Outback Adventure


See the best of South Australia and the NT, visit a Clare Valley winery, camp under the stars near Uluru, visit a kangaroo orphanage and sleep underground at Coober Pedy. Travel to Adelaide, Flinders Ranges, Parachilna, Kings Canyon, Alice Springs, Katherine Gorge, Kakadu and more.


Starts: Melbourne VIC, Australia
Ends: Darwin NT, Australia

Have a 19 day Outback Adventure on this Topdeck coach tour from Melbourne to Darwin via the ‘Red Centre’ of Australia. See the best of South Australia and the Northern Territory, visit a Clare Valley winery, camp under the stars near Uluru, visit a kangaroo orphanage and sleep underground at Coober Pedy. Travel to Adelaide, Flinders Ranges, Parachilna, Kings Canyon, Alice Springs, Katherine Gorge, Kakadu and more on Topdeck’s Outback Adventure.

Day 1: Melbourne to Port Campbell

If you’ve ever seen a car commercial, chances are you’ve seen the Great Ocean Road. With mere metres between road and water, hairpin bends and epic views out every window – today you’ll join the list of five million people to do this road-of-passage each year. Before putting any rubber on the GOR, we’ll tick off the spiritual home of surfing, spot koalas in the wild and lunch in a seaside village. This afternoon is all about the Twelve Apostles, aka the Stonehenge of Australia. (D)

Day 2: Port Campbell to Halls Gap

From one natural wonder to another, we’ll explore the 167,000 hectares of The Grampians – a Mecca for hikers and rock climbers. More than just a place to get geology goosebumps, you’ll be standing on sacred ground, with 80% of Victoria’s Aboriginal rock art on show. Meet the traditional land owners, whose ancestors were scratching and dabbing their Dreamtime stories onto rock long before the Pyramids of Egypt were conceived, then paint your own story onto a boomerang. (B, D)

Day 3: Halls Gap to Adelaide

By the end of today you’ll have nailed a trifecta of the highest, largest and longest landforms across two states. Straight outta the gate: McKenzie Falls, the largest waterfall in Victoria. It’s no Niagara, but flowing water is guaranteed year-round-a rare promise in a country that’s 40% desert. Then, the Northern Grampians for one last pano where #natureporn trends with views to Mt Williams, the highest peak in the park and third-highest mountain in Victoria. To complete the trilogy: the Murray River-a bronze medallist to the Nile and Amazon-stretching 2520 kilometres and spanning three states. How’s that for today’s form guide? (B)

Day 4: Adelaide

You’ve made it to one of the world’s coolest cities (according to Lonely Planet). Today’s a free day for the adventurous to head out to spot seals, kangaroos and penguins on Australia’s answer to the Galapagos: Kangaroo Island. Learn about the birds and the bees… and some of the other 46 endemic species. Spend the day slurping noodles in the Adelaide Central Market, or tram it to the seaside village of Glenelg. (B)

Day 5: Adelaide to Parachilna

There’s more wineries around here than flies on a sheep’s…but today we’re taking you to the oldest in the Clare Valley for a taste test; a wine drinker’s dream. On the way, we stop at the Barossa Reservoir Whispering Wall-there’s a time and a place for confessions. This isn’t it. (B, D)

Day 6: Parachilna to Quorn

Flinders Ranges National Park is a spoiled brat, it has everything. From mountains to gorges and creeks to rivers, you’re lucky you get to play in its toy cupboard today. Take a hike to Wilpena Pound-a natural amphitheatre about three times the size of Uluru. Then to rock art site Arkaroo Rock, and the Kanyaka Ruins a lesson in hard yakka at Kanyaka Station-an abandoned sheep and cattle farm. (B, L, D)

Day 7: Quorn to Coober Pedy

After a #saltlakeselfie stop, we roll into the next gem on our list to check out where 75% of the world’s opals come from. Then: time to meet the orphans of the kangaroo world and learn more about how abandoned joeys are nurtured back into the wild. (B, D)

Day 8: Coober Pedy to Alice Springs

It’s time to cross the Mad Max landscape of the Moon Plain, but don’t worry; we won’t make you fight to the death. Then, check out the world’s longest Dingo Fence (good thing there’s a gate) and truck on past some very remote roadhouses before crossing the border into the Northern Territory. That resort pool is just what the doctor ordered. (B)

Day 9: Alice Springs to Uluru

We’re hitting the red ground running with a visit to a camel farm and then onto Yulara. It’s off to Uluru in the afternoon for a guided tour, and a glass of bubbles as the glow of sunset morphs through 50 shades of red, providing a rockin’ live show. Tonight hone your Aussie BBQ skills and cook your own grub. Welcome to the outback, mate. (B, D)

Day 10: Uluru

Start your day with a big bowl of ‘oh my god’ thanks to a breathtaking sunrise sesh back at Uluru. Follow in the footsteps of the traditional owners of this sacred World Heritage site with a full base walk, where you can escape the crowds and check out hidden waterholes. Do your best Attenborough narration as you keep watch for wedge-tailed eagles, spinifex hopping mice and thorny devils. Or splurge on a Harley ride or scenic flight and see the original Top of the Rock. Later, join a meditative dot painting class in the Aboriginal Art Markets and give yourself a free astrology lesson, stargazing at the endless Southern night sky. (B)

Day 11: Uluru to Kings Canyon

Get ready for some sole searching as we venture into the heart of sacred Kata-Tjuta (The Olgas) and walk amongst the 36 red sandstone giants through the Valley of the Winds. After a Dreamtime archeology lesson, and a drive into Watarrka National Park, live the life of a jolly swagman as we sleep under the stars in custom swags. Cue campfire stories and marshmallows tonight. (B, D)

Day 12: Kings Canyon to Alice Springs

If you would walk 500 miles (steps), then you’ll make it through the toughest part of the Rim Walk – Heart Attack Hill. The Kings Canyon Rim Walk is the real deal and the most famous canyon in Oz. Think age-old cycads, eroded dome shapes, a visit to The Lost City – and that’s not even the best part. The sheltered valley and waterhole of the Garden of Eden makes today bloody bonza (translation: rad). (B, L)

Day 13: Alice Springs

Get to know Alice with a free day, smack bang in the epicentre of Australia. Jump into the joey nursery at Kangaroo Dundee’s place (aka the man who should win ‘mother’ of the century for hand-rearing orphaned joeys) and hold a baby kangaroo while you’re there. Travel through time with a historic look into the amazing services of the Royal Flying Doctors or get lost in the mystery of the Australian outback at Desert Park Gardens. Art galleries, souvenir shops and all of the supplies for your next adventures are all here in Alice. (B)

Day 14: Alice Springs to Tennant Creek

Dust off the red Alice Springs dust… actually, never mind. You’d better get used to that for another couple of days at least. Technophiles beware! Think your old Nokia was out-dated? Wait till you see the Overland Telegraph line at the Barrow Creek Hotel! Text mum to let her know you’re heading off in Morse code like they did back when this place was a Telegraph Station. To round off the afternoon, we’ve got some pretty epic granite boulders for you at the sacred site of Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles). (B, D)

Day 15: Tennant Creek to Katherine

Taking this trip is thirsty work, and you’ll soon be able to re-hydrate with an ice-cold beer at one of ‘Straya’s best-known watering holes, the Daly Waters Pub. Located ‘in the middle of somewhere’, this place was the site of Australia’s first international airport back when flights to London took eight days. Strewth. Later, drift off into the Dreamtime in the steamy thermal springs of Mataranka in the heart of the Never Never. Never never thought you’d find this in the outback, hey? When you’re done, take in a game of lawn bowls at the local Country Club and enjoy a good ol’ fashioned BBQ with the locals. (B, D)

Day 16: Katherine

You’ve got a front row seat for the wicked wildlife and scenery while canoeing along the Katherine River – the Gorge is yours to explore. But if you’d rather not be up the creek with a paddle, take your trip next level by upgrading to a three-gorge cruise and venture even further into the wilderness. We’ll spend the afternoon absorbing the majestic Edith Falls – #nofilter necessary. (B)

*Wet season (Nov-May): Canoeing replaced with Katherine Gorge Boat Cruise.

Day 17: Katherine to Kakadu

The only thing more terrifying than the plastic clog variety are the crocs that can be found in Kakadu. Luckily, the areas we’re heading to today are saltwater crocodile free. If this place looks familiar, you’ve probably seen Crocodile Dundee one too many times. Still too freaked out to swim? Take a scenic flight for a bird’s eye view over the escarpment that marks the borderline of Arnhem Land. (B, D)

*Wet season (Nov-May): Waterfalls replaced with other Kakadu site depending on road and weather conditions.

Day 18: Kakadu

At half the size of Switzerland, there’s a lot of Kakadu to see. Get ready to rock early, because we’re rolling deep into the park to check out some Aboriginal Rock Art sites and cruise the East Alligator River to see how many crocs we can snap. We’ve also got special permission to enter Arnhem Land for a lesson in traditional Aboriginal hunting methods and a cruise down the river. Hope you’ve got good aim because that’s how we’re catching lunch today. Kidding, you’ll have to buy your grub. Climb to the top of Ubirr Rock Crocodile Dundee style and take in the fiery sunset. (B)

*Wet season (Nov-May): Today’s stops visited on previous day and today’s itinerary going straight to Litchfield National Park. Overnight: Batchelor Motel, Litchfield.

Day 19: Kakadu to Darwin

Seen one waterfall, seen ’em all? Well no, but you’d be forgiven for thinking that way by now. Our trip ends at – you guessed it – the refreshing waterfalls of Litchfield National Park. Switch off and towel off for one last swim. Go on, you deserve it – you’ve got outback in your soul for good now. (B, L)

  • Wet season (Nov-May): Start at Batchelor Motel and spending more time in Litchfield National Park before returning to Darwin.

Bucket List Inclusions

  • Sunset and sunrise over Uluru
  • Spectacular Great Ocean Road and Twelve Apostles
  • Stunning Grampians National Park
  • Paint your own boomerang at Brambuk Cultural Centre
  • Hike to MacKenzie Falls
  • Local winery visit in Clare Valley
  • Stay underground in Coober Pedy
  • Visit a kangaroo orphanage
  • ‘Valley of the Winds’ walk at Kata Tjuta
  • Guided hike of Kings Canyon
  • Canoe in the Katherine Gorge
  • East Alligator River Cruise in Kakadu
  • Aboriginal guide and entry into Arnhemland
  • Visit Aboriginal rock art sites in Kakadu National Park
  • Swim in the fresh waters of Litchfield National Park

More Inclusions

18 breakfasts (B), 3 lunches (L), 10 dinners (D)
16 nights in hotels, lodges and cabins
1 night in a swag
1 night underground
Escorted services of a fully trained Topdeck Driver/Guide

Group Size

Average 15, maximum 24


Modern air-conditioned vehicles


19 Day(s)