Top End: Topdeck Outback Adventure 21 days

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530d5c45d4802_158_kakadu-litchfield.jpg

Top End: Topdeck Outback Adventure 21 days

3,999.00

The Real Austraia, Melbourne to Darwin will take you on a journey discovering an Australia unchanged for thousands of years

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  • Guided hike of Kings Canyon
  • Visit Aboriginal rock art sites in Kakadu National Park
  • Paint your own souvenir boomerang
  • Visit Arnhemland (dry season only)
  • Kakadu crocodile cruise (dry season only)
  • Visit Litchfield National Park Waterfalls
  • Opal mine & town tour
  • Flinders Ranges guided walk
  • Visit the Great Ocean Road
  • Walks around The Grampians and MacKenzie Falls
  • Visit West MacDonnell Ranges
  • Experience sunrise & sunset at Uluru
  • Make your own blended wine class
  • Walks at Kata Tjuta

More Inclusions

  • 20 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 9 dinners
  • 18 nights in hotels, lodges & hostels, 1 night underground, 1 night in a swag
  • Entrance fees to national parks
  • Modern air-conditioned vehicles with free Wi-Fi
  • Internal flight/s as marked on trip map
  • Awesome Topdeck Crew

Group Size

Average 15, maximum 24

Transport

Modern air-conditioned vehicles

What's included

20 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 9 dinners
18 nights in hotels, lodges & hostels, 1 night underground, 1 night in a swag

Itinerary

Day 1 : Melbourne to Port Campbell (Great Ocean Road)

Welcome to your Topdeck trip – meet your travel buddies and hit the road. If you've ever seen a car commercial, chances are you've seen the Great Ocean Road. With mere metres between road and water, hairpin bends and epic views out every window, today you'll join the list of five million people to do this road-of-passage each year. Before putting rubber on the Great Ocean Road, we'll spot koalas in the wild and lunch in a seaside village. This afternoon is all about the Twelve Apostles, aka the Stonehenge of Australia. Tonight chill out and get to know who you're travelling with.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 2 : Port Campbell to Grampians National Park

From one natural wonder to another, we'll explore the 167,000 hectares of The Grampians – a mecca for hikers and rock climbers. More than just a place to get geology goosebumps, you'll be standing on sacred ground, with 80% of Victoria's Aboriginal rock art on show. Meet the traditional land owners, whose ancestors were scratching and dabbing their Dreamtime stories onto rock long before the Pyramids of Egypt were conceived. Then paint your own story onto a boomerang. Dinner with the crew tonight.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 3 : Grampians to Mt Gambier

Next up: MacKenzie Falls, the largest waterfall in Victoria. It's no Niagara, but flowing water is guaranteed year-round – a rare promise in a country that's 40% desert. Then, the Northern Grampians for one last panorama shot where #natureporn trends with views to Mount Williams, the highest peak in the park and third-highest mountain in Victoria. Tonight, after a walking tour, get a slice of history as you get some shut-eye in the Old Mount Gambier Gaol.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 4 : Mt Gambier to Adelaide

Stroll through the Valley Lake conservation area and learn about the pre-human flora and fauna existence. Snap madly away on the camera as you spot a Skippy. Hot tip: don’t go to hug one. Before kicking on to Adelaide, check out the Blue Lake (depending on what time of the year you visit, the lake changes colour) and the Umpherston Sinkhole. Because no South Australian voyage is complete without wine, we get to concoct our own potion as we stop at Wynn’s Coonawarra vineyard. Chin chin!  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 5 : Adelaide

You've made it to one of the world's coolest cities (according to Lonely Planet). Today's a free day for the adventurous to head out to spot seals, kangaroos and penguins on Australia's answer to the Galapagos: Kangaroo Island. Learn about some of the 46 endemic species. Spend the day slurping noodles in the Adelaide Central Market, or take a tram to the seaside village of Glenelg.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 6 : Adelaide to Flinders Ranges

There are more wineries around here than flies on a sheep. On our way to the Clare Valley, we'll stop at the Barossa Reservoir Whispering Wall – there's a time and a place for confessions. This isn't it. There is a classic Aussie pub at the end of the road today.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 7 : Flinders Ranges

Flinders Ranges National Park has everything. From mountains to gorges and creeks to rivers, you're lucky you get to play in it today. Take a hike to Wilpena Pound – a natural amphitheatre about three times the size of Uluru.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 8 : Flinders Ranges to Coober Pedy

Marvel at the enormous salt lakes and flat, saltbush plains of the Woomera Area where we learn the interesting history of Australia’s military weapons testing, then explore the surface of a salt lake for some excellent photo opportunities. Next up, it’s destination: Coober Pedy. Where locals live in homes carved deep underground to escape the heat. Along with these subterranean houses, this place is know for another little gem. Opals. 75% of the world's opals come from here. We’ll take a mine tour to check it out. Then: time to meet the orphans of the kangaroo world and learn more about how abandoned joeys are nurtured back into the wild. Cute!  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 9 : Coober Pedy to Alice Springs

It's time to cross the gemstone littered and soft grounds of the Moon Plain up the middle of Australia. Then, check out the world's longest Dingo Fence (good thing there's a gate) and truck on past some very remote roadhouses before crossing the border into the Northern Territory. That resort pool is just what the doctor ordered.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 10 : Alice Springs to Uluru, Kata-Tjuta NP

We're hitting the red ground running as we take to the road and head into Yulara (the gateway resort to Uluru) for lunch. 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. Tonight hone your Aussie BBQ skills and cook your own steak (or veggie burger). Welcome to the outback, mate.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 11 : Uluru, Kata Tjuta National Park

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. Optional activities today include a scenic flight over the rock, a skydive, or a camel ride. Later, join an optional meditative dot painting class in the Aboriginal Art Markets and give yourself a free astrology lesson, stargazing at the endless Southern night sky.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 12 : Uluru to Kings Canyon

After a hearty breakfast, we spend a few hours back in the National Park. This time 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 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.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 13 : Kings Canyon to Alice Springs

Get your hiking boots on! This morning we start with the hardest part of the famous Rim Walk in Kings Canyon, aptly named ‘Heart Attack Hill’. But believe us, it’s worth the effort. The Kings Canyon Rim Walk is the real deal and the most famous canyon in Australia. 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 make today even more awesome. After a picnic lunch, we’ll board the bus back to Alice Springs.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 14 : West MacDonnell Ranges Alice Springs

Wake up. Rub eyes. Be wowed with a trip to the West MacDonnell Ranges. They’re pretty special if we do say so ourselves. Our stops include the peaceful Simpsons Gap and the impressive Standley Chasm. We’re back to Alice Springs afterwards to explore the town centre. Get involved in some of the optional activities today. Hit up the Reptile Centre and learn about some of the local animals. You can also check out the Kangaroo Sanctuary (omg) or go exploring through the Desert Garden.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 15 : Alice Springs to Darwin

Today we’ll take to the skies, bound for Darwin where you’ll meet up with your new Northern Territory crew.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 16 : Darwin

A free day in Darwin. What to do? There’s Mindil Beach for chilling on, a fair few food markets to feast at and plenty of shops for a spot of souvenir shopping. Tonight you could hit the lively waterfront.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 17 : Darwin to Kakadu National Park

Kakadu, here we come. Inside the 20,000 square kilometre park, we’ll head to the village of Jabiru and check out the Bowali Visitors Centre. For the next two nights you’ll be calling the UNESCO World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park home. Tonight, get to know your travel mates over dinner. **Wet season itineraries Nov – May: will vary on this day with access to some areas cut by high water levels. Your crew will ensure that you see and participate in as many areas / activities that are open  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 18 : Kakadu

Aboriginal rock art sites are high on the list for today, as our Kakadu National Park exploring continues. This morning we venture to Nourlangie Rock to spot some of the most famous Australian Indigenous art works. Naturally. Stepping into Arnhemland (dry season only) and getting a look into the Aboriginal lifestyles is a real privilege (we’ve been given special permission to enter this part of Arnhemland). Try your hand at spear throwing while you’re there. Then we’ll see some ancient Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr before climbing to the top of a rocky lookout for beautiful views over the Nardab floodplain. Enjoy the sunset before heading back to our lodge. Wet season itineraries Nov – May: will vary on this day with access to some areas cut by high water levels. Your crew will ensure that you see and participate in as many areas / activities that are open and available within Kakadu, and include an optional sightseeing boat cruise on Yellow Wate  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 19 : Kakadu National Park To Katherine

Check out the southern parts of Kakadu this morning. We’ll grab some picnic bits and head to one of the NT’s best al fresco lunch spots. Explore the magical Edith Falls and have a dip in one of the world’s most idyllic natural pools. On today’s line up we’ve got a cruise through the stunning Katherine Gorge on the cards. Get those cameras ready, it’s gonna be pretty awesome. Cooled off and refreshed we are on the road again and headed for Katherine. As the day draws to a close, we round it out with an evening game of lawn bowls and a BBQ with some locals at the nearby Country Club.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 20 : Katherine to Litchfield National Park

Katherine Gorge is well known as a superb spot for a cruise (see for yourself with an optional boat trip). With its dramatic cliffs plunging down to the pandanus-lined Katherine River, the gorge is all yours to explore. We get back on the famous Stuart Highway heading for Batchelor, the gateway to the stunning Litchfield National Park.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 21 : Litchfield to Darwin

National Park, pools and a picnic are the order of the day. In Litchfield NP you’ll see waterfalls, pockets of rainforest and beautiful pools. Check out giant termite mounds, Wangi Falls and slip into the natural pool of Florence Falls. Then venture over to the Buley Rock Holes for another soaking. After lunch outdoors, we’ll take on the short drive and last leg of our discovery back into the heart of Darwin. 

Departs: Darwin or Melbourne