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The Explorers Way through the Australian Outback

  • Uluru (Ayers Rock)
  • “Centre of Australia”
  • Dalhousie Springs
  • Coober Pedy
  • Warraweena Conservation Park

Overview

Join us on a journey across one of the oldest landscapes in the world. Travel along ancient riverbeds winding their way 2000 kilometres inland, many on the same course for over one hundred million years. Immerse yourself in the colours of the true “Australian Outback”. Follow the tracks of the first explorers and pioneers of the wild, unforgiving country. Visit the biggest “monolith” in the word, the famous 500-million-year-old Uluru and experience life on a cattle station bigger than many European countries. Where we don’t go … is not worth going to!

From 28 August 2018 to 09 September 2018 Live the Journey will travel to Australia on a guided self-drive adventure!

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Alice Springs

12:00 Arrive in Alice Springs
Flights should be booked that you arrive between 12:00 and 13:30 in Alice Springs.
You will be met at the airport for transfer to your hotel.
Enjoy a tour of the surrounding area and visit some of the impressive outdoor shops.
Late afternoon the group will be transferred to a local look-out point to enjoy your first sunset over the Australian Outback which will be followed by dinner.
O/N Alice Springs (dinner)

Day 2: Alice Springs to Palm Valley (130 km)

Breakfast and check-out.
Group will be met and transferred to the vehicle depot. You will receive a briefing and familiarise yourself with your vehicle before departure.

Today we explore the beautiful Western McDonnell Ranges on our way to Palm Valley. We drive west from Alice Springs and stop at Hermansburg Mission before turning into the Finke Gorge
to enjoy some 4x4 action. Tall palm trees and ancient cycads are found in this isolated place. Experience some off road driving fun as most of this track is climbing rocks and during certain times of the year there are some challenging water crossings to navigate. Palm Valley is home to Cabbage Palms believed to be relics from thousands of years ago when Central Australia was a rain forest!
Tonight, we camp in Palm Valley and enjoy our first night in our billion-star outback hotel!
O/N Wild camping, using camping gear your vehicle is equipped with (breakfast and dinner)

Day 3: Palm Valley to Kings Canyon (230 km – of which 200 gravel)

Breakfast and break-up camp.
This morning we depart Palm Valley. We make our way to Kings Canyon (Watarrka National park) via the iconic Mereenie Loop. We will also drive into, and explore, Goss Bluff. This is a massive meteor crater and another beautiful feature of the landscape of Central Australia. Enjoy a beautiful sunset near Kings Canyon and overnight in a private and exclusive “safari style” camp near the resort.
O/N Pre-set safari style tents (breakfast, lunch and dinner)

Day 4: Kings Canyon to Uluru (310 km)

This morning we do the Canyon Rim Walk and explore this natural icon of Australia. Two options are available. Either we take on the 6 km full Rim Walk or those who prefer a shorter walk can do the Creek Walk into the canyon itself.
We will have an opportunity to stop at Kings Creek Station (a camel farm) to purchase a quick bite to eat before we drive 300 km along the Liritja and Lasseters roads from Kings Canyon to Uluru.
Uluru (Ayers Rock) is perhaps the most well-known Australian icon. We will head to Kata Tjuta for a walk and finish the day with a champagne sunset whilst watching the changing colours of “The Rock”. Tonight we stay in the Outback Tour Services exclusive campsite near Uluru.
O/N pre-set safari style tents (breakfast and dinner)

Day 5: Uluru and Kata Tjuta

We highly recommend that you start your day with a helicopter ride (optional extra) and watch the sunrise over Uluru and Kata Tjuta. This is a very popular option. Alternatively join the rest of the group for an early start driving into the park for sunrise over Uluru. Today you can do a guided walk around Uluru (part of or whole). Your guide will be one of the Aboriginal custodians, showing us some of the secrets of this magical place.
We spend the day exploring the area and also learn more about Aboriginal culture.
We spend our second night at the Outback Tour Services exclusive campsite
O/N pre-set safari style tents (breakfast and dinner)

Day 6: Uluru to “Centre of Australia” (450 km)

After an early sunrise over Uluru, we head east. After an hour on the Lasseters way, we turn onto the Mulga Park road. From here we will very rarely see sealed roads (tarred roads) again until we are near Adelaide towards the end of the tour! The Mulga Park road will take us to a roadhouse called Kulgura near the South Australia/ Northern Territory border. From here we will cross the Stuart Highway and head into the Simpson Desert. We explore the desert and then camp near the exact centre of the Australian continent. Tonight, is a “bush camp” with no permanent facilities.
O/N Wild camping, using camping gear your vehicle is equipped with (breakfast and dinner)

Day 7: Centre of Australia to Dalhousie Springs (270 km)

Leaving our camp, we head east via a small remote Aboriginal community, (Finke). Today we will visit an outback cattle station. This will give you a glimpse of the day-to-day life of running a cattle farm in very remote areas with cattle stations the size of European countries! We proceed to spend an evening at Dalhousie Springs. This is a unique place in Central Australia with a natural hot water spring and a natural pool. The spring water is around 44 ºC and the pool is around 30 ºC.
We will camp again tonight. This campsite does have shower and toilet facilities.
O/N Wild camping, using camping gear your vehicle is equipped with (breakfast and dinner)

Day 8: Dalhousie Springs to Coober Pedy (359 km)

This morning we head south west towards the very remote town of Oodnadatta. We cover some of the most scenic and ancient landscapes in the world. After Oodnadatta we head to Coober Pedy for our overnight stop. To get there we drive through an area known as the “painted desert”. You can even see the famous “Brumby’s” (wild horses). Coober Pedy is famous for two things: opal mining and the fact that most of the town is underground! This is due to the extreme temperatures of this region. Extreme cold in the winter as low as -5 ºC and the extreme summers of up to 55 ºC! The temperature underground however stays a constant 23 ºC all year round. We will overnight in an underground hotel and tonight we visit the famous John’s Pizza Bar.
O/N Hotel in Coober Pedy (breakfast)

Day 9: Coober Pedy to William Creek (150 km)

Breakfast and check-out.
During the morning we will explore this wonderful, historical and outright “weird” town. Enjoy a half day opal mining tour and also visit some underground “buildings”.
We will allow time for lunch before we hit the dirt road again and head to the remote small town of William Creek. This town consists of a pub, a house and a campground. It is also the gateway to Lake Eyre. This salt lake is usually dry, however after it rains it could have significant water in it. William Creek is an iconic pub in Australia with great food and great character! This town is also one of the few towns that is completely owned by one person!
Enjoy a drive around the area, or if time permits, take a scenic flight over Lake Eyre. This is well worth doing!
Tonight, we stay at William Creek camp ground.
O/N Camping William Creek

Day 10: William Creek to Warraweena Conservation Park (390 km)

As we follow the road southeast from William Creek, we drive, at one point, about 12 meters below sea level. This track also follows the old unused “Ghan Train” track. There are many old railway sidings along the way which give great insight on early Australian pioneer history as they
built this track north, by hand. We head past the mining town of Leigh Creek on our way to our overnight camp at Warraweena Conservation Park.
O/N Camping (breakfast and dinner)

Day 12: Quorn to Adelaide via Clare Valley (320 km)

Today we leave Quorn for our last day on the road. We make our way to Adelaide and enjoy the small historic towns and wineries of the Clare Valley.
We will visit some of Australia’s most famous wineries and do some tasting on the way!
Tonight, we stay in the little town of Hahndorf. This beautiful little town has a rich German tradition and is situated in the Adelaide hills.
After an amazing trip through the Outback we will enjoy our farewell dinner in Hahndorf.
O/N Hotel in Hahndorf (breakfast and dinner)

Day 11: Warraweena Conservation Park to Quorn (via Wilpena Pound) (350 km)

Today we explore further into the “Flinders Ranges”. This is a spectacular part of South Australia. The “Flinders Ranges” are known for the picturesque landscapes and sunset colour contrasts. South Australia is also the driest state in Australia. We will overnight in a small town called Quorn.
Tonight’s dinner is in another iconic “Aussie Pub”. Quorn is a beautiful little town that takes you back in time. It is home to one of the oldest coffee shops in Australia, still in its original condition.
O/N Motel in Quorn (breakfast and lunch)

Day 13: Depart

Drive to Adelaide Airport. Return your vehicles and check-in for your flight.

End of Service

Dates

28 August 2018 – 09 September 2018

Rates

Land Package:
Based on a group of 10 people with 2 people per vehicle
Per Adult: AUS $ 5,580.00

Included

  • Vehicle rental fee
  • Fuel per vehicle for the duration of the tour
  • Vehicles are equipped with camping gear
  • Guide and crew in own vehicle
  • Camping fees for the duration of the tour
  • Accommodation as per the itinerary
  • Entrance fees
  • Conservation fees
  • Airport transfers in Alice Spring and Adelaide
  • Car radios per vehicle
  • Meals as stated on the programme
  • Vehicle insurance

Excluded

  • International flights
  • Domestic flights
  • Travel, luggage and medical insurance
  • Australian visa (about R2 400.00)
  • Meals not included in the programme
  • Optional activities mentioned in the programme
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities
  • Pre and post tour arrangements in Australia

Damage deposit:
The vehicle rental company will require a refundable deposit of AUS $1000 per vehicle upon collection of your car in Alice Springs. The deposit will be returned at the end of trip after the vehicle is inspected.

Add-on’s to consider pre- or post this tour:
Australia is a big country. Should your time allow consider also adding one of the following options pre- or post the Outback 4x4 trip.

  • Tasmania: you would need an additional 4 days to explore the island
  • Sydney: to explore Sydney and surrounds you can add 3 more days to your programme
  • Melbourne: add 3 more days to your programme
  • Cairns: the area of the Great Barrier Reef, add 4 more days

Ask your Live the Journey consultant to add any of these options to your main programme.