Australia South to North: Melbourne to Darwin

Australia South to North: Melbourne to Darwin
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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • G Adventures

Now's the time to explore Australia on your terms with this tour that's affordable for young travellers. On the water or on the road? We make the decision easy for you by combining both modes of travel on an epic 19-day road trip tour across Australia. Journey down the famous surf coast — the Great Ocean Road, embark on a rainforest walk in Great Otway National Park, and glide along the water on a wetland nature cruise in croc country. With a steely Chief Operating Officer taking care of all the little details, your only job is to fill your social feeds with photos that'll make any follower jealous.

Highlights
  • Learn about creation stories of the Aboriginal Australians
  • Catch the magnificent colours of Uluru
  • Hike through gorgeous natural rock formations in the Red Centre
  • Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kakadu National Park
Meals Included
15 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
Accommodation
Hostels (11 nts, multi-share with 4-6 people), swag camping (7 nts). All nights are multi-share.
Transport
Private vehicle, boat, walking, plane.
Destinations
  • Australasia
  • Australia
Tour Types
  • Adventure
  • 18-to-Thirtysomethings
  • Basic
  • 3 - Average
  • Small Group
Day 1: Melbourne

Arrive at any time. Tonight, get to know Melbourne as a group. Spend some time socializing in the rooftop seating area at the Space Hostel where you are staying. Then maybe head to the bar attached to the hostel called Blue Moon Karaoke for some great beer and cheap eats. Make sure you get those vocals ready because someone is getting up and singing before the night is over.

There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and explore the city. If you arrive early enough, head into the city to take in the 'cultural capital of Australia'. Get lost in the city's famous laneways, go on the hunt for the perfect flat white (hint: Melbourne loves its coffee shops), catch the tram to St. Kilda, or wander around the über-cool Fitzroy neighbourhood.

Day 2: Melbourne/Port Campbell

Say hello to the Great Ocean Road — arguably the most iconic road in all of Australia! You won’t even mind waking up early for views like the ones you’ll see as you drive to Port Campbell. Travel up the famous surf coast visiting quaint towns like Lorne and Apollo Bay en route. Get in touch with nature on an included rainforest walk in Great Otway NP. Then gaze in wonder and feel the wind whip through your hair as you admire the 12 Apostles, the kind of landmark that somehow finds a way to be more stunning in person than in photos. Try as you might, it may be time to put those cameras down and just enjoy being in the moment.

Day 3: Port Campbell/Halls Gap

Open your eyes in the laid-back coastal town of Port Campbell and lace up those hiking boots for a visit to the Tower Hill Wildlife Reservation. Walk through the verdant landscape and be on the lookout for the wildlife that has multiplied on the inside of this volcanic crater. Trek through the forest with those cameras at the ready before continuing on to Grampians National Park for your next adventure!

Start the day visiting more attractions of the Great Ocean Road including The Arch and the now broken London Bridge. Visit Tower Hill State Wildlife Reserve for a chance to see animals endemic to Australia such as koalas, emus and kangaroos. Opt to visit an Indigenous Cultural Centre to learn about the significance of the area to the indigenous people. End the day with an evening walk in the Grampians NP.

Day 4: Halls Gap/Adelaide

Skip sleeping in this morning to get out and about in Grampians National Park. Wander through lush forest, view the craggy sandstone Wonderland range in the distance, and examine impressive Indigenous rock art. Home to some pretty amazing scenic lookouts this national park will grant you with many photo opportunities so make sure those cameras are charged before heading into the thick of it all. Walk to the stunning Balconies for expansive views of the Victoria Valley below, then stop at one of the largest waterfalls in Victoria; Mackenzie Falls and watch the water cascading down cliff faces as it creates rainbows in the air. Close your eyes, breathe in the fresh air, and find peace in the moment. As the day winds down head to Adelaide with the group and find some nightlife to enjoy as the starts fill the sky.

Early start to explore more of Grampians NP. Walk to the stunning Jaws of Death Balconies, visit MacKenzie's Falls, and travel onto Adelaide, the capital of South Australia.

Day 5: Adelaide

Get ready to stuff your face in the food and wine capital of Australia; Adelaide. Wander the clean laneways and sample your way from place to place as the sun warms your skin. With an emerging art scene, natural beauty, interesting attractions, and incredible restaurants, Adelaide has tons to see and do. Get out and discover the hub of South Australia!

Day 6: Adelaide/Ikara-Flinders Ranges

Hit the road in the morning with your group and admire the scenic views across the Clare Valley. No road trip is complete without a few pit stops; enjoy a local food experience featuring some of Southern Australia’s best regional produce. Then it’s onward to the Ikara-Flinders Ranges, an ancient mountain range that will be your base for the next two nights. Driving through this region is about as close as any humans can get to navigating the face of Mars. Have your cameras ready as you pass through jaw-dropping landscapes, historic outback towns, and fascinating Indigenous sites.

Day 7: Ikara-Flinders Ranges

Wake up surrounded by deep red ravines and towering cliffs; sneak in a few pictures, sit back and savour the moment. Then, head to Wilpena Pound for a walk to an 800 million-year-old natural amphitheatre carved out of the mountains in Ikara-Flinders Ranges NP and sacred to the Indigenous Adnyamathana people. Visit these Indigenous art sites and learn more about the art and customs of early settler history and be on the lookout for wildlife like, emus, kangaroos, and wallabies during your visit.

Day 8: Ikara-Flinders Ranges/Adelaide

Wave farewell to the ancient and rugged mountain landscapes of Ikara-Flinders Ranges NP as the group journeys south again to Adelaide. On the way pass through the historic railway township of Quorn; with its picturesque setting and heritage buildings it has been the set of a few movies. Then, stop for a waterside lunch at Port Pirie with your group where you can grab anything from seafood to curry and sit along the water admiring the day. Spend an evening out in Adelaide enjoying each other's company before the next adventure begins.

Day 9: Adelaide/Alice Springs

Rise early and board your flight to Alice Springs, gateway to the Red Centre of Australia. Take advantage of a free afternoon to relax, visit the Royal Flying Doctors Museum, or hike up ANZAC Hill. Alice Springs is home to some of Australia’s most stirring landscapes from ochre-red gorges to the ghostly white gum tree and is a key place to begin understanding Indigenous Australia and all of its present day challenges. If it’s not too hot and you’re feeling stir crazy hop on a bike and head out to find adventure.

Day 10: Alice Springs/Kings Creek

Looking for a different perspective? Choose to wake up extra early for a hot air balloon flight over Alice Springs then charge those cameras and hit the road to Kings Canyon. Journey to Australia’s famous Red Centre passing through desert plains, weathered mountain ranges, rocky gorges, and some of the most sacred Indigenous sites in the country. Spend your first night together under the stars in a true Aussie desert swag (padded bed roll) and let the good times roll... no pun intended!

Day 11: Kings Creek/Uluru

Rise early, beat the heat, and embark on a morning walk through the gorges and valleys of Kings Canyon. Take in the spectacular views surrounding you and simply enjoy being in the moment. Then it’s time to hop on the bus and drive to Uluru, where Australia’s most iconic view awaits. Grab a glass of bubbly and enjoy one of the most colourful sunsets of your life as Uluru puts on an unforgettable show in the fading light.

Enjoy the morning taking in the scenery or by going on an optional 6km walk through the gorges and valleys of Kings Canyon of Watarrka National Park.

Day 12: Uluru

Get in touch with your inner zen as you wake near one of the most spiritual places in Australia. Listen to your peaceful surroundings and reflect before you begin the day. Watch as the sun lights up the sky and changes the landscape before your eyes then visit an Indigenous culture centre with the group and partake in the informative Mala Walk at Uluru. This walk is perfect if you are looking to see lots of Indigenous rock art and get away from the crowds. Wander between the sheer walls and tranquility of Kantju Gorge as you explore one of Australia’s most recognizable landmarks. See the colours change before your eyes, learn the significance behind this destination for the local people, and let Uluru capture your heart.

This morning, awake before the sun so you can watch it rise over Uluru (Ayers Rock). Then, do the Mala Walk around part of the base of Uluru while learning its significance to the local Indigenous people. Visit the cultural centre to get a better understanding of the area. Opt to pre-book the "Uluru & Kata Tjuta Helicopter Ride" activity on the checkout page ahead of time, to include this optional on your tour.

Day 13: Uluru/Alice Springs

The unexplainable energy of the Red Centre will have you itching to head out on another hike. You’re in luck because the group will travel to the Mars-like rock formations of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) to explore the surrounding area. If the temperature isn’t too unbearable you’ll also get to walk through the Valley of the Winds, which is full of dusty orange rock domes just waiting to be enjoyed. Snap some pics, wander away from everyone and revel in the peaceful atmosphere of the Australian Outback before making the drive back to Alice Springs.

Take in the scenery around Uluru. Travel to the rock formations of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and, temperature permitting, walk through the Valley of the Winds to explore the surrounding area. Travel to Alice Springs, where you will spend the next two nights.

Day 14: Alice Springs

Spend your free day journeying through the heart of Australia. Simply enjoy the delights of this Outback town from quirky bars to lively cafes, and restaurants with stunning views; there’s plenty to choose from.

Day 15: Alice Springs/Darwin

Let the adventure continue as you board your flight to Darwin; Australia’s only tropical capital city and known gateway to the Top End. Land in the traditional lands of the Larrakia and gaze out across the beautiful Timor Sea. You may feel isolated from the rest of the country, which is just how the locals like it. Spend the rest of the afternoon and evening wandering past street-side restaurants, bars, museums celebrating the city’s past, and galleries filled with Indigenous art. So grab your esky (cooler) full of beer and get ready to enjoy the coastal remoteness of Darwin!

Day 16: Darwin/Litchfield National Park

It’s off to Litchfield National Park today. Rise early and head to one of the best spots in the Top End for bushwalking, camping, and swimming! Check out waterfalls that pour off the edge of Tabletop Range into croc-free plunge pools and feel yourself unwind as you float aimlessly in one of Australia’s most stunning landscapes. Litchfield can sometimes feel like the Northern Territory's best kept secret. Side note: as you drive make sure to check out some of the most enormous termite mounds in the Top End. (Who knew?) Later, after getting acquainted the group will go on a wetland nature cruise to try and spot crocs, then it’s finally time to stretch out in a swag and sleep under the stars.

Day 17: Litchfield National Park/Kakadu National Park

Embark early on a full day of exploring. Travel with the group to our overnight camp near Kakadu NP, where swags or tents await. Hike through ancient sandstone escarpment country, discover more waterfalls and swimming holes, check out the Ubirr rock art, and take the plunge on this day of adventure! End the day with a group barbecue under the night sky.

Embark early on a full day of exploring. Travel to our overnight camp near Kakadu NP, where swags or tents await. End the day with a group barbecue.

Day 18: Kakadu National Park/Katherine Gorge

Wake to the sounds and smells of the Australian bush and spend a leisurely morning exploring more of Kakadu NP with the group. Then zoom off to the beautiful Katherine Gorge, stopping to enjoy Edith Falls along the way. Take this day to reminisce, reflect, and ready yourself for the journey ahead.

Day 19: Katherine Gorge/Darwin

Take advantage of a relaxed start to the day in spectacular Katherine Gorge. What you do next is up to you; from kayaking through one of the 13 deep sandstone gorges to enjoying a leisurely boat cruise on the Katherine River there’s loads to soak up. Take some time to stop and stare at the haunting beauty of this wild place before returning to Darwin. Tour finishes on arrival.

  • Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group Your First Night Out Moment: Connect With New Friends Your Discover Moment: Adelaide Your Foodie Moment: Local Food Experience, Clare Valley
  • Rainforest walk in Great Otway NP
  • 12 Apostles visit
  • Aboriginal centre visit
  • Tower Hill Reserve visit
  • Champagne sunset viewing of Uluru
  • Mala Walk around Uluru and visit to the culture centre
  • Hikes at Grampians NP, Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), and Kings Canyon
  • Wetland nature cruise in crocodile territory
  • Aboriginal art and craft centre visit
  • Exploration of Kakadu and Litchfield NPs
  • Internal flight
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Dates Price Single Availability

Touring Holidays with G Adventures

Founded in 1990 by Bruce Poon Tip, G Adventures is proud to offer the most awe-inspiring selection of affordable small-group tours, safaris and expeditions, all carefully created to appeal to adventure-craving travellers. G Adventures started as a one-man business and is now an award-winning escorted tour operator and the world’s largest adventure travel company of more than 2,200 people in 28 offices around the globe. The team is made up of people who believe in responsible travel and have a desire to create memorable trips that embrace authentic accommodation, exotic cuisine and local transport to ensure travellers get behind the scenes and experience the real world in an authentic and sustainable manner.

As the small group adventure travel experts, G Adventures is well-known for offering impressive escorted tours in the most fabulous destinations, such as Italy, Spain, Greece, Norway, Egypt, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Kenya, South Africa, Antarctica, Canada and Australia. More than 150,000 keen travellers choose a G Adventures tour year on year, resulting from the overabundance of tours and destinations on offer to suit each individual style. You can pretty much travel anywhere with G Adventures and, no matter what kind of traveller you are, the company promises you a tour and a life-changing experience that you will never forget.

Travel styles include active tours, national geographic journeys, marine tours, rail tours, classic tours and family tours. G Adventures also offers wellness tours, 18-to-thirtysomethings tours and local living tours. This means you can enjoy yoga sessions in Thailand, get to know the quirky capital of Iceland or explore the sunny beaches and lush jungles of Central America. Alternatively, you can see southern India by rail, go on an Amazon riverboat adventure or climb the world’s tallest free-standing mountain on a Kilimanjaro escorted tour.

One of the nice things about booking a tour with G Adventures is that you don’t lose your deposit if you cancel or delay your trip. Your deposit remains valid until you’re ready to start your adventure, and you can even pass it on to a friend if you wish. Also, G Adventures offers escorted tours under ABTA protection, guarantees every single departure and has staff available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about a tour. On top of all of that, the company can deliver the tour of a lifetime at a fraction of the cost and will pair up single travellers with a roommate of the same sex to avoid charging a single supplement fee.

G Adventures has won numerous awards to date, including Best Escorted Tour Operator, Best Adventure Travel Company and Best Sustainable Tour Operator, to name just a few. You can also rest assured that G Adventures is committed to doing the right thing all the time for not just the staff and travellers but also the people and the places that the team help you to visit. This includes working with small local businesses and entrepreneurs to strengthen their communities and to ensure your travel money stays where you have spent it.

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tour details

This tour is operated by G Adventures

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Group Size:1 - 20
Suitable For: Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.
Accommodation:Hostels (11 nts, multi-share with 4-6 people), swag camping (7 nts). All nights are multi-share.
Difficulty:3 - Average
Meals:15 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
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