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Melbourne to Darwin Overland (Basix)

Melbourne to Darwin Overland (Basix)
From £ 2050
Duration 17 Days
From £2050
Duration 17 Days

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.

Tour Itinerary

1 - The Great Ocean Road

Departing 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)

2 - The Grampians

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)

3 - The Grampians to Adelaide

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)

4 - Adelaide/Flinders Ranges

Welcome to South Australia, where your adventure begins. You’ll be picked up from the Adelaide Central YHA at 6.30 am, so please arrive at least ten minutes before. Leave South Australia’s capital behind and head for the hillside vineyards of the Clare Valley, passing through a string of classic country towns on the way. 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. Spend the night camping in the Flinders Ranges, within the comfort of a swag (Australian bedroll). Total driving time takes around five hours.

5 - Oodnadatta Track/William Creek

Today, head north out of the Flinders Ranges and pass through the mining town of Leigh Creek. Visit Lyndhurst for the outdoor gallery of eccentric outback sculptor, Talc Alf. You’re now following the historic route of the old Ghan railway and the overland telegraph line. Before you veer off the beaten track, stop in Marree for lunch beside the old Ghan rail station. Steer onto the renowned Oodnadatta Track and pass by Lake Eyre, Australia’s largest salt lake. Your last stop for the day is at William Creek, which has a population of about ten people. Temporarily increase this number as you bunk down in your swag for the night. Total driving time today is approximately 5 hours

6 - Coober Pedy

Today drive through red dunes, salt pans and gibber plains on the way to Anna Creek Station, the world’s largest cattle station. Continue onto Coober Pedy, the ‘Opal capital of the world’. Due to extremely hot temperatures in the area most of the town is constructed underground, with residents living in homes carved into the hillsides. Upon arrival take a guided tour of the town, an underground house and the opal mine (with opal cutting demonstration). The rest of the afternoon is free to explore. You may even like to try your hand at 'noodling' (fossicking) for opals. End the day with some rescued joeys at Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage. Tonight stay in a multi-share underground bunkhouse in Coober Pedy. Total driving time today is approximately 6.5 hours

7 - Coober Pedy / Yulara

This morning, head out on a long day of driving (approximately 8-9 hours). Leave Coober Pedy and journey across the Moon Plains. Pass the Dingo Fence (the longest fence in the world) and take in views of the Breakaways Reserve, which was made famous by the film of Mad Max III. Late in the afternoon, arrive into Yulara in time for the sunset and enjoy some relaxation time at your campsite. Tonight sleep in a permanent tent or curl up in a swag. Today driving time will be about 8.5 hours.

8 - Yulara/Uluru

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.

9 - Uluru/Kings Canyon

Today, explore one of the Red Centre's greatest treasures: Kata Tjuta. The Olgas, as they're also known, are a group of domed red rocks rising spectacularly out of the desert. Like Uluru, they’re sacred to the Anangu people and are believed to be 500 million years old. Return to camp for lunch before travelling to Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon). Spend the night in an exclusive campsite inside the park. Driving time is about six hours today, and you will walk approximately 2km.

10 - Kings Canyon/Alice Springs

Put your hiking shoes on this morning and head out to explore the impressive formations and rock faces of Kings Canyon. Trek for 6 km 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. Enjoy lunch before making your way to the outback hub of Alice Springs (approximately five hours). Driving time today is approximately 5 hours back to Alice Springs, and the Rim Walk is approximately 6km.

11 - Flight Travel Day

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.

12 - Free day in Darwin

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!

13 - Darwin - Arnhem Land

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)

14 - Kakadu National Park

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

15 - Kakadu National Park to Nitmiluk National Park

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

16 - Nitmiluk National Park

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

17 - Litchfield National Park / Darwin

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

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