Australia South to North - Melbourne to Darwin
Bedding down at a traditional sheep station and outside under the outback sky, learning about dreamtime stories from the Aborigines, experiencing a night underground in Coober Pedy, catching the magnificent colours of Uluru, hiking through gorgeous natural rock formations in the Red Centre, riding the route of Afghan cameleers on the Ghan Train, exploring the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kakadu National Park
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You can’t get Down Under through a bus window. If you’re going to get off the tourist track, you’ll have to shake things up a bit—that’s why we’ve turned to trains, 4x4s, buses and boats for this itinerary. From the cobblestones of charming Melbourne, cut through the outback and explore the mysteries of Uluru. Follow your curiosity down the deserted tracks that make Australia so remote and spend 18 days discovering the natural beauty of one of the world’s most awe-inspiring destinations.
- Rainforest walk in Great Otway National Park, visit to the 12 Apostles, visit to Tower Hill National Park, evening walk in Grampians National Park, Coorong National Park, Clare Valley wine tasting, Remarkable National Park, visit to an Aboriginal centre, visit to the salt lake of Lake Eyre including remote thermal springs, underground mine tour, champagne sunset viewing of Uluru, Marla walk around Uluru and visit to the culture centre, hikes at Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and Kings Canyon, crocodile spotting boat cruise, Aboriginal art and craft centre visit, exploration of Kakadu National Park and Litchfield National Park.
- 17 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 10 dinners (Allow AUD220-260 for meals that are not included.)
- Basic hotels (4 nts, some multi-share), lodges (3 nts, some multi-share), camping in 'swag' or tent (6 nts), cabins (2 nts), underground hostel (1 nt, multi-share), overnight train (1 nt, airline-style seating)
- Private bus, train, 4x4, boat
- Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
- Small group experience; Max 18, avg 12
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Day 1 Melbourne
Arrive at any time.
Day 2 Great Ocean Road/Port Campbell (1B)
Travel past world famous surf beaches along the Great Ocean Road. Enjoy views of the 12 Apostles and a guided rainforest walk in Great Otway National Park.
Day 3 Grampians National Park (1B,1D)
Travel inland to Grampians National Park, known for its sandstone mountain range and impressive rock art. Trek through the forest, lush with vegetation and wildlife.
Day 4 Mt Gambier (1B,1D)
Explore Grampians National Park. Enjoy waterfalls, lakes and trek to the 'Jaws of Death Balconies'. Stay overnight at a refurbished old English jail in the country town of Mt Gambier.
Day 5 Adelaide (1B)
Hike in Coorong National Park, known for its dune systems, lagoons and amazing birdlife before continuing onto Adelaide.
Day 6 Flinders Ranges (1B,1D)
Enjoy a wine tasting in the Clare Valley. Continue to Alligator Gorge, known for its uniquely coloured rock formations, before a stop at the historic town of Quorn. Bed down at a working sheep station for a one-of-a-kind overnight experience.
Day 7 Outback (1B,1L,1D)
Head to Wilpena Pound for a walk to a natural amphitheatre sacred to the Aboriginal Adnyamathana people. Learn about Aboriginal art and early settler history. Opt for a scenic flight over the area.
Day 8 William Creek (1B,1L,1D)
Travel along the Old Ghan Railway route—the Oodnadatta Track. Marvel at ruins of early settler sites, visit the Arabunna Aboriginal Centre, cross the dingo fence and trek to the edge of the great salt lake of Lake Eyre. Relax in remote thermal springs.
Day 9 Coober Pedy (1B)
Cross the outback on a rugged track to Coober Pedy, the world's opal mining capital. After a guided tour of a mine, escape the heat like the locals by spending the night underground.
Day 10-11 Uluru (2B,1L,1D)
Cross the border to the Northern Territory, where Australia's most iconic view awaits. Experience the colourful sunset at Uluru and then bed down in a 'swag' (canvas bedroll) or tent under the outback sky. Enjoy a walk around the base of the rock to learn the importance of Uluru to the Aborigines.
Day 12 Kings Canyon (1B,1L,1D)
Discover more of the Red Centre with a hike through the beautiful Valley of the Winds in Kata Tjuta.
Day 13 Alice Springs (1B)
Enjoy the morning walk through the gorges and valleys of Kings Canyon of Watarrka National Park. Travel to Alice Springs via the homestead of Erldunda.
Day 14 The Ghan Train (1B)
Travel in comfort on the famous Ghan Train. Glide through the remote outback en route to the subtropical top end of Australia.
Day 15 Darwin
Stop at Katherine Gorge. Opt for a flat-bottomed boat trip or a walk before continuing onto Darwin.
Day 16 Darwin/Kakadu National Park (1B,1L,1D)
Spot crocs on a boat cruise. Visit an Aboriginal crafts centre before continuing onto Kakadu National Park.
Day 17 Kakadu National Park/Litchfield National Park (1B,1L,1D)
Explore the waterfalls, swimming holes and trails of Kakadu National Park—a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 18 Litchfield National Park/Darwin (1B,1L)
Guided excursion to Litchfield National Park to encounter streams, rock formations and the impressive magnetic termite mounds. Tour ends in Darwin upon arrival in the evening.
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