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Darwin to Melbourne Overland

Northern Territory, Australia

Darwin to Melbourne Overland

Hiking
·
Start: Darwin
·
End: Melbourne

Travel through Australia's amazing Top End, Red Centre, Oodnadatta Track and famou Great Ocean Road

Activity
Hiking
LocationNorthern Territory, Australia
Duration17 days
Start / EndDarwin / Melbourne
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel

Northern Territory, Australia

Darwin to Melbourne Overland

Hiking·
17 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: Darwin
·
End: Melbourne

Description

Embark on a Northern Territory adventure, from Darwin to Melbourne, taking in the region's biggest and best-known drawcards along the way. Get a taste of the tropics in Kakadu National Park, visit Arnhem Land, Litchfield and Katherine. Witness Uluru during a stunning sunrise, wander through the majestic canyons of Kata Tjuta and admire the views from Kings Canyon. Drive the famous Oodnadatta Tr...

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Itinerary

Day 1Darwin - Arnhem Land
Welcome to tropical Darwin, where your adventure begins. As this trip spends very little time in the Northern Territory's capital, consider arriving a few days early to explore the city. We leave Darwin bright and early and head to the World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park. Firstly, we make our way to see the stunning rock art at Ubirr before climbing to the top of a lookout to see the sprawling Nardab Floodplain. Next stop, head to the border of Kakadu and Arnhem Land to experience a Guluyumbi cruise along the East Alligator River. Travelling with a Bininj guide, understand more about the cultural importance of the East Alligator River to the region’s traditional custodians. Once the cruise wraps up, jump in a vehicle and cross straight into Arnhem Land for an unforgettable afternoon of exploration at an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art complex known as Mawurndaddja. This complex has a spectacular series of galleries with rock art spanning from the present time to many thousands of years of age. Your guide will explain the importance of this art, the methods used to perform this expressionism and the anthropological system used to date the art as you are guided through the site. Spend the afternoon exploring this historic ancient site before heading back to Kakadu and settling into this evening’s campsite. Note: Total driving time is about six hours (approximately 350kms) Total walking time is approximately one and a half hours (including stops for informative talks)
Day 2Kakadu National Park
After fuelling up with an early breakfast, it's on to Jim Jim Falls, Kakadu's most iconic natural attraction. It’s a challenging walk through monsoon forest and over boulders. Recharge with a cooling dip in the clear waters beneath the falls upon arrival, or simply soak up the spectacular scenery while relaxing on the beach. After lunch head to Anbangbang and discover ancient rock art. Originally Warramal clan land, who have now passed away, Anbangbang is now looked after by neighbouring Mirarr and Djok clans. Consider taking a scenic flight over Kakadu in the afternoon, or visit Bowli Cultural Centre. Total driving time: about four hours (approximately 120 km) Total walking time: about two and a half hours
Day 3Kakadu National Park to Nitmiluk National Park
After breakfast, head to either Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) or Gunlom Falls and cool off with a dip in the plunge pools. Visit the historic gold-mining centre of Pine Creek and head further south after lunch. Journey for around three hours in a private vehicle to your campsite on the doorstep of Nitmiluk National Park. Once comfortable, have dinner with the group before relaxing in your tent for the night. Note: Total driving time is about five and a half hours (approximately 340kms) Total walking time is approximately one and a half hours
Day 4Nitmiluk National Park
Spend the morning at the magnificent Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park. Perhaps take a cruise along the gorge or rent a kayak and paddle downstream. These options are seasonal and at your own expense. In the afternoon, head off to Edith Falls where you can cool down with a refreshing swim in the huge rock pools. Continue on to the edge of Litchfield National Park. Settle down for the night in a snug camp and enjoy dinner with your group. Note: Total driving time is about four and a half hours (approximately 350kms) Total walking time is approximately three and a half hours
Day 5Litchfield National Park / Darwin
Once you’ve had breakfast, head into Litchfield National Park. Filled with waterholes, creeks and waterfalls, it’s the perfect place to soak up the tranquillity of the tropics. Visit the gateway of Florence Falls, the popular Wangi Falls and the refreshing waters of the Buley Rockholes. Enjoy a picnic lunch, stroll through steamy rainforests and cool off with a dip in one of Litchfield's swimming holes. In the afternoon, take the two-hour drive back to Darwin. Note: Total driving time is about three and a half hours (approximately 250kms) Total walking time is approximately one hour
Day 6Darwin
Today, skip the 1,500km of driving which is about 24 hours by road, and fly from Darwin to Alice Springs with Qantas (QF). Qantas is Australia's first commercial airline and is now recognised as one of the world’s best International airlines. We'll arrange your e-tickets and issue them a couple of weeks prior to your departure. On arrival in Alice springs please look for your transfer vehicle (operated by Alice Wanderer - green and yellow bus) to transfer you to your hostel. The rest of the day is free to explore Alice Springs.
Day 7Alice Springs/Kata Tjuta/Uluru
Its an early start today out of Alice Springs to continue your adventure. From here it’s off to Uluru (Ayers Rock) for lunch, before exploring the 36 rocky landforms of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). In the evening, watch the sun set over Uluru and enjoy some tasty snacks. The perfect end to a remarkable day is awaiting you back at camp, as you enjoy a delicious spread of food with your group. If the weather permits, sit outside under the stars. Note: Total driving time today is around four and a half hours. Total walking time is approximately one hour.
Day 8Uluru sunrise
An early start this morning is rewarded with an Uluru sunrise. While the morning is fresh enjoy a walk around the base of Uluru, gaining insights into the land magnificent views of Uluru. After your stroll, we walk to the cave paintings near Mutitjulu Waterhole at the base of Uluru. You will be in the hands of an Anangu guide who will share the stories of this unique landscape and explain the Art, the Culture and connection to Land. The on-site Cultural Centre also houses an extensive collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and crafts for you to browse.Once you’ve had lunch, perhaps purchase some art and craft of the First Peoples of Australia at the Uluru Cultural Centre. Travel onto the exclusive campsite within Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon), where the group will eat and sleep for the night. Note: Total driving time today is around three and a half hours. Total walking time is approximately two hours.
Day 9Kings Canyon rim walk
Put your hiking shoes on after breakfast and head out to explore the formations and towering rock faces of Kings Canyon. The sheer size of the canyon is breathtaking. Trek for 6 kilometres along the Rim Walk, which takes you through a natural amphitheatre, past the striped sandstone domes of the ‘lost city’ and into the green oasis of the Garden of Eden. Stop for lunch before making your way to a campsite on the homestead of Erldunda, where you’ll spend the night at the Desert Oaks campsite at Erldunda, where you can meet one of Australia most unique wildlife species, the Emu at the Erldunda emu farm. Note: Total driving time today is around three hours. Total walking time is approximately two and half hours hour.
Day 10Coober Pedy
Depart early this morning and make your way to Coober Pedy, crossing the Northern Territory/South Australian border on the way (approximately five hours in total). Take a break to stretch your legs and enjoy lunch in the outback town of Marla. Coober Pedy is known as ‘The Opal Capital of the World’ and was one of the locations used to film the third Mad Max movie. Due to extremely hot temperatures in the area most of the town is constructed underground, with residents living in cave-like houses carved into the hillsides. Upon arrival, take a guided tour of the town, underground opal mine and museum. End the day hanging out with some rescued joeys at Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage. Tonight stay in a multi-share underground bunkhouse in Coober Pedy. Note: Total driving time today is around four and a half hours. Total walking time is approximately half an hour.
Day 11William Creek
Today after breakfast we will travel into areas seldom seen by most tourists as we leave the sealed roads of the Stuart Highway behind us and travel on unsealed roads to one of the remotest towns in the world, William Creek. On the way we will travel through the largest Cattle Station in the world, Anna Creek. As we drive gaze out at the endless horizons as we pass by the lake with the longest name in the world, Lake Caddibarrawirracanna. Arriving into town we will set up camp and have dinner. After dinner lay down in your swag and fall asleep as you count the shooting stars. Note: Total driving time today is around two hours. Total walking time is approximately half an hour.
Day 12Quorn
Today will be a long day of driving as we travel the famous Oodnadatta track to Quorn. Along the way we will visit Australia’s Largest lake, Lake Eyre. Visit the outback towns of Marree, Lyndhurst and Hawker. Stay tonight in private accommodation at the Mill Lodge tonight, where you’ll also have dinner. Note: Total driving time today is around six hours. Total walking time is approximately half an hour.
Day 13Adelaide
In the morning, eat a big breakfast and hike up one of the many peaks in the Flinders Ranges. Make your way back to Adelaide through the rolling hills and vineyards of the Clare Valley, arriving in the early evening. Note: Total driving time today is around three and a half hours. Total walking time is approximately two hours.
Day 14Adelaide
Today is a free day to explore this vibrant city. Maybe head to Adelaide's central market to taste some delicious local faire, explore some of the city's fine pubs or explore the art work of the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Day 15Adelaide
Another full free day in Adelaide. Jump on a tram to Glenelg Beach or head to Magill Estate to try some iconic Australian wine at one of the world's only urban single vineyards.  
Day 16Adelaide to The Grampians
Leaving Adelaide in the morning, drive across the state border into Victoria and enter the Grampians. Go for a walk to view the Jaws of Death, hike down to McKenzie Falls and take in the incredible views from Reeds Lookout. Gain an insight into the customs of the land's traditional owners during a stop-in at the Brambuck Cultural Centre, then head into the heart of the Grampians, stopping en route for lunch. The last stop of the day will be a spot in the Grampians National Park where kangaroos, wallabies and koalas are often spotted. Tonight's accommodation is at either Brambuk Backpackers or the Grampians YHA. Note: Total driving time today is about seven and a half hours (approximately 550kms) Total walking time will be about two and a half hours (approximately 3.5kms)
Day 17The Grampians to Melbourne
After an early morning start, begin the journey along Australia's glorious Great Ocean Road. Explore Port Campbell National Park, checking out London Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge and the iconic Twelve Apostles rock formation, then sit back and soak up the mesmerising coastal views en route. Stop at Kennett River for the chance to spot koalas before passing through the charming beach towns of Apollo Bay and Lorne. Make the most of a great photo opportunity at some famed surf locations before we stop for a beach walk and then hit the highway back to Melbourne. Note: Total driving time today is about seven and a half hours (approximately 550kms) Total walking time will be about two hours (approximately 2kms)

More info

Trip title

Darwin to Melbourne Overland

Trip code

POOAC

Validity

Validity: 01 Apr 2018 to 31 Mar 2020

Introduction

Embark on a Northern Territory adventure, from Darwin to Melbourne, taking in the region's biggest and best-known drawcards along the way. Get a taste of the tropics in Kakadu National Park, visit Arnhem Land, Litchfield and Katherine. Witness Uluru during a stunning sunrise, wander through the majestic canyons of Kata Tjuta and admire the views from Kings Canyon. Drive the famous Oodnadatta Track... Read more

Style

Basix

Themes

Explorer,Overland

Transport

All Terrain vehicle,Minibus,Private vehicle

Physical Rating

3

Physical preparation

To get the most out of this trip you need to be prepared for walks of between 3-9 km on some days. This may be on rough ground and perhaps getting feet wet in rivers and creeks. From Oct to March in the Red Centre, West Coast, and South of Australia you will experience temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius (and sometimes well into the 40’s) so be prepared to endure extra physical stress due to t... Read more

Joining point

Default pick up - The Cavenagh Motel 06:50am

Joining point instructions

The default pick up point is the starting point of your trip. Its where we will meet you for your trip on day 1. We also pick up from many other hotels in Darwin. If you choose to stay at an alternate property, you will need to contact us with your preferred pick up point at least a week prior to departure. We will try our best to locate you, but cannot take responsibility for a missed tour if ... Read more

Finish point

Central Melbourne Accommodation

Finish point instructions

Melbourne is a big city, so we can drop off at most of the central accommodation locations. Unfortunately, we can't do airport drop-offs, we always advise onward travel to be booked for the following day.

Important information

1. Tour commences in Darwin on day 1 at 6:50am and finishes in Melbourne day 17 at approx 6pm. Onward travel should be booked the following day 2. For the Kings Canyon Rim Walk it is a requirement that you have a minimum of 3 litres of water with you. Please consider bringing your own refillable water bottles. 3. The Top End & Kakadu portion of this trip has a strict luggage limit of 10kg. Excess ... Read more

Group leader

All group trips are accompanied by a group leader. In Australia your group leader is also your driver, taking you from start to finish in a specialised vehicle. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Yor leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, or... Read more

Safety

REMOTE AREA TRAVEL: We carry a satellite phone on all of our remote/overland trips to be used by our leaders in the event of an emergency and for your safety. In addition, all of our leaders are First Aid trained and certified. HYDRATION: Daytime temperatures can be extreme from Oct to March with temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius. Please bring a large refillable water bottle. We strongly recom... Read more

Communications

Wireless (wi-fi) is common across accommodation in Australia. Some properties may charge a fee for usage. Cafe's and pubs across the Northen Territory may have wi-fi for a fee, with those in tourist area's offering it for free. Shopping centre's, airports and other public spaces offer limited free wi-fi access. Even travelling a small distance from populated areas will see internet access sto... Read more

Visas

All travellers, except New Zealand citizens, must obtain a visa or travel authority before travelling to Australia. Failure to do so means you may not be allowed to board your flight to Australia. Most nationalities can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority via the internet before arrival. Please check the following website or with your relevant Australian visa issuing office for your nationalitie... Read more

Why we love it

This amazing trip covers two states and one territory, and includes the highlights of Australia's Top End, Red Centre, Flinders Ranges, Grampians and the Great Ocean Road as well as capital and regional cities Darwin, Alice Springs, Adelaide and Melbourne.

Is this trip right for you

You will spend some nights of the trip sleeping in outback camping grounds. While conditions can be basic and facilities are minimal, this is all part of the adventure. You'll also need to pitch in with preparing meals and cleaning. This is part of the experience of travelling in a group. This trip requires a moderate level of fitness as it involves a lot of walking, allowing you to truly enjoy t... Read more

Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/o... Read more

Food and dietary requirements

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS: On most days, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included. Our tours are activity and participation based. During your travels with us you will have the opportunity to assist with daily activities such as setting up camp, helping prepare meals and clearing dishes. None of this is difficult however many hands make light work and any assistance provided to crew is always mu... Read more

Money matters

The Australian Dollar (A$) is the currency of Australia.  Credit and debit cards are readily accepted just about everywhere in Australia. Occasionally there may be a minimum spend for both in smaller shops. You can usually withdraw money from shops where EFTPOS is available. Automatic teller machines (ATMs) are common across Australia. ATM's may be limited in remote areas and your leader will adv... Read more

What to take

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulde... Read more

Climate and seasonal

WET SEASON & WEATHER: Given the unpredictable nature of weather and travel in the tropics, we are sometimes forced to make late itinerary changes due to unexpected heavy rain and/or storms and road closures. In the event of this occurring, itinerary changes may need to be implemented after commencement of you trip. In this event, your Tour Leader/Driver has full authority to change the itinerary a... Read more

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol... Read more

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential nega... Read more

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsible... Read more

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more

Accommodation notes

ACCOMMODATION POOAC Basix accommodation consists of simple permanent twin share tents with single sleeping platforms. Each sleeping platform has a rubber sleeping mat, we also have swags (Aussie bed rolls) available at our campsites if you would like to experience sleeping in a swag. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag or pre-purchase one from us. Please also provide your own pillow if y... Read more

Transport notes

DRIVING DISTANCES IN AUSTRALIA Australia is a BIG country! In fact, the whole of Europe fits into Australia with plenty of room to spare. Australia has a total land area of 7,706,168 sq km, and the coastline spans a massive 15,049km. Here in Australia we're used to driving long distances on holiday, but you may not be. Take for example, our 10 day Perth to Broome trip will see you travelling ab... Read more

Travel insurance

Australians are not required to be covered for hospital care due to being covered by Medicare. However we strongly recommend that Australians have a domestic travel insurance policy which covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. It is also strongly advisable that Australians have current ambulance cover in the case of emergency evacuation or in... Read more

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit... Read more

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weat... Read more

Accommodation

Dormitory (2 nights),Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night),Camping (with shared facilities) (2 nights),Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (3 nights),Permanent,furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (3 nights),Underground Multishare (1 night) Hostel multishare (4 nights)
17days
€2,570per person
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Apr 9
Darwin
Apr 25
Melbourne
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Apr 16
Darwin
May 2
Melbourne
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May 7
Darwin
May 23
Melbourne
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May 14
Darwin
May 30
Melbourne
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