This is 22 days of adventure travelling from Sydney to the Top End in Darwin via culture-capital Melbourne. Experience an unforgettable slice of the country taking in the Aboriginal culture of the area as well as having unreal adventures around every corner. Bring your hiking shoes and stretch your legs in the Grampians National Park in Victoria, Flinders Rangers in South Australia and King's Canyon in the Northern Territory. Other highlights include a wildlife boat trip, the Twelve Apostles along the Great Ocean Road, the Snowy River High Country, Katherine Gorge, Uluru, Kakadu National Park and Litchfield National Park.
- Aboriginal Culture
- Aboriginal Rock Art
- Coober Pedy
- Daly Waters
- Devils Marbles (Karlu Karlu)
- Flinders Ranges
- Grampians National Park
- Great Ocean Road
- Kakadu National Park
- Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)
- Katherine Gorge
- Kings Canyon
- Litchfield National Park
- Mataranka Springs
- Mt Kosciuszko
- Nitmiluk National Park
- Roof of Australia (seasonal)
- Snowy River High Country
- The Breakaways
- Twelve Apostles
- Uluru (Ayers Rock)
- Wildlife boat trip
Max Passengers: 24
AUD $2995.00EUR €2575.00GBP £1975.00
|Tour Style||Unleashed 18-39|
|Route||Sydney to Darwin|
|Price (adult)||AUD $2995.00EUR €2575.00GBP £1975.00|
|Valid||31 March 2013 - 30 March 2014|
Itinerary: day by day
Day 1 – Sydney to Snowy Mountains (via Canberra)
DEFAULT PICK UP: Sydney Central YHA, 06:30am
Our first stop today is the capital city of Australia, Canberra — home to the Australian Federal Government. There is more to Canberra than you think! Take a tour through Parliament House and visit the Australian War Memorial before we enjoy views from the city’s high point and drive by some of the foreign embassies. After lunch, we tackle the Monaro plains, learn of the hardships and international relations formed by the areas giant Snowy Mountain Hydro Scheme. Tonight we stay in the heart of the Snowy Mountains. (D)
Day 2 – Snowy Mountains to Gippsland Lakes
If weather permits, spend the morning climbing to the top of Australia’s tallest peak - Mt Kosciuszko. At 2228 metres it is an easy grade hike from the top of the Crakenback Express chairlift. Passengers on tour during winter (June – September) visit Perisher Ski Resort for some fun in the snow. Later in the afternoon we turn south and drive across famous Snowy River country and cross the border into Victoria. Tonight, we enjoy a night on the edge of a stunning coastal lake. (BD)
Day 3 – Gippsland Lakes to Melbourne (via Wilsons Promontory)
With Bass Strait by our side, we skirt the north eastern coast of Victoria and head to the southern most national park of the Australian mainland – Wilsons Promontory. Look out for the kangaroos and emus hanging together on the vast grasslands. A hike up and along the granite leads us to an area perfect for taking in the beautiful views of the surrounding coastline. With the bright lights and lively buzz of Melbourne in our sights we dodge the trams and navigate the city streets to our Melbourne accommodation spot. (B)
Day 4 – Melbourne
A free day to relax and enjoy cosmopoliton Melbourne (overnight accommodation included, meals and activities at own expense).
Day 5 – Melbourne to Port Campbell
PICK UP DAY 5: Nomads Industry (196 A’Beckett St), 06:15am
We depart Melbourne and journey to Torquay and the start of the Great Ocean Road. Passing through picturesque Lorne, we continue on to Kennett River where we take a short walk to spot wild koalas — keep your camera at the ready! After a quick lunch stop at Apollo Bay we head inland to experience Otway Tree Top Walk — the best way to explore this temperate rainforest and wildlife sanctuary. Next we head back to the coast to see the magnificent rock formations that rise up majestically from the Southern Ocean and are affectionately known as the Twelve Apostles. Learn about the shipwreck history that gave Loch Ard Gorge its name before we settle in for the night in the friendly town of Port Campbell, nestled between the rocky cliffs and pristine beaches. (D)
Day 6 – Great Ocean Road to Grampians National Park
Before leaving scenic Great Ocean Road we take some time to explore the beautiful local landscape including The Arch, London Bridge and the Bay of Martyrs. We travel away from the coast through the farming regions of Western Victoria and into Grampians National Park — a place of great significance for the Indigenous population. Next stop is Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre where you’ll learn about the ancient Creation time stories of local Indigenous people. Your creative skills will be put to good use as we create personalised Boomerang souvenirs to take home. Tonight we cook up a storm with an authentic Aussie BBQ, cooked for you by your guide! (BD)
Day 7 – Grampians National Park to Adelaide
Pull on your hiking boots for a visit to the base of McKenzie Falls, the highest waterfall in the Grampians Range. Take in an incredible Aboriginal art site before a short hike to a lookout spot that delivers spectacular 360 degree views of the Northern Grampians. Leaving the mountains behind, we pass through the Gap and head towards the South Australian border. We cross the mighty Murray River, the longest river in Australia, before arriving in idyllic Adelaide, the ‘city of churches’. (BL)
Day 8 – Adelaide
A free day to relax and enjoy Adelaide (overnight dorm accommodation included, meals and activities at own expense).
Day 9 – Adelaide to Flinders Ranges
PICK UP Day 9: Adelaide Central YHA (135 Waymouth St), 07:00am
Departing Adelaide nice and early, we travel to the Barossa Reservoir Whispering Wall, where you can have a go at communicating along the wall’s 140 metre length. We journey through the picturesque Clare Valley and stop for some morning tea at Sevenhill Cellars, the oldest winery in the valley - there’s even time to sample some of their award winning wines. We lunch in the historic town of Melrose before visiting Mount Remarkable National Park for an afternoon bush walk. Finish the day by watching a spectacular sunset across South Australia’s western plains and the breathtaking Central Flinders Ranges. (LD)
Day 10 – Flinders Ranges
Today we experience some of the magic that the Flinders Ranges has to offer. Keep an eye out for emus and kangaroos as we take a scenic drive through beautiful Parachilna Gorge. You’ll get an amazing view of the Flinders Ranges National Park from the top of Stokes Hill Lookout, before hiking into the natural amphitheatre of Wilpena Pound. Take a break for lunch before learning about the fascinating history of the area with a visit to the Aboriginal artwork at Arkaroo Rock and the ruins of Kanyaka Station. Tonight we grab some dinner at an outback pub. (BLD)
Day 11 – Flinders Ranges to Coober Pedy
Travel through Pichi Richi Pass and head towards Port Augusta, known as ‘the Crossroads of Australia’. Marvel at the enormous salt flats of the Woomera Prohibited Area and learn about the area’s incredible history as a military test site. We stop along the way to explore the surface of a salt lake and take advantage of an excellent photo opportunity. From here we make one more brief stop at the sheep-farming town of Glendambo before arriving at Coober Pedy, ‘Opal Capital of the World’. Take some time to explore this remarkable and unique underground town before grabbing a bite to eat and settling in for the night in a purpose built underground bunkhouse. (BLD)
Day 12 – Coober Pedy to Erldunda
This morning we check out an underground home to see how the locals survive in the harsh desert environment of Coober Pedy, followed by taking a tour of the Umoona Opal Mine to learn more about the discovery and mining of precious opal, Australia’s national gemstone. Next we visit an outdoor opal noodling spot where you can try your hand at fossicking for some gemstones of your own. Get up close to some local wildlife and learn about rescued Joey’s at Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage, before leaving Coober Pedy and heading out across the Moon Plain. We pass the Dingo Fence, the longest fence in the world, and take in the view of the awe-inspiring Breakaways Scenic Reserve before arriving at our overnight campsite at Erldunda. (BLD)
Day 13 – Erldunda to Kings Canyon
We kick start the day by making our way to Kings Canyon Resort. Make sure you’ve got your hiking shoes on as we journey into the remarkable Kings Canyon and explore the Amphitheatre, breathtaking North and South Walls, the Lost City and Garden of Eden. After an outdoor dinner, enjoy sitting around the fire (seasonal) before star-gazing from the comfort of your swag (Aussie bedroll). (BLD)
Day 14 – Kings Canyon to Uluru
It’s an early start as we hit the road and travel to iconic Uluru. After lunch at our campground, get up close and personal with the Rock as you walk around a spectacular section of the base. You will then gain some insight into the local Aboriginal culture from your guide before watching the desert sunset over Uluru. It’s time to fire up the BBQ for dinner. Stay overnight in a swag (Aussie bedroll). (BLD)
Day 15 – Uluru to Alice Springs
Witness a magical Uluru sunrise then visit the Cultural Centre to expand your knowledge of the amazing Anangu way of life. The 36 domes of Kata Tjuta are an incredible sight and you will get to explore the majestic features of this ancient geological formation during a Valley of the Winds hike. We then enjoy lunch before making our way to Alice Springs. (BL)
Day 16 – Alice Springs
A free day to relax and enjoy Alice Springs (overnight dorm accommodation included, meals and activities at own expense).
Day 17 – Alice Springs to Banka Banka
PICK UP DAY 17: Haven Backpacker Resort, 06:10am
We pass by the Tropic of Capricorn then stop at the Barrow Creek Pub, home to a historical telegraph station. Precariously balanced on their rocky perch are Karlu Karlu (the Devils Marbles), a site sacred to its traditional owners and a great photo oppurtunity. Last stop for today is our private campsite at Banka Banka station where stay for the night. (LD)
Day 18 – Banka Banka to Katherine Gorge
No visit to the Top End would be complete without a stop at the famed Daly Waters Pub, a classic outback roadhouse loved by travellers from far and wide. Mataranka lies in the heart of the never-never, and you’ll feel a million miles from anywhere as you soak in the steamy thermal springs. As the day draws to a close, we reach our overnight camp near the stunning Katherine Gorge. (BLD)
Day 19 – Katherine Gorge to Darwin
The gorge is all yours this morning, with a half day to spend cruising (at own expense and seasonal) the spectacular waters. Feeling a little more adventurous? If you’re looking for something even more adventurous you can rent a canoe and paddle yourself through the gorge. Later, we head back to Darwin after a stop at idyllic Edith Falls. Dorm accommodation in Darwin included, meals at own expense. (BL)
Day 20 – Darwin to Litchfield National Park
PICK UP DAY 20: Adventure Tours Australia Shop, 52 Mitchell St Darwin, 06:50am
We start the day by checking out the waterfalls of Litchfield National Park with the option of a refreshing swim. Enjoy lunch before heading to the spectacular Mary River Wetlands, where birds aren’t the only abundant wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for lurking crocodiles on an afternoon river cruise! We overnight at our bush campsite in the Mary River region. (LD)
Day 21 – Mary River to Kakadu
Deep in the heart of the Kakadu National Park, admire ancient Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr before we climb to the top of a rocky lookout for some fabulous views of the Nardab floodplain. Next we head to Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) where a hike is rewarded with a reviving swim in the plunge pools. You’ll be asleep in no time once we reach our overnight bush camp in Kakadu. (BLD)
Day 22 – Kakadu to Darwin
Get ready for some 4WD action today as we make our way to Jim Jim Falls! Hike to the base of this 200m high natural wonder and grab some photos before we continue onto Twin Falls. Experience the beauty of the stunning gorge and falls from a national park operated boat tour and boardwalk experience. In the afternoon we stop in at the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre to learn more about local Indigenous culture. The impressive scenery will continue to amaze you as we make our journey back to Darwin, where your incredible 22 day adventure finishes. (BL)
Seasonal itinerary changes
Day 19-21 Typical Tropical Summer Itinerary (DEC-MAY)
Day 19: Darwin to Mary River
- Litchfield National Park
- Crocodile Cruise
- Overnight Camp Mary River region(LD)
Day 20: Mary River to Kakadu
- Ubirr or Nourlangie Rock (seasonal)
- Bowali Visitor Centre
- Walk to Gubara Springs
- Overnight camp Kakadu (BLD)
Day 21: Kakadu to Darwin
- Boulder Creek Falls
- Hike to Motor Car Falls
- Return to Darwin (BL)
B = Breakfast | L = Lunch | D = Dinner
Travel Insurance is compulsory for all travellers on all tours and details must be presented to tour guide before departure. Please refer to terms and conditions for more details.
Departure location : Default pick up: Sydney Central YHA (11 Rawson Pl) at 6:30am. Other pick up locations available are: Base Backpackers (Kent St) at 6:15am; Corner Macleay St & Orwell St, Kings Cross at 6:05am.
Arrival location : Select Darwin accommodation early evening day 22.
Tour departs: October 2013 - March 2014: Wed
To check out departures dates and availability, just click the BOOK NOW button on this page
- Experienced guide
- National park entrance fees
- Meals as indicated
- Accommodation transfers
- 14 nights dorm accommodation with share facilities and 7 nights camping (or upgrade to 15 nights private room with ensuite and 6 nights camping)
Accommodation Upgrade: includes 15 nights private room with ensuite and 6 nights camping
Twin/Dbl: AUD $3895 / €3350 / ₤2570
Single: AUD $4655 / € 4000 / ₤3070
*Note upgrade options are subject to availability at time of booking.
- Helicopter Flight at The Twelve Apostles
- Camel Ride
- Helicopter Flight at Kings Creek Station
- Canoeing at Katherine Gorge
- Cruise at Katherine Gorge
What to bring
- Sturdy walking shoes
- Hat and sunscreen
- Towel and toiletries
- Warm clothing in winter
- Water bottle (1.5L)
- Insect repellent
- Sleeping bag (can be purchased for $30).
- Itineraries may vary and/or attractions be substituted for any cause including seasonal conditions, weather extremes, traditional owner and national park requirements. Please see terms and conditions of travel for full details.
- Tour is operated in conjunction with our touring partner Topdeck.
- Travel Insurance is compulsory for all travellers on all tours and details must be presented to your tour guide before departure.
- Please note during summer the itinerary can change due to high temperatures. In this case Kings Canyon rim walk will be on the morning of day 14.
- This is a package tour, made up of 6 separate tours. Therefore, you may travel with a different guide and passengers on each section.
- A tropical summer itinerary applies to the Kakadu section of this tour between Nov/Dec – May, and is available upon request.
- A STRICT luggage limit of 15kg applies, (10kg in Kakadu).
- Excess luggage can be stored in Darwin during the Kakadu section.
- Tour must be reconfirmed 48hrs prior to departure by phone on 1300 654 604 (within Australia).
- It is your responsibility to contact Adventure Tours with your preferred accommodation pick up point. If we do not hear from you, we will assume you will make your way to our default pick up point as listed in the itinerary and the PDF document on the website. We will not be responsible for missed pick-ups (and a missed tour) if we do not receive notification from you or your travel agent, and if you are not at the default pick up point at the appropriate time.