16 Day Melbourne to Darwin Explorer

 

The ultimate adventure, travel from one end of the country to the other and notice the difference in culture between the two. Depart from coffee-mad Melbourne and head to the Great Ocean Road and Grampians National Park. Cross through in South Australia and visit Coober Pedy, the Opal Capital of the World and the Flinders Rangers. Hang out in Adelaide before moving North to the Red centre of Alice Springs. Watch the sunrise over Uluru and hike around the National Park, sleeping under the stars. From Alice Springs, head up north to visit to Katherine Gorge and then get ready for a Top End Kakadu adventure. The tour concludes in Darwin.  


Highlights

Tour Style
Tourcode: PMDE16
Max Passengers: 24
Price from:
AUD $2365.00EUR €1625.00GBP £1365.00
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Adventure Tours Australia: 16 Day Melbourne to Darwin Explorer
 
Fitness
Moderate 
Vehicles
4WD
Minibus
Accommodation
8 nights camping, 7 nights dorm accommodation with shared facilities
Tour Code PMDE16
Duration 16 days
Tour Style Explorer
Route Melbourne to Darwin
Maximum Passengers 24
Price (adult) AUD $2365.00EUR €1625.00GBP £1365.00
Valid 31 March 2015 - 30 March 2016
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Itinerary: day by day

Day 1 – Melbourne via Great Ocean Road to Halls Gap

DEFAULT PICK UP: In front of St Pauls Cathedral (Flinders St), 07:15am

Departing Melbournewe pass through Geelong, stopping for a quick photo opportunity at an iconic surf beach town of Torquay. We then begin our journey along one of Australia’s most beautiful and famous drives, the Great Ocean Road. A short stop at Kennett River lets you do some koala spotting. We visit Apollo Bay for our lunch stop before getting back on the Great Ocean Road where we stop to admire the iconic Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge. Bring your camera! Late afternoon we make our way into the Grampians for our overnight stay in Halls Gap where we enjoy dinner (own expense) with your new friends before we overnight in the Grampians. (L)

Day 2 – Grampians National Park to Adelaide

Grampians National Parkis an area rich in Aboriginal culture set in a beautiful landscape. We learn about the local Aboriginal culture with a visit to the Brambuck Cultural Centre. We embark on a few walks in the National Park and take in some of the breathtaking views before making our way to either McKenzie Falls or Silverband Falls where we hike to some stunning views. Leaving the Grampians behind, we pass through the town of Horsham before crossing the famed mighty Murray River and making the last leg of our journey into Adelaide. Accommodation tonight is at the Adelaide Central YHA. (B)

Day 3 – Adelaide, staying at the Adelaide Central YHA

Make the most of a day to relax and exploreSouth Australia’s capital cityAdelaide(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 aBarossaValleywine tour (Tour Code PBVDT).

Day 4 – Adelaide to Flinders Ranges

PICK UP: Adelaide Central YHA (135 Waymouth St), 06:30am

We leave South Australia’s capital city behind and head for the hillside vineyards of the Clare Valley plusa string of classic country towns before we stop for an optional tasting (own expense) at one of the many local cellar doors. After lunch we can start enjoying the expansive views of Flinders Rangesas we weave our way towards Wilpena Pound, one of Australia’s most magnificent natural features. We have the option of a few hikes to explore this stunning area. We stay overnight in the Flinders Ranges (LD)

Day 5 – Flinders Ranges to William Creek via the Oodnadatta Track

Today we breakout from the Flinders Ranges and head north passing the mining town of Leigh Creek and visiting the gallery of outback eccentric Talc Alf at Lyndhurst. We are now following the historic route of the old Ghan railway and the Overland Telegraph line. Before we really get off the beaten track we stop in Marree for some lunch beside the old Ghan rail station. We are now on the renowned Oodnadatta track as we pass Australia’s largest salt lake, Lake Eyre. Our last stop for the day is William Creek, home to its famous pub and a population of about six! Tonight we temporarily increase the population as we camp for the night. (BLD)

Day 6 –William Creek to Coober Pedy

Desert landscapes of red dunes, salt pans and gibber plains feature as we pass through Anna Creek Station, the world’s largest cattle station at almost 24 000 square kilometres. Today’s first stop is Lake Cadibarrawirracanna– yes that is the longest lake name in the world. We then continue our approach to Coober Pedy, the ‘Opal capital of the world’. We take a town tour and view an underground house, underground church and we also take a mine tour including an opal cutting demonstration. The afternoon is free for some more exploring or you can even try ‘noodling’ (fossicking) for opals. We stay overnight in an underground bunkhouse. (BLD)

Day 7 – Coober Pedy to Erldunda

Before we leave Coober Pedy and head out across the Moon Plain we get up close to some local wildlife and learn about rescued joeys at Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage. We pass the Dingo Fence, the longest fence in the world, and take in the view of the Breakaways Scenic Reserve, made famous by the movie Mad Max III. Early afternoon we arrive at Erldunda, located almost right in the geographical centre of Australia. Here we can takea swim in the pool or enjoy some relaxation time at our campsite for the night. (BLD)

Day 8 – Erldunda to Kata Tjuta and Uluru

We start the day by heading to Uluru (Ayers Rock) for lunch, before making the journey to one of the Red Centre’s greatest treasures: Kata Tjuta. Get up close to this ancient geological formation during a hike through the beautiful Valley of the Winds. Tonight you can sleep in a permanent tent or curl up ina swag (Aussie bedroll) as you watch the desert sun set over Uluru and enjoy a night under the outback stars. (BLD)

Day 9 – Uluru to Kings Canyon

Rise early and be rewarded with a glorious Uluru sunrise. 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 and to connect with and learn about the oldest culture on earth. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to purchase Aboriginal arts and crafts at the Cultural Centre before we travel to our exclusive campsite within the Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon) where we sleep for the night. (BLD)

Day 10 – Kings Canyon to Alice Springs

Get your hiking shoes on today as we head out to explore the impressive formations and towering rock faces of Kings Canyon. You’ll really appreciate the sheer size and beauty of the canyon as we trek through the Amphitheatre, and discover the Lost City, the lush and ancient Garden of Eden, and the North and South Walls. Enjoy a lunch before we make our way to Alice Springs. (BL)

Day 11 – Alice Springs

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

Day 12 – Alice Springs to Daly Waters

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

Leaving Alice we pass by the Tropic of Capricorn and make our way to Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles) where we explore the well-known marble shaped granite boulders,a site sacred to its traditional owners. Continuing north we make a stop at Tennant Creek for a chance to purchase lunch and stretch our legs before we continue to Daly Waters to our overnight camp located right near the NT’s famous Daly Waters Outback Hotel. Here you have an opportunity to check out the famous pub, enjoya swim in the pool, have a cool drink and purchase some of the local fare for Dinner. Overnight at our camp at Daly Waters.

Day 13 – Daly Waters to Darwin

After an early morning start as we make our way to Nitmiluk National Park, home to Katherine Gorge and Edith Falls. Your guide will leada short return walk to Baruwei Lookout, allowing you to 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 have one final stop for a swim at the beautiful Edith Falls before we drive the last leg into the Northern Territory’s capital city, Darwin.

Day 14 – Darwin to Mary River

DEFAULT PICK UP: Adventure Tours Shop, 52 Mitchell St Darwin, 06:50am

Leaving Darwin, we journey south to the beautiful Litchfield National Parkwhere we visit the stunning waterfalls that flow all year round. Take a refreshing swim and enjoy lunch 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 spectacular 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 for a well-earned rest at our secluded Mary River camping spot. (LD)

Day 15 – 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 16 – 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)

 

TROPICAL SUMMER ITINERARY (applies from November to May)

Day 14 – Litchfield National Park | Cathedral Termite Mounds | Wildlife cruise |Overnight camp. (LD)

Day 15 – Mamukala Wetlands (seasonal)| Ubirr or Nourlangie Rock (seasonal) | Walk to Gubara Springs | Overnight camp Kakadu. (BLD)

Day 16 – Gunlom Falls or Motor Car Falls (seasonal) | Warradjan Culture Centre | 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.

Departures

Departure location : Select Melbourne accommodation from 06:45am Default pick up: In front of St Pauls Cathedral (Flinders St), 07:15am

Arrival location : Select Darwin accommodation early evening day 16

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
  • 2 Aboriginal cultural experiences*^
  • accommodation transfers
  • accommodation as below:

    Standard Accommodation: 7 nights dorm accommodation with shared facilities, 8 nights standard camping (nights 4 and 5 in non-permanent campsites with swags/pop up tents, all other nights in permanent tent campsites)

    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), 4 nights private room with ensuite (twin, double, or single), and 8 nights standard camping (twin share tents only; nights 4 and 5 in non-permanent campsites with swags/pop up tents, all other nights in permanent tent campsites).

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)

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 12-13 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.
  • Melbourne to Adelaide 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 1-15, with a STRICT 10kg limit in a soft bag on Days 14-16 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.