Cape Le Grand and the South Coast Tour

See killer whales in the wild & explore the walk trails of Albany, Fitzgerald River & Esperance on a guided, accommodated walking tour. Small Groups. $2,940pp – 10 Days ex Perth, moderate terrain, 45km

Over ten wonderful days we’ll visit some of Western Australia’s most astounding scenic treasures. Bold granite headlands, quartzite peaks, white sand beaches and the most beautiful turquoise water you’ve ever seen. This is the ‘down south’ that so few of us get to, but everyone should. From Albany in the west, to Cape Le Grande National Park past Esperance in the east – you’ll love these remote and spectacular places.

You will visit some of Western Australia’s most astounding scenic treasures, walking some really great trails. We don’t stray too far from the magnificent southern coastline, except to take a boat out to the extraordinary Bremer Canyon – where every year, orca whales, sharks, birds and fish congregate for a feeding frenzy.

 

Tour Length:
10 days, starts and finishes in Perth
Distance walked:
About 45 km
Difficulty:
Medium; See FAQ
Dates:
1 – 10. Mar 2018
3 – 12. Nov 2018

Highlights of this walk

Incredible white sand beaches, turquoise water, remote wilderness and the best scenery in the south west of Western Australia awaits.

Walking Tour Itinerary

The tour starts and finishes in Perth, however you can fly back from Esperance to avoid the long drive (own expense). Two guides will accompany you on the tour and one, or both, will walk with you each day. There are some steep sections, and a few beach stretches (although they’re mostly firm) so we recommend training. The itinerary may alter depending on local conditions and weather

Day 1: Perth to Albany

Day 1: Perth to Albany

We’ll drive down to Albany, stopping for morning tea and lunch on the way. Once we’re in Albany we will do a short walk close to town or perhaps those that are interested can visit the fantastic ANZAC interpretive centre that overlooks the Harbour for some insight into the First World War. Or, you may just like to settle into your room at the Best Western Motel, where we stay for two nights.

Day 2: Bald Head walk

Day 2: Bald Head walk

15 km

This is one of the best day walks in the south west. It’s a challenging but spectacular 15 km return walk along a Flinders Peninsular to the eastern-most point of Torndirrup National Park. It offers outstanding views, with King George Sound on one side and the Southern Ocean on the other.

There are a number of steep ups and downs as we travel along the peninsular but as it’s a return walk, there’s no pressure to make it to the end.

Day 3: Albany to Bremer Bay

Day 3: Albany to Bremer Bay

From Albany we’ll head east, dropping into Two People’s Bay for a short walk (easy 3 km) and taking a lovely walk between Betty’s Beach and Norman’s Beach – two of the area’s best kept secrets, with more outstanding coastal views.

Our accommodation for the next two nights is at the Bremer Bay Motel. We’ll dine in their excellent onsite restaurant (own expense).

Day 4: A seafaring adventure!

Day 4: A seafaring adventure!

Every year, mid-January to mid-April, this remote spot off the WA coast becomes the epicentre for an unbelievable intensity of life. We will journey with Naturaliste Charters to the Bremer Canyon – a remote ocean habitat abundant with marine wildlife: sharks, giant squid, sperm whales, masses of sea birds and the largest group of killer whales in the Southern Hemisphere. This is absolutely an experience of a lifetime. Here is a video we made  from 2016.

The killer whale tour goes from 7.30 to about 4pm. After that, get your land legs back with a stroll around Bremer Bay or rest up in your motel room before dinner.

Day 5: Bremer Bay to Hopetoun + East Mt Barren walk

Day 5: Bremer Bay to Hopetoun + East Mt Barren walk

It’s about 250 km to drive to Hopetoun, the eastern gateway to the Fitzgerald River National Park. After lunch we’ll head out to East Mount Barren. It’s a great 3 km return walk to the summit.

There’s a bit of shale to negotiate and a bit of a boulder scramble to get right to the summit, but there are plenty of magic views and some nice spots to stop and take in the serenity along the way.

We’ll stay the next two nights in the centrally located Hopetoun Motel, spread between a 2 bedroom chalet, where we will share meals, and several motel rooms. No more restaurant meals – from now on your guides will cook your delicious meals.

Day 6: Hakea Trail

Day 6: Hakea Trail

We plan to walk about 13 km of the Hakea Trail today, with the option for more if we’re feeling keen. The Hakea Trail is an absolutely tremendous coastal walk. The gradients are mostly gentle, the views are uplifting, the plants are beautifully grotesque, and the rocks – they’re incredible!

When we return to Hopetoun in the late afternoon you might enjoy a coffee in town, a stroll on the beach or a rest before dinner.

Day 7: Hopetoun to Esperance

Day 7: Hopetoun to Esperance

About 200 km east of Hopetoun is Esperance, our next destination. When we arrive, we’ll take a 40 km scenic drive which takes in some really spectacular beaches and coastline.

The afternoon is yours to wander, explore, relax. There’s an excellent museum, many coffee shops and a great walk along the foreshore.

Our accommodation for the rest of the tour is at Yot Spot Apartments on the Esplanade, and a short walk into town.

Day 8: Cape Le Grande

Day 8: Cape Le Grande

45 minutes from Esperance is Cape Le Grande National Park. Here you’ll find some of best beaches on the planet, and the Le Grande Coastal Trail is the best place from which to appreciate them.

We will complete part of the coastal trail today, and part when we come back tomorrow. The costal trail has some short but challenging hills – both up and down – but the views are absolutely worth the effort.

If the weather’s good, enjoy a swim in the turquoise waters of one of the many beautiful bays.

Day 9: Cape Le Grande

Day 9: Cape Le Grande

We have some unfinished business at Cape Le Grande. Today we’ll complete another spectacular section of the coastal trail and conquer the formidable Frenchman’s Peak.

Frenchman’s Peak is very steep; but, taken one step at a time, it’s certainly achievable. And what a way to finish our Cape Le Grande experience! If the views and the sense of accomplishment don’t put a smile on your face, nothing will.

Day 10: Esperance to Perth

Day 10: Esperance to Perth

715 km

We’ll leave early from Esperance for the long drive back to Perth. It’s not going to be the most interesting drive you’ve ever done, but you’ll have some wonderful memories to reflect on and probably about 500 photos to look through!

We’ll stop at Wave Rock for lunch. While we’re there we can take a short walk around at this unusual rock formation.

If you are not into long drives, it is also possible to fly back to Perth with Virgin Airlines (formally Skywest). Flights range from $140-$200.

Details about accommodation, what to bring, transportation, food, etc.
Details about accommodation, what to bring, transportation, food, etc.

Accommodation

2 nights: Best Western Motel, Albany
2 night: Bremer Bay Motel, Bremer Bay
2 nights: Hopetoun Motel, Hopetoun
3 nights: Island View Apartments, Esperance

The Best Western in Albany is located very close to the main part of town. We’ll stay in a number of motel units and eat dinner at local restaurants.

At the Bremer Bay Motel we’ll stay in a number of motel units and eat at the onsite restaurant.

For two nights we’ll stay in the centrally located Hopetoun Motel, spread between a 2 bedroom chalet, where we will share meals, and several motel rooms.

Our accommodation for the last three nights is at Island view Apartments on the Esplanade in Esperance. It’s clean, comfortable, has a great gathering area for meals, and it’s only a short walk to town.

Accommodation is twin share. A limited number of single supplements are available.

What to bring

We will send you a full list of recommended clothing and equipment when you book.

Food

All meals are included except one dinner at the Bremer Bay Motel.

Breakfast comprises cereal, fruit, yoghurt, toast and spreads with juice, tea and coffee. Each day we provide morning tea whilst out on a walk and fruit is available for snacks. Lunch is self-made from supplied breads, salads and meats. Depending on the day, we will carry our lunch with us or a guide will deliver a picnic lunch to the track. Enjoy pre-dinner nibbles with fellow guests each evening while your guides prepare a delicious two course meal for dinner.

Please let us know of any dietary requirements before you book. We can happily adapt our menu to accommodate most dietary needs. Assistance is appreciated with clearing away and washing up.

Your out of pocket expenses for this trip include additional snacks and alcohol.

Transport

Our comfortable, air conditioned Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or Toyota Commuter mini bus will be our chariot for the duration of the tour. Seats are not allocated but it’s nice to move around and give everyone a go at a window/aisle seat.

This walk includes

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All meals, including morning tea and snacks

We pride ourselves on providing you with fresh, wholesome food. Enjoy healthy breakfasts, delicious morning teas, fresh picnic and packed lunches, fruit and hearty two-course dinners each day.

All transport via air-conditioned bus, departing from and returning to Perth

Central pick-up points in Fremantle and Perth CBD. Transport each day to and from the track.

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Comfortable accommodation throughout the south west

Emergency support

Wilderness first aid trained guides carry radios, satellite phones and a full first aid kit so you can walk without worry.

Excellent itinerary and planning

Drawn from 14 years experience.

National Park entrance fees

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Two fun and professional Inspiration Outdoors guides

We’ll feed you, tell you stories, help you achieve the walks safely and make sure everything goes to plan so that you don’t have to worry about a thing

Cape Le Grand FAQs

Can I fly back to Perth from Esperance

Yes you can. There is 1-2 flights per day from Esperance to Perth. If you would prefer not to have the long drive back to Perth, you can fly back with REX. You will miss out on visiting Wave Rock.

Posted in: Cape Le Grand FAQs

How hard is this the Cape Le Grand tour?

The walks on the Cape Le Grand tour are varied. The most challenging walk is the Bald Head walk in Albany. Some people will also find the Frenchman’s peak walk on day 9 challenging due to the rocky terrain. This is quite a short walk however.

Posted in: Cape Le Grand FAQs

I am worried about getting sea sick!

We have some great advice we can share with you to avoid getting sea sick but if you really just can’t be on a boat, let us know and we can arrange an alternative activity for you.

Posted in: Cape Le Grand FAQs

About Walking Tours In General

How hard are the walks?

The difficulty of the walks ranges from tour to tour, from easy to challenging. We design all of our walking tours to be achievable for those with a moderate level of fitness. We do recommend doing some training before most tours, because physical activity is always more enjoyable if you are physically prepared. We will send you information about how to train when you book.

When on tour we find that a positive mental attitude is most important and that if you focus on the scenery, the company and the moment, and not on the kilometres, then you find yourself reaching your destination with little problem. You can always have a day or sometimes an afternoon off to relax if you feel like it. If you have any concerns about your fitness or ability to complete a walk, give us a call on (08) 6219 5164 and we can talk you through it.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

Do I have to twin-share accommodation?

Our tour prices are based on rooms being twin share (two single beds in one room) or double (one double/queen bed in a room, shared by a couple). If you are travelling alone, we will give you a room with someone of the same sex. Sometimes, depending on the accommodation, it is possible to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have a room to yourself – please ask us if this option is available when you book.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

Will I hold up the group if I’m a slow walker?

We find a lot of people who haven’t been on a walking tour before worry about this, but it’s rarely an issue. We keep a comfortable steady pace with plenty of opportunities to rest and take in the scenery along the way. Usually the group will spread out over a couple of hundred metres as we walk.

Normal walking pace on a formed surface like a road or footpath is around 4.5 – 6 km per hour and we tend to average just over 3 km per hour on bush tracks. It’s not a stroll but it’s not a brisk walk either. If you feel you may be slower than this, try some longer training walks to increase your walking fitness.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

What is the average age of Inspiration Outdoors’ guests?

About 80% of our walkers are aged between 45 – 75. Our youngest guest has been about 35 and our oldest was 82. We get a roughly 60/40 female to male split.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General, Day Walk FAQs

What’s the food like? Can you cater for my dietary needs?

We serve simple, nutritious and delicious food on tour, using fresh and local ingredients as much as possible. Of course, if you like, you can indulge in some less nutritious treats as well – you’re on holiday after all and Emily bakes a mean cake. Breakfast, home-made morning tea, lunch, fresh fruit, pre-dinner nibbles and a two course evening meal are all included. We are happy to adapt our menu to suit many dietary needs including gluten free, vegetarian and vegan diets – please ask when you book.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

Are your walking tours just for “bushwalkers”?

Our walks are for anyone who enjoys walking and nature – bushwalkers or not. Our walks are conducted in safe, supportive and fun environments and you don’t need specialised equipment or experience to undertake them. We give you information about what you will need to bring and how you should prepare for each tour and we’re always here to answer any questions or concerns.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General, Day Walk FAQs

Do I have to walk every day on tour?

Of course not – it’s your holiday and you should do what you feel! Relax at the accommodation, come for a drive, get dropped off in town or go for a stroll of your own. On some days there is also the opportunity to walk for part of the day. This last option depends on whether there is vehicle access to the track.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

What do I have to carry when I walk?

Very little. A water bladder or bottles, a rain jacket, some personal first aid supplies and, on some days, lunch. You will probably want a camera as well. We return to accommodation each evening so there is no need to carry a large backpack.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

Beautiful walks in the daytime, relax with fellow walkers each evening

As much as this walk is a fantastic outdoor experience, it’s also a social experience, giving you a chance to enjoy the companionship and support of like-minded people.

Enjoy a cuppa with a slice of cake for morning tea and a fresh healthy lunch, surrounded by nature. Every day is finished off by a delicious and nutritious dinner together with the group.

What people have said

My sixth trip away with the present form of Inspiration Outdoors. Every one gets better and better. Food is outstanding, walking great and the attention by guides is really appreciated.

Peter, South Coast Explorer 2016

On the South Coast Explorer trip we hiked in some of the most beautiful National Parks in Australia with simply stunning coastline and beach views. This is a must for your bucket list. And there are no crowds there either!

Anne – South Coast Explorer

Pricing

AUD $2,940 per person (single supplement $400)

A deposit of $350 will secure your place

Money-Back Guarantee

Our number one priority at Inspiration Outdoors is to ensure our guests have a great experience on EVERY tour.

We can't guarantee the weather, bush fires or events beyond our control, but we do guarantee that:
– your guides are professional, friendly and hard working.
– your itinerary is well organised and thought out.
– the particulars of your tour (accommodation, transport, food etc), are as described on the website and in the tour notes.

We stand behind our guarantees. If you come on a tour with Inspiration Outdoors and we do not fulfil these promises, we will give you your money back.

Ask about this tour:

If you would like to book this tour, or just want to learn a bit more about it, please fill in the enquiry form below and we will get back to you to confirm availability or to answer your questions.

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Other ways to get in touch

What happens after I book?

After you have paid a deposit and filled in a registration form, we will send you any extra information you may need, including a list of what to bring and how best to prepare for the tour.

Payment in full is required at least six weeks prior to the tour (bookings can still be made within six weeks of tour start date if there are places available). We will email or call you to remind you when this is due.

Finally, we will contact you prior to your tour to confirm pick-up times and locations. If you have any questions or concerns at all before or after you have booked, please don’t hesitate to get in touch so we can go through them with you.

What are my payment options?

Payment can be made by:

  • Direct deposit
  • Cheque
  • Credit card

Can I cancel my booking?

We hope that you do not need to cancel your booking. However, if you do, our cancellation fee, based on the notice given prior to the departure date, is:

  • More than 12 weeks: $50 administration fee
  • 6 to 12 weeks: loss of deposit
  • 4 to 6 weeks: 25% of full tour cost
  • 2 to 4 weeks: 50% of full tour cost
  • less than 2 weeks: 100% of full tour cost, no refund

If you have any concerns about cancelling, please take out travel insurance covering this contingency. This policy will be adhered to despite the most compelling and compassionate circumstances.