Travel the land 'Down Under'. Sleep under the stars in a bush camp, take a hot air balloon ride, then grab a cold beer with all your new friends at one of the oldest Territory pubs. Gorgeous gorges & national parks leave you breathless as you get to know the backyard of Australia, plus Darwin offers the draw of the big city with shopping & nightlife not to be missed.
Oh hey there Red Centre, and the start of our Contiki adventure into the iconic Outback. Landing in NT we'll jump straight in to checking out the national parks & iconic spots of the region, including Simpson's Gap, a prominent split in the mighty MacDonnell Ranges and an important location for Aboriginal history. It’s said the Gap is the mythological home of giant goanna ancestors, and is also the spot where several dreaming trails and stories cross. Feeling adventurous? Have a go at holding a snake or other Aussie reptiles and release your inner Crocodile Dundee.
Move over Bear Grylls, as by the time we’ve finished this morning’s Aboriginal ‘Bushtucker’ tour we’ll be all over knowing how to survive in the bush. Your Local Guide will give you the 101 on insect eating and plant sampling, and there’ll even be real life bushtucker treats to get stuck in to (if you dare) – witchetty grubs and kangaroo tails for breakfast, yes please...
The authentic Aussie experience continues this evening as we bed down for the night under the desert stars at Kings Creek Station, an outback camel and cattle station. We’ll be sleeping like babies after an afternoon spent exploring the land. “Going bush” (sleeping outdoors) is pretty much as Aussie as they come, so snuggle down in your swag and gaze into the Milky Way with the squad.
Our day's intermittence is in the creamy orange plains of the mighty Kings Canyon. Grab your sneakers, your camera and your sense of adventure – you’re guided hike awaits. We’ll be visiting landmarks like the ‘Garden of Eden’ waterhole and the ‘Lost City’, all the while gazing in astonishment at landscapes where blue and orange stretch as far as the eye can see.
With Kings Canyon off the list, our next majestic spot is one you’ve been waiting for - Uluru. Discovered completely by accident on 18 July, 1873, it's hard to believe this imposing rock region wasn’t spotted sooner. Prepare to be amazed...Uluru is a staggering 700 million years old. Yes, you read that right. We’ll spend our afternoon walking through Uluru’s neighbour Kata Tjuṯa, aka 'The Olgas', before arriving at our eco-friendly outback resort for some well-deserved chill time by the pool.
Get that bucket list back out and prepare to throw a red tick on page one - this morning we watch the sunrise at Uluru. We’ll learn why the site is of such spiritual significance to the Aboriginal people, and there’s even the chance to see the area from a completely different angle – Scenic flight, anyone? Just as we love a good sunrise, we’re suckers for a sunset, so tonight we’ll be raising a glass of champagne at Uluru, toasting our Aussie adventure, naturally.
After a leisurely morning and BBQ breakfast - yep, you can literally BBQ any meal in Oz – it’s time to wave goodbye to Uluru as we make our way back to Alice Springs.
Spend your free evening exploring the local nightlife, chilling by the pool or grab a drink and kick back with your Contiki crew.
This morning's wake up call? An optional hot air balloon ride over the red MacDonnell Ranges rock formations – you know, casual. Then it’s back on the coach as we head towards Tennant Creek with a few cheeky stops on the way.
Stop one falls in the spooked out category - Australia's UFO capital. With only a few permanent residents, Wycliffe Well is little more than a roadhouse in the middle of no man's land, though many venture here to see what all the extra-terrestrial fuss is about.
Despite the name, stop two is not so spooky. Though with these two boulders being so unusually placed and looking like giant potatoes on a chopping board, it’s still pretty weird.
Tonight we take things totally rural, staying in the 'true blue' Tennant Creek - the only point of contact for the million-acre cattle stations of the surrounding area.
This morning we leave Tennant Creek and its barren ways behind and head north, cutting through the Renner Springs that divide the red desert of Australia's centre & the tropics of the north.
We’ll be stopping for lunch at the uber vintage Daly Waters pub. It's been serving booze and hosting country ruckus since 1893 and is a taste of local outback life at its very best, filled with lively Aussie characters and memorabilia of days gone by.
Nothing heals a tired travelling body like swimming in 34 degree thermal pools. Mataranka - we're coming in cool, & ready to leave feeling hot, hot, hot.
The arid desert will feel like a long lost dream as we drive into lush riverside Katherine this afternoon. Pool hangs and team dinner, anyone?
The morning is ours to experience Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, soaking up the citrus coloured cliffs and carved rock formations of the national park. Folklore tales will keep your imagination on high throughout the hike, not to mention the opportunity to spot fresh water crocodiles. Want to get even closer to the water? Take a cruise through the gorge to see the Nitmiluk area up close and personal.
Tonight we head for Kakadu National Park, resting up so we can head deep into the bush in the morning. We’ll be discovering ancient rock art dating back almost 20,000 years and learning about the areas deep Aboriginal past, so get in some sweet zzz’s...
A Kakadu National Park adventure awaits today, complete with swamps, rainforest, wetlands, woodlands, plants, insects and 75 different types of reptiles to uncover. We’ll head to a Cultural Centre and Nourlangie Rock to learn about thousands of years old rock art, then jump on a wildlife boat cruise with one main mission – croc spotting. With 20,000sq km of World Heritage-listed goodness to explore, Kakadu delivers every time.
Today is our last full day (sob), and time to say goodbye to Kakadu. The NT's capital is our final port of call.
But – why rush? Our final day promises to be every bit as exciting as the rest of the trip, with a visit to the thick rainforest of Litchfield National Park. We’ll check out some mind-boggling termite mounds before getting our waterfall fix at Florence Falls – four pounding waterfalls pouring into deep, picture-perfect waterholes with dense rainforest as the backdrop, Mother Nature in her element. Plunge in head first to the transparent waters and let your mind and body revel in the cool fresh bliss.
After some much needed R&R, we'll hop on the coach and make tracks to Darwin for our last night of this epic adventure.
The show is almost over - but damn right we’re going out with a bang. We'll explore Darwin & its museum hosting the Cyclone Tracy display, and you’ll also get the chance to experience the ominous Crocosauras Cove cage of death. If you survive (joking, or are we…), this sadly marks the end of your trip. But you know what they say, don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened…or just make plans for a reunion trip.
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Trip Name: Outback Adventure
Duration: 11 Days
From Price: £1,177
Supplier Tour ID: 155.334A/210226
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