Uluru ... Kata Tjuta National Park ... Watarrka National Park ... Kings Canyon ... Alice Springs ... Tennant Creek ... Kakadu National Park ...
Darwin ... Litchfield National Park
Day One - Welcome to Uluru - Hello, explorers! Surrounded by rusty earth and brilliant blue skies, you’re right in the heart of Australia to begin your Outback safari tour in the heart of the Red Centre in World Heritage listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. After meeting your Tour Manager you’ll head out for your first visit through the desert landscapes and iconic, rusty red home of Uluru. Over a sundowner of appetizers and sparkling wine, sit back as the surrounding grasses blow and the sky lights up in red and orange illuminating 'The Rock’ rising 348 metres high. It’s the best way to experience the true beauty of mesmerizing Uluru, connect to the land, and kick-off your trip. You’ll get a good night’s rest in your Stays with Stories accommodation at the Desert Gardens Hotel. Surrounded by the red dirt and desert trees, this indigenous owned hotel is the perfect spot to immerse yourself in nature. Complete your evening with a stargazing tour of the vast Southern sky.
Day Two - Uluru Sunrise and Kata Tjuta - It’s a beautiful start to your first full day with a special sunrise in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Grab a good spot, hot cocoa in hand, and watch the sun light up Uluru and the sprawling desert. Then learn more about the park on a guided walk with your Tour Manager to Mutitjulu Waterhole at the base of Uluru. You’ll appreciate your guides passion for the area and understanding on the ancient rock art rich with history and lifetimes of stories that have been preserved for hundreds of years. After a fascinating morning, kick back at the pool or visit the art galleries and Town Square shopping village. Later in the day you’ll get to enjoy even more of the National Park with a guided walk through Kata Tjuta’s thirty-six domes of red-hued sedimentary rock through Walpa (meaning “wind”) Gorge to a lookout. End your day of stunning natural surroundings with another memorable Uluru sunset paired with canapés and sparkling wine in a tucked away, secret spot. Taking in the still magnificence of Uluru, it’s ‘cheers’ to the Outback!
Day Three - To Towering Kings Canyon - Sunrise fans have another opportunity to greet the dawn at Uluru with a private Optional Experience at the Field of Light installation of artist Bruce Munro. As the sun rises in the distance, you’ll make your way through 50,000 frosted glass spheres lighting up the desert in violet, blue, and white like a field of flowers with Uluru as your backdrop. You’ve never seen anything like it, and it will make you appreciate Uluru and the land it occupies in a whole new way. Next up is a gorgeous desert drive from Uluru to Watarrka National Park (named for an Indigenous word meaning “umbrella bush”) to the ancient walls of Kings Canyon. Put feet to ground on a guided walk along the sandy creek bed surrounded by the striped cliff walls of golden yellow, orange, and red that rise 100 metres above Kings Creek. Your stay in Kings Canyon is at Kings Canyon Resort, and you’ll end the day swapping stories with the group over a relaxing dinner and desert surrounds, topped off with a magical sunset over Carmichael Crag.
Day Four - Alice Springs, Town of Indigenous Art - The early bird catches the worm! Get a jump on the day with a sunrise hike with your Tour Manager to the top of Kings Canyon for a walk around its semi-circular edge. From the top you’ll wind down through sandstone formations into the Garden of Eden’s shaded, lush oasis of greenery. It’s a cooling finish to a big morning. Relax and refresh at your hotel before making your way through the Outback to central Australia’s Alice Springs. Learn all about the history of the town at the circa 1871 Telegraph Station. This important site has a deep history of sending messages between Darwin and Adelaide with a single wire, not only connected Australia’s north and south, but also the first communication link between Australia and England. Your first day Alice Springs with 360-degree views of ‘The Alice’ from the best vantage point, Anzac Hill. Take it all in, from the Anzac Memorial to the panoramic views of the Western and Eastern MacDonnell ranges.
Day Five - Meet the Locals in Alice Springs - Start your day with a Dive Into Culture and history as a local Aboriginal guide shares the traditions of the local Arrernte People in Alice Springs Desert Park. You’ll also learn about the local desert birds like the Barn Owl, emu, and Princess Parrot and animals including the dingo, red kangaroo, and Western Quoll. Then get a fascinating window into the Outback meeting a Local Specialist at the Royal Flying Doctor Service centre, learning how they provide emergency medical assistance. You can even peek inside a replica of one of their small planes! For the big finish, Connect With Locals over a starlit dinner at the Earth Sanctuary World Nature Centre.
Day Six - Tennant Creek, the Territory's Heart of Gold - Rise and shine to your last day in Alice Springs visiting “the world’s largest classroom” at the School of the Air. Tour the school with a Local Specialist, see the teachers in action, and learn how they were the first to use two-way radio broadcasts to educate remote students, providing support to children living in the surrounding isolated communities. After an insightful morning, get out and adventure in Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles), an amazing outcrop of precariously balanced granite boulders. These massive rocks of up to six metres high, believed by the Warmungu Aboriginal people to be the fossilised eggs of the Rainbow Serpent, continue to crack and change shape even today. Walk among them experiencing their majesty before reaching your home for the night in the former 1930s gold-mining town of Tennant Creek, “the Territory’s heart of gold.” Enjoy dinner with your group in this history-rich spot sharing the highlights of your Outback travels.
Day Seven - Katherine and its Magical Gorge - It’s hard to believe it’s only been one week, but there is so much more to see. Enjoy a change of scenery in the Outback today on a visit to the quirky Daly Waters Pub. As soon as you step inside and see the collection of memorabilia on the walls, you’ll understand this pub’s encouragement to patrons to “leave something behind.” Take in its history from the days when Qantas’ pilots stopped to refuel on the nearby dirt runway as you sip on a cold schooner and maybe leave one of your own treasures behind. Your next “watering hole” is Mataranka’s hot springs to go for a refreshing dip in its crystal-clear, thermal springs. These healing waters show you another side of the Outback and are a relaxing stop on your way to Katherine, where the Outback meets the Tropics. Settle into your centrally located hotel, enjoy a late dinner with the group and maybe go for another swim in the pool.
Day Eight - Timeless Kakadu National Park - Get ready for a big day in Nitmiluk National Park, where you’ll team up with an indigenous Local Specialist for a two-hour riverboat cruise along the Katherine Gorge’s ancient waterway of steep cliff walls, and maybe a freshwater crocodile or two on the banks. You’ll have a chance to take a closer look at the indigenous rock art before continuing your exploration on a second boat to the even bigger cliffs of the deep river gorge. Every stop is stunning and enhanced by your guide’s knowledge of the traditional Jawoyn landowners and the Jawoyn’s stories of how the gorge was formed. Next up is Kakadu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and cultural jewel also known for its wildlife. Cruise the Yellow Water Billabong as your Local Specialist points out the diverse species of birdlife including magpie geese and perhaps more crocodiles.
Day Nine - Darwin in the Tropical Top End - Go big on a day of history and culture before making your way to Darwin. You’ll begin at Ubirr, one of Kakadu’s, and Australia’s, renowned Aboriginal rock art sites. Dive Into Culture at this rocky landscape as your Travel Director shares the history and the stories behind these illuminating images. Explore the loop trail past caves and overhangs before a stop at Nadab lookout at Ubirr for the most endless view over the wetlands of Kakadu - the filming location for Crocodile Dundee. Soak in the vistas and get ready for a change of scenery as you travel to our home for the next two nights, Darwin. Check into your hotel on the centrally located Darwin Esplanade and head out to explore the city. You could catch a movie under the stars at the Deckchair Cinema or see what’s cooking at the Mindil Beach Sunset Market for dinner and a stellar sunset. With plenty of options to choose from, including the Asian influenced food the city is known for, it may be tough to pick your favorite.
Day Ten - Cool off in Litchfield National Park - Get excited for your last full day of stunning nature and city sites. You’ll begin in Litchfield National Park to see Northern Australia's own and over 100 years old Magnetic Termite mounds reaching up to three metres high. Then you’re off to Florence Falls for a short walk to a lookout point before the cooling waters of Wangi Falls. Relax and go for a swim in its large swimming holes lined by tumbling waterfalls and vined forests. After a day of fun and sun you’ll head back to Darwin for your last evening. You’ll enjoy the full stretch of skyline over a Farewell Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise with your Travel Director and fellow travellers. Dine on a range of options from the Territory-inspired banquet dinner as you learn Darwin history from your knowledgeable guide. It’s grand finale of cityscapes and maybe a crocodile, dolphin, or turtle or two. What better way to celebrate your Outback safari tour?
Day Eleven - Farewell Darwin - After a wildlife and adventure filled trip in the Outback, it’s time to say farewell to your fellow travelers this morning over breakfast before your transfer to Darwin Airport for your return flight home.