Days
17
Price from
3695AUD
Map of Darwin to Melbourne Overland  including Australia

Travel through Australia's amazing Top End, Red Centre, Oodnadatta Track and famou Great Ocean Road.

Embark on a Northern Territory adventure, from Darwin to Melbourne, taking in the region's biggest and best-known drawcards along the way. Get a taste of the tropics in Kakadu National Park, visit Arnhem Land, Litchfield and Katherine. Witness Uluru during a stunning sunrise, wander through the majestic canyons of Kata Tjuta and admire the views from Kings Canyon. Drive the famous Oodnadatta Track, and the famous Great Ocean Road. A region of exceptional landscapes and intriguing cultural attractions, this top to tail exploration of our country is a trip that will leave you with a profound appreciation of Australia's raw and rugged natural beauty.


Start
Darwin, Australia
Finish
Melbourne, Australia
Destinations
Northern Territory, Kakadu, Uluru, Outback, South Australia, Victoria, Great Ocean Road
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer, Overland
Code
POOAC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 1, Max 24

Why you'll love this trip

  • This amazing trip covers two states and one territory, and includes the highlights of Australia's Top End, Red Centre, Flinders Ranges, Grampians and the Great Ocean Road as well as capital and regional cities Darwin, Alice Springs, Adelaide and Melbourne.

  • Discover the wonders of Kakadu National Park. Get adventurous on a 4WD tour to the spectacular Jim Jim Falls and see the ancient Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander rock art of Ubirr as well as Katherine Gorge

  • Get up early and see the sun rise over Uluru

  • Check out one of the strangest towns in Australia - built underground

  • See some beautifully remote places in the Flinders Ranges

  • Enjoy the flexibility of a private vehicle, the local knowledge of a passionate guide and the magic of camping under the great southern sky

  • Drive the world famous Great Ocean Road

Is this trip right for you?

  • 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.

  • This trip is BASIX and we use mixed gender multishare accommodation. This means, the minimum age for the trip is 18 years old. 

  • 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.

  • The Top End & Kakadu portion of this trip has a strict luggage limit of 10kg. Excess luggage can not be carried however, it can be stored at Darwin accommodation.

Itinerary

Welcome to Darwin, the Northern Territory’s tropical capital. Leave Darwin in the early morning and travel to Wulna Country where you will be greeted by a Cul Cul or ‘Welcome to Country’ from the Traditional Owners of the land, the Limilngan-Wulna people. Learn about their culture as your hosts treat you to bush tucker talks and didgeridoo and basket weaving demonstrations. Then, it’s on to the border of Kakadu and Arnhem Land for a Guluyumbi cruise along the East Alligator River. Both scenic and informative, your Bininj guide will explain the cultural importance of the river to the region’s Traditional Owners as you glide past pristine wilderness – and countless crocodiles! Next, unveil indigenous art at a complex known as Mawurndaddja. This complex has a spectacular series of galleries with rock art spanning from the present time to many thousands of years of age. Your guide will explain the importance of this art, the methods used to perform this expressionism and the anthropological system used to date the art as you are guided through the site. Spend the afternoon exploring this historic ancient site. Following this, head back into Kakadu for an overnight stay.

Total driving time: about six hours (approximately 350 km)
Total walking time: about one and a half hours (including stops for informative talks)
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guluyambi Cultural Cruise
  • Mawurndaddja rock art and occupation complex
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After fuelling up with an early breakfast, it's on to Jim Jim Falls, Kakadu's most iconic natural attraction. It’s a challenging walk through monsoon forest and over boulders. Recharge with a cooling dip in the clear waters beneath the falls upon arrival, or simply soak up the spectacular scenery while relaxing on the beach. After lunch head to Anbangbang and discover ancient rock art. Originally Warramal clan land, who have now passed away, Anbangbang is now looked after by neighbouring Mirarr and Djok clans. Consider taking a scenic flight over Kakadu in the afternoon, or visit Bowli Cultural Centre.

Total driving time: about four hours (approximately 120 km)
Total walking time: about two and a half hou
Accommodation
  • Camping (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast, head to either Gunlom Falls or Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) for a swim in another pristine waterhole. Maguk flows down the steep walls of rugged gorge into a beautiful natural plunge pool. It’s a steep climb to the Gunlom Falls plunge pool, though the reward is sweeping views of Kakadu and the welcome shade of gum trees. Neither option will disappoint. After a relaxing morning, it’s time to hit the road. Stop in the old gold-mining town of Pine Creek for lunch before continuing for another three hours to your private campsite on the doorstep of Nitmiluk National Park. Once comfortable, have dinner with the group before relaxing in your tent for the night.

Total driving time: about five and a half hours (approximately 340 km)
Total walking time: about one and a half hours
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information

Spend the day exploring the deep Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge and ancient sandstone landscape of Nitmiluk National Park. A wonderland of colours, Aboriginal rock art, waterfalls and wildlife, perhaps take a cruise or rental a kayak to get a closer look. Keep in mind that these optional activities are seasonal and at your own expense. In the afternoon, travel on to Edith Falls, a hidden oasis of clear, cool waters surrounded by bronze boulders. After a quick swim in the huge rock pools, continue to tonight’s camp located at the edge of Litchfield National Park, where dinner awaits.

Total driving time: about four and a half hours (approximately 350 km)
Total walking time: about three and a half hours
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Edith Falls
Optional Activities
  • Katherine Gorge Scenic Cruise - AUD95
  • Katherine Gorge Canoe from - AUD82
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information

After breakfast, head to Litchfield National Park. A bit of a local secret, Litchfield is awash with tropical rainforest, gorgeous waterfalls and crystal-clear waterholes. Visit Florence Falls, Wangi Falls or Bluey Rockholes, then tuck into a picnic lunch. Enjoy a stroll through the steamy rainforests and refreshing dip in one of the park’s gorgeous swimming holes. In the afternoon, make the two-hour drive back to Darwin where the trip ends on arrival. If you decide to stay an additional night in Darwin, perhaps enjoy an optional night out with the group to celebrate the end of a fantastic trip.

Total driving time: about three and a half hours (approximately 250 km)
Total walking time: about one hour
Included Activities
  • Buley Rockholes
  • Florence Falls
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Wangi Falls
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Litchfield National Park occasionally closes attraction if they are considered unsafe to access. If Florence Falls, Wangi Falls or Bluey Rockholes are closed, activities will be substituted. Please see our 'Climate and Seasonal’ section for more information.
Today, skip the 1,500km of driving which is about 24 hours by road, and fly from Darwin to Alice Springs with Qantas (QF). Qantas is Australia's first commercial airline and is now recognised as one of the world’s 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 please look for your transfer vehicle (operated by Alice Wanderer - green and yellow bus) to transfer you into Alice Springs.

The rest of the day is free to explore.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Your Darwin transfer (operated by Darwin City Airport Shuttle Service) will depart approx 2 hours prior to your flight. In case of any issues or to confirm time please call. +61 8 8947 3979

Your Alice Springs transfer (operated by Alice Wanderer - green and yellow bus) will transfer you to the Alice Springs YHA. In case of any issues please call
1800 722 111 (free call) or +61 8 89522111
Welcome to Alice Springs. Hit the road and head off to Uluru (Ayers Rock) for lunch, before exploring the 36 rocky landforms of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). In the evening, watch the sun set over Uluru, the perfect end to a remarkable day then enjoy a delicious spread of food and wine with your group. If the weather permits, sit outside under the stars.


Note: Total driving time today is around four and a half hours. Total walking time is approximately one hour.

Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Entrance
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
An early start this morning is rewarded with an Uluru sunrise. While the morning is fresh enjoy a walk around the base of the rock, gaining insights into the land and the local Mala people on an interpretive cultural walk with an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Guide. Once you’ve had lunch, perhaps purchase some art and craft of the First Peoples of Australia, at the Uluru Cultural Centre. Travel onto the exclusive campsite within Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon), where the group will eat and sleep for the night.

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
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
  • Maruku Arts cultural experience
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
The Anangu people have dissuaded visitors from climbing Uluru for decades; as traditional owners of the land they feel a deep responsibility for everyone who travels to the area. In 1998 we were among the first tour operators to stop climbing Uluru
The Intrepid Group are proud to be involved with local communities in Uluru and to have an ongoing commitment to providing employment for the Anangu people. You show respect when you choose not to climb Uluru, but walk with Anangu throughout the area and share their stories instead.
Put your hiking shoes on after breakfast and head out to explore the formations and towering rock faces of Kings Canyon. The sheer size of the canyon is breathtaking. Trek for 6 kilometres along the Rim Walk, which takes you through a natural amphitheatre, past the striped sandstone domes of the ‘lost city’ and into the green oasis of the Garden of Eden. Stop for lunch before making your way to a campsite on the homestead of Erldunda, where you’ll spend the night at the Desert Oaks campsite at Erldunda, where you can meet one of Australia most unique wildlife species, the Emu at the Erldunda emu farm.

Note: Total driving time today is around three hours. Total walking time is approximately two and half hours hour.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
  • Erldunda Emu Farm
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
For the Kings Canyon Rim Walk it is a requirement that you have a minimum of 3 litres of water with you. Please consider bringing your own refillable water bottles.
Depart early this morning and make your way to Coober Pedy, crossing the Northern Territory/South Australian border on the way (approximately five hours in total). Take a break to stretch your legs and enjoy lunch in the outback town of Marla. Coober Pedy is known as ‘The Opal Capital of the World’ and was one of the locations used to film the third Mad Max movie. Due to extremely hot temperatures in the area most of the town is constructed underground, with residents living in cave-like houses carved into the hillsides.

Upon arrival, take a guided tour of the town, underground opal mine and museum. End the day hanging out with some rescued joeys at Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage. Tonight stay in a multi-share underground bunkhouse in Coober Pedy.

Note: Total driving time today is around four and a half hours. Total walking time is approximately half an hour.

Accommodation
  • Underground Multishare (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage
  • Underground Mine & Opal Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Head to the quintessential country town of Quorn. After lunch enjoy expansive views of the Flinders Ranges as you drive towards Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheatre of rocky mountains. Enjoy an easy group hike to explore the area, then settle into your camp among the trees.

Total driving time today is around five hours.
Accommodation
  • Basic camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information

Please note that if your group would prefer, there is an option to return to Quorn for your overnight stay, instead of camping in Wilpena Pound.
Return to Quorn via a winding country road that passes rugged mountain ranges and crumbling colonial-era homesteads. Spend the day exploring this wild country. Hike through the orange rock spires of Warren Gorge, taking in pockets of unique flora along the way. Trek through low-lying native shrubbery and gnarled trees that mark the trails around Dutchman’s Stern, a small and attractive mountain that’s part of the Flinders Ranges. As the sun sets, rest your weary limbs in the comfort of your accommodation for the evening, a historic grain mill.
Accommodation
  • Multishare lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Oodnadatta Track
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Make your way back to Adelaide through the rolling hills and vineyards of wine country, arriving in the early evening. As your journey comes to an end here, we will drop you at your Adelaide city accommodation.

Note: Total driving time today is around five.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Spend two days exploring Adelaide and surrounds. Perhaps take a tour of the wine region, head to Glenelg foreshaw or check out Leigh Street and Peel street for some night life and people watching.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Please note that the days in Adelaide are unescorted. Accommodation is at the YHA Adelaide.
Another full day to explore this lovely little city. Head up into the Adelaide Hills to try some delicious pinot noir, or check if there is an event at the National Wine Centre. The Botanic gardens are worth a stroll as is the Adelaide Oval if there is cricket or AFL on. Finish the evening in the East End, tasting some of Adelaide's fine wine and amazing food.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Please note that the days in Adelaide are unescorted. Accommodation is at the YHA Adelaide.
Leaving Adelaide in the morning, drive across the state border into Victoria and enter the Grampians. Go for a walk to view the Jaws of Death, hike down to McKenzie Falls and take in the incredible views from Reeds Lookout. Gain an insight into the customs of the land's traditional owners during a stop-in at the Brambuck Cultural Centre, then head into the heart of the Grampians, stopping en route for lunch. Last stop of the day will be a spot in the Grampians National Park where kangaroos, wallabies and koalas are often spotted. Tonight's accommodation is at either Brambuk Backpackers or the Grampians YHA.

Note: Total driving time today is about seven and a half hours (approximately 550kms)
Total walking time will be about two and a half hours (approximately 3.5kms)
Included Activities
  • Mackenzie Falls - Grampians
  • Reeds Lookout (The Balconies) & Boroka Lookout
Meals Included
  • Dinner
After an early morning start, begin the journey along Australia's glorious Great Ocean Road. Explore Port Campbell National Park, checking out London Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge and the iconic Twelve Apostles rock formation, then sit back and soak up the mesmerising coastal views en route. Experience a guided walk through an ancient and rare temperate rainforest. Stop at Kennett River for the chance to spot koalas before passing through the charming beach towns of Apollo Bay and Lorne. Make the most of a great photo opportunity at some famed surf locations before we stop for a beach walk and then hit the highway back to Melbourne.

Note: Total driving time today is about seven and a half hours (approximately 550kms)
Total walking time will be about two hours (approximately 2kms)
Included Activities
  • 12 Apostles & London Bridge
  • Koala spotting - Great Ocean Road
  • Loch Ard Gorge
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

11 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 11 dinners

Transport

All Terrain vehicle, Minibus, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Dormitory (2 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Camping (with shared facilities) (2 nights), Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (3 nights), Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (3 nights), Underground Multishare (1 night) Hostel multishare (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Guluyambi Cultural Cruise
  • Mawurndaddja rock art and occupation complex
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Edith Falls
  • Buley Rockholes
  • Florence Falls
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Wangi Falls
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Entrance
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
  • Maruku Arts cultural experience
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
  • Erldunda Emu Farm
  • Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage
  • Underground Mine & Opal Tour
  • Oodnadatta Track
  • Mackenzie Falls - Grampians
  • Reeds Lookout (The Balconies) & Boroka Lookout
  • 12 Apostles & London Bridge
  • Koala spotting - Great Ocean Road
  • Loch Ard Gorge

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Important notes

1. Tour commences in Darwin on day 1 at 6:50am and finishes in Melbourne day 17 at approx 6pm. Onward travel should be booked the following day
2. For the Kings Canyon Rim Walk it is a requirement that you have a minimum of 3 litres of water with you. Please consider bringing your own refillable water bottles.
3. The Top End & Kakadu portion of this trip has a strict luggage limit of 10kg. Excess luggage can not be carried however, it can be stored at Darwin accommodation.
4. This trip requires a sleeping bag
5. Please note that this trip is a combination of some of our most popular trips. As such the make up of your group and your guide will change along the way.

Essential trip information

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