetlands, with its rich wildlife, dramatic scenery and ever-changing landscape! Following breakfast we make our way into Darwin with a guided orientation tour. We’ll then book into our accommodation for the next 3 nights.

ACC: Double Tree by Hilton Esplanade (3 nights)

Day 10 Tuesday 22nd August

Darwin Free Day

BD

This morning we use our Darwin Explorer Bus ticket to see more of Darwin’s attractions at our leisure. This evening enjoy Darwin Harbour’s beautiful sunset aboard the “Charles Darwin”.

Day 11 Wednesday 23rd August

Litchfield National Park

BLD

Our first stop today is the Adelaide River to get up close and personal with crocs in their natural environment on a croc cruise. Litchfield National Park is a must see if you’re in the Top End. It’s home to several stunning waterfalls that cascade into crystal clear pools and hundreds of two metre high magnetic termite mounds You will see territorial crocodiles, which all have names, at VERY close range for exceptional photo opportunities.

Day 12 Thursday 24th August

Darwin-Katherine

BLD

Before departing Darwin, we visit the Defence of Darwin Experience which tells the story of Darwin’s role in World War II – a very important time in Territory history. It provides an opportunity for visitors to understand the impact of the war on Darwin and its inhabitants, both civilian and military. We then swing by the airport to drop off our fellow passengers who are flying home today. We arrive in Katherine mid-afternoon.

ACC: Knott’s Crossing Resort

Day 13 Friday 25th August

Katherine-Kununurra

BLD

Sit back today and enjoy the scenery as we travel along the Victoria Hwy into the East Kimberley stopping at Victoria River Roadhouse and Timber Creek for a picnic lunch, then on to Kununurra, our home for the next 3 nights.

ACC: Kimberley Croc Lodge (3 nights)

Day 14 Saturday 26th August

Lake Argyle and Ord River Cruise

BLD

OPTION: Sunrise flight over Purnululu (Bungle Bungles) $350:00 extra per person Payable at time of booking. Flights are subject to minimum/maximum numbers and require passengers to advise weight

We have a full day tour today with transfer from our accommodation to Lake Argyle where we enjoy a 3 hour lunch cruise, followed by a guided tour of the Main Ord Dam and lookouts returning to Kununurra via an Ord River Cruise.

Day 15 Sunday 27th August

El Questro

BLD

Spend today at the famous El Questro Station. At just over 700,000 acres in size, El Questro is located in Western Australia’s untamed Kimberley region and extends for approximately 80 kilometres into its heart, most of which has never been explored. It is one of Australia’s last true frontiers. Bring your swimsuit to enjoy the thermal pools at Zebedee Springs. Relax on a cruise through the picturesque Chamberlain Gorge.

Day 16 Monday 28th August

Kununurra-Halls Creek

BLD

We depart Kununurra this morning and venture to the Argyle Diamond Mine, the largest diamond producer in the world. It is the only known significant source of pink and red diamonds, producing over 90% of the world’s supply. It additionally provides a large proportion of other naturally coloured diamonds, including champagne, cognac and rare blue diamonds. Hear the story of the mine and the local Aboriginal people whose land the mine is on – the Barramundi (Jaliwang) Dreaming Story. Tour the site, viewing its vast operation and explore the fascinating process of diamond production, the plant and the technology. Tonight we stay in Halls Creek.

ACC: TBA

Day 17 Tuesday 29th August

Halls Creek-Fitzroy Crossing

BLD

Today we pass through the massive Kimberley cattle stations on our drive to Fitzroy Crossing, the gateway to the Geikie Gorge National Park, a spectacular waterway with soaring weathered cliffs and abundant wildlife. Geike Gorge is the home to the Balga (freshwater Barramundi), the rare Galwanyi (Leichhardt’s sawfish) and Baya Gawiy (Coach Whip stingray). Enjoy a boat tour on Geikie Gorge. Spend tonight at Fitzroy River Lodge.

ACC: Fitzroy River Lodge

Day 18 Wednesday 30th August

Fitzroy Crossing-Broome

BLD

This morning we depart Fitzroy Crossing and travel to Derby, on the edge of the King Sound. Derby’s claim to fame is having the highest tides of any Australian port- 11 metres of tidal difference. Mid-afternoon, we arrive in Broome, an exotic pearling town at the western gateway to The Kimberley region of Western Australia, with a history and culture as vibrant as its landscape.

ACC: Mercure Broome (2 nights)

Day 19 Thursday 31st August

Broome Free Day

BD

Today is yours to enjoy as you please. Perhaps relax on beautiful Cable Beach, take a hovercraft tour, discover the pearling industry on a Pearl Luggers’ Tour, take a flight to Horizontal Falls or Cape Leveque. OPTION: This evening you can enjoy the magnificence of sunset over Cable Beach on a camel ride. (Weight restrictions apply). $85:00 extra per person, payable at time of booking.

Day 20 Friday 1st September

Broome-Port Hedland

BLD

Today we travel through the Great Sandy Desert, the second largest desert in Australia. This is very remote country with only a few roadhouses along the Great Northern Highway. On arrival in Port Hedland a local guide will join us for a tour of BHP Billiton Iron Ore’s Nelson Point facility. Watch the bucket wheel reclaimers and ship loaders that dominate Port Hedland’s horizon and gain an understanding of how the mining industry works.

ACC: Hospitality Inn

Day 21 Saturday 2nd September

Port Hedland-Karijini National Park-Tom Price

BLD

Today we visit The Pilbara region which has some of the world’s most ancient natural landscapes, dating back two billion years and stretching over 400,000 square kilometres. Deep rocky canyons lead to peaceful plunge pools in the beautiful Karijini National Park. And yet the Pilbara is also known as the engine room of Australia – home to a massive mining industry in crude oil, salt, natural gas and iron ore. After a guided tour through Karijini National Park, we arrive in Tom Price late in the afternoon.

ACC: Windawarri Lodge

Day 22 Sunday 3rd September

Tom Price-Exmouth

BLD

Be amazed by the enormity of Rio Tinto’s open cut iron ore mine, one of the world’s largest, on a tour which will take you into the heart of the mine site operation. Then we depart for Exmouth with our packed lunch to eat along the way in this extremely remote part of the Pilbara.

ACC: Potshot Hotel, Exmouth (2 nights)

Day 23 Monday 4th September

Ningaloo Reef Cruise

BD

Cruise Ningaloo Reef to discover the fire coral gardens, green sea turtle habitats, plenty of bommies, and a kaleidoscope of colourful fish. This is an easy going tour with full commentary from a passionate reef-nut. Take a drive to Vlamingh Head with its famous kerosene-burning lighthouse for stunning views of Western Australia’s coastline and the North West Cape. This afternoon have some free time to explore Exmouth and the beautiful North West Cape.

Day 24 Tuesday 5th September

Exmouth-Carnarvon

BLD

Today we travel the beautiful coastline of the Coral Coast. We’ll stop for morning tea at Coral Bay where you can take a stroll on the magnificent beach. After lunch we’ll stop at Quobba Blow Holes, an awe inspiring natural phenomenon on the Coral Coast. Mid-afternoon we’ll arrive at our Carnarvon accommodation.

ACC: Carnarvon Motel

Day 25 Wednesday 6th September

Carnarvon-Monkey Mia

BLD

After morning tea we’ll view the ancient stromatolites at Hamelin Pool and admire the millions of tiny shells that form Shell Beach. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch here before travelling on to our overnight destination of Monkey Mia.

ACC: Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort

Day 26 Thursday 7th September

Monkey Mia-Geraldton

BLD

This morning meet the dolphins that have put this beautiful seaside spot on the map. Renowned as one of the best and most reliable places for dolphin interaction in the world, Monkey Mia is the only place in Australia where dolphins visit daily, not just seasonally. Researchers from across the globe come here to study these fascinating creatures. This afternoon we make a stop at The Ross Graham Lookout which offers breathtaking views over the gorges within the Kalbarri National Park. Take a short walk from the car park down to the river’s edge for a swim and explore the glorious countryside on foot. There will also be a photo opportunity at Hutt Lagoon Pink Lake. Geraldton is our home for tonight.

ACC: Hospitality Inn

Day 27 Friday 8th September

Geraldton-Perth

BLD

We take a colour-filled road trip today along the Indian Ocean Drive, stopping along the way to gaze in awe at the largest collection of wildflowers on Earth and one of Australia’s most unique landscapes – the limestone pillars of the Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park and later gaze in wonder at the beautiful white sand dunes at Lancelin. This afternoon we book into our Perth accommodation.

ACC: Four Points by Sheraton (3 nights)

Day 28 Saturday 9th September

Perth Sight-seeing

BD

This morning we have a local guide on board to show us the sights of Perth and Fremantle including the W.A.C.A. Cricket Ground, the Royal Mint, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Parliament House and Barracks Arch, Fisherman’s Harbour, the Roundhouse, Monument Hill and the Fremantle Gaol. Later in the afternoon we enjoy a leisurely cruise back to Perth where our coach awaits for transfer to our hotel.

Day 29 Sunday 10th September

Perth Free Day

BD

Today you have the opportunity to explore Perth at leisure. Perhaps take the ferry to Rottnest Island or board the Perth Hop On Hop Off Bus. Return to your hotel for a delicious group dinner.

Day 30 Monday 11th September

Perth-Margaret River

BLD

Today we depart Perth and head south to our first stop at Australind to see the smallest church in WA. We enjoy a picnic lunch in Busselton before taking a train ride to the end of the longest timber jetty in Australia. We enjoy magnificent Indian Ocean views as we make our way to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse then on to the Margaret River Wine District.

ACC: TBA (2 nights)

Day 31 Tuesday 12th September

Margaret River Sight-Seeing

BLD

First we take a drive to Prevelly and Surfers Point where the Margaret River Pro is held. Then on to Mammoth Cave where we can wander through the majestic chambers of the cave. We travel to Hamelin Bay which is located in the beautiful National Park that hugs the incredibly picturesque coastline from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin. The park is established on a wide sweeping section of a beautiful bay where ships were once harboured in the timber milling days. We visit Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse located at the most south-westerly point on mainland Australia. Being the tallest lighthouse in Australia, the more adventurous may choose to climb to the top (own cost) for the spectacular view. On returning to Margaret River, we must of course enjoy some of the area’s premium wines.

Day 32 Wednesday 13th September

Margaret River-Pemberton

BD

After leaving Margaret River, we travel to Manjimup in the beautiful south west corner of Western Australia – a land of tall timbers, abundant fresh water, rich soils and undulating scenery. Timber is synonymous with Manjimup and its effect on the area is recorded with pride at the Timber and Heritage Park. Here we visit the State Timber Museum for an informative journey through the time of the timber industry and we can purchase lunch in the café. On arrival in Pemberton, a town that has grown as a result of the logging of the surrounding forest, we board the delightful Pemberton Tramway for a breathtaking ride through the towering Karri, Marri and Jarrah Forests, over wooden trestle bridges, crossing streams and cascades.

ACC: Gloucester Motel

Day 33 Thursday 14th September

Pemberton-Albany

BLD

Before departing Pemberton, we view the famous Gloucester Tree, a magnificent Karri housing the world’s highest tree-fire lookout. We continue on to Northcliffe where we visit Understory, a nationally unique art in nature experience with artworks located along a 1.2km walk trail through pristine native forest. Sculptures, stories, poetry and music explore our relationship with nature and the ‘spirit of place’. At Walpole we take the Knoll Scenic Drive for the spectacular views over the Walpole and Nornalup Inlets. We then make our way to Valley of the Giants Tree-Top Walk which has been constructed 40 metres above the forest floor through the canopy of the Tingle Forest. Greens Pool in William Bay National Park is our next stop. This beautiful, magical beach is almost completely sheltered from the waves of the Great Southern Ocean by rounded rock boulders.

ACC: Ace Motor Inn (2 nights)

Day 34 Friday 15th September

Albany Sight-Seeing

BD

First this morning cruise the sheltered waters of Oyster Harbour and the ancient Kalgan River. Like a journey through time you will take the path of the first settlers as they discovered the natural and stunning beauty of what became W.A.’s first settlement. After lunch in town (own cost), we gain an insight into the region’s seafaring past and one of Albany’s early industries with a Guided Tour through Whaleworld, a whaling museum created from an operational whaling station.

Day 35 Saturday 16th September

Albany-Wave Rock

BLD

We leave the coast today and travel inland through the Stirling Ranges National Park, home to 500 varieties of wildflowers which carpet the range. Continuing north, we have a picnic lunch at Lake Grace then on to Wave Rock, a natural rock formation that is shaped like a tall breaking ocean wave. The “wave” is about 14 m high and around 110 m long. If you are feeling energetic you can climb to the top or simply relax and admire the wildflowers.

ACC: Wave Rock Motel

Day 36 Sunday 17th September

Wave Rock-Esperance

BLD

On arrival in Esperance mid-morning we tour the Great Ocean Drive, a 40km scenic drive that follows the local coastline and then loops back into town. Some of the highlights to see along the way are the Rotary Lookout, Twilight Beach, Observatory Point, the Wind Farm and Pink Lake (it’s not really pink). After a picnic lunch, we visit Cape Le Grand, one of Western Australia’s best known and most spectacular National Parks. Pristine and perfect are two words that reflect the absolute beauty of Cape Le Grand and Lucky Bay. Here you will find an ocean coloured all imaginable shades of blue, sand so white and fine it squeaks and the extraordinary sight of kangaroos sunbathing on the beach – just incredible!

ACC: Comfort Inn Bay of Isles

Day 37 Monday 18th September

Esperance-Madura

BLD

This morning we depart Esperance and travel north to Norseman, where all the street signs have a picture of horse. We then begin our journey across the Nullarbor. After a picnic lunch at Balladonia Roadhouse, we travel the longest straight stretch of road in Australia-the ninety-mile straight. We still have a long journey to Madura, so mid-afternoon we’ll stop for a comfort/ice cream break at Cocklebiddy, a welcome oasis. Our overnight stop is at Madura, a little haven in the middle of nowhere.

ACC: Madura Pass Oasis Motel

Day 38 Tuesday 19th September

Madura-Ceduna

BLD

After an early breakfast, we continue across the Nullarbor, making our way through Yalata Indigenous Protected Lands to the Head of the Bight, where the high cliffs provide fantastic views of the Southern Right Whales which take up residence between June and October. If you listen carefully you may even hear the moaning of the Southern Right Whales as they swim within the bay. We make our way into Ceduna, situated on beautiful Murat Bay and home to the famous King George Whiting.

ACC: Ceduna Foreshore Motel

Day 39 Wednesday 20th September

Ceduna-Port Lincoln

BLD

Today we travel via the scenic Flinders Hwy stopping for morning tea at Streaky Bay with its pristine natural wonders and endless sandy beaches. We take a look at Murphy’s Haystacks, which are composed of pink granite laid down some 1500 million years ago. We next visit Point Labatt Seal Colony where you can marvel at one of the only permanent breeding sea-lion colonies on Australia’s mainland. Witness these mammals in their natural habitat from a cliff top viewing area about 50 metres above the colony. Our picnic lunch today is at Elliston, set between rolling hills and some of the most spectacular and dramatic coastline on the Eyre Peninsula. We arrive in Port Lincoln late in the afternoon.

ACC: Port Lincoln Hilton Motel (2 nights)

Day 40 Thursday 21st September

Port Lincoln

BD

First this morning we make our way across to the beautiful idyllic town of Coffin Bay, surrounded by sea and National Parks, overlooking the pristine waters of one of the most beautiful estuaries in Australia. After lunch we travel down into Whalers Way, which was home to the popular television show “Survivor”. The southern-most tip of the Peninsula contains some of the most accessible ruggedly beautiful coastal scenery in South Australia. We make our way back to Port Lincoln to visit a Seahorse Farm and learn interesting facts about these fascinating creatures including breeding seahorses for the world aquaria market.

Day 41 Friday 22nd September

Port Lincoln-Port Pirie

BLD

We travel along the Spencer Gulf to Whyalla, a city rich in mining and maritime history. On a guided tour of Whyalla, HMAS Whyalla and Maritime Museum we’ll learn about that history. After a picnic lunch in Whyalla, we’ll make our way to our overnight stop at Port Pirie.

ACC: John Pirie Motor Inn

Day 42 Saturday 23rd September

Port Pirie-Mildura

BD

Today we travel via the remote Goyder Hwy to Waikerie for a cuppa and then on to the riverland town of Berri, located amid 3 000 hectares of vineyards and orchards. Here you can purchase lunch before we travel on to our overnight destination of Mildura.

ACC: Best Western Chaffey Motor Inn (2 nights)

Day 43 Sunday 24th September

Mildura

BLD

We have a leisurely morning before we board the PS Melbourne for a 2 hour cruise on the Murray River. A unique feature of this cruise is travelling downstream through Lock 11, which was built to bypass the weir across the river. Passengers can experience the workings of a lock as the Melbourne is lowered to the downstream level and raised again on the return journey. This afternoon we visit Sunraysia Cellar Door which showcases the region’s best wines.

Day 44 Monday 25th September

Mildura-Parkes

BLD

Today we begin the journey north, travelling through the Murrumbidgee towns of Balranald, Hay and West Wyalong, arriving in Parkes late this afternoon.

ACC: Bushman’s Inn

Day 45 Tuesday 26th September

Parkes-Tamworth

BLD

This morning we depart Parkes and travel to Dubbo for morning tea. We travel through Coonabarabran to Pilliga Pottery which makes unique earthenware items from local clays, engraved with beautiful designs taken from nature and mythology onto the hand thrown items. We’ll enjoy a tasty lunch here before travelling on to Tamworth, our home for tonight.

ACC: McNevins Tamworth

Day 46 Wednesday 27th September

Tamworth-Home

BL

Our great adventure is sadly coming to an end but we are returning home with many fantastic memories. We’ll have a short tour around Tamworth then hit the road for the final time. Of course we’ll have a delicious lunch along the way and arrive back on the Northern Rivers mid-afternoon.

Discover Australia: The Tour of a Lifetime

Dates

  • 13 August – 27 September 2017

Duration

  • 46 days/45 nights

Inclusions

  • Luxury travel in air-conditioned coach with experienced driver and tour escort
  • 43 nights’ motel accommodation (Minimum 3 star)
  • 1 night in a luxury safari tent( limited number-book early)
  • 1 night in a donga
  • Entry to all attractions highlighted on itinerary
  • Most Meals as per itinerary
  • National Park Entry Fees

Cost

  • $14,600.00 per person twin share
  • $3,495.00 per person extra for sole use of room

Optional Extras:

  • Sunset Camel Ride on Cable Beach $85:00 pp (Weight limit of 95kg applies (limited numbers)
  • Flight over the Bungle Bungles $350:00 pp Limited seats (book early)

Payment Terms

  • A deposit of $1,000 required within 14 days of booking.
  • A further deposit of $1,000 is reqired by 13 April 2017.
  • The balance must be received by Simes Bros Coaches by 7 July 2017.

Please read Terms and Conditions.

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