11 Days Darwin to Alice Springs (Top to Rock)

11 Days Darwin to Alice Springs (Top to Rock)

This is an amazing Australia tour that truly rocks! After a taste of the wild bush and an insight into Aboriginal culture up the 'Top End', we'll head deep into the beautiful yet formidable Outback and what's known as the 'Red Centre' and experience all the mystery and wonder of stunning Ayers Rock.

Tour Highlights

  • Valley of the Winds' walk at Kata Tjuta
  • Guided hike of Kings Canyon
  • Canoe in the Katherine Gorge
  • East Alligator River Cruise in Kakadu
  • Aboriginal guide and entry into Arnhemland
  • Visit Aboriginal rock art sites in Kakadu National Park
  • Swim in the fresh waters of Litchfield National Park

Tour Info

Code TD-AARTDK
Style
  • Road Trip
Duration 11 Days
Price From $
Departures

Selected Days

Vehicle Modern Air-conditioned Vehicle
Suitability 18-39 Years
Start Darwin @ 06.00 am
Finish Alice Springs @ 05.30 pm
Travel Insurance Required

Welcome to the tropics - your trip starts now. Two national parks in one day? Yep, it's a thing. Kick off your trip with a short drive down Stuart Highway into Litchfield National Park. Swimming under a tropical waterfall? This seems like just the day to do it. Next up: World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. Swimming in salt water lakes is nice but check the waters first, or you'll have unwanted crocodile guests.

*Wet season (Nov-May): Spend more time in Litchfield National Park then stay at Batchelor Motel in Litchfield tonight.

Included today:

-Litchfield National Park swimming locations

-National Park entry

Meals: Lunch, dinner.

Did you know:

-The timezones in the Northern Territory and South Australia are the only states in the world to run at half an hour behind. The NT also doesn't take part in daylight savings, much to the dismay of the South Eastern states.

-The eradication of health risks after devastating Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin on Christmas Eve in 1974 was so efficiently carried out by the army that all houses were marked as searched and cleared within a week of the cyclone.

At half the size of Switzerland, there's a lot of Kakadu to see. Get ready to rock early, because we're going deep into the park to check out some Aboriginal Rock Art sites and cruise the East Alligator River to see how many crocs we can snap (on our cameras). We've also got special permission to enter Arnhem Land for a lesson in traditional Aboriginal hunting methods and a cruise down the river. Lunch is your choice today. Climb to the top of Ubirr Rock Crocodile Dundee style and take in the fiery sunset.

*Wet season (Nov-May): Today's stops visited on previous day and today's itinerary going straight to Litchfield National Park. Overnight: Batchelor Motel, Litchfield.

Included today:

-Aboriginal Rock art sites

-Kakadu River Cruise

-Arnhemland (seasonal)

-National Park entry

Meals: Breakfast.

Optionals:

-Kakadu scenic flights

Did you know:

-The Kakadu plum (found throughout the tropical woodlands from northwest Australia to east Arnhem Land) is ranked among the highest known of any natural source for its Vitamin C content, with 3150 mg/100 g compared to 50 mg/100 g.

-Most of Kakadu's waterways are croc infested so don't test the waters.

-Don't harass Australian crocodiles. They might harass you back.

The only thing more terrifying than the plastic clog variety are the crocs that can be found in Kakadu. Luckily, the areas we're heading to today are saltwater crocodile free. If this place looks familiar, you've probably seen Crocodile Dundee one too many times. Still too scared to swim? Take a scenic flight for a bird's eye view over the escarpment that marks the borderline of Arnhem Land. When you're done, take in a game of lawn bowls at the Country Club and enjoy a good ol' fashioned BBQ with the locals.

*Wet season (Nov-May): Waterfalls replaced with other Kakadu site depending on road and weather conditions.

Included today:

-Gunlom Falls (seasonal)

-Bowali Visitor Centre

-National park entry

-Lawn Bowls

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:

-The world's longest fence runs for 5,618 kilometres from Queensland to Western Australia and was built to protect sheep from dingoes.

-If the mercury drops below 20C in Australia, it's officially cold. Don't even think about arguing about this.

-Don't harass Australian crocodiles. They might harass you back.

You've got a front row seat for the amazing wildlife and scenery while canoeing along the Katherine River - the Gorge is yours to explore. But if you'd rather not be up the creek with a paddle, take your trip to the next level by upgrading to a three-gorge cruise and venture even further into the wilderness. We'll spend the afternoon absorbing the majestic Edith Falls - #nofilter necessary.

*Wet season (Nov-May): Canoeing replaced with Katherine Gorge Boat Cruise.

Included today:

-Katherine Gorge Canoeing (Boat Cruise Wet Season)

-Edith Falls

Meals: Breakfast.

Drift off in the steamy thermal springs of Mataranka in the heart of the Never Never. Never never thought you'd find this in the outback, hey? This trip is thirsty work, but you'll soon be able to re-hydrate with an ice-cold beer at one of Australia's best-known watering holes, the Daly Waters Pub. Located 'in the middle of somewhere', this place was the site of Australia's first international airport back when flights to London took eight days. Seriously.

Included today:

-Daly Waters pub

-Mataranka Hot Springs

-Lawn Bowls

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:

-Australia's national airline Qantas is an acronym for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services".

-A pidgin dialect still spoke today by around 30,000 residents in the Northern Territory originated in Sydney in 1880.

To round off the morning, we've got some pretty epic granite boulders for you at the sacred site of Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles). Next: a technology lesson to phone home about. Think your old Nokia was out-dated? Wait till you see the Overland Telegraph line at the Barrow Creek Hotel. Text mum to let her know you're coming home safe in Morse code.

Included today:

-Devils Marbles

Meals: Breakfast.

Did you know:

-Alice Springs is the city on which Nevil Shute based his book "A Town Like Alice", along with the resulting film and miniseries by the same names.

-The sound of Krakatoa erupting in 1883 was heard as far a 4,800km away in Alice Springs - the loudest sound recorded in history with shock waves travelling around the world several times.

-Every September, Alice Springs hosts the Henley-on-Todd dry regatta in mock celebration of the original British settlers and the formal atmosphere of British regattas. It is therefore the only regatta to ever be cancelled because of rain (which happened once in 1993).

Today = free day in the epicentre of Australia. Jump into the joey nursery at Kangaroo Dundee's place (aka the man who should win 'mother' of the century for hand-rearing orphaned joeys) and hold a baby kangaroo while you're there. Travel through time in a historic aircraft at the Royal Flying Doctors or get lost in the mystery of the Australian outback at Desert Park Gardens.

Meals: Breakfast.

Optionals:

-Kangaroo Dundee Sanctuary

-Alice Springs Desert Park

-Reptile Centre

Did you know:

-Alice Springs is the city on which Nevil Shute based his book "A Town Like Alice", along with the resulting film and miniseries by the same names.

-The sound of Krakatoa erupting in 1883 was heard as far a 4,800km away in Alice Springs - the loudest sound recorded in history with shock waves travelling around the world several times.

-Every September, Alice Springs hosts the Henley-on-Todd dry regatta in mock celebration of the original British settlers and the formal atmosphere of British regattas. It is therefore the only regatta to ever be cancelled because of rain (which happened once in 1993).

We're hitting the red ground running as we pull into Yulara. It's off to the breathtaking Uluru in the afternoon for a guided tour, and a glass of bubbles as the glow of sunset morphs through 50 shades of red, providing a rockin' live show. Tonight hone your Aussie BBQ skills and cook your own steak (or vege burger). Welcome to the outback, mate.

Included today:

-Mt Conner

-Uluru Sunset

-National Park entry

Meals: Dinner.

Did you know:

-A man landed his plane on top of Uluru in February 2015, and media dubbed him "The Red Centre Barron". How he managed to do that, we do not know. Don't try at home kids.

-You can be fined $5000 for taking rocks and sand from Uluru - although who would want to,

as legend says people who take rocks from Uluru will be cursed and suffer misfortunes, of which there have been some instances. Days, months and even years later stubborn rock-takers have tried to mail back their loot in an attempt to remove the curse, known as "sorry rocks".

-Uluru is taller than the Eiffel Tower (348m vs. 324m).

-From one side to the other, Uluru has a 50 million year sediment timeline

Start your day with a big bowl of 'oh my god' thanks to a breathtaking sunrise back at Uluru. Follow in the footsteps of the traditional owners of this sacred World Heritage site with a full base walk, where you can escape the crowds and check out hidden waterholes. Keep watch for wedge-tailed eagles, spinifex hopping mice and thorny devils. Or splurge on a Harley ride or scenic flight and see the original Top of the Rock. Later, join a meditative dot painting class in the Aboriginal Art Markets and give yourself a free astrology lesson, stargazing at the endless Southern night sky.

Included today:

-Sunrise over Uluru

-National Park entry

-Uluru base walks

-Anangu Visitor centre

-Guided walk by your crew

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional activities:

-Scenic Flights

Harley Davidson Rides

-Camel Tours

-Sounds of Silence

-Guided Astro Tour

Did you know:

-You can be fined $5000 for taking rocks and sand from Uluru - although who would want to,

as legend says people who take rocks from Uluru will be cursed and suffer misfortunes, of which there have been some instances. Days, months and even years later stubborn rock-takers have tried to mail back their loot in an attempt to remove the curse, known as "sorry rocks".

-Uluru is taller than the Eiffel Tower (348m vs. 324m).

-From one side to the other, Uluru has a 50 million year sediment timeline.

Get ready for some soul searching as we venture into the heart of sacred Kata-Tjuta (The Olgas) and walk amongst the 36 red sandstone giants through the Valley of the Winds. After a Dreamtime archeology lesson, and a drive into Watarrka National Park, live the life of a jolly swagman as we sleep under the stars in custom swags. Cue campfire stories and marshmallows tonight.

Please be aware that in winter months (May-Sept), nighttime temperatures can drop to near 0 degrees, warmer clothing will be required for the night sleeping in the swag.

Included today:

-Valley of the winds walk

-National park entry

Please note that the twin / double / or single upgrade is not applicable to the Overnight Swag Night at Kings Canyon. This has not been included in when upgrade rates were calculated.

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Optionals:

-Quad Bike Ride

-Sunset Camel Tour

Did you know:

-Kings Canyon has been inhabited by the Luritja Aboriginal people for over 20,000 years. And they say Australia is young.

-The Pitjantjatjara name Kata-Tjuta means 'many heads', so named after the

36 domes of The Olgas which closely resemble a human's noodle.

-The mythology surrounding The Olgas is rarely divulged to anyone, especially women, lest they are privy to the "men's business" and become susceptible to violent attacks from spirits. So don't be offended.

If you would walk 500 miles (steps), then you'll make it through the toughest part of the Rim Walk - Heart Attack Hill. The Kings Canyon Rim Walk is the real deal and the most famous canyon in Oz. Think age-old cycads, eroded dome shapes, a visit to The Lost City - and that's not even the best part. The sheltered valley and waterhole of the Garden of Eden makes today bloody bonza (translation: awesome).

Included today:

-Guided hike of Kings Canyon

-Garden of Eden walk

Meals: Breakfast, lunch.

Did you know:

-Alice Springs is the city on which Nevil Shute based his book "A Town Like Alice", along with the resulting film and miniseries by the same names.

-The sound of Krakatoa erupting in 1883 was heard as far a 4,800km away in Alice Springs - the loudest sound recorded in history with shock waves travelling around the world several times.

-Every September, Alice Springs hosts the Henley-on-Todd dry regatta in mock celebration of the original British settlers and the formal atmosphere of British regattas. It is therefore the only regatta to ever be cancelled because of rain (which happened once in 1993).

 Included

  • 10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners 
  • 9 nights in hotels, lodges and cabins
  • 1 night in a swag
  • Entrance fees to national parks
  • Escorted services of a fully trained Topdeck Driver/Guide

Note

  • Group Size - Average 15, maximum 24

  • Transport - Modern air-conditioned vehicles

  • This trip is for active 18-39 year olds.

  • Optional Activities are available 

  • Accommodation - Quad Share

  • Travel Insurance is strongly recommended for all travellers on all trips.

  • A luggage limit of 15kgs applies between Alice Springs, Uluru and Darwin and a STRICT luggage limit of 10kg in Kakadu. 

  • A sleeping bag is required for camping in the Northern Territory. Bring your own or hire one locally for AUD$30.

  • **Wet season itineraries from November to May will vary on this day beginning from Batchelor Motel and spending more time in Litchfield National Park before venturing back into Darwin.

What to Bring 

  • Sturdy Walking Shoes

  • Rainproof Jacket

  • Swimming Costume and Towel

  • Toiletries

  • Hat & Sunscreen

  • Insect repellent

  • Torch  and Travel Pillow

  • Water Bottle

  • Camera