Domestic: Western Australia adventures

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KITE SURFING ADVENTURES AT GERALDTON

The lowdown: As the summer winds sweep across the coastal town of Geraldton, an array of sails and boards race across the water carrying locals and visitors in board shorts and wetsuits.

With consistent sea breezes most of the year, Geraldton, located 424 km north of Perth, is renowned for its kite surfing. Beginners can practise their skills on the calm waters of Georges Beach and Coronation Beach, while more experienced surfers can try out the waves at Sunset Beach and Point Moore. Wind conditions are best between November and March and equipment for kite surfing can be bought or hired in Geraldton.

Where to do it: KiteWest Kiteboarding School has lessons catering for all levels and for both individuals and groups. Lessons are run by an IKO (International Kiteboarding Organisation) qualified instructor and cost $60 for one hour or $150 for three hours. For more information visit www.kitewest.com.au

WALKING THE KALBARRI COASTAL TRAIL

The lowdown: Rugged limestone cliffs and vibrant wildflowers make up the scenery of the Kalbarri coastline. Visitors can capture this spectacular landscape on the eight kilometre Coastal Trail, which begins with stunning views of the Indian Ocean at Eagle Gorge. The trail then takes walkers to various lookouts including Island Rock — a solitary limestone mountain just off the mainland — formed from years of waves pounding against the coastal cliffs, before finishing at the picnic-friendly area of Natural Bridge.

The weather is warm and sunny in Kalbarri all year round but if your clients are after the most colourful scenery, the best time of year to walk the Coastal Trail is between July and November, when the wildflowers burst into bloom. Between these months visitors can also enjoy sightings of migrating humpback whales just off the coast.

Where to do it: For a closer encounter with the animals, Kalbarri Reefwalker Adventure Tours runs trips out on the water for $85. For more information visit www.reefwalker.com.au

OFF ROAD DRIVING AT STEEP POINT

The lowdown: If the sound of an engine and the feeling of flying over sand dunes appeals, then a 4WD adventure to Steep Point is sure to get your heart racing. The area is the most westerly part of Australia’s mainland and other than being an untouched wild landscape filled with hidden off-road tracks, it is also known for offering some of the country’s best land-based fishing. A variety of game fish such as huge mackerel, trevally and snapper have been caught here by fisherman using the unique technique of balloon fishing.

The coastal limestone cliffs at Steep Point, which drop some 200 metres to sea level, and the beautiful views of the Indian Ocean, leave visitors feeling like they are in another world. However, the remoteness of Steep Point means there are no shops or amenities, so visitors should come prepared with essentials, especially water.

Where to do it: Shark Bay Ocean Park Aquarium offers one-day 4WD tours, which include lunch and morning and afternoon tea, for $350. For more information visit www.allretreats.com.au/oceanpark

INTERACTING WITH DOLPHINS AT MONKEY MIA

The lowdown: Knee-deep in turquoise water, tourists sporting wide brim hats and swimsuits wait anxiously for bottlenose dolphins to approach the shore. The lucky few are handed small fish by a ranger to feed the animals, while others whip out their cameras to capture the moment.

This close encounter with wild dolphins occurs every day at Monkey Mia and has been happening since the 1960s, when local fisherman first began sharing their catch with the animals.

Today, an average of seven to eight dolphins visit up to three times a day, with the most common visiting time being in the morning.

Where to do it: Many tour operators include Monkey Mia in their itineraries. For more information, visit www.westernaustralia.com

SNORKELLING AT CORAL BAY

The lowdown: Located at the southern end of the renowned 260 km Ningaloo Reef, Coral Bay is a little slice of heaven — pristine beaches, colourful coral and an array of fish just metres off the shore. Boat tours that depart from the bay take visitors further out into the reef, where they can snorkel with manta rays, sea snakes, whales and turtles. From March to June whale sharks, accompanied by schools of fish, come out to play. These gentle giants are the biggest fish in the world, capable of growing up to 18 metres in length. The sight of these huge animals gliding through the water alone is enough to leave visitors with a truly memorable underwater experience.

Where to do it: To maximise the chance of finding these creatures, Ningaloo Reef Dive takes a spotter plane out with their tours. For more information visit www.ningalooreefdive.com