9 Day Northern Teritory Encompassed Northbound

9 Day Northern Teritory Encompassed Northbound

Meet two very different faces of Australia - the vast, dust-cloaked expanses of the Red Centre and lush wetlands of the Top End - on a one-week journey up through the guts of the Northern Territory. Kicking off the journey in Alice Springs, tread a trail between the striped rock domes of Kata Tjuta (finishing off with a 1,000 Star Dinner), catch an Uluru sunrise and enter a Garden of Eden in Kings Canyon (Watarrka National Park). Then fly north to Darwin and enjoy three days exploring the waterfalls of Kakadu, monsoon rainforests of Litchfield and wildlife-rich Mary River Wetlands.

Tour Highlights

  • Uluru sunset drinks
  • 1000 Star Dinner
  • Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Fee
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
  • Mala cultural interpretative walk
  • Uluru Base Walk
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
  • Western MacDonnell Ranges
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Mary River cruise
  • Kakadu National Park Fee
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Ubirr Rock
  • Top Didj Indigenous Experience

Tour Info

Code AD-POONC
Style
  • Explorer Tour
Duration 9 Days
Price From $3125
Departures
Vehicle All Terrain vehicle
Suitability Open Age
Start Alice Springs @ 6.00 am
Finish Darwin @ 06.00 pm
Travel Insurance Required

Melbourne might have the arts scene and Sydney the beaches, but Alice Springs is really where you need to go to understand Australia proper. Approximately 70% of the Australian continent is classed as arid or semi-arid - and little old Alice Springs sits right in the middle of it all. 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 pops up as 36 different domes - you'll get to know the site pretty well on an afternoon hike following lunch. Enjoy a glass of champagne as you watch the Rock's colours change as the sun sets behind it, throwing magnificent colours into the sky. Then, as evening begins, it's time to tuck into our famous 1,000 Star Dinner: an outdoor candlelit feast of delicious food and wines.

Notes: Total driving time is approximately five and a half hours. Total walking time is around an hour.

** Accommodation

Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)

** Included Activities

Uluru sunset drinks

1000 Star Dinner

Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park Fee

** Meals Included

Lunch

Dinner

It's an early rise today but seeing Australia is what you came for, right? After watching a fiery outback sun rear up over the world's biggest rock get a real sense of the rock's scale on an unguided walk around its base. Then learn about the cultural significance of this iconic landform on a cultural interpretative walk with an indigenous guide. In their creatin time stories, the Anangu's ancestral beings the Mala settled here after being chased to the region by an evil dog-like creature called kurpany. The on-site Cultural Centre also houses an extensive collection of indigenous arts and crafts for you to browse. Tonight we spend the night in an exclusive campsite in Watarrka National Park.

Note: Total driving time today is around three and a half hours. Total walking time is approximately two hours.

** Accommodation

Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)

** Included Activities

Uluru Cultural Centre

Mala cultural interpretative walk

Uluru Base Walk

** Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

The centrepiece attraction of Watarrka is undoubtedly Kings Canyon; a humungous gorge enclosed by sheer rock walls hundreds of metres high. Offering a welcome escape from the dry desert heat, this site's deep gullies and hidden rockpools provide shelter to more than 600 species of native plants and animals. Your guide will point these out on a guided trek that takes in the canyon's most famous sites - the Lost City, Garden of Eden, Amphitheatre and North and South Walls. Then it's lunch, rest, Then it's lunch, rest, and off we head toward Glen Helen where we camp this evening.

Note: Total driving time takes around five hours. Total walking time is approximately three hours.

** Accommodation

Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)

Included Activities

Kings Canyon Rim Walk

** Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

This morning, watch the Australian wilds waking up on a morning drive out to the West MacDonnell Ranges. Reaching this national park, we'll follow the Waterhole trail through Ormiston Pound to Ormiston Gorge - a tranquil little rock pool surrounded by ochre-coloured rock walls and white-trunked eucalypts. Black-footed rock wallabies often pop down here for a drink, so keep those peepers peeled. Next up is Ellery Creek, where there's the chance to cool off with a dip. Following lunch, it's on to Simpsons Gap. Known as Rungutjirpa to the Arrernte people, this deep gorge, often partly filled with water, is associated with goanna, eagle and rock wallaby dreamings. See the colours of the ranges change as the sun starts its descent, perhaps from atop a camel during an optional sunset ride. This evening check into your Alice Springs Motel.

The total driving time will be about three hours, and you will walk up to 10km.

** Optional Activities

Sunset Camel Ride (Child) - AUD40

Sunset Camel Ride (Adult) - AUD70

** Included Activities

Western MacDonnell Ranges

** Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Today, skip the 1,500km of driving which is about 24 hours by road, and fly from Alice Springs to Darwin with Qantas Airways. Qantas was Australia's first commercial airline, and stands for "Queensland and Northern Territory Ariel Services" and is now one of the worlds best International airlines.

We'll arrange your air tickets and issue them a couple of weeks prior to your departure. On arrival in Darwin, someone will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Tonight, you'll be staying at the Value Inn. (no meals included)

** Accommodation

Hotel (1 night)

** Meals Included

There are no meals included on this day.

, via Litchfield National Park

This morning, we'll pick you up from out the front of the Melaleuca at 6:50am. Flush with waterfalls, swimming holes and some pretty gigantic termite mounds, Litchfield National Park encapsulates all that's wonderful about the Top End. We'll start off here checking out Florence Falls and the Buley Rockholes, then break for a picnic before travelling on to Wangi Falls for a final swim and leisurely stroll through monsoon forest. Leaving Litchfield, it's on and into Mary River National Park. The species of saltwater crocodile found in Australia are the biggest in the world, and the Mary River wetlands are absolutely full of them. See how many you can spot on an afternoon river cruise. All tents are twin-share and come with a proper bed.

Note: Total driving time today is around five-and-a-half hours. There are also a few short, easy walks.

** Accommodation

Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)

** Included Activities

Litchfield National Park

Mary River cruise

Kakadu National Park Fee

** Meals Included

Lunch

Dinner

: Ubirr & Barramundi Gorge

In giving Kakadu National Park World Heritage-listing, UNESCO described it as a 'living cultural landscape with exceptional natural and cultural values'. Indigenous people have lived here for more than 50,000 years, to which the ancient rock paintings of Ubirr can attest. Your guide will explain the significance of these artworks during an interpretative cultural walk that finishes on a rocky escarpment overlooking the Nardab floodplain. In the afternoon we head to either Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) or Gunlom Falls (seasonal choice). Swimming spots don't get a whole lot more inviting than either of these spectacular sites.

Note: Total driving time today is around five hours. Total walking time is up to three and- a-half hours, depending on the trails taken.

** Accommodation

Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)

** Included Activities

Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)

Ubirr Rock

** Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Given that Kakadu covers approximately the same amount of land as Slovenia, the sky's a pretty good place to see it all from. This morning you'll have the option of taking a scenic flight over the billabongs, bushlands and floodplains that make up this ruggedly beautiful region. After a stop in at the Bowali visitors centre we head for the historic gold-mining town of Pine Creek which offers a very different side to Australian history. Back on the road again, there's time for a dip in Edith Falls before pulling into our private campsite near Nitmuluk National Park.

Note: Total driving time today is around five-and-a-half hours. Total walking time is up to an hour-and-a-half.

** Accommodation

Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)

** Optional Activities

Flight (Fixed Wing Aircraft) over - Kakadu - from - AUD150

** Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Back in the day (ok, it was 23 million years ago), the Katherine River flowed all the way from Arnhem Land to the Timor Sea. These days, the waters have subsided significantly: the Katherine River now flows along hemmed in on both sides by cliffs 70 metres high. It's the highlight attraction of Nitmiluk National Park though, and you'll have the opportunity to cruise through it by canoe or boat. Following lunch, we visit a private property next to an indigenous art gallery for some coaching in the ancient arts of boomerang throwing, fire making and traditional painting. Then it's back to Darwin where the adventure winds up.

Note: Total driving time today is around four-and-a-half hours. Total walking time is up to three-and-a-half hours, depending on the group's choice of optional activities.

** Optional Activities

Katherine Gorge Scenic Cruise - AUD87

Katherine Gorge Canoe from - AUD45

** Included Activities

Top Didj Indigenous Experience

** Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Included

  • Experienced guides
  • Meals as indicated
  • Accommodation  - Motel (2 nights), Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (6 nights)
  • Meals - 6 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Transport - All Terrain vehicle

Accommodation

Motel (2 nights), Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (6 nights)

ACCOMMODATION 

This trip is Original level. Original accommodation consists of permanent twin share tents with furnishings, and twin share motel rooms. Camping consists of twin share permanent tents equipped with proper beds, linen, pillows and towels. Passengers will be paired with a traveller of the same gender, a single supplement is available at Original level, EXCLUDING the Top End due to capacity restrictions at our campsites. Please ensure you have selected your desired camping style correctly.

 

AD- POONC - Original Trip start Alice Springs

AD-POONCY- Original Trip start Yulara

 

Night 1: Yulara - Tents with furnishings

Night 2: Kings Canyon - Tents with furnishings

Night 3: Glen Helen - Tents with furnishings

Night 4: Alice Springs - Alice Motor Inn

Night 5: Darwin - Value Inn Motel

Night 6: Mary River - Tents with furnishings

Night 7: Jabiru - Tents with furnishings

Night 8: Katherine - Tents with furnishings

 

FINISH TIMES

Our trips generally finish early evening. We recommend booking one night post accommodation in your end city and planning onward travel for the following day. We cannot accept responsibility for missed onward travel if we are delayed for some reason on the last day of travel.

 

PARTICIPATORY CAMPING

 

Although evening meals are catered whilst camping, to participate in this trip you must be prepared to assist with preparing meals, cleaning dishes, and collecting firewood in all conditions.

 

What to bring

 

  • Sturdy walking shoes
  • swimming gear
  • hat and sunscreen
  • toiletries
  • towel
  • warm clothing in winter
  • water bottle
  • torch
  • insect repellent
  • camera
  • pillow

Dietary Requirements

Passengers with special meal requirements or food allergies MUST ensure they or their travel agent inform Operation of this at the time of booking. Food for the trip is purchased prior to commencement and special requirements cannot be catered for after departing. If you have not notified us prior to departure, you may be asked to pay for any additional food yourself. Due to the nature of our trips food is basic but plentiful. We provide the below substitutes, please bring your own staples if you require specific foods not listed below:

  • No Pork (Alternative to Ham provided)
  • No Dairy (soy milk provided)
  • Vegetarian (additional veg and vegie burgers provided)
  • Vegan (supply of additional fruit and veg provided)
  • Gluten Free (cereal, bread, wraps, pasta, snack bars, sweet and savoury biscuits provided)
  • *Religious dietary requirements and specifically prepared/sourced produce is not able to be catered for.

Notes

  • Max Passengers: 24 
  • Tour commences in Alice Springs on day 1 at 6am and finishes in Darwin day 9 at approx 6pm
  • reverse tour is also available. 
  • Itineraries may vary and/or attractions be substituted for any cause including seasonal conditions, weather extremes, and traditional owner/national park requirements. Note that the opening dates of waterfalls (including Jim Jim Falls) and attractions vary each year and can change on a daily basis in the wet and shoulder seasons. Visit this website to see live updates on which areas of the park will be open: http://kakaduroadreport.wordpress.com/ or contact our Reservations team. Due to National Park rules and road laws, we cannot guarantee the opening of Jim Jim Falls and other attractions at any time. Alternative activities will be substituted at the tour guides' discretion, dependent on local conditions. Day 2 and 3 of this itinerary are subject to change order without notice. See terms and conditions of travel for full details.
  • Travel Insurance is compulsory for all travellers on all tours and details must be presented to your tour guide before departure.
  • A STRICT luggage limit of 10kg in a soft bag applies. Excess should remain in storage at your Darwin accommodation.
  • It is likely that you will experience temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius. Be prepared to endure extra physical stress due to the heat at these times, especially while on walks. These extreme temperatures can also place stress on the air-conditioning units within our vehicles which can make travelling uncomfortable. Your tour guide will assist with regular breaks and information to assist keeping hydrated. Please come prepared for all extremes.
  • The default pick up point is where we will meet you for your tour, unless you or your travel agent requests an alternative location (contact our Reservations team for more information). It is your responsibility to contact us with your preferred pick up point well ahead of departure. We do not take responsibility for missed tours if we have not been advised of an alternative in advance and you are not at the default location on time.