Travel through Australia's amazing Top End, Red Centre, Oodnadatta Track and famou Great Ocean Road.

Embark on a Northern Territory adventure, from Darwin to Melbourne, taking in the region's biggest and best-known drawcards along the way. Head out croc spotting in the Mary River Wetlands and get a taste of the tropics in Kakadu National Park, visit Arnhem Land, Litchfield and Katherine. Witness Uluru during a stunning sunrise, wander through the majestic canyons of Kata Tjuta and admire the views from Kings Canyon. Drive the famous Oodnadatta Track, and the famous Great Ocean Road. A region of exceptional landscapes and intriguing cultural attractions, this top to tail exploration of our country is a trip that will leave you with a profound appreciation of Australia's raw and rugged natural beauty.


Start
Darwin, Australia
Finish
Melbourne, Australia
Country
Australia
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer
Code
POOAC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 1, Max 24

Why we love this trip

  • 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

  • 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

  • See some beautifully remote places in the Flinders ranges

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

  • Get up early and see the sun rise over Uluru

  • 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'

  • he 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 as well as Katherine Gorge

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a basic trip, covering the highlights of Australia's Great Ocean Road and Grampians, Flinders Ranges, Red Centre, and Top End.

  • 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

Welcome to tropical Darwin, where your adventure begins. As this trip spends very little time in the Northern Territory's capital, consider arriving a few days early to explore the city. After meeting your group and leader this morning, leave Darwin and travel into Wulna Country, where you'll receive a Cul Cul ('Welcome to Country') by the traditional owners of the land, the Limilngan-Wulna people. Learn about their ancient culture as you enjoy bush tucker talks, didgeridoo demonstrations and basket weaving. Next stop is the border of Kakadu and Arnhem Land to experience the Guluyumbi cruise. Enjoy your Binninj guide explain to you the importance of the East Alligator River. After the cruise we will enter Arnhem Land and go to an exclusive art site called Mawurndaddja. This site allows you to see first hand the history and culture of this region. Find used ochre and spear tips on the ground. See artwork that is over 8000 years old. This site is unique in the Top End and you will have it all to youself. After a cool drink and some nibbles in Arnhem Land we will head to your overnight camp in Kakadu where the group will have dinner.

Note: Total driving time is about six hours (approximately 350kms) Total walking time is approximately one and a half hours (including stops for informative talks)
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mary River cruise
  • Pudakul Cultural Experience
  • Guluyumbi Indigenous Cruise
  • Mawurndaddja art site
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Early this morning after breakfast, travel by 4WD to the Twin Falls. Experience this spectacular gorge aboard a boat cruise that’s operated by the national park, with a walk along the boardwalk afterwards. Unwind and relax on the sandy banks before heading to explore Jim Jim Falls. After a quick lunch break, take in the views of this natural wonder before taking a challenging walk to the base of the falls. Here you can choose to swim or relax on the beach, enjoying the spectacular scenery, before making the short drive to your overnight bush camp.

Note: Total driving time is about four hours (approximately 120kms)
Total walking time is approximately two and a half hours
Accommodation
  • Camping (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Twin Falls Walk
  • Twin Falls Gorge River Cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast, head to either Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) or Gunlom Falls and cool off with a dip in the plunge pools. Visit the historic gold-mining centre of Pine Creek and head further south after lunch. Journey for around three hours in a private vehicle to your campsite on the doorstep of Nitmiluk National Park. Once comfortable, have dinner with the group before relaxing in your tent for the night.

Note: Total driving time is about five and a half hours (approximately 340kms)
Total walking time is approximately one and a half hours
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Pine Creek Gold-Mining Centre
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Spend the morning at the magnificent Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park. Perhaps take a cruise along the gorge or rent a kayak and paddle downstream. These options are seasonal and at your own expense. In the afternoon, head off to Edith Falls where you can cool down with a refreshing swim in the huge rock pools. Continue on to the edge of Litchfield National Park. Settle down for the night in a snug camp and enjoy dinner with your group.

Note: Total driving time is about four and a half hours (approximately 350kms)
Total walking time is approximately three and a half hours
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Edith Falls
Optional Activities
  • Katherine Gorge Scenic Cruise - AUD94
  • Katherine Gorge Canoe from - AUD45
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Once you’ve had breakfast, head into Litchfield National Park. Filled with waterholes, creeks and waterfalls, it’s the perfect place to soak up the tranquillity of the tropics. Visit the gateway of Florence Falls, the popular Wangi Falls and the refreshing waters of the Buley Rockholes. Enjoy a picnic lunch, stroll through steamy rainforests and cool off with a dip in one of Litchfield's swimming holes. In the afternoon, take the two-hour drive back to Darwin where your trip ends. Enjoy an optional night out with the group if you decide to stay in Darwin for the night.

Note: Total driving time is about three and a half hours (approximately 250kms)
Total walking time is approximately one hour


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'.

- Florence Falls
- Wangi Falls
- Bluey Rockholes
Included Activities
  • Buley Rockholes
  • Florence Falls
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Wangi Falls
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.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Welcome to Alice Springs. Kick off your adventure with a visit 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 four 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 Aboriginal people on an interpretive cultural walk to the Mutijulu waterhole 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
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
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 at the Desert Oaks campsite at Erldunda, where you can meet one of Australia most unique wildlife species, the Emu at the Erldunda emu farm.

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
  • Erldunda Emu Farm
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 to stretch your legs and enjoy lunch in the outback town of Marla. 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)
Included Activities
  • Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage
  • Underground Mine & Opal Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today after breakfast we will travel into areas seldom seen by most tourists as we leave the sealed roads of the Stuart Highway behind us and travel on unsealed roads to one of the remotest towns in the world, William Creek. On the way we will travel through the largest Cattle Station in the world, Anna Creek. As we drive gaze out at the endless horizons as we pass by the lake with the longest name in the world, Lake Caddibarrawirracanna. Arriving into town we will set up camp and have dinner. After dinner lay down in your swag and fall asleep as you count the shooting stars.

Note: Total driving time today is around two hours. Total walking time is approximately half an hour.
Accommodation
  • Dormitory (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today will be a long day of driving as we travel the famous Oodnadatta track to Quorn. Along the way we will visit Australia’s Largest lake, Lake Eyre. Visit the outback towns of Marree, Lyndhurst and Hawker. Stay tonight in private accommodation at 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.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • 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
  • Lunch
Today is a free day to explore this vibrant city.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is your last full day in Adelaide so make sure you take advantage of the time you have here!
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Leaving Adelaide in the morning, drive across the state border into Victoria and enter the Grampians. Go for a walk to view the Jaws of Death, hike down to McKenzie Falls and take in the incredible views from Reeds Lookout. Gain an insight into the customs of the land's traditional owners during a stop-in at the Brambuck Cultural Centre, then head into the heart of the Grampians, stopping en route for lunch. The last stop of the day will be a spot in the Grampians National Park where kangaroos, wallabies and koalas are often spotted. Tonight's accommodation is at either Brambuk Backpackers or the Grampians YHA.

Note: Total driving time today is about seven and a half hours (approximately 550kms)
Total walking time will be about two and a half hours (approximately 3.5kms)
Included Activities
  • Brambuk Culture Centre
  • Mackenzie Falls - Grampians
  • Reeds Lookout (The Balconies) & Boroka Lookout
Meals Included
  • Dinner
After an early morning start, begin the journey along Australia's glorious Great Ocean Road. Explore Port Campbell National Park, checking out London Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge and the iconic Twelve Apostles rock formation, then sit back and soak up the mesmerising coastal views en route. Stop at Kennett River for the chance to spot koalas before passing through the charming beach towns of Apollo Bay and Lorne. Make the most of a great photo opportunity at some famed surf locations before we stop for a beach walk and then hit the highway back to Melbourne.

Note: Total driving time today is about seven and a half hours (approximately 550kms)
Total walking time will be about two hours (approximately 2kms)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

12 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 12 dinners

Transport

All Terrain vehicle, Minibus, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Dormitory (2 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Camping (with shared facilities) (2 nights), Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (3 nights), Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (3 nights), Underground Multishare (1 night) Hostel multishare (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Mary River cruise
  • Pudakul Cultural Experience
  • Guluyumbi Indigenous Cruise
  • Mawurndaddja art site
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Twin Falls Walk
  • Twin Falls Gorge River Cruise
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Pine Creek Gold-Mining Centre
  • Edith Falls
  • Buley Rockholes
  • Florence Falls
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Wangi Falls
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Fee
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
  • Erldunda Emu Farm
  • Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage
  • Underground Mine & Opal Tour
  • Brambuk Culture Centre
  • Mackenzie Falls - Grampians
  • Reeds Lookout (The Balconies) & Boroka Lookout

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Tour commences in Darwin on day 1 at 6:50am and finishes in Melbourne day 17 at approx 6pm
2. Onward travel to be booked the following day
3. 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.