Australia South to North–Melbourne to Darwin

From$2319USD
Was $2899  — Savings of 20% on Jun. 16, 2015
18 days,Melbourne to Darwin
OAMD

Learn about creation time stories of the Aborigines, catch the magnificent colours of Uluru, hike through gorgeous natural rock formations in the Red Centre, ride the route of Afghan cameleers on the Ghan Train, explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kakadu National Park

You can’t get Down Under through a bus window. If you’re going to get off the tourist track, you’ll have to shake things up a bit—that’s why we’ve turned to trains, 4x4s, buses and boats for this itinerary. From the cobblestones of charming Melbourne, cut through the Outback and explore the mysteries of Uluru. Follow your curiosity down the deserted tracks that make Australia so remote and spend 18 days discovering the natural beauty of one of the world’s most awe-inspiring destinations.

What's Included

  • Rainforest walk in Great Otway National Park
  • Visit to the 12 Apostles, an Aboriginal centre, Tower Hill Reserve and Coorong National Park
  • Clare Valley wine tasting
  • Underground mine tour
  • Champagne sunset viewing of Uluru
  • Mala walk around Uluru and visit to the culture centre
  • Hikes at Grampians National Park, Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), Kings Canyon
  • Crocodile-spotting boat cruise
  • Aboriginal art and craft centre visit
  • Exploration of Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
  • 14 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners (Allow AUD220-260 for meals that are not included.)
  • Private bus, train, 4x4, boat
  • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
  • Small group experience; Max 20, avg 16
  • Hostels (10 nts), camping in 'swag' or tent (5 nts), underground hostel (1 nt), overnight train (1 nt, airline-style seating). All nights multi-share.

Additions Available on This Tour

Itinerary Notes

Please note that most Yolo accommodation in Australia is multi-share. For more info, see our Trip Details.

Itinerary

May 1 - Oct 31

Day 1Melbourne

Arrive at any time.

Day 2Melbourne/Port Campbell(1B)

Travel past world-famous surf beaches along the Great Ocean Road. Enjoy views of the 12 Apostles and walk through the rainforest in Great Otway National Park.

Day 3Port Campbell/Halls Gap(1B)

Travel inland to Grampians National Park, known for its sandstone mountain range and impressive rock art. Trek through the forest, lush with vegetation and wildlife.

Day 4Halls Gap/Mount Gambier(1B)

Explore Grampians National Park. Enjoy waterfalls, lakes and beautiful vistas. Stay overnight at a refurbished old English prison in the country town of Mt Gambier.

Day 5Mount Gambier/Adelaide(1B)

Pass through Coorong National Park, known for its dune systems and lagoons en route to Adelaide.

Day 6Adelaide/Quorn(1B)

Enjoy a wine tasting in the Clare Valley, then it's on to Quorn.

Day 7Quorn/Beltana(1B, 1L, 1D)

Head to Wilpena Pound for a walk to a natural amphitheatre sacred to the Aboriginal Adnyamathana people. Learn about Aboriginal art and early settler history.

Day 8Beltana/William Creek(1B, 1L, 1D)

Travel along the Old Ghan Railway route. Marvel at ruins of early settler sites and opt for a scenic flight over the great salt lake of Lake Eyre.

Day 9William Creek/Coober Pedy(1B)

Cross the Outback on a rugged track to Coober Pedy, the world's opal mining capital. After a guided tour of a mine, escape the heat like the locals by spending the night underground.

Day 10Coober Pedy/Uluru(1B)

Experience the colourful sunset at Uluru and then bed down in a swag (canvas bedroll) or tent under the Outback sky.

Day 11Uluru(1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy the Mala Walk at Uluru to learn the importance of the rock to the Aborigines.

Day 12Uluru/Kings Creek(1B, 1L, 1D)

Discover more of the Red Centre with a hike through the beautiful Valley of the Winds in Kata Tjuta.

Day 13Kings Creek/Alice Springs(1B)

Enjoy a morning walk through the gorges and valleys of Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park, then transfer to Alice Springs.

Day 14Alice Springs/Katherine

Travel in comfort on the famous Ghan Train. Glide through the remote Outback en route to the subtropical Top End of Australia.

Day 15Katherine/Darwin

Stop at Katherine Gorge. Opt for a flat-bottomed boat trip or a walk before continuing on to Darwin.

Day 16Darwin/Kakadu National Park(1L, 1D)

Set off early from Darwin to spot crocs on a boat cruise. Visit an Aboriginal crafts centre for the local interpretation of the meaning behind their intricate crafts then continue onto Kakadu National Park.

Day 17Kakadu National Park/Litchfield National Park(1B, 1L, 1D)

Explore the waterfalls, swimming holes and trails of Kakadu National Park—a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 18Litchfield National Park/Darwin(1B, 1L)

Guided tour in Litchfield National Park to encounter streams, rock formations and the impressive magnetic termite mounds. Tour ends in Darwin upon arrival in the evening; book onward travel after 8pm.

Nov 1 - Apr 30

Day 1Melbourne

Arrive at any time.

Day 2Melbourne/Port Campbell(1B)

Travel past world-famous surf beaches along the Great Ocean Road. Enjoy views of the 12 Apostles and walk through the rainforest in Great Otway National Park.

Day 3Port Campbell/Halls Gap(1B)

Travel inland to Grampians National Park, known for its sandstone mountain range and impressive rock art. Trek through the forest, lush with vegetation and wildlife.

Day 4Halls Gap/Mount Gambier(1B)

Explore Grampians National Park. Enjoy waterfalls, lakes and beautiful vistas. Stay overnight at a refurbished old English prison in the country town of Mt Gambier.

Day 5Mount Gambier/Adelaide(1B)

Pass through Coorong National Park, known for its dune systems and lagoons en route to Adelaide.

Day 6Adelaide/Quorn(1B)

Enjoy a wine tasting in the Clare Valley, then it's on to Quorn.

Day 7Quorn/Beltana(1B, 1L, 1D)

Head to Wilpena Pound for a walk to a natural amphitheatre sacred to the Aboriginal Adnyamathana people. Learn about Aboriginal art and early settler history.

Day 8Beltana/William Creek(1B, 1L, 1D)

Travel along the Old Ghan Railway route. Marvel at ruins of early settler sites and opt for a scenic flight over the great salt lake of Lake Eyre.

Day 9William Creek/Coober Pedy(1B)

Cross the Outback on a rugged track to Coober Pedy, the world's opal mining capital. After a guided tour of a mine, escape the heat like the locals by spending the night underground.

Day 10Coober Pedy/Uluru(1B)

Experience the colourful sunset at Uluru and then bed down in a swag (canvas bedroll) or tent under the Outback sky.

Day 11Uluru(1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy the Mala Walk at Uluru to learn the importance of the rock to the Aborigines.

Day 12Uluru/Kings Creek(1B, 1L, 1D)

Discover more of the Red Centre with a hike through the beautiful Valley of the Winds in Kata Tjuta.

Day 13Kings Creek/Alice Springs(1B)

Enjoy a morning walk through the gorges and valleys of Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park, then transfer to Alice Springs.

Day 14Alice Springs/Katherine

Travel in comfort on the famous Ghan Train. Glide through the remote Outback en route to the subtropical Top End of Australia.

Day 15Katherine/Darwin

Stop at Katherine Gorge. Opt for a flat-bottomed boat trip or a walk before continuing on to Darwin.

Day 16Darwin/Litchfield National Park(1L, 1D)

Set off on an early start to take advantage of time in Litchfield National Park. Visit the Florence and Tolmer Falls and cool off with a swim. Visit the Buley Rockhole and see the spectacular giant termite mounds before continuing on to the Adelaide River for a croc cruise.

Day 17Litchfield National Park/Kakadu National Park(1B, 1L, 1D)

Cross into Kakadu National Park, and visit an Aboriginal cultural centre. Learn about rock art, and hike down to a breathtaking gorge with various pools.

Day 18Kakadu National Park/Darwin(1B, 1L)

Get an early start to visit Gunlom Falls for a walk and a swim before visiting the beautiful Ikoymarrwa for a swim, a site accessible only with a special permit. Tour ends in Darwin upon arrival in the evening, please book departure flights after 8pm.

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