Days
9
Price from
$3,125AUD

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

Become immersed in the natural beauty and spirit of Australia's Outback on this 9-Day north-south traversal of the Territory. Starting off amid the balmy climes and eclectic vibe of Darwin, drive out to the waterfalls, rockpools and monsoon forests of Litchfield National Park, cruise about in search of crocs in the Mary River Wetlands, check out the billabongs and indigenous rock art of Kakadu, and explore Katherine Gorge from the water. Then flying south to Alice Springs, enjoy a guided tour among the boulders of Kata Tjuta, learn about the sacred significance of Uluru during a Mala Cultural Intrepretive Walk, spend a night camped out in Kings Canyon and take in the sites on a guided tour of the Western MacDonnell Ranges. This adventure leaves no stone – or giant red rock – unturned.


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

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 from Darwin to Alice Springs instead of 24 hours on a bus

  • Enjoy twin share motel accommodation in Darwin and Alice Springs

  • 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

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 to check into your Motel for the night.

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
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 Motor Inn. (no meals included)
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Melbourne might have the arts scene and Sydney the beaches, but Alice Springs is really where you need to go to understand Australia proper. Approximately 70% of the Australian continent is classed as arid or semi-arid – and little old Alice Springs sits right in the middle of it all.
This morning we’ll pick you up out the front of the Alice Motor Inn at 6:10am. First stop for the day is a working outback camel farm, where you’ll have the chance to lope through the outback on a ‘ship of the desert’. Whereas Uluru emerges from the earth as one giant boulder form, Kata Tjuta pops up as 36 different domes – you’ll get to know the site pretty well on an afternoon hike following lunch. Enjoy a glass of champagne as you watch the Rock's colours change as the sun sets behind it, throwing magnificent colours into the sky. Then, as evening begins, it’s time to tuck into our famous 1,000 Star Dinner: an outdoor candlelit feast of delicious food and wines.

Notes: Total driving time is approximately five and a half hours. 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
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
It’s an early rise today but seeing Australia is what you came for, right? After watching a fiery outback sun rear up over the world’s biggest rock get a real sense of the rock’s scale on an unguided walk around its base. Then learn about the cultural significance of this iconic landform on a cultural interpretative walk with an indigenous guide. In their creatin time stories, the Anangu’s ancestral beings the Mala settled here after being chased to the region by an evil dog-like creature called kurpany. The on-site Cultural Centre also houses an extensive collection of indigenous arts and crafts for you to browse. Tonight we spend the night in an exclusive 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
The centrepiece attraction of Watarrka is undoubtedly Kings Canyon; a humungous gorge enclosed by sheer rock walls hundreds of metres high. Offering a welcome escape from the dry desert heat, this site’s deep gullies and hidden rockpools provide shelter to more than 600 species of native plants and animals. Your guide will point these out on a guided trek that takes in the canyon’s most famous sites – the Lost City, Garden of Eden, Amphitheatre and North and South Walls. Then it’s lunch, rest, Then it’s lunch, rest, and off we head toward Glen Helen where we camp this evening.

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

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning, we will pick you up from your hotel at 7:00am and journey watch the Australian wilds waking up on a morning drive out to the West MacDonnell Ranges. Reaching this national park, 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 atop a camel during an optional sunset ride.

The total driving time will be about three hours, and you will walk up to 10km.
Optional Activities
  • Sunset Camel Ride (Child) - AUD40
  • Sunset Camel Ride (Adult) - AUD70
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Meals

6 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners

Transport

All Terrain vehicle, Plane, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nights), Permanent tented camp with furnishings (with shared facilities) (6 nights)

Included Activities

  • Litchfield National Park
  • Mary River cruise
  • Kakadu National Park Fee
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Ubirr Rock
  • Top Didj Indigenous Experience
  • 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

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

Jump to a departure month

Important notes

1. Tour commences in Darwin on day 1 at approximately 06:40am and finishes in Alice Springs day 9 at approx 6pm. Onward travel to be booked the following day.
2. Trip also runs in reverse; see tour code POONC.

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.