Days
7
Price from
$2,190AUD

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
Indigenous Culture, Overland, The Great Outdoors, 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

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

Leaving Darwin, travel into Wulna Country and receive a Cul Cul or unique ‘Welcome to Country’ by the traditional owners of the land, the Limilngan-Wulna people. Learn about their culture and enjoy bush tucker talks, didgeridoo demonstrations and basket weaving. Next stop is the Mary River wetlands system, which is home to the highest concentration of saltwater crocodiles in the southern hemisphere. Get close (but not too close) to the ‘salties’ and other wild creatures on a unique billabong cruise. In the afternoon, head to World-Heritage listed Kakadu National Park. Your first stop here is Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) where a hike is rewarded with a reviving swim in the plunge pools. Spend the night at a permanent campsite at Kakadu.

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
Today is a long day of driving. Get ready for some 4WD action as you make your way to Jim Jim Falls, the crown of Kakadu. Once there, take in stunning views of this natural wonder and enjoy some time for a swim or a rest on the sandy beach. After lunch, discover the ancient Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr. Your guide will lead an interpretive cultural walk through the different rock art galleries, before you climb to the top of a rocky lookout for fabulous views over the Nardab floodplain. Tonight, camp in twin-share permanent tents 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
It may be near to Darwin but you’ll feel like you're in the heart of the wilderness in Litchfield National Park. The park is named after a Top End explorer but has long been important to the Mak Mak Marranunggu, Werat, Kungarkan and Warai Indigenous language groups. A collection of top-notch waterholes and waterfalls, Litchfield is somewhere you definitely want to have you swimming gear on hand for. Get ready for a dip under the double-plunge cascade of Florence Falls, a splash in the series of plunge pools of Buley Rockhole, and swim at Wangi Falls before hitting the road back to Darwin for tomorrow’s flight to the Red Centre. Accommodation is at the Melaleuca on Mitchell.

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'.
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
  • Hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Qantas Flight
  • Airport Transfers
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Camels might be better associated with North Africa and Arabia, but these days Australia has the largest population of wild camels in the world. They were introduced in the mid-19th century for inland explorers to ride, then release into the wild when motorised transport came along. Meet some of their more domesticated cousins this morning with a visit to an Outback camel farm. Maybe get into the desert spirit with a ride on one of these arid-land specialists. Fuel up with lunch at our Yulara campsite, then take a short drive to Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). Meaning ‘many heads’, the formation is 36 rock domes that jut out of the ground, part of a huge slab of rock that’s been eroded over hundred of millions of years. When you take a walk through the domes you’re sure to gain some appreciation of the sacredness of this area to the local Indigenous Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara people. End another unforgettable day with an unforgettable meal – the 1,000 Star Dinner. With red earth beneath the feet and light provided by candles and huge expanse of stars, sit down to a spread of locally sourced food and wines for dinner. Spend the night in a permanent tent or sleep under the stars, literally, in a cosy swag (Aussie bedroll).

Today driving is about five and a half hours, and walking is about one hour.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Fee
  • 1000 Star Dinner
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
From sunset to sunrise, the light show is always fantastic at Uluru – you’ll get to watch the sun peak over the monolith this morning after an early start. The size of the rock is staggering, and even more amazing is that majority of it actually lies underground. Take in the refreshing morning air with an unguided walk around the massive dome’s base, before learning more about the Indigenous connection with this land with an interpretative walk led by an Indigenous guide. Hear about how Uluru was created by the Anangu people’s ancestral beings, who formed the land as they travelled across it and whose journeys persist in the form of songlines. This culture is captured in the Indigenous arts and crafts of the Cultural Centre and you can browse the works on display here. Travel to tonight’s campsite in the Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon) for another night spent dreaming beneath the stars.

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
Hidden inside the 100 metre high walls of Kings Canyon is the largest range of plants in an Australia arid zone. Today we discover this desert oasis as we head into Watarrka National Park. Look down from up high on a Rim Walk around the gorge, then head down to discover weathered rock formations that look to some like the remains of Aztec settlement, so they’ve aptly been named The Lost City. Then we discover the exotic plants that surround a natural spring waterhole – gums, prehistoric ferns and wildlife fill the spot – creating such an inviting refuge that it’s called The Garden of Eden. The story of the canyon can been seen in the changing rock of the North and South Walls, and this chapter ends with a welcome lunch. Then it’s time to appreciate the desert colours one last time as we return to Alice Springs and this Northern Territory adventure comes to an end.

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

4 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

All Terrain vehicle, 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

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

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Tour commences in Darwin on day 1 at 6am and finishes in Alice Springs day 7 at approx 6pm.
2. This trip also runs in reverse; see code POBOC
3. This trip requires a sleeping bag

Essential Trip Information

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