Discover yourself exploring an ancient outback landscape, where presence awakens all your senses

A desert heartland journey, rich in discovery, as it always was. Savour the beauty, grandeur and isolation in abundance, enjoyed now in comfort and style.

Follow the songlines and pathways of our First Peoples, Explorers, Afghan Cameleers, Ghan Railway and Overland Telegraph gangs through the South Australian deserts to Central Australia.

Visit the iconic Flinders Ranges, Wilpena Pound, Lake Eyre, Oodnadatta Track, Painted Desert, Coober Pedy, Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, Hermannsburg and imposing MacDonnell Ranges – Discover the ancient geological wonders of heartland Australia.

2021 departures and prices now available. Register now for your priority reservation and advanced releases.

Note:  We expect our post-Coronavirus touring program under the “new normal” will recommence in 2021. Until then we are ensuring guests can secure a reservation for any 2021 tour without any financial risk of a deposit. Normal pricing and discount offers will remain. Deposits will be requested once restrictions are eased and tours have confirmed access. We expect tours to remain the same. Health authority advices and protocols will apply. Secure your reservation by firstly, enquiring today.

Meanwhile we welcome enquiries for short duration exclusive customised Queensland tours in 2020 for 2 to 5 guests.

Tour Highlights

Why you'll like this tour

Find yourself immersed in an evocative and sublimely beautiful desert landscape, contorted ranges and imposing monoliths dating back 80 to 550 million years.

  • Witness newly discovered fossil evidence of the beginnings of a complex life - from which we have all descended
  • Enjoy the surreal experience of setting foot on the salt encrusted Lake Eyre where horizon and sky merge as one
  • Appreciate why artist Hans Heysen was so inspired by the Flinders Ranges describing them as “the bones of the earth laid bare”
  • Experience the extraordinary colour and panoramic form of the Breakaways and Painted Desert, the opal treasures of an underground community
  • Walk the spiritual base and cultural trails of grand monoliths, Uluru and Kata Tjuta, then the rim of Kings Canyon with its precipitous walls ablaze
  • Indulge yourself in a fine-service, sunset and star lit dinner on the desert dunes with the silhouette of Uluru standing sentinel
Enlarge Map
outback-tour-australia-adelaide-to-uluru

Itinerary

Day 1 Vineyards and villages of Clare Valley, a scenic start to an extraordinary journey

Depart Adelaide for a scenic drive through Clare Valley vineyards to the oldest village in the Flinders Ranges, followed by an afternoon trail walk

Features

  • Picturesque drive through Clare Valley with its string of quaint villages
  • Selection of 40 small wineries, home of Australian Rieslings
  • Visit Seven Hills winery where in 1848 Jesuit priests produced the first sacramental wines
  • Free roam Melrose, the oldest village in the Flinders Ranges, named by explorer Edward John Eyre
  • Afternoon trail walk toward the summit of Mount Remarkable

Accommodation

Private en-suite rooms in a Melrose Stone Cottage

Meals

Local cafe M/Tea, A/Tea

Popular local bakery al fresco Lunch

Evening dinner at heritage Melrose Hotel

Self serve Continental Breakfast

Travel

Driving:  284 kms in 4 relaxed stages over half a day

Walking:  Up to 4 hour introductory walk along Mount Remarkable National Park Trail

Day 2 Bound for Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound, “bones of the earth laid bare”

A relaxed scenic drive from Melrose to Wilpena Pound with a variety of feature stops along the way

Features

  • Roam the streetscape of Quorn, scene of classic movie making
  • Back road scenic diversion into Warren Gorge in search of the Yellow-footed Rock Wallabies
  • Following parts of the Hans Heysen 1200kms walking trail toward Wilpena Pound
  • Exploring the historic ruins of Kanyaka Station and early settler life
  • A visit to the Jeff Morgan Gallery with its spectacular, panoramic circular vista of the Flinders Ranges
  • More back roads winding beneath the scenic grandeur of Wilpena Pound

Accommodation

Luxury ensuite resort accommodation for 2 nights

Meals

Cafe/coffee shop M/Tea

Village al fresco Lunch and tailgate A/Tea

Evening restaurant dinner and breakfast

Travel

Driving: 247kms in 5 relaxed stages throughout the day

Walking: Casual roaming at various feature stops and serendipity moments

Day 3 Grand Ranges and rugged gorges, home to beautifully attired Wallabies

A delightful trail walk this morning followed by an afternoon of scenic driving, exploring the beauty and magnificence of the Flinders Ranges

Features

  • Relaxed walk through Wilpena Pound Gap to an elevated platform, to view the inner Pound
  • Learn of early settlement and Aboriginal connection to the Pound
  • Back road journey through the scenic gorges of the Flinders Ranges
  • Chance viewing of “delightfully coloured” and endangered Yellow-footed Rock Wallabies
  • Visit the valley and shepherd’s hut ruins where celebrated artist Hans Heysen found inspiration for his creative works
  • Glorious sunset over the Ranges

Accommodation

Luxury ensuite resort accommodation

Meals

Resort restaurant based breakfast, lunch and dinner

Morning walk sustenance and tailgate A/Tea

Travel

Driving:  122 kms in  6 relaxed stages during the afternoon with many scenic stops

Walking: Optional easy grade 7.8kms 3 hr morning walk to view Wilpena Pound. Roaming at afternoon features and serendipity moments

Day 4 Convulsed ranges lead to the desert doorstep and evidence of the life from which we all descended

Today you journey through the ranges to an historic copper mining town, then a convulsed ancient landscape to remote Parachilna for lunch, then onto an historic pastoral station to view the earliest evidence of life

Features

  • Pass through the northern reaches of the Flinders Ranges with towering bluffs and rocky crags rearing upwards and backwards
  • Learn of the exploits of Thomas “pegleg” Blinman and cattle duffer Joseph Wills, the brutality of life in the outback in the 1800’s
  • Visit the now sleepy historic ex-copper town of Blinman
  • Test your taste buds with classic chef-prepared feral food at the jewel in the outback - Prairie Hotel
  • View the 555 million year old fossil evidence of the earth’s first animals and life from which we all descended

Accommodation

Deluxe ensuite rooms at remote Prairie Hotel, Parachilna

Meals

Tailgate or village hotel M/Tea

Lunch, dinner and breakfast at iconic Prairie Hotel

Travel

Driving:  97kms in 4 relaxed stages on back roads to Parachilna

Walking: Roam at various feature stops

Day 5 Following the pathway of Afghan Cameleers and pastoral empire builders

You leave the bitumen and follow the gravel toward the outpost towns of Lyndhurst and Marree, taking in  Aboriginal and Afghan history, early settler and railway endeavours. Pass through the southern intersections of outback adventure tracks, the Strzelecki and the Birdsville.

Features

  • History abounds at Beltana around the Thomas Elder land and sheep empire
  • Here was the nursery of Camel importation and exploration across Australia leading to 600,000 creatures now running wild
  • Extensive salt bush country emerges and beyond the vast gibber plains await
  • Slag heaps remain in memory of South Australia’s open cut coal fields
  • The contribution of Afghan Cameleers opening up the desert lands is not forgotten
  • The great northern rail line laid down in 1882, now long abandoned, was forerunner to The Ghan, now linking Adelaide to Darwin
  • The fully restored and functional underground bakery in the desert ruins at Farina is a complete surprise
  • Visit the striking palette of rich earthy colours at the spectacular ochre pits of our First Peoples, once supplying their trade across vast distances

Accommodation

Comfortable, detached hotel ensuite cabins for 2 nights

Meals

Tailgate M/Tea and fresh delights at a unique underground bakery

Counter lunch, a restaurant dinner and breakfast at historic Marree Hotel

Travel

Driving:  193kms outback travel toward the desert lands, enjoyed in 5 relaxed stages

Walking:  Roam at various feature stops and serendipity moments

Day 6 Immerse yourself in the surreal experience of the great salt sink, Lake Eyre

A remarkable day journey to the lowest point in Australia, the extensive salt sink and surreal experience of Lake Eyre

Features

  • Pass through the 5,600kms long wild dog or Dingo Barrier Fence crossing Australia
  • Arrive at an amazing place and space, eerily empty and devoid of life, ready to capture all your senses
  • Discover there are two lakes south and north connected by the Goyder Channel
  • Heart of a 1.3 million sq kms drainage basin, one of the largest in the world
  • Cause of great excitement and adventure when it floods from monsoonal rains in Australia’s far north
  • Scene of one of nature’s greatest transformations with Pelican and waterbird migrations in pursuit of a flooded harvest and breeding frenzy
  • The 5 metre deep crust in the lake’s centre enabled Donald Campbell’s world land speed record of 650kms/hr in 1963/4
  • Seeing is believing. Experience the void. Gaze into infinity.

Accommodation

Comfortable, detached hotel ensuite cabins

Meals

Picnic tailgate tea breaks and lunch provided by our friends at the Marree Hotel

Travel

Driving:  198kms return on outback road and sandy tracks to Lake Eyre

Walking:  Travel breaks and surreal roaming on iconic salt encrusted Lake Eyre

Day 7 Adventures along the Oodnadatta Track with insights into the Great Artesian Basin

Journey along the Old Ghan Railway and legendary 615 kms long Oodnadatta Track toward William Creek, located in the centre of the world’s largest cattle station of 6 million acres

Features

  • Discover mounded springs percolating up from the depths of the Great Artesian Basin below, following a 2 million year water flow from its source in the Great Dividing Range.
  • Follow the vital Aboriginal Song Lines, Explorer and Afghan Camaleer pathways across the desert lands
  • Pass by restricted access, Aboriginal homelands and pause at the remnant rail sidings of the Old Ghan Railway
  • What possesses a former mechanic to turn artist and create out of waste, a post-apocalyptic sculpture park in the desert, for you to view and contemplate
  • Gibber plains give way to crimson sand ridges, outliers from the Simpson Desert
  • After lunch, free time to relax or if you wish, join a scenic flight over Lake Eyre or the Painted Hills of Anna Creek Station, a selection of flights on offer at your discretion and cost
  • Embrace the sense of isolation and adventurous spirit of 4WD travellers, drawn to the outback from far and wide

Accommodation

Basic but comfortable, air-conditioned, ensuite transportable cabins

Meals

Tailgate M/Tea

Lunch, afternoon refreshments, dinner and breakfast at the isolated William Creek Hotel

Travel

Driving:  199kms with several stops at natural and historic features along the way

Walking:  Roam at various feature stops and serendipity moments

Day 8 Crossing huge cattle stations in search of opals and underground accommodation

Head west this day across cattle station holdings as big as small countries to discover Coober Pedy, acknowledged as Australia’s Opal Capital

Features

  • Journey through the vast Anna Creek Station, and far reaches of the old Woomera rocket testing range
  • One of the loneliest roads, described as “occasionally maintained” with a bit of traffic now and then
  • Here the local mail run is 600kms long, twice a week, serving 6 stations and 2 villages
  • Remember the desert lake with a big name and it’s fabled story
  • Visit the strange if quirky landscapes of opal mining spoils surrounding Coober Pedy, evidence of treasures beneath, set down 150 million years ago
  • Join a guided tour through an old Opal Mine exploring its tunnels and rooms
  • The cosmopolitan population of underground dwellers boasts 45 nationalities
  • If you care to invest there are a number of outlets to inspect and purchase exquisite opal jewellery

Accommodation

Chance in a lifetime to sleep comfortably underground in a deluxe Coober Pedy Motel room. Every convenience except no window views.

Meals

Tailgate M/Tea near Lake Cadibarrawirracanna

Lunch and Dinner at local family style restaurant

Continental breakfast underground

Travel

Driving:  A relaxed morning drive of 168 kms to Coober Pedy in two easy stages

Walking: Rest and relax, enjoy the journey

Day 9 Exploring wild movie sets and moonscapes then an extraordinary painted desert

Today you’ll pass through the striking Painted Desert region few Australians are aware of, before joining a sealed highway run to the Marla Roadhouse and Motel

Features

  • Journey through the “Breakaways” landscape with outstanding views of country laid down more than 80 million years ago and featuring the “Salt and Pepper” hills
  • Here were the feature settings for movie classics “Mad Max”, “Thunderstorm” and “Ground Zero”
  • Alongside the Wild Dog Barrier Fence discover a blackened moonscape sparkling in gypsum and petrified wood
  • Pass through 2 million acres of desert grazing lands, another two stations held by the Anna Creek Station owners the Williams Cattle Company
  • The Painted Desert located in Arckaringa Station offers spectacular breakaway land forms rich in many colours, bold and beautiful
  • The Stuart Highway Run is the life vein for transport and tourism linking the Northern Territory and South Australia, following the discovery pathway of early explorer John McDouall Stuart.

Accommodation

Comfortable but basic ensuite highway motel units

Meals

M/Tea, A/Tea  and Lunch all picnic tailgate style

Roadhouse restaurant dinner and breakfast

Travel

Driving:  367 kms at relaxed pace through the desert in 5 comfortable stages

Walking:  Casual roaming at feature stops plus an optional 2.5 kms return walk with a modest climb on warn trails in the Painted Desert

Day 10 A journey through history and Australia connecting to the world with a long length of wire and morse code

Today you’ll enjoy an easy highway run into the Northern Territory for an early motel stop where you can rest and undertake any “make-good duties”. Later in the afternoon we’ll share a briefing on the Uluru / Kata Tjuta visits ahead.

Features

  • Highway travel with shared stories relating to the true location of the centre of Australia
  • Further story telling on the exploration accounts of John McDouall Stuart and Charles Todd and the establishment of the Overland Telegraph Line
  • Learn of the achievements and legend of Len Beadell grading a 1350kms straight track through three states across the desert wilderness, from nearby Victory Downs. Eventually to be known as the notorious “Gunbarrel Highway” it passes through the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (not normally accessible by the general public)
  • Settle in for some background to the geological history and cultural significance of Uluru / Kata Tjuta as a prelude to your visit.

Accommodation

Comfortable spacious ensuite motel units with desert gardens and wildlife surrounds.

Meals

Tailgate M/Tea and casual roadhouse lunch

Motel / tavern restaurant for dinner and breakfast

Travel

Driving: 250 kms sealed highway drive crossing into the Northern Territory

Walking:  Rest and relax, enjoy the journey

Day 11 Arrive in the spiritual heartland for a walk through the massive domes of Kata Tjuta

A prompt departure for Ayers Rock Resort and an early lunch. Afternoon walk/s at Kata Tjuta followed by restaurant dinner and feature evening visit to the Field of Light spectacular.

Features

  • Brief road stop moments to enjoy views of the Desert Oaks, Mount Conner, red ridges and salt lake.
  • Brief visit to Curtain Springs Station roadhouse with history story telling and viewing the native bird aviaries.
  • Drive to and enjoy select walk/s at Kata Tjuta recalling our previous afternoon’s briefing
  • Special evening visit to the Field of Light. Coach departure to be advised.
  • Prepare for an early start to the following day - a sunrise guided Uluru Base Walk

Accommodation

Quality ensuite rooms at Desert Gardens - Ayers Rock Resort for 2 nights

Meals

M/Tea at Curtain Springs Station

Cafe Lunch at Ayers Rock Resort

Dinner at Resort restaurant

Day pack - carry continental breakfast on following day Uluru Base Walk

Travel

Driving:  248 kms sealed highway drive to Ayers Rock Resort

Walking: Casual roaming during the Curtain Springs Station roadhouse stop and at the Desert Oaks roadside park.

Guided afternoon walk options at Kata Tjuta

Valley of the Winds Karingara L/O and rtn  5.4 kms - 2.5 hrs

Walpa Gorge Walk 2.6 kms - 1 hr

Day 12 An early dawn start for a guided base walk around Uluru, as sunrise washes over it

A special day of connection, the natural history, the culture of the Anangu People, Tjukurpa the guiding foundation of their culture, the magnificence and spirit of Uluru.

Features

  • Guided natural history and cultural walk around base of Uluru - 10 kms / 5 to 6 hrs
  • Pre-dawn departure to walk - enjoy a close up sunrise on Uluru
  • Afternoon visit to Cultural Centre, adjoining Uluru - free time
  • Rest period - prepare for celebration “Sounds of Silence Dinner”. Coach departure to be advised.

Accommodation

Quality ensuite rooms at Desert Gardens - Ayers Rock Resort

Meals

Continental Breakfast supplied at start of walk to be carried in your day pack,

Lunch at Resort Cafe

Special “Sounds of Silence Dinner” in the desert

Travel

Driving: Nominal local access only

Walking: 10 kms flat walk on easy trail - Uluru Base Walk

Day 13 Captured by the wonders of Uluru - Kata Tjuta, only to find another great spectacle, Kings Canyon, awaits

Today you travel to another of the Central Australia geological and scenic wonders, Kings Canyon

Features

  • 4 hour travel between Uluru and Kings Canyon taking in the George Gill Range
  • Background story telling of the early competing explorers Ernest Giles and William Gosse
  • Background to the locally adopted names Lasseter, Luritza, Watarrka.
  • A visit to the remote Kings Creek Station
  • A travelling brief on the geological wonders of Watarrka / Kings Canyon
  • An introductory brief on the Karrke Aboriginal cultural experience

Accommodation

Standard ensuite rooms at Kings Canyon Resort - 2 nights

Meals

Tail gate M/Tea at rest stop

Lunch at Kings Creek Station cafe

Refreshments and restaurant dinner at Kings Canyon Resort

Travel

Driving:  305 kms on good sealed road with three rest breaks

Walking:  Rest and relax, enjoy the journey.

Late afternoon free time resort based Ridge Walk - 45min to 1 hr

Day 14 “Lost City” and “Garden of Eden”. Rippling waters above a blazing red canyon

A fulfilling time in Watarrka National Park and completion of the Kings Canyon Rim Walk, followed later by a visit to a local Aboriginal community for a special cultural experience.

Features

  • Early start in cool of the day for the iconic Rim Walk
  • Strange geological formations
  • Evidence of an inland sea
  • Descent into the Garden of Eden
  • Afternoon visit and connection with the Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Experience

Accommodation

Standard ensuite rooms at Kings Canyon Resort

Meals

Walking sustenance

Restaurant breakfast and dinner

Poolside, light sandwich lunch

Travel

Driving:  Nominal local access only

Walking:  Optional 6kms / 3 to 4 hr Kings Canyon Rim Walk with initial challenging climb on formed stone steps (approx.1000)

Day 15 Complete your adventures along the 1000 million years old West Macdonnell Ranges

A busy closing travel day packed with scenic and cultural highlights. Time too, to reflect on the variety of experiences enjoyed in your 15 day / 3,200 kms journey from Adelaide to Alice Springs

Features

  • An adventurous back road drive along the Mereenie Loop to Hermannsburg through Aboriginal Lands
  • Free roam the art galleries, grounds and buildings of the historic Hermannsburg Mission
  • Visit the crater site of an enormous comet which impacted the earth 142 million years ago, now a sacred site of the Western Arrernte People
  • Brief visits and short strolls to feature gorges and water holes along the West MacDonnell Ranges including the colourful Ormiston Gorge
  • Learn of the geological upheavals that folded and formed the ranges 1000 million years ago
  • Dry sandy river beds with occasional water holes here are some of the most ancient in the world
  • Time to remember the great Aboriginal artist as you travel the Albert Namatjira Drive into Alice Springs

Accommodation

End of tour accommodation pre-arranged with tour guests - not included in tour

Meals

Restaurant breakfast

Tailgate M/Tea and A/Tea

Early cafe lunch at historic Hermannsburg Mission

Travel

Driving:  A busy travel day to conclude the tour. 469kms completed in 5 stages with feature based rest breaks

Walking: Roaming at various feature stops

Best Value Inclusions

  • All accommodation
  • All meals with breakfast, lunch and 2 course dinner with choices
  • Morning and afternoon teas
  • Glass of wine with dinner if you wish
  • Spontaneous travel treats and refreshments
  • Tour transport and naturalist guides
  • All National Park entry fees
  • A number of feature entries or side tours
  • Pre-tour briefing and meet ‘n greet function
  • Local guides and guests, as available
  • Informative travel reference kit
  • Use of on-board reference materials and facilities
  • A meaningful tour memento
  • Personalised pre-tour planning advice to maximise your enjoyment and preparation for the experience
  • What we don't include:
    • Expenditure of a personal nature
    • Pre and post tour travel and accommodation arrangements
    • Optional scenic flight over Lake Eyre at extra cost – choice of flights and prices to be advised.
    • Travel and comprehensive contingency insurance

Pricing & Departure Dates

All Inclusive Prices. Loyalty and Group Discounts apply - enquire

2021 Departures

Departs Concludes Early Bird Offer Regular Price
29 May 2021 12 Jun 2021 $9717 pp / twin share $9985 pp / twin share Book Now
Departs 29 May 2021
Concludes 12 Jun 2021
Early Bird Offer $9717 pp / twin share
Regular Price $9985 pp / twin share
Book Now

WHAT OUR GUESTS SAY


  • "Your tour from Adelaide to Alice Springs filled a void in my life, having read so much about the Old Ghan railway, explorer John McDouall Stuart and the Overland Telegraph Line. Such a trip is near impossible for Seniors to contemplate, to travel independently alone in such isolated territory like the wonderful Painted Desert. Thanks for the added security of a well organised tour and bringing history to life in my world."
    Rex of Brisbane, Australia
  • "I trust you are able to rest a little during your time in Alice Springs? I wanted to thank you both for the trip over the last two weeks. It was quite a journey and I really appreciated your efforts to make it a special one for us all. As it was my first time in this unique part of our country I feel privileged to have experienced it with your guidance and expertise. Your passion for this part of the country, the landscape, the people, the flora and fauna is obvious and it was wonderful to be able to share it with you."  
    Helen Torquay VIC
  • "So glad your next trips went well and you are back home safe and well. John – thank you so much for looking after me on the Kings Canyon Rim walk – I was determined to do it again after 30 years – I have developed a fear of heights since then and am so pleased I managed it. Thank you so much for a wonderful holiday – you both are so thoughtful, organised and just lovely to know."
    Alwyn Peachester QLD
  • "It's good to hear from you. I regret that I was not with you on the day trip into the Aboriginal homeland. It would have been an activity much to my liking and another credit to your itinerary-making. Australia is still very much on my mind: two-thirds of the top of my dining table is still covered with Australia materials, I am "bending friends' ears" perhaps more than they wish. This evening I will watch the second of a three-part televised Nature series on The Kimberley. I came home feeling very kindly toward Australia and Australians. I'd come back in a minute."  
    Virginia USA

Have you completed this tour? Click here to submit a review!

Other tours that may interest you

Uniquely Australia National Parks Tour

15 days
FROM $9674
pp / twin share
all inclusive
View Tour

Great Divide Iconic Landscapes Tour

11 days
FROM $7390
pp / twin share
all inclusive
View Tour

Australia World Heritage Wilderness Tour

7 days
FROM $4728
pp / twin share
all inclusive
View Tour

Corner Country Outback Tour

14 days
FROM $8650
pp / twin share
all inclusive
View Tour

Tasmania National Parks Tour

17 days
FROM $10748
pp / twin share
all inclusive
View Tour

Big Rivers Outback Tour

10 days
FROM $6470
pp / twin share
all inclusive
View Tour

Flinders Ranges, Lake Eyre and Red Centre Tour

15 days
FROM $9717
pp / twin share
all inclusive
View Tour

Central Australia - Red Centre Tour

11 days
FROM $8507
pp / twin share
all inclusive
View Tour

Outback to Reef Tour

13 days
FROM $8570
pp / twin share
all inclusive
View Tour

Booking for Flinders Ranges, Lake Eyre and Red Centre Tour






    Enter your email address to receive the latest news on feature tours,
    walking tips, new release Blog posts and connecting with nature

    Loading