Travel into Australia’s magnificent Red Centre on this Overland journey from Adelaide. From the orange-rock spires of Warren Gorge, the underground mining town of Coober Pedy to the towering domes of Kata Tjuta, make your way through some iconic outback sights on your way to Alice Springs. See opal cutting demonstrations, meet the furry residents of a kangaroo orphanage, and learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander spiritual beliefs on a guided walk at Uluru as you discover more about this breathtaking Australian region.
Welcome to South Australia, where your adventure begins. You’ll be picked up from the Adelaide Central YHA at 6.30 am, so please arrive at least ten minutes before. Leave South Australia’s capital behind and head north to the quintessential country town of Quorn. After lunch enjoy expansive views of the Flinders Ranges as you drive towards Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheatre of rocky mountains. Enjoy an easy group hike to explore the area.
Location: Adelaide / Quorn / Wilpena Pound
Return to Quorn via a winding country road that passes rugged mountain ranges and crumbling colonial-era homesteads. Spend the day exploring this wild country. Hike through the orange rock spires of Warren Gorge, taking in pockets of unique flora along the way. Trek through low-lying native shrubbery and gnarled trees. As the sun sets, rest your weary limbs in the comfort of your accommodation for the evening, a historic grain mill.
Location: Warren Gorge / Quorn
Leave Quorn in the rear-view mirror and head to Coober Pedy, the ‘Opal capital of the world’. Due to extremely hot temperatures in the area most of the town is constructed underground, with residents living in homes carved into the hillsides. Upon arrival take a guided tour of the town, an underground house and the opal mine (with opal cutting demonstration). The rest of the afternoon is free to explore. You may even like to try your hand at 'noodling' (fossicking) for opals. End the day with some rescued joeys at Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage. Tonight, stay in a multi-share underground bunkhouse in Coober Pedy.
Location: Coober Pedy
We’ll be honest, there’s a fair bit of driving today. From Coober Pedy travel across the Moon Plains, past the Dingo Fence, past Breakaways Reserve, and into Yulara. Make sure you have your Ipod fully charged and your neck cushion handy.
Location: Coober Pedy / Yulara
Rise early this morning and be rewarded with a glorious Uluru sunrise. While the day is still fresh, enjoy a walk around the base of this incredible sandstone formation, which is of great spiritual significance to the Anangu people. Walk to the cave paintings near Mutitjulu Waterhole at the base of Uluru where you will be in the hands of an Anangu guide who will share the stories of this unique landscape. This exclusive experience will give you an insight to the meaning behind Anangu art and traditional culture. The on-site Cultural Centre also houses an extensive collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and crafts for you to browse. Head back to camp for lunch.
Today, explore one of the Red Centre's greatest treasures, Kata Tjuta, a group of domed red rocks rising spectacularly out of the desert. Like Uluru, they’re sacred to the Anangu people and are believed to be 500 million years old. Return to camp for lunch before travelling to Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon). Spend the night in an exclusive campsite inside the park.
Location: Uluru/Kings Canyon
With its 300-metre high sandstone walls, hidden waterholes, fern forests, chasms, canyons and caverns, Watarrka National Park is central Australia’s answer to an oasis. The highlight attractions here are the Garden of Eden, the Amphitheatre and the Lost City – all sites you’ll get to visit on the Rim Walk. Following lunch, it’s back on the road for the onward drive to Alice Springs, where this adventure concludes.
Location: Kings Canyon/Alice Springs
Intrepid was started by two friends from Melbourne, Australia, in 1988 after embarking on a trip through the wilds of Africa in a modified ex-council truck, crammed with friends, supplies, a handful of aviator sunglasses and a case or two of beer. Could this type of travel be something others would be interested in? The answer was a resounding yes and today Intrepid send 100,000 travellers across the globe each year with the help of a staff of 1,000.
After three decades, founders Darrell and Manch, feel they know what travellers want. They get that it’s a big decision to fly across the world to wander the souks of Marrakech or enjoy a dreamy Angkor sunrise. They understand that you’re looking for a balance of inclusions and free time, a mix of classic highlights and local secrets you won’t find on Google. And of course, an authentic real life experience. Their leaders are born and raised in-country and they know their destination better than anyone. So you’ll do more than just see a place, you’ll live it. Small groups, big adventures and responsible travel – that’s Intrepid’s thing. With 1,000 trips in a variety of styles across 100 countries, you’re sure to find something you like.
Intrepid believe the real magic happens well away from the beaten path. It’s the little noodle bars, hidden galleries and backstreet bodegas and real life experiences you won’t find in a search engine. Real life experiences are those moments you know you’re really alive and experiencing something special. While it could be the instant you see one of the world’s great icons for the first time, it is more likely to be the moment you find yourself in the middle of a village square soccer game, being treated to a home-cooked meal by your new local friends or sharing a laugh with your fellow travellers as you try a new mode of transport … camel anyone? These unexpected moments are what travelling with Intrepid is all about, giving you a trip like no other.
Intrepid realises the world is a really big place. And there’s a plethora of different languages to learn, borders to cross and cultures to negotiate. Small group adventure travel makes these things easy and allows you to maximise your precious time off. Instead of worrying about logistics, you can focus all your energy on having the experience of a lifetime. Their tour groups are small enough to feel like you’re exploring a destination independently, but big enough to create a good social vibe. Group size will vary depending on where and how you’re travelling, but the average group size is about 10.
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