Amanda’s Shipwreck Coast: A Western Australia Itinerary
BLOG | Part of our Innovative Itineraries series, this itinerary was created by Senior Travel Designer Amanda Fisher. Sail the rugged west coast of Western Australia and discover 17th century nautical history, World Heritage-listed views, and the incomparable luxury of super yacht travel.
At a Glance
This itinerary was customised for a multi-generational family by one of our Senior Travel Designers Amanda Fisher. Combining aquatic adventure activities and engaging educational opportunities with support from highly qualified guides, this exploratory journey is facilitated by the use of the premium 115ft super yacht ‘M/Y Paradise’ and its dedicated crew as accommodation, with exceptional food and wine present throughout to fuel days of adventure.
The remote mid-west-coast of Western Australia is a space of pristine waters and stunning, craggy landscapes. This region offers a rich and layered history of the local Nhanda and Malgana people, as well as those of 17th century Dutch explorers whose histories curl amongst the vibrant coral beds and currents. Amanda’s love for the west coast shows in its contrasts—between the rawness and authenticity of the landscape and the ultra-luxe comfort of super yacht travel, this journey merges several of her own travel interests into one exhilarating, hand-stitched itinerary to suit all kinds of travellers.
The state of Western Australia covers a third of the country itself, where arid red expanses stretch to meet with fringing reefs in crystalline waters. The fertile south-west is home to its popular urban expanses, including capital city Perth and wine country Margaret River, while the state’s far north is home to the Kimberley known for its ancient Aboriginal rock art, the sandstone domes of the Bungle Bungle Range, and the coastal pearling town Broome.
Traverse the remote, rugged, and raw western frontier from the comfort of your own private charter super yacht, with days of snorkelling, diving, beachcombing, fishing, kayaking, and exploring abound.
Destination 1: Perth
One of the world’s most remote metropolises, Perth’s two million residents have made the lush south-west corner of Western Australia home. A hub for the region, Perth offers rolling hills to the east and white, sandy coastline to the west. The stunning scenery will welcome you to Australia’s largest state, while the city will immerse you in urban comforts before your expedition into the great unknown.
Your accommodation at COMO The Treasury is nestled within 19th century State buildings, delivering a premium boutique hotel experience in the city while overlooking lush botanical gardens and striking architecture. Offering 48 luxurious contemporary rooms and suites alongside two restaurants, a spa and gym options, COMO’s style and comfort will deliver one of Perth’s finest stays from where it perches upon the Swan River as you prepare for your maritime adventure.
Develop your historical foundation before departure with educational afternoons exploring museums throughout Fremantle. Explore the WA Maritime Museum and Shipwreck Museum with exclusive behind the scenes access, hosted by a local expert of the Dutch shipwrecks that you’ll soon dive upon. Enjoy a brine-kissed seafood lunch before visiting the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club for a cup of tea (or a beer to your taste) with local marine historians and treasure hunters, where you’ll share stories and histories and brush the sand off the spaces you’ll explore.
With two nights available to enjoy Perth’s vibrant small bar scene and quality dining options, you’ll soon fly from Perth to Geraldton, a tiny coastal city and final destination before diving into the rugged and isolated west coast. By private charter flight, you’ll transfer to the Abrolhos Islands and board the M/Y Paradise, your luxurious home for the next several nights.
Destination 1: Perth has accommodation for two nights at COMO The Treasury.
Your Accommodation: M/Y Paradise
Welcome aboard your floating Paradise. A private, seabound hotel of 115ft/35m, Motor Yacht (M/Y) Paradise launched in 2014, boasting naval architecture, polished and contemporary design, and a sense of spacious opulence befitting of Western Australia’s premium super yacht.
Accommodating ten guests, this super yacht offers four expansive guest staterooms and one master cabin, each fitted with ensuites and additional accompaniments, including an enormous closet in the master cabin, and audio and video equipment in all rooms. With up to six crew resting in separate accommodation—including your well-experienced skipper, deck-hand, hostess, chef, guide, and Captain—your stay on Paradise will take every consideration into account to maximise your time upon the coast. Paradise’s main deck offers a spacious aft deck alfresco dining area, enormous saloon, several entertaining areas, and sun lounges for comfort on every level. Paradise’s well-experienced crew are available on-hand to share their intimate knowledge of the coastline, provide food and drink, and assist in any way possible.
The enormous duckboard at the back of Paradise is perfect for landings, fishing, diving and evening drinks—toss your legs over the side and let your feet skim the sparkling waters with a drink in your hand. Fully stocked with a spectacular range of diverse water toys to get you off-board alongside myriad comforts to keep you entertained while onboard, Paradise will welcome you, shelter you, and plunge you into the sparkling waters of the pristine ecosystems you’ll visit along your journey along the Coral Coast.
Destination 2: Houtman Abrolhos Islands
Dive into your first stop, the Abrolhos Islands—an archipelago of 122 coral islands steeped in rich maritime history. This unique and delicate ecosystem is only 60km off the Geraldton coast, and stretches from north to south across 100 kilometres.
A beautiful area showcasing exceptional biodiversity, the next three days in this region will provide abundant opportunities to snorkel, deep-sea fish, and see the home of an astonishing array of marine life, including Australian sea lions, dolphins, whales, and a staggering 389 distinct species of fish. Dive straight off Paradise’s back into the waters to swim amongst your neighbours, or head on-land to enjoy island exploring across the archipelago, where you may spot the Tammar Wallaby, over 90 species of seabird, and much more.
The Coral Coast of Western Australia has caused many shipwrecks, including the best-known tragic wreck of the Batavia in June 1629 which ran aground of the region’s beautiful yet treacherous coral reefs on her maiden voyage. Harkening back to the stories you learnt of in Perth, you’ll come face to face with where history occurred. Tread the locations where the Batavia’s survivors stories of mutiny, murder, and madness were made, while on clear days experienced divers may get opportunity to dive on the Batavia’s wreck site, scour for the remains of other wrecks, and keep an eye out for artefacts like cannons, a ship’s bell, and masses of jewels and silver coins.
After three nights exploring this remarkable and little-explored region, bunker down in luxury for the smooth sailing cruise up to Gutharraguda (Meaning ‘two waters’ in the local Malgana language), also known as Shark Bay.
Destination 2: Houtman Abrolhos Islands has accommodation for three nights upon M/Y Paradise.
Destination 3: Shark Bay and Dirk Hartog Island
Morning light will greet you upon arrival in Shark Bay, forming the perfect backdrop for a leisurely breakfast aboard Paradise’s deck. Arriving at the anchorage around Dirk Hartog Island, named for 17th century Dutch captain who left an inscribed plaque on the island, you’ll be welcomed by the region’s striking and colourful seascapes before plunging into its greater adventures.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Shark Bay is spread across 23,000 square kilometres and features unique natural phenomena, ranging from vast sea-grass beds, an extensive dugong population, stromatolites (colonies of algae which form hard, dome-shaped deposits which are among the oldest forms of life on earth), as well as being home to five species of endangered mammals. There is plenty to explore both on and off-land, including touring with a local Aboriginal guide of the Nhanda and Malgana people, and exploring their peoples’ cultural ties to the Gutharraguda region to deepen your understanding of place.
If you’re wanting to dig your toes into the sand, you may stay overnight in a comfortable eco-lodge on Dirk Hartog Island itself, enjoying the comforts of a fully hosted stay with Dirk Hartog locals Kieran and Tory Wardle. Kieran has lived his entire life on the island, having previously ran the property as a sheep station, and today runs the eco-lodge property with his wife as a conservation and tourism destination. Relax onshore as the sun sets across the water, enjoy a BBQ dinner alongside a crackling bonfire, and rest under the stars while enjoying the sights and sounds of nature at its most pristine.
After three nights, settle in for a cruise up to the world’s largest fringing reef—Ningaloo Reef.
Destination 3: Shark Bay and Dirk Hartog Island has accommodation for two nights upon M/Y Paradise and one night at Dirk Hartog Eco Lodge.
Destination 4: Ningaloo Reef
Upon arrival, you’ll marvel at the incomparable sight of all 705,015 hectares of Ningaloo Reef in its splendour. Named from the local Wajarri language, meaning ‘deepwater’, Ningaloo Reef is both distinctive and famed for its whale-watching seasons. This deservedly iconic and breathtaking region will be your home for the next three nights, while also featuring as your expedition’s final destination.
Paradise will perch where two UNESCO World Heritage sites meet—Ningaloo Reef and Cape Range National Park. Ningaloo Reef is one of the most intact and pristine fringing reef systems in the world, making it an excellent place to enjoy diving, snorkelling, and manta ray encounters. With a range of gazetted fishing zones, fishers of all ability levels will enjoy game-fishing, bone-fishing, big game on fly tackle, reef fishing, and more. On land, Cape Range National Park provides excellent hiking opportunities alongside creeks and inlets to be explored by kayak and paddle-board, while the range of endemic and rare fauna living on the cape provides exciting wildlife spotting opportunities.
One of the most remarkable natural phenomena of Ningaloo are encounters with gentle giants—whale sharks and humpback whales. From June through to the end of October, Ningaloo is recognised as one of the major migratory routes for humpback whales on their annual journey from Antarctica to the Kimberley, as they stop and rest in the warm waters of Exmouth Gulf, while whale sharks visit from mid-March to late July. Teamed with a professional spotter, you may swim alongside these gentle giants, or watch from aboard Paradise as they glide about with their pod—either experience is a memory to last a lifetime.
After your three magnificent nights in this remarkable reef, you’ll curve around the coast to disembark Paradise at Exmouth, and head towards the airport to continue the journey homeward—or onto your next adventure.
Destination 4: Ningaloo Reef has accommodation for three nights upon M/Y Paradise.
Why you love this itinerary?
Where to next?
The open expanse of the sea calls. The Coral Coast of Australia stretches from south to north along the remote western edge and features some of the most pristine reef areas in the world without the bustle of crowds. An adventure in itself while potentially also functioning as a launch pad into the surrounding region, there’s so much more to explore in this great state: trek north-eastward to the Kimberley, return south to Perth, or head further south still into the lush green Margaret River wine region.
Which Western Australian islands call to you? How would a super yacht enhance your own journey? Be sure to let us know.
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