9 Day Arnhem Land & Uluru Camping Adventure from Darwin

17
Duration | 9 Days
Mobile Ticket OK

Embark on an adventure from Darwin to Alice Springs, including Arnhem Land and sacred Uluru, on this nine-day tour. This classic road trip-style overland adventure proves the best way to experience this rugged land is by going back to basics – complete with nights spent under starry skies, cooling off in natural rock pools and waking to the layered calls of rainbow bee-eaters and spangled drongo birds. Find the essence of this ancient country in its most remote areas, among the people who have called it home for tens of thousands of years.

What makes it Great?

  • Start your journey right with a Cul Cul (Welcome to Country) from your Limilngan-Wulna hosts, a gracious ceremony from the Traditional Owners of the land you begin your adventure on.
  • Watch as the sacred monolith of Uluru changes colour during an unforgettable sunrise and discover why so many are captivated by this striking island mountain.
  • See rock art that was sketched over 50,000 years ago in Mawurndaddja and learn about the site’s spiritual significance and archaeological research from a local guide.
  • Hike through the otherworldly Valley of the Winds for spectacular views of Kata-Tjuta, the towering domes that form something akin to a forest of rounded rocks.
  • Get closer to nature with a few nights in a swag, a simple one-person tent that allows you to feel the breeze and admire the stars as you fall asleep.

Inclusions:

Meals: 6 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners
Transport: All Terrain vehicle, Private vehicle, flight
Accommodation: Camping (with shared facilities) (1 night), Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (2 nights), Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (3 nights) multishare hostel (with shared facilities) (2 nights)

Included activities:

  • Guluyambi Cultural Cruise
  • Mawurndaddja rock art and occupation complex
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Edith Falls
  • Uluru Base Walk
  • Uluru sunset drinks
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
  • Valley of the Winds walk
  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk

Departure times & locations:

This trip departs The Cavenagh Motel, 12 Cavenagh Street Darwin at 06:50am on day 1 and finishes at Central Alice Springs accommodation on day 9 at approximately 6 pm. Onward travel needs to be booked for the following day after the tour finishes.

Please advise if your accommodation differs from the default location. Pick up times and locations will be advised when booking.

Itinerary:

Day 1: Darwin – Arnhem Land

Welcome to Darwin, the Northern Territory’s tropical capital. There’s no time to waste, so get cracking at 6.50 am and hit the road to Wulna Country, where your Limilngan-Wulna hosts – the land’s Traditional Owners – will greet you with a Cul Cul or ‘Welcome to Country’. Learn about their culture during bush tucker talks and didgeridoo and basket weaving demonstrations. Continue to the border of Kakadu and Arnhem Land for a Guluyumbi cruise along the East Alligator River with a Bininj guide. Learn about the cultural importance of the East Alligator River to the Bininj people and take in the tranquillity and rugged beauty. Back on land, jump in a private vehicle and drive to Arnhem Land’s Mawurndaddja. This sacred complex (only recently opened to visitors) has a spectacular series of rock art that research indicates is over 50,000 years old. Spend the afternoon exploring this atmospheric site and learning about its history from your guide. Head to Kakadu for an overnight stay.

  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
  • Guluyambi Cultural Cruise
  • Mawurndaddja rock art and occupation complex
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Special Information
Meet your group at the Darwin joining point listed in the ‘Essential trip information’ and leave at 6.50 am. We recommend arriving in Darwin the night before, or earlier, so you make the departure. Please seak to your booking agent for more information.

Total driving time: about 6 hours (approximately 350 km)
Total walking time: about 1.5 hours (including stops for informative talks)

Day 2: Kakadu National Park

After fuelling up with an early breakfast, head to Jim Jim Falls, Kakadu's most iconic natural attraction. Take a challenging walk through monsoon forest and over boulders, then recharge with a cooling dip in the clear waters beneath the falls. After lunch head to Anbangbang, another incredible site that features ancient art on what was originally Warramal land. Sadly, there are no surviving Warramal people, so the care of the site is maintained by the neighbouring Mirarr and Djok communities. This afternoon, you have the option of taking a scenic flight over Kakadu or visiting the Bowli Cultural Centre.

  • Camping (with shared facilities) (1 night)
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Special Information

Total driving time: about 4 hours (approximately 120 km)
Total walking time: about 2.5

Day 3: Kakadu National Park

After breakfast, head to either Gunlom Falls or Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) for a swim in another pristine waterhole. Maguk flows down the steep walls of rugged gorge into a beautiful natural plunge pool, while the steep climb to the Gunlom Falls plunge pool is rewarded with sweeping views of Kakadu and the welcome shade of gum trees. Neither option will disappoint. After a relaxing morning, it’s time to hit the road. Stop in the old gold-mining town of Pine Creek for lunch before continuing for another 3 hours to your private campsite on the doorstep of Nitmiluk National Park. Once comfortable, have dinner with the group before settling in under the stars for the night.

  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Special Information

Total driving time: about 5.5 hours (approximately 340 km)
Total walking time: about 1.5 hours

Day 4: Nitmiluk National Park – Litchfield National Park

Spend the day exploring the deep Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge and greater Nitmiluk National Park, a wonderland of colours, ancient rock art, waterfalls and wildlife. While here, you can explore on foot or choose to take a cruise or rental a kayak to get a closer look. Keep in mind that these optional activities are seasonal and at your own expense. In the afternoon, travel to Edith Falls, a hidden oasis of clear, cool waters surrounded by bronze boulders. After a quick swim in the huge rock pools, continue to tonight’s camp located at the edge of Litchfield National Park, where dinner awaits.

  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
  • Edith Falls
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Optional Activities

Katherine Gorge Scenic Cruise - AUD95
Katherine Gorge Canoe from - AUD82

Special Information

Total driving time: about 4.5 hours (approximately 350 km)
Total walking time: about 3.5 hours

Day 5: Litchfield National Park – Darwin

A bit of a local secret, Litchfield is awash with tropical rainforest, gorgeous waterfalls and crystal-clear waterholes. Visit Florence Falls, Wangi Falls or Bluey Rockholes, then tuck into a picnic lunch. Enjoy a stroll through the steamy rainforests and refreshing dip in one of the park’s gorgeous swimming holes. In the afternoon, make the 2-hour drive back to Darwin.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Special Information

Litchfield National Park occasionally closes attractions if they are considered unsafe to access. If Florence Falls, Wangi Falls or Bluey Rockholes are closed, activities will be substituted. Please see our 'Climate and seasonal information’ section in the ‘Essential trip information’ for more.

Total driving time: about 3.5 hours (approximately 250 km)
Total walking time: about 1 hour

As this is a combination trip, the travellers in your group and your group leader are likely to change today.

Day 6: Darwin – Alice Springs

Today, skip 1500 kilometres of driving (which would take about 24 hours) and fly from Darwin to Alice Springs. Transfer from your accommodation to the airport. On arrival in Alice Springs please look for your transfer vehicle, a green and yellow bus operated by Alice Wanderer) to transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore ‘Alice’, your gateway to the Red Centre.

There are no meals included on this day.

Special Information

We'll arrange your air tickets and issue them a couple of weeks prior to your departure. Please note this day is unescorted.

Your Darwin transfer (operated by Darwin City Airport Shuttle Service) will depart approximately 2 hours prior to your flight to Alice Springs. In case of any issues or to confirm the time please call +61 8 8947 3979.

Your Alice Springs transfer is operated by Alice Wanderer (green and yellow bus). In case of any issues please call 1800 1800 722 111 (free call) or +61 8 89522111.

Day 7: Alice Springs – Uluru

Meet your group and guide in bright and early and hit the road for Australia’s legendary Outback. Stop at an Outback roadhouse for an optional breakfast (at your own expense), then it’s back on the road for the drive to Yulara, stopping off along the way for views of Mt Connor and various salt lakes. After lunch, jump back in the vehicle and travel into Uluru National Park. Grab a coffee and check out the Cultural Centre, then walk over to the main attraction – Uluru. Depending on how active you’re feeling, you can choose to do an optional ten-kilometre walk around the base of Uluru. No two angles of the sacred monolith are the same and its sheer size will leave you gobsmacked. If you'd rather do a shorter walk, follow the ‘Mala Walk’ signs for a stroll to the Mutitjulu Waterhole. In the evening, watch a spectacular Uluru sunset while enjoying some tasty snacks. Once the sun has gone down, drive to tonight’s campsite for a hot shower and hearty dinner. Roll out your swag (Aussie bedroll) and get comfortable under the stars.

  • Uluru Base Walk
  • Uluru sunset drinks
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Special Information

This morning’s departure is at 06.05 am. Please be ready with your bags packed.

Notes: Total driving time is approximately 5.5 hours (450 km). Total walking time is around 1 hour.

Day 8: Uluru – Valley of the Winds

Rise early for an included breakfast and memorable Uluru sunrise. Next head to Kata-Tjuta (The Olgas) for a guided six-kilometre walk through the legendary Valley of the Winds. The walk can be challenging, but you’re rewarded with a spectacular perspective on mind-blowing rock formations. Return to camp for lunch. In the afternoon, drive to a remote bush camp in Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon) and freshen up with a hot shower. Tonight’s dinner will be an authentic Outback barbecue.

  • Valley of the Winds walk
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Special Information

Total driving time today is around 4 hours (approximately 300kms).
Total walking time is approximately 2.5 hours.

Day 9: Kings Canyon – Alice Springs

After breakfast, drive to Kings Canyon for a guided six-kilometre hike along the Canyon Rim. This varied landscape of chasms, canyons and cliffs is one of the most spectacular and surprising in the Outback. Enter a natural amphitheatre, discover the Lost City, cool off under the shade of the Garden of Eden’s leafy palm trees and admire panoramic views from the North and South Walls. After lunch, make tracks back to Alice Springs with a few leg-stretches on the way, before pulling into Alice in the early evening.

  • Kings Canyon Rim Walk
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Special Information

Total driving time today is around 6 hours (approximately 500 km).
Total walking time is approximately 3 hours.

Things To Bring

  • Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. For the Kings Canyon Rim Walk it is a requirement that you have a minimum of 3 litres of water with you.
  • Comfortable sleeping mats are provided when camping. Please bring a travel pillow and sleeping bag or pre-purchase a sleeping bag from us. 
  • Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing and layers. Long shirts and pants are useful to protect against the harsh Australian sun. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry.
  • During the winter months of June / July / August temperatures in the Red Centre can drop to 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) overnight so it’s important to also have some warm layers
  • Comfortable closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings.
  • Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
  • Personal medical kit. A larger kit will be on hand with your guide, but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, Band-Aids and insect repellent.
  • A headlamp or torch is recommended for around your accommodation at night.
  • Camera with spare batteries.
  • A spare pair of shoes that can get wet, along with two towels.
  • A pair of slip on shoes/sandals that you can carry in your day pack for riding the bus and casual wear.

Booking Info:

The below dietary needs can be easily catered for. Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Dairy Free (soy available), Pork Free. Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking. 
If you require hotel transfers please have your hotel name ready when booking so we can send you a pick-up time with your confirmation.
Due to limited space and strictly enforced road laws regarding weight limits, Intrepid travellers can carry a maximum of 15 kg.

Instant Booking & Mobile Friendly Tickets
Check availability & book here to secure you spot on 9 Day Arnhem Land & Uluru Camping Adventure from Darwin. Pre-booking is essential. Please do not turn up on the day without a booking.

About Adventure Tours:

Adventure Tours is the leading small group tour operator in Australia. We're a bunch of Aussies that have been leading travellers through this big ol’ continent over the past 24 years.

Informative and immersive, our tours are for those looking to develop a true-blue understanding of Australia’s inner-workings – and have a great time while at it. We take one comfy, air-con equipped 4WD or minibus, load it up with a knowledgeable guide, a bunch of fellow adventurers, tents, swags and some packed picnics, then head out into the wilds. The whole outfit is far more your classic Aussie road trip than it is a standard charter bus tour – just with someone looking after the driving and navigating for you.

This trip departs The Cavenagh Motel, 12 Cavenagh Street Darwin at 06:50am on day 1 and finishes at Central Alice Springs accommodation on day 9 at approximately 6 pm. Onward travel needs to be booked for the following day after the tour finishes.