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. 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
Destination
Australia
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer, Overland
Code
POOAC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 1, Max 24

Why you'll love this trip

  • This amazing trip covers two states and one territory, and includes the highlights of Australia's Top End, Red Centre, Flinders Ranges, Grampians and the Great Ocean Road as well as capital and regional cities Darwin, Alice Springs, Adelaide and Melbourne.

  • 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

  • Get up early and see the sun rise over Uluru

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

  • See some beautifully remote places in the Flinders Ranges

  • Enjoy the flexibility of a private vehicle, the local knowledge of a passionate guide and the magic of camping under the great southern sky

  • Drive the world famous Great Ocean Road

Is this trip right for you?

  • You will 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. 

  • 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.

  • The Top End & Kakadu portion of this trip has a strict luggage limit of 10kg. Excess luggage can not be carried however, it can be stored at Darwin accommodation.

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.
We leave Darwin bright and early and head to the World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park. Firstly, we make our way to see the stunning rock art at Ubirr before climbing to the top of a lookout to see the sprawling Nardab Floodplain. Next stop, head to the border of Kakadu and Arnhem Land to experience a Guluyumbi cruise along the East Alligator River. Travelling with a Bininj guide, understand more about the cultural importance of the East Alligator River to the region’s traditional custodians. Once the cruise wraps up, jump in a vehicle and cross straight into Arnhem Land for an unforgettable afternoon of exploration at an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art complex known as Mawurndaddja. This complex has a spectacular series of galleries with rock art spanning from the present time to many thousands of years of age. Your guide will explain the importance of this art, the methods used to perform this expressionism and the anthropological system used to date the art as you are guided through the site. Spend the afternoon exploring this historic ancient site before heading back to Kakadu and settling into this evening’s campsite.

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
  • Guluyambi Cultural Cruise
  • Mawurndaddja rock art and occupation complex
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 shuttle
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)
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.

Note: Total driving time is about three and a half hours (approximately 250kms)
Total walking time is approximately one hour
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Buley Rockholes
  • Florence Falls
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Wangi Falls
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
This is a combination trip, made up of two of our most popular trips. Some travellers will be leaving today and others heading on to Alice Springs in the morning where the makeup of your group and guide will change.

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
Today, skip the 1,500km of driving which is about 24 hours by road, and fly from Darwin to Alice Springs 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. On arrival in Alice springs please look for your transfer vehicle (operated by Alice Wanderer - green and yellow bus) to transfer you to your hostel. The rest of the day is free to explore Alice Springs.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Your Darwin transfer (operated by Darwin City Airport Shuttle Service) will depart approx 2 hours prior to your flight. In case of any issues or to confirm time please call. +61 8 8947 3979

Your Alice Springs transfer (operated by Alice Wanderer - green and yellow bus) will transfer you to the Alice Springs YHA. In case of any issues please call 1800 1800 722 111 (free call) or +61 8 89522111
Its an early start today out of Alice Springs to continue your adventure with a visit to an authentic outback camel farm where you can choose to ride a camel (approx $9). 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 while your 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 Entrance
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
This morning’s departure is at 0605 am. Please be ready with your bags packed for an early start.
An early start this morning is rewarded with an Uluru sunrise. While the morning is fresh enjoy a walk around the base of Uluru, gaining insights into the land magnificent views of Uluru. After your stroll, we walk to the cave paintings near Mutitjulu Waterhole at the base of Uluru. You will 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. The on-site Cultural Centre also houses an extensive collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and crafts for you to browse.Once you’ve had lunch, perhaps purchase some art and craft of the First Peoples of Australia 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
  • Maruku Arts cultural experience
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
The Anangu people have dissuaded visitors from climbing Uluru for decades; as traditional owners of the land they feel a deep responsibility for everyone who travels to the area. In 1998 we were among the first tour operators to stop climbing Uluru.
The Intrepid Group are proud to be involved with local communities in Uluru and to have an ongoing commitment to providing employment for the Anangu people. You show respect when you choose not to climb Uluru, but walk with Anangu throughout the area and share their stories instead

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
Special Information
For the Kings Canyon Rim Walk it is a requirement that you have a minimum of 3 litres of water with you. Please consider bringing your own refillable water bottles.
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.
Accommodation
  • hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Oodnadatta Track
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.
Note: Total driving time today is around three and a half hours. Total walking time is approximately two hours.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
This is a combination trip, made up of two of our most popular trips. Some travellers will be leaving today and others heading on to Melbourne when the makeup of your group and guide will change.
Today is a free day to explore this vibrant city. Maybe head to Adelaide's central market to taste some delicious local faire, explore some of the city's fine pubs or explore the art work of the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Please note that the days in Adelaide are unescorted. Accommodation is at the YHA Adelaide.
Another full free day in Adelaide. Jump on a tram to Glenelg Beach or head to Magill Estate to try some iconic Australian wine at one of the world's only urban single vineyards.  
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Please note that the days in Adelaide are unescorted. Accommodation is at the YHA Adelaide.
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
  • Mackenzie Falls - Grampians
  • Reeds Lookout (The Balconies) & Boroka Lookout
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
This morning’s departure is at 0700am. Please be ready with your bags packed for an early start from Adelaide
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)
Included Activities
  • 12 Apostles & London Bridge
  • Koala spotting - Great Ocean Road
  • Loch Ard Gorge
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

11 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 11 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

  • Guluyambi Cultural Cruise
  • Mawurndaddja rock art and occupation complex
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Twin Falls Walk
  • Twin Falls Gorge River shuttle
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Edith Falls
  • Buley Rockholes
  • Florence Falls
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Wangi Falls
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Entrance
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
  • Maruku Arts cultural experience
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
  • Erldunda Emu Farm
  • Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage
  • Underground Mine & Opal Tour
  • Oodnadatta Track
  • Mackenzie Falls - Grampians
  • Reeds Lookout (The Balconies) & Boroka Lookout
  • 12 Apostles & London Bridge
  • Koala spotting - Great Ocean Road
  • Loch Ard Gorge

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. Onward travel should be booked the following day
2. For the Kings Canyon Rim Walk it is a requirement that you have a minimum of 3 litres of water with you. Please consider bringing your own refillable water bottles.
3. The Top End & Kakadu portion of this trip has a strict luggage limit of 10kg. Excess luggage can not be carried however, it can be stored at Darwin accommodation.
4. This trip requires a sleeping bag
5. Please note that this trip is a combination of some of our most popular trips. As such the make up of your group and your guide will change along the way.

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.