We are the small group adventure specialists.
We are a proudly Western Australian company. Owner operator Pete West's ancestors arrived in the Pilbara in the 1890’s to search for gold in Nullagine, located in the fabulous yet harsh East Pilbara. Pete and his team continue the search today. The Pilbara's natural beauty replacing the allure of gold.
The Flying Sandgroper was a long held travel concept of owner operator Pete West. Established in 2012 after many many years of touring the North West of Western Australia. Pete was constantly frustrated by the endless miles of highway to access the stunning nature and raw natural beauty of WA. Pete was also frustrated that our region was cost prohibitive to many national and international guests.
Something had to be done!
The Flying Sandgroper was born and incorporating existing commercial flights, domestic bus routes was the key to solve the Pilbara riddle.
The express purpose of The Flying Sandgroper Adventure Tours and Travel is:
Karijini National Park and Ningaloo Reef. How blessed Western Australia is to have these two jewels. Such contrasting beauties, separated by 700kms of lonely highway.
In Pete's opinion to have been to Western Australia without taking time to explore and feel the North West of the state, you have simply not encountered the complete essence of the great state of Western Australia.
The Pilbara Region is a land of ancient rocks much older than the Kimberley to the north. The Pilbara is rich in minerals, wealthy in iron, copper, tin, gold & asbestos. When the subject of the Pilbara is raised in many circles the minerals are often cited and has even been referred to as the silver bullet in the nation's economy. For good reason as the Pilbara is responsible for 35% of the nations foreign earnings.
However the Pilbara has a greater wealth to those who know it and belong to it.
Natural beauty that is harsh and rugged. Epic sun rises and sunsets, dreamy moon rises and moon sets. Painters and photographers flock to the Pilbara to capture her contrasts. Dreamers and thinkers find their inspiration here too.
The Pilbara is rich in things that do not exist here also. A population of one person for every 12 square kilometres. The region does not have much mobile phone coverage or internet access. Traffic congestion and traffic lights are not a feature of our region.
No internet, no phone, no worries! A great remedy for an over stimulated world.
We have also received many journalists over the years. Kerryn Burgess of the Weekend Australian captured it best when she referred to the Pilbara as a "digital detox".
What are you waiting for? Explore our tours today!
The Sandgroper is a subterranean insect, but also a nickname for an inhabitant or native of Western Australia.
The following photos are historical records of Pete's ancestors dating back to the 1890's.
Karijini National Park is the geographical and spiritual heart of Western Australia. The park lies within the Hamersley Range approximately 700 metres above sea level. The parks boundaries are huge and covers 627,444 hectares. Second only to Rudall River National Park.
Karijini is very old country, translated to English she means Hilly Country and has been a natural meeting place of the ancient ones and this continues today. Karijini is the spiritual and traditional home of Banjima, Kurrama and Innawonga Aboriginal people. There is much to be learned from the past, present and future of Karijini's indigenous population. For those whom seek, answers are all around.
Karijini is a mix of stunning gorges with cool inviting waters. A micro environment featuring flora that could not exist outside the gorge system. There is some amazing self-guiding in the park and visitors could fill a week exploring it. It's important for visitors to understand and show good etiquette when entering the park. Some visitors may mistake the park for a water theme park. Visitors are reminded to be respectful to the creation serpent the Warlu, soft voices in the gorge and no jumping into sensitive pools. Not only respectful but this behaviour enhances the visitors experience too.
Ningaloo Marine Park is a long fringing barrier reef stretching from the Cape Range National Park to South of Coral Bay. There are some magnificent coral reefs that in some places are a few metres from the shoreline. There are at least 250 species of coral on Ningaloo Reef and 500 species of fish too. Fishing is permitted outside sanctuary zones and fishermen can enjoy great eating fish such as Northwest Snapper, Coral Trout, Emperor, Groper and Perch.
Snorkelers can share the water with lots of turtles and reef sharks - a dream encounter for many. Ningaloo also hosts larger marine life, Humpback whale migration is an annual treat for visitors as they make their way to warmer tropical waters in the autumn. Another big attraction is the biggest fish in the sea, the whale shark which are present from March to July. Large fish like manta rays are resident year round.
Cape Range in the north end of Ningaloo, with epic off the beach snorkelling sites such as Turquoise Bay and Oyster Stacks make the park like no other. The park features great facilities yet is being managed very well and the mantra of bring everything you need and take it all with you when you leave exists. The absence of commercial operators and high rise accommodations is an example of government getting things right.
There are fabulous gorges and walk trails and not only an abundance of marine life but land based animals are also protected and are everywhere. Monitors, Kangaroos, Emu's, Rock Wallaby's and more to discover. Coral Bay to the south is a joy to visit also. Simply enjoying the bay itself swimming in pristine waters and snorkelling amongst coral just off the beach. Sipping on a cold beer looking over the bay at the Coral Bay Hotel is one of Pete's favourite tings to do.
Ningaloo Marine Park achieved World Heritage Listing in 2012.
Whether you are travelling our region independently, on the bus with our mates at Integrity Coach Lines or flying in with Virgin / Qantas Airlines. Travels that include Karijini and Ningaloo will leave a mark on those who come and remind us how amazing Planet Earth is.
The following adventure travel partners are carefully selected by The Flying Sandgroper.
We have included them because they are 100% Australian owned and make significant contributions to Western Australia’s travel industry. Each and every partner will provide you with a warm welcome and treat you as valued guests.
Accommodation is more than a place to stay, it should compliment your journey.
We want out guests to have the option to choose activities important to them.