This wide-ranging adventure in Australia takes you to discover the beautiful Margaret River region, known for some 120 world-class vineyards that produce more than a fifth of the premium wine in the country. You spend time with a Kuku Yulangi guide who share his culture and traditions, and a local artist who guides you in creating Aboriginal art. You are mesmerized by the stories of the elders of the community, who share their Dreamtime stories passed down through generations. Experience a truly dark sky experience with incredible views of the Milky Way that will take your breath away. Explore distinctive properties that take to heart the concepts of conservation and preservation by generating their power and heating water by the sun, reducing energy usage and noise pollution and leading the way in preventing unnecessary soil erosion as well as offering adventures from horse riding, mountain biking, game fishing, sea kayaking, white water rafting, jungle surfing and river-drift snorkeling.
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Day 1: Perth, Australia
Welcome to Australia! On arrival at Perth International Airport, you are met by your Big Five representative and transferred to your accommodations. Clean and green, superbly situated, Perth embraces both banks of the dramatic Swan River estuary. This is a city of friendly charm and lovely views. The area encompasses Fremantle, a historic seaside town of convict history, modern ocean-racing yachts, terraced houses, museums and galleries set between the Indian Ocean and the Swan River.
The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to relax at Como The Treasury, a 48-room contemporary luxury hotel in the newly revitalized historic heart of Perth and occupies state buildings dating from the mid 19thcentury. Water and energy consumption are reduced using efficient equipment and fixtures. All the food served at the hotel is purchased within some 60 miles of Perth and the property produces its own honey on the hotel’s rooftop. Como sources locally whenever possible, supporting local producers, entrepreneurs, social enterprises and non-profit organizations. Como The Treasury – Heritage Room
Day 2: Perth / Margaret River
Today you are met by your private driver and vehicle, and transferred about three-and-a-half hours to the Margaret River region, known around the world for its vineyards. While the region produces less than three percent of Australia’s wine, it accounts for more than a fifth of its premium wine and is home to more than 120 world-class wineries, including Vasse Felix, Leeuwin and Voyager Estate. Vineyard tours here take you behind the scenes to meet winemakers, savor a barrel room tasting, and potentially even blend your own bottle of wine, coupled with a long lunch. Margaret River is also home to a range of craft breweries and distilleries.
The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy one of the six luxurious safari-style bungalows, nestled around the lake on a spectacular 320-acre, certified organic olive farm with 14 unique olive groves on the property in the heart of Margaret River. Surrounded by undulating natural landscape, abundant wildlife and more than 10,000 olive trees, the camp is designed for minimal environmental impact and maximum comfort. Each bungalow boasts a private en-suite, kitchenette, spacious viewing deck and luxurious interiors. Wander through the olive groves, enjoy a long lunch in the café or simply sit on your private deck and wait for the sunset to roll in across the lake. The camp is committed to the environment and is a 100% certified organic property. Olive and macadamia groves, a fortress of Italian stone pines, organic lime and citrus orchards, native wildflowers and the resident wildlife have been developed over 30 years. Olio Bello Lakeside Glamping – Lakeview Bungalow (B)
Days 3/4: Margaret River
Enjoy a menu of optional adventures encompassing private guided tours of wineries, galleries and restaurants of the region in the comfort of a vintage car. In addition to the outstanding wineries, there are chocolate and cheese factories, distinctive shopping, pristine beaches and caves. Don’t miss the charming township of Cowaramup and the beaches of Gracetown. Sample some of Western Australia’s most award-winning varieties of extra virgin olive oil – more than 20 varieties of infused, pressed and estate-grown oils, some of which were the first of their kind in Australia. Explore some of the local wineries including Vasse Felix winery and visit a gallery to discover a wide range of works of more than 70 noted artists and crafts persons. Tour the magnificent limestone caves, and enjoy seasonal whale watching or dolphin spotting. For active travelers, there are opportunities to enjoy abseiling, rock climbing, stunning bush walks or a game of bocce on the lawn. You can visit the underwater Observatory at Busselton Jetty.
For a relaxed afternoon, have a facial and massage using the purest botanical oils and featuring Olio Bello’s in-house beauty treatments and massage oil blends from trees on the property. Or, take a yoga class with a local instructor. Olio Bello Lakeside Glamping – Lakeview Bungalow (B)
Day 5: Margaret River / Perth / Learmonth – Ningaloo Reef
Today you will be met at your accommodation by your private driver and vehicle and transferred about three and a half hours to Perth Airport for your onward flight to Learmonth. On arrival at Learmonth Airport you will be met by a representative of Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef resort for your 30-minute scenic flight to the resort.
Please note: Luggage is restricted to a maximum weight of 10kg/22lb per person in soft bags. Storage for excess luggage is available at the airport. Alternatively, excess luggage can be delivered to the resort by road at additional cost (advance notice required).
Stretching 280 km/173 mi along Western Australia’s harsh and arid coast, the Ningaloo Reef is an extraordinary yet largely unknown jewel in Australia’s natural heritage. Here you’ll see the giant whale shark – the world’s largest fish – and turtles that come ashore to lay their eggs in summer. Lying just north of the Tropic of Capricorn, the waters are warm for most of the year and the beaches are white and beautifully clean.
Hidden in the dunes overlooking pristine beaches and coral reefs, the Sal Salis exclusive bush camp exudes ‘Wild Bush Luxury’, bringing a touch of style to a remote and beautiful wilderness region. On arrival you will be met by a representative of the lodge for an introduction to Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef. This is a model ecotourism development camp operated under Parks and Wildlife Service. By virtue of the small size (just 15 wilderness tents) the impact on the environment is minimal. It was built with a minimal impact on the environment with the rooms and the main lodge constructed above ground level to protect the fauna and flora. Boardwalks also prevent unnecessary soil erosion and all guests are reminded to keep to the designated footpaths while walking around the camp. Even the colors employed ensures that the camp blends in naturally with the surrounding landscape. Almost 100% of the camp’s power is generated through an array of solar panels and hot water is heated by gas.
Sal Salis is quiet with no internet connection or signal, so computers and mobile phones are not a distraction. A 220-volt power point is available for guests to charge their camera batteries in the main lodge area. Tents are not equipped with air-conditioning or hairdryers. All the tents face the ocean with coastal breezes naturally cooling interiors while revealing the sights and sounds of the ocean. Each en-suite bathroom has a Nature Loo, composting toilets are transported off-site to be cleaned, and the grey water from the showers and hand basins is carefully managed to ensure only filtered water is dispensed back into the ground. Each tent is allocated 20 liters of water per person, per day. Restricting fresh water run-off reduces weed growth but protects the Ningaloo Reef with the shower water returning to the soil and the reef. All waste generated by the camp is carefully transported back to the Exmouth waste depot. Where possible chemical containers are all reused. Used bottles and cans are separated at camp and returned to the Exmouth recycle depot. Sal Salis welcomes guests with a quiet attitude that encompasses nature. Sal Salis – Wilderness Tent (B,L,D)
Days 6/7: Ningaloo Reef
Spend these days choosing from a roster of activities that includes wildlife watching, guided gorge walks, sea kayak trips, snorkeling, diving and fishing. April through July, travelers can look for the world’s largest fish, the whale shark while later, from August to October, humpback whale are found. One of the brilliant activities awaits guests at night. Star gazing! If you’ve never seen a truly dark sky, you have no idea just how amazing the night sky is. The camp is in a designated Dark Sky area, where uninterrupted views of the Milky Way will take your breath away. Light pollution is kept to a minimum here — dining by candle light and using lanterns to find your way back to the tent amid the glory of the radiant stars that seem close enough to touch. Sal Salis – Wilderness Tent (B,L,D)
Day 8: Ningaloo Reef / Learmonth / Perth
Today you will be met by a representative of the lodge and transferred to the nearby airstrip for your 30-minute scenic flight to Learmonth Airport to connect with your onward flight to Perth.
Please note: Luggage is restricted to a maximum weight of 10kg (22lb) per person in soft bags. Road transfer can be arranged for excess luggage at additional cost (advance notice required).
On arrival at Perth Airport you will be met by your private driver and vehicle and transferred to your accommodation. Como The Treasury – Heritage room (B)
Day 9: Perth / Darwin / Bamurru Plains
Today you are met at your accommodation by your private driver and vehicle and transferred to Perth Airport for your onward flight. On arrival at Darwin Airport, you are transferred to the General Aviation Terminal to board your private, 30-minute scenic flight to Bamurru Plains.
Please note: Luggage is restricted to 15kg (33lb) per passenger in soft bags only. Storage for excess luggage is available at the General Aviation charter terminal.
On arrival, you are met and welcomed by a representative of the lodge for an introduction to Bamurru Plains. You are invited to immerse yourself in an extraordinary bush experience on the coastal floodplains of Australia’s Top End. A profusion of bird and wildlife are at the doorstep of this unique safari lodge located on the edge of Kakadu National Park, a region of exceptional natural beauty and unique biodiversity, and one of only a few World Heritage areas listed for both its cultural and its natural values.
The camp was designed for minimal impact on the environment. The rooms and lodge were constructed among the fringing bush on the edge of the floodplains, using the pandanus palms and woodland for natural cover. Your safari bungalow offers expansive floodplain views through ceiling-to-floor mesh walls that connects you to the wildlife and wilderness outside. About 75% of the camp’s power is generated by the sun through an array of 240 solar panels. The extra benefit of this clean source of energy allows guests to hear the sounds of the bush at night without the noise of a diesel generator. Hot water is also solar generated. Rooms are not equipped with hairdryers although one is available on request. Three rooms have air conditioning for the tropical wet season months, and only provided with a surcharge to cover the additional fuel burn required. All rooms are equipped with overhead fans for natural cooling and each features a king-size bed, generous lounge area and space to accommodate a family of five in comfort. The bathroom has twin basins and showers, within rustic chic timber and recycled corrugated walls in tune with the environment and pastoral heritage of the area, and a shower with full ceiling to floor views across the floodplain and surrounding paperbark forests. Bamurru Plains – Swim Creek Station – Kingfisher Suite (B,L,D)
Day 10: Bamurru Plains
During your stay at Bamurru Plains, you enjoy a variety of activities including airboat trips of the floodplains for extraordinary birdlife viewing up close and late afternoon for the best opportunities for sighting crocodiles. The lodge’s 4WD open-top camp “bull catchers” are perfect for exploring savannah bush and plains. Fishermen can try their hand at barramundi fishing. Specialist guides can be arranged. Bamurru Plains – Swim Creek Station – Kingfisher Suite (B,L,D)
Day 11: Bamurru Plains
This morning, enjoy a small group day excursion to Kakadu National Park. Depart on a 30-minute scenic flight over breathtaking escarpments and floodplains before landing at Jabiru airstrip. The awe-inspiring World Heritage Listed Kakadu National Park covers an amazing 20,000 square-kilometers/7,722 square miles. It is recognized for its incredible natural beauty as well as its cultural significance to the Aboriginal people, who have inhabited the area for more than 50,000 years. Kakadu offers you the chance to experience ancient rock art, beautiful rocky escarpment country and a diverse ecosystem. It is home to about one third of all Australia’s bird species in the park!
Following a scenic drive to the northern part of Kakadu, you arrive at the base of Ubirr Rock. Spend about an hour walking up the rock and exploring some of the park’s finest Aborginal art sites and savoring the 360° views of the surrounding floodplain and savannah woodland. Following a picnic lunch near Ubirr Rock, join a river cruise on the East Alligator River. An Aboriginal guide will share insights into their culture, local mythology, and traditional uses for many plants and animals as well as bush survival skills. Count the crocodiles lining the banks of the river and spot the abundant birdlife of Kakadu National Park before returning overland to Bamurru Plains. Stop at the Bowali Visitor Centre in time for sundowner drinks and dinner at the lodge. Bamurru Plains – Swim Creek Station – Kingfisher Suite (B,L,D)
Day 12: Bamurru Plains / Darwin / Cairns / Thala Beach Nature Reserve
Today you will be met by a representative of the lodge and transferred to the airstrip for your onward flight to Darwin.
Please note: Luggage is restricted to 15kg (33lb) per passenger in soft bags only.
On arrival at Darwin General Aviation Terminal, you board your flight to Cairns, where you are met by your private driver and vehicle for about a 50-minute drive to the stunning Thala Beach Nature Reserve. On the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef, it rests on a private headland between Cairns and Port Douglas. This deluxe eco property, established in 1997, is sensitively positioned on the resort’s 145 acres. Rooms overlook either the Coral Sea or the surrounding forest. Hand in hand with Thala’s ongoing revegetation works is also an effort to reduce landfill by removing plastic bottles, straws and re-usable coffee cups from the property. Through ongoing tree planting, weed eradicating, habitat and biosphere improvements combined with ecotourism practices, Thala has seen a dramatic increase in native forest, biodiversity and wildlife populations. Local species of plants, some of which were propagated locally and some which were encouraged to flourish, were used in forest rehabilitation. Inspiration for the landscape design around the swimming pool was influenced by examining nearby creeks and waterfalls leading to unique native species being sourced, propagated on-site and planted. On-site wastewater treatment, the sharing and acknowledgement of local indigenous culture, guest education, local employment, elimination of selected single use plastics, recycling and passive cooling incorporated into building design are all important aspects of ecotourism embraced at Thala. This approach has led to Thala being awarded the highest Advanced Eco Tourism accreditation from Eco Tourism Australia and granted membership to the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World program, both of which have strict guidelines and auditing processes. Thala Beach Nature Reserve – Coral Sea Bungalow (B)
Days 13/14: Thala Beach Nature Reserve
These days are spent exploring this unique landscape surrounded by sounds of the rainforest and ocean. The Thala night sky is free from light pollution and filled with millions of stars. Enjoy an introduction to the beautiful Southern Constellations with an experienced guide. Dive and snorkel the phenomenal Great Barrier Reef.
Note: Note: Jellyfish Season on the Great Barrier Reef runs from November to March when the warmer waters attract Irukandji and Box Jellyfish. Thala Beach does not set up a safety barrier in the water due to the damage it causes to the sea floor; therefore, Thala Beach is not offered during Box Jellyfish season.
The only living organism on earth visible from space, the reef is world renowned for its stunning scuba diving for snorkeling and diving the most magical, colorful and alive reefs in the world. Set out on guided nature and birds and butterflies walks and learn about indigenous cultural presentation with Kuku Yalanji elders including didgeridoo demonstration. Take a cruise to the Outer Great Barrier Reef and discover pristine sandy cays or relax with an afternoon sail to the stunning Low Isles for the opportunity to swim with green turtles and tropical fish. Take a scenic helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest to appreciate the beauty and grandeur of this spectacular region. Cruise the mighty Daintree River to spot giant saltwater crocodiles or take the ferry to the other side to explore the ancient World Heritage Listed Rainforest to Cape Tribulation and beyond. Spend a day in the company of a Kuku Yulangi guide to learn traditional indigenous hunting techniques and local legends, sample bush-tucker or create your own piece of Aboriginal art under the guidance of a local artist. Hear the legends of the Dreamtime on an Aboriginal-led walking tour through stunning Mossman Gorge. Soothe away any cares with a relaxing massage or a pampering treatment at one of the many local day spas. Adventure seekers can choose horse riding, mountain biking, game fishing, sea kayaking, white water rafting, jungle surfing and river-drift snorkeling. Elders from our local aboriginal community, the Kuku Yalangi people, come and share their stories as passed on from previous generations including the history of their ancient cultural traditions. The roster of activities is long and varied. Thala Beach Nature Reserve – Coral Sea Bungalow (B)
Day 15: Thala Beach Nature Reserve / Cairns / Sydney / Jervis Bay
Today you will be met at your accommodation by your private driver and vehicle and transferred to Cairns Airport for your onward flight. On arrival at Sydney Airport, you are met and transferred to your accommodations, approximately two hours and 40 minutes. This is a base for discovering the spectacular Jervis Bay area with its pristine beaches and award-winning national parks.
Paperbark Camp follows a sustainable philosophy that has led to an Advanced Eco Accreditation. As such, you will not find air conditioning or heating, TV, bar fridge, or power points for your technology, although power and wifi can be accessed in the Gunyah. Paperbarck Camp – King Deluxe Safari Tent (B)
Days 16 & 17: Jervis Bay
Wander along easy walking trails that meander through paperbark, gum and mangrove forests and are perfect for a stroll before breakfast. Or, grab your torch and walk the trails in the evening looking for possums and other nocturnal residents. Hire a mountain bike to explore the local area. The bayside town of Huskisson is only a 15-minute bike ride away. Canoe to Huskisson and back, stopping off for a picnic and a swim on the banks of the Currambene Creek. Other adventures encompass a variety of activities including wildlife viewing of Jervis Bay dolphins, a seal colony and penguins at Bowen Island as well as whale watching during May to June and October and November. Bush walks take in the surrounding national parks and a local Aboriginal culture walking tour offers insights into their way of life. Visit the national botanic gardens in the Jervis Bay National Park, snorkel or dive the clear turquoise waters, go sea kayaking and canoeing on the bay. Massages and beauty treatments are available by appointment. Paperbarck Camp – King Deluxe Safari Tent (B)
Day 18: Jervis Bay / Sydney
Today depart your accommodation, relax during a drive of about three hours to Sydney and your accommodations. Nestled in the heart of The Rocks District, your hotel overlooks bustling Sydney Harbour. Every room offers a haven of plush, bespoke furnishings amidst soft paneled walls and a high ceiling. Each accented by views of the iconic Sydney cityscape or bustling Western Harbour. The city is a captivating combination of old-world elegance and modern style, Sydney is a delight with its natural beauty, historical sites, and iconic landmarks. The Langham Hotel – Deluxe Harbor room (B)
Day 19: Sydney
Today is at leisure to discover Sydney, a city that fans out from the sparkling harbor that showcases its most famous icon, the Sydney Opera House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a sophisticated city with high fashion districts, world-class dining, theaters and more. The Rocks District was established soon after the colony was founded and became the commercial center of the new trade port in the 1800s but turned into a dockside slum. The Rocks now is renowned for having the oldest streets in Sydney dotted with beautifully restored 19th century buildings. Curious alleyways, boutique shops, aboriginal art galleries, and museums such as the Rocks Discovery Museum, Cadman’s Cottage and the Susannah Place Museum add to the district’s charm. The Rocks has markets days on Saturdays and Sundays and a Foodies Market on Fridays. Sydney’s other sites include Sydney Tower and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The University of Sydney was Australia’s first university, founded in 1850. The city is also home to the oldest library in Australia, State Library of New South Wales, opened in 1826.
The Langham is committed to ensuring its impact on the environment is minimized by applying energy-saving targets, strict supplier agreements and stern recycling processes to its operation. The hotel measures the results of its commitments with the results of energy consumption in line with the benchmarks set by EarthCheck, the city of Sydney and the hotel’s ‘Guests of the Earth’ program. Other programs encompass Langham Energy Efficient Lighting Project, reducing energy omissions; Langham Recycling Management Project reducing the hotel’s carbon footprint; and Langham Supply Chain Management, focusing on supplier agreements regarding carbon footprint, source of supplies. Sydney’s Silver Earth Check Certification pays testament to the continued hotel’s effort to reduce its impact on the Earth and indicates its environmental performance and its commitment to responsible tourism. The Langham Hotel – Deluxe Harbor room (B)
Day 20: Sydney / Depart
Today, you are met at your accommodation by your private driver and vehicle and transferred to Sydney Airport for your onward flight. (B)
Land price, per person, double occupancy: Price starts from US$1,500 per person per day