12 Day Darwin to Adelaide Explorer
Travel from the lush Top End, through the heart of Australia and onto Adelaide. Explore Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks, Katherine Gorge, enjoy the highlights of Uluru and the Red Centre and sleep underground in Coober Pedy.
This tour will take you smack bang down the middle of the country from North to South. Starting in Darwin, you'll see outback waterfalls in Kakadu National Park and Litchfield National Park where you'll have the chance to get out of the bus and explore the unique landscapes.
From here we head down to the Red Centre via the Daly Water Pub and the Devil's Marbles (Karlu Karlu) before hitting Alice Springs. Take a hike through Kings Canyon and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) before checking out the bog rock, Uluru. We offer an indigenous cultural experience and you'll learn more about the local culture. Check out the Opal Capital of the World, Coober Pedy and the Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound before arriving in Adelaide where the tour concludes.
Day 1 – Darwin to Mary River
Leaving Darwin, we journey south to the beautiful Litchfield National Park where we visit the stunning waterfalls that flow all year round. Take a refreshing swim and enjoy lunch before we travel into Wulna Country and receive a Cul Cul or unique ‘Welcome to Country’ by the traditional owners of the land, the Limilngan –Wulna people. They’ll share with us their local Aboriginal culture with bush tucker talks, didgeridoo demonstrations, basket weaving and spear throwing^. We finish the day in the spectacular Mary River region, where the exotic birds are not the only wildlife to see. Keep a watch for lurking crocodiles on an afternoon wildlife cruise! Climb into your sleeping bag for a well-earned rest at our secluded Mary River camping spot. (LD)
Day 2 – Mary River to Kakadu
Today we head to Kakadu National Park, World Heritage listed for its stunning natural features and for being the centre of the world's oldest living culture. Get ready for some 4WD action today as we make our way to Jim Jim Falls, the crown of Kakadu and certain to be one of our trip highlights. Once we get there, we’ll take in the stunning views of this 200m natural wonder before continuing on to Twin Falls. (Twin and Jim Jim Falls not available year round; subject to seasonal availability^^). See the beauty of the gorge and admire the breathtaking waterfalls from a national park operated boat before your Guide takes you to on a boardwalk experience. Tonight we stay at our permanent camp at Kakadu National Park. (BLD)
Day 3 – Kakadu to Darwin
Discover ancient Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr before climbing to the top of a rocky lookout for fabulous views over the Nardab floodplain. Next we head to Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) where a hike is rewarded with a reviving swim in the plunge pools. On the way back home, the scenery will continue to amaze you as we journey back to Darwin in the afternoon. (BL)
Day 4 – Darwin
Enjoy a free day to relax and explore Darwin (overnight dorm accommodation included; meals and activities at own expense).
Day 5 – Darwin to Daly Water
We depart from Darwin early and make our way to Nitmiluk National Park. Our first stop is the beautiful Edith Falls for a swim before heading to Katherine Gorge where your guide will take you on a short return walk to Baruwei lookout. You can get a postcard shot of the gorge and learn about this stunning area and its significance to the local Jawoyn Aboriginal people. Once we finish exploring the gorge we continue our journey south to Daly Waters arriving in time for dinner and a beer at the historic Daly Waters Hotel - the territory’s oldest pub (own expense). We stay overnight in our camp at Daly Waters.
Day 6 – Daly Waters to Alice Springs
We continue our journey south passing through Tennant Creek and onto Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles) where we have some time to explore the well-known marble shaped boulders, a site sacred to its traditional owners. There is also one last photo stop as we cross the Tropic of Capricorn before finishing in the heart of the Red Centre, Alice Springs.
Day 7 – Alice Springs to Kata Tjuta and Uluru
Today we visit an authentic outback camel farm where you can choose to take a ride and experience the best in desert transport (at own expense). From here it is off to Uluru (Ayers Rock) for lunch. Explore the 36 domes of Kata Tjuta as you get up close to this ancient geological formation during a Valley of the Winds hike. Fall in love with the desert sun as it sets over Uluru. Tonight you can sleep in a permanent tent or curl up in a swag (Aussie bedroll) and enjoy a night under the stars. (LD)
Day 8 – Uluru to Kings Canyon
An early start is rewarded with the sunrise over Uluru. 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, connect with and learn about the oldest culture on earth. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to see more 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 9 – Kings Canyon to Erldunda
Get your hiking shoes on today as we head out to explore the formations and towering rock faces of Kings Canyon. You will be left breathless by 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. We stop for lunch before we make our way back to our campsite for the night at Erldunda. (BLD)
Day 10 – Erldunda to Coober Pedy
We depart early this morning to make our way to Coober Pedy, crossing the Northern Territory/South Australian border. We take a break at the outback town of Marla, where we have a chance to purchase some lunch (own expense) and stretch our legs. The next stop is Coober Pedy, ‘the Opal Capital of the World’. Upon arrival your guide will give you a tour of this unique town, before visiting an underground mine and museum for a guided tour. You will also have a chance to purchase some of the opal jewellery produced from the mine. Tonight we stay overnight in a unique underground bunkhouse in Coober Pedy. (B)
Day 11 – Coober Pedy - Quorn
After breakfast we continue the journey South along the Stuart Highway and stop at some of the salt lakes of Central Australia for an interesting photo opportunity. We pass by the ‘rocket launching’ town of Woomera— part of a former military test site. Next we make our way to Port Augusta where we stop to enjoy lunch (own expense). We continue our journey south and stop at ancient salt lakes which are remnants of an inland sea. We stop at the small town of Glendambo (population 30!) and Port Augusta before arriving in Quorn, the quaint and historical railway township nestled at the entrance to the Richman Valley. We stay in private accommodation at the historical “Mill”. Get ready for tonight’s BBQ dinner – it doesn’t get any more Aussie than this! (BLD)
Day 12 – Quorn - Adelaide
t a hearty breakfast, because this afternoon we hike to the summit of Dutchman's Stern for stunning 360° views of Quorn, Spencer Gulf and the Flinders Ranges! We then say farewell to the “Flinders”. Near the frontier township of Melrose we take a short walk across a swinging bridge and enjoy panoramic views from the Mt Remarkable lookout. Our last stop is in the infamous Clare Valley before arriving late afternoon into Adelaide. (B)
TROPICAL TOP END SUMMER ITINERARY (applies from November to May)
Day 1 – Litchfield National Park | Cathedral Termite Mounds | Overnight camp. (LD)
Day 2 – Mamukala Wetlands (seasonal) | Wildlife Cruise | Ubirr or Nourlangie Rock (seasonal) | Walk to Gubara Springs | Overnight camp Kakadu. (BLD)
Day 3 – Gunlom Falls or Motor Car Falls (seasonal) | Warradjan Culture Centre | Return to Darwin. (BL)
B = Breakfast | L = Lunch | D = Dinner
Devils Marbles (Karlu Karlu)
Kakadu National Park
Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)
Litchfield National Park
Mary River Wetlands
Top End Cultural Experience
Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Uluru Cultural Experience
National park entrance fees
2 Aboriginal cultural experiences*^
Meals as indicated
Accommodation as below:
Standard Accommodation: 4 nights dorm accommodation with shared facilities, 6 nights camping
Upgrade Accommodation (subject to availability at the time of booking): 4 nights private ensuite room (twin, double, or single), 6 nights camping
NOTE: Unless otherwise specified, the rates listed are for the 2018 - 2019 season. The 2018 - 2019 season rates are valid from the 1st April 2018 - 31st March 2019. The 2019 - 2020 season rates commence on the 1st April 2019.