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14 Nights | Departing Melbourne 1 March 2022 | Arriving Fremantle 15 March 2022 | Onboard Coral Geographer
Set sail aboard state-of-the-art expedition ship Coral Geographer on this Australian Geographic partner voyage into the wild nature, rich history, and unique food experiences of Australia’s southern coast. Here, sweeping beaches and idyllic seaside towns merge into sprawling agricultural lands and then to vast and remote national parks harbouring some of the world’s rarest species of flora and fauna. The sheer force of the Southern Ocean has sculptured a raw, dramatic coastline of cliff faces carved by crashing waves, natural rock formations, and rocky islands that are wildlife havens. Departing Melbourne, embark on a trail of indulgent artisanal flavours: taste gin from regional distilleries in Apollo Bay, wade to the Saltwater Pavilion in Coffin Bay to taste oysters fresh out of the sea, enjoy an ‘ocean to plate’ experience in Streaky Bay sampling abalone sashimi, and conclude your voyage with an exciting visit to the Leeuwin Estate Winery. This immersive voyage into our southern coastline will delight all your senses, as you embark on a once-in-a-lifetime crossing of the Great Australian Bight. Be joined by an Australian Geographic host who will share their insights.
|CORAL Geographer||TWIN SHARE PER PERSON||SOLE USE*|
|Bridge Deck Balcony Suite||$17,220||n/a|
|Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom||$13,120||$19,680|
|Promenade Deck Stateroom||$10,540||$15,810|
|Coral Deck Stateroom||$8,920||$13,380|
Prices are per person, listed in Australian Dollars (AUD) and include GST. *Limited sole use occupancy available.
Embark: Board Coral Geographer at 4:00pm and depart Melbourne at 5:00 pm
Disembark: Arrive into Fremantle at 8:00am for an 9:00am disembarkation.
Melbourne > Apollo Bay > 12 Apostles > Port Fairy > Western River Cove > Coffin Bay > Streaky Bay > Bunda Cliffs > Lucky Bay > Woody Island > Albany > Augusta >Eagle Bay > Fremantle
Board Coral Geographer at 4.00pm, 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.
Part of the traditional lands of the Gadubanud people, Apollo Bay was settled by European whalers and timber-cutters in the 1840s. The town of Apollo Bay, then named Middleton, was established in 1953. As the area became more accessible by land, it gained popularity as a tourist destination and fishing port. Surrounded by wineries and famous for seafood, Apollo Bay is the perfect place to indulge in regional produce.
Today, we will enjoy a walk, appreciating the beauty of this coastal area, ending at the Great Ocean Road Brewery where you will taste the locally crafted beer, along with wine from the region and gin from boutique distilleries.
After this exciting tasting experience, return to the Coral Geographer for lunch on the deck while the ship cruises to stand off from the 12 Apostles. If conditions permit, an Xplorer cruise will get you closer to the 12 Apostles.
Enjoy pre-dinner drinks while the sunset illuminates the iconic rock formations.
Port Fairy boasts wide streets lined with beautiful nineteenth century cottages, great Norfolk pines and old stone churches.
Spend the day exploring Port Fairy’s 1800’s architecture, an ideal location for history buffs. Peruse the array of boutiques, antique stores and art & craft stores scattered throughout the town. Follow the Port Fairy Maritime & Shipwreck Heritage Walk and discover restored, white-washed cottages built by the whalers and seamen, while learning about the local maritime history, of if you’re a nature lover enjoy the Griffiths Island Walk instead.
Hint: Make sure to sample some of the local produce, including speciality of the area Buffalo Milk Cheese.
This morning we will visit Western River Cove, as we beachcomb nearby the historic Western River Homestead and river valley beyond. With a little luck, we may be able to listen to the personal story of homestead owners Caroline and Bill Taylor, as they share their experience during the fire, surrounded by some of the devastating impacts of last summers bushfires.
Discover this amazing location by taking on the challenge of a hike to the high ridgeline behind the homestead, offering spectacular views of the valley. Cool off with a snorkel or swim at the beach, surrounded by dramatic cliffs. Western River Cove is one of the island’s top spots for snorkelling.
Bordered by sea and National Parks, Coffin Bay is a stunning destination. The pristine waters of the bays in this area are home to remarkable marine wildlife including pods of dolphins, sea lions, seals, and many seabirds. Emus and kangaroos roam and the natural beauty of turquoise sea, white sand dunes, and bright blue sky is an ideal backdrop to our day’s adventures.
Here we will hike through the Coffin Bay National Park to get an understanding of the flora and fauna. Discover the tranquil bays, protected from the might of the Southern Ocean, and snorkel or kayak with the chance to spot some local marine life.
To finish the day, enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience. Hop into some waterproof waders and take a seat at the Saltwater Pavilion. Taste fresh Pacific and the native Angasi oysters straight out of the sea, and learn first-hand how to shuck your own oysters.
Officially established in 1872, Streaky Bay has a history from the 1830s of pastoralists and explorers in the area whose conflict with the local Indigenous tribes caused significant loss of life.
This morning, stroll through the quaint township of Streaky Bay known for its fine cafes, pop-up food vans, and warm and friendly locals bending at the Streaky Bay National Trust Museum. Learn about the history of Abalone farming in the region and visit the processing plant and concluding with an opportunity to taste luxurious wild caught Greenlip and Blacklip abalone, harvested by hand from the pristine waters of Eyre Peninsula, “Australia’s Seafood Frontier”.
The Bunda Cliffs are one of the most awe-inspiring sea cliffs in the world, and are a dramatic display of the edge of the Australian continent.
5 million years ago when Australia broke away from Antarctica, fossiliferous limestone was left exposed on the Australian coast. For 100km along the Great Australian Bight runs these awe inspiring 120m tall white chalky Bunda Cliffs, forming part of the longest uninterrupted line of sea cliffs in the world.
This 300m thick limestone slab was once part of an ancient seabed, and now forms the Nullarbor Plain, extending far inland many layers containing many fossils. Now coated in a hardened layer of windblown sand laid down approximately 1.6 million years ago.
This morning, we visit Cape Le Grand National Park in Lucky Bay, with its massive granite peaks, rolling heathlands and curving white beaches; 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.
After lunch, 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.
There are several beautiful walks on Woody 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.
Welcome to Western Australia’s Rainbow Coast! Best known for its ancient tingle and karri forests, the township of Albany is alive with history. Steeped in stories of its Aboriginal custodians, convicts, sailors and whalers, Albany’s breath-taking beauty and rugged coastline is an apt backdrop to our Great Southern adventure.
Arriving after lunch, transfer to the Albany War Memorial paying homage to those whose lives were lost in action during the first WWI and WWII, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
This charming township marks the spot where the first European settlers set foot in Western Australia, and much of their legacy remains today with colonial buildings standing proudly as museums, galleries, and restaurants where you may take the day to explore at your own pace.
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.
Cape Naturaliste is the northernmost point of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, on the western edge of Geographe Bay. Part of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National park, it is known for spectacular coastal scenery and some of the best walking trails in the Margaret River Region. The first peoples in Cape Naturaliste were the Wardandi Aboriginals, who called it Kwirreejeenungup, meaning “the place with the beautiful view”. 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!
This morning we will explore these walking trails, with options to suit all levels, including a visit to the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.
After lunch, guests will delight in a wine tasting at a Winery Estate, learning the family history and stories of one of the five founding wineries of the now famous Margaret River district of Western Australia.
Arrive into Fremantle at 8:00am, for an 9:00am disembarkation.
|Departure||Departure||Arrival||Arrival||Cost Per Person||Cost PP||Ship||Availability|
|01 March 2022||01 Mar 2022||15 March 2022||15 Mar 2022||$8,920 to $17,220||$8,920 to $17,220||Coral Geographer||Available||Book|
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