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Sydney To Alice Springs Explorer - (ATA 11066)

15 days From 1835

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Region:

Australia

Tour From:

Sydney

Tour To:

Alice Springs

Group Size:

Max 24 passengers

Accommodation:

3 nights camping, 11 nights dorm-share

Transport:

Minibus
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Next 14 days
    Green/Red = Available or On Request     -     Orange="HOT DEAL"    -   Grey="No Availability"
Overview

Experience the ever changing landscapes as you travel from the East Coast to the Red Centre. From the Snowy River high country, via the Great Ocean Road, and through Adelaide and on to the centre of Australia's desert landscapes.


Itinerary

Day 1 – Sydney to Snowy Mountains (via Canberra)

Our first stop today is the capital city of Australia – Canberra – where the Prime Minister hangs out. A tour through Parliament house and a visit to the Australian War Memorial before we enjoy views from the city's high point and drive by some of the Foreign Embassy's, there is more to Canberra than you think! After lunch in the central retail area, we tackle the Monaro plains, learn of the hardships and international relations formed with the areas super sized engineering feats of the Snowy Hydro Scheme. We are then bound for our overnight stop in the heart of the Snowy Mountains. (D)

Day 2 – Snowy Mountains to Gippsland Lakes

Just when you thought we were at the top, there is just a little further to go (weather permitting), up to the highest point in Australia - Mt Kosciuszko. At 2228 metres it is an easy grade hike from the top of the Crakenback Express chairlift, or you may choose only the shorter walk to the lookout point. In winter (Jun – Sep) we visit the Ski Resort of Perisher for some fun in the snow. As we turn Southbound the journey 'wow factor' is heightened again with our afternoon drive conquering the famous Snowy River country and crossing the border into Victoria. This evening, back at sea level we enjoy a night on the edge of a coastal lake. (BD)

Day 3 – Gippsland Lakes to Melbourne (via Wilsons Promontory)

With Bass Strait by our side, we skirt the north eastern coast of Victoria as we make tracks for the Southern most National Park of the Australian mainland – Wilsons Promontory. You may be able to take your Aussie 'Coat of Arms' photo with a chance of seeing Kangaroos and Emus together on the vast grasslands. A hike up and along the granite outcrops will lead us to an area to take in the awesome views of the surrounding coastline. With the bright lights and lively buzz of Melbourne in our sights we dodge the trams and navigate the city streets for our central drop off. (B)

Day 4 – Melbourne

Enjoy a FREE day in Melbourne to relax or explore the city. Overnight dorm accommodation included. (Meals at own expense)

Day 5 - 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 6 – 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 7 - Halls Gap 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 8 – Adelaide

Enjoy a FREE day in Adelaide to relax or explore the city. Overnight dorm accommodation included. (B)

Day 9 – Adelaide to Quorn

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. (D)

Day 10 – 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. Overnight at the Quorn "Mill". (BLD)

Day 11 – Quorn to Coober Pedy

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 town tour which includes a visit to an underground mine & museum. Our accommodation for tonight is – you guessed it – underground. (BLD)

Day 12 – Coober Pedy to Marla

Before departing Coober Pedy we visit an outdoor public opal fossicking site, with the opportunity to try your luck 'noodling' for opals! From here we go north up the Stuart Highway and into the rugged country of Australia's inland and a visit to 'The Breakaways' with amazing views that go on and on and on! Tonight our remote base is a little further up at Marla. (BLD)

Day 13 – Marla to Uluru

From 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 14 – 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 15 – 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)

B = Breakfast | L = Lunch | D = Dinner