Australian Adventure Vacation: Australia’s Red Centre and Tropical North

See the highlights of Outback Australia and the Tropical Top End—from the famed Uluru/Ayers Rock to the multicultural capital city of Darwin. Enjoy gourmet meals under the stars, camel treks through the desert, and a sunrise hike at Kings Canyon.

From $2,899
per person
10 days
Airfare additional cost
Based on
2 travelers

This Australian Adventure Vacation was planned for 2 friends from Seattle who wanted to see the sights and learn about Aboriginal culture in the outback. This trip to Uluru/Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon, and Alice Springs was the perfect Australian outback adventure!

They started their Australian Adventure Vacation in Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory. They took an incredible wildlife cruise to see crocodiles up close, and even saw giant crocs jumping out of the water!

From Darwin, they rode the legendary Ghan luxury rail to Alice Springs, Australia’s most famous outback town. Their journey took them through stunning outback scenery, and they stopped at an authentic cattle ranch for a taste of outback living.

Next for their Australian Adventure Vacation, they traveled to Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park to undertake the scenic Rim Walk before heading to Uluru. Along the way, they took in the ruggedly beautiful desert landscapes with local commentary from their guide.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, an awe-inspiring monolith in the desert, holds a sacred place in the local Anangu culture. They stayed at the fabulous Desert Gardens Hotel, an oasis in the middle of the outback. They took a sunset camel ride to see Uluru changing colors with the fading light. At the end of their camel tour, they arrived at the incredible Field of Light installation and were greeted with a glass of bubbles before enjoying a delectable dinner under the stars.

Finally, they stopped in tropical Cairns for 2 nights of sunshine and beach. Their Australian Adventure Vacation was a perfect introduction to Australia’s outback and culture. They flew back home with incredible stories to tell from their great adventures!

Our Reference D288

Day 1
Welcome to Australia’s Northern Territory—the real outback! Start your adventure in the Northern Territory’s vibrant capital city, Darwin. Darwin is famous for its fabulous food, colorful outdoor markets, and a diverse bag of adventure activities. Mix with the locals at the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, visit Aboriginal art galleries, learn about Darwin’s WWII military history, or witness a spectacular sunset onboard a harbor cruise or at one of many waterfront restaurants, cafés, or bars.
Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront

Day 2
Today you will have the wonderful opportunity to get up close to the mighty saltwater crocodile! Experience crocodiles in their natural habitat from the comfort of a custom-built boat, allowing you great access to view these magnificent creatures. Your expert guide will talk you through how these prehistoric creatures have survived to this day.
Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront

Day 3
Enjoy one of Australia’s most iconic rail journeys today aboard The Ghan. Step aboard the legendary luxury train at noon. Once you’ve settled in, make your way to the classically styled Queen Adelaide Restaurant carriage for a delicious lunch, accompanied by your choice of fine wines. Watch the striking Top End landscapes roll by, all the while enjoying the solitude of your cabin, reading or catching up on your favorite podcast, then mingling with fellow travelers in the lounge car.

The Katherine Outback Experience today provides a unique window into the real Australian outback and the inner workings of life on a cattle station. Enjoy a live demonstration of the art of horse-breaking; watch the Riverboyne Dog Team working cattle in harmony; and spend time interacting with Bernie the Buffalo, Tin Shaker the Brahman Steer, and Legend the Trick Horse.
Onboard The Ghan

Day 4
Come the morning, you’ll have time for another full breakfast before arriving in Alice Springs at around 9:00 a.m. Here, you can glimpse the history of yesteryear and the thriving culture and unique lifestyle of today. Visit local landmarks, or take a front row seat at a spectacular bird show at the Desert Park.

To fully appreciate this breathtaking part of Australia, you might like to take a helicopter ride over the ancient MacDonnell Ranges. Experience this 300 million-year-old mountain range’s unique beauty with 360 degree views. Alternatively, experience a serene camel ride across the incredible ochre land.
4-star hotel in Alice Springs

Day 5
Today, join a small-group tour to explore the iconic highlights of the Red Centre. You’ll spend the next 3 days traveling from Alice Springs to Uluru/Ayers Rock via luxury coach, staying in comfortable hotels in the evenings. This morning, visit Anzac Hill in Alice Springs to get sweeping views over the town, then set off for the grandiose Kings Canyon, driving past rocky outcrops and rivers that glow red as the sun begins to set. En route, travel off-road along Giles Road with a picnic lunch.
4-star hotel in Kings Canyon

Day 6
Rise early this morning and take in the vastness and majesty of the outback as you hike to the rim of Kings Canyon. Located in the heart of Watarrka National Park, Kings Canyon lies in an ancient Australian landscape that is sacred ground for the Ulpanyali and Lilla people. Climb the 100-meter cliff face and walk around the rim of the canyon with the help of an expert guide. Head back to your resort for an early lunch, then take a scenic transfer to Uluru. As you pass through rugged outback scenery, your guide will provide insight into local landmarks, history, and sacred sites. Your home for the next 2 nights is Desert Gardens Hotel in Voyages Ayers Rock Resort. Take a dip in the pool, enjoy one of the resort’s free activities, or browse Aboriginal art at the Mulgara Gallery.
Desert Gardens Hotel

Day 7
This morning, enjoy a guided walk around the base of Uluru, where you’ll embrace the culture, geology, and environment that make up the essence of this amazing natural attraction. Find yourself in awe as you watch Uluru change colors at sunrise, visit waterholes, view ancient rock art sites, and learn stories of the Dreamtime that have been passed down over thousands of years by the local Anangu people.

This evening, meander through the rich red sand dunes on the back of a friendly camel and watch in awe as Uluru changes color at sunset. With Uluru and Kata-Tjuta (the Olgas) as your backdrop, learn about the flora and fauna of the area from your skilled cameleer guide. As your peaceful ride comes to a close, be greeted with sparkling wine before enjoying dinner under a million stars. Following your gourmet BBQ dinner, walk through internationally acclaimed artist Bruce Munro’s Field of Light installation.
Desert Gardens Hotel

Day 8 – 9
Your adventure continues in tropical Cairns—gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Upon arrival, you’ll be transferred to your hotel situated right on the waterfront. The next 2 days are at your leisure to enjoy the sunshine, shopping, and incredible restaurants in town.
3.5-star hotel in Cairns

Day 10
This morning marks the end of your Australian adventure vacation. Enjoy a transfer from your hotel to the airport, where you’ll begin your journey home.

  • 2 nights Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront
  • 1 night onboard The Ghan luxury rail in Gold Service – includes meals, wines with dinner, and select excursions
  • 1 night Alice Springs
  • 1 night Kings Canyon
  • 2 nights Desert Gardens Hotel, Uluru/Ayers Rock – includes transfers
  • 2 nights Cairns
  • Crocodile cruise outside Darwin
  • Scenic coach transfer from Alice Springs to Uluru via Kings Canyon (3 days with hotel stays) – includes meals and select excursions
  • Guided Kings Canyon Rim Walk
  • Sunset camel ride and “A Night at Field of Light” experience in Uluru
  • Uluru highlights tour at sunrise
  • Airport transfers in Darwin and Cairns

Qantas Airways

Partner Information

  • A Down Under Endeavours Preferred Airline Partner
  • Comfortable Long-Haul Flights to Australia and New Zealand
  • Regional Flights Within Australia
  • Exceptional Customer Service and Safety Record
  • Award-Winning Menus and Wine List Inflight
  • Extra Leg Room in Premium Economy
  • Lie-Flat Beds in Business Class (Select Routes)

Desert Gardens Hotel

Partner Information

  • Location: Uluru/Ayers Rock
  • Type of Accommodation: Resort
  • Comfort Level: Standard
  • Rooms with Uluru Views
  • Aboriginal Art Gallery
  • Red Ochre Spa
  • Restaurant and Bar
  • Swimming Pool
  • Free WiFi in Room
  • Free Activities Program

Things To Do

  • Sunrise or Sunset Tours of Uluru
  • Sounds of Silence Dinner
  • Camel Rides
  • Motorcycle Tours
  • Guided Kata-Tjuta National Park Tours
  • Helicopter Rides
  • Aboriginal Cultural Experiences