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The Big Walkabout with Sailing (Start Darwin)

The incredible mix of landscapes, friendly people & adventure is what makes Aussie so unique. If you’re up for all of it then this is your tour. Discover the Top End's endless landscapes & Red Centre icons like Kings Canyon, Uluru & the Olgas. Beach fun is on the cards too with loads of time on the East Coast including twp days sailing in the magical Whitsundays. Jump aboard & experience one of Aussie’s gems, Whitehaven beach. It’s all about fun, friendship & action in one of the world’s most fascinating places.

Australasia
  • Duration: 24 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Easy
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: EXDXD/161014
  • Starts: Darwin, Australia
  • Finishes: Sydney, Australia
You will Visit
  • Darwin
  • Kakadu National Park
  • Katherine
  • Tennant Creek
  • Alice Springs
  • Kings Creek Station
  • Uluru
  • Cairns
  • Whitsundays
  • Farmstay
  • Noosa
  • Fraser Island
  • Surfers Paradise
  • Byron Bay
  • Coffs Harbour
  • Sydney

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Darwin

Meet up with your fellow travellers and Contiki team before heading out on a Darwin City orientation tour. You’ll visit the East Point Military Reserve and Darwin Museum to find out about the history of the Northern Territory’s capital. Later you have the chance to come face to face with a 5m crocodile. This is Australia’s only crocodile dive where you are safely housed in a perspex cage while a crocodile lazes, swims and even feeds just inches away. Get ready for a night out on the town as you get to know your group.

02

Day 2: Darwin to Kakadu National Park

Today you’ll head out to stunning Litchfield National Park. On the way, we stop by the termite mounds, a local natural curiosity. These mounds are up to 4 metres (13ft) high and are literally magnetic – your Trip Manager will fill you in on the details. Then we hit the famous falls that make up the park - four waterfalls pour over a wide plateau into deep, picture-perfect waterholes surrounded by thick rainforest. Experience this natural playground and take a dip in the transparent waters. Later, we travel to Australia’s largest national park, Kakadu, known for its ancient rock art, some of which is up to 20,000 years old.

03

Day 3: Kakadu National Park

We spend the day exploring some of this 20,000 sq km World Heritage-listed site. It’s packed with swamps, rainforest, wetlands, woodlands, plants, insects and 75 different types of reptiles. First up it’s Nourlangie Rock with impressive rock art dating back thousands of years. Next we get the background on local indigenous culture at the Warradjan Cultural Centre before our included wildlife boat cruise takes us out to spot crocs & learn about the native birdlife in the area. There may be time to explore the “rock galleries” of Ubirr, where time-old paintings line the cave walls before we head back to the hotel for dinner.

04

Day 4: Kakadu National Park to Katherine

Kick start the day by cooling off in the swimming hole at Edith Falls, deep in the heart of the national park. In the afternoon, we arrive in riverside Katherine. There’s an optional cruise through the gorgeous Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge. This National Park serves up vivid orange cliffs and rock formations that have been carved out by the river over hundreds’ of years. Keep an eye open for fresh water crocs and learn about local wildlife and folklore from our Local Guide. Back in Katherine, your Trip Manager will organise an optional dinner tonight, so you can relax by the pool.

05

Day 5: Katherine to Tennant Creek

This morning, we pull into Mataranka Thermal Springs where you can have a swim in the thermal pools at a bush resort, where the mineral waters are a comfortable 34°C/93°F. Next up: the oldest pub in the Northern Territory, Daly Waters, licensed since 1893. Check out the knick-knacks and memorabilia that cover the walls of this Australian institution. Grab a bite to eat here and maybe meet a local character or two. We overnight in Tennant Creek, a “true blue” Aussie outback town, where you’ll get a feel for the size of Australia. In the middle of nowhere, this town is the only point of contact for the million acre cattle stations of the surrounding area.

06

Day 6: Tennant Creek to Alice Springs

As we leave the site of Australia's last gold rush, we're on to Karlu Karlu (the Devils Marbles) - a strange grouping of enormous boulders. This afternoon we arrive in Alice Springs. We kick of the afternoon with a trip out to Simpson’s Gap & West MacDonnell National Park where you’ll start to appreciate the remoteness of Central Australia. Next we’ll visit ANZAC Hill lookout and Alice Springs Telegraph Station. Finish the afternoon with a hands on experience at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre where you’ll hear about some of Australia’s unique outback reptiles, and, if you're brave enough, hold a python!

07

Day 7: Alice Springs to Kings Creek Station

Jump start the day by learning about surviving in the bush with our included Aboriginal 'Bushtucker' tour. Our expert Aboriginal Guide will fill you in on the dos and don’ts of life in the bush, and you’ll even get to taste insects and plants if you’re adventurous. Next we head to Kings Canyon where you’ll go on an amazing guided hike to places such as the 'Garden of Eden' waterhole and the 'Lost City'! Finish the day at Kings Creek Station. This working camel & cattle station serves up a real outback experience. Tonight, 'go bush' and sleep under the open sky at our overnight bush camp where you’ll see the desert sky light up with thousands of stars.

08

Day 8: Kings Creek Station to Uluru

Today we make tracks to Uluru! But not before you have an opportunity to Race around the station and appreciate it’s size on an optional Quad Bike excursion! We drive by ancient (700 million years old!) Mt. Connor for 360° views over the red desert and take a walk through Uluṟu's neighbour - Kata Tjuṯa, or 'The Olgas' - before arriving at Yulara Resort. This environmentally designed resort is all about the outback and has a pool for you to cool off in after the drive.

09

Day 9: Uluru

Start off the morning nice and early and watch the sun rise over this iconic natural wonder from the viewing area. Get familiar with Uluṟu when your Trip Manager takes you around its base and gives you the background of the spiritual significance of this site for Aboriginal people. For something different, this afternoon you can choose an optional Harley Davidson ride or scenic flight. Tonight, catch the sun set over the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Uluṟu (Ayers Rock), and grab some nibbles and bubbly to toast this amazing view.

10

Day 10: Uluru to Cairns

Your Trip Manager will cook up a storm for breakfast, so load up on bacon & eggs! After you'll board your flight to Cairns to meet your new Trip Manager & begin your East Coast adventure. In your free time on the first night, walk around Cairns’ buzzing night markets. It’s the perfect place for shopping and with everything from fun, kitsch treasures to local crafts like boomerangs and didgeridoos. There’s something for everyone.

11

Day 11-12: Cairns

Wake up to the warm waters of Cairns where there’s something for everyone. This is your chance to experience the Great Barrier Reef on an optional day trip. If you have always wanted to go scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef then this is your chance! There are scuba diving options for both certified and introductory divers (no experience necessary). Check out the amazing World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, you are sure to see one of Nemo's cousins, tiny schooling fish right up to giant Maori wrasse and if you're lucky, even a small reef shark! There are local marine biologists on board to answer 'which fish is that?' On day 2, for those who are keen for a fun and thrilling ride, join our optional whitewater rafting adventure activity with our professional Local Guides. There are loads more activities available in Cairns like sky diving and bungy jumping – just ask your Trip Manager for some more info. Catch up with your new buddies to swap stories on your day at a local hot spot. The food and entertainment is sure to leave a lasting impression!

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Day 13-14: Cairns to Whitsundays Sailing

Relax on the coach as we cruise past thick, tropical rainforests into Tully, home to some of Australia’s best whitewater rafting. Slowly leaving the tropics behind us, we hit Townsville for some free time. Check out the colonial buildings and get a feel for its maritime past as we drive along the esplanade and into town where you can grab some lunch. See vistas over Magnetic Island, a National Park and bird sanctuary, before we continue our travels south to Airlie Beach, gateway to the Whitsundays Islands and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to board our sailing yacht. Enjoy two days and nights sailing the stunning Whitsunday islands with your friends. Swim, snorkel, or laze your way around the 74 islands of this tropical paradise, where you will pass lush tropical islands, laze on the world's best beaches and personally meet an extravagant array of sea life. You can help the crew & learn how to grind the winches & hoist the sails, or just relax and top up your tan in the sun. Please note: Accommodation on board the yacht is multishare only.

13

Day 15: The Whitsundays to Farmstay

Today, plug in your ipod or chat with friends as we drive through scenic Mackay, with countryside full of vibrant green vegetation and sugar cane plantations. Continue down the Capricorn Coast and head inland to an authentic country homestead, right in the heart of Queensland’s cattle country, for our overnight stay. During our time at Langmorn, a working cattle station, you’ll experience a taste of real Aussie country life. The owners will show you around the enormous property in a behind-the-scenes look at daily life on the farm. Taste local hospitality tonight as your welcoming hosts pile your table high with a hearty roast beef and vegetables (like you've never tasted before) followed by an indulgent homemade decadent dessert. Later, have a go at whip cracking an authentic leather stock whip under night lights before heading back inside for traditional Aussie bush dancing. Have some fun and a giggle with some evening karaoke. See if you can spot the 'Southern Cross' amongst a chandelier of stars, a constellation only visible in the southern hemisphere & featured on the Australian flag.

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Day 16: Farmstay to Noosa

After breakfast we drive back out to the coast and travel towards the beautiful beach side town of Noosa. Along the way we stop at a small town called Childers where we get the chance to enjoy some exotic fruits and do some wine tasting and learn about the local wines.

15

Day 17: Fraser Island to Noosa

Experience a slice of paradise on Fraser Island this morning. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed site is the largest sand island in the world and is 800,000 years old. Packed with around 40 fresh-water lakes, lush rainforests and diverse wildlife, Fraser Island lives up to its amazing reputation. Jump on our included 4WD adventure through the island’s sand dunes, rainforests & freshwater lakes. Our Local Guide will show you some of the island’s best spots and hidden treasures, such as Lake McKenzie – make sure you keep your camera handy – this is one of Australia’s most beautiful regions. Enjoy a drink or two with the included dinner tonight at the local surf club. Later if you want to take it up a level, head out into the town & explore Noosa by night.

16

Day 18: Noosa to Surfers Paradise

There’s time to explore Noosa this morning so take a stroll through the shops and the National Park or sunbathe and swim at the beach before we make our way south. We also stop off in Brisbane today. You’ll get a feel for the capital of Queensland’s laid-back atmosphere when we have a look around town. Tonight we pull into legendary Surfers Paradise, the Gold Coast’s party hot spot and home to some of the best surfing beaches in the world. Grab some of your new friends and join the party atmosphere of Surfers tonight with included nightclub entry. With loads of restaurants and buzzing nightlife, there’s something for everybody. Head to the happening Orchid or Cavill Avenues, where clubs and bars line the street or shoot some pool at the pub.

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Day 19: Surfers Paradise

This morning is all about chilling, hitting the beach, and getting a little R'n'R after the night before. We're nice like that. But remember, you're not in Surfer's forever, so do this thing right - don't stay in bed when there's a parachute with your name on it at the nearby skydiving centre. How's that for a rush of adrenaline? In the afternoon just make sure you're back (on earth) in time for some serious koala cuddling sessions at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. CURRUMBIN: All animal cuteness goals can easily be achieved in this neck of the woods. The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is undeniably a must-see destination if you've made it as far as Surfer's Paradise. Here's your chance to see how cute koalas really are, feed a kangaroo & see a crocodile up close (but not too close, obvs). Best of all, it's a non-for-profit set up, so our visit supports the sanctuary's animal hospital and gives back to Oz's furry friends. Soak up on all the cuteness this place has to offer before we head back to Surfer's for some sweet night time 4WD'ing.

18

Day 20: Surfers Paradise to Byron Bay

We're up & on the road early to the iconic Byron Bay for a day full of cheeky tanning with a beer in hand, some serious surfing or just exploring this cute ocean town. Opt for kayaking if you're feeling extra adventurous today. When you're done wiggling your toes in the sand maybe it's time to sate your hunger at one of the delicious local cafes and restaurants. Venture through the streets and soak up the hippie vibes .

19

Day 21: Byron Bay to Coffs Harbour

This morning you’ll wake up to more good times in Byron Bay. Maybe head to the beach for a swim or a wander round town before it’s time to leave the chilled out atmosphere behind after lunch. Later, there’s more beach action. Tonight we’ll stay in Coffs Harbour, home to surf beaches, fishing and banana plantations. This is a chance for a unique experience with our overnight Special Stay experience – we’re staying at a Surf Village! This afternoon it’s time for an awesome Aussie experience - hit the waves & learn to surf with some professional instructors as you have a go at surfing! Join some of the coolest people on the planet as you get involved with Australia's beach culture. Our cabins are right on the beach, so soak up the surf vibes, top up your tan and relax by the open fire under the stars tonight.

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Day 22: Coffs Harbour to Sydney

This morning, chill out on the coach and chat with your travel buddies as we head south. We pass the iconic 'Big Banana' in Coffs Harbour, before heading to Port Macquarie for lunch. Relax with your travel buddies...it’s a chilled out day before reaching Sydney. From the high-energy downtown area to its popular beaches, Sydney has something for everyone. You’ll soon understand why this is one the world’s most beautiful harbour cities. See the sails of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House and the famous Harbour Bridge. We will pass the iconic ‘Coca Cola Sign’ and cruise along ‘The Strip’ of Kings Cross, and hear stories of the underbelly of Sydney’s Red Light District. Tonight, there is a chance for you to scale the heights of the Harbour Bridge on the optional BridgeClimb.

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Day 23: Sydney

First up today - get in the know on Sydney as your Trip Manager points out all the hottest spots & icons of this harbourside haven. From the babes on the beaches of Manly, the buzzy Kings Cross & its colourful characters to Chinatown & Darling Harbour, the sights & sounds are as varied as its residents & we’re here to uncover it all. We’ll also take you to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair Lookout Street and the Rocks, for undoubtedly the city’s best views of the Opera House & Harbour Bridge in one go (so it’s perfect for some of those legendary Sydney snaps). Later, it’s a totally Sydney experience with an included ride to the famous Manly Beach. We’ll drop you right at the beach. Bliss! On arrival, grab some lunch then throw down your towel, pop in your iPod & take time to paddle in the cool water, work on your tan if the weather is right, or just people watch as you soak up the vibes & atmosphere. There are loads of shops & restaurants here too, for those that are keen to check out the local buzz. Later, take the Sydney scenic route back - you’ll get a panoramic view of the city as your backdrop whilst you cruise on the famous & iconic ferry On arrival back in the city tonight, dinner is guaranteed to impress. We’ll head to one of Darling Harbour’s locals restaurants for a delicious included meal right by the water. Watching the sunset with a drink in hand & a great meal as you people watch the cool Sydney siders is the perfect way to end the day. Celebrate your last night on tour together by heading out for dinner at Darling Harbour & soaking up the buzzing nightlife of Sydney with your friends one last time!

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Day 24: Sydney

This morning we’re heading out of the city & into the country for our included Blue Mountain’s day trip. The dramatic landscape of gorges (some up to 760m) are massive & will impress with the endless views into the distance. We’ll take a casual hike along the Jamison Ridge to the top of Wentworth Falls, passing a number of lookouts along the way. Next we’ll stop at Leura, a charming country village before visiting the iconic ‘Three Sisters’ – the famous rock formations. With amazing views & photos to keep your memories fresh when you get home, we’ll head back to Sydney. This city is home to some of the world’s best shopping, so it’s a haven for those who love to shop! Explore the unique boutiques in beautiful surroundings at the historic Queen Victoria Building right in the heart of the city. It’s a short walk from Darling Harbour, Hyde Park, the Botanic Gardens and Sydney shopping Mecca Pitt Street. Say farewell to your new friends as your trip winds up upon arrival back in Sydney this afternoon.

Inclusions:
      Accommodation
    • 23 nights multi-share accommodation: 14 nights in hotels & resorts, 2 nights on a yacht, 2 nights in a lodge, 1 night in an eco-lodge, 1 night in a hostel, 1 night in a surf school village, 1 night in a cattle station lodge, 1 night in an outback bush camp in a comfy Aussie 'swag'
    • Modern, air-conditioned coach with powerpoints for charging
    • Flight from Alice Springs to Cairns
      Staff
    • An experienced and professional Trip Manager & Driver team
    • Sightseeing tours of all major cities
    • National Park fees, local taxes & service charges
      Food
    • 36 meals:
    • 23 breakfasts
    • 2 lunches
    • 11 dinners
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Tour Highlights:
  • Visit the Darwin Museum & see the Cyclone Tracy display
  • See the harbour & East Point Military Reserve
  • See the termite mounds
  • Enjoy a swim at Florence Falls
  • Visit the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre
  • Hike to see the Aboriginal rock art at Nourlangie Rock and Ubirr
  • Visit Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge & see the sheer rock walls and wildlife
  • Cool off in Edith Falls
  • Visit Elsey, the historic "We of the Never Never" homestead
  • Swim at the Mataranka thermal pools
  • Visit the historic Daly Waters pub
  • Visit the site of Australia's last gold rush
  • Visit the unique rock formation known as Karlu Karlu
  • Visit Australia's UFO capital, Wycliffe Well
  • Alice Springs Reptile Centre experience
  • Visit West MacDonnell National Park & see the stunning Aboriginal site of Simpsons Gap
  • Aboriginal Dreamtime 'Bushtucker' tour in Alice Springs
  • Hike to the 'Garden of Eden' waterhole and the 'Lost City'
  • Stay at a cattle & camel station
  • See the desert night sky & stars
  • Sleep in a traditional Aussie 'swag' at an outback bush camp
  • Wake up to a bacon & egg breakfast
  • See the 700 million year old Mt. Conner & Lake Amadeus
  • Hike through Kata Tjuṯa (The Olgas)
  • Visit Uluru Cultural Centre
  • See Uluṟu at sunrise
  • Toast Uluṟu at sunset with drinks & nibbles
  • Indulge in a BBQ 'Big Brekkie'
  • Flight from Alice Springs to Cairns
  • Cairns city orientation
  • Pass through Tully, home to Australia's best whitewater rafting
  • Pass Hinchinbrook Island - Australia's largest island national park
  • See Magnetic Island
  • Townsville city orientation
  • Relax on the famous white sands of Whitehaven Beach
  • Visit the main region of Australia's sugar cane industry
  • Visit & cross the Tropic of Capricorn
  • Meet the cattle station owners
  • Check out the farm & animals on a hay wagon ride, then try whip cracking!
  • Aussie Outback experience: Langmorn Station Special Stopover
  • Take a locally guided 4WD trip across Fraser Island & indulge in a delicious lunch
  • Drive along Australia's only sand highway
  • Dine beachside at Noosa Surf Club & meet a lifesaver
  • See the Brisbane River, South Bank & visit Queen Street Mall
  • Stay at a resort located right by the beach
  • Nightclub entry
  • Learn to surf the waves or ride a kayak at our beachside surf camp
  • See the famous 'Big Banana' & banana plantations
  • Stop in the seaside resort town of Port Macquarie
  • Take a tour of Kings Cross, Chinatown, Darling Harbour, Mrs Macquarie's Chair Lookout & The Rocks
  • Cruise across Sydney Harbour on a ferry to Manly
  • Cook your own BBQ dinner
  • Day trip out to the stunning Blue Mountains
  • See the famous Three Sisters rock formation
  • Hike along the ridge overlooking Jamison Valley