“Wild Wonderland of Western Australia”

Special small group

April 24-May 3, 2017

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Join us “miles from nowhere” to the largest state on earth, about the size of Europe. The playground of Western Australia is projected to be the hottest and safest destination for 2017. Flanked by crystal waters of the Indian Ocean, it is filled with diverse wonders few Americans have yet to discover. WA boasts the whitest sand beaches, sunniest capital cities, friendliest locals and craziest animals.

Overview

We begin in dazzling Perth with its beautiful skyline and trendy restaurants.  They say it’s the most isolated city of all with a laid back feel, but there’s so much to do here with uncrowded beaches, wineries, historic marinas and reefs full of marine life.  Imagine the fun we put into our AFS itinerary as we play with koalas and kangaroos.  Enjoy a cruise up Swan River and a jeep safari into the famous UNESCO Pinnacles Desert that looks surreal.  We’ll get up close and personal with up to 200 wild dolphins.  The highlight is a cruise to Penguin Inland and Seal Island for incredible photos! 

Then fly to Broome that looks like an old western movie set.  Named, “Pearl of Australia” for its pearl industry, shop for pearls from the world’s largest oysters.  Discover the rich culture of Aboriginals who lived here 40,000 years.  We’ll fly out to sea on a hovercraft ride over tidal flats.  Look for the hammerhead sharks, the whales, crocs as well as dingoes and wallabies.  This is lobster territory, but the blue crab is the best on earth.

You’ll love our Cable Beach Resort on 14 miles of pure white sand and shimmering shells.  Nowhere else in the world can you steer your camel along the ocean at sunset! 

“Been there – bought the T-shirt” in Sydney, Melbourne or Cairns?  Now is the time to go West for an extreme pristine place where some wilderness remains untouched.  It’s the colors that will amaze your camera lens -  the turquoise sea, ochre red mountains, golden sunsets and star filled skies make this a photographer’s paradise.  It’s far, but it’s worth the journey.  Only 24 participants, so don’t delay.  Western Australia beckons!

Here's a great article in USA Today - Western Australia: A journey of epic proportions  http://usat.ly/2dBJrFH

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Our Glorious Itinerary

April 24 & 25 - Fly to Perth

Some of you will add this post trip extension on to our basic Aussie trip with Fraser Island and Great Barrier Reef.  Others may choose this alone.  If doing on own, a dozen airlines fly to Perth.  You can easily go via Asia and add a stopover somewhere fun on the way or we can arrange your air.


April 26 - Welcome to Western Australia

(Land portion begins in Perth.) 

Known for world-class surfing, otherworldly rock formations, premium wines and the largest expanse of the outback. On airport arrival, you are met and transferred to Crown Promenade Hotel for 5 wonderful nights.  Luxury hotel with spacious rooms, WiFi, 4 restaurants, fitness center, next to Isikia Spa!

Beautiful Perth is crowned by Kings Park with walking trails and botanical gardens of native flowers.  So much to explore.  Options in free time include award-winning wineries, a Walkabout at Perth Zoo, Explorer Tram, City of Light Dinner Cruise, Lobster Shack where you can tour a live lobster processing plant with tons of rock lobsters and some incredible beaches like Floreat, Swanbourne or City Beach.  Or swim calm waters at Crawly Point Walter and Como beaches. 

Welcome Dinner tonight at local restaurant to get to know your fellow travelers.  (May move to next night.)

Overnight: Crown Promenade   B, D


April 27 - Freemantle and Swan River Cruise

We begin at Kings Park Botanical Gardens for panoramic views of the cityscape.  Stroll along the elevated Treetop Walkway.  See a 750-year-old baobab tree relocated here from the Outback.  Next head up the coast to enjoy a walk along famed Cottesloe Beach.  Then head past vineyards to the historic seaport of Freemantle.  Founded in 1829, many buildings were constructed by convicts in the 1800’s and today is a colorful bustling seaport in the Swan Valley. 

Free time to explore the Maritime museum, shops, cafes and Jam Factory Craft center with Aboriginal art.  Later we board our boat for a beautiful cruise back to Perth.

Evening free to discover the great wine bars, pub crawls or theater.

Overnight: Crown Promenade   B


April 28 - Full day Tour to the Pinnacles in 4WD, Sand Boarding and Koalas!

We begin at fabulous Caversham Wildlife Park to meet up with some dingoes, porcupines, wombats, emus, koalas and of course ‘roos and more.  You’ll get delightful pics here.  Then travel along country roads to the lobster town of Cervantes for picnic lunch (you can upgrade to lobster lunch).  This laid back town boasts stunning beaches with waters teeming with marine life.  Watch the fisherman.  It’s a seafood lover’s delight, especially the marinated octopus.

Continue on to the mystical Pinnacles Desert into a fascinating landscape in 4WD vehicles over soft sands.  Set in Namburg National Park, see thousands of limestone spires created millions of years ago rise up from sand in varying colors.  It looks like a painting of a surreal landscape. 

Finally, on to Lancelin with its white sand dunes by the ocean for some thrilling dune bashing and sand boarding to get your adventure on!

Overnight: Crown Promenade   B, L


April 29 - Dolphin, Penguin, Sea Lion Adventure Cruise

Today we get up close with wild dolphins in our adventure boat!  You’ll meet Logo, Boomerang and many of the 200 wild dolphins the crew have come to know here as friends.  See mothers with newborn calves, learn how they use stingrays to catch octopus for them, watch them leaping in our wake.  Some dolphins are natural performers who playfully approach to greet you.  We also sneak alongside them to watch them sleep!  An underwater microphone is placed to listen to them “talk” by clicks and whistles.

After spending quality time with dolphins, we sail out to the wildlife conservation zone in Shoalwater marine park to visit Seal Island to watch sea lions.  Regular sightings often include humpback whales, sharks, pelicans, stingrays, cormorants and more.  On return, we stop at Penguin Island in time to learn about these adorable creatures at Discovery Center and feed them!! 

Free time to swim and snorkel here (bring own gear) and explore the island.

Overnight: Crown Promenade   B


April 30 – Free day at leisure!

Guide will offer suggestions on many options.  You can visit the tourist stand on Wellington St. where tours can be booked to the wine region, a ferry to renowned Rottnest Island where cars are banned, a visit to the sea caves at Margaret River, London Court shopping arcade 1937, Yanchep National Park (1 hr drive) for its ample wildlife with free roaming kangaroos and koala boardwalk stunning Wave Rock, Aqua Aquarium, City Beach, Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery and Elizabeth Quay – a new entertainment venue filled with possibilities.  Or ride the Hop On Off bus to major sites.

Overnight: Crown Promenade   B


May 1 - Off to Broome

After breakfast, check out, transfer to airport for flight to Broome 11am-135pm.  You’re met and transferred to Cable Beach Resort and Spa!

Aussies take their beaches seriously and this place lies on one of the best in the world with 14 miles of pristine white sand and swaying palm trees.  2 pools, 4 delicious restaurants and the first Australian L’Occitane Spa provide a perfect experience.  (Also a tour desk, gym, Buddha sanctuary garden, tennis, adults only ocean pool, paddleboards, sea kayaks and more.)

Broome is one of the last true frontier towns for an authentic Aussie experience in the Kimberly Region of WA.  Its history is as vibrant as the its culture.  There’s a melting pot of Aboriginals, Chinese, Japanese and Malays.  It is home to the worlds cultured pearl industry which exports pearls globally.   You can take a pearl farm tour or in Chinatown visit the South Sea pearl showrooms to get yourself a classic piece to wear forever.

Fun things in Broome:  Malcolm Douglas Croc Park & Wildlife Sanctuary to see hundreds of exotic birds, animals and feeding tour for giant saltwater crocs. Take a scenic flight over this stunning territory.  Dine on the freshest chili crabs at a wharf side café looking for Humpbacks.  Shop Courthouse Markets, Short Street Gallery showcasing different indigenous tribes in the area.  Best kept secret I’m told is “drift snorkeling” at Coconut Well Lagoon.

At dusk we head to the beach to meet our camels.  Broome’s icon is a leisurely camel ride along the ocean at a blazing orange sunset for a memory to last a lifetime!

Overnight: Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa   B


May 2 – Scenic Hovercraft and Prehistoric Tour

Take in the natural sites of Roebuck Bay on an amphibian ride over low water tidal flats and sand bars, places inaccessible by any other means!  See wrecks of WW2 flying boats and see perfectly preserved dinosaurs’ footprints in rock which was once planal forest floor.  Marvel at the bright colors of sand created by tides and sea life that basks in the Mangrove trees lining the coast.  You’ll learn much on the commentary about the history of the ocean floor here.

Overnight: Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa   B


May 3 - Morning free.

At noon transfer to airport for flight from Broome to Perth and home, most airlines fly via Sydney, Hong Kong, Dubai or Auckland where you may want to stopover for a night. 

(Crossing International Dateline, you should arrive same day if you fly straight to USA.)

Since you've come this far, some of you may want to continue on your own extension to Monkey Mia or Ningaloo Reef.

Ningaloo Reef is awesome but the infrastructure cant handle large groups. Ningaloo Reef on the Coral Coast is one of Western Australia's natural treasures - alive with an abundance of marine life, turquoise waters and dazzling white beaches set against a backdrop of rugged limestone ranges. Whale Shark Dive and snorkel adventures are offered on the reef between mid-March and end of July. Although the tour focus is on whale sharks, an amazing variety of reef life such as manta rays, turtles, dolphins, whales and even manatees may be sighted during the cruise.

Monkey Mia - Each morning for more than 50 years wild Indo Pacific Bottlenose dolphins have visited the shallows of Monkey Mia, in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. This rare and famous animal encounter is one of the world’s great wildlife experiences. Dolphins are fed under strict supervision of Department of Parks and Wildlife officers with feed amounts small so the dolphins continue to behave and hunt naturally and teach their young important survival skills.

 


Activity Level:

2. I have no trouble walking and if necessary, can walk for 3+ miles. Uneven surfaces are not a problem. I do not need a cane or walking device.

Pricing

A $500 deposit will secure your space.  Limited to 24 participants.

Land price: $2195 + $440 internal air.  Includes all stated above.  

Not included: gratuities, visa, domestic air legs; Perth-Broome-Perth $TBA

Air -  You have three options…

1. Arrange all your own air USA to Perth. Cost $440      Note - You also need to book our 2 internal flights at $440 below

  • MAY 01 VA  PER-BME  
  • MAY 03  VA  BME-PER  

There are no direct flights to Perth from USA. Best prices and schedule on Virgin Australia. Qantas has many flights, but very expensive.  Or American and United.  (Other airlines include stopovers which you may want to add another destination:  Singapore AL, Cathay via Hong Kong. Air New Zealand via Auckland, Emirates via Dubai and more.  Just Google search engines.)  

2.  Sydney to Perth round-trip, at this time it is $899.  This works great if you also booked our basic Australia.  

  • APR 26  QF  SYD-PER  
  • MAY 01 VA  PER-BME  
  • MAY 03  VA  BME-PER  
  • MAY 03 QF     PER-SYD  +1 next day (MAY 4)

   SYD= Sydney, PER=Perth, BME=Broome

3. Finally, if you need air USA to SYD call us.

Options

Name
Description
Price
Gratuities

This 'option' is a required additional charge for this trip.

It is protocol to tip your drivers, porters and local guides - we have the absolute best. $13 pp per day should suffice as minimum and will be added to your final bill. We will give this to your GTL to disperse accordingly
$65.00
2 Internal air
Perth - Broome Roundtrip • MAY 01 VA#1485  PER-BME  1105am-135pm • MAY 03  VA#1484  BME-PER  210pm-450pm
$440.00
SYD-PER
Sydney to Perth round-trip IF YOU ALSO booked our basic Australia.  All internal legs included. • APR 26  QF#577 SYD-PER  1250pm - 350pm • MAY 01 VA#1485  PER-BME  1105am-135pm • MAY 03  VA#1484  BME-PER  210pm-450pm • MAY 03 QF         PER-SYD   1150pm-6am +1 next day (MAY 4)
$899.00
Request Grp Air
Group air package? LAX – SYD – Perth – Broome -  SYD – LAX.  (Min 12 needed for group air.)  .01 is only a place marker to get headcount not cost!
$0.01
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Please review AFS Terms and Conditions as well as Heading Abroad with AFS. Group air - Airlines may add surcharges to offset fuel inflation or taxes. The total ticket cost is not final until we receive your final payment and are ticketed. If doing own air, airport transfer may or may not be included depending on your air schedule. Do not buy air until we either group air is set or we advise - dates can change! Itineraries are prepared often a year in advance. Though not likely, AFS and our suppliers reserve the right to change or modify such to meet local conditions. Although rare, hotels can change – all hotel rooms are run of the house. Our prices are based on current taxation structures. In case any revision in taxes, sudden fluctuation in currency levels, change in Visa fees or increase in fuel charges, we will amend our prices and inform you accordingly. Land price is based on minimum number of trip participants.