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18 Days Melbourne to Darwin Explorer

Travel from Melbourne, along the Great Ocean Road and through the Grampians National Park, before stopping in the south coast city of Adelaide. After a free day in Adelaide head to the heart of Australia, the Red Centre and finish up in the lush Top End.

  • Base St Kilda at 6.30am
  • Victorian Arts Centre at 7.00am
  • Nomads A'Beckett St at 7.20am
  • Apr - Sep: Wed Sun
  • Oct - Mar: Wed Fri Sun


Select Darwin accomodation early evening Day 18

Max Passengers: 24 people

Tour code: MAPBTAN18

  • 6 nights camping
  • 10 nights budget ensuite
  • 1 night at 4 star Desert Cave Hotel
  • Twin/Double: $3120.50
  • Single: $3640.50


Sturdy walking shoes (ankle high), hat & sunscreen, towel & toiletries, warm clothing in winter, water bottle, torch, insect repellent, camera, pillow, sleeping bag (can be hired for $25) and money for some meals.

from $2542.50*+ (Adult) park fees
(*conditions apply)



Day 1 - Melbourne via Great Ocean Rd to Port Campbell
We pass Geelong and check out the surfing town of Torquay then to the renowned surfing location of Bells Beach and Lorne before arriving in the coastal township of Apollo Bay. At Kennett River we spot for koalas and watch and listen to the abundant birdlife. After lunch we hit the cool temperate rainforest of the Otway National Park, where we spend time at the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk (included). Rejoining the Great Ocean Road we will visit the amazing Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. Late afternoon we arrive into the township of Port Campbell, a colourful seaside village sheltered by cliffs and pines. (D)

Day 2 – Port Campbell to Grampians National Park
Before leaving the coast and trailing towards the end of the Great Ocean Road, we explore some of the other geological phenomena along this remarkable stretch of coastline. Discover The Arch, London Bridge and the Bay of Martyrs, just to name a few. Our destination this afternoon is the Grampians National Park, one of Victoria's most popular holiday destinations. We embark on a hike in the National Park to take in the breathtaking rocky views. This area is rich in Aboriginal culture set in a rugged ancient landscape. (BD)

Day 3 - Grampians National Park to Adelaide
This morning we visit the Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre to learn of the local dreamtime stories. Test your local artistic skills as we create our very own personalised souvenirs. Leaving via Halls Gap, we say farewell to the 'Grampians'. Crossing the mighty Murray River, passing through the Adelaide Hills we arrive into Adelaide, South Australia's capital. (BL)

Day 4 – Adelaide
Enjoy a FREE day to relax or explore the city of Adelaide. (B) Overnight dorm accommodation included.

Day 5 – Adelaide to Quorn (Flinders Rangers)
Leaving Adelaide we travel through the Clare Valley as we make our way towards the stunning Flinders Ranges. On our journey we enjoy a lunch break at a local Clare Valley Winery, with some tastings thrown in. We have the opportunity to then gain a bird's eye view from the top of Mt Remarkable as we look out over this beautiful region. We check into our "private" accommodation at the historical "Mill" before enjoying a classic pub dinner & drink with the locals! This great Aussie Atmosphere sets our scene for this evening. (BD)

Day 6 – Flinders Ranges & Wilpena Pound
This morning we enter the National Park where adventure, spirituality and tranquillity co-exist in one majestic destination. We set out on a hike for some spectacular views of the "Flinders Ranges", named one of Australia's outstanding national landscapes. See the natural amphitheatre of Wilpena Pound - a lost world, located inside a giant stone crater. On our return to Quorn we visit the Yourambulla Caves for a glimpse at some local Aboriginal rock paintings and the stories that go with them. This evening enjoy a casual BBQ dinner. (BLD)

Day 7 – Quorn to Coober Pedy
Enjoy a FREE DAY to explore Alice Springs. Overnight accommodation included. (Meals at own expense).

Day 8 – Alice Springs to Kata Tjuta & Uluru
Leaving Quorn we travel through Port Augusta, then head north into the open landscapes and join the Stuart Highway (one of the longest highways in the world). Passing several salt lakes, you can capture a great photo opportunity of the vastness of Central Australia before we arrive in the "Opal Capital of the World", Coober Pedy. A diverse township renowned for its many underground attractions! On arrival we enjoy a local town tour which includes a visit to an underground mine & museum. Our bunkhouse for tonight is – you guessed it – underground. (BLD)

Day 9 – Marla to UluruFrom Marla
We cross the Northern Territory border and arrive at the Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park. Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) will fascinate you, and you will discover some of the secrets of this ancient landform during the Valley of the Winds hike. You'll be mesmerised as the desert sun sets over Uluru, and as the night grows darker, curl up in your swag (Aussie bedroll) under millions of stars. (BLD)

Day 10 – Uluru to Kings Canyon
It's an early start this morning, but you'll be rewarded with a glorious Uluru sunrise. While the morning's fresh (and your legs are too!) enjoy an unguided walk around the base of Uluru. You will then deepen your understanding of the land and the Mala people as you take a cultural interpretive walk with an Aboriginal guide (and interpreter). Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to purchase Aboriginal arts and crafts at the Cultural Centre before we travel to our exclusive campsite within the Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon) where we sleep for the night. (BLD)

Day 11 - Kings Canyon to Alice Springs
Get your hiking shoes on today as we head out to explore the impressive formations of Kings Canyon. You'll be left breathless by the sheer beauty of the canyon as we trek through the Amphitheatre, the Lost City, the lush and ancient Garden of Eden and the North and South Walls. Lunch is a welcome prospect, before we make our way to Alice Springs. (BL)

Day 12 - Alice Springs
Enjoy a FREE DAY to explore Alice Springs. Overnight accommodation included. (Meals at own expense)

Day 13 – Alice Springs to Banka Banka
We pass by the Tropic of Capricorn then stop at the Barrow Creek Pub. Learn about the early struggles of bush telecommunications at Barrow Creek's historic Telegraph Station – it'll make your mobile phone seem like the space age! Precariously balanced on their rocky perch are the Devils Marbles, a site sacred to its traditional owners. Last stop for today is our private campsite at Banka Banka station where we camp for the night. (LD)

Day 14 - Banka Banka to Katherine Gorge
No visit to the Top End would be complete without a visit to the famed Daly Waters pub, a quintessential outback roadhouse and 'watering hole' for travellers from far and wide. The tiny town is also home to Australia's first international airport (but you wouldn't guess it!). Mataranka lies in the heart of the 'never-never', and you'll feel a million miles from anywhere as you soak in the steamy thermal springs. As the day draws to a close, we reach our overnight camp at stunning Katherine Gorge. (BLD)

Day 15 - Katherine Gorge to Darwin
The gorge is all yours this morning, with a half day to spend canoeing or cruising (at own expense & seasonal) the spectacular waters. Want to see more? Jump aboard a helicopter flight (at own expense) which will take you high above the vast gorge system. We'll head to Darwin after a stop at idyllic Edith Falls. Overnight dorm accommodation available (BL)

Day 16 - Darwin to Mary River
A refreshing start to your day checking out the waterfalls of Litchfield National Park. Enjoy lunch before heading to the spectacular Mary River Wetlands, where birds aren't the only wildlife abundant; keep a watch for lurking crocodiles on our private river cruise! A secluded campsite in the Mary River Region is where we'll stay tonight. (LD)

Day 17 - Mary River to Kakadu
Discover ancient Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr, our first stop this morning. Clamber to the top of a rocky lookout for fabulous views over the Nardab floodplain. Next it's on to Maguk (Barramundi Gorge), where a hike is rewarded with a reviving swim in the plunge pools. Tonight we stay at our permanent camp within Kakadu NP. (BLD)

Day 18 – Kakadu to Darwin
Get ready for some 4WD action today on our way to Jim Jim Falls! Once we get there, we'll hike to the base of the falls before continuing on to Twin Falls. Feel the beauty of the stunning gorge and powerful falls from the National Park operated boat and boardwalk experience. Stop in at the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre this afternoon to learn about local Indigenous culture. The impressive scenery will continue to amaze you as we journey back to Darwin in the afternoon. (BL)

Itineraries may vary and/or attractions be substituted for any cause including seasonal conditions, weather extremes, Traditional Owner and national park requirements. See terms and conditions for full details. National Park fees comprise AUD$62.50 including AUD$25 entry into Kakadu NP, AUD$25 entry to Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park and AUD$12.50 Twin Falls boat transfer – (seasonal). National park fees are a non-commissionable item collected by agents on our behalf. Tour is not suitable for children; however special considerations may be made for clients aged 17 years with a travelling companion over the age of 18. *Where Aboriginal guide is unavailable an Adventure Tours guide will lead the interpretive cultural walk. • Upgrade accommodation is budget style and may be located on different premises to dorm accommodation. • Safaris must be reconfirmed 48 hours prior to departure by phone. A STRICT luggage limit of 15KG (10KG in Kakadu) applies.