Between Darwin and Adelaide there’s a lot to see, so be prepared to pack a whole lot into this 13-day itinerary. Heading south from the Northern Territory, you’ll be making stops at two of Australia’s great National Parks – Kakadu and Litchfield – checking out wildlife, waterfalls, and more. Experience just how vast the Outback is while driving towards Alice Springs, then make your way to the Red Centre and witness the magic of Uluru. From there head over to Coober Pedy, where you’ll see what a small town does to beat the extreme heat (hint: look down), as well as a few historical sites before you reach Adelaide.
Recharge: Mataranka Hot Springs Visit
Hands-on: Wine Tasting, Clare Valley. Wetland nature cruise in crocodile territory. Aboriginal art and craft centre visit. Guided exploration of Kakadu and Litchfield NPs. Underground mine tour. Champagne sunset viewing of Uluru. Mala Walk around Uluru and visit to the cultural centre. Hike at Kings Canyon (seasonal). All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Explore Kakadu National Park, spot crocs on a river cruise, clink glasses at an Outback pub, awe at majestic Uluru, sleep underground in Coober Pedy.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
1. This tour is a combination of several G Adventures tours, and your CEO, fellow passengers or vehicle may change between the individual tour sections.
2. Please be aware that wifi and internet access is not as readily available in Australia as in other parts of the world. There are often additional charges to connect to the internet, and speeds may be slower than what you are used to.
3. Over public holidays in Australia and New Zealand (such as Christmas, New Years Day, Easter, and Anzac Day) there may be some limitations of services and disruptions to schedules. In general our tours still operate effectively over public holidays, but there may be closures of optional activities and restaurants, and slight itinerary adjustments in order to provide all tour inclusions.
Group Leader Description
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders, otherwise known as a Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The CEO will be the group manager, leader and driver – this person is experienced in the routes travelled and will organize and lead the meal preparations and has experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.
As the group coordinator and manager, the aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. They will also offer suggestions for things to do and to see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.
We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 20, avg 16
9 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip.
Please note that most included breakfasts will consist of cereal, milk, bread and spreads, juice, tea and instant coffee. Having a simple breakfast together most days allows us the flexibility to get on the road early and get from point A to B all that much faster.
Private vehicle, boat, walking.
About our Transportation
Our vans are mini-coaches. Occasionally with smaller group sizes we will use smaller, equally comfortable 13-seater vehicles. All mini-coaches tow a trailer for luggage and camping equipment (when needed). All groups have one CEO/Driver.
The vehicles are factory built with comfortable seats and air-conditioning. It is mandatory to wear a seatbelt while riding in our vehicles.
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hostels (6 nts), swag camping (6 nts), underground hostel (1 nt). All nights multi-share.
Accommodation will be varied throughout your adventure. When camping on this tour, you will be provided with an Aussie ’swag’—a canvas bedroll with built-in padding and perfect for a night under the stars. Towels and soap are not always provided at overnight stops, so it’s best to bring your own for bathing. Bathroom and showering facilities are shared and are very rarely en-suite.
Multi-share accommodation, on a single-sex basis (typically 4-6 people per room), is very common in Australia and is the way you will be spending most of your nights. We have specifically chosen unique accommodations to give local flavour to your trip.
COUPLES: Please note that due to the types of accommodation used in Australia, couples will likely be split into separate rooms where we use multi-share hostels. Pending availability, couples may be able to pay extra while on tour to have their own room in some destinations.
PRE/POST ACCOMMODATION: If booking additional nights before or after your tour, accommodation will be multi-share on a mixed gender basis.
By Taxi: Approximately $30
By Darwin Airport Shuttle: $16 per person. By far the best option; trains leave the airport every 15-20 minutes.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time.
Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our local office in Melbourne. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so we may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office (Melbourne)
During office hours, 9am-5pm Local Time
From outside Australia: +61 3 9413 5820
From within Australia: 03 9413 5820
After office hours emergency number
From outside Australia: +61 432 705 621
From within Australia: 0432 705 621
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local operations manager, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible.
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. Heavy luggage is not recommended for the health of the CEO, who will take a lead in loading the storage trailer. Due to space in the trailer, we will not be able to accommodate more than one piece of main luggage per person. A good size day-pack (20-35L) is also essential to carry your personal gear for the day, as access to luggage between destinations will be limited. This daypack will be used to carry your personal gear for the day, your lunch and a water bottle.
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
Sleep Sheet and Pillow:
• Sleeping bag liner/sleep sheet
• Travel pillow
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
A valid passport and visa is required. For some nationalities, the visa can be issued by your Travel Agency or the Australian Embassy via Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).
To apply for an ETA online, travellers must hold a passport from one of the following countries:
- Brunei – Darussalam
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
- United States
More information about the ETA and how to apply can be found here:
If you do not hold a passport from any of the above countries, you cannot apply for an ETA online. You may be eligible to apply for an ETA through a travel agent, airline or an Australian visa office. Alternatively, you may be eligible to apply for other types of electronic visitor visas. See: www.immi.gov.au
It is not customary in New Zealand and Australia to tip service providers, but if you do experience outstanding service it is good to do so. Such service would only usually be in places like quality restaurants and it would be very rare that you would tip more than 10%. Unless specifically asked to do so at the time (by your CEO) – do not tip your local guides. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer did an outstanding job, you may consider a small tip – but it certainly isn’t expected.
Please see the full itinerary for information on optional activities, descriptions and estimated pricing.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
Trip Specific Safety
Between November and March, there is extreme heat with temperatures averaging between 43-46°C in the middle of Australia, especially around Uluru and Kings Canyon. This can lead to heat exhaustion and potentially become very dangerous. Be sure to drink plenty of water and replenish electrolytes by drinking sports drinks, coconut water or water mixed with electrolyte powder packets. Our CEOs have been trained in first aid and are well-versed in the risks associated with this heat.
As a result of this heat some included walks may be closed in the interests of travellers health. Certain walks around central Australia including Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon are closed when weather is forecast to exceed 36°C. During these hot months, we will endeavour to offer all walks early in the day to avoid the heat. Our CEOs will monitor the weather conditions to gauge the safety of any included walks and may need to call off a given day’s walk due to extreme heat.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our leaders work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at www.gadventures.com/medical-form.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
Minimum age of 18 years for this trip. Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout.
PRODUCT_LINE: OADZ, ID: 24970
Day 1: Darwin
Arrive at any time.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2: Darwin/Litchfield National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)
Set off early from Darwin and head to Litchfield National Park. Visit the Florence Falls, the Buley Rockhole and see the spectacular giant termite mounds. Later, go on a wetland nature cruise to try and spot crocs. Stretch out in a swag (padded canvas bedroll) and sleep under the stars.
The itinerary for this day varies depending on seasonal/weekly weather. We will visit slightly different attractions depending on the weather conditions.
Litchfield National Park Visit
Crocodile-Spotting Boat Cruise
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 350km)
Day 3: Litchfield National Park/Kakadu National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)
Embark early on a full day of exploring. Travel to our overnight camp near Kakadu NP, where swags or tents await. End the day with a group barbecue.
Ubirr Rock Art
Gunlom Falls Visit
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 350km)
Day 4: Kakadu National Park/Katherine Gorge (1B, 1D)
Spend the morning exploring Kakadu NP. Finish the day with a drive to beautiful Katherine Gorge, stopping at Edith Falls on the way.
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 300km)
Day 5: Katherine/Daly Waters (1B, 1L)
Enjoy a free morning. Opt to walk the stunning Katherine Gorge or get adventurous with a flat-bottomed boat or helicopter flight over the gorge. Stop off at nearby hot springs, then travel to the small town of Daly Waters. Hit up the local watering hole for a true Outback experience.
We end the day in Daly Waters, a small Outback town. It may seem quiet at first glance, but end the day at the famous local pub for a true Outback experience.
Mataranka Hot Springs Visit
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 300km)
Day 6: Daly Waters/Alice Springs (1B, 1L)
Take in the vastness of the Northern Territory and travel south to Alice Springs via the Devils Marbles – giant red granite boulders that are a sacred site to Aboriginals.
Private Vehicle (12.00 hour(s), 920km)
Day 7: Alice Springs
Enjoy a free day to relax and explore Alice Springs.
Day 8: Alice Springs/Uluru
Depart early for the Red Centre. Travel to Kings Canyon and embark on an optional walk, weather permitting, through the gorges and valleys of Watarrka National Park.
Continue on to the Yulara campground for the night.
From late October – early March, if the temperature is forecasted to be 35°C or above we will be following the summer itinerary and visiting the West MacDonnell Ranges instead of Kings Canyon.
Kings Canyon Hike
Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s))
Day 9: Uluru (1B, 1D)
Visit the Aboriginal Cultural Centre to get a better understanding of the area before embarking on the Mala Walk around part of the base of Uluru (Ayers Rock). Learn the significance behind this iconic destination for the local people.
Experience the colourful sunset at Uluru while enjoying a glass of bubbly. Marvel at the night sky while bunking down in a swag (canvas bedroll) for the night.
Uluru Mala Walk
Aboriginal Cultural Centre Visit
Uluru at Sunset
Day 10: Uluru/Coober Pedy (1B)
Travel across the Outback to the unique opal mining town of Coober Pedy, where people live underground to avoid the heat. A guided mine tour gives insight to the mining process and then importance of opal to the area.
This is one of a few long travel days on this itinerary. The vast expanses of the Outback make long drives necessary to travel between towns – so strap in and enjoy the desert scenery, get to know a fellow traveller, and chill out on this epic Outback roadtrip!
Guided Mine Tour
Private Vehicle (9.00-9.50 hours, 780km)
Day 11: Coober Pedy/Flinders Ranges (1B, 1D)
Prepare for an early morning start for the travel day to Flinders Ranges.
Private Vehicle (10.00-11.00 hours, 590km)
Day 12: Flinders Ranges/Adelaide (1B)
Travel through the Clare Valley wine area, making a stop for a wine tasting and demonstration to learn about the development of the vineyards in the area. Arrive in Adelaide, known as the "city of churches’.
Private Vehicle (7.50-9.00 hours, 380km)
Day 13: Adelaide
Depart at any time.
Want one final adventure before heading home? Spend an extra day in Adelaide and add the ‘Dolphin Swim and Cruise’ extra to your tour. Head out in search of wild dolphins, before hopping into the water and going for a swim as they play around you. Available mid-Sept to June.
PLEASE NOTE: If booking this extra, a post-night in Adelaide is highly recommended as this activity will be on the final day of your tour.