Grand Aussie

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Grand Aussie

from £2,992
Duration: from 27 days to 26 days
Countries: Australia
See the very best of Australia on this trip. From the Red Centre, and its heart - Uluru, all the way down the East Coast via the Whitsundays and Byron Bay, before ending in Sydney!
Summary

Grand Aussie

Itinerary

Day 1: Darwin to Kakadu National Park
Kakadu, here we come. Inside the 20,000 square kilometre park, we'll head to the village of Jabiru and check out the Bowali Visitors Centre. Fancy getting high and mighty? You could take an optional scenic flight over the Escarpment that borders Kakadu and Arnhemland. For the next two nights you'll be calling the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Kakadu National Park home. Expect phenomenal wildlife, like-worthy scenery and of course local Indigenous culture. Tonight, get to know your coach mates over a BBQ.


Wet season itineraries Nov - May: will vary slightly and will be adjusted to suit the conditions of the day and all included available sights and walks that are open and can be accessed, will be.


Included today:
-Bowali Visitor Centre
-National Park entry
 

Did you know:
-Most of Kakadu’s waterways are croc infested so don’t test the waters.

Day 2: Kakadu National Park
Aboriginal Rock Art sites are high on the list for today, as our Kakadu National Park exploring continues. This morning we venture to Nourlangie Rock to spot some of the most famous Australian Indigenous art works. Then we’ll swap artwork for alligators on a East Alligator River cruise in Arnhemland. Naturally. Stepping into Arnhemland and getting a look into the Aboriginal lifestyles is a real privilege (we’ve been given special permission to enter this part of Arnhemland). Try your hand at spear throwing while you’re there. Then we’ll see some ancient Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr before climbing to the top of a rocky lookout for beautiful views over the Nardab floodplain. Enjoy the sunset before heading back to our lodge.

**Wet season itineraries Nov – May: will vary on this day with access to some areas cut by high water levels. Your crew will ensure that you see and participate in as many areas / activities that are open and available within Kakadu, and include a sightseeing boat cruise (substituted when access to East Alligator River is unable).
Included today:

-Aboriginal Rock art sites
-Kakadu river cruise
-Arnhemland (seasonal)
-National Park entry

Day 3: Kakadu to Katherine
If you're as terrified of crocs as we are, which we reckon is pretty normal, then you'll be glad to hear that where we're heading today is saltwater croc free. You might also have seen it on the TV once or twice, if you're a Crocodile Dundee fan that is… and let's face it, who isn't? Today's options - take a scenic flight over the escarpment that marks the border of Arnhem Land and then maybe chill at the local Country Club with a game of lawn bowls. Oh, and a bbq, it'd be rude not to!

*Wet season (Nov-May): Waterfalls replaced with other Kakadu site depending on road and weather conditions.

Included today:
-Gunlom Falls (seasonal)
-Bowali Visitor Centre
-National park entry
-Lawn Bowls

Did you know:
-The world’s longest fence runs for 5,618 kilometres from Queensland to Western Australia and was built to protect sheep from dingoes.
-If the mercury drops below 20C in Australia, it’s officially cold. Don’t even think about arguing about this.
-Don’t harass Australian crocodiles. They might harass you back.

Day 4: Katherine to Litchfield National Park
Katherine Gorge is well known as a superb canoeing spot, so that’s exactly what we have lined up. Surprise! With its dramatic cliffs plunging down to the pandanus-lined Katherine River, the gorge is all yours to explore. Paddling not your game – then you may wish to upgrade to an optional 3 gorge cruise (seasonal) to venture even further. We get back on the famous Stuart Highway heading for Batchelor, the gateway to the stunning Litchfield National Park.


**Wet season itineraries Nov – May: Canoeing in the Katherine Gorge will be replaced with a Katherine Gorge Scenic Boat Cruise included in trip price.

Included today:
-Katherine Gorge canoeing (boat cruise in wet season)


Optional Activities:
-Upgrade to Katherine Gorge boat cruise (dry season)


Day 5: Litchfield National Park to Darwin
National Park, pools and a picnic are the order of the day. In Litchfield NP you’ll see waterfalls, pockets of rainforest and beautiful pools. Check out giant termite mounds, Wangi Falls and slip into the natural pool of Florence Falls. Then venture over to the Buley Rock Holes for another soaking. After lunch outdoors, we’ll take on the short drive and last leg of our discovery back into the heart of Darwin. Our grand trip might be over, but your Aussie adventure doesn’t have to end.

Included today:
-Litchfield National Park entry

Did you know:
-Australia’s national airline Qantas is an acronym for “Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services”.
-A pidgin dialect still spoke today by around 30,000 residents in the Northern Territory originated in Sydney in 1880.

Day 6: Darwin
Today is all yours to play with. You could take the optional hop on hop off Darwin City Tour, swim in a tank with a Crocodile at Crocosaurus Cove, take in the sunset over the bay then chill
with a movie at the Deckchair Cinema. Foodies, get yourself over to the Mindil Beach Markets. 

Did you know:
-Alice Springs is the city on which Nevil Shute based his book “A Town Like Alice”, along with the resulting film and miniseries by the same names.
-The sound of Krakatoa erupting in 1883 was heard as far a 4,800km away in Alice Springs – the loudest sound recorded in history with shock waves travelling around the world several times.
-Every September, Alice Springs hosts the Henley-on-Todd dry regatta in mock celebration of the original British settlers and the formal atmosphere of British regattas. It is therefore the only regatta to ever be cancelled because of rain (which happened once in 1993).

Day 7: Darwin to Alice Springs
Catcha’ later, Darwin. We’re off to Alice. Take to the skies heading south west to meet up with your NT outback crew in Alice Springs.

Included today:
-Airport transfers

Did you know:
-Alice Springs is the city on which Nevil Shute based his book “A Town Like Alice”, along with the resulting film and miniseries by the same names.
-The sound of Krakatoa erupting in 1883 was heard as far a 4,800km away in Alice Springs - the loudest sound recorded in history with shock waves travelling around the world several times.
-Every September, Alice Springs hosts the Henley-on-Todd dry regatta in mock celebration of the original British settlers and the formal atmosphere of British regattas. It is therefore the only regatta to ever be cancelled because of rain (which happened once in 1993).

Day 8: Alice Springs to Uluru
Today Uluru beckons, but first Yulara (the gateway resort to Ayres Rock) for lunch. Then It's off to the breathtaking Uluru in the afternoon for a guided tour, and a glass of bubbles as the glow of sunset morphs through 50 shades of red. Tonight hone your Aussie BBQ skills and cook your own steak (or veggie burger). Welcome to the outback, mate.

Included today:
-Mt. Connor
-Uluru sunset
-National Park entry

 

Day 9: Uluru
Start your day with a big bowl of 'oh my god' thanks to a breathtaking sunrise back at Uluru. Follow in the footsteps of the traditional owners of this sacred World Heritage site with a full base walk, where you can escape the crowds and check out hidden waterholes. Keep watch for wedge-tailed eagles, spinifex hopping mice and thorny devils. Or splurge on a Harley ride or scenic flight and soar over the rock. Later, join an optional meditative dot painting class in the Aboriginal Art Markets and give yourself a free astrology lesson, stargazing at the endless Southern night sky.

Included today:
-Sunrise over Uluru
-National Park entry
-Uluru base walks
-Anangu Visitor centre
-Guided walk by your crew
 

Did you know:
-You can be fined $5000 for taking rocks and sand from Uluru - although who would want to,
as legend says people who take rocks from Uluru will be cursed and suffer misfortunes, of which there have been some instances. Days, months and even years later stubborn rock-takers have tried to mail back their loot in an attempt to remove the curse, known as “sorry rocks”.
-Uluru is taller than the Eiffel Tower (348m vs. 324m).
-From one side to the other, Uluru has a 50 million year sediment timeline.

Day 10: Uluru to Kings Canyon
After a hearty breakfast, we spend a few hours back in the National Park. This time get ready for some soul searching as we venture into the heart of sacred Kata-Tjuta (The Olgas) and walk amongst the 36 red sandstone giants through the Valley of the Winds. After a drive into Watarrka National Park, live the life of a jolly swagman as we sleep under the stars in custom swags. Cue campfire stories and marshmallows tonight.

Please be aware that in winter months (May-Sept), nighttime temperatures can drop to near 0 degrees, warmer clothing will be required for the night sleeping in the swag.

And please note that the twin / double / or single upgrade is not applicable to the Overnight Swag Night at Kings Canyon. This has not been included in when upgrade rates were calculated.


Included today:
-Valley of the Winds walk
-National Park entry

Day 11: Kings Canyon to Alice Springs
If you would walk 500 miles (steps), then you'll make it through the toughest part of the Rim Walk – Heart Attack Hill. The Kings Canyon Rim Walk is the real deal and the most famous canyon in Oz. Think age-old cycads, eroded dome shapes, a visit to The Lost City – and that's not even the best part. The sheltered valley and waterhole of the Garden of Eden makes today bloody bonza (translation: awesome). After a picnic lunch, we’ll board the bus back to Alice Springs.

Included today:
-Guided hike of Kings Canyon
-Garden of Eden walk
 

Did you know:
-Alice Springs is the city on which Nevil Shute based his book “A Town Like Alice”, along with the resulting film and miniseries by the same names.
-The sound of Krakatoa erupting in 1883 was heard as far a 4,800km away in Alice Springs – the loudest sound recorded in history with shock waves travelling around the world several times.
-Every September, Alice Springs hosts the Henley-on-Todd dry regatta in mock celebration of the original British settlers and the formal atmosphere of British regattas. It is therefore the only regatta to ever be cancelled because of rain (which happened once in 1993).

Day 12: Alice Springs
Wake up. Rub eyes. Climb into a hot air balloon. Just saying, it’s an option…and an amazing start to the day. Back to earth venture on an excursion out amongst the Western MacDonnell Ranges. Our stops include the peaceful Simpsons Gap and the impressive Standley Chasm. It’s back to Alice Springs to grab a late lunch and explore the town centre. This afternoon, have a wander. There are local Aboriginal art galleries to check out, the Desert Park Gardens to explore and the Reptile Centre to get creeped out in. Book in the optional late afternoon Kangaroo Sanctuary tour for sunset.

Included today:
-Stanley Chasm
-Simpsons Gap

 

Day 13: Alice Springs to Cairns
Today we’ll fly from the Red Centre and dry climate of Alice Springs into the tropical surrounds of Cairns to meet your new crew. After dinner and getting to know your new trip buddies, the night is yours to explore.

Included today:
-Airport transfers

 

Day 14: Cairns
After breakfast, take a walk around town with your crew, and get the lay of the land. The afternoon is all yours to play with. You could go big with an optional bungy jump, take to the rapids and go white water rafting or just take a relaxed gondola ride to Kuranda Village. This place has plenty to keep you busy.

Included today:
-Cairns walking tour

Did you know:
-The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest living organism and covers 2,300 kilometres of Australia's coastline. It's also home to six of the world's seven sea turtle species. Win.

Day 15: Cairns
Ramp up the adventure with today’s optionals. You could be paddling the rapids of the Tully River, zip lining over a crocodile or getting an aerial view of the tropics by plummeting towards it. There’s hot air ballooning, horse riding and bungee jumping…or just kick back with a coconut. But who could pass up the chance to see The Great Barrier Reef? Join the optional day tour and you’ll set out on a catamaran to stop at Michaelmas Cay and the exclusive Paradise Reef. Pop on a snorkel and dive in (there’s optional scuba diving too) to see sea turtles and zillion types of tropical fish. There’s a tasty buffet lunch included too. Back in Cairns, check out the nightlife after dark.

 

Day 16: Cairns to The Whitsundays
Today we’re headed to Airlie Beach, where we’ll leave the bus and board your own private yacht for our overnight (2 day, one night) sailing trip in the beautiful Whitsunday Islands. Normally a toy for the rich and famous, today it's all yours to learn the ropes while sailing in paradise. More of a land-lover? Take the diva option and let the crew do the work whilst you feast, swim and snorkel.

Included today:
-Overnight sailing
-Big mango

Please note that the twin / double / or single upgrade is not applicable to the Overnight Sailing in the Whitsunday Islands. This has not been included in when upgrade rates were calculated. 

Did you know:
-Daydream Island is a sailing enthusiast's mecca, with its outdoor aquarium hosting 80 different types of sea life and 50 varying corals.
-The average water temperature in The Whitsundays is 26C. #perrrrfection.
-Captain Cook first sailed through the Whitsundays in 1770 on the second Sunday of Easter, and hence named the area after the day he discovered it. #themoreyouknow

Day 17: The Whitsundays to Daydream Island
Keep those sunglasses on because the blinding white sands of Whitehaven that stretch before you are like a 7km sea of diamonds. Take a swim with the resident Maori Wrasse at Blue Pearl Bay before climbing back on board. There you can keep adrift of your seafaring skills by helping to set the sails or steer at the helm as we set course for land and two nights at Daydream Island Resort.

Included today:
-Whitehaven Beach
-Snorkeling
-Whitsunday sailing

 

Day 18: Daydream Island
Did someone say buffet breakfast? (Over) indulge, recharge and relax with water sports, beach volleyball and fish feeding right off the jetty. Appropriately named, Daydream Island has walking tracks, palm trees and secluded beaches. In keeping with tradition, a looong list of activities has been provided ranging from watersports to mini golf and tennis. Grab a cocktail from the swim up pool bar then make a date with a hammock and get in your happy place overlooking the pools.

Included today:
-Non-motorised activities
-Bush walking
 

Did you know:
-The only way you can keep rabbits in Queensland is if you have a magician’s permit. Now that’s pulling a rabbit out of a hat.
-Cane toads were introduced to Australia to get rid of another pest, the cane beetle. It was later discovered this is the only thing they do not eat. The cane toad is now a national pest. Unlucky.
-A species of small snail residing in tropical North Queensland was named in honour of Steve Irwin, as Crikey steveirwini.

Day 19: Daydream Island to Emu Park
Time to leave the water and head back to the bus. We’ll go through ‘Rocky’ (Rockhampton, the beef capital of Australia) before reaching Emu Park. There you’ll be immersed in the local Aboriginal culture. Learn about totems and artefacts, see some traditional dancing, try your hand at boomerang throwing and make some artwork to take home.

Included today:
-Aboriginal experience and artefact souvenir
 

Did you know:
-Gumby gumby, a local plant to Myella is often dried and consumed with tea as some locals believe it is an effective cancer cure.
-Station = Australian term for a large farm. Equivalent to an Amerian ranch.
-Countries situated between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn experience a phenonemon known as Lahaina noon - where the sun is directly overhead and buildings do not cast shadows.

Day 20: Emu Park to Myella Farm
From beach to bush we go to enjoy an authentic outback experience at a 2,500-acre cattle station. Embrace your inner jackaroo and prepare yourself for an adventure-packed afternoon of optional horse riding, motor biking and cow milking. Or go walkabout on a real Aussie farm to find that right spot for the perfect outback sunset. Enjoy a hearty home cooked farm style dinner before you take to whip cracking and lassoing.

Included today:
-Farm sunset

 

Day 21: Myella Farm to Fraser Island
Refreshed from a good night’s sleep, we’ll say goodbye to our family hosts and set the sat nav for Fraser Island. We’ll cross the Great Sandy Strait on the ferry and if we’re lucky, catch the sunset before arriving to a hearty dinner at the infamous Dingo Bar. Fill up because tomorrow is going to be a busy one.

Did you know:
- Fraser Island is so named due to Elizabeth Fraser and her shipwreck survival story. Basically: she was a tough lady who braved and survived childbirth in a lifeboat, subsequent loss of her child, becoming widowed and captured by the island's inhabitants.

Day 22: Fraser Island
Fraser is literally one huge pile of sand – as if someone dropped the Sahara Desert into the Pacific Ocean and scattered it with dingoes and rainforests. Included four-wheel-drive along the beach highway to mingle with the Pinnacles Coloured Sands (considered a place of good luck for the Indigenous Butchulla women), Eli Creek and the Maheno Shipwreck before testing out your stand up paddling skills on the crystal clear waters of Lake McKenzie.

Included today:
-Fraser Island 4WD tour
-Lake MacKenzie
-Central Station
-Coloured Sands
-Maheno Shipwreck
-Eli Creek

 

Day 23: Fraser Island to Gold Coast
From remote wilderness to cosmopolitan charm today as we make our way Surfers Paradise. But first, it’s Brisvegas (Brisbane). Take a wander around the river city, hit the shops or just grab a coffee before we carry on southwards. Tonight we’ll take you on a walk to Cavill and Orchid Avenues and show you some of the hottest night spots.

Included today:
-Brisbane city walking tour

Did you know:
-The NSW government played a game of switcheroo when they discovered that the peak of Mount Kosciuszko was lower than that of Mount Townsend. They simply switched the names so that Mount Kosciuszko would come out on top. Literally.
-In 2009 a 3-day dust storm whipped through New South Wales, covering the city in an orange haze and tinting the sky red. #dontmesswithmothernature

Day 24: Gold Coast to Byron Bay
Tuck into a buffet breakfast before heading out to enjoy Queensland’s climate. You could hit the famous surf beaches, try out an extreme adventure or too or there are always the theme parks to rollercoaster around. Then it’s time to hop back on the bus and venture to Springbrook National Park to see the unusual Natural Arch rock formations. It’s short drive n to Byron Bay, our home for the next two nights.

Included today:
-Springbrook National Park

Day 25: Byron Bay
Anti-McDonald's and anti-anything mass produced (but pro juice bars, beer gardens and beards), Byron is glitzy on the outside but small town-hearted underneath. Hit the shops, test out those newly acquired surfing skills, paddle a sea kayak, or watch whales breach from the Lighthouse in winter. This is the town where peace and tranquillity go to relax. You should too. Or jump out of a plane. Byron doesn't care as long as you're happy.

Included today:
-Byron Bay highlights walking trip
 

Did you know:
-Crescent Head is famed as one of the best right hand point breaks for surfing in the world. Get ya surfboard out.

Day 26: Byron Bay to Crescent Head
It’s good bye to Byron and hello to some simply stunning scenery as we head to Crescent Head. You’ll have the Great Dividing Range to our west and the Pacific Ocean to the east before we roll into our idyllic surf camp. A BBQ lunch awaits. Perfect for raising those energy levels for this afternoon’s surf lesson followed by dinner with all the crew tonight and live music at the camp.

Included today:
-Visit the Big Banana
-Surf lesson

 

Day 27: Crescent Head to Sydney
Time to leave the beach and visit the Hunter Valley wine region. Get involved by trying your hand (or more like feet) with some grape stomping. Afterwards we’ll head to the wine theatre to learn about how the grapes go from vine to bottle. And of course you’ll get to sample the area’s wares. Then it’s on to Sydney where we’ll finish up our adventure. But if you want to carry on your travels, there still a whole lot of Oz out there.

Included today:
-Wine tasting and grape stomping in the Hunter Valley


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Details

Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:

from £2,992

Phone:

Call 0333 333 9923 to enquire or book

Inclusions

Full-day 4WD experience on Fraser Island
Authentic ‘goat rodeo’ at Kroombit Park Outback Cattle Station
Overnight sailing in the Whitsunday Islands
Visit to stunning Whitehaven Beach
Two nights on a tropical island
Guided tour of Kings Canyon
Sunset and sunrise over Uluru
Unique wine tasting experience in the stunning Hunter Valley
Surf lesson at Topdeck’s Surf Lodge
Rainforest walk in Springbrook National Park
‘Valley of the Winds’ walk at Kata Tjuta
Guided hike of Kings Canyon
Canoe in the Katherine Gorge
East Alligator River Cruise in Kakadu
Aboriginal guide and entry into Arnhemland
Visit Aboriginal rock art sites in Kakadu National Park
Swim in the fresh waters of Litchfield National Park

24 breakfasts (B), 7 lunches (L), 12 dinners (D)
23 nights in hotels,lodges and cabins
1 night in a swag
1 night ‘liveaboard’ sailing
Escorted services of a fully trained Topdeck Trip Leader and Driver between Sydney and Cairns and a Driver/Guide between Alice Springs and Darwin

Group Size: Average 15, maximum 36
Transport: Modern air-conditioned vehicles

Free WiFi

About StudentUniverse

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We have a great team of travel gurus that understand what a gap year is all about just waiting to help you, and since we are part of the Flight Centre Travel Group we are able to offer the best flights, gap year packages, hostels, tours, volunteer placements and insurance - the works. This is not your average travel agency, it’s the ultimate backpacker travel agency.

If you’d like to get in touch to chat about your travels, even if you’re in the preliminary stages and you’d just like some advice, give us a call on 0333 333 9923 or submit an enquiry to StudentUniverse – we’d love to hear from you.

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Photos

Photo Gallery

Grand Aussie tour map

Grand Aussie tour map

Uluru

Uluru

King's Canyon

King's Canyon

Kakadu

Kakadu

Alice Springs

Alice Springs

Tennant Creek

Tennant Creek

Katherine river

Katherine river

Darwin

Darwin

Daydream Island

Daydream Island

Fraser Island

Fraser Island

Surfer's Paradise

Surfer's Paradise

Cairns high street

Cairns high street

Life on a cattle station

Life on a cattle station

Byron Bay

Byron Bay

Sydney

Sydney

Image 15 of 15 images
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