Bursting with color, contrasts and rich Aboriginal culture, the Outback is truly like nowhere else on earth.
From seemingly endless red desert to hidden waterholes, and otherworldly rock domes to night skies bursting with stars, there’s a whole new world waiting for you to discover in the Outback. Follow your local leader on a journey through the Outback’s almighty landscapes while connecting with Country and learning from First Nations guides. Whether you want to experience the soul-stirring feeling of standing at the base of Uluru, bathe in Kakadu's gorge-ous watering holes, feast on seasonal bush tucker under the glittering night skies, or learn about the unique way of life for the Yolgnu people of East Arnhem Land, our Outback tours & holidays are packed with experiences you'll never forget.
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Our Outback tours
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Highlights of the Outback
Learn about First Nations cultures
Connect to Country, discover the cultural significance of the landscapes and watch the Outback come alive by learning from First Nations guides. Whether it’s sitting around a campfire with the Yolunga people – the traditional owners of East Arnhem Land – listening to stories and music, going on a guided walk to forage for seasonal bush tucker in Kings Canyon, doing a dot painting workshop or learning how to spot animals from the edge of a billabong, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Aboriginal culture and learn as much as you can.
Marvel at the Bungles Bungles
Journey into Purnululu National Park to discover a labyrinth of fascinating beehive-shaped rock domes, giant boulders and narrow chasms. Created over 20 million years ago, the Bungles Bungles is one of the Outback’s most remarkable natural wonders and culturally significant sites for the Karjaganujaru and Gija peoples. Follow your Intrepid leader as you wind through 200-metre-high gorge walls, test out your singing skills in a natural at Cathedral Gorge, watch the sky erupt in colour above the Bungles Bungles at sunset and let the sounds of the outback sing you to sleep while camping under the stars.
Soak up the magic of Uluru
Tucked away in the heart of the Red Centre, the almighty Uluru is a must-do on any Outback adventure. Standing at 384 metres tall and a whopping 10 km in circumference, witnessing the wonder of this giant monolith as it glows at sunrise or sunset will leave you in awe. After soaking up the magic from afar, join an Anangu guide on a journey through time as you hike around the base to explore hidden caves, sacred waterholes and ancient Aboriginal rock art, and listen to Anangu stories of the Dreamtime.
Explore Kakadu National Park
Undoubtedly one of the crown jewels of the Outback, Kakadu National Park is chock-full of enchanting walking trails, cascading waterfalls, peaceful billabongs and views that will knock your hiking socks off. Follow your Intrepid leader as you discover ancient Aboriginal rock art and ancient shelters, bathe in deep blue waterholes, search for crocodiles, wallabies and other native wildlife that call Kakadu home, or climb to the top of the Kunwarddewardde Lookout for a sunset you’ll never forget.
Outback tour reviews
Outback tour routes
Trips on or before 31 December 2022
If your Intrepid trip starts on or before 31 December 2022, you must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional.
Children under 18 are exempt. Children aged between 5 and 17 years old must provide proof of either vaccination, recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travelers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travelers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.
Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 proof of vaccination policy
The Outback occupies a whopping 70% of mainland Australia. It spans 2.1 million square miles including all of the Northern Territory and a large part of South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia.
When you think about the weather in the Outback, you might assume it’s hot and dry all year round. While it gets very hot in the summer, people are surprised to learn how cold it gets in winter – often with sub-zero temperatures on winter nights. The climate varies throughout the Outback ranging from semi-dry tropic, arid and desert. Generally speaking, this means there are two seasons: summer which is hot and humid and winter which sees mild days and cold nights.
The Outback is vast and remote, and to get there you'll either need to drive or fly into one of the Outback’s main airports in Alice Springs or Darwin where you can then join a tour or hire a car. If you’re traveling from Darwin or Adelaide, you can drive to the Outback via the Stuart Highway which passes through the Red Centre. Or, if you're coming from Queensland or Western Australia you can drive on the Outback Highway which connects Winton in QLD and Laverton in WA.
The short answer is you’ll either need to self-drive or travel as part of a tour. The Outback is (very) big and public transport is scarce. Even with a car, you’ll often be driving for hours without seeing another soul on the road. To give you an idea, Adelaide to Darwin is 1864miles and takes 31 hours to drive. Although you need to be prepared, driving is definitely the best option as you can travel at your own pace and stop at sites and attractions as you please.
If self-driving isn’t an option for you, Greyhound operates a bus between Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin and you can stop at destinations along the way with a hop-on-hop-off ticket. It’s much slower than driving, but doable if you’re not on a tight schedule. You can also fly to a small handful of destinations in the Outback such as Alice Springs, but flight tickets to the Outback's regional airports tend to be some of the most expensive in Australia.
The Outback's landscapes are rich and diverse – ranging from arid desert to lush gorges filled with trees and natural watering holes – and so is the range of native flora and fauna that lives there. Some of the animals you can expect to see on your Outback adventure include:
- Saltwater crocodiles
- Frilled-necked lizards
- Sand goannas
- Thorny devils
- Australian feral camels
Long, lightweight layers are essential in the Outback. It’s warm or hot during the day all year round, so you won’t want to wear thick, heavy layers. Breathable, long-sleeved pants and shirts are comfortable for walking, and they also double up as sun protection. You should avoid wearing light colors (unless you want red dirt-stained clothes to take home with you as a souvenir!) as the red dirt stains clothes easily. Other essentials include a good pair of hiking boots and/or runners, waterproof sandals, a wide-brimmed sun hat, bathers, sunglasses, sunscreen and a small daypack.
If you’re visiting in the winter (May-September), you’ll definitely need a warm fleece, long pants, a woolly hat and maybe some thermals as the temperature often dips below 32°F and it’s not uncommon to see frost on the ground in the morning.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. However, we’re always happy to talk to travelers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.
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