Gail Liston has hit the road and distilled her extensive travel knowledge to bring us the 20 Top Tours from all around Australia.

No list of top tours would be complete without a strong backpacker contender and this award-winning ten-day tour highlights the best of the West, giving travellers a taste of both the coast and the outback. Whether it’s hiking rugged gorges or snorkelling off Ningaloo Reef, there are enough contrasts on this adventure to have even the most hardened traveller salivating. From Perth you’ll visit Nambung National Park for its fascinating Pinnacles Desert, then hang out with the dolphins at Monkey Mia before scooting along the coast to the jewel of the north, Coral Bay, where you’ll discover marine life like you’ve never seen. Along the way visit Carnarvon, Exmouth and the North West Cape before the 4WD noses its way inland through the rough-and-tumble mining town of Tom Price and on to the mighty Pilbara and the little-known Karijini National Park, where breathtaking natural spa pools and secret rock art sites await.

The last night on the road is the final treat, with a camping experience on the million-acre cattle station, Nallan Station, in the heart of the WA outback.

Brag Factor // Sampling swimming delights in the Pilbara’s natural spa pools and on the reefs of Turquoise Bay.

Details // Tour by Western Xposure, $1495 adult. (08) 9414 8423, www.westernxposure.com.au

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