Days
9
Price from
2708AUD
Map of Northern Territory Encompassed Southbound including Australia

From the tropical Top End to the Red Centre, this is a classic Aussie adventure.

Become immersed in the natural beauty and spirit of Australia's Outback on this 9-Day north-south traversal of the Territory. Starting off amid the balmy climes and eclectic vibe of Darwin, drive out to the waterfalls, rockpools and monsoon forests of Litchfield National Park, cruise about in search of crocs in the Mary River Wetlands, check out the billabongs and indigenous rock art of Kakadu, and explore Katherine Gorge from the water. Then flying south to Alice Springs, enjoy a guided tour among the boulders of Kata Tjuta, learn about the sacred significance of Uluru during a Mala Cultural Intrepretive Walk, spend a night camped out in Kings Canyon and take in the sites on a guided tour of the Western MacDonnell Ranges. This adventure leaves no stone unturned.


Start
Darwin, Australia
Finish
Alice Springs, Australia
Destinations
Northern Territory, Kakadu, Uluru, Outback
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer, Overland
Code
PKOSC
Physical rating
Trip rating
1 review
Ages
Min 8
Group size
Min 1, Max 24

Why you'll love this trip

  • Get back to basics with this classic nine day overland adventure. Camp in premenant campsites with furnishings including proper beds, cooling fans and electricity.

  • Fly from Darwin to Alice Springs instead of 24 hours on a bus

  • Enjoy twin share motel accommodation in Darwin and Alice Springs

  • See the highlights and national parks of Australia's Northern Territory in rugged, authentic style

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

  • Get up early and see the sun rise over Uluru

  • The 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 and an optional flight over the escarpment

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a an Original style trip, covering the highlights of Australia's Northern Territory at a slightly slower pace

  • You'll spend some nights of the trip sleeping in outback camping grounds. While tents are comfortable facilities can be basic, this is all part of the adventure. You'll also need to pitch in with preparing breakfast and lunch meals. This is part of the experience of travelling in a group.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 Apr 2018 to 31 Mar 2020.
View the 2020 itinerary
Welcome to the Northern Territory’s tropical capital. Leave Darwin in the early morning and travel to Litchfield National Park, home to dozens of freshwater waterfalls, tropical rainforest and crystal-clear swimming holes. Don’t forget your swim suit as there will be plenty of time to enjoy a refreshing dip or two as you visit Florence Falls and Buley Rockholes. Enjoy a lovely picnic before travelling on to Wangi Falls for a final swim and leisurely stroll through the monsoon forest. After a full first day, retire to your campsite for the evening with a hearty dinner, where all tents are twin-share and come with a proper bed.

Total driving time: about five-and-a-half hours
Accommodation
  • Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Mary River cruise
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Start the day with a wildlife cruise in the Mary River Wetlands, a network of waterways home to crocodiles and native bird species. In giving Kakadu National Park World Heritage-listing, UNESCO described it as a ‘living cultural landscape with exceptional natural and cultural values’. The Traditional Owners have lived here for more than 50,000 years, to which the ancient rock paintings of Ubirr can attest. Your guide will explain the significance of these artworks during an interpretative cultural walk that finishes on a rocky escarpment overlooking the Nardab Floodplain.

Note: Total driving time today is around five hours. Total walking time is up to three and- a-half hours, depending on the trails taken.


Accommodation
  • Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ubirr Rock
  • Kakadu National Park Fee
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning you have the option to take a scenic flight over Kakadu (at your own expense). The flight takes in views over the Arnhem Land escarpment, vast flood plains and billabongs. Later spend time exploring Kakadu’s other major Aboriginal rock art site – Nourlangie (Burrunggui), while your guide provides a glimpse into how the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live. After lunch head south and stop to visit the historic gold-mining centre of Pine Creek. Stop for a quick dip at Maguk or Gunlom Falls, before continuing on to Katherine, where you'll settle in for the night at a private campsite near Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge).

Note: Total driving time is about five and a half hours (approximately 400kms)
Total walking time is approximately one hour
Accommodation
  • Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bowali Visitor Centre
  • Edith Falls
  • Pine Creek Gold-Mining Centre
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
Optional Activities
  • Flight (Fixed Wing Aircraft) over - Kakadu - from - AUD150
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Back in the day (ok, it was 23 million years ago), the Katherine River flowed all the way from Arnhem Land to the Timor Sea. These days, the waters have subsided significantly: the Katherine River now flows along hemmed in on both sides by cliffs 70 metres high. It’s the highlight attraction of Nitmiluk National Park though, and you’ll have the opportunity to cruise through it by canoe or boat. After lunch we head to the beautiful Edith falls for one last refreshing swim in the huge plunge pool before we hit the road back to Darwin, where your adventure comes to an end on arrival. Perhaps enjoy one final group dinner in town and toast to your adventure with your new friends.

Note: Total driving time today is around four-and-a-half hours. Total walking time is up to three-and-a-half hours, depending on the group's choice of optional activities.
Optional Activities
  • Katherine Gorge Scenic Cruise - AUD95
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today, skip the 1,500km of driving which is about 24 hours by road, and fly from Darwin to Alice Springs 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 Alice Springs, someone will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Tonight, you’ll be staying at the Alice Motor Inn. (no meals included)
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Airport Transfers
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Melbourne might have the arts scene and Sydney the beaches, but Alice Springs is really where you need to go to understand Australia proper. Approximately 70% of the Australian continent is classed as arid or semi-arid – and little old Alice Springs sits right in the middle of it all. Whereas Uluru emerges from the earth as one giant boulder form, Kata Tjuta pops up as 36 different domes – you’ll get to know the site pretty well on an afternoon hike following lunch. Enjoy some tasty snacks as you watch the sky cast glorious colours over Uluru. The perfect end to a remarkable day is awaiting you back at camp, as you enjoy a delicious spread of food with your group. If the weather permits, sit outside under the stars.

Notes: Total driving time is approximately five and a half hours. Total walking time is around an 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 Uluru, gaining insights into the land and the local Anangu people. After your stroll, we walk to the cave paintings near Mutitjulu Waterhole at the base of Uluru. You will 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 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and crafts for you to browse.

This afternoon 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.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
  • Uluru Base Walk
  • Maruku Arts cultural experience
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Uluru is considered a living cultural landscape and home to the spirits of the ancestors making it a sacred place for the Anangu peoples.
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.

After breakfast, get your hiking shoes on and head out to explore the impressive formations of Kings Canyon. You’ll be left breathless by the sheer beauty of the canyon, as you trek through the Amphitheatre, the Lost City, the lush and ancient Garden of Eden and the North and South Walls. Lunch is a welcome prospect, and after you’ve relaxed for a little while we'll head back to Alice Springs where we will stay tonight before heading out to the West Macdonnell Ranges in the morning.

Note: Total driving time takes around five hours. Total walking time is approximately three hours.
Included Activities
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
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.
This morning, we will pick you up from your hotel at 7:00am and journey watch the Australian wilds waking up on a morning drive out to the West MacDonnell Ranges. Reaching this national park, we’ll follow the Waterhole trail through Ormiston Pound to Ormiston Gorge – a tranquil little rock pool surrounded by ochre-coloured rock walls and white-trunked eucalypts. Black-footed rock wallabies often pop down here for a drink, so keep those peepers peeled. Next up is Ellery Creek, where there’s the chance to cool off with a dip. Following lunch, it’s on to Simpsons Gap. Known as Rungutjirpa to the Arrernte people, this deep gorge, often partly filled with water, is associated with goanna, eagle and rock wallaby dreamings. See the colours of the ranges change as the sun starts its descent.

The total driving time will be about three hours, and you will walk up to 10km.
Included Activities
  • Western MacDonnell Ranges
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Meals

6 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners

Transport

All Terrain vehicle, Plane, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nights), Permanent tented camp with furnishings (with shared facilities) (6 nights)

Included activities

  • Litchfield National Park
  • Mary River cruise
  • Ubirr Rock
  • Kakadu National Park Fee
  • Bowali Visitor Centre
  • Edith Falls
  • Pine Creek Gold-Mining Centre
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Airport Transfers
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Entrance
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
  • Uluru Base Walk
  • Maruku Arts cultural experience
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
  • Western MacDonnell Ranges

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Tour commences in Darwin on day 1 at approximately 06:40am and finishes in Alice Springs day 9 at approx 6pm. Onward travel to be booked the following day.
2. 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.
3. Trip also runs in reverse; see tour code POONC.

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.

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