Travel through Australia's dusty Red Centre and tropical Top End

Embark on a Northern Territory adventure from Alice Springs to Darwin, taking in the region's biggest and best draws along the way. Witness Uluru during a stunning sunrise, wander through the majestic canyons of Kata Tjuta and admire the views from Kings Canyon. Head into the bush and learn from the area’s traditional land owners, cruise the Mary River and spot crocs in the 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 through the Territory is a trip that will leave you with a profound appreciation of Australia's raw and rugged natural beauty.

Start
Yulara, Australia
Finish
Darwin, Australia
Countries
Australia
Themes
Explorer, Overland, Walking & Trekking, Wildlife
Code
POBOCY
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 1 Max 24
Carbon offset
0kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Take advantage of flights into Yulara to join the trip around lunchtime, flights operate daily with several domestic airlines
  • Skip the 1,500km of straight driving between Alice Springs and Darwin and fly with Qantas Airways, on an included flight
  • Get back to basics with this classic seven day overland adventure.
  • Get up early and see the sun rise over Uluru and walk Kings Canyon's rugged rim, see the highlights and national parks of Australia's Top End in rugged, authentic style
  • Enjoy the flexibility of a private vehicle, the local knowledge of a passionate guide and the magic of camping under the great southern sky
  • Enjoy an authentic Indigenous experience in the Red Centre and Top End
  • The Mary River Wetlands feature a wealth of wildlife, including the highest concentration of saltwater crocodiles in the southern hemisphere. Get up close to the snappy beasts on a billabong cruise
  • Discover the wonders of Kakadu National Park. Get adventurous on a 4WD tour to the spectacular Jim Jim Falls and see the ancient Aboriginal rock art of Ubirr

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

This afternoon, make your way to Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and take a guided walk through the awe-inspiring Domes of Kata Tjuta. We then head to Australia's most iconic landmark - Uluru (Ayres Rock). As the sun begins to set below the horizon, take a glass of sparkling wine and watch the rock's rich colours change against the backdrop of a blazing Red Centre sunset. The perfect end to a remarkable day is awaiting you back at camp, as you enjoy a famous 1,000 star dinner. With the red earth at your feet and an infinite sprawl of stars overhead, sit down to a candlelit spread of locally sourced food and wines.

An early start this morning is rewarded with an Uluru sunrise. While the morning is fresh enjoy a walk around the base of the rock, gaining insights into the land and the local Mala Aboriginal people on an interpretive cultural walk with an Aboriginal guide. This is a unique opportunity to share experiences, and to connect with and learn about the oldest culture on Earth. Once you’ve had lunch, perhaps purchase some Indigenous art and craft at the Uluru Cultural Centre. Travel onto the exclusive campsite within Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon), where the group will eat and sleep for the night.
After breakfast, get your hiking shoes on and head out to explore the impressive formations of Kings Canyon. You’ll be left breathless by the sheer beauty of the canyon, as you trek through the Amphitheatre, the Lost City, the lush and ancient Garden of Eden and the North and South Walls. Lunch is a welcome prospect, before you make your way back to Alice Springs where we stay at Alice Lodge Backpackers for the evening.

Note: Total driving time takes around five hours. Total walking time is approximately three hours.
Today, skip the 1,500km of driving which is about 24 hours by road, and fly from Alice Springs to Darwin with Qantas Airways. Qantas was Australia's first commercial airline, and stands for "Queensland and Northern Territory Ariel Services" and is now one of the worlds best International airlines.

We'll arrange your air tickets and issue them a couple of weeks prior to your departure. When you are in Alice Springs on night 3 of your trip, please call the transfer company in Alice Springs and in Darwin and confirm your flight time. They will advise what time you'll be picked up from your hotel to be transferred to the airport. On arrival in Darwin, someone will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Tonight, you’ll be staying at the Melaleuca on Mitchell. (no meals included)
Leaving Darwin, travel into Wulna Country and receive a Cul Cul or unique ‘Welcome to Country’ by the traditional owners of the land, the Limilngan-Wulna people. Learn about their culture and enjoy bush tucker talks, didgeridoo demonstrations and basket weaving. Next stop is the Mary River wetlands system, which is home to the highest concentration of saltwater crocodiles in the southern hemisphere. Get close (but not too close) to the ‘salties’ and other wild creatures on a unique billabong cruise. In the afternoon, head to World-Heritage listed Kakadu National Park. Your first stop here is Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) where a hike is rewarded with a reviving swim in the plunge pools. Spend the night at a permanent campsite at Kakadu.

Note: Total driving time today is around five hours. Total walking time is approximately one hour.

Today is a long day of driving. Get ready for some 4WD action as you make your way to Jim Jim Falls, the crown of Kakadu. Once there, take in stunning views of this natural wonder and enjoy some time for a swim or a rest on the sandy beach. After lunch, discover the ancient Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr. Your guide will lead an interpretive cultural walk through the different rock art galleries, before you climb to the top of a rocky lookout for fabulous views over the Nardab floodplain. Tonight, camp in twin-share permanent tents in the Mary River region.

Note: Total driving time today is around seven hours. Total walking distance is approximately 3 kilometres, some of which is along challenging terrain.

Filled with waterholes and waterfalls, Litchfield National Park is well deserving of all its hype. Exploring Litchfield is the perfect way to complete this trip. Today visit Florence Falls, Wangi Falls and the Buley Rockholes. After a picnic lunch, stroll through steamy rainforests and cool off with a dip in one of Litchfield's picturesque swimming holes. As with all good things, this Top End adventure must come to an end. Hit the road and head back to Darwin. After you've arrived, you might like to head out for a night on the town with your new friends. Total driving time today is around four hours.

Note: Should any of the attractions of the standard itinerary not be open as a result of National Park decisions surrounding accessibility and safety, activities will be substituted. Please see 'climate and seasonal information'.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
4 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
Transport
All Terrain vehicle, Plane, Private vehicle
Accommodation
Hostel (2 nights), Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (2 nights), Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (2 nights)
Included activities
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Fee
  • 1000 Star Dinner
  • Mala cultural interpretative walk
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
  • Airport Transfers
  • Qantas Flight
  • Mary River cruise
  • Kakadu National Park Fee
  • Pudakul Cultural Experience
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Ubirr Rock
  • Litchfield National Park

Dates

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Important notes

1. Tour commences in Yulara on day 1 at approximately 13:00pm and finishes in Darwin day 7 at approx 6pm
2.You can also join this trip in Alice Springs on day 1; please see tour code POBOC.
3. Trip also runs in reverse; see tour code PKBTC
4. This trip requires a sleeping bag

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide 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.

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