Days
9
Price from
$2,650AUD

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

Get to know the Northern Territory top-to-tail on this week-long adventure from vibrant Darwin down to the archetypal outback frontier town of Alice Springs. Following three days amid the pristine tropical splendours of Kakadu and Litchfield, Aboriginal rock art of Ubirr, traditional customs of the Limilngan-Wulna people and abundant wildlife of the Mary River Wetlands, fly south to meet a different side of the Territory. Hike through the enormous bornhardts of Kata Tjuta, admire the beauty of Uluru during sunset viewings and sunrise walks, and encounter the hidden treasures of Watarrka National Park along the Kings Canyon Rim Walk. This journey is bound to impart a new respect for the timelessness of Australia's landscape and first cultures.


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

Why we love this trip

  • Fly with Qantas airways between Darwin and Alice Springs, skip the 24 hours sitting in a bus on a straight road

  • Get back to basics with this classic three-day overland adventure. See the highlights and national parks of Australia's Top End in rugged, authentic style

  • Our Top End tents are better than theirs - we have cooling fans and electricity, and proper beds so you can have a comfy sleep after long walks (and charge all of your things!)

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a basic trip, covering the highlights of Australia's 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.

  • 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

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. After meeting your group and leader this morning, leave Darwin and travel into Wulna Country, where you'll receive a Cul Cul ('Welcome to Country') by the traditional owners of the land, the Limilngan-Wulna people. Learn about their ancient culture as you enjoy bush tucker talks, didgeridoo demonstrations and basket weaving. Next stop is the Mary River wetlands system, which has the highest concentration of saltwater crocodiles in the southern hemisphere. Get close to these ‘salties’ and other wild creatures on a billabong cruise. Late in the afternoon arrive into Ubirr in time for sunset, seeing the vivid Aboriginal rock art that dates back over 20,000 years. In the evening head to your overnight camp in Kakadu where the group will have dinner.

Note: Total driving time today is around six hours. Total walking distance is up to two kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mary River cruise
  • Pudakul Cultural Experience
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 today is just over four hours. Total walking distance is approximately one-and-a-half kilometres.

Accommodation
  • Camping (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Twin Falls Walk
  • Twin Falls Gorge River Cruise
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 today is around five-and-a-half hours. Total walking time is approximately an hour-and-a-half.

Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Pine Creek Gold-Mining Centre
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. Settle down for the night in a snug camp and enjoy dinner with your group.

Note: Total driving time today is around four-and-a-half hours. Total walking time is up to three-and-a-half hours (optional walks included).

Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Katherine Gorge Scenic Cruise - AUD87
  • Katherine Gorge Canoe from - AUD45
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Once you’ve had breakfast, head to 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 where we will check into our hostel for the night. The total driving time today is around three-and-a-half 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
  • Buley Rockholes
  • Florence Falls
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Wangi Falls
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 Lodge Backpackers. (no meals included)
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (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 Lodge Backpackers 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. As evening begins, enjoy a glass of bubbles as the sun sets over Uluru casting incredible colours on the Rock, and afterwards it’s time to tuck into our famous 1,000 Star Dinner: an outdoor candlelit feast of delicious food and wines.

Today, driving time is approximately 4.5 hours. Walking is approximately one hour.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Fee
  • 1000 Star Dinner
  • Uluru sunset drinks
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 creation-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 (or up to 4 if you do the full 8.5km base walk.)


Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mala cultural interpretative walk
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast, get your hiking shoes on and head out to explore the impressive formations of Kings Canyon. You’ll be left breathless by the sheer beauty of the canyon, as you trek through the Amphitheatre, the Lost City, the lush and ancient Garden of Eden and the North and South Walls. Lunch is a welcome prospect, before you make your way back to Alice Springs. On arrival, you're free to leave and carry on your travels.

Note: Total driving time takes around five hours. Total walking time is approximately three hours.
Included Activities
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Flights must be booked to depart Alice Springs the day after the trip finishes.

Meals

6 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners

Transport

All Terrain vehicle, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Camping (with shared facilities) (1 night), Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (2 nights), Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (3 nights) Hostel multishare (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Mary River cruise
  • Pudakul Cultural Experience
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Twin Falls Walk
  • Twin Falls Gorge River Cruise
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Pine Creek Gold-Mining Centre
  • Buley Rockholes
  • Florence Falls
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Wangi Falls
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Fee
  • 1000 Star Dinner
  • Uluru sunset drinks
  • Mala cultural interpretative walk
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
  • 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 6am and finishes in Alice Springs day 9 at approx 6pm.
2. This trip also runs in reverse; see code POBOC
3. This trip requires a sleeping bag

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.