FLINDERS RANGES, RED CENTRE & KAKADU
This 17 day tour is full of contrasts as you travel from Melbourne to Darwin encompassing the remarkable Flinders Ranges, the iconic Red Centre and the amazing scenery of the spectacular Top End. Highlights include Wilpena Pound, Coober Pedy, Uluru, Nitmiluk Gorge, Kakadu and Darwin.
* Flinders Ranges sightseeing & 2 night stay
* Lake Eyre scenic flight
* Coober Pedy sightseeing & 2 night stay
* Uluru including base walk & Kata Tjuta
* Kings Canyon scenic walk
* Alice Springs town tour & Devils Marbles
* Katherine Outback Experience dinner & show
* Katherine Gorge cruise
* Kakadu NP & Nourlangie Rock art site
* Yellow Waters & Jumping Crocodile cruises
Tour Cost Includes:
• Air conditioned, restroom equipped vehicle travel with experienced crew.
• Twin share accommodation with ensuite facilities.
• Meals as per itinerary: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch (bush style, salad rolls etc), D = Dinner.
• All entry fees to sightseeing activities as listed in the itinerary.
Tour cost does not include:
• Travel insurance – for a quote or to purchase a policy please advise.
• Airfare from Darwin to Melbourne (Vagabond Travel can assist if required, please advise).
• Items of personal nature eg laundry/phone and any optional extras/tours listed in the itinerary.
• Alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and meals not indicated in the itinerary.
+ $1400 / single supplement
Inclusions as per Itinerary
Alcohol & soft drinks
Items of a personal nature ie Laundry/telephone
DAY 1: Sat 10 Apr MELBOURNE – MILDURA (D)
Welcome to our tour encompassing the remarkable Flinders Ranges, iconic Red Centre and the amazing Top End. Some highlights include Wilpena Pound, Uluru, Kakadu and Darwin. This morning we travel to Mildura, passing Lake Tyrrell and Ouyen, before arriving in Mildura for our welcome dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Best Western Chaffey International Motor Inn, Mildura.
DAY 2: Sun 11 Apr MILDURA – FLINDERS RANGES (BD)
This morning cross the South Australian border and travel through the Riverland region to the railway town of Peterborough which became hugely important as a railway link between the iron ore mines in Broken Hill and the iron and steel processing in Port Pirie. In its peak, over one hundred trains passed through the town a day. Experience Magnetic Hill, famous for its ability to make vehicles feel as though they are rolling uphill, before arriving at Wilpena Pound Resort.
Wilpena Pound, set in Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, is a natural amphitheatre of mountains covering eight times the area of Uluru and is 300 metres higher, such an awe-inspiring vision to behold! Tomorrow we’ll have the chance to discover the extraordinary landscape that is over 600 million years old.
Overnight: Wilpena Pound Resort
DAY 3: Mon 12 Apr FLINDERS RANGES (BLD)
Explore the dramatic gorges and spectacular peaks of the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park as we meet our local guide who will take us on an insider’s tour of this stunning area. Touring today will include Brachina Gorge and Razorback Lookout (subject to weather conditions) along with a visit to Gumcreek Station for lunch before returning mid-afternoon.
Overnight: As Above
DAY 4: Tue 13 Apr FLINDERS RANGES – MARREE (BD)
Travelling via the Moralana Scenic Drive through Parachilna and Leigh Creek we stop in Farina, once a thriving town that served a huge area of meal runs reaching as far away as Innamincka and Cordillo Downs. Have time to wander the old town, walk through the old rooms and read the informative storyboards before continuing to Marree – the town famous for being the junction of the illustrious Oodnadatta and Birdsville Tracks – once a thriving centre for transport and communication where only relics of a bygone era now remain.
The local Marree Pub, like many in remote parts of Australia, is the social centre of this community and is where we’ll be staying. This evening make sure you look into the night sky, it’s like a blanket of stardust and twinkly stars and a true outback experience.
Overnight: Marree Hotel Motel
DAY 5: Wed 14 Apr MARREE – LAKE EYRE – COOBER PEDY (BLD)
Today we follow the legendary Oodnadatta Track to the tiny town of William Creek. The track itself has a rich history and is regarded as one of the best outback drives in Australia. On arrival into William Creek have your camera handy as we take to the skies for an incredible chance to witness the magnificent Lake Eyre from above on our scenic flight! See Belt Bay, the lowest point below sea level in Australia, Warburton Inlet and the Channel Country giving a fantastic overview of the lake, bird life and amazing colours and patterns.
Continue to Coober Pedy, where many residents of this opal-mining town live underground to escape the extreme heat in summer and stay cosy in winter. Its also known as the opal capital of the world so you may like to browse the gift shops.
Overnight: Opal Inn Motel, Coober Pedy
DAY 6: Thu 15 Apr COOBER PEDY (BD)
The day begins with a visit to the Umoona Opal Mine where a local guide will introduce the region’s history of Aboriginal and European settlement, view the story of the opal in an underground theatre and see fossil remains from the inland sea that once covered the area. Golf enthusiasts will enjoy the tour as we visit Coober Pedy Opal Fields Golf Course, the only course in the world with reciprocal rights to Saint Andrews (the home of golf) in Scotland.
The sightseeing continues with the Big Winch Lookout and an underground church. After an interesting morning have the chance to wander in town and purchase lunch before heading to the Breakaways - a reserve consisting of spectacular flat-topped, colourful mounds that have risen from the desert floor.
Overnight: As Above
DAY 7: Fri 16 Apr COOBER PEDY – YULARA (BD)
Today is a travel day as we head across the border into the Northern Territory. Look out the window at the seemingly endless horizon where you truly get a sense of how vast this area is. Later arrive at Yulara, the gateway to the World Heritage Listed Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park. The rock itself rises 348 metres from the desert floor and has a girth of 9.4km and is the most famous monolith with at least two thirds of the rock lying beneath the surface. Enjoy the next 2 days spent exploring the incredible National Park.
Overnight: Outback Pioneer Hotel, Yulara
DAY 8: Sat 17 Apr ULURU (BD)
The Uluru Base Walk is the best way to soak up the beauty and get up close so enjoy time this morning wandering the 9.4km base and relaxing beside peaceful waterholes, magnificent Sheoak trees and peer into hidden caves. From a local guide learn about the Aboriginal perceptions of Uluru, its powerful spiritual significance and how Anangu traditional owners and local rangers are looking after the area together. Spend time at the Cultural Centre to learn about the ancient Aboriginal culture and the role of Tjukurpa (their creation stories and laws). At the award winning Maruku Arts get involved in demonstrations and workshops with local artists.
Enjoy free time this afternoon where you might like to travel through the red sand on the back of a camel or see the incredible views from above on a scenic flight. Meet at the hotel and travel to the viewing area to watch the changing colours on this magnificent rock as the sun sets on the horizon. Uluru puts on a remarkable light show as it changes from red to orange to lilac in a matter of minutes. Enjoy this special experience with a glass of sparkling wine.
Overnight: As Above
DAY 9: Sun 18 Apr KATA TJUTA / OLGAS (BLD)
This morning head to Kata Tjuta (or The Olgas) and marvel at the ancient red rock formations that rise from the dusty land and afterwards walk through Walpa Gorge. The area is like a desert refuge for plants and animals as you may see wallabies hopping around or rare plants rise.
Overnight: As Above
DAY 10: Mon 19 Apr YULARA – KINGS CREEK STATION (BLD)
The first stop is Curtain Springs Station to embark on a paper making demonstration. Join the incredible tour of the production process in the Old Abattoir and learn how they harvest & produce the diverse range of paper from native grasses - the detail can only be witnessed to understand how truly amazing it is!
Later arrive at Kings Creek Station where you may like to walk to the nearby viewing point and watch the sun set behind Carmichaels Crag and the George Hill Range.
Overnight: Kings Creek Station
DAY 11: Tue 20 Apr KINGS CREEK STATION – ALICE SPRINGS (BD)
Rise and shine early as we hike to the top of Kings Canyon on the iconic Rim Walk. The 6km circuit descends down into the Garden of Eden and back to the top for wondrous 360-degree views. Take your time to truly absorb the amazing scenery.
This afternoon travel the Mereenie Loop, taking in the majestic Western MacDonnell Ranges. The natural beauty of this area is outstanding! Watch the towering walls of Standley Chasm glow from reflected sunlight to create a breathtaking display of colour. Also visit Simpson Gap which features soaring cliffs and an enduring water hole before continuing to Alice Springs, the thriving and spirited outback centre.
Overnight: Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters
DAY 12: Wed 21 Apr ALICE SPRINGS (BD)
Today we uncover the highlights of Alice Springs. The first stop is at ANZAC Hill for panoramic views of the town and surrounding area. Afterwards take a look at School of the Air, a service to educate students in remote areas before visiting the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). Hear the incredible history of one of the largest and most comprehensive aeromedical organisations in the world. Using the latest aviation, medical and communications technology the RFDS delivers extensive primary health care and 24-hour emergency service to those who live, work and travel throughout Australia.
Early afternoon visit the Old Telegraph Station (and the original Alice Springs) with incredible indoor and outdoor displays telling the story of the connection of Australia and the rest of the world through telegraph communication.
Overnight: As Above
DAY 13: Thu 22 Apr ALICE SPRINGS – TENNANT CREEK (BD)
Sit back and relax on a full driving day to Tennant Creek. On our travels cross the Tropic of Capricorn and pause at Central Mount Stuart, the geographical centre of Australia. Stop to visit Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles), steeped in Aboriginal legend as the eggs of the Rainbow Serpent with time to marvel at the collection of massive granite boulders that formed millions of years ago.
Overnight: Bluestone Motor Inn, Tennant Creek
DAY 14: Fri 23 Apr TENNANT CREEK – KATHERINE (BD)
An early start this morning as we continue through the vast spaces of Central Australia stretching from horizon to horizon. Tonight is a real treat as Golden Guitar winner and horseman extraordinaire, Tom Curtain, delights and entertains us with his Katherine Outback Experience. The dinner and show celebrate the life in the outback through horse-riding, working dog demonstrations, live music and storytelling.
Overnight: Knotts Crossing Resort
DAY 15: Sat 24 Apr KATHERINE – KAKADU (BD)
This morning travel to Nitmiluk to enjoy a journey of discovery through magnificent Nitmiluk Gorge. Be transported to the spiritual world of Jawoyn culture and history as we cruise down the tranquil waters. Afterwards continue to World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park - one of the world’s greatest wonders with remarkable scenery and unique flora and fauna.
This afternoon explore Australia’s 50,000 year Aboriginal heritage through the incredible natural rock art galleries, the first being Burrungkuy (Nourlangie) rock art site, which has served as a shelter and canvas for thousands of years providing windows into a rich spiritual tradition.
Overnight: Kakadu Lodge Cooinda
DAY 16: Sun 25 Apr KAKADU – DARWIN (BD)
The first activity of the day is boarding a wonderful Yellow Waters Cruise to see the vast range of native wildlife and maybe a crocodile or two. At the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre discover the stories of the traditional owners through displays, artefacts and exhibitions.
As we make our way to Darwin, witness the fabulous Jumping Crocodile Cruise and see powerful saltwater crocodiles as they propel themselves high out of the water to snatch their prey. With the help of experienced guides we’ll learn more about these magnificent creatures whilst watching the crocs jump for food from the safety of the boat. Afterwards continue to Darwin for our final night on tour.
Overnight: DoubleTree by Hilton
DAY 17: Mon 26 Apr DARWIN (B)
Enjoy a final morning at leisure in Darwin before boarding your flight back to Melbourne (own arrangements) where we arrive home from an incredible holiday to the Flinders Ranges, Red Centre and Top End.
Alterations to the itinerary may occur – a final confirmed itinerary will be provided with your travel documentation approximately 3 weeks prior to departure.
This trip will be escorted by Platinum Journeys crew (a driver/guide & hostess) who have been working for many years in this role and are highly experienced in all aspects of group travel.
Breakfasts will be served daily at the accommodation. Included lunches will be picnic style, eg meat & salad rolls. The majority of included dinners will be served at the accommodation.
ACCOMMODATION: Please note that due to the remoteness of some areas travelled accommodation standards may vary. We have endeavoured to stay at the best properties available in these areas.
Tour cost based on a minimum of 14 passengers
Non refundable deposit required: $600.00 per person
Balance required no later than:12 February 2021
Cancellation: In the event of cancellation levies will apply, please see booking conditions for details.