Start in the Far North, heading all the way to the beautiful South and the Red Centre in between.

Embark on a Northern Territory adventure, from Darwin to Adelaide, taking in the region's biggest and best-known drawcards along the way. Start the journey in the Top End and head out croc spotting in the Mary River Wetlands and get a taste of the tropics in Kakadu National Park. Witness Uluru during a stunning sunrise, wander through the majestic canyons of Kata Tjuta and admire the views from Kings Canyon. A region of exceptional landscapes and intriguing cultural attractions, travelling all the way from the far North of the country to the beautiful South, passing through the Flinders Ranges and onto Adelaide.


Start
Darwin, Australia
Finish
Adelaide, Australia
Country
Australia
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer, Overland, Walking & Trekking, Wildlife
Code
PKBDC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 1, Max 24

Why we love this trip

  • - Skip the traffic and fly between Darwin and Alice Springs

  • - Get back to basics with this classic ten-day overland adventure. 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

  • - Learn about the ancient culture and traditions of the Limilngan-Wulna people as they invite you into their community with a traditional 'Welcome to Country'

  • - 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

  • - Get up early and see the sun rise over Uluru

  • - See some beautifully remote please in the Flinders ranges

  • - Check out one of the strangest towns in Australia - built underground

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a basic trip, covering the highlights of Australia's Top End, Red Centre and the Flinders Ranges down to Adelaide.

  • You'll spend some nights of the trip sleeping in outback camping grounds. While conditions can be basic and facilities are minimal, this is all part of the adventure. You'll also need to pitch in with preparing meals and cleaning. This is part of the experience of travelling in a group.

  • This trip requires a moderate level of fitness as it involves a lot of walking, allowing you to truly enjoy the surrounding nature. Some hikes are longer and more challenging than others. Please bring sturdy, comfortable walking shoes and comfortable clothing.

  • This trip is BASIX and we use mixed gender multishare accommodation. This means, the minimum age for the trip is 18 years old because minors aren't able to sleep in mixed gender rooms.

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

Itinerary

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.

Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mary River cruise
  • Kakadu National Park Fee
  • Pudakul Cultural Experience
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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.

Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Ubirr Rock
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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 after checking into your hostel, the Melaleuca on Mitchell.

Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Litchfield National Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today, skip the 1,500km of driving which is about 24 hours by road, and fly from Darwin to Alice Springs 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. On arrival in Alice Springs, someone will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Tonight, you’ll be staying at the Alice Lodge Backpackers. (no meals included)
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Airport Transfers
  • Qantas Flight
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Meet your Guide outside of Alice Lodge Backpackers at 6:10am and head off to an authentic outback camel farm where you can choose to ride a camel (at your own expense). From here it’s off to Uluru (Ayers Rock) for lunch, before exploring the 36 rocky landforms of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). In the evening, watch the sun set over Uluru with a glass of wine and a 1,000 star dinner awaits you back at camp. With the red earth beneath your feet and the starry sky overhead, sit down to a candlelit spread of local food and wine.

Note: Total driving time today is around five and a half hours. Total walking time is approximately one hour.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Fee
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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. 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.

Note: Total driving time today is around three and a half hours. Total walking time is approximately two hours.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mala cultural interpretative walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Put your hiking shoes on after breakfast and head out to explore the formations and towering rock faces of Kings Canyon. The sheer size of the canyon is breathtaking. Trek for 6 kilometres 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. Stop for lunch before making your way to a campsite on the homestead of Erldunda, where you’ll spend the night.

Note: Total driving time today is around three hours. Total walking time is approximately two and half hours hour.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Depart early this morning and make your way to Coober Pedy, crossing the Northern Territory/South Australian border on the way (approximately five hours in total). Take a break in the outback town of Marla, where you can buy lunch and stretch your legs. Coober Pedy is known as ‘The Opal Capital of the World’ and was one of the locations used to film the third Mad Max movie. Due to extremely hot temperatures in the area most of the town is constructed underground, with residents living in cave-like houses carved into the hillsides.

Upon arrival, take a guided tour of the town, underground opal mine and museum. End the day hanging out with some rescued joeys at Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage. Tonight stay in a multi-share underground bunkhouse in Coober Pedy.

Note: Total driving time today is around four and a half hours. Total walking time is approximately half an hour.

Accommodation
  • Underground Multishare (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
After breakfast continue your journey south along the Stuart Highway. Stop at the small town of Glendambo (population 30) before continuing onto see some salt lakes. Pass by the rocket-launching town of Woomera, which was once part of a military test site. Afterwards, make your way to Port Augusta for lunch (at your own expense) and then cross over the Pichi Richi Pass towards Quorn, which is the historical railway township at the entrance to Richman Valley. Stay in private accommodation at the The Mill Lodge tonight, where you’ll also have dinner.

Note: Total driving time today is around six hours. Total walking time is approximately half an hour.
Accommodation
  • Dormitory (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
In the morning, eat a big breakfast and hike up one of the many peaks in the Flinders Ranges. Make your way back to Adelaide through the rolling hills and vineyards of the Clare Valley, arriving in the early evening. As your journey comes to an end here, we will drop you at your Adelaide city accommodation.

Note: Total driving time today is around three and a half hours. Total walking time is approximately two hours.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners

Transport

All Terrain vehicle, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Dormitory (1 night), Hostel (2 nights), Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (3 nights), Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (2 nights), Underground Multishare (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Mary River cruise
  • Kakadu National Park Fee
  • Pudakul Cultural Experience
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Ubirr Rock
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Airport Transfers
  • Qantas Flight
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Fee
  • Mala cultural interpretative walk
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Tour commences in Darwin on day 1 from 6am and finishes in Adelaide at approx 6pm on day 10. Flights must be booked the following day.
2. This trip requires a sleeping bag
3. Trip also runs in reverse POBAC

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 Darwin to Adelaide Overland trips score an average of 3.5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews in the last year.

Darwin to Adelaide Overland, June 2016

Heike Campbell