Days
9
Price from
1701EUR
Map of Northern Territory Encompassed Northbound ex Yulara including Australia

Travel through Australia's dusty Red Centre and Western MacDonnell Ranges to the tropical Top End

Embark on a Northern Territory adventure, from Alice Springs to Darwin, taking in the region's biggest and best-known drawcards along the way. 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.


Start
Yulara, Australia
Finish
Alice Springs, Australia
Destinations
Northern Territory, Uluru, Outback, Kakadu
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer, Overland
Code
POONCY
Physical rating
Ages
Min 8
Group size
Min 1, Max 24

Why you'll love this trip

  • Get back to basics with this classic nine day overland adventure. Camp in permanent campsites with furnishings including proper beds, cooling fans and electricity.

  • Fly into Yulara the day the trip starts instead of Alice Springs the day prior and save a days travel

  • Fly from Alice Springs to Darwin instead of 24 hours on a bus, on an included flight

  • Enjoy twin share motel accommodation in Alice Springs and Darwin

  • See the highlights and national parks of Australia's Northern Territory in rugged, authentic style

  • Enjoy the flexibility of a private vehicle, the local knowledge of a passionate guide and the magic of camping under the great southern sky

  • Get up early and see the sun rise over Uluru

  • The Mary River Wetlands feature a wealth of wildlife, including the highest concentration of saltwater crocodiles in the southern hemisphere. Get up close to the snappy beasts on a billabong cruise

  • Discover the wonders of Kakadu National Park and an optional flight over the escarpment

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a an Original style trip, covering the highlights of Australia's Northern Territory at a slightly slower pace

  • You'll spend some nights of the trip sleeping in outback camping grounds. While tents are comfortable facilities can be basic, this is all part of the adventure. You'll also need to pitch in with preparing breakfast and lunch meals. This is part of the experience of travelling in a group.

  • This trip requires a moderate level of fitness as it involves a lot of walking, allowing you to truly enjoy the surrounding nature. Some hikes are longer and more challenging than others. Please bring sturdy, comfortable walking shoes and comfortable clothing.

  • Temperatures in the Top End be extreme. During the day the weather can be hot (and the Australian sun is strong) so please bring appropriate clothing, use sun protection and drink plenty of water. In the evenings temperatures really drop, so ensure you have base layers and warm clothing.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Apr 2019 to 31 Mar 2020.
View the 2020 itinerary
After you land in this Red Centre of the country, it’s on to the boulder-strewn landscape of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). Wandering through the site’s gullies and crevices, you’ll learn a little about the area’s geological and ecological significance from your guide. The perfect end to a remarkable day is awaiting you back at camp, as you enjoy a delicious spread of food under the stars.

Notes: Total driving time is approximately one hour. Total walking time is around an hour.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Entrance
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
There’s no better way to start today than an early morning walk around the world’s biggest rock. With the cool night air still lingering and day-trippers not yet arrived, this is Uluru at its most atmospheric. It might be hard to believe when gazing up this 600 million year old monolith from the ground, but the bulk of this rock is believed to lie below the surface. A local indigenous guide will explain a little about the creation-time stories surrounding the area during a guided interpretive cultural walk. There’ll be time to see the traditional arts and crafts on display at the nearby Cultural Centre before travelling to our campsite in Watarrka National Park.

Note: Total driving time today is around three and a half hours. Total walking time is approximately two hours.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
  • Uluru Base Walk
  • Maruku Arts cultural experience
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Uluru is considered a living cultural landscape and home to the spirits of the ancestors making it a sacred place for the Anangu peoples.
The Anangu people have dissuaded visitors from climbing Uluru for decades; as traditional owners of the land they feel a deep responsibility for everyone who travels to the area. In 1998 we were among the first tour operators to stop climbing Uluru. The Intrepid Group are proud to be involved with local communities in Uluru and to have an ongoing commitment to providing employment for the Anangu people.

You show respect when you choose not to climb Uluru, but walk with Anangu throughout the area and share their stories instead.

After breakfast, get your hiking shoes on and head out to explore the impressive formations of Kings Canyon. You’ll be left breathless by the sheer beauty of the canyon, as you trek through the Amphitheatre, the Lost City, the lush and ancient Garden of Eden and the North and South Walls. Lunch is a welcome prospect, and after you’ve relaxed for a little while we'll head back to Alice Springs where we will stay tonight before heading out to the West Macdonnell Ranges in the morning.

Note: Total driving time takes around five hours. Total walking time is approximately three hours.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (private room) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
For the Kings Canyon Rim Walk it is a requirement that you have a minimum of 3 litres of water with you. Please consider bringing your own refillable water bottles.
Watch the Australian wilds waking up on a morning drive in The West MacDonnell Ranges. We’ll follow the Waterhole trail through Ormiston Pound to Ormiston Gorge – a tranquil little rock pool surrounded by ochre-coloured rock walls and white-trunked eucalypts. Black-footed rock wallabies often pop down here for a drink, so keep those peepers peeled. Next up is Ellery Creek, where there’s the chance to cool off with a dip. Following lunch, it’s on to Simpsons Gap. Known as Rungutjirpa to the Arrernte people, this deep gorge, often partly filled with water, is associated with goanna, eagle and rock wallaby dreamings. See the colours of the ranges change as the sun starts its descent.

The total driving time will be about half an hour, and you will walk up to 5km.
Included Activities
  • Western MacDonnell Ranges
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today, skip the 1,500km of driving which is about 24 hours by road, and fly from Alice Springs to Darwin with Qantas (QF). Qantas is Australia's first commercial airline and is now recognised as one of the world’s best International airlines.

We'll arrange your air tickets and issue them a couple of weeks prior to your departure. On arrival in Darwin, please look for the Darwin City airport shuttle (green bus) to transfer you to The Cavenagh Hotel 12 Cavenagh St, Darwin.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Airport Transfers
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Your Alice Springs transfer (operated by Alice Wanderer - green and yellow bus) will depart approx 2.5 hours prior to your scheduled flight time from your accommodation. In case of any issues or to check departure time please call 1800 1800 722 111 (free call) or +61 8 89522111

In case of issues on arrival in Darwin please contact Darwin City airport shuttle - 08 8947 3979
Welcome to the Northern Territory’s tropical capital. Leave Darwin in the early morning and travel to Litchfield National Park, home to dozens of freshwater waterfalls, tropical rainforest and crystal-clear swimming holes. Don’t forget your swim suit as there will be plenty of time to enjoy a refreshing dip or two as you visit Florence Falls and Buley Rockholes. Enjoy a lovely picnic before travelling on to Wangi Falls for a final swim and leisurely stroll through the monsoon forest. After a full first day, retire to your campsite for the evening with a hearty dinner, where all tents are twin-share and come with a proper bed.

Total driving time: about five-and-a-half hours
Accommodation
  • Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Mary River cruise
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Start the day with a wildlife cruise in the Mary River Wetlands, a network of waterways home to crocodiles and native bird species. In giving Kakadu National Park World Heritage-listing, UNESCO described it as a ‘living cultural landscape with exceptional natural and cultural values’. The Traditional Owners have lived here for more than 50,000 years, to which the ancient rock paintings of Ubirr can attest. Your guide will explain the significance of these artworks during an interpretative cultural walk that finishes on a rocky escarpment overlooking the Nardab Floodplain.

Note: Total driving time today is around five hours. Total walking time is up to three and- a-half hours, depending on the trails taken.


Accommodation
  • Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Ubirr Rock
  • Kakadu National Park Fee
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning you have the option to take a scenic flight over Kakadu (at your own expense). The flight takes in views over the Arnhem Land escarpment, vast flood plains and billabongs. Later spend time exploring Kakadu’s other major Aboriginal rock art site – Nourlangie (Burrunggui), while your guide provides a glimpse into how the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live. After lunch head south and stop to visit the historic gold-mining centre of Pine Creek. Stop for a quick dip at Maguk or Gunlom Falls, before continuing on to Katherine, where you'll settle in for the night at a private campsite near Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge).

Note: Total driving time is about five and a half hours (approximately 400kms)
Total walking time is approximately one hour
Accommodation
  • Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bowali Visitor Centre
  • Edith Falls
  • Pine Creek Gold-Mining Centre
Optional Activities
  • Flight (Fixed Wing Aircraft) over - Kakadu - from - AUD150
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Back in the day (ok, it was 23 million years ago), the Katherine River flowed all the way from Arnhem Land to the Timor Sea. These days, the waters have subsided significantly: the Katherine River now flows along hemmed in on both sides by cliffs 70 metres high. It’s the highlight attraction of Nitmiluk National Park though, and you’ll have the opportunity to cruise through it by canoe or boat. After lunch we head to the beautiful Edith falls for one last refreshing swim in the huge plunge pool before we hit the road back to Darwin, where your adventure comes to an end on arrival. Perhaps enjoy one final group dinner in town and toast to your adventure with your new friends.

Note: Total driving time today is around four-and-a-half hours. Total walking time is up to three-and-a-half hours, depending on the group's choice of optional activities.
Optional Activities
  • Katherine Gorge Scenic Cruise - AUD95
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Meals

6 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners

Transport

All Terrain vehicle, Plane

Accommodation

Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (3 nights), Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (3 nights) Motel (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Entrance
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
  • Uluru Base Walk
  • Maruku Arts cultural experience
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
  • Western MacDonnell Ranges
  • Airport Transfers
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Mary River cruise
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Ubirr Rock
  • Kakadu National Park Fee
  • Bowali Visitor Centre
  • Edith Falls
  • Pine Creek Gold-Mining Centre

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Tour commences in Yulara on day 1 at approximately 13:00 and finishes in Darwin day 9 at approx 6pm.
2. For the Kings Canyon Rim Walk it is a requirement that you have a minimum of 3 litres of water with you. Please consider bringing your own refillable water bottles.
3. The Top End & Kakadu portion of this trip has a strict luggage limit of 10kg. Excess luggage can not be carried however, it can be stored at Darwin accommodation.
4. Your pick up may be from the Yulara Airport or the Desert Gardens Hotel, this will depend on your time of travel.
5.You can also join this trip in Alice Springs on day 1; please see tour code POONC.
6. Trip also runs in reverse; see tour code PKOSC.

Essential trip information

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