Days
9
Price from
$3,125AUD

From the Red Centre to the tropical Top End, this is a classic Aussie adventure.

Meet two very different faces of Australia – the vast, dust-cloaked expanses of the Red Centre and lush wetlands of the Top End – on a one-week journey up through the guts of the Northern Territory. Kicking off the journey in Yulara, tread a trail between the striped rock domes of Kata Tjuta (finishing off with a 1,000 Star Dinner), catch an Uluru sunrise and enter a Garden of Eden in Kings Canyon (Watarrka National Park). Then fly north to Darwin and enjoy three days exploring the waterfalls of Kakadu, monsoon rainforests of Litchfield and wildlife-rich Mary River Wetlands.


Start
Yulara, Australia
Finish
Darwin, Australia
Destination
Northern Territory, Uluru, Outback, Kakadu
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer, Indigenous Culture, Overland, Wildlife
Physical rating
Ages
Min 8
Group size
Min 1, Max 24
Code
POONCY

Why we love this trip

  • Get back to basics with this classic nine day overland adventure. Camp in premenant campsites with furnishings including proper beds, cooling fans and electricity.

  • Fly into Yulara the day the trip starts instead of Alice Springs the day prior and save a days travel

  • Fly from Alice Springs to Darwin instead of 24 hours on a bus, on an included flight

  • Enjoy twin share motel accommodation in Alice Springs and Darwin

  • Enjoy fully catered evening meals during your 3 nights in Kakadu, Litchfield, and Katherine

  • See the highlights and national parks of Australia's Northern Territory 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

  • 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'

  • 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 and an optional flight over the escarpment

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a an Original style trip, covering the highlights of Australia's Northern Territory at a slightly slower pace

  • You'll spend some nights of the trip sleeping in outback camping grounds. While tents are comfortable facilities can be basic, this is all part of the adventure. You'll also need to pitch in with preparing breakfast and lunch meals. 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.

  • 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

After you land in this Red Centre of the country, it’s on to the boulder-strewn landscape of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). Wandering through the site’s gullies and crevices, you’ll learn a little about the area’s geological and ecological significance from your guide. Make back to camp as the sun starts to set, arriving in time for our very special 1,000 Star Dinner.

Notes: Total driving time is approximately one hour. Total walking time is around an hour.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Uluru sunset drinks
  • 1000 Star Dinner
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Fee
Meals Included
  • Dinner
There’s no better way to start today than an early morning walk around the world’s biggest rock. With the cool night air still lingering and day-trippers not yet arrived, this is Uluru at its most atmospheric. It might be hard to believe when gazing up this 600 million year old monolith from the ground, but the bulk of this rock is believed to lie below the surface. A local indigenous guide will explain a little about the mythology surrounding the area during a guided interpretive cultural walk. There’ll be time to see the traditional arts and crafts on display at the nearby Cultural Centre before travelling to our campsite in Watarrka National Park.

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
  • Mala cultural interpretative walk
  • Uluru Base Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
While Kings Canyon is only one of the many attractions within Watarrka National Park, Kings is so impressive that more people know it than the park. After a quick breakfast, we’ll venture into the canyon and start the Rim Walk. Beginning in the vast natural Amphitheatre (where you’re free to test out the acoustics), we’ll enter upon the Lost City and descend down into the fern-shaded rock pools of the Garden of Eden. A visit to the imposing North and South Walls is another must before lunch. Then we drive on to Glen Helen in the Western MacDonnell ranges where we camp for the night.

Note: Total driving time takes around five hours. Total walking time is approximately three hours.

*Trips departing post 01 August 2016 will have an itinerary change on this day. Please refer to 'itinerary disclaimer' in the essential information section of this trip*
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Watch the Australian wilds waking up on a morning drive in The West MacDonnell Ranges. We’ll follow the Waterhole trail through Ormiston Pound to Ormiston Gorge – a tranquil little rock pool surrounded by ochre-coloured rock walls and white-trunked eucalypts. Black-footed rock wallabies often pop down here for a drink, so keep those peepers peeled. Next up is Ellery Creek, where there’s the chance to cool off with a dip. Following lunch, it’s on to Simpsons Gap. Known as Rungutjirpa to the Arrernte people, this deep gorge, often partly filled with water, is associated with goanna, eagle and rock wallaby dreamings. See the colours of the ranges change as the sun starts its descent, perhaps from the back of a camel on an optional sunset ride. Head back to Alice Springs to check into your Motel for the night.

The total driving time will be about half an hour, and you will walk up to 5km.
Optional Activities
  • Sunset Camel Ride (Child) - AUD40
  • Sunset Camel Ride (Adult) - AUD70
Included Activities
  • Western MacDonnell Ranges
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
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. On arrival in Darwin, someone will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Tonight, you’ll be staying at the Value Inn. (no meals included)
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning, we'll pick you up from out the front of the Melaleuca at 6:50am. Flush with waterfalls, swimming holes and some pretty gigantic termite mounds, Litchfield National Park encapsulates all that’s wonderful about the Top End. We’ll start off here checking out Florence Falls and the Buley Rockholes, then break for a picnic before travelling on to Wangi Falls for a final swim and leisurely stroll through monsoon forest. Leaving Litchfield, it’s on and into Mary River National Park. The species of saltwater crocodile found in Australia are the biggest in the world, and the Mary River wetlands are absolutely full of them. See how many you can spot on an afternoon river cruise. All tents are twin-share and come with a proper bed.

Note: Total driving time today is around five-and-a-half hours. There are also a few short, easy walks.
Accommodation
  • Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Mary River cruise
  • Kakadu National Park Fee
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
In giving Kakadu National Park World Heritage-listing, UNESCO described it as a ‘living cultural landscape with exceptional natural and cultural values’. Indigenous people have lived here for more than 50,000 years, to which the ancient rock paintings of Ubirr can attest. Your guide will explain the significance of these artworks during an interpretative cultural walk that finishes on a rocky escarpment overlooking the Nardab floodplain. In the afternoon we head to either Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) or Gunlom Falls (seasonal choice). Swimming spots don’t get a whole lot more inviting than either of these spectacular sites.

Note: Total driving time today is around five hours. Total walking time is up to three and- a-half hours, depending on the trails taken.
Accommodation
  • Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Ubirr Rock
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Given that Kakadu covers approximately the same amount of land as Slovenia, the sky’s a pretty good place to see it all from. This morning you’ll have the option of taking a scenic flight over the billabongs, bushlands and floodplains that make up this ruggedly beautiful region. After a stop in at the Bowali visitors centre we head for the historic gold-mining town of Pine Creek which offers a very different side to Australian history. Back on the road again, there’s time for a dip in Edith Falls before pulling into our private campsite near Nitmuluk National Park.

Note: Total driving time today is around five-and-a-half hours. Total walking time is up to an hour-and-a-half.

Accommodation
  • Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Flight (Fixed Wing Aircraft) over - Kakadu - from - AUD150
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Back in the day (ok, it was 23 million years ago), the Katherine River flowed all the way from Arnhem Land to the Timor Sea. These days, the waters have subsided significantly: the Katherine River now flows along hemmed in on both sides by cliffs 70 metres high. It’s the highlight attraction of Nitmiluk National Park though, and you’ll have the opportunity to cruise through it by canoe or boat. Following lunch, we visit a private property next to an indigenous art gallery for some coaching in the ancient arts of boomerang throwing, fire making and traditional painting. Then it’s back to Darwin where the adventure winds up.

Note: Total driving time today is around four-and-a-half hours. Total walking time is up to three-and-a-half hours, depending on the group's choice of optional activities.
Optional Activities
  • Katherine Gorge Scenic Cruise - AUD87
  • Katherine Gorge Canoe from - AUD45
Included Activities
  • Top Didj Indigenous Experience
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Meals

6 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners

Transport

All Terrain vehicle, Plane

Accommodation

Motel (2 nights), Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (6 nights)

Included Activities

  • Uluru sunset drinks
  • 1000 Star Dinner
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Fee
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
  • Mala cultural interpretative walk
  • Uluru Base Walk
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
  • Western MacDonnell Ranges
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Mary River cruise
  • Kakadu National Park Fee
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Ubirr Rock
  • Top Didj Indigenous Experience

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Tour commences in Yulara and finishes in Darwin day 9 at approx 6pm.
2. Your pick up may be from the Yulara Airport or the Desert Gardens Hotel, this will depend on your time of travel.
3. You can also join this trip in Alice Springs on day 1; please see tour code POONC.
4. Trip also runs in reverse; see tour code PKOSC.

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.