Road trip from Melbourne to Alice Springs and find new adventures as you cross the state borders. Hit up the coast along the Great Ocean Road and camp overnight in the Grampians National Park. Visit the Opal Capital of the world in Coober Pedy before arriving in Alice Springs and watching the sunset over Uluru. Set off on a hike at Kings Canyon and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) before the tour ends in the Alice Springs.
Day 1 – Melbourne via Great Ocean Road to Halls Gap
DEFAULT PICK UP: In front of St Pauls Cathedral (Flinders St), 07:15am.
Departing Melbourne we pass through Geelong and the surfing town of Torquay, stopping for a quick photo opportunity at an iconic surf beach. We then begin our journey along one of Australia's most beautiful and famous drives, the Great Ocean Road.
A short stop at Kennett River lets you do some koala spotting. We visit Apollo Bay for our lunch stop before getting back on the Great Ocean Road where we stop to admire the iconic Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge.Late afternoon we make our way into the Grampians for our overnight stay in Halls Gap where we enjoy dinner (own expense) with new friends before we overnight in the Grampians. (L)
Day 2 – Grampians National Park to Adelaide
Grampians National Park is an area rich in Aboriginal culture set in a beautiful landscape. We learn about the local Aboriginal culture with a visit to the Brambuck Cultural Centre. We enjoy a few walks in the National Park and take in some fantastic views before making our way to either McKenzie Falls or Silverband Falls. Leaving the Grampians behind, we pass through the town of Horsham before crossing the famed mighty Murray River and making the last leg of our journey into Adelaide. Accommodation tonight is at the Adelaide Central YHA. (B)
Day 3 - Adelaide, staying at the Adelaide Central YHA
Make the most of a day to relax and explore South Australia's capital city Adelaide (overnight dorm accommodation included at the Adelaide Central YHA; meals and activities at own expense). If you're looking for something exciting to do outside the city, why not try our Kangaroo Island Highlights Day Tour (Tour Code PKICC) or a Barossa Valley wine tour (Tour Code PBVDT).
Day 4 – Adelaide to Flinders Ranges
PICK UP: Adelaide Central YHA (135 Waymouth St), 06:30am
We leave South Australia's capital city behind and head for the hillside vineyards of the Clare Valley plus a string of classic country towns before we stop for an optional tasting (own expense) at one of the many local cellar doors. After lunch we can start enjoying the expansive views of Flinders Ranges as we weave our way towards Wilpena Pound, one of Australia's most magnificent natural features. We have the option of few hikes to explore this stunning area. Overnight in the Flinders Ranges (LD)ï»¿
Day 5 – Flinders Ranges to William Creek via the Oodnadatta Track
Today we breakout from the Flinders Ranges as we head north passing the mining town of Leigh Creek and visit the gallery of outback eccentric Talc Alf at Lyndhurst. We are now following the historic route of the old Ghan railway and the Overland Telegraph line.
Before we really get off the beaten track we stop in Marree for some lunch beside the old Ghan rail station. We are now on the renowned Oodnadatta track as we pass by Australia's largest salt lake, Lake Eyre. Our last stop for the day is William Creek, home to its famous pub and a population of about six! Tonight we temporarily increase the population as we camp for the night. (BLD)
Day 6 –William Creek to Coober Pedy
Desert landscapes of red dunes, salt pans and gibber plains feature as we pass through Anna Creek Station, the world's largest cattle station at almost 24 000 square kilometres. Today's first stop is Lake Cadibarrawirracanna - yes that is the longest lake name in the world. We then continue our approach to Coober Pedy, the ”˜Opal capital of the world'. We take a town tour and view an underground house, underground church. We also take a mine tour including an opal cutting demonstration. The afternoon is free for some more exploring or you can even try ”˜noodling' (fossicking) for opals. Overnight in an underground bunkhouse. (BLD)
Day 7 – Coober Pedy to Erldunda
Before we leave Coober Pedy and head out across the Moon Plain we get up close to some local wildlife and learn about rescued joeys at Josephine's Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage. We pass the Dingo Fence, the longest fence in the world, and take in the view of the Breakaways Scenic Reserve, made famous by the movie Mad Max III.
Early afternoon we arrive at Erldunda, located almost right in the geographical centre of Australia. Here we can take a swim in the pool or enjoy some relaxation time at our campsite for the night. (BLD)
Day 8 – Erldunda to Kata Tjuta and Uluru
We start the day by heading to Uluru (Ayers Rock) for lunch, before making the journey to one of the Red Centre's greatest treasures: Kata Tjuta. Get up close to this ancient geological formation during a hike through the beautiful Valley of the Winds. Tonight you can sleep in a permanent tent or curl up in a swag (Aussie bedroll) as you watch the desert sun set over Uluru and enjoy a night under the outback stars. (BLD)
Day 9 – Uluru to Kings Canyon
Rise early and be rewarded with a glorious Uluru sunrise. While the morning's fresh, enjoy an unguided walk around the base of Uluru. You will then deepen your understanding of the land and the Mala people as you embark on a cultural interpretive walk with an Aboriginal guide (and interpreter). *It is a unique opportunity to share experiences, and to connect with and learn about the oldest culture on earth. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to purchase Aboriginal arts and crafts at the Cultural Centre before we travel to our exclusive campsite within the Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon) where we sleep for the night. (BLD)
Day 10 – Kings Canyon to Alice Springs
Get your hiking shoes on today as we head out to explore the impressive formations and towering rock faces of Kings Canyon. You'll really appreciate the size and beauty of the canyon as we trek through the Amphitheatre, and discover the Lost City, the lush and ancient Garden of Eden, and the North and South Walls. Enjoy a lunch before we make our way to Alice Springs. (BL)ï»¿
B = Breakfast | L = Lunch | D = Dinner
national park entrance fees
meals as indicated
5 nights dorm accommodation with shared facilities and 4 nights camping (or upgrade to 3 nights private room with shared facilities, 1 night private room with ensuite, and 5 nights campingï»¿)
Aboriginal cultural interpretive walk*
Grampians National Park
Great Ocean Road
Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)
Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Uluru Cultural Experience
Melbourne CBD, Victoria | More Melbourne CBD Tours
NOTE: Unless otherwise specified, the rates listed are for the 2014 - 2015 season. The 2015 - 2016 season rates are valid from the 1st April 2015 - 31st March 2016. The 2016 - 2017 season rates commence on the 1st April 2016.