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Whales and Trails of Western Australia
Whales and Trails of Western Australia
Whales and Trails of Western Australia
Whales and Trails of Western Australia
Whales and Trails of Western Australia

Whales and Trails of Western Australia

Fremantle to Fremantle10 nightsAll InclusiveFrom $9,200.00* PP

Join us on our inaugural Whales and Trails expedition as we explore the imposing coastline of South Western Australia with adventures on land and sea. Follow the migratory trail of the Humpback, Southern Right and Blue whales which frequent this confluence of the Indian and Southern Oceans. Onshore, we will fill our days exploring the renowned wine region of Margaret River, enjoying leisurely coastal walks along a section of the scenic Cape to Cape nature trail and discovering wildflowers in full springtime bloom around Dunsborough and Esperance. Stroll the silica white sands in the company of native kangaroos at Lucky Bay – voted #1 Beach in the World. Cruise the sheltered waters of Point Ann to witness whales and their calves and later, swim with the stingrays in Hamelin Bay. Along the way, connect with traditional owners in small coastal communities and learn of their history and heritage. Our adventure culminates with a signature winemakers dinner event at famed Leeuwin Estate Winery pairing the exceptional ‘Art Series’ wines with locally harvested cuisine.

Signature Event: Experience a signature Winemakers Dinner at historic Leeuwin Estate featuring the iconic Art Series wines expertly paired with regionally inspired cuisine. 

  • Spend a morning whale watching at Flinders Bay, renowned for its frequent whale sightings and explore the sheltered haven of Point Ann in search of Southern Right Whales and their calves
  • Enjoy an invigorating swim in the pristine waters of Hamelin Bay surrounded by the curious stingrays and other marine species
  • Traversing the scenic coastal vistas on a morning trek along a section of the renowned Cape to Cape trail
  • Walk amongst native wildflowers in bloom around the coastal landscapes from Dunsborough to remote Esperance
  • Stroll the silica white sands in the company of native kangaroos at Lucky Bay – voted #1 Beach in the world
  • Learn about Indigenous coastal culture and traditions of the region and share stories whilst we forage for native tucker on ancestral lands
  • Wander the community led Art Trail of Ravensthorpe and hear how collective community engagement has changed the face of this historic goldfield’s town
  • Gain valuable insights from onboard Guest Lecturers Micheline and Curt Jenner who will share their scientific and conservation knowledge of whale research in Western Australia

 

In partnership with Australian Geographic Society, our 5 October 2024 departure will be joined by Karen McGhee.


Itinerary

Coral Expeditions_Whales_and_Trails_10 Nights

Coral-Adventurer-The-Kimberley

Arrive at Fremantle Berth C for boarding at 4:00pm, with time to settle into your stateroom before our 5:00pm departure. Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities onboard.  As dusk falls join guests and the friendly crew as we enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Drinks and sit down to the first of many delicious dinners.

Foraging (Noongar Season) at Bunbury

Located 175 kilometers south of Perth, Bunbury is situated at the original mouth of the Preston River. For approximately 45,000 years, the Noongar people, indigenous to the Southwest region, have gathered in this area, which served as a seasonal meeting place abundant with food sources and ceremonial sites. Throughout history, Bunbury was shaped by Dutch, French, American, and British seafarers, who arrived due to various circumstances such as exploration, trade, and settlement aspirations. In 1800, French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte dispatched the scientific expedition led by Nicolas Baudin to the southern land. The crew of Le Geographe extensively explored the estuary, mapping the southwest and collecting flora and fauna specimens. They named the area Port Leschenault, a name later replaced by the British with the townsite’s current name, Bunbury.

Today we will take a guided tour with descendants of the original inhabitants of the Bunbury Geographe area, the Noongar people, along the 5.3km Mangrove walk. Learn about the bush foods and medicine used in this area as well as Dreaming stories of the region.

This evening enjoy wine tasting from the Bridge Deck Lounge as we cruise around Cape Naturaliste at sunset.

Hamelin Bay

Hamelin Bay beach was a tiny port that serviced timber mills all over the southwest between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin. However, people soon came to realise that the waters were far too difficult to navigate and travel with a plethora of wrecks in this area just off the coast.

This morning we will spend time exploring this vast expanse of bright white sand and turquoise waters filled with marine life. The combination of the friendly stingrays, and interesting fish and plant life in the bay make it a great snorkeling spot.

After our morning swim or snorkel there is the opportunity to walk part of Cape-to-Cape trail to Cosy Corner (5km – Easy to Moderate) or Deepdene Beach to view the Elephant Rocks (8km – Moderate to Difficult). With a great biodiversity in the area there will be a plethora of native wildflowers throughout both walks including the chance to see native rose, hovea, old mans beard, pink fairy orchid and more.
These trails involve some sand/beach terrain and some uneven, rocky sections.

Wine Pour

This morning we will arrive in Denmark and begin our day with an Xplorer transfer to Madfish Bay, a hidden wonderland of pools and bays in the William Bay National Park. At low tide it is possible to walk directly across to the small island in Madfish Bay, but at high tide the island is completely cut off from the mainland. From here we will take a short coach transfer to Ducketts Mill Winery. Established in 1996 by Ross & Dallas Lewis with the first planting of Riesling and Cabernet, Ducketts Mill Winery is housed in a unique pine-slabbed farmhouse. Enjoy a wine flight tasting accompanied by house-made cheeses with platters of local produce as the dedicated team share their knowledge and pairing suggestions.

Whales swimming of WA coast

Today we cruise into Point Ann, one of the two places in Australia (the other being Head of the Bight in South Australia), where southern right whales come to calve in large numbers in the calm waters of the beautiful bay. Throughout the morning we will anchor in this area and enjoy morning tea onboard as we keep our eyes on the ocean in hope of spotting these incredible creatures.

This afternoon we will arrive at Hopetoun to journey through the community art trail at Ravensthorpe. After a short bus ride, we will explore a section of the trail which was created by local farmers using old machinery and scrap metal to produce large scale sculptures depicting the region’s diverse range of wildflowers and local surroundings. In the heart of the Western Australian wheatbelt region, this expression of art has transformed the economy of these small towns.

Lucky Bay Kangaroo

This morning we will wake up at Esperance in the goldfield’s region of Western Australia. After a short Xplorer ride to Twilight Beach or Blue Haven Beach we will explore the Wildflower Ocean Walk with options for varied fitness levels. Enjoy the spectacular Esperance coastline from the main esplanade all the way to Twilight Beach. This headland is home to an abundance of birds, wildlife, and wildflowers.

For lunch today we will enjoy the freshest of fish with locally sourced fish from Esperance served as a classic fish & chips onboard. Following our delicious lunch we will visit Lucky Bay in Cape le Grand National Park, voted #1 beach in the world, for a swim and chance to see the local wildlife, including Kangaroos.

Albany's Historic Whaling Station at Discovery Bay, Albany

Western Australia’s oldest colonial settlement lies on the northern shore of Princess Royal Harbour, King George Sound. The area was inhabited by the Mineng Noongar Aboriginal people for some 18,000 years before it was first encountered by Europeans. During the summer they lived along the coast, where they caught fish with stone traps in the naturally broad, deep, sheltered harbour, and in winter they moved inland. The harbour was visited and charted by George Vancouver in 1791. In 1826, the first European settlement in the state, a penal colony called Frederickstown was established.

Today we will explore the Quaranup Indigenous Walk which follows the paths walked by the Mineng people to Quaranup (Kwooranup – place of brush tail wallaby) with opportunity to see ancient stone structures, waterholes, artefacts, engravings and flora and fauna. We will then travel around the coast of Kinjarling (Albany), to the Quaranup Cultural Site. Walk along the beach or dunes to ancient engravings and tool quarry sites. Tides permitting, there may be a chance to beachcomb and look for shellfish amongst the rocks.

Whale Watching

This morning we arrive in the waters of Flinders Bay where there will be opportunity for whale watching from the Vista Deck. Coral Adventurer will be passing through Flinders Bay around 6am, a great time to for an opportunity to see whales in a location they frequent.

After lunch enjoy a short Xplorer transfer to Flinders Bay Reserve at Augusta where we will enjoy freshly shucked Margaret River Oysters and complimentary wines. After our beachside tasting experience there will be an optional Coastal Walk (1.7km easy) following the Blackwood River and Augusta coastline. Along this section of the trail, you will be rewarded with stunning views of Flinders Bay and the Great Southern Ocean, and the chance to climb down and explore among the rocky pools and sandy beaches.

Leeuwin Estate Winemakers Dinner - Dunsborough

The Southwest region of Australia, within which Dunsborough sits, is recognised as one of the oldest continually occupied human habitats anywhere on Earth, with archaeology dating back approximately 40,000 years. Dunsborough itself shares in this history, with multiple sites of Aboriginal importance in and around the town. Prior to European colonisation, several distinct tribes inhabited the land and utilised the waters around Dunsborough. Those living on the coast were called Wardandi (sea people). These Indigenous peoples referred to Dunsborough by the name of Quedjinup, which means “Place of Women”.

This morning we will take a short coach transfer from Dunsborough to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, where we will explore the tip of Cape Naturaliste – Kwirreejeenungup (surrounded by ocean on three fronts) and partake in coastal foraging. A local Wadandi (forest people by the sea) guide will join us, interpreting the landscape and teaching us how the Noongar seasonal calendar influences the knowledge of food sources available throughout the year. Enjoy morning tea including native food tastings.

Signature Dinner Event at Leeuwin Estate
Family-owned Leeuwin Estate is one of five founding wineries of the now famous Margaret River district of Western Australia, under the direction of two generations who work with a team of highly skilled winemakers to consistently produce wines ranking alongside the world’s finest.

Leeuwin Estate combines fine wine and food in a picturesque setting in Western Australia’s Margaret River region. With sweeping views overlooking the majestic karri forest, this evening we will travel to Leeuwin Estate for a four-course combination of exceptional seasonal West Australian produce, focusing on flavour, texture, and aromas, with current Leeuwin Estate wines.

Meelup Beach, Dunsborough

After a relaxing morning onboard we will spend the afternoon at Ambergate Reserve, a 75-hectare regional park which protects the remnants of scrubland and woodlands once common along the coastal plains of Busselton.

Over 360 plant species have been recorded here, from tall trees and shrubs such as marri, jarrah, peppermints, banksia, to creepers and ground covers – and 26 species of orchid. Many animal species also inhabit the reserve, including kangaroos, quendas, brush-tailed possums, wallabies, and echidnas. Plus, an enormous variety of birds including tree martins, rainbow bee-eaters, falcons and tawny frogmouths.

Alternatively, there will be the opportunity to explore the town of Dunsborough or take a stroll along the coastal walk from Geographe Bay to Meelup (4km one way, Easy) with the opportunity to spot many native wildflowers.

This morning we arrive into the Port of Fremantle, C Berth, at 7:00am before disembarking at 8:00am. There will be post cruise transfers provided to the airport and CBD of Fremantle and Perth.

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-Suite---Coral-Adventurer

Bridge Deck Balcony Suite

Private Balcony - 55.8m2

Fully Booked

Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

Fully Booked
Explorer-Deck-Stateroom---Coral-Adventurer

Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

Available

Promenade Deck Stateroom

Picture Window - 17m2

Fully Booked

Coral Deck Stateroom

Porthole Window - 17m2

Last Staterooms
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

  • All excursions with our Expedition Team
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and Kayaks
  • Snorkelling
  • Daily lectures and briefings with Guest Lecturers
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell events, and open bridge access
  • Selected wines, selected beers and house spirits, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
  • 24-hour barista-style coffee and tea station
  • All entrance fees to National Parks, ports, traditional owner fees and charges imposed by governing authorities
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Use of all onboard facilities, incl. a reference library
  • Expedition diary, along with a photo and video gallery documenting the highlights of your voyage
  • Post-cruise transfers (in most destinations)
  • Wifi Access – Standard speed connectivity enabling email, social image sharing, web browsing and messaging

Not Included:

  • Pre-cruise transfers
  • Pre and post cruise flights/charter flights
  • Pre and post cruise accommodation
  • Travel Insurance
  • Entry visas & travel permits for the country you are travelling to/from
  • Alcoholic drinks (including beer and wine) outside of lunch and dinner service
  • Internet services (available at a cost)
  • Laundry service (available at a cost)
  • Items of a personal nature such souvenir purchases
  • Optional Extras (in some destinations)

OTHER INFORMATION

Coral Adventurer carries a maximum of 120 guests, inspired by the company’s Australian ethos and the wide-open spaces the ship visits, is purpose-built to take you closer to unspoiled vistas in comfort, style, and safety. More About Coral Adventurer >

Travel Insurance is not included in your cruise fare. We highly recommend all guests to obtain comprehensive travel insurance with remote area evacuation coverage. Please refer to our Pre-Cruise Checklist page for facts that should be considered and shared when speaking with Travel Insurance suppliers regarding travel insurance.

At Coral Expeditions dining is a celebration of great food and good company enjoyed in extraordinary destinations. People and place are key to enjoyable dining experiences, where food becomes the vehicle for conversation and creating memorable occasions.

We now offer two wine selections that guests may purchase in addition to our new house selection of wines. These packages showcase contemporary choices of Australian wines and French Champagne. More About Cuisine & Wine >

  • A Taste of Australia Selection | 6 Bottles | $280.00
  • Connoisseur Selection | 6 Bottles | $400.00

Our Cruise Collection Merchandise including expedition gear is also available for purchase in our onboard gift shop. View our Cruise Collection here >

When it comes time for the exciting time of packing for your cruise, our packing lists are available to assist you. More specific information regarding weather conditions in your destination will be included in your Cruise Documentation which you will receive prior to your cruise.

Find your West Coast Australia expedition packing list here.

Most walks are leisurely strolls along beaches, however the ground can be rough and uneven so care must always be taken. We recommend guests bring trekking/hiking poles for Cape to Cape section of walk to assist in some uneven terrain.

  • Bunbury Mangrove Boardwalk (Easy, 5.3km)
  • Cape to Cape (Deepdene Beach is Moderate-Hard, 7.5km / Cosy Corner is Easy-Moderate, 4.5km)
  • Ravensthorpe Community Art Trail (Easy)
  • Green Ocean Trail – Coastal Wildflower Walk (Easy, 8km or 4km options)
  • Quaranup Indigenous Coastal Walk, (Easy)
  • Augusta Coastal Walk (Easy, 1.7km)
  • Coastal Foraging Cape Naturalist Walk (Easy)
  • Ambergate Reserve (Easy, 4km)

An alternative excursion will always be offered in place of higher impact walks. The Expedition Team will advise walking conditions and requirements prior to each excursion. Should you have any physical limitations or mobility issues, please notify our reservations team in advance prior to your departure.

There will be multiple swimming/snorkelling opportunities on this itinerary at Hamelin Bay, Cosy Corner/Deepene Beach, Mad Fish Bay and Lucky Bay (subject to weather conditions). These opportunities are a guide and not all are guaranteed.

Please note scuba diving is not offered on this itinerary.

  • Forrestal & Jordan, The Way It Was A History Of The Early Days Of The Margaret River Wine Industry
  • Jenner, Micheline, Secret Life of Whales
  • Laurie, Victoria, The Southwest Australia’s Biodiversity Hotspot
  • Nevill, Simon, Common Wildflowers of Western Australia
  • Palmer, Kingsley, Noongar people Noongar land. The resilience of Aboriginal culture in the south west of Western Australia
  • Wheeler, Marchant, Lewington, Flora of The Southwest Vol 2

Fremantle Post Cruise Transfer: A complimentary transfer is provided to Perth and Fremantle CBD hotels or the airport. We recommend allowing sufficient time to arrive for your flight in the event of any delays in disembarkation.

We want to ensure that your journey with us is smooth and hassle-free. To help you prepare for your cruise, refer to our Pre-Cruise Checklist for more detailed information on the milestones leading up to your voyage.

Accommodation Nearby

Fremantle - Quest

Fremantle – Quest Fremantle

Fremantle - Esplanade Hotel by Rydges

Fremantle – Esplanade Hotel by Rydges

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