Get back to basics with this classic seventeen-day overland adventure. See the highlights and national parks of Australia’s Great Ocean Road and Grampians, Flinders Ranges, Red Centre and Top End in rugged, authentic style. Spend a half day in Arnhem Land with a local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guide. Cruise the world famous Great Ocean Road. Enjoy the flexibility of a private vehicle, the local knowledge of a passionate guide and the magic of camping under the great southern sky
Embark on a Northern Territory adventure, from Melbourne to Darwin, taking in the region’s biggest and best-known drawcards along the way. Drive the famous Oodnadatta Track, stroll around Wilpena Pound, witness Uluru during a stunning sunrise, wander through the majestic canyons of Kata Tjuta and admire the views from Kings Canyon. Head out croc spotting in the Mary River Wetlands and get a taste of the tropics in Kakadu National Park. A region of exceptional landscapes and intriguing cultural attractions, this tail-to-top adventure of the Territory is a trip that will leave you with a profound appreciation of Australia’s raw and rugged natural beauty.
Breakfast Included: 12 Lunches Included: 13 Dinner Included: 11
The Great Ocean Road
Departing Melbourne, hit the road west to Geelong and the famous surf town of Torquay. From there, begin the journey along one of Australia’s most beautiful and famous drives, the Great Ocean Road. Stop in at Kennett River for some koala spotting, then break for lunch in Apollo Bay. Continue on to the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge, spending the night in Warrnambool.
Note: Total driving time today is about six and a half hours (approximately 450kms)
Total walking time will be about two hours (approximately 2kms)
Begin the day checking out more of the Great Ocean Road's wonders, then drive into the Grampians National Park – an area rich in Aboriginal culture and beautiful landscapes. We'll visit the Brambuk Aboriginal Culture Centre to learn about the period known as the Dreaming, then hike up to the Pinnacles for impressive views across the Grampians. Tonight we enjoy a traditional Aussie BBQ in Halls Gap.
Note: Total driving time today is about six hours (approximately 400kms)
Total walking time will be about four hours (approximately 5kms)
The Grampians to Adelaide
Hike up to McKenzie Falls, the highest waterfalls in the Grampians, and check out other sights such as The Balconies and Reeds Lookout. Leaving the Grampians, pass through the town of Horsham before crossing the famed mighty Murray River and making the last leg of the journey into Adelaide.
Note: Total driving time today is about seven and a half hours (approximately 550kms) Estimated time of arrival into Adelaide is 7.30pm.
Total walking time will be about two and a half hours (approximately 3.5kms)
You’ll be picked up from the Adelaide Central YHA at 6.30 am, so please arrive at least ten minutes before. Leave South Australia’s capital behind and head for the hillside vineyards of the Clare Valley, passing through a string of classic country towns on the way. After lunch enjoy expansive views of the Flinders Ranges as you drive towards Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheatre of rocky mountains. Enjoy an easy group hike to explore the area. Spend the night camping in the Flinders Ranges, within the comfort of a swag (Australian bedroll).
Total driving time takes around five hours.
Oodnadatta Track/William Creek
Today, head north out of the Flinders Ranges and pass through the mining town of Leigh Creek. Visit Lyndhurst for the outdoor gallery of eccentric outback sculptor, Talc Alf. You’re now following the historic route of the old Ghan railway and the overland telegraph line. Before you veer off the beaten track, stop in Marree for lunch beside the old Ghan rail station. Steer onto the renowned Oodnadatta Track and pass by Lake Eyre, Australia’s largest salt lake. Your last stop for the day is at William Creek, which has a population of about ten people. Temporarily increase this number as you bunk down in your swag for the night.
Total driving time today is approximately 5 hours
Today drive through red dunes, salt pans and gibber plains on the way to Anna Creek Station, the world’s largest cattle station. Continue onto Coober Pedy, the ‘Opal capital of the world’. Due to extremely hot temperatures in the area most of the town is constructed underground, with residents living in homes carved into the hillsides. Upon arrival take a guided tour of the town, an underground house and the opal mine (with opal cutting demonstration). The rest of the afternoon is free to explore. You may even like to try your hand at 'noodling' (fossicking) for opals. End the day with some rescued joeys at Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage. Tonight stay in a multi-share underground bunkhouse in Coober Pedy.
Total driving time today is approximately 6.5 hours
Coober Pedy / Yulara
This morning, head out on a long day of driving (approximately 8-9 hours). Leave Coober Pedy and journey across the Moon Plains. Pass the Dingo Fence (the longest fence in the world) and take in views of the Breakaways Reserve, which was made famous by the film of Mad Max III. Late in the afternoon, arrive into Yulara in time for the sunset and enjoy some relaxation time at your campsite. Tonight sleep in a permanent tent or curl up in a swag.
Today driving time will be about 8.5 hours.
Rise early this morning and be rewarded with a glorious Uluru sunrise. While the day is still fresh, enjoy a walk around the base of Ulruru, which is of great spiritual significance to the Anangu people. We walk to the cave paintings near Mutitjulu Waterhole at the base of Uluru where you wiill be in the hands of an Anangu guide who will share the stories of this unique landscape and explain the Art, the Culture and connection to Land. This exclusive experience will give you an exclusive insight to the meaning behind Anangu art and traditional culture. The on-site Cultural Centre also houses an extensive collection of arts and crafts of the First Peoples of Australia for you to browse. Head back to camp for lunch. In the afternoon, see the landscape from a different angle, perhaps from a helicopter flight over Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. This is optional and come at an additional cost.
There isn't much driving today, about an hour in total between destinations. You will walk approximately 5km.
Today, explore one of the Red Centre's greatest treasures: Kata Tjuta. The Olgas, as they're also known, are a group of domed red rocks rising spectacularly out of the desert. Like Uluru, they’re sacred to the Anangu people and are believed to be 500 million years old. Return to camp for lunch before travelling to Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon). Spend the night in an exclusive campsite inside the park.
Driving time is about six hours today, and you will walk approximately 2km.
Kings Canyon/Alice Springs
Put your hiking shoes on this morning and head out to explore the impressive formations and rock faces of Kings Canyon. Trek for 6 km along the Rim Walk, which takes you through a natural amphitheatre, past the striped sandstone domes of the ‘lost city’ and into the green oasis of the Garden of Eden. Enjoy lunch before making your way to the outback hub of Alice Springs (approximately five hours).
Driving time today is approximately 5 hours back to Alice Springs, and the Rim Walk is approximately 6km.
Alice Springs - Darwin flight
Today, skip the 1,500km of driving which is about 24 hours by road, and fly from Alice Springs to Darwin with Qantas (QF). Qantas is Australia's first commercial airline and is now recognised as one of the world’s best International airlines.
We'll arrange your e-tickets and issue them a couple of weeks prior to your departure.
The rest of the day is free to explore Darwin.
Free day in Darwin
Enjoy a free day in Darwin today. Maybe start with a stroll through the lovely Botanical Gardens before heading to the MAGNT for excellent collections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art.
Head for some great local food, watch the sunset into the sea at Mindil Beach before heading out for a tropical evening's adventure.