3 mins

Inside our virtual event: The wild side of Australia: An evening with Monty Halls

Looking to catch up on our Western Australia event? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve got a full recording of the event plus all the highlights right here…

Catch up on our Monty Halls Western Australia event

Record numbers tuned into our Western Australia event on Wednesday night to hear travellers Monty Halls and Phoebe Smith recount their tales of their adventures in this wild part of the world. We were treated with fascinating presentations, inspiring videos and photos that made us want to hop on a plane to Perth.

If you were unable to join us or are looking for some answers to your questions, then you can catch up on the entire evening right here…

 

Watch the full webinar

Our experts answer your questions

Where did Phoebe swim with the humpbacks?

You can swim with humpbacks on Ningaloo Reef from either Coral Bay or Exmouth. Phoebe did her manta ray and humpback whale swim from Coral Bay and her whale shark swim from Exmouth. They are about an hour and a half's drive apart.

Do you need to rent Jeep to do the road trip that Monty did?

You can do the whole trip in a normal hire car and most people do that. If you have a 4WD there are a couple of additional sites you can reach within the national parks but all the main attractions are perfectly accessible in a normal hire car.

How long does it take to do the drive that Monty did? 

The minimum amount of days we'd suggest for the drive is ten. You can find the suggested itinerary here.  

Is it better to drive Exmouth to Perth or Perth to Exmouth?

This is totally personal preference. I would suggest starting your itinerary Perth, it’s a fantastic outdoorsy city to beat the jetlag. Then pick up your car and venture north to Exmouth for the grand finale! The flights from Perth to Exmouth are with Qantas and if you fly from the UK with Qantas (either on the direct flight to Perth or via Singapore) you can usually access cheaper fares using the Explorer Pass (£38+ taxes for this route). Do ask your Trailfinders’ Consultant if these are available when you enquire.

I have read that the Australian Government isn't going to admit any tourists until January 2022 at the earliest.  Do you know if this is true?

Unfortunately the situation is very uncertain at the moment. We would suggest making a booking in the second half of 2021 and are optimistic that with the development of vaccinations and rapid testing, the situation could change quickly. Trailfinders offer a ‘Peace of Mind Policy’, so your money is completely safe with us and there is no risk to you when getting your dream Western Australia trip booked in. If you are unable to travel due to Covid, you will be refunded within 14 days, or we will rearrange your trip for you for when you can travel!

 

WIN! £500 Trailfinders voucher and Western Australia wine

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Which overland companies offer a  two or three week trip from Perth to Exmouth?

Below are some suggestions for you from our close partners APT, AAT Kings and Intrepid, all of these can be booked through Trailfinders:
https://www.trailfinders.com/tours/australia/western-australia/tour-western-wonderland
https://www.aptouring.co.uk/trips/australia/wa/twn18
https://www.intrepidtravel.com/uk/australia/west-coast-encompassed-northbound-127136

Is it a good trip for hiring and travelling with a motorhome?

Absolutely! Travelling by motorhome is a great value and rewarding way to travel with added flexibility. We have motorhome itineraries along both the Coral Coast and along Lyn’s route in the South West corner. If you’re visiting the Kimberley, we’d suggest a Britz Safari 4WD Landcruiser (complete with pop out tent) for travel along the Gibb River Road. 

Darwin to Broome or Perth to Broome as a road trip?

It depends on your focus and time. Perth to Broome includes a really good mix of outback and coastal, with Kalbarri National Park, Francois Peron National Park and the Pinnacles offering amazing outback landscapes while Monkey Mia and Ningaloo give you incredible marine experiences. Broome, with its combination of red earth running up to the white sand, is special too. But it would be such a shame to go to Broome and not go into the Kimberley interior a bit so I’d recommend you don’t try to cram too much into one trip and instead do Perth to Exmouth and save Broome and the Kimberley for a separate trip. For me, the Perth to Exmouth route has the edge in terms of wildlife experiences and you can comfortably do this in 14 days or less.

The drive from Broome to Darwin (or vice versa) is a more adventurous road trip, especially if you do the unsealed Gibb River Road. Here there are more station stays, waterfalls and it includes the Bungle Bungle Range in Purnululu National Park which is a real example of Mother Nature showing off! As Phoebe referenced, the rock art and aboriginal camps and tours through the Kimberley are a must if you choose this option. You’ll need a minimum of two weeks for this drive but slightly more if you want to have a few nights in some of the national parks, which I’d recommend.

I am coeliac, so need gluten free options. Will I struggle with this in Western Australia? 

I've found from my travels around Australia that the food quality is excellent. Dietary requirements are generally always catered for, especially at restaurants and cafes in the cities and larger towns. It is pretty easy to access gluten free at most places in WA but if you are visiting a more remote property, always contact them in advance to advise of dietary requirements as they often have to fly or ship food in and they'll want to ensure that they cater to you.

I want to go to the iconic Shark Bay. Is it easy to get there? 

This route is pretty easy! You can do a road trip from Perth to Shark Bay in as little as six days. Longer would be better so you have time to delve a little deeper at Shark Bay into Francois Peron National Park. There are also flights from Perth to Monkey Mia with a regional airline called Rex a few times a week if you prefer. You’ll need to hire a car when you get to Monkey Mia though, as you’ll want to explore places like Shell Beach and the stromatolites while you are in the area. 

When is the best time to go? 

Remember WA has two distinct climates – Exmouth, Karijini and the Kimberley are tropical so best visited March to September (or even into November for Exmouth). From October to March the North West has its wet season so parts of the Kimberley are not accessible during this time and businesses outside of Broome may be closed.

Perth and the South West has a Mediterranean climate so head there in September to April for warm sunny days. January and February are the hottest months so if your focus is walking or cycling then the surrounding months would give you optimum conditions for those activities, It is worth noting that Perth has a series of incredible arts festivals that takes over the city from mid-January through to March. 

If you want to time your trip to see some of WA’s incredible wildlife, use this calendar to choose the best month to travel. 

For more inspiration on WA road trips, places to stay and experiences not to miss, download Trailfinders’ new Australia brochure

Where did Phoebe and Monty go?

We know many of you didn't managed to note down the names (and spellings!) of all the places mentioned in the event. You can find both Monty's and Phoebe's full itineraries here...

Monty in Western Australia

Monty in Western Australia

Monty's journey: Monty started in Perth and recommended Rottnest Island. He then visited the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park, Geraldton for a flight over the pink lake known as Hutt Lagoon, Kalbarri for the Kalbarii National Park before arriving in Monkey Mia. Monkey Mia is part of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. Capes from Wula Gura Nyinda Eco Adventures can take you into Francois Peron National Park. Monty had his manta ray experience with Ningaloo Marine Interactions at Coral Bay before finishing in Exmouth. There are hotel options in the town as well as the fabulous Sal Salis eco camp, one of Australia’s luxury lodges, in the Cape Range National Park

Phoebe's journey: Phoebe visited Coral Bay and Exmouth which are both great access points for the Ningaloo Reef. Exmouth is the closest to the airport and slightly bigger. She also visited Shark Bay and Dirk Hartog island where she did her walking with whales experience and also visited Bullara station.

Her Kimberley itinerary which was a separate trip included Broome, the Horizontal Waterfalls and then a group tour along the Gibb River Road which included stops at Windjana Gorge, Tunnel Creek, Bell Gorge, Manning Gorge, El Questro and Purnululu National Park, home to the Bungle Bungle range before finishing at Kununurra with Lake Argyle.

Lyn's trip: Lyn went whalewatching from Bremer Bay. The orca trips run from January to early April. She also explored the Fitzgerald River National Park. Lyn also spent a day walking the Bibbulmun Track, a 1,000km trail from the Perth Hills to Albany. And she spent time looking in estate agent windows in the lovely towns of Denmark and Albany. 

What did you have to say?

Monty Halls that was a real trip down memory lane for me, thank you for your awesome presentation and videos. 

Thanks Monty, looking at future flights from states to WA right now! 

I've got actual goosebumps listening to Phoebe's trip!

Thank you. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Definitely on my bucket list now.


Thank you for a very inspirational and interesting evening. The photos and videos were amazing.

Thanks Lyn, Monty, Phoebe and Emma for a really interesting and informative Webcast and looking forward already to the next Wanderlust Webcast.

I've never had Australia on my bucket list but tonight has truly changed my mind!

The best presentation yet in this series!

Really interesting presentation. Planning to go there in 2022.

Quiz: How well do you know Western Australia's wildlife and nature?

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A look inside the evening…

Lyn welcomed over 500 people to the event

Lyn welcomed over 500 people to the event

Lyn told us about her time in Bremer Bay where she went walking and wildlife watching.

Lyn told us about her time in Bremer Bay where she went walking and wildlife watching.

Monty spoke about his adventures along the Coral Coast

Monty spoke about his adventures along the Coral Coast

Monty shared his stories of Western Australia's wildlife

Monty shared his stories of Western Australia's wildlife

Phoebe spoke to us about the Kimberley Region

Phoebe spoke to us about the Kimberley Region

Phoebe shared stories about her overland adventure

Phoebe shared stories about her overland adventure

The evening ended with a chance for you to ask our experts your questions

The evening ended with a chance for you to ask our experts your questions

 A huge thank you to Monty Halls, Phoebe Smith, Tourism Western Australia and Trailfinders for all of their support and expertise.

Don’t miss our future events! See what’s on here.

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