Days
9
Price from
1809EUR
Map of Northern Territory Encompassed Southbound including Australia

Get cultured in Australia's Top End and Red Centre.

Spend eight days uncovering the best of the Northern Territory on an Outback odyssey from Darwin to Alice Springs. Head out croc spotting in the Mary River Wetlands and get a taste of the tropics in Kakadu National Park, Litchfield, and Katherine Gorge. Witness Uluru during a stunning sunrise, wander through the majestic canyons of Kata Tjuta and admire the views from Kings Canyon. This top-to-tail adventure of the Territory is a trip that will leave you with a profound appreciation of Australia's First Nations cultures, and the raw and rugged natural beauty that underpins it.


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

Why you'll love this trip

  • 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 river cruise.

  • Discover the wonders of Kakadu National Park. See ancient traditional rock art and consider taking an optional flight over the astounding landscapes.

  • Wander through the picturesque domes of Kata Tjuta, gaze in awe at the sacred rock of Uluru and hike through natural amphitheatres, rocky chasms and lush oases in Kings Canyon.

  • Discover ancient cave paintings near Mutitjulu Waterhole as a local Anangu guide explains the culture and stories behind the art and its connection to the land.

  • Dine under the stars and camp within privately owned sites on the red earth of the Outback to experience the true magic of the Red Centre with your small group.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Temperatures in the Top End and Red Centre can 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.

  • 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.

  • In the Top End, you'll spend some nights of the trip sleeping in outback camping grounds. While conditions can be basic and facilities are minimal, this is all part of the adventure. You'll need to pitch in with preparing meals and cleaning.

  • In the Top End, this section has a strict luggage limit of 10kg. Excess luggage cannot be carried; however, it can be stored at Darwin accommodation.

  • In the Red Centre, it isn't a basic camping experience, as you'll be treated to creature comforts such as proper beds, linen, electricity and cooling fans.

  • On many days of the trip, you’ll spend several hours driving through very sparse areas of desert. Crank up the tunes and sit back to enjoy landscapes that you would miss in any other form of travel.

  • Group participation makes up a lot of this trip, so you'll be required to help with preparation of meals and cleaning up. These are the kind of tasks that bring a group closer together.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Apr 2020 to 31 Mar 2021.
View the 2018 itinerary
Welcome to the Northern Territory! Your adventure begins in the tropical city of Darwin. Set off from Darwin and head south to Lichfield National Park, a huge sandstone plateau with dozens of waterfalls. Explore Florence Falls, Wangi Falls and the Buley Rockholes. After a picnic lunch, stroll through steamy rainforests and cool off with a dip in one of Litchfield's picturesque swimming holes. Enjoy some relaxed time at the campsite and a meal before climbing into bed at the secluded Mary River campsite.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Litchfield National Park
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Total driving time: approximately 5.5 hours (approximately 400 km)
Total walking time: approximately 45 minutes

Please note that all tents are twin-share and come with a proper bed.
After breakfast this morning, head to onto the water on a wildlife cruise in the Mary River Wetlands, a network of waterways home to crocodiles and native bird species. Kakadu National Park and discover ancient Aboriginal rock art in Ubirr. Your guide will lead an interpretive cultural walk through the numerous rock galleries, before you climb to the top of a lookout for views over the Nardab floodplain. Tonight, relax by the pool at the Kakadu campground and enjoy a group dinner.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ubirr Rock
  • Kakadu National Park Fee
  • Mary River cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Total driving time: approximately 6.5 hours (approximately 550 km)
Total walking time: approximately 2 hours
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).
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bowali Visitor Centre
  • Pine Creek Gold-Mining Centre
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
Optional Activities
  • Flight (Fixed Wing Aircraft) over - Kakadu - from - AUD150
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Total driving time: approximately 5.5 hours (approximately 400 km)
Total walking time: approximately 1 hour
Depending on the season, head out on a morning cruise along the inky waters of Katherine Gorge, or canoe between red rock walls that are up to 70 metres high (both of these activities are optional and at your own expense). This 23 million-year-old landscape was formed by the Katherine River, which flows from Arnhem Land out to the Timor Sea. After lunch, head to the beautiful Edith falls for one last refreshing swim in the huge plunge pool before hitting the road back to Darwin, where you’ll spend the night.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Total driving time: approximately 5 hours (approximately 400 km)
Total walking time: approximately 1 hour
This morning, be ready for a transfer to Darwin airport for your flight bound for Alice Springs (approximately 2 hours). You’ll be avoiding the 1500 km of driving – around 24 hours by road! Once touched down, meet your transfer in the arrival’s hall and head to your accommodation for the night. You’ll have the afternoon free for you to do as you please, so check out what Alice Springs has to offer! A great option is to walk up ANZAC Hill for a panoramic view of town – a perfect place to watch the sunset over the Alice.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Melbourne might have the arts scene and Sydney the beaches, but Alice Springs is really where you need to go to understand the heart and soul of Australia. Meet your leader and fellow travellers at the Alice Springs pick-up point this morning and set off to experience a working camel farm. Surrounded by the serenity of the Red Centre, observe and learn about these magnificent creatures, each with their own endearing personality. After this friendly encounter, and perhaps even a ride, continue your journey inland to Kata Tjuta. Whereas Uluru emerges from the earth as one giant boulder form, Kata Tjuta pops up as 36 different domes and you’ll get to know the site pretty well on an afternoon hike following lunch. As evening begins, enjoy some tasty snacks as the sun sets over Uluru casting incredible colours. The perfect end to a remarkable day is awaiting you back at camp, as you enjoy a delicious spread of food with your group. If the weather permits, sit outside under the stars.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Entrance
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Total driving time today is around 4.5 hours. Total walking time is approximately 1 hour.
An early start this morning is rewarded with an Uluru sunrise. While the morning is fresh, enjoy a walk around the base of the rock, gaining insights into the land and the local Mala people on an interpretive cultural walk with an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Guide. Once you’ve had lunch, perhaps purchase some art and craft of the First Peoples of Australia, at the Uluru Cultural Centre. Travel onto the exclusive campsite within Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon), where the group will eat and sleep for the night.
Note: Total driving time today is around three and a half hours. Total walking time is approximately two hours (or up to 4 if you do the full 8.5km base walk.)
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
  • Maruku Arts cultural experience
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Total driving time today is around 3.5 hours. Total walking time is approximately 2 hours (or up to 4 if you do the full 8.5 km base walk).

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.
The main attraction of Watarrka is undoubtedly Kings Canyon – a humungous gorge enclosed by sheer rock walls hundreds of metres high. Offering a welcome escape from the dry desert heat, this site’s deep gullies and hidden rockpools provide shelter to more than 600 species of native plants and animals. Your guide will point these out on a guided trek that takes in the canyon’s most famous sites – the Lost City, Garden of Eden, Amphitheatre and North and South Walls. Then it’s lunch, rest, and back to Alice for farewells.
Included Activities
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Total driving time today is around 5 hours. Total walking time is approximately 3 hours. For the Kings Canyon Rim Walk it is a requirement that you have a minimum of three litres of water with you. Please consider bringing your own refillable water bottles.

Meals

4 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners

Transport

All Terrain vehicle, Plane

Accommodation

Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (6 nights), Motel (2 nights)

Included activities

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

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Tour commences in Darwin on Day 1 at approximately 6.40 am and finishes in Alice Springs (Day 9) at approximately 6 pm. Onward travel to be booked the following day.
2. The Top End & Kakadu portion of this trip has a strict luggage limit of 10 kg. Excess luggage can not be carried however, it can be stored at Darwin accommodation.
3. Trip also runs in reverse; see tour code POONC.

Essential trip information

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