Post Congress Tours
Five exciting post-congress tours have been planned for after the IAH Congress. This is your opportunity to explore some unique areas of Australia. Using the online registration form please express your interest to attend the below tours.
Tour 1: PILBARA MINES AND NINGALOO COAST TOUR
Duration: 7 days
Dates: 21 September 2013 – 27 September 2013
Approximate Cost: AUD $5200.00
From Western Australia’s red heart to the coral reef coast, the Mines and Ningaloo Coast tour showcases Australia’s vast scenic and hydrogeological landscape. Commencing at Newman in the heart of Australia’s booming resources industry, the tour includes a visit to an innovative and award-winning minesite Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) scheme. The tour then takes in the world-class Karijini National Park, before heading to the coast and the Ningaloo Reef. The Carnarvon Artesian basin is then traversed, including the unique thermal pools, before winding up at the Carnarvon agricultural region.
The tour departs Perth airport on 21 September, flying to Newman to visit the Ophthalmia Dam basin recharge scheme. We then tour the BHPB Mount Whaleback iron ore mine, the biggest single-pit open-cut iron ore mine in the world. The following day we visit the Cloudbreak mine in the Chichester Range and are provided with a guided technical tour of the Cloudbreak MAR scheme, the world’s largest mining MAR scheme. After lunch at the edge of the Fortescue Marsh, we stay at the Karijini Eco Retreat. The following morning we tour Karijini National Park. After climbing Mount Bruce and then dinner at the Karijini Eco Retreat, we view the Southern Hemisphere solar system with an onsite astronomer under clear Pilbara skies. The next morning we visit the historic mining town of Tom Price, and then drive down the iconic northwest coastal highway through archaean banded iron formation terrane to Coral Bay. After a swim in the Indian Ocean, we enjoy dinner by the Indian Ocean sunset.
After waking by the Indian Ocean, we spend the morning snorkelling in the Ningaloo Reef – Australia’s largest fringing coral reef, followed by a reef boat tour, which will coincide with the Humpback Whales migration season. We then drive to Lake MacLeod and view the extensive salt evaporation and beta carotene industry. The tour then visits Carnarvon Artesian Basin sites, including the historic 914 metre deep artesian Bibbawarra Bore hot spring, and the regional bore-rehabilitation program. We then visit the world famous Gnaraloo surf break and the Gnaraloo pastoral station, before driving to Carnarvon. After a tour of the famous Carnarvon banana and agricultural region and lunch in Carnarvon and fly back to Perth on 27 September.
Tour 2: KIMBERLEY DISCOVERY TOUR
Duration: 10 days
Dates: 21 September 2013 – 30 September 2013
Approximate Cost: AUD$6,930.00 (cost per person twin share)
The Kimberley Discovery Tour will take you for an exciting eleven day discovery across the Kimberley wilderness. Explore the outback of Australia and learn about the Kimberley regions geology and hydrogeology.
Start in Broome, the pearling capital of Australia where you will learn what pearl farming is all about and see Cable Beach with its beautiful white sand and crystal clear turquoise water. Broaden your knowledge of groundwater management in the context of urban and industrial developments in a heritage listed region, and understand the challenges of water supply from coastal aquifers. You will be taken for a day trip to the Beagle Bay community to visit its amazing mound springs with the diverse vegetation such as the saltwater and freshwater mangroves that surround them.
Wind your way east along the scenic Gibb River Road and enjoy the 4WD adventure through the amazing Kind Leopold Ranges and the Gardner Plateau; sit back on the banks of the Napier River at Windjana and watch the Johnstone River crocodiles sunbathing, and look for the fossil fish. Grab a torch and wade through Tunnel Creek where its waters have sculptured a cave through karstic Devonian limestone. Explore some of the most outstanding waterfalls and gorges in the region, such as Bell Gorge, Emma Gorge and El Questro, and enjoy a bath in the warm water of the Zebedee hot springs.
The Gibb River Road will then lead you to Kununurra also known in Aboriginal language as “Big Water”. Indeed, here the water enthusiasts will not be disappointed as Lake Argyle is the largest man-made lake in Australia. The Ord River Dam catchment receives water from the monsoonal rainfall events and it provides water all year round for a growing agricultural industry, hydroelectricity as well as leisure and entertainment. Seize the opportunity to learn about fractured rock aquifers of the Kimberley region and the challenges of mine dewatering for the Western Australian mining industry at Argyle Diamond Mine, the largest in the southern hemisphere before touring the Lake Argyle.
Complete your outback adventure by visiting the breathtaking World Heritage listed Purnululu National Park featuring the well-known Bungle Bungles, an ancient range of impressive beehived-shaped conglomeratic domes, and enjoy a two night camping-stay before returning to Broome.
Tour 3: ALICE SPRINGS/CENTRAL AUSTRALIA
Duration: 4 days
Dates: 22 September 2013 – 25 September 2013
Approximate Cost: TBA
The tour visits some of the world-renowned sites of the “Red Centre” of Australia. Included on the itinerary are the town of Alice Springs, the Desert Wildlife Park, the springs of the Kings Canyon region and Palm Valley and a visit to Uluru (Ayers Rock). The arid climate of this area is reflected in the hydrogeological environment.
Kings Canyon is located within Watarrka National Park. This scenic landscape of rugged ranges, rockholes and gorges acts as a refuge for many plants and animals, making the Park an important conservation area and major attraction of central Australia.
Uluru is a massive sandstone rock in central Australia that is sacred to the Aborigines of the area. The aboriginals believe that it was been formed by the activities of ancestral beings in creation time (or Dreamtime). The beautiful site includes many caves, waterholes, and ancient rock paintings.
Tour 4: KAKADU NATIONAL PARK – DALY BASIN KATHERINE
Duration: 5 days
Dates: 22 September 2013 – 26 September 2013|
Approximate Cost: AUD$4060.00
This is a five day tour, departing from Perth on Sunday the 22 September.
Kakadu National Park, located east of Darwin, includes some of Australia’s most spectacular natural landscapes. A World Heritage listed area for both natural and cultural reasons, it contains vast areas of unspoilt wetlands, savanna woodlands and rugged sandstone escarpments. The park is noted for its wildlife and a highlight of the tour will be a boat cruise to view it in close proximity. Aboriginal people have lived in the Top End of Australia for more than 40,000 years, and maintain strong spiritual links with their land. One of the highlights of a trip to Kakadu is a visit to one of the unique rock art sites.
The Daly Basin, situated approximately 300km south of Darwin, is a Lower Palaeozoic geological basin dominated by carbonate rocks which form regional fractured and cavernous aquifers. The landscape includes numerous karstic landforms characteristic of the wet/dry tropics, and many groundwater discharge points in the form of major springs. The trip will include a visit to one of the major springs – Katherine Hot Spring. Other local attractions will be visited, including a boat cruise on Katherine Gorge. This deep gorge has been carved through Proterozoic aged sandstone by the Katherine River.
The tour will also visit Litchfield National Park and featuring picturesque Florence Falls and the famous Wangi Falls.
Tour 5: MICROBIALITES OF SOUTH-WEST WA
Duration: 4 days
Approximate Cost Budget Tour: AUD $1250.00
Approximate Cost Premium Tour: AUD $2000.00
The south west of Western Australia (SWWA) is one of the worlds Biodiversity hotspots. This is due to not only the large number of ecologically significant sites but the fact that they are under threat from anthropogenic forces. One of the most weird and wonderful groundwater dependant examples of this biodiversity is the Microbialites of SWWA.
The Microbialites encompass a number of spectacular, incredibly diverse algal communities, which typically biomediate CaCO3 precipitation from groundwater discharge. They occur in coastal freshwater to hypersaline lakes as well as in groundwater springs and some types are widespread in the early fossil record. The large number of communities occurring in such close proximity, within one of the world’s most ancient landscapes is no coincidence. These communities are all are highly groundwater dependant and are linked to both local and regional scale aquifers and are the modern evolution of some of the first life forms to colonise the planet. They represent a culmination of the interaction between the hydrosphere, biosphere and lithosphere which has been occurring for more than 3.5 billion years.
We will walk through the aquifer in the caves of the Cape Leeuwin to Cape Naturalist region, some of which have been directly linked to the groundwater discharge at the microbialite sites. This field trip will last for 4 days and 3 nights through some of the most scenic country that Australia has to offer. We will travel through towering eucalypt forests, see stunning rocky coastlines and white glorious beaches, with some of the best surf the world has to offer. We will also take in a host of local culture with planned stops at some of the region’s best wineries and restaurants.
These tours are designed by arinex Destination Management (license No. 2TA001144), for participating delegates and accompanying persons of IAH 2013. Only the best aspects of the regions have been incorporated to provide value for money for persons whose time is at a premium.
All tours are based on a minimum number of participants. If minimum numbers are not reached, alternative arrangements or a complete refund will be made. Places on all tours are limited and will be allocated strictly in order of receipt of payment.