Explore Australia’s Red Centre, from Adelaide to Alice Springs

Travel into Australia’s magnificent Red Centre on this Overland journey from Adelaide. From the red-rock moonscapes of William Creek and the Oodnadatta Track, the underground mining town of Coober Pedy to the towering domes of The Olgas, make your way through some iconic outback sights on your way to Alice Springs. See opal cutting demonstrations, meet the furry residents of a kangaroo orphanage, and learn about indigenous spiritual beliefs on a guided walk around Uluru (Ayres Rock) as you discover more about this breathtaking Australian region.


Start
Adelaide, Australia
Finish
Alice Springs, Australia
Country
Australia
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer, Indigenous Culture, Overland, Walking & Trekking, Wildlife
Code
PAASE7
Physical rating
Ages
Min 8
Group size
Min 1, Max 24

Why we love this trip

  • Discover the best of southern and central Australia on an epic road trip. Like a true Australian drover, spend your nights camping in a swag under the southern sky

  • Follow the route of the old Overland Telegraph line to the town of William Creek, situated on the largest cattle station in the world

  • The opal-mining outpost of Coober Pedy is like no other place in Australia, as scorching daytime temperatures have driven the town’s few residents to live underground. 'Noodle' for opals, hang out with some rescued joeys and spend the night in a subterranean bunker

  • See the best of Australia’s iconic Red Centre on guided walks around Uluru, Kings Canyon and the ancient red domes of Kata Tjuja.

  • The outback landscape is sacred to the local Aboriginal people. Learn about their special connection to the land on guided walks

Is this trip right for you?

  • Temperatures in the Red Centre can be extreme. During the day the weather can be very hot (and the Australian sun is very strong) so please bring appropriate clothing, use sun protection and drink plenty of water. In the evenings temperatures really drop, so bring base layers and warm clothing.

  • This trip requires a moderate level of fitness as it involves a lot of walking, allowing you to really get among nature. Please bring sturdy, comfortable walking shoes and comfortable clothing.

  • On most days of the trip, you’ll spend several hours driving through very sparse areas of desert. Crank up the tunes and sit back to enjoy landscapes that you would miss in any other form of travel.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 April 2016 to 31 March 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 April 2017 - 31 March 2018

Welcome to South Australia, where your adventure begins. 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.
Accommodation
  • Swag Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wilpena Pound
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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
Accommodation
  • Swag Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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
Accommodation
  • Underground Multishare (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Anna Creek Station
  • Coober Pedy Mine tour
  • Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Dingo Fence
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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 'the rock', which is of great spiritual significance to the Anangu people. Deepen your understanding of the land and the local Mala culture on an interpretive walk with an Aboriginal guide. Afterwards, you might like to purchase Indigenous arts and crafts at the Cultural Centre. 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.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mala cultural interpretative walk
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Fee
  • Uluru Base Walk
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Watarrka National Park Entry Fees
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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 a last lunch before making your way to the outback hub of Alice Springs (approximately five hours), where your adventure comes to an end. There are no more activities planned for today and you’re free to depart.

Driving time today is approximately 5 hours back to Alice Springs, and the Rim Walk is approximately 6km.
Included Activities
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Meals

6 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners

Transport

All Terrain vehicle

Accommodation

Swag camping (1 night), Swag camping(1 night), Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (3 nights), Underground Multishare (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Wilpena Pound
  • Anna Creek Station
  • Coober Pedy Mine tour
  • Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage
  • Dingo Fence
  • Mala cultural interpretative walk
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Fee
  • Uluru Base Walk
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
  • Watarrka National Park Entry Fees
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Tour commences in Adelaide on day 1 at 06:30 from Adelaide Central YHA (135 Waymouth St)
2. Tour finishes in Alice Springs day 7 at approx 18:00. All onward travel must be booked the following day.
3. Strict luggage limit of 15kg applies.
4. This trip requires a sleeping bag.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Adelaide to Alice Springs Overland trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 3 reviews in the last year.

Adelaide to Alice Springs Overland, August 2016

Sandra Toner

Adelaide to Alice Springs Overland, July 2016

Michelle Weiss