Tour ID: 10053335
In 2018 this tour runs on April 17th, Oct 23rd and Nov 9th.
Day 1 (L,D)
You will be collected from your Adelaide accommodation at 7am this morning for your 10 day Outback South Australia tour along the Oodnadatta, Birdsville and Strzelecki tracks.
Today we drive to Coober Pedy and it will take us all day to get there, with stops en-route for lunch and to look at some of the regions salt lakes.
Our destination today is the, here. En-route we’ll stop for lunch and have a look at the salt lakes in the region.
Coober Pedy is known as the opal capital of the world Coober Pedy but it’s also famous for it’s underground homes and 50% of the population live underground (in homes called “dugouts”), as well as using underground shops and churches.
Tonight is our first group dinner, in the hotel restaurant.
Overnight accommodation- underground motel room with en-suite, Desert Cave Hotel, Coober Pedy (2 night stay)
Day 2 (B,D)
After a big drive yesterday, this morning is free for you to relax and explore this unique Outback town. Perhaps visit the Old Timers Mine and Museum, visit one of the towns underground churches or have a look around Crocodile Harry's Underground Nest, one of the weirdest dugouts of Coober Pedy and one of most famous in the world due to it’s use in the movie Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome.
This afternoon you’ll get an insight of what it means to be an Opal Miner with a guided tour through a working Opal Mine.
To finish the day we’ll drive out to the nearby Breakaways Reserve. The colourful reserve offers two lookout points over the long gone inland sea that our early explorers dreamt of. The reserve has featured in several films and advertisements including Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and Ground Zero.
Overnight accommodation- underground motel room with en-suite, Desert Cave Hotel, Coober Pedy
Day 3 (B,L,D)
Departing Coober Pedy this morning, we travel across the sparse Moon Plain to the Painted Desert (Arckaringa Hills). Rich in fossil deposits, the Moon Plain offers a vast expanse of rocky plains unlike anywhere else, which have been featured in several films including Pitch Black, Red Planet and Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
We cross the Dog Fence for the first time today. Stretching for 5300km’s through 3 states, this is the longest fence in the world.
The Painted Desert is an ancient Inland Sea bed and the surrounding hills offer many different shades of orange, yellow and white, which have been created through weather conditions and erosion. It’s not hard to see why the area is named “Painted Desert”.
We continue to the town of Oodnadatta. The town was originally created when the Overland Telegraph Line was laid, later becoming the northern terminus for the Central Australia Railway. It’s a much quieter town now, mainly famous for it’s pink roadhouse.
This afternoon we travel the first half of the unsealed Oodnadatta Track. The track follows the Old Ghan Railway and Overland Telegraph lines, along an old Aboriginal trading route through semi-desert country with artesian springs and waterholes along the way. The route as also used by Afghanistan cameleers who led their camel trains along it in the 1880’s.
The Oodnadatta Track is littered with reminders of the short-lived gold rush and the Overland Telegraph Line, with remnants of the old railway line as well as the ruins of old town sites, station ruins, homes and cairns. We’ll stop at one of these sites, Algebuckina Bridge, on the way to William Creek.
William Creek is the smallest settlement in South Australia and is located 165km’s from the nearest town, sitting amidst the largest cattle station in the world (Anna Creek-approximately the size of England).
Overnight accommodation - motel room with en-suite, William Creek Pub Hotel, middle of nowhere, Outback South Australia
Day 4 (B,L,D)
This morning you have time for an optional Lake Eyre scenic flight (own expense).
Departing William Creek, we now drive out to Lake Eyre North for a look at the magnificent lake, which contains 400 million tonnes of salt and is 15 metres below sea level (Australia’s lowest point). Donald Campbell set a land speed world record of 649 kmh in his turbine car "Bluebird" on its dry bed back in 1964, it’s the largest inland lake in Australia and the largest salt lake in the world !
Continuing along the Oodnadatta Track to Marree, we stop at the Lake Eyre South lookout, we pass the famous dingo fence again and explore the natural artesian springs within Wabma Kadarbu Mound Springs Conservation Park. Water from the Great Artesian Basin has filtered to the surface here and created mound springs including The Blanche Cup and The Bubbler.
Marree is situated at the crossroads of the Oodnadatta and Birdsville Tracks and has a rich Aboriginal, Afghan and European heritage. It was also the base for the famous outback Mailman, Tom Kruse and his adventures are documented in the Tom Kruse Museum which is housed in the Marree Pub Hotel. One of his old trucks takes pride of place in the centre of the town.
Overnight accommodation – motel room with en-suite, Marree Pub Hotel
Day 5 (B,L,D)
Today we drive the famous stock route, the Birdsville Track, passing through the Tirari and Sturt Stony Deserts, vast gibber strewn plains and sand dunes.
The 517km track was established in the 1860s as the main stock route to bring cattle from central Queensland to the railway in Marree. Many stockman and cattle lost their lives on this track, so the Track is rich in history and tragedy. It later became an important outback freight route and in the 1930’s, it even had it’s own mail route ! While still unsealed and sandy in places, today we’re certainly travelling the route in more comfort than the pioneers of yesteryear !
Sights along the Birdsville Track include the ruins of the Lake Harry Date Plantation, the Cooper Creek Crossing, Natterannie Sandhills and Mungerannie Gap, which is the largest geographical sight along the Birdsville Track.
We’ll pass Mirra Mitta Bore, a hot flowing artesian bore, and then past Koonchera Dune into the Outback town of Birdsville in Queensland.
Late this afternoon you’ll take a locally run tour out to “Big Red”, the largest and most famous sand dune in the Simpson Desert. Enjoy sunset drinks and nibblies while the sun sets.
Overnight accommodation- motel room with en-suite, Birdsville Pub Hotel
Day 6 (B,L,D)
Departing Birdsville after breakfast, we now travel south again, through Cattle Country and back into South Australia. Our destination today is Innamincka, made famous by Victorian explorers Burke and Wills and their ill-fated exploration.
En-route we enjoy the view at Deon's Lookout and visit The Dreamtime Serpent.
We reach Innamincka and drive to the famous Burke and Wills Dig Tree (camp LXV). The explorers left a base camp here while they continued north, along with King and Grey. Although the man in charge of this camp waited longer than he’d been told to, the Burke and Wills party returned to find the camp empty. One of the most unfortunate coincidences in Australian history was that the camp has been abandoned only hours earlier ! Grey died en-route to Innamincka, Burke and Wills died along Cooper Creek and King, the only survivor, was looked after by local Aboriginal people until a search party found him.
Overnight accommodation- motel room with en-suite, Innamincka Pub Hotel
Day 7 (B,L,D)
We’ll join the last of our legendary Outback Tracks today - the Strzelecki Track, which runs north <>south from Lyndhurst to Innamincka. The Track was first used as a cattle route by bushman Harry Redford (AKA Captain Starlight), who stole 1000 cattle from Queensland and drove them to South Australia in 1871 without a single death. This was such an epic feat that the jury at his trial refused to convict him, even though he was clearly guilty !
Our first stop after leaving Innamincka, is the viewpoint at the Moomba oil and gasfields, a major supplier of both for Australian and overseas markets.
Turning off the Strzelecki Track, we now drive to the Northern Flinders Ranges and Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary. Founded in 1969 by Reg Sprigg, the privately owned sanctuary is famous for it's clear night skies, fantastic rock formations and gorges and the mineral deposits on the property including gold, sapphires, rubies, amethyst and quartz. Evidence of early mining, including ruins and abandoned equipment is scattered about Arkaroola.
Overnight accommodation- motel room with en-suite, Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary (2 night stay)
Day 8 (B,L,D)
This morning is free for you to indulge your own interests- perhaps take a walk, go bird watching (there are over 160 recorded bird species in the Arkaroola area), take a scenic flight or take one of the optional tours run by the Sanctuary (extra cost).
This afternoon you’ll take Arkaroola’s famous Ridgetop tour, culminating at Sillers Lookout with 360 degree views across the Freeling Heights, Lake From and the desert beyond.
Overnight accommodation- motel room with en-suite, Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary
Day 9 (B,L,D)
Today we make our way today into the central Flinders Ranges, home to a huge array of plant species, birds, reptiles and mammals. The 800 million-year-old quartzite and limestone ranges also have a rich indigenous and European history.
After a quick break in Parachilna, we enter the Brachina Gorge Geological Trail. This drive takes us through 130 million years of earth history, including meteorite debris, stromatolites and fossilized plant and animal life. Travelling to nearby Bunyeroo Gorge, we’ll stop for photos at Razorback Lookout.
We arrive at our accommodation mid- afternoon and once we’ve checked in, you can choose to take a walk into Wilpena Pound. The walk into Wilpena Pound is beautiful. Learn about the hardships the pioneering Hills family suffered at the Old Hills Homestead, and enjoy the views from Wangara lookout. The shuttle bus will shorten the walk for you, for a small extra cost.
Alternatively you can choose to take a scenic flight (at own expense).
Overnight accommodation- Wilpena Pound Resort- standard room with en-suite
Day 10 (B,L)
Departing the Flinders Ranges, we now travel back to Adelaide, stopping en-route in Hawker and Quorn. Hawker is the hub of the Flinders Ranges and was once a thriving railway town. Quorn is home to the famous Pichi Richi Railway and many heritage buildings and makes for a pleasant stroll around the town.
Back onto the highway now for the last leg of our journey, arriving in Adelaide at approximately 6pm. You will be dropped off at your accommodation.
END OF TOUR
B= Breakfast L= Lunch D= Dinner
9 nights accomodation, all meals , park entry fees, Coober Pedy mine tour, Arkaroola Ridgetop tour, Big Red sunset tour
Single room is an additional $655. Single travellers must have single room and pay single supplement.
7:00 AM Tue, Fri
Returns to Adelaide at approx 6pm
This tour departs Adelaide city and you will be collected from your Adelaide city hotel at approximately 7am- please advise us of your hotel at time of booking.
1L water bottle, per person,
Clothes and personnal items,
Camera and charger,
Wide Brimmed hat,
Good walking boots/ shoes/sandals,
something warm to wear in the evenings such as a fleece
Tour isn't suitable for children under age 10 years and child fare is valid for children between 10-15 years.
Please advise us of any dietry requirements or special needs at time of booking.
Flinders Ranges, Oodnadatta Track, Coober Pedy, Wilpena Pound and Lake Eyre
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