15 Day Darwin to Melbourne Explorer

 

This 15 day adventure from Darwin to Melbourne will give you an excellent taste of the real Australia through the Aussie outback. You'll find adventures all along the way as the bus leaves the Top End visiting Kakadu National Parkland and Litchfield National Park before continuing through the Devils Marbles into the Red Centre. Hike through Kings Canyon, Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and check out the big rock, Uluru. From here we move on down to Victoria and stop off at the Grampians National Park and road trip along the breathtaking Great Ocean Road to the Twelve Apostles. Make sure you bring your camera! The tour ends in cosmopolitan Melbourne where you can sip lattes in hipster cafes.


Highlights

Tour Style
Tourcode: PDME15
Max Passengers: 24
Price from:
AUD $2195.00EUR €1510.00GBP £1270.00
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Adventure Tours Australia: 15 Day Darwin to Melbourne Explorer
 
Fitness
Moderate 
Vehicles
4WD
Minibus
Accommodation
6 nights camping, 8 nights dorm accommodation with shared facilities
Tour Code PDME15
Duration 15 days
Tour Style Explorer
Route Darwin to Melbourne
Maximum Passengers 24
Price (adult) AUD $2195.00EUR €1510.00GBP £1270.00
Valid 31 March 2015 - 30 March 2016
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Itinerary: day by day

Day 1 – Darwin to Mary River

DEFAULT PICK UP: Melaleuca on Mitchell, 52 Mitchell St Darwin, 06:50am

Leaving Darwin, we journey south to the beautiful Litchfield National Park where we visit the stunning waterfalls that flow all year round. Take a swim before we 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. They’ll share with us their local Aboriginal culture with bush tucker talks, didgeridoo demonstrations, basket weaving and spear throwing^. We finish the day in the Mary River region, where the exotic birds are not the only wildlife to see. Keep a watch for lurking crocodiles on an afternoon wildlife cruise! Climb into your sleeping bag at our secluded Mary River camping spot. (LD)

Day 2 – Mary River to Kakadu

Today we head to Kakadu National Park, World Heritage listed for its stunning natural features and for being the centre of the world's oldest living culture. Get ready for some 4WD action today as we make our way to Jim Jim Falls, the crown of Kakadu and certain to be one of our trip highlights. Once we get there, we’ll take in the stunning views of this 200m natural wonder before continuing on to Twin Falls. (Twin and Jim Jim Falls not available year round; subject to seasonal availability^^). See the beauty of the gorge and admire the breathtaking waterfalls from a national park operated boat before your Guide takes you to on a boardwalk experience. Tonight we stay at our permanent camp at Kakadu National Park. (BLD)

Day 3 – Kakadu to Darwin

Discover ancient Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr before climbing to the top of a rocky lookout for fabulous views over the Nardab floodplain. Next we head to Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) where a hike is rewarded with a reviving swim in the plunge pools. On the way back home, the scenery will continue to amaze you as we journey back to Darwin in the afternoon. (BL)

Day 4 - Darwin

Enjoy a free day to relax and explore Darwin (overnight dorm accommodation included; meals and activities at own expense).

Day 5 – Darwin to Daly Waters

PICK UP LOCATION: Melaleuca on Mitchell, 52 Mitchell St Darwin, 05:50am

We depart from Darwin early and make our way to Nitmiluk National Park. Our first stop is the beautiful Edith Falls for a swim before heading to Katherine Gorge where your guide will take you ona short return walk to Baruwei lookout. You can get a postcard shot of the gorge and learn about this stunning area and its significance to the local Jawoyn Aboriginal people. Once we finish exploring the gorge we continue our journey south to Daly Waters arriving in time for dinner and a beer at the historic Daly Waters Hotel - the territory’s oldest pub (own expense). We stay overnight in our camp at Daly Waters.

Day 6 – Daly Waters to Alice Springs

We continue our journey south passing through Tennant Creek and onto Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles) where we have some time to explore the well-known marble shaped boulders,a site sacred to its traditional owners. There is also one last photo stop as we cross the Tropic of Capricorn before finishing in the heart of the Red Centre,Alice Springs.

Day 7 – Alice Springs to Kata Tjuta and Uluru

PICK UP LOCATION: Haven Backpacker Resort, 06:10am

Today we visit an authentic outback camel farm where you can choose to take a ride and experience the best in desert transport (at own expense). From here it is off to Uluru (Ayers Rock) for lunch. Explore the 36 domes of Kata Tjuta as you get up close to this ancient geological formation during a Valley of the Winds hike. Fall in love with the desert sun as it sets over Uluru. Tonight you can sleep in a permanent tent or curl up ina swag (Aussie bedroll) and enjoy a night under the stars. (LD)

Day 8 – Uluru to Kings Canyon

An early start is rewarded with the sunrise over Uluru. While the morning’s fresh enjoy an unguided walk around the base of Uluru. You will then deepen your understanding of the land and the Mala people as you embark on a cultural interpretive walk with an Aboriginal guide (and interpreter).* It is a unique opportunity to share experiences, connect with and learn about the oldest culture on earth. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to see more Aboriginal arts and crafts at the Cultural Centre before we travel to our exclusive campsite within theWatarrkaNational Park(KingsCanyon) where we sleep for the night. (BLD)

Day 9 – Kings Canyon to Erldunda

Get your hiking shoes on today as we head out to explore the formations and towering rock faces ofKingsCanyon. You will be left breathless by the size and beauty of the canyon, as we trek through the Amphitheatre and discover theLostCity, the lush and ancient Garden of Eden, and the North and South Walls. We stop for lunch before we make our way back to our campsite for the night at Erldunda. (BLD)

Day 10 – Erldunda to Coober Pedy

We depart early this morning to make our way to Coober Pedy, crossing the Northern Territory/South Australian border. We take a break at the outback town ofMarla, where we have a chance to purchase some lunch (own expense) and stretch our legs. The next stop is Coober Pedy, ‘the Opal Capital of the World’. Upon arrival your guide will give you a tour of this unique town, before visiting an underground mine and museum for a guided tour. You will also have a chance to purchase some of the opal jewellery produced from the mine. Tonight we stay overnight in a unique underground bunkhouse in Coober Pedy. (BL)

Day 11 – Coober Pedy - Quorn

After breakfast we continue the journey South along theStuart Highwayand stop at some of the salt lakes of Central Australia for an interesting photo opportunity. We pass by the ‘rocket launching’ town of Woomera— part of a former military test site. Next we make our way to Port Augusta where we stop to enjoy lunch (own expense). We continue our journey south and stop at ancient salt lakes which are remnants of an inland sea. We stop at the small town of Glendambo (population 30!) and Pt Augusta before arriving in Quorn, the quaint and historical railway township nestled at the entrance to the Richman Valley.  We stay in private accommodation at the historical “Mill”.  Get ready for tonight’s BBQ dinner – it doesn’t get any more Aussie than this! (BD)

Day 12 – Quorn - Adelaide

Eat a hearty breakfast, because this afternoon we hike to the summit of Dutchman's Stern for stunning 360° views of Quorn, Spencer Gulf and the Flinders Ranges! We then say farewell to the “Flinders”. Near the frontier township of Melrose we take a short walk across a swinging bridge and enjoy panoramic views from the Mt Remarkable lookout. Our last stop is in the infamous Clare Valley before arriving late afternoon into Adelaide where we stay for the night. (B)

Day 13 – Adelaide, staying at the Adelaide Central YHA

Make the most of a day to relax and explore South Australia’s capital city Adelaide (overnight dorm accommodation included at the Adelaide Central YHA; meals and activities at own expense). If you’re looking for something exciting to do outside the city, why not try our Kangaroo Island Highlights Day Tour (Tour Code PKICC) or aBarossa Valley wine tour (Tour Code PBVDT).

Day 14 - Adelaide to Grampians National Park

PICK UP: Adelaide Central YHA (135 Waymouth St), 07:00am

Our journey takes us through the Adelaide Hills across the mightyMurray River before travelling past the Victorian border and on through Horsham. We make our way into the Grampians National Park, a beautiful area and a place of great significance for the local Indigenous people. We gain a good insight into their local customs witha stop at the Brambuck Cultural Centre. We then make the most of our afternoon to explore the region with a hike to either McKenzie orSilverbandFalls. We then enjoya short nature walk to take in the full beauty of the Grampians.  Enjoy dinner with your new friends before we overnight in Halls Gap. (D)

Day 15 - Grampians National Park via Great Ocean Road to Melbourne

After an early start this morning we make our way to the Australian National Heritage listed and world-renownedGreat Ocean Road. Enjoy the fantastic coastal views from the road. We explore Port Campbell National Park including a visit to London Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge and the iconic Twelve Apostles rock formation. We pass through the beach towns of Apollo Bay and Lorne beforea short stop at Kennett River to do some koala spotting. From here we take on that last part of the Great Ocean Road. Make the most of a great photo opportunity at the famed Aussie surf location before we make our final journey into cosmopolitan Melbourne. (B)

TROPICAL TOP END SUMMER ITINERARY (applies from November to May)

Day 1 –LitchfieldNational Park| Cathedral Termite Mounds | Overnight camp. (LD)

Day 2 – Mamukala Wetlands (seasonal) | Wildlife Cruise | Ubirr or Nourlangie Rock (seasonal) | Walk to Gubara Springs | Overnight camp Kakadu. (BLD)

Day 3 –GunlomFallsor Motor Car Falls (seasonal) | Warradjan Culture Centre | Return toDarwin. (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.

Departures

Departure location : Select Darwin accommodation from 06:20am. Default pick up: Melaleuca on Mitchell at 06:50am (52 Mitchell St, Darwin)

Arrival location : Select Melbourne accommodation evening day 15

Departure dates for this tour are currently not available online. We apologise for this inconvenience.

For more information on your tour's departure dates please consult our pdf brochure here,
or call us on 1300 654 604 (within Australia) or +61 (03) 8102 7800 (international).

 

Included

  • Experienced guide
  • national park entrance fees
  • meals as indicated
  • air-conditioned vehicle
  • 2 Aboriginal cultural experiences*^
  • accommodation transfers
  • accommodation as below:

    Standard Accommodation: 8 nights dorm accommodation with shared facilities, 6 nights standard camping

    Upgrade Accommodation (subject to availability at the time of booking; only applies to accommodated/non-camping nights): 3 nights private room with shared facilities (twin, double, or single), 5 nights private ensuite room (twin, double, or single), and 6 nights standard camping (twin share tents only).

Tour upgrades

 



Optional Activities

  • Cruise or Canoeing at Katherine Gorge
  • Helicopter flight at Kings Canyon

What to bring

  • Sturdy walking shoes (ankle high)
  • hat & sunscreen
  • towel & toiletries
  • warm clothing in winter
  • water bottle
  • torch/flashlight
  • insect repellent
  • camera
  • pillow
  • sleeping bag (can be purchased for $30)
  • money for some meals.

Notes

  • ^^Itineraries may vary and/or attractions be substituted for any cause including seasonal conditions, weather extremes, and traditional owner/national park requirements. Note that the opening dates of waterfalls (including Twin and Jim Jim Falls) and attractions vary each year and can change on a daily basis in the wet and shoulder seasons. Visit this website to see live updates on which areas of the park will be open: http://kakaduroadreport.wordpress.com/ or contact our Reservations team. Due to National Park rules and road laws, we cannot guarantee the opening of Twin and Jim Jim Falls and other attractions at any time. Alternative activities will be substituted at the tour guides’ discretion, dependent on local conditions. Day 2 and 3 of this itinerary are subject to change order without notice. See terms and conditions of travel for full details. Some areas in Nitmiluk National Park are seasonal and may not be available during the wet season.
  • *Where Aboriginal guide is unavailable at Uluru, an Adventure Tours /Intrepid guide will lead the cultural walk.
  • ^The Aboriginal Wulna-Limilngan cultural experience is only available during the dry season (approximately Apr-Oct) as site is subject to flooding (contact our Reservations team for availability). Participants may be absent due to cultural commitments with minimal prior notification and Adventure Tours Australia reserves the right to amend the itinerary in these circumstances with no obligation to refund.
  • Please note the journey between Darwin and Alice Springs on Days 5-6 is designed to be express and has a limited itinerary. The distance travelled is some 1,500km and involves a substantial amount of time on the vehicle.
  • This package is made up of 5 separate tours, so you may travel with a different guide and passengers on each section.
  • Upgrade accommodation is budget style and may be located on different premises to dorm.
  • Adelaide to Melbourne section is operated in conjunction with our touring partners Autopia Tours.
  • Travel Insurance is compulsory for all travellers on all tours and details must be presented to your tour guide before departure.
  • A STRICT luggage limit of 15kg applies for Days 4-15, with a STRICT 10kg limit in a soft bag on Days 1-3 in Kakadu. Excess should remain in storage at your Darwin accommodation for this section of the tour.
  • This tour requires a sleeping bag.  You may bring your own or pre-purchase a sleeping bag from us.
  • It is your responsibility to advise us if you have any special dietary requirements, allergies, or medical conditions well ahead of departure.
  • From October to March it is likely that you will experience temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius, and sometimes well into the 40’s. Be prepared to endure extra physical stress due to the heat at these times, especially while on walks. These extreme temperatures can also place stress on the air-conditioning units within our vehicles which can make travelling uncomfortable. Your tour guide will assist with regular breaks and information to assist keeping hydrated. In July and August, very cold temperatures can be experienced in the outback, especially overnight. Please come prepared for all extremes.
  • The default pick up point is where we will meet you for your tour, unless you or your travel agent requests an alternative location (contact our Reservations team for more information). It is your responsibility to contact us with your preferred pick up point well ahead of departure. We do not take responsibility for missed tours if we have not been advised of an alternative in advance and you are not at the default location on time.
  • B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner.