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Great Australian Bight

Australia's Great Southern Coastline

Melbourne to Fremantle15 NIGHTSAll InclusiveFrom $10,550.00* PP

Set sail on an expedition along Southern Australia’s rugged coast and the wild nature, rich history and delicious produce of the region. Cast off from Melbourne to explore the unique natural beauty of Apollo Bay and the famed Twelve Apostles. Learn the history of Port Fairy with its Georgian style merchant homes and visit the character-filled township of Robe. Enjoy many opportunities to sample the freshest produce straight from the source with oysters at Coffin Bay and abalone at Flinders Island. As we round the southwest edge of Australia, enjoy time ashore with walks at Woody Island, a visit to extraordinary Jewel Cave, swimming with stingrays at Hamelin Bay and walk amongst the vines and enjoy a wine-tasting at the award-winning Leeuwin Estate in the Margaret River region.

  • Climb Cape Leeuwin lighthouse, the tallest on mainland Australia, to take in the view over the Southern Ocean.
  • Learn to shuck your own delicious oysters fresh from the waters of Coffin Bay.
  • Meet with the Woolfords at Flinders Island for a beachside abalone tasting and learn the history and current conservation projects of the island.
  • View the breathtaking Jewel Cave at Augusta and learn about its formation over thousands of years.
  • Relax and enjoy sunset drinks alongside the friendly kangaroos at wildlife haven Lucky Bay.
  • Swim with the majestic stingrays and eagle rays that swim in the shallows of Hamelin Bay.
  • Indulge in a wine-tasting experience at the award-winning Leeuwin Estate.

Itinerary

Coral-Expeditions---Great-Southern-Coastline---Melbourne-to-Fremantle---14-Nights

Melbourne

Arrive at Outer East Station Pier, Melbourne at 4:00pm, where there is time to settle into your stateroom before our 5:00pm departure. Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities onboard before joining your fellow explorers on the Sun Deck for Captain’s Welcome Drinks.

Apollo Bay, Australia

Apollo Bay is a charming seaside town situated in the foothills of the Otway Ranges on the Great Ocean Road, surrounded by lush rainforest and towering mountains. Apollo Bay was given its name by Captain Loutit in 1845 after his trading vessel. Around that time the area was frequented by sailors, whalers, sealers, and timber cutters who began coming to the area in the early 1800s. However, settlers didn’t begin building their homesteads in the Apollo Bay area until 1849 – four years after the town was founded.

We will visit the Great Ocean Road Brewhouse to sample some of the local tastes of the region.

View the rugged splendor of the renowned 12 Apostles that lie in the Southern Ocean off Victoria’s coast. The limestone cliffs are subject to constant erosion from the impact of storms and winds, which carved the caves in the cliffs. When the caves eroded into arches and collapsed, their 45m high rocky remains were left along the shore.

Port Fairy

Spend the morning exploring Port Fairy at your leisure. Walk the heritage trail to view grand public buildings which sit side by side with restored whalers’ cottages and Georgian-styled merchant homes. Or visit Griffiths Island: with its colony of shearwater seabirds, winding pathways, and the spectacular lighthouse at the eastern tip, it is a great place to explore. Continue to the infamous Shipwreck Coast. This stretch of coastline is a graveyard of around 700 submerged wrecks, leaving behind their fascinating stories. Captain Matthew Flinders notably said he had never seen a ‘more fearful section of coastline’.

Robe

Spend time today in the historic and picturesque town of Robe. Located on the Limestone Coast, it offers incredible views and unique food, drink and shopping opportunities. One of Australia’s most character-filled small towns, Robe is known for its cottage industries. Spend your day exploring through the quaint shops and craft breweries or relax on the beach and watch surfers catching a wave.

Stokes Bay Kangaroo Island

On the far eastern side of Kangaroo Island, Cape Willoughby juts into the ‘Backstairs Passage’ – the narrow strait between Kangaroo Island and the Fleurieu Peninsula that was named by Matthew Flinders as the ‘private entrance’ to the two gulfs. Lighting this 14km wide strait is the Cape Willoughby Light Station. We will visit the Lighthouse keeper’s cottage, learn of its interesting stories, and have the opportunity to climb the lighthouse itself. On the grounds, we will do a loop walk from the Lighthouse to the beautiful Smuggler’s Cove and often the special Kangaroo Island wallaby is spotted along the way.

Coral-Expeditions-tasmania-bruny-island-oysters

Bordered by sea and National Parks, Coffin Bay is a stunning destination. The pristine waters of the bays in this area are home to numerous pods of dolphins, sea lions, seals, and many seabirds. Emus and kangaroos roam and the natural beauty of the turquoise sea, white sand dunes, and bright blue sky is a wonderful backdrop to our day’s adventures.

Join a guided tour of a local oyster farm surrounded by crystal-clear water brimming with wildlife. A veteran oyster farmer will share with you the history of oyster farming, and describe how premium Coffin Bay oysters are produced & how the pure Coffin Bay waterways create world-renowned oysters. You’ll also be taught how to shuck like a pro and enjoy fresh oysters straight from the source. Later this afternoon there is time for walks ashore at one of the many pristine beaches of the bay.

Flinders-Island-South-Australia-Coral-Expeditions

Flinders Island is located about 35km from the Eyre Peninsula Coast and has been owned by the Woolford family since 1979, where they fish for abalone and are working to establish a safe haven for vulnerable native species. Meet Tobin and Jonas Woolford on Front Beach, learn of the island’s history and taste freshly pan-seared abalone. Explore the historic shearing sheds and head to Bryant’s Bay to visit the Kapara shipwreck.

Head of the Bight

Spend two days crossing the mighty Great Australian Bight. About halfway through our voyage, the Bunda Cliffs will come into view.

For 100km along the Great Australian Bight runs these awe-inspiring 120m tall white chalky Bunda Cliffs. This 300m thick limestone slab was once part of an ancient seabed and now forms the Nullarbor Plain, extending far inland with many layers containing many fossils. Depending on sea conditions we will cruise along the cliffs and enjoy a vantage point from sea very rarely experienced.

Woody Island

Today we will explore Woody Island. 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.

Lucky Bay, Cape le Grand National Park, WA

Along quiet Lucky Bay, kangaroos are known to laze on the whitest sand in Australia. Enjoy time on the beach meeting the friendly wildlife and the turquoise water is wonderful for a quick swim. If time permits, enjoy a walk to Thistle Cove, taking in the peaceful beauty of the national park, which is home to pygmy possums, western grey kangaroos and many colourful native wildflowers.

Albany

Albany is the oldest colonial settlement in Western Australia, predating Perth and Fremantle by over two years. For many years, it was the colony’s only deep-water port, having a place of eminence on shipping services between Britain and its Australian colonies. The town has a role in the ANZAC legend, being the last port of call for troop ships departing with infantry and cavalry horses from Australia in the First World War.

Today guests will have the opportunity to visit the National ANZAC centre or Albany’s Whaling Station, exploring an intact whale processing factory and whale chasing ship, fully restored and ready to discover. Guests also have the option to enjoy free time in Albany, with opportunity to view the Museum of the Great Southern.

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 the spectacular Jewel Cave. We will 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.

We will also visit Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse on mainland Australia overlooking the point where the mighty Southern and Indian Oceans collide.

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.

A quintessential Western Australian destination, Margaret River is flanked with national parks including towering forests, pristine coastlines, and rugged granite outcrops. Spend the afternoon savouring a wine tasting at the award-winning Leeuwin Winery, with time to view the art gallery and walk the grounds of this picturesque Estate.

Arrive in Fremantle at 8:00am as we say goodbye to fellow travellers and crew before a 9:00am disembarkation. A complimentary post-cruise transfer to the airport or Perth/Fremantle CBDs will be available.

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

Last Stateroom

Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

Last Stateroom
Explorer-Deck-Stateroom---Coral-Adventurer

Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

Available

Promenade Deck Stateroom

Picture Window - 17m2

Available

Coral Deck Stateroom

Porthole Window - 17m2

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

  • All excursions with our Expedition Team
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and Kayaks
  • Snorkelling & SCUBA equipment (SCUBA diving at an additional cost)
  • 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
  • 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
  • SCUBA Diving (view Scuba diving rates)
  • Entry visas & travel permits for the country you are travelling to/from
  • Alcoholic drinks (including beer and wine) outside of lunch and dinner service
  • Laundry service (available at a cost)
  • Items of a personal nature such souvenir purchases
  • Optional Extras (in some destinations)

OTHER INFORMATION

Coral Geographer, the newest addition to our fleet, carries a maximum of 120 guests, delivering Coral Expeditions’ renowned warm Australian hospitality, intimate onboard atmosphere, and world-class expedition experience. More About Coral Geographer >

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 Southern Australia expedition packing list here.

There are several walking/hiking options available on this departure at Port Fairy Town Walk, Port Fairy Griffith Island Rookery Walk, Coffin Bay Oyster Walk, Coffin Bay National Parks Dune Walk, and the Cape Le Grand - Lucky Bay to Thistle Cove Walk.

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 limited swimming opportunities on this itinerary at Snug Cove, Streaky Bay, Lucky Bay, Woody Island and Hamelin Beach (subject to weather conditions).These opportunities are a guide and not all are guaranteed.

Scuba diving is not offered on this itinerary.

  • Twidale C.R. and Campbell, E. M., Australian Landforms
  • Short A.D. and Woodroffe C.D., The Coast of Australia
  • Flood Josephine, Archaeology of the Dreamtime
  • Flood Joesphine, The Original Australians
  • Johnson, David. The Geology of Australia
  • Mundle, Rob. Flinders the Man who Mapped Australia

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

Melbourne – DoubleTree by Hilton

Melbourne – Grand Hyatt

Fremantle - Quest

Fremantle – Quest Fremantle

Fremantle - Esplanade Hotel by Rydges

Fremantle – Esplanade Hotel by Rydges

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