The dinghy kisses the sand, you hop out into the crystaline water and walk on to a beach on which the hand of man has not set foot for hundreds of years.
It’s possible with True North’s West Coast Explorer, which revisits the incredible story of the Batavia, which sailed in 1628 from Holland bound for the Dutch East Indies but struck a reef when sailing off course in WA’s Abrolhos Islands. Guests will learn more of the fate of the Batavia during a 10 night journey along its ill-fated route, replete with historical tales and facts and adventurous activities on land, sea and in the air.
The itinerary includes time to snorkel and dive in the crystal clear waters of the wreck site and discover remnants of history while swimming, diving and beachcombing around the coastline.
The trip begins in Fremantle for an adventure on Australia’s only luxury adventure cruise ship. From here you will relax with refreshments as the cruise begins to the Abrolhos Islands, renowned for its fishing including fine eating species such as Westralian jewfish, groper, snapper and coral trout all of which may end up on the ship’s menu.
Highlights of the trip include a hike to Steep Point, the western-most edge of the Australian continent, part of the Shark Bay World Heritage area and widely regarded as one of the finest land-based game fishing locations in the world. Steep Point is also surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery in Western Australia.
True North travels with her own helicopter affording bird’s-eye views of stunning reef formations, island communities and breathtaking landscapes like Ningaloo Reef and six on-board expedition boats and an experienced crew to take you fishing or diving on demand.
World famous Ningaloo Reef, designated in 1987 as a marine park is one of West Australia’s most popular tourist destinations with its brilliant white beaches, stunning fish and corals within metres of the shoreline. All that is needed is a mask and snorkel to enjoy swimming pool-like conditions. The reef is 260 km long and is Australia’s largest fringing coral reef. Famed for its whale sharks, the reef is rich in coral and other marine life and is included in the migratory routes of dolphins, dugongs, manta rays and humpback whales.
Each day you wake, you find yourself to completely different surrounds including the Montebello Islands an archipelago of 174 small islands laying 130 km off the Pilbara coast. Choose to start off the morning with early fishing, dive for giant crayfish or join the crew for bird watching in internationally recognised hotspots.
The final leg of the West Coast Explorer takes in the magnificent Dampier Archipelago formed 6000 years ago when coast plains were flooded by rising sea levels. The area’s rock formation was formed in the Archaean period and is thought to be the oldest on earth. This is a significant place for indigenous Australians with rock art and ceremonial sites.
West Coast Explorer departs from Perth on 7 March 2013 disembarking in Dampier on 17 March. Prices start at $A9495 per person.