There’s no place in Australia quite as spiritual and moving as Uluru. It’s not just the enormity of this rock, and the vastness of its setting, that is humbling, but also the significance it plays in Aboriginal lore. This is where the Dreamtime was born, and it’s where your seven-day journey to some of the best Australian landmarks and destinations begins.
Coming in to land at Ayres Rock Airport is a magical moment. From the sky, the setting is like an artist’s palette: smudges of ochre and orange spiked with the greens of desert heath and the twisted forms of river red gums surrounding the monolith. At ground level, the landscape and its significance to the Anangu people comes in to full focus, with your Aboriginal host providing insights into the relationship between the land, Indigenous culture and art while you enjoy lunch.
The wild west
From here your private jet – in which you and 34 other passengers fly in business-class comfort – journeys west to the coastal town of Exmouth, the gateway to some of Australia’s most memorable wildlife encounters. The World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Coast’s pristine waters are the perfect playground for all manner of marine life, from manta rays and turtles to enormous whale sharks. Dive in to swim with these gentle giants – the largest fish in the sea, growing up to 18 metres – for pinch-me moments only a few lucky travellers ever get to experience.
Mantarays Ningaloo Resort is your oasis-like base for the first two nights of the ‘Whale Sharks and Wines of the West by Private Jet’ journey with Captain’s Choice. This remarkable itinerary takes you from the east coast to the west and back again in just seven days, with stops in the Red Centre and far south along the way. It’s a route that, if flying commercially, could take you weeks. But when you’re in a private jet, with a Tour Manager and Tour Doctor on call to manage all logistics, experiencing Australian landmarks in four destinations is not only achievable, but it’s also done at a leisurely pace.
Wining and dining
The only wine region in the world where the sand meets grapevines, Margaret River offers a tantalising taste of Western Australia’s top drops. This is your second stop, with two nights checked in to the highly awarded Cape Lodge in Yallingup. Having landed in Busselton, you’ll travel further south – the journey is thirsty work, so it’s a good thing that exclusive wining and dining experiences await. Take a behind-the-scenes tour at Cape Mentelle, learn the secrets of blending at Aravina Estate, then sit down to an epic private meal at celebrated Leeuwin Estate. This jaw-droppingly beautiful property is set on rolling green grounds laced with native forest.
The vastness of Australia comes into perspective when you fly east, gazing out your jet’s window at the wide horizons of the Nullarbor Plain. This expanse – four times the size of Belgium – is home to the longest, straightest and flattest road in the world, which cuts through the countryside like a slash in the sand. Look out for camels and kangaroos on land, and whales breaching offshore, beneath the planet’s longest line of sea cliffs.
Your jet then arrives in Port Lincoln, the jewel of the Eyre Peninsula. This is South Australia’s seafood capital, as you’ll fast learn in fine-dining restaurants across town. For a closer perspective of the produce, pull on waders and discover how oysters are grown at Coffin Bay Oyster Farm. Your hosts will shuck these beauties and pour champagne while you’re still standing in the sea. This is quite possibly the most memorable meal you’ll ever enjoy. It turns out the area is also known for its wines, which you’ll savour before returning to your jet to complete the loop back to Sydney.
Seven days, four destinations, endless exclusive experiences and the best Australian landmarks – this is travel at its most revealing and rewarding.
Australian-owned Captain’s Choice offers a suite of exclusive private jet and plane journeys around Australia. To reserve your spot on the seven-day ‘Whale Sharks and Wines of the West by Private Jet’, click here.