Embark on a Northern Territory adventure from Alice Springs to Darwin taking in the region’s biggest and best draws along the way. Witness Uluru during a stunning sunrise, wander through the majestic canyons of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and admire the views from Kings Canyon. Head into the bush and learn from the area’s traditional land owners, enjoy exclusive access to Arnhem Land, cruise the Mary River and spot crocs in the wetlands, and get a taste of the tropics in Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks, as well as Katherine Gorge. A region of exceptional landscapes and intriguing cultural attractions, this tail-to-top adventure through the Territory is a trip that will leave you with a profound appreciation of Australia’s raw and rugged natural beauty.
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On your arrival in Alice Springs, a private shuttle bus will meet you and transfer our group to our centrally-located hotel to begin your ultimate ‘Total Territory Adventure’.
Our first stop for the day is a working outback camel farm, where you’ll have the chance to lope through the outback on a ‘ship of the desert’. Whereas Uluru emerges from the earth as one giant boulder form, Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) pops up as 36 different domes – you’ll get to know the site pretty well on an afternoon hike following lunch. As evening begins, enjoy a glass of bubbles 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 and wine with your group. If the weather permits, sit outside under the stars. Note: Driving time approx. 5½ hours, walking time approx. 1 hour. (B,L,D)
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: Driving time approx. 3½ hours, walking time approx. 2 hours (or up to 4 if you do the full 8.5km base walk). (B,L,D)
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 head along an iconic Red Centre dirt track to the Western McDonnell Ranges where we stay overnight at our permanent campsite at Glen Helen. Note: Total driving time takes around five hours. Total walking time is approximately three hours. (B,L,D)
Spend this morning exploring the mysterious palms at Palm Valley. The only road in is in a dry river bed. This afternoon explore the Western MacDonnell Ranges, highlights include Ormiston Gorge, where we keep our eyes peeled for wallabies whilst admiring its colourful walls, continue on to the exceptional vistas at Ellery Creek Big Hole and perhaps cool off with a dip. We’ll return to Alice Springs tonight in time for a group dinner together at a local restaurant. Note: Driving time approx. 1 hour, walking time will be up to 10km. (B,L,D)
Today we’ll be exploring one of the Outback’s best kept secrets. Learn about the ‘Caterpillar Dreaming’ on a short walk at Emily Gap, then travel on to Trephina Gorge for a 1-hour guided walk through this area of beautiful rock formations and birdlife. For lunch we’ll be calling in at the historical Ross River Homestead, an iconic building established in the 1890’s as a regional supply centre to the goldfields. Back on the dirt track, next stop is the ‘Ghost Town’ of Arltunga, which serves as a magnificent example of early European settlement. After exploring the best of the Eastern MacDonnell Ranges, it’s back to Alice Springs for a late afternoon drop-off back at our hotel. Note: Driving time will be about 3 hours. (B,L)
Today, skip the 1,500km of driving which is about 24 hours by road and fly from Alice Springs to Darwin. On arrival the rest of the day is free to explore Darwin. (B)
Welcome to Darwin, the Northern Territory’s tropical capital. Leave Darwin in the early morning and travel to Wulna Country where you will be greeted by a Cul Cul or ‘Welcome to Country’ from the Traditional Owners of the land, the Limilngan-Wulna people. Learn about their culture as your hosts treat you to bush tucker talks and didgeridoo and basket weaving demonstrations. Then, it’s on to the border of Kakadu and Arnhem Land for a Guluyumbi cruise along the East Alligator River. Both scenic and informative, your Bininj guide will explain the cultural importance of the river to the region’s Traditional Owners as you glide past pristine wilderness – and countless crocodiles! Next, unveil indigenous art at a complex known as Mawurndaddja which houses rock art spanning from the present time to many thousands of years of age. Your guide will explain the importance of this art, the methods used to perform this expressionism and the anthropological system used to date the art as you are guided through the site. Following this, head back into Kakadu for an overnight stay. Note: Driving time approx 6 hours (approximately 350 km), walking time approx 2 hours (including stops for informative talks). (B,L,D)
After fuelling up with an early breakfast, it's on to Jim Jim Falls, Kakadu's most iconic natural attraction. It’s a challenging walk through monsoon forest and over boulders. Recharge with a cooling dip in the clear waters beneath the falls upon arrival, or simply soak up the spectacular scenery while relaxing on the beach. After lunch head to Anbangbang and discover ancient rock art. Originally Warramal clan land, who have now passed away, Anbangbang is now looked after by neighbouring Mirarr and Djok clans. Consider taking a scenic flight over Kakadu in the afternoon, or visit Bowli Cultural Centre. Note: Driving time approx. 4 hours (approximately 120 km), walking time approx. 3 hours. (B,L,D)
After breakfast, head to either Gunlom Falls or Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) for a swim in another pristine waterhole. Maguk flows down the steep walls of rugged gorge into a beautiful natural plunge pool. It’s a steep climb to the Gunlom Falls plunge pool, though the reward is sweeping views of Kakadu and the welcome shade of gum trees. Neither option will disappoint. After a relaxing morning, it’s time to hit the road. Stop in the old gold-mining town of Pine Creek for lunch before continuing for another three hours to your private campsite on the doorstep of Nitmiluk National Park. Once comfortable, have dinner with the group before relaxing in your tent for the night. Note: Driving time approx. 6 hours (approximately 340 km), walking approx. 2 hours. (B,L,D)
Spend the day exploring the deep Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge and ancient sandstone landscape of Nitmiluk National Park. A wonderland of colours, Aboriginal rock art, waterfalls and wildlife, perhaps take a cruise or rental a kayak to get a closer look. Keep in mind that these optional activities are seasonal and at your own expense. In the afternoon, travel on to Edith Falls, a hidden oasis of clear, cool waters surrounded by bronze boulders. After a quick swim in the huge rock pools, continue to tonight’s camp located at the edge of Litchfield National Park, where dinner awaits. Note: Driving time approx. 5 hours (approximately 350 km), walking time approx. 4 hours. (B,L,D)
After breakfast, head to Litchfield National Park. A bit of a local secret, Litchfield is awash with tropical rainforest, gorgeous waterfalls and crystal-clear waterholes. Visit Florence Falls, Wangi Falls or Bluey Rockholes, then tuck into a picnic lunch. Enjoy a stroll through the steamy rainforests and refreshing dip in one of the park’s gorgeous swimming holes. In the afternoon, make the two-hour drive back to Darwin where we’ll return to our Darwin accommodation, the Rydges Darwin Central. Note: Driving time approx. 4 hours (approximately 250 km), walking time approx. 1 hour. (B,L)
Today is at your leisure. Explore this tropical capital on foot, hire a bike, or jump on a Hop-on/Hop-off bus. Darwin is quite compact, with most of the attractions within a 10 minute walk. Alternatively, just relax by the hotel pool and enjoy the tropical sun and cool waters; today is yours to enjoy. (B)
A Private Group shuttlebus will meet you at your hotel today to escort you to the Darwin Airport for your departing flight. Additional costs will be incurred if not transferring with the group. (B)