Welcome to Central Australia


The Wild Interior

Call that Australia? This is Australia. Ever since Crocodile Dundee brought Kakadu to the world's attention, the outback and Top End have been on the radar for their impressive portfolio of quintessentially Aussie land forms: Uluru and Kata Tjuta rising improbably from the desert; the great sandstone escarpments and pristine coastline of Arnhem Land; the soulful Flinders Ranges; the vast stretches of outback with sand dunes and flood plains and monsoonal mangroves. All providing a stirring backdrop to some of Australia's best wildlife watching, from crocs to kangaroos. It's hard to escape the feeling that in this land lies eternity...

Indigenous Culture

If wildlife animates the Australian outback, it is the Indigenous population of the Northern Territory (NT) that gives it soul. These are a people whose lives remain inextricably tied to a land that their people have inhabited for millennia. And, unlike elsewhere in Australia, in the NT it's relatively easy to cross the cultural frontier and meet Indigenous Australians on their terms: it could happen on an intimate exploration of country led by an Indigenous guide, in quiet conversation with artists at work in one of the NT's many art centres, or in the timeless rituals and ceremonies of a festival.

The Sophisticated South

When you imagine outback Australia, Adelaide and its nearby wine regions are hardly the first things that spring to mind. But here on the outback's fringe in South Australia (SA) are some big-ticket attractions. Take, for example, some of the country's premier wine-producing regions (perfect for slaking that outback thirst), among them the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley and the Coonawarra. There's also wonderful Kangaroo Island and, at the heart of the south, is Adelaide, where you can experience a torrent of creative energy through its amazing festivals, arts scene, pubs and foodie culture.

Outback Dreaming

While it's easy to identify the more obvious elements of the outback's appeal, there's one thing that's less easy to quantify: its strange, almost mystical allure. There's something about this place, an intangible call that defies easy explanation, something spiritual that echoes through so many moments out here. Perhaps it will touch you when you first lay eyes on Uluru. Or as the sun dips below the horizon beyond the escarpments of Kakadu. Or when you pull off the road in the middle of nowhere and find yourself enveloped by silence. In such moments lies the mysterious call of the outback.


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Central Australia activities

$52.42 Outdoor Activities

Uluru Camel Express, Sunrise, or Sunset Tours

Gaze at UNESCO World Heritage-protected Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) in the distance as you roam the central Australian desert on a camel with your guide. Listen carefully as a cameleer shares interesting details about the Australian outback and your hump-backed travel companions. Camels are ideally suited to the hot, dry climate of Australia's interior. Imported here in the 19th century, they remained the principal means of outback transport until railways and roads were established. Today there are an estimated 200,000 one-humped, dromedary camels in the wild. Though few camels are used by humans today, this herd is treated like family, each one has its own pet name and personality. With a breathtaking view of Uluru as your backdrop, this relaxed, slow-paced camel ride is the perfect way to experience the fascinating ecology of the desert.Sunrise camel ride (2.5 hours)Ride across the desert on a peaceful 1-hour camel ride through stunning sand dune country with the awe-inspiring sight of Uluru and Kata Tjuta as your backdrop. Take in the cool morning air and watch as the rising sun lights up Uluru and the surrounding plains. Learn about the landscape and fauna from your expert cameleer, and enjoy billy tea and freshly baked beer bread (damper) with quandong jam (outback native fruit) after the ride.Sunset camel ride (2.5 hours)Take a 1-hour camel ride at dusk to see the outback colors deepen as the sun sets behind the desert plains, sharpening the monolithic outlines of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Return to the camel farm at twilight to enjoy drinks and outback food, including freshly baked beer bread (damper).Morning or Afternoon Camel Express (1.5 hours)For a shorter camel ride, cross the desert on a 45-minute express camel trip for views of Uluru, Kata Tjuta and the outback landscape. Hear interesting facts about the local flora and fauna, and visit the camel museum to learn about the important role played by camels over the centuries in outback Australia.The afternoon express ride is seasonal and only operates from April to October.

$215.51 Day Trips & Excursions

Kangaroo Island in a Day Tour from Adelaide

After early morning pickup from your Adelaide or Glenelg hotel, meet your guide and relax aboard a comfortable air-conditioned coach on the scenic 90-minute journey over the Fleurieu Peninsula to Cape Jervis. Then enjoy a 45-minute ferry ride across the Backstairs Passage to Kangaroo Island where you transfer to a luxury coach for your island tour. If you choose to fly to Kangaroo Island, your coach meets you at the Kingscote Airport.Take in the scenery as you drive to Seal Bay Conservation Park where Australian sea lions sunbathe and frolic on a stunning beach. Meet a National Parks Ranger for a guided walk on the beach and get a close look at the sea lion colony. Leave the sea lions and head to gorgeous Vivonne Bay for a delicious 2-course lunch at Vivonne Bay Bistro. Large windows and a sun deck allow you to look for critters like kangaroos and koalas in the native bush that surrounds the building. 
See more wildlife after lunch when you stop at Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Koalas lounge in the eucalyptus groves and echidnas, kangaroos and wallabies roam free on the large predator-free property. Then continue to the rugged southern coast of Flinders Chase National Park for a walk among the giant granite boulders called Remarkable Rocks. Snap photos of a natural rock archway named Admirals Arch, gaze over the Cape Du Couedic coastline and observe the antics of long-nosed fur seals as they play and laze about on the rocks. Throughout the day, your expert guide shares facts about the wildlife and history of the island. After a day exploring the natural beauty of Kangaroo Island, return to Penneshaw or Kingscote Airport, keeping your eyes peeled for more kangaroo and wallaby sightings. Then travel by air or ferry and coach back to Adelaide where your tour ends.

$109.21 Air, Helicopter & Balloon Tours

Uluru and Kata Tjuta Tour by Helicopter from Ayers Rock

Rock Blasting Helicopter Tour (15 minutes): Blast off to Uluru! The helicopter takes off from a launch near Uluru (Ayers Rock). Below you'll see Ayers Rock Resort, the waterhole Mutitjulu, the surrounding desert, a panorama of breathtaking scenery unique to the Red Centre. Total duration approx. 1 hour.Uluru and Kata Tjuta Helicopter Flight (30 minutes): This longer flight offers the same views of the 15 minute flight - and much more! You will see Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the magnificent red desert all the way to the striking rock formations of Kata Tjuta, an Aboriginal term meaning 'many heads'. With Mt Olga forming the tallest, more than 36 massive, domed rocks make up this natural wonder, a gathering of fantastic, striated shapes, some recalling giants huddled in conversation. As Uluru is, Kata Tjuta is sacred to the Anangu people, and resonates with their legends and lore. Total duration is approx. 1.5 hour.Extended Uluru and Kata Tjuta Helicopter Flight (36 minutes): Prepare to be awe-inspired by the sheer size and beauty of these natural wonders. This flight is similar to the 30 flight, but offers more flying time. Anyone with an interest in Australia's Red Centre should see the sights from this angle. The views will provide you with the perfect opportunity to take spectacular aerial photographs with expert and detailed commentary supplied by your pilot. An absolute must for any photographer! Total duration is approx. 1.5 hour.

$104.11 Day Trips & Excursions

Barossa Valley with Hahndorf Tour from Adelaide

After pickup at your hotel in Adelaide or the Central Bus Station, step aboard your air-conditioned coach and meet your knowledgeable guide. Start with a drive along a scenic route that follows the River Torrens and winds through the spectacular Torrens Gorge. Pass Kangaroo Creek Reservoir and Millbrooke Reservoir, which provide water to Adelaide, then continue through quaint Williamstown, the southern gateway to the Barossa Valley. Stop after about an hour on the road at Seppeltsfield Winery. Established in 1851, the winery includes more than 250 acres (100 hectares) of vineyards with shiraz and grenache grapes, the traditional grapes cultivated in the Barossa. We head to a multiple award winning wine at Wolf Blass. You will learn the art of winemaking on a guided tour and have a tutored wine tasting of their Gold Label and their Black Label wines. Wolf Blass is where you will indulge on a 2 course lunch along with an exclusive preview of Penfolds wine tasting. Hop back on your coach to travel to Hahndorf, a small town in the Adelaide Hills that is the oldest remaining German settlement in Australia. Stroll under 100-year-old elm and plane trees on the main street and take in the quaint cottages, craft shops and tea rooms of the town. On your return to Adelaide, pass through the lush Adelaide Hills and villages such as Crafers, Stirling, Aldgate and Bridgewater. After an 8-hour tour, your guide returns you to your Adelaide hotel in the early evening.

$181.29 Day Trips & Excursions

Ayers Rock or Uluru, Olgas Tour with BBQ from Alice Springs

Your day trip to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park starts in the early morning when you depart Alice Springs by air-conditioned coach. Head southwest on Highway 87, passing by the West MacDonnell Ranges. After about an hour and 15 minutes of driving, stop at Stuarts Well, a typical Outback roadhouse where you will enjoy a light or hot breakfast. Back on the bus, traverse the remote landscape of endless Outback plains, enjoy a view of Mt Ebenezer and stop for morning tea (typically a cool drink or hot billy tea, served with a lamington, a traditional Aussie cake) at the Mt Conner lookout point. Continue the drive to Uluru, admiring sand ridges covered in desert oak trees and watching for huge road trains (semi trucks pulling several trailers of freight). When you arrive at Uluru, a UNESCO World Heritage site known as Ayers Rock in English, you’ll take part in several activities that will introduce you to the history, culture and geology of this massive sandstone rock formation. Enjoy guided walks around the entire base of Uluru while learning about its legends; hear about Tjukurpa art on the Mala walk; see Aboriginal rock art on the walk to the Mutitjulu Waterhole; and hear about the customs and bush food of the Anangu people. Visit the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre to learn more about Aboriginal culture and art, and then head to Kata Tjuta (also known as Mt Olga or the Olgas), the other large rock formation in the national park, for more walking along trails that lead to valleys and secluded watering holes. Return to Uluru in time for sunset, during which you'll soak up the glow of the sinking sun while you sip sparkling wine or juice and feast on a BBQ dinner of meats, salad and bread.After dinner, make the 6.5-hour drive back to Alice Springs, where your day trip ends.

$176.27 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Katherine Gorge Tour, Cruise, Swim, and Lunch from Darwin

Your full-day Top End tour from Darwin to Katherine Gorge will see you first stop at the Adelaide River War Cemetery, the resting place for many World War II soldiers. Continue to Edith Falls where there's time for a refreshing swim in the waterhole (conditions permitting).

After lunch, you will have a two-hour guided cruise between the sheer sandstone cliffs of Katherine Gorge, situated in the Nitmiluk National Park. As you glide along the tranquil waters on your Katherine Gorge cruise, enjoy commentary from your guide detailing the area's plant and wildlife and explaining the Aboriginal rock art, which adorns the walls of the gorge. Keep an eye out for crocodiles, turtles and the splendid array of birdlife. Enjoy a quick tour of Katherine, the hub of the region's cattle and farming industries before traveling via Pine Creek, a historic gold mining town. Stop at Adelaide River for dinner (own expense) before returning to Darwin where your Katherine day tour concludes. Please note: Edith Falls is subject to weather conditions