HEART OF AUSTRALIA
Routing: Adelaide to Darwin
Duration: 15 Days
From AUD$2,244.00 per person, based on standard double/twin share accommodation.
Includes: 14 nights’ accommodation, 15 days unlimited km use of a compact sized car, Nit Nit Dreaming 2 Gorge Cultural Cruise, 1.5hr Yellow Water Cruise and fully detailed itinerary with local and regional maps.
From AUD$2,511.00 per person, based on superior double/twin share accommodation.
Includes: 14 nights’ accommodation, 15 days unlimited km use of a compact sized car, full breakfast in Kings Canyon, light breakfast in Tennant Creek, Nit Nit Dreaming 2 Gorge Cultural Cruise, 1.5hr Yellow Water Cruise and fully detailed itinerary with local and regional maps.
DAY 01: Adelaide to Port Augusta (382 km)
There is a choice of routes to take to Port Augusta today. The most direct way is through Port Pirie. This is quite a pleasant drive and will take around 4 hours. A more scenic drive is via Clare. The wineries around Clare are well worth a visit. From here travel on to Gladstone, the small town of Wilmington and to Port Augusta, a busy seaport town which is the last major centre along the road linking Western Australia with South Australia.
DAY 02: Port Augusta to Coober Pedy (539 km)
Leaving Port Augusta travel north on the Stuart Highway into the real outback and desert of Australia. Travel on to the unique township of Coober Pedy. The name ‘Coober Pedy’ is Aboriginal for ‘white fellow’s hole in the ground’. This is extremely appropriate as most of the population live underground in dug-outs to protect them from the severe summer temperatures, often reaching 45C.
DAY 03: Coober Pedy to Marla (232 km)
More time to explore Coober Pedy. Leaving Coober Pedy, continue travelling north on the Stuart Highway and pass through Cadney Homestead and onto Marla, which marks the start of the famous Oodnadatta Track.
DAY 04: Marla to Ayers Rock (495 km)
Leaving Marla, continue travelling through Kulgera, and then continue north another 75 kilometres to Erldunda and then turn off to Ayers Rock and Yulara Resort. This afternoon head out to the Rock, we suggest taking a slow drive around it before heading to “Sunset Strip” to see the famous Ayers Rock.
DAY 05: Ayers Rock
An entire day at leisure to explore all that the region has to offer. Take a walk around the Rock, a visit to the Cultural Centre, a Harley ride around the Rock or a scenic flight. This afternoon try a picnic lunch at the Olgas and a walk through the Valley of the Winds before viewing another spectacular sunset.
DAY 06: Ayers Rock to Kings Canyon (318 km)
This morning is at leisure to explore more of Ayers Rock. You may wish to rise early to experience the beautiful sunrise over Ayers Rock or take a walk into the majestic Olga Gorge. Leaving Ayers Rock behind take the Lasseter Highway and pass by the majestic flat topped mountain, Mt Conner. Turn left and take the Luritja Road to Kings Canyon. Skirt the rim of the Canyon and hold your breath as you gaze 300 metres down to the valley floor. The soaring sandstone walls frame the “Garden of Eden”, a unique waterhole surrounded by palms and ferns. The best time of day for the Kings Canyon Rim Walk is early in the morning when it is cool.
DAY 07: Kings Canyon to (Alice Springs 476 km) OR Kings Canyon to Alice
Springs via the Mereenie Loop Road (390 km) 4WD access only
We recommend taking the Rim Walk at Kings Canyon early this morning, but it will be a very early morning to allow you enough time to drive onto Alice Springs. Depart Kings Canyon and return to the Lasseter Highway and turn left. Pass the Henbury Meteorite craters, formed around 4,700 years ago. Take the Stuart Highway north to Alice Springs. Spend the rest of the day exploring this beautiful part of the Australian Outback.
DAY 08: Alice Springs
Enjoy a full day of leisure in Alice Springs today, to explore the attractions and the surroundings areas or to simply rest up after the long drives of the past few days. Why not visit the Old Telegraph Station, the Aviation Museum or the original Royal Flying Doctor Service. The Alice Springs Desert Park provides a great opportunity to observe the bird and animal life in the desert, and is well worth a visit.
DAY 09: Alice Springs to Tennant Creek (530 km)
Leave Alice Springs and travel through the small towns of Aileron, Ti Tree and Barrow Creek. 96 kilometres south of Tennant Creek are the Devils Marbles. The Marbles consist of hundreds of huge round boulders, precariously balanced one on top of the other. Tennant Creek has an interesting founding story – legend has it that the town was formed when a beer wagon broke down and drivers
stayed to drink the cargo – and never left!
DAY 10: Tennant Creek to Katherine (663 km)
Another long drive and we suggest an early start. 26 kilometres out of town is ‘Three Ways’, this is the intersection of the Barkly and Stuart Highways. Continue north through this scrub and desert land to Daly Waters and Mataranka. There are thermal springs at Mataranka, a great spot to stop and relax for a while. From Mataranka it is only 110 kilometres on to Katherine, the major intersection between northern, southern and western routes.
DAY 11: Katherine
This morning take the included 2 hour gorge cruise. Katherine Gorge is a system of 13 gorges all joining by rapids and is located 30 kilometres from the town centre; here the river flows between towering walls of colour.
DAY 12: Katherine to Kakadu National Park (336 km)
This morning restart the journey north and travel 92 kilometres to the small town of Pine Creek. Depart Pine Creek and join the Kakadu Highway. Pass the Mary River Roadhouse before arriving in Cooinda. Visit the Bowali Visitor Centre which is 2.5 kilometres from Jabiru.
DAY 13: Kakadu National Park
This morning take your 1.5 hour cruise on Yellow Waters for views of colourful birdlife and the ever present crocodile. The scenery of Kakadu is dramatic and the area has prolific wildlife and birdlife. In addition, the aboriginal rock art is amongst the finest rock art in the world and there are 120 known galleries in an area of 5 square kilometres on the escarpment, with some paintings carbon dated back 23,000 years. The most accessible sites by road are at Ubirr Rock and Nourlangie Rock.
DAY 14: Kakadu National Park to Darwin (242 km)
Depart Kakadu via the Arnhem Highway and pass the Bark Hut Inn, a great spot to take a break for morning tea or a cool drink. En route, take a cruise on the Adelaide River to see the jumping crocodiles or stop at Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre. At Fogg Dam you can also view the prolific birdlife before the final stretch into Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory.
DAY 15: Darwin
Your vehicle will need to be return tomorrow by the same time it was collected on Day 1 so as to avoid additional charges.
Prices are subject to availability and conditions apply. Valid until 31 March, 2015. For dates after this or if you would like to make any changes, please contact us direct for a quote.