Central Australian Explorer 2024

STAY
Fully Accommodated Luxury Camps & Lodges
TOUR FARE
From $12,240 pp twin share
DURATION
15 Days Adelaide to Darwin

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Itinerary & Accommodation Snapshot

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Day
Itinerary
Accommodation
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1
Adelaide – Port Augusta
Standpipe Golf Motor Inn
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Please check your required arrival time with the office before booking your flights.

Today you will be greeted by our friendly and professional Tour Directors. After some lunch we make our way out of Adelaide and head north along the Princes Highway to Port Augusta. We arrive late afternoon and spend our first night at the Standpipe Golf Motor Inn. Meals: L.D

2
Port Augusta - Parachilna - Marree
Marree Hotel
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This morning we visit the Arid Lands Botanic Gardens and the Wadlata Outback Centre, an award-winning multifunctional visitor centre. Step back in time and learn about the early explorers, Sturt, Eyre, Giles and Stuart and their brave expeditions into the unknown. We then head up the western side of the Flinders Ranges, arriving at Parachilna for a gourmet lunch at the Prairie Hotel.

This afternoon we continue heading north through Leigh Creek to Marree. Located at the junction of the Oodnadatta and Birdsville Tracks, Marree is a true desert settlement which enjoys just 155mm of rainfall annually. We spend the night at The Marree Hotel in modern ensuited cabins. Meals: B.L.D

3
Oodnadatta Track - Coober Pedy
Desert Cave Hotel
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This morning we visit the Marree Museum which features the famous old mail truck E.G. Kruse used to transport mail from Marree to Birdsville. Then, travel the Oodnadatta Track and follow in the footsteps of John McDouall Stuart. Pass by Lake Eyre South and through William Creek before arriving into Coober Pedy mid-afternoon. 
Due to the summer heat, most of Coober Pedy's residents live underground. The town is also known as the opal capital of the world, supplying 70% of the world’s precious opals. This afternoon enjoy a guided tour of the Umoona Opal Mine and perhaps fossick for your own.
Tonight we stay at the award winning Desert Cave Hotel. Meals: B.L.D
Note: underground rooms at the Desert Cave Hotel cannot be guaranteed.

4
Coober Pedy – Uluru
Sails in the Desert Hotel
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Today we trek north along the Stuart Highway through Marla and Kulgera before heading west along the Lasseter Highway to Yulara. Our accommodation for the next two nights is at the 5-star Sails in the Desert Hotel, part of Ayers Rock Resort. Tonight, enjoy a sumptuous dinner at Ilkari Restaurant. Meals: B.L.D

Note: Voyages Ayers Rock Resort have moved to cashless transactions

5
Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) - Uluru (Ayers Rock) - A Night at Field of Light
Sails in the Desert Hotel
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This morning early risers will experience the sun rising over Uluru and the colours of dawn spreading across the landscape. After breakfast, head off to discover Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and admire the stunning rock formations on a guided walk into Walpa Gorge. Then, return for a guided tour around the base of Uluru, which stands 348 metres above the desert plains. Learn about traditional Anangu culture as you marvel at one of the largest monoliths in the world!

This afternoon we prepare for ‘A Night at Field of Light’, which combines Bruce Munro’s acclaimed Field of Light installation with the award winning ‘Sounds of Silence’ dining experience. Departing the resort before sunset, we head to an exclusive dune top location with majestic views of Uluru. Then, enjoy a special 3-course bush tucker inspired menu as Field of Light gently illuminates. Spread across an area the size of 7 football fields, ‘Field of Light’ features 50,000 slender stems crowned with radiant frosted spheres. After dinner, head off to explore the stunning display via the dedicated pathways. This evening we return to the hotel for our second and final night at Sails in the Desert. Meals: B.L.D

6
Uluru - Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon Resort
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After breakfast we depart Yulara and head to Curtin Springs, a one-million acre station owned and operated by the Severin family. Here we'll enjoy a chat with the manager and learn about the station's history and current operations. Then, continue on to Kings Creek Station for lunch before arriving at Kings Canyon Resort in Watarrka National Park, our accommodation for the evening.

Kings Canyon is a majestic, must-see destination for anyone visiting the Red Centre. Its sheer sandstone walls, palm filled crevices and expansive desert vistas make for an incredible experience. This afternoon you have the choice of two escorted walks, the 6km Rim Walk offering breathtaking views and descending into the 'Garden of Eden', or a shorter 2.6km walk that meanders up the centre of the Canyon floor. Meals: B.L.D

7
West MacDonnell Ranges
Mercure Alice Springs Resort
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Departing Kings Canyon this morning we travel the Mereenie Loop Road to historic Hermannsburg. After lunch we visit Angkerle (Standley Chasm) and also Simpsons Gap, home to a number of rock wallabies. We arrive into Alice Springs and spend the next three nights at the Mercure Alice Springs Resort. Meals: B.L.D

8
Alice Springs Sightseeing
Mercure Alice Springs Resort
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This morning there is the option of a hot air balloon flight over Alice Springs (own expense). The flight includes hotel pick up, chilled refreshments and around 45 minutes in the air.
Today we explore 'The Alice'. Our activities include a visit to the award-winning Alice Springs Desert Park, The Royal Flying Doctor Service and a tour of the historic Telegraph Station. We arrive back at the hotel late afternoon. Meals: B.L.D
Note: Those who have experienced these attractions previously can spend the day at their leisure.

9
Eastern MacDonnell Ranges
Mercure Alice Springs Resort
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Today we travel from Alice Springs and venture further east along the MacDonnell Ranges to see more of these rugged central Australian landscapes. Trephina Gorge Nature Park is our first destination and features a network of short walking trails that let you delve deep into the heart of this magnificent natural setting.
Trephina Gorge is known for the exceptionally large eucalyptus trees that line the sandy creek bed, and nearby we can visit the largest ghost gum in Central Australia. After our time here we make our way to Corroboree Rock Conservation Area. A short walk around the base of the rock reveals some of the geological history of the region.
Made up of ancient sediment and fine-grained rock, the structure was formed more than 800 million years ago by salt lakes. While not thought to be a corroboree site, this impressive structure is of great importance to the local Arrernte people and plays a significant role in their culture today.
This evening we head out into the East McDonnell ranges for a unique and authentic dining experience. The 'Original Outback Bush BBQ' dinner show is a fun filled evening of entertainment and outback cuisine, taking place around a large campfire under a star filled territory sky. Enjoy timeless Australian songs from a bush balladeer and gain some insight from the local cattlemen’s talk. The dinner includes a sumptuous 3 course meal and all beverages. Meals: B.L.D

10
Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles) – Barkly Tablelands
Barkly Homestead
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This morning we depart Alice Springs and trek north again along the Stuart Highway. Visit Karlu Karlu (The Devils Marbles), a series of massive granite boulders scattered across a wide, shallow valley. After a picnic lunch we'll continue on to Tennant Creek and visit the Battery Hill Mining Centre. We then head east to the Barkly Homestead where we spend the night in recently updated motel rooms. Meals: B.L.D

11
Cape Crawford – Lorella Springs
Lorella Springs Station
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The Barkly Tablelands are well suited to cattle grazing and economically it is one of the most important areas for pastoral production in the NT. The Mitchell and Flinders grasses provide excellent feed on the rich black soils. The largest lease (Brunette Downs) is over 12,000 square kms and runs around 65,000 head of cattle.

This afternoon we pass through Cape Crawford and take the Savannah Way north to Lorella Springs Station. This one million acre station sits adjacent to the Limmen National Park and stretches all the way to the shores of the Gulf. Accommodation comprises a mixture of safari tents and cabins, all with ensuite bathrooms. Meals: B.L.D

12
'Lost City' & Thermal Springs
Lorella Springs Station
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Today we take part in an exhilarating helicopter and ground tour of the southern ‘Lost City’.

After landing near these ancient sandstone structures enjoy a ground tour with your guides who'll tell you about the local geology, vegetation and birdlife. We return to Lorella midafternoon where the rest of the day can be spent at your leisure. Enjoy a dip in the nearby thermal springs, one of the most pristine in the Northern Territory. Meals: B.L.D

Please note: Weight limits apply to all scenic flights 

13
Savannah Way - Roper Bar - Katherine
Knott's Crossing Resort
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Our travels today take us further north along the Savannah Way. We pass through the remote village of Roper Bar, situated on the south-east boundary of Arnhem Land. The Roper River was first explored by Ludwig Leichhardt in 1845 and by the 1870’s was lined with paddle steamers bringing in supplies for the men building the Overland Telegraph Line. One paddle steamer, the ‘Young Australian’ ran aground on a rocky ledge and its ruins are still there to this day.

This afternoon we travel through Mataranka and on to Katherine where we spend the night at Knotts Crossing Resort. Meals: B.L.D

14
Katherine River Gorge Cruise - Darwin
Hilton Garden Inn
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This morning we enjoy a two hour boat cruise on Katherine River Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park. We then continue to Darwin, arriving mid-afternoon and check in to the Hilton Garden Inn Darwin (Formerly The Doubletree by Hilton). Enjoy premium harbour view rooms in this centrally located hotel, perfectly positioned along the Esplanade.

Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure before boarding the Charles Darwin for a delicious Territory-style sunset dinner cruise and celebrate a truly amazing trip!  Meals: B.L.D

15
Darwin City Sights tour – Farewell
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This morning we take a city sights tour including the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Cullen Bay and Stokes Hill Wharf. You'll then be transferred. Meals: B

*This tour also operates with a reverse itinerary. Please see departure dates below for reverse itinerary dates.

Walks on Tour

  Distance Time Level Terrain
Mutijulu water hole 600m 1.5h Easy Easy wide flat path
Field of Light 600m or 1km 30-45 min Easy Must be able to walk up a 50m sand dune to canape area. There are no buggies or any other assistance. Walk is done in the dark on wide flat paths with low/dim lighting
Kathleen Springs 2.4km 1 hr Easy Wide sealed mostly flat path. Slightly uphill to begin
Kings Canyon creek walk 2.4km 1.5 hr Easy Flat path,  with some uneven bits, semi-shade in 2nd half of the walk
Standley Chasm 2km 1 hr Easy Wide flat path, with a couple of minor uphill (slight gradient) bits
Ormiston Gorge 500m 10 min Easy Flat path
Kata-Tjuta Walpa Gorge 2.6km 1 hr Medium Slightly uphill to lookout. Largely uneven, some metal grids to walk on, but mostly a rock track
Ghost Gum lookout 30-40 min Difficult Very steep
Kings Canyon rim walk 6.5km 3.5h Very Difficult Very, very steep. Some scrambling on hands and knees. Starts with about 500 bush rock stairs, unevenly spaced, on a narrow track. Once on canyon rim, mostly flat and even. Descent is steep & narrow, need to watch feet at all times.
Alice Springs Desert Park Scooters can be hired

*Note: Distances and times provided are an indication only.

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Special Offers, Pricing & Departure Dates

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2024 Departure Dates

This tour operates during the following months. Please select a month to view departure dates.

All tour fares quoted are per person twin share A single supplement of $3,400 applies for solo travellers Fully Flexible fares available at additional cost
Depart Conclude Start Point End Point Sale Offer Everyday Fare
29 Jun 13 Jul Adelaide Darwin Save $300pp plus Fly Free* From $11,940pp Almost Full Book Now

This departure date is nearly full. To book please call 1800 688 222.

Alternatively, you can request a call back from our reservations team. Please fill in the below details.

21 Jul 4 Aug Darwin Adelaide Save $300pp plus Fly Free* From $11,940pp

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