Outback to the Top End - Adelaide to Darwin
Day 1 Adelaide
Arrive in Adelaide at any time. There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and explore the city. Please try to arrive before 7pm for an important group welcome meeting where you can meet the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members. If you arrive early enough, you'll have time to explore the city to visit a museum or visit a local vineyard. Please note: if you have pre-booked the Adelaide Dolphin Swim your CEO will inform you when you will do the activity throughout your tour, days are subject to change: Dolphin Swim (Day 1 - Adelaide). Please note Dolphin Swim starts early in the morning, you will need additional accommodation in Adelaide. For more information on the Extra see the Optional Activities section.
Day 2 Flinders Ranges (1B)
Early departure this morning. Travel through the Clare Valley wine area, making a stop for a wine tasting and demonstration to learn about the development of the vineyards in the area. South Australia has earned its place as one of the top wine regions in the world. Travel to Quorn Historic town for the night. Estimated travel time: 4 hours Travel distance: 350 km
Day 3 Outback (1B,1L,1D)
Take the day to explore the amazing scenery of Flinders Ranges. Wilpena Pound is a stunning natural amphitheater of mountains. Visit Aboriginal Art sites while on a guided tour of the area by your CEO. Your CEO will explain about the early settler history before settling in at Beltana Homestead for the night. Estimated travel time: 1 hour Travel distance: 50 km
Day 4 William Creek (1B,1L,1D)
We follow the Oodnadatta Track, strewn with ruins of failed early settler activity, along the route of the equally unsuccessful original Ghan Railway route. Stop to explore a number of historic settler sites along the way. Visit the Arabunna Aboriginal Centre to learn about the importance of the area to indigenous people. Visit the dry salt lake of Lake Eyre and take a dip in the remote thermal springs. Overnight at the Historic William Creek Hotel. Due to the size of the town the accommodations here are rather basic. Estimated travel time: 3 hours Travel distance: 200 km
Day 5 Coober Pedy (1B,1D)
Travel a very basic track to the unique opal mining town of Coober Pedy, where people live underground to avoid the heat. A guided mine tour gives insight to the mining process and then importance of opal to the area. Overnight like the locals by sleeping in an underground hostel, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Estimated travel time: 3 hours Travel distance: 150 km
Day 6-7 Uluru (2B,1L,1D)
Cross the border to the Northern Territory, where Australia's most iconic view awaits. Experience the colourful sunset at Uluru, while enjoying a glass of bubbly. Marvel at the night sky while bunking down in a swag (canvas bedroll) for the night. If you would like a bit more coverage, tents are also available. The next morning, awake before sunrise to do the Mala Walk around part of the base of Uluru (Ayers Rock) while learning its significance to the locals. Visit the cultural centre to get a better understanding of the area. Between November and March, there is extreme heat with temperatures averaging between 43-46°C in the middle of Australia, especially around Uluru and Kings Canyon. This can lead to heat exhaustion and potentially become very dangerous. Be sure to drink plenty of water and replenish electrolytes by drinking sports drinks, coconut water or water mixed with electrolyte powder packets. The Mala Walk at Uluru is not permitted if temperatures exceed 40°C. During these hot months, we will endeavour to offer all walks early in the day to avoid the heat. Our CEOs will monitor the weather conditions to gauge the safety of any included walks and may need to call off a given day's walk due to extreme heat. NOTE: The itinerary has been modified. It originally visited the Western MacDonnell Ranges, but due to poor road conditions, we have removed this night stop in favour of another night at Uluru. Estimated travel time: 9 hours Travel distance: 750 km
Day 8 Kings Creek (1B,1L,1D)
Travel to the rock formations of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and, heat permitting, walk through the Valley of the Winds to explore the surrounding area before continuing onto Kings Canyon. Enjoy another night under the stars the traditional way, by sleeping in a swag (canvas bedroll). If you would like a bit more coverage, tents are also available. Opt to take a scenic helicopter flight over the area. Estimated travel time: 5 hours Travel distance: 450 km
Day 9 Alice Springs (1B)
Enjoy the morning taking in the scenery or by going on an optional 4 hour walk through the gorges and valleys of Kings Canyon of Watarrka National Park. Travel to Alice Springs via the homestead of Erldunda. Spend the night in a centrally-located hotel in Alice Springs. Located halfway between Adelaide and Darwin, Alice Springs is the base for all trips through the Red Centre. Estimated travel time: 4.5 hours Travel distance: 375 km
Day 10 The Ghan Train
Free day to explore Alice Springs. Embark on The Ghan Train at approximately 6pm. Our seats are two-abreast reclining chairs that can swivel to face each other if you'd like to socialize. The overnight train is comfortable and there is a café on board where you can buy meals. Sit back and enjoy the scenery pass by as the train travels from the Red Centre to the Top End of Australia. There are no power outlets on the train, so make sure all your gadgets are fully charged and ready to go! Estimated travel time: 15 hours Travel distance: 1,489 km
Day 11 Darwin
The Ghan Train makes a stop at Katherine for a 4 hour break. There are a number of activity options to choose from. A transfer to Katherine's Gorge is included and from there feel free to choose the activity that suits you. Opt to simply walk the stunning Katherine Gorge or get adventurous with a flat-bottomed boat or helicopter flight over the gorge. We arrive into Darwin at approximately 5:30pm.
FOR TRIPS DEPARTING MAY THROUGH OCTOBER
Day 12 Darwin/Kakadu National Park (1L,1D)
Early departure to Corroboree Billabong for an included wildlife and crocodile-spotting cruise. Visit Ubirr to look at the indigenous rock art. Stop at an Aboriginal arts and crafts centre to learn about the ideas behind the creations. Overnight at our campsite near Jim Jim Falls (seasonal from May-October). At Jim Jim Falls there are options to sleep in a tent or outside under the night sky in a swag (canvas bedroll). During the wet season (usually November - April) groups will stay in dorm accommodation (located outside the park) to avoid the rain. Estimated travel time: 4 hours Travel distance: 250 km
Day 13 Kakadu National Park/Litchfield National Park (1B,1L,1D)
Embark early on a full day of exploring. Hike to the top of Twin Falls for great views and an outstanding swimming spot. Walk to Jim Jim Falls and take in the sandstone cliffs while taking time to cool off in the refreshing plunge pools. Travel to our overnight camp near Litchfield, swags (canvas bedrolls) or tents await. End the night with a group BBQ. NOTE: The itinerary for this day varies depending on the season. During the rainy season the accommodations will be dorm-style and we will visit slightly different attractions depending on the weather conditions. Estimated travel time: 3 hours Travel distance: 200 km
Day 14 Litchfield National Park/Darwin (1B,1L)
An early start to take advantage of time in Litchfield National Park. Visit the Wangi, Florence and Tolmer Falls with opportunities to go for a swim. Visit the Buley Rockholes and see the amazing giant termite mounds. Tour ends in Darwin upon arrival. Please book departure flights after 9pm. Estimated travel time: 2 hours Travel distance: 170 km
FOR TRIPS DEPARTING NOVEMBER THROUGH APRIL
Day 12 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 13 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 14 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.