Learn about creation time stories of the Aborigines, catch the magnificent colours of Uluru, hike through gorgeous natural rock formations in the Red Centre, ride the route of Afghan cameleers on the Ghan Train, explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kakadu National Park
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 and an Aboriginal centre. Visit to Tower Hill Reserve and Coorong National Park. Clare Valley wine tasting. Underground mine tour. Champagne sunset viewing of Uluru. Mala walk around Uluru and visit to the culture centre. Hikes at Grampians National Park, Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), Kings Canyon. Crocodile-spotting boat cruise. Aboriginal art and craft centre visit. Exploration of Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
- 14 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 9 dinners (Allow AUD220-260 for meals that are not included.)
- Hostels (10 nts), camping in 'swag' or tent (5 nts), underground hostel (1 nt), overnight train (1 nt, airline-style seating). All nights multi-share.
- Private bus, train, 4x4, boat
- Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
- Small group experience; Max 20, avg 16
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Please note that most accommodation in Australia is multi-share, you can read more in the trip details in our about accommodation section.
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 walk through the rainforest in Great Otway NP.
Day 3 Grampians National Park (1B,1D)
Travel inland to Grampians NP, 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 NP. 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 NP, known for its dune systems, lagoons and amazing birdlife before continuing onto Adelaide.
Day 6 Flinders Ranges (1B)
Enjoy a wine tasting in the Clare Valley, before travelling to the historic town of Quorn for the night.
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. Sleep at a working outback station.
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 opt for a scenic flight over the great salt lake of Lake Eyre.
Day 9 Coober Pedy (1B,1D)
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 the Mala Walk around part of the base of the rock to learn the importance of Uluru to the Aborigines.
Day 12 Kings Creek (1B, 1L,1D)
Discover more of the Red Centre with a hike through the beautiful Valley of the Winds in Kata Tjuta. Opt for a scenic helicopter flight over the area.
Day 13 Alice Springs (1B)
Enjoy a morning walk through the gorges and valleys of Kings Canyon of Watarrka NP. Travel to Alice Springs via the homestead of Erldunda.
Day 14 The Ghan Train
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.
FOR TRIPS DEPARTING MAY THROUGH OCTOBER
Day 16 Darwin/Kakadu National Park (1L,1D)
Spot crocs on a boat cruise. Visit an Aboriginal crafts centre before continuing onto Kakadu NP.
Day 17 Kakadu National Park/Litchfield National Park (1B,1L,1D)
Explore the waterfalls, swimming holes and trails of Kakadu NP—a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 18 Litchfield National Park/Darwin (1B,1L)
Guided excursion in Litchfield NP to encounter streams, rock formations and the impressive magnetic termite mounds. Tour ends in Darwin upon arrival in the evening. Please book ongoing travel after 8:00pm.
FOR TRIPS DEPARTING NOVEMBER THROUGH APRIL
Day 16 Darwin/Litchfield NP (1L,1D)
Depart from Darwin at 6:30am, an early start to take advantage of time in Litchfield National Park. Visit the Florence and Tolmer Falls and cool off with a swim. Visit the Buley Rockhole and see the spectacular giant termite mounds before continuing on to the Adelaide River for a croc cruise.
Day 17 Kakadu NP (1B,1L,1D)
Cross into Kakadu National Park and visit an Aboriginal cultural centre, learn about some rock art and hike down to a breathtaking gorge with various pools.
Day 18 Kakadu NP/Darwin (1B,1L,1D)
Get an early start to visit Gunlom Falls for a walk and a swim before visiting the beautiful Ikoymarrwa for a swim, a site accessible only with a special permit. Tour ends in Darwin upon arrival in the evening, please book departure flights after 8pm.
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