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Captured on expedition by Ashleigh Peters, Nov 2021

Across the Great Australian Bight

Departs Fremantle13 nightsAll InclusiveFrom $8,540.00* PP

Set sail on a 13-night expedition immersion into the wild nature, rich history, and unique coastline of Australia’s southwest. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to cross the Great Australian Bight, this voyage will visit hard-to-reach islands and iconic National Parks along the south coast. Enjoy guided walks along the vast and secluded beaches at locations such as Cape Le Grand, and Bremer Bay.  Among the scattered islands and outcrops of the Archipelago of the Recherche, discover remote breeding grounds of sea lions and follow the snorkel trail at Shearwater Bay to spot the elusive Leafy Sea Dragon. As we round the southwest edge of Australia discover enjoy time ashore with sunset drinks at Woody Island, a visit to extraordinary Jewel Cave, swimming with stingrays at Hamelin Bay, and walk amongst the vines and sample wines through the Margaret River region.

  • Get close to the large stingrays and eagle rays that swim in the shallows of Hamelin Bay
  • Walk the spectacular coast of Cape Naturaliste
  • Indulge in a tour and cellar door experiences in the award-winning Margaret River wine country
  • Climb Cape Leeuwin lighthouse, the tallest on mainland Australia, to take in the view over the Southern Ocean
  • Stroll through breath-taking Jewel Cave at Augusta and learn about its formation over thousands of years
  • Visit the friendly kangaroos at Lucky Bay
  • Discover the wild islands of the Archipelago of the Recherche and follow the snorkel trail at Shearwater Bay
  • Learn to shuck your own delicious oysters fresh from the waters of Coffin Bay

Itinerary

Coral-Expeditions---Across-the-Great-Bight---Fremantle-to-Adelaide---13-Nights---Map

Make your way to Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges for pre-cruise SailSAFE check-in at 3:00 pm before your transfer to the ship for boarding at 4:00 pm, where there is time to settle into your stateroom before our 5:00pm departure. As dusk falls meet your fellow travellers, the Captain and crew for the Captain’s Welcome Drinks.

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse

Cape Naturaliste is the northernmost point of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, located on the western edge of Geographe Bay. As part of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, the Cape is known for its spectacular coastal scenery and some of the best walking tracks in the Margaret River Region.

Today we will spend the day exploring these walking trails, with options to suit all levels. There will be an optional visit to the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse before spending some free time in the charming town of Dunsborough.

In the afternoon we visit the stunning Meelup Beach for some sunbathing and swimming, followed by sunset drinks on the beach. This beach is one of the few places in Western Australia where you can watch the moon rise over the ocean and is most attractive on a full moon!

In 1801, French navigator Nicolas Baudin stopped here during his explorations of Australia and left his mark on the region at Geographe Bay, named after his flagship Geographe and Cape Naturaliste, after the ship Naturaliste.

Hamelin Bay

Hamelin Bay is located on the southwest coast on a serene open sandy bay, famous for the abundance of stingrays which frequent the bay. Snorkel with these friendly giant rays, which can measure up to 2 meters wide, and love to swim up close to snorkellers. With clear and calm water, this is a great snorkel spot for all levels to enjoy interesting fish and plant life in the bay, and some great rocks and shipwrecks further out for those more confident in the water.

A quintessential Western Australian destination, Margaret River is flanked with national parks including towering forests, pristine coastlines, and rugged granite outcrops.

Spend the afternoon enjoying this beautiful countryside of the Margaret River region as we relax on a luxury coach tour of the wineries in this area.  Enjoy tastings and cellar-door visits to some of the leading Margaret River wineries.

Jewel Cave Augusta Margaret River Region

Augusta is the most south-western town in Australia and is nearby to the towering karri timber of Boranup Forest and spectacular Jewel Cave.  The south west coast was first seen by explorers in 1622 from the Dutch ship Leeuwin. Then expeditions by French explorers De Freycinet, D’Entrecasteaux, Baudin and Hamelin sighted the coast in the late 18th to early 19th century.

Captain Matthew Flinders charted the south west coast from 1801 to 1803 and proved that Cape Leeuwin was part of the mainland.  With the arrival of settlers, Augusta was founded in 1830. The subsequent increase in ship traffic over the next few decades led to the construction of the impressive Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse 1896.

Here, we will climb Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse on mainland Australia overlooking the point where the mighty Southern and Indian Oceans collide.  We will also visit Jewel Cave, an awe-inspiring and extremely well decorated cave, containing many beautiful examples of delicate helictites, cave coral, pendulites, a very large stalagmite called ‘The Karri Forest’, and beautiful examples of flowstone such as ‘The Frozen Waterfall’ and ‘the Organ-pipes’.  Remarkably, fossilised remains of several Tasmanian Tigers have been discovered within Jewel Cave, more than 3000 years after the thylacine became extinct on mainland Australia.

This morning we arrive at Breaksea Island, named by George Vancouver during his expedition in 1791. While in the area he also took possession of the lands for England. He named the islands after its beaten appearance and the protection it offered to the landward side from the south-westerly winds.

In the morning we will spend time observing seals in their natural habitats at Seal Cove. The playful and curious fur seals and Australian seal lions have made their home on the north side of Breaksea Island. Watch as they laze on nearby rocks or glide gracefully through the water.

In the afternoon we will spend time exploring Two Peoples Bay, with the chance to see rare birds including Noisy Scrubbird, Red-Winged Fairywren, Southern Emu-Wren or New Holland Honeyeater. Following your walk enjoy a swim to freshen up!

The peaceful coastal town of Bremer Bay, population 230, is renowned for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  Located on the edge of the Southern Ocean, these vast stretches of pristine white sand offer a peaceful spot to stroll or swim, especially in summer. Explore the variety of small and large beaches around the area, and spend your afternoon relaxing, swimming, or snorkelling in the clear blue waters.

The genuine pristine surroundings and deep peacefulness, along with the opportunity to observe the unique flora of the area and possibly witness some the abundant marine life in the bay, makes Bremer Bay a true highlight on our voyage.

Lucky Bay, Cape le Grand National Park, WA

Cape Le Grand National Park’s massive granite peaks, rolling heathlands and curving white beaches are some of the most spectacular landscapes along the southern coast.  Along quiet Lucky Bay, kangaroos are known to laze on the whitest sand in Australia. The turquoise water is wonderful for a quick swim, and if time permits, we will enjoy a moderate hike on part of the Le Grand Coastal trail. The Cape Le Grande coastal trail passes through beautiful coastal scenery, and the national park is home to pygmy possums, western grey kangaroos and many colourful native wildflowers.

This afternoon, we enter the Recherche Archipelago, a group of 105 islands and many more rocky outcrops. Here, many species of birds as well as sea lions and fur seals, come to breed. The islands are scattered across the blue water – a beautiful seascape when viewed from shore with turquoise waters washing against grey and tan-coloured granite.

Here, we will land at Woody Island to explore. Located just 15km off the coast of Esperance, Woody Island’s stands of tall trees have given it its name. Surrounded by pristine, clear waters, you will have the opportunity to experience the snorkel trail in Shearwater Bay. The cool southern waters provide excellent visibility for your journey of discovery.

There are several beautiful walks on the island, from easy to moderate, and you will appreciate the spectacular views across the archipelago along the way.  For the bird lovers, a wide variety of bird life is sighted on the island, from land dwellers to those dependent on the sea. Spot Singing & New Holland Honeyeaters, Silvereyes, Red-eared Firetails, Rock Parrots and Sacred Kingfisher. While along the walk trails catch a glimpse of the Golden Whistlers, Brown Quails, Spotted Pardolalotes, Brush Bronzewings, Raptors and Fan Tailed Cuckoo.

Lake Hillier, Western Australia

Middle Island is the largest of a group of three islands that lie in the Spencer Gulf within the south-western coast of the Yorke Peninsula. Currently a protected fauna conservation reserve, the island is known to be home to a variety of seabird populations including the little penguin. During our visit here, enjoy beachcombing along the shoreline and a peaceful boardwalk to the pink Lake Hillier.

Great Australian Bight

Our crossing of the Great Australian Bight is an exciting moment for those who love the sea. This iconic marine area includes the Great Australian Bight Marine Park, which protects an area of global importance for endangered southern right whales. These waters also support important populations of the endangered Australian sea lion, with up to 80% of the population found here.  The seals haul out at the base of the 100-metre-high cliffs.

Flinders-Island-South-Australia-Coral-Expeditions

Located around 35kms from the Eyre Peninsula Coast, Flinders Island has a long history of sealing, whaling and farming. Owned by the Woolford family since 1979, they run an established sheep farm, abalone harvesting business and are working to establish a safe haven for vulnerable native species. Meet the Woolford family to learn about the history and conservation projects on the island.

Visit the Kapara shipwreck at Bryant’s Bay, and stroll through the shearing sheds at the farm. Taste fresh abalone at Eyrewoolf Abalone.

Coral-Expeditions-tasmania-bruny-island-oysters

Surrounded by sea and National Parks, today we discover the tranquil bays by taking a swim, snorkel, or kayak and enjoy the local marine life and water ways before finishing our day enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience. Taste fresh Pacific and the native Angasi oysters straight out of the sea and learn firsthand how to shuck an oyster. Learn about the history of Coffin Bay and the Oyster farming practices of the famous Coffin Bay Oyster. Prepare for a seafood tasting sensation!

Wedge Island

Today, discover Wedge Island, located within the Gambier Islands. During WWII, this island was used as a top-secret radar station by the RAAF. Another highlight of Wedge Island is the unique Australian fauna – spot endangered Bettong, Fairy Penguins, Rock Wallabies, Emus, Wombats, and a large variety of bird species. Wedge Island boasts rugged landscapes and pristine beaches and is renowned for its wonderful marine life and known for one of the best fishing spots in Australia. Later, cruise by Althorpe Island Lighthouse.

Adelaide-Wharf-Coral-Expeditions

Disembark Adelaide: Arrive in Adelaide at 2:00pm for an 2:30pm disembarkation. Complimentary post-cruise transfers to the airport or CBD will be available. These will be organised onboard with the purser.

This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions, and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel. Coral Expeditions suggests that you do not arrive on the day of embarkation or depart on the day of disembarkation due to any changes that may occur in scheduling.



Fares & Availability

Bridge Deck Suites

Private Balcony - 37.5m2

Fully Booked

Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

5 Available

Promenade Deck Stateroom

Picture Window - 17m2

7 Available

Coral Deck Stateroom

Porthole Window - 17m2

3 Available
Book this Departure

Bridge Deck Suites

Private Balcony - 37.5m2

5 Available

Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

22 Available

Promenade Deck Stateroom

Picture Window - 17m2

14 Available

Coral Deck Stateroom

Porthole Window - 17m2

12 Available
Book this Departure

Prices are per person twin share, listed in Australian Dollars (AUD) and include GST. Booking Terms & Conditions >
For solo traveller rates see our Solo Traveller Program >


Additional Information

Inclusions:

  • All excursions and sightseeing with our Expedition Team
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and kayaks
  • Snorkelling & Scuba equipment
  • Daily lectures and briefings
  • Your expedition photos captured throughout the voyage
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Selected wines, selected beers and house spirits, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Events, and Open Bridge Access with the Captain
  • 24 hour Coffee and selection of teas
  • All entrance fees to National Parks and Ports
  • Tips and gratuities

Not Included:

  • Travel insurance
  • Scuba diving rates
  • Alcoholic drinks including beer and wine outside of lunch and dinner service
  • Internet services (available at a cost)
  • Laundry service
  • Australian entry visas or travel permits
  • Items of a personal nature including but not limited to laundry charges, souvenir purchases, phone and internet communications and bar charges (outside of included drinks package)
Your-Ship-Coral-Geographer
More Information -SA

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