T R AV E L
Hire a whole island in the North West Dreaming of your own private island, with white, sandy shores and turquoise ocean? Set a course for Direction Island, in the Pilbara’s Mackerel Island group. You don’t have to be a zillionaire to hire the whole island for yourself - a solitary A-frame retreat that sleeps eight can be rented with fresh water and solar power from $395 per night (for two people; $60 per extra person, per night). Game fishing and diving trips on the coral reef are popular pastimes, along with snorkelling, swimming and just kicking-back. In season, you might even see migrating whales. It’s remote, isolated and a castaway’s dream. For a less-secluded stay with more conveniences, nearby Thevenard Island has 12 cabins. Getting there From Perth to Onslow it’s a 1400km drive (or fly with Virgin),
then take the 20-minute, on-demand ferry trip or arrive with your own vessel. mackerelislands.com.au
Remote beauty of Dirk Hartog Island
Swim with a humpback whale at Ningaloo While whale sharks are synonymous with WA’s Ningaloo Coast, it is also one of the few places in the world where you can swim with humpback whales. Whale swim operators track the humpbacks along the coast and take swimmers out by boat for strictly supervised encounters.
Those hankering for simple pleasures and outdoor adventures will find their nirvana on Dirk Hartog Island. The 80km-long by 10km-wide finger of earth in World Heritage Listed Shark Bay is traced with lone, dirt tracks leading to footprint-free beaches, rusty red bluffs, turtle nesting havens and an historic lighthouse lookout.
a camp kitchen. Those wanting greater comfort can book the eightbed villa built from stones collected on the island, or an ensuite in former shearers’ quarters (now the Lodge).
Serious four-wheel drive enthusiasts will lap it up. Camping options range from bare dirt clearings in the wilderness to a couple of remote shed shelters.
Getting there Shark Bay’s main town, Denham is about 820km, or a nine-hour drive from Perth, otherwise, fly with Skippers Aviation and hire a vehicle. Get your four-wheel drive to Dirk Hartog Island via the reservationessential barge departing Steep Point. dirkhartogisland.com
At the Dirk Hartog Island Eco Lodge, there are campsites and
Visit the island’s epic blowholes, pink lakes and sand dunes. If you’re not at the Lodge, its BYO everything.
Unlike whale sharks which glide slowly in the same direction, humpback behaviour is unpredictable, with tail slapping and other playful behaviours. Operators keep their tour groups small for a more intimate and safer experience. Getting there Many whale shark tour operators in Coral Bay and Exmouth also offer humpback whale swims. Qantas flies daily from Perth to Learmonth Airport, Exmouth, with transfers to Coral Bay (bookings essential). visitningaloo.com.au 46
April-May 2018 / Horizons
Perth gets world-first driverless on-demand trial