Days
17
Price from
$3,580AUD

Travel through Australia's amazing Great Ocean Road, through the Flinders Ranges and the famous Oodnadatta Track to the dusty Red Centre and tropical Top End

Embark on a Northern Territory adventure, from Melbourne to Darwin, taking in the region's biggest and best-known drawcards along the way. Drive the famous Oodnadatta Track, stroll around Wilpena Pound, witness Uluru during a stunning sunrise, wander through the majestic canyons of Kata Tjuta and admire the views from Kings Canyon. Head out croc spotting in the Mary River Wetlands and get a taste of the tropics in Kakadu National Park. A region of exceptional landscapes and intriguing cultural attractions, this tail-to-top adventure of the Territory is a trip that will leave you with a profound appreciation of Australia's raw and rugged natural beauty.

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Terms & Conditions

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

Why we love this trip

  • Get back to basics with this classic seventeen-day overland adventure. See the highlights and national parks of Australia's Great Ocean Road and Grampians, Flinders Ranges, Red Centre and Top End in rugged, authentic style

  • Spend a half day in Arnhem Land with a local indigenous guide

  • Cruise the world famous Great Ocean Road

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

  • See some beautifully remote places in the Flinders ranges

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

  • Get up early and see the sun rise over Uluru

  • 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'

  • he 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

  • 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 as well as Katherine Gorge

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a basic trip, covering the highlights of Australia's Great Ocean Road and Grampians, Flinders Ranges, Red Centre, and Top End.

  • 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 because minors aren't able to sleep in mixed gender rooms.

  • 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 2018 to 31 March 2019. View the itinerary for departures between 01 April 2017 - 31 March 2018

Departing cosmopolitan Melbourne, hit the road west to Geelong and the famous surf town of Torquay. From there, begin the journey along one of Australia’s most beautiful and famous drives, the Great Ocean Road. Stop in at Kennett River for some koala spotting, then break for lunch in Apollo Bay. Continue on to the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge, spending the night in Warrnambool.

Note: Total driving time today is about six and a half hours (approximately 450kms)
Total walking time will be about two hours (approximately 2kms)
Included Activities
  • 12 Apostles & London Bridge
  • Kennett River Koalas
  • Melba Gully Walk - Otway Ranges
  • Swim at Lorne (Summer months)
Meals Included
  • Lunch
Begin the day checking out more of the Great Ocean Road's wonders, then drive into the Grampians National Park – an area rich in Aboriginal culture and beautiful landscapes. We'll visit the Brambuk Aboriginal Culture Centre to learn about the period known as the Dreaming, then hike up to the Pinnacles for impressive views across the Grampians. Tonight we enjoy a traditional Aussie BBQ in Halls Gap.

Note: Total driving time today is about six hours (approximately 400kms)
Total walking time will be about four hours (approximately 5kms)
Included Activities
  • Brambuk Culture Centre
  • Loch Ard Gorge
  • Mackenzie Falls - Grampians
  • Pinnacles Walk - Grampians
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Hike up to McKenzie Falls, the highest waterfalls in the Grampians, and check out other sights such as The Balconies and Reeds Lookout. Leaving the Grampians, pass through the town of Horsham before crossing the famed mighty Murray River and making the last leg of the journey into Adelaide.

Note: Total driving time today is about seven and a half hours (approximately 550kms) Estimated time of arrival into Adelaide is 7.30pm.
Total walking time will be about two and a half hours (approximately 3.5kms)
Included Activities
  • Reeds Lookout (The Balconies) & Boroka Lookout
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Barely 100 clicks north of Adelaide lies the Clare Valley, an undulating sprawl of vineyards, wine cellars and quaint bluestone cottages. Renowned for its production of world-class Rieslings, this is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions – and one of its prettiest too. On the drive through to Wilpena Pound you’ll be treated to some extraordinary views of the Flinders Ranges, which, stretching for over 430 km across South Australia, are the state’s biggest mountain range. Arriving at our campsite there’ll be time for hike before snuggling down in a swag.

Total driving time takes around five hours.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wilpena Pound
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Leaving the flinders Ranges, we cruise north towards the tiny town of Lyndhurst, where the entrance sign proclaims ‘Welcome to Lyndhurst. Pop. 30 (most days)’. Hitting the famous Oodnadatta Track, we’ll make a stop by Lake Eyre (Australia’s largest salt lake), before arriving at our campsite in William Creek – base for the night.

Total driving time today is approximately 8 hours
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Covering an area of six million acres, Anna Creek Station is the world’s largest working cattle station. The estate was founded in 1899 by Sir Sidney Kidman, a distant relative of Nicole who set from home out on a one-eyed horse at age 13 to make his fortune. By mid afternoon we’ll have reached the opal-mining town of Coober Pedy. The weather here is so hot that life’s better lived underground. After taking a guided tour of this subterranean society, and checking into an underground bunkhouse, you’ll have the afternoon at leisure. Try your luck ‘noodling’ for opals, or finish the day at Josephine’s Kangaroo Orphanage to see what’s hopping about.

Total driving time today is approximately 6.5 hours
Accommodation
  • Underground Multishare (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Anna Creek Station
  • Coober Pedy Mine tour
  • Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
We’ll be honest, there’s a fair bit of driving today. From Coober Pedy we travel across the Moon Plains, past the Dingo Fence, past Breakaways Reserve, and into Yulara. Make sure you have your Ipod fully charged and your neck cushion handy.

Today driving time will be about 8.5 hours.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Dingo Fence
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Rise early this morning and be rewarded with a glorious Uluru sunrise. While the day is still fresh, enjoy a walk around the base of 'the rock', which is of great spiritual significance to the Anangu people. We walk to the cave paintings near Mutitjulu Waterhole at the base of Uluru where you wiill be in the hands of an Anangu guide who will share the stories of this unique landscape and explain the Art, the Culture and connection to Land. This exclusive experience will give you an exclusive insight to the meaning behind Anangu art and traditional culture. The on-site Cultural Centre also houses an extensive collection of indigenous arts and crafts for you to browse. . Head back to camp for lunch. In the afternoon, see the landscape from a different angle, perhaps from a helicopter flight over Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. This is optional and come at an additional cost.

There isn't much driving today, about an hour in total between destinations. You will walk approximately 5km.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Entrance
  • Uluru Base Walk
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
  • Kata Tjuta
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Uluru isn’t Coober Pedy, but it still gets pretty hot here come midday. If you’re keen to beat the heat on a walk around the rock’s base, we recommend an early rise. Uluru holds great significance to the local Anangu people, and appreciating this is key to appreciating Uluru itself. An indigenous guide will explain a little about the land during a cultural interpretative walk, after which there’s the opportunity to learn more at the onsite Cultural Centre. Later in the day there’s also the opportunity of taking a helicopter flight over Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park before we hit the road again for Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon).

Today, driving time is about four hrs and walking is up to ten kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Watarrka National Park Entry Fees
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
With its 300-metre high sandstone walls, hidden waterholes, fern forests, chasms, canyons and caverns, Watarrka National Park is central Australia’s answer to an oasis. The highlight attractions here are the Garden of Eden, the Amphitheatre and the Lost City – all sites you’ll get to visit on the Rim Walk. Following lunch it’s back on the road for the onward drive to Alice Springs, where this adventure concludes.

Driving time today is approximately 5 hours back to Alice Springs, and the Rim Walk is approximately 6km.
Included Activities
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today, skip the 1,500km of driving which is about 24 hours by road, and fly from Alice Springs to Darwin 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 Darwin, someone will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Chill out on a free day in Darwin, perhaps chill by the rooftop pool at the Melaleuca or head next door and say hi to the locals at Crocosauras Cove!
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Welcome to tropical Darwin, where your adventure begins. As this trip spends very little time in the Northern Territory's capital, consider arriving a few days early to explore the city. After meeting your group and leader this morning, leave Darwin and travel into Wulna Country, where you'll receive a Cul Cul ('Welcome to Country') by the traditional owners of the land, the Limilngan-Wulna people. Learn about their ancient culture as you enjoy bush tucker talks, didgeridoo demonstrations and basket weaving. Next stop is the border of Kakadu and Arnhem Land to experience the Guluyumbi cruise. Enjoy your Binninj guide explain to you the importance of the East Alligator River. After the cruise we will enter Arnhem Land and go to an exclusive art site called Mawurndaddja. This site allows you to see first hand the history and culture of this region. Find used ochre and spear tips on the ground. See artwork that is over 8000 years old. This site is unique in the Top End and you will have it all to youself. After a cool drink and some nibbles in Arnhem Land we will head to your overnight camp in Kakadu where the group will have dinner.

Note: Total driving time is about six hours (approximately 350kms) Total walking time is approximately one and a half hours (including stops for informative talks)
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mary River cruise
  • Pudakul Cultural Experience
  • Guluyumbi Indigenous Cruise
  • Mawurndaddja art site
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Early this morning after breakfast, travel by 4WD to the Twin Falls. Experience this spectacular gorge aboard a boat cruise that’s operated by the national park, with a walk along the boardwalk afterwards. Unwind and relax on the sandy banks before heading to explore Jim Jim Falls. After a quick lunch break, take in the views of this natural wonder before taking a challenging walk to the base of the falls. Here you can choose to swim or relax on the beach, enjoying the spectacular scenery, before making the short drive to your overnight bush camp.

Note: Total driving time is about four hours (approximately 120kms)
Total walking time is approximately two and a half hours
Accommodation
  • Camping (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Twin Falls Walk
  • Twin Falls Gorge River Cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast, head to either Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) or Gunlom Falls and cool off with a dip in the plunge pools. Visit the historic gold-mining centre of Pine Creek and head further south after lunch. Journey for around three hours in a private vehicle to your campsite on the doorstep of Nitmiluk National Park. Once comfortable, have dinner with the group before relaxing in your tent for the night.

Note: Total driving time is about five and a half hours (approximately 340kms)
Total walking time is approximately one and a half hours
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Pine Creek Gold-Mining Centre
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Spend the morning at the magnificent Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park. Perhaps take a cruise along the gorge or rent a kayak and paddle downstream. These options are seasonal and at your own expense. In the afternoon, head off to Edith Falls where you can cool down with a refreshing swim in the huge rock pools. Continue on to the edge of Litchfield National Park. Settle down for the night in a snug camp and enjoy dinner with your group.

Note: Total driving time is about four and a half hours (approximately 350kms)
Total walking time is approximately three and a half hours
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Edith Falls
Optional Activities
  • Katherine Gorge Scenic Cruise - AUD94
  • Katherine Gorge Canoe from - AUD45
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Once you’ve had breakfast, head into Litchfield National Park. Filled with waterholes, creeks and waterfalls, it’s the perfect place to soak up the tranquillity of the tropics. Visit the gateway of Florence Falls, the popular Wangi Falls and the refreshing waters of the Buley Rockholes. Enjoy a picnic lunch, stroll through steamy rainforests and cool off with a dip in one of Litchfield's swimming holes. In the afternoon, take the two-hour drive back to Darwin where your trip ends. Enjoy an optional night out with the group if you decide to stay in Darwin for the night.

Note: Total driving time is about three and a half hours (approximately 250kms)
Total walking time is approximately one hour


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'.

- Florence Falls
- Wangi Falls
- Bluey Rockholes
Included Activities
  • Buley Rockholes
  • Florence Falls
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Wangi Falls
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Meals

12 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 11 dinners

Transport

All Terrain vehicle, 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 (3 nights)

Included activities

  • 12 Apostles & London Bridge
  • Kennett River Koalas
  • Melba Gully Walk - Otway Ranges
  • Swim at Lorne (Summer months)
  • Brambuk Culture Centre
  • Loch Ard Gorge
  • Mackenzie Falls - Grampians
  • Pinnacles Walk - Grampians
  • Reeds Lookout (The Balconies) & Boroka Lookout
  • Wilpena Pound
  • Anna Creek Station
  • Coober Pedy Mine tour
  • Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage
  • Dingo Fence
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Entrance
  • Uluru Base Walk
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
  • Kata Tjuta
  • Watarrka National Park Entry Fees
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
  • Mary River cruise
  • Pudakul Cultural Experience
  • Guluyumbi Indigenous Cruise
  • Mawurndaddja art site
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Twin Falls Walk
  • Twin Falls Gorge River Cruise
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Pine Creek Gold-Mining Centre
  • Edith Falls
  • Buley Rockholes
  • Florence Falls
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Wangi Falls

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Tour commences in Melbourne on day 1 at 7am and finishes in Darwin day 17 at approx 6pm
2. Onward travel to be booked the following day
3. This trip requires a sleeping bag

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.