Days
7
Price from
$2,190AUD

Take in the iconic Red Centre and the natural splendour of the Top End.

Embark on a Northern Territory adventure from Alice Springs to Darwin, taking in the region's biggest and best draws along the way. Witness Uluru (Ayers Rock) during a stunning sunrise, wander through the majestic canyons of Kata Tjuta and admire the views from Kings Canyon. Head into the bush and learn from the area’s traditional land owners, cruise the Mary River and spot crocs in the wetlands, and get a taste of the tropics in Kakadu National Park. A region of exceptional landscapes and intriguing cultural attractions, this tail-to-top adventure through the Territory is a trip that will leave you with a profound appreciation of Australia's raw and rugged natural beauty.


Start
Alice Springs, Australia
Finish
Darwin, Australia
Destination
Northern Territory, Uluru, Outback, Kakadu
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer, Indigenous Culture, Overland, Walking & Trekking, Wildlife
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 1, Max 24
Code
POBOC

Why we love this trip

  • Skip the 1,500km of straight driving between Alice Springs and Darwin and fly with Qantas Airways, on an included flight

  • Get back to basics with this classic seven day overland adventure.

  • Get up early and see the sun rise over Uluru and walk Kings Canyon's rugged rim, see the highlights and national parks of Australia's Top End 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

  • Enjoy an authentic Indigenous experience in the Red Centre and Top End

  • 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. Get adventurous on a 4WD tour to the spectacular Jim Jim Falls and see the ancient Aboriginal rock art of Ubirr

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a basic trip, covering the highlights of Australia's Red Centre and Top End in a short amount of time.

  • 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 uses multishare hostel accommodation that may be in mixed-gender dorm rooms. We don't offer private rooms, but you can book our Territory Encompassed trip if you'd prefer twin share motel

  • Temperatures in the Red Centre and 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

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 April 2016 to 31 March 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 April 2017 - 31 March 2018

Alice Springs certainly has its charms – we’d recommend arriving here a day or two early if you have the time – but the Red Centre’s wilds are what you’re really here to see, right?

Heading into the outback by 4WD, first stop is a working camel farm where you’ll have the opportunity to hop aboard one of these desert ships for a quick ride across the scrublands. By lunchtime we will have arrived at our permanent campsite in Yulara, from where it’s a short drive to Kata Tjuta. A rambling sprawl of colossal rock domes and gaping ravines, you’ll get to know Kata Tjuta pretty well on guided hike before returning to camp in time for an Uluru sunset. Final highlight of the day is our famous 1,000 Star Dinner, where you’ll get to enjoy a candlelit spread of Australian food and wines beneath a blanket of stars.

Driving time today is about six hours, walking time is about one.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Fee
  • 1000 Star Dinner
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
348 m tall at its highest point and nearly 10 kms in circumference, Uluru qualifies as Australia’s second largest monolith (Mount Augustus is the first). Gazing up at this behemoth from the ground, it’s hard to believe that this is all one solid slab of rock you’re looking at – and harder still to believe that 7/8s of it is believed to lie underground. Rise and shine early, we’ve factored in some free time so you can take a walk around the rock while the day’s still cool (and relatively crowd-free). You’ll get an insight into the rock’s significance by those who know it best – the Mutitjulu people – on a cultural interpretative walk led by an indigenous guide. The nearby Cultural Centre is also a good place to pick up authentic souvenirs of indigenous artwork and read up on the history of Uluru and it's people. Come afternoon, it’s on to our night’s camp 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
  • Mala cultural interpretative walk
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Traditional home of the Luritja people, Watarrka (also known as Kings Canyon), is an ancient sandstone canyon flourishing with native vegetation and mottled with freshwater springs. Entering the rock-strewn arena of the Amphitheatre, we’ll trek through the Lost City into the verdant Garden of Eden. Next stage of the Rim Walk brings us to the North and South Walls, two sharply soaring sandstone walls that reveal various layers of sediment. Then it’s lunch and back to Alice Springs for the night. Accommodation tonight is at Alice Lodge Backpackers.

Note: Total driving time takes around five hours. Total walking time is approximately three hours.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
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 Melaleuca on Mitchell. (no meals included)
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Airport Transfers
  • Qantas Flight
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. Today you’ll get to see a very different version of the Australian bush. Where the Red Centre’s attractions are mostly deserts, canyons and boulders, the Top End is all lush rainforest, waterfall-fed swimming holes and lily-padded wetlands. Arriving in Wulna Country, we’ll receive a traditional ‘Cul-Cul’ welcome from the Limilngan-Wulna people, who’ll introduce you to their culture through a series of educational presentations. From here we venture into the Mary River Wetlands, an enormous tract of floodplain teeming with crocodiles and birdlife. Jabirus, egrets, kingfishers and magpie geese are some of the birds you should get to see here during a mid-morning cruise through this untouched ecosystem. Continuing into Kakadu National Park, we’ll hike to Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) and finish the day with a dip in some plunge pools.

Note: Total driving time today is around five hours. Total walking time is approximately one hour.

Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mary River cruise
  • Kakadu National Park Fee
  • Pudakul Cultural Experience
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Tumbling over a precipice more than 200 m above ground level, Jim Jim Falls is a sight to behold. We’ll rumble in by 4WD (the drive’s bumpy in parts), then spend some lazy hours swimming about in the waters below and basking on the sandy shoreline. After lunch it’s on to Ubirr, where your guide will lead a cultural interpretative walk explaining the ancient indigenous art adorning the rock walls. The walk ends atop a rocky escarpment overlooking the lush expanse of the Nardab floodplain. Tonight we spend camped out at a permanent campsite in the Mary River region.

Note: Total driving time today is around seven hours. Total walking distance is approximately 3 kilometres, some of which is along challenging terrain.

Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Ubirr Rock
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Dense monsoon rainforest, secluded swimming holes, gigantic termite mounds – Litchfield boasts all the natural splendours of the Top End. Spread over approximately 1,500 sq km, this national park boasts a wide variety of native flora and provides a natural habitat to dingoes, roos, wallabies, quolls and the iconic frill-neck lizard (amongst other critters). With a full day dedicated to exploring, your time here will include visits to the Florence Falls, Buley Rockholes and Wangi falls, a picnic lunch, and guided walk through monsoon forest. Then it’s back to Darwin, where the adventure wraps up. Total driving time today is around four hours.

Note: 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'.
Included Activities
  • Litchfield National Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Meals

4 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

All Terrain vehicle, Plane, Private vehicle

Accommodation

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

Included Activities

  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Fee
  • 1000 Star Dinner
  • Mala cultural interpretative walk
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
  • Airport Transfers
  • Qantas Flight
  • Mary River cruise
  • Kakadu National Park Fee
  • Pudakul Cultural Experience
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Ubirr Rock
  • Litchfield National Park

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Tour commences in Alice Springs on day 1 at 6am and finishes in Darwin day 7 at approx 6pm. Onward travel to be booked the following day.
2.You can also join this trip in Yulara (Uluru) on day 1; please see tour code POBOCY.
3. Trip also runs in reverse; see tour code PKBTC
4. This trip requires a sleeping bag

Essential Trip Information

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