Experience Australia’s iconic sights with this two-week journey from Sydney to Darwin including the Red Centre and the famous Ghan train. Get to know Sydney and snap pictures at the Sydney Opera House before heading out to the Hunter Valley for a day trip to sample fine local wines.
Next, you’ll fly from Sydney to Uluru where you’ll journey into the outback to learn more about Australia’s cultural heritage from the Aboriginal people who still live here. Experience breath-taking scenery as you walk around the base of Uluru and through the Valley of the Winds, at Kata Tjuta. Share stories around the campfire with your fellow group tour travellers and overnight in permanent tents in your private outback campsite.
Moving on, you’ll board the luxurious Ghan Australia train north from Alice Springs to Darwin where you’ll experience fine dining and excellent service as you sit back and enjoy views across the Australian red desert. Spend a few nights enjoying tropical Darwin and its surrounds, including Litchfield and Kakadu National Park. Both parks are known for their cascading waterfalls and spectacular scenery, providing the perfect end to your holiday.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport.
On arrival in Sydney, you'll be greeted and taken to your hotel to check in for a 3 night stay.
You now have a full day to experience this exciting city. Why not head down to Circular Quay to join a cruise across the harbour or book a tour of the iconic Sydney Opera House for a behind-the-scenes look at one of the worlds most famous landmarks? You could take a stroll around Hyde Park before enjoying lunch and a glass of wine at Darling Harbour with its abundance of restaurants and bars.
Today we’ve included a full day small group tour to Hunter Valley. Departing early, you will be collected from your hotel and taken over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and out of the city to the Australian Reptile Park. Here you can enjoy morning tea surrounded by native Australian animals before continuing on to the Hunter Valley, one of Australia’s most famous wine growing regions. With over 150 wineries, 65 restaurants, gourmet produce and boutique breweries – this is the perfect region for a bit of indulgence!
First stop is a 5* winery where you can sample the wine alongside a selection of cheese, then you’ll see how this wine is produced. Enjoy a relaxing two-course lunch (with a glass of wine of course) before heading to Hunter Village where you can visit the chocolate shop for tastings, take part in another wine tasting or explore the boutique shops.
You will be dropped off at your hotel after the tour.
You will be collected from your hotel this morning and taken to the airport for your domestic flight to Uluru (Ayers Rock).
On arrival, your guide will greet you before taking you for an interpretive walk, sharing stories about indigenous culture and the traditional methods of painting that plays an important part in the sustainability of the Aboriginal culture. Starting with a walk to the cave paintings near Mutitjulu Waterhole, you will head to the base of Uluru where you will be guided by the local Anangu, hearing stories about this unique landscape and the connection between art, culture and the land.
This evening you will stay at an exclusive campsite in comfortable safari tents with real bedding. You can watch the sun set over the iconic rock and even have the opportunity to enjoy a uniquely Australian experience by sleeping under the stars in your very own 'swag'.
Your early rise today will be rewarded! You’ll get to see a sun rise over Uluru and Kata Tjuta at a private area near the site before taking a walk through the 'Valley of the winds' at Kata Tjuta. Kings Creek Cattle Station provides a private bush camp for your second night here, complete with bush shower and toilet. This secluded location enjoys stunning views over the George Gill Ranges, with dinner served around the campfire. Listen for dingos howling in the distance, as this camp provides an amazingly authentic Outback experience.
After breakfast, it’s time to head to Kings Canyon for a walk between its towering walls, crevices and plateaus. Visit the Amphitheatre, Lost City and the tranquil 'Garden of Eden' today before heading back to Alice Springs for early evening.
You will overnight in Alice Springs.
This afternoon you’ll join the luxurious Ghan train - so get ready to relax into your own private cabin, available in Gold Twin, Gold Superior and Platinum standard. If you head to the lounge you can enjoy a drink and meet your fellow passengers before freshening up and heading to Queen Adelaide restaurant cart for a delicious dinner made with fresh Australian produce. Sample local cuisine such as kangaroo fillet and crocodile boudin blanc, all served with crisp Australian wine.
Spend tonight on board the train.
After breakfast on board, it’s time to explore the outback town of Katherine and today there are plenty of options to choose.
Enjoy a leisurely cruise on the Katherine River or learn more about the local Jawoyn people with an Aboriginal cultural experience trying out some of the skills that have been developed over thousands of years. Upgrade to a scenic flight over Kakadu and Nitmiluk National Parks for magnificent views over cascading falls and giant gorges. A delicious late lunch is followed by relaxation on board as the train takes you through the afternoon, arriving into Darwin early evening.
On arrival into Darwin, you will join your transfer for the short journey into Darwin city centre where you will check into your hotel for a 5-night stay.
Located in the tropical Northern Territory of Australia, Darwin is a small city with a big character! Surrounded by national parks rich with history, culture and striking landscapes Darwin provides a perfect base to explore this fascinating region.
Spend your first day exploring the city, visit the resident saltwater crocodiles in Crocosaurus Cove, cool off in the lagoon or wave pool down at the waterfront or relax and enjoy a beer in one of Darwin’s friendly pubs and bars.
Today we have included a day trip to nearby Litchfield National Park. An early start is rewarded as you stop for a closer look at the Magnetic and Cathedral termite mounds. With some standing as high as 6 metres, these feats of architecture contain arches, tunnels and chimneys built by their insect inhabitants!
Once at the park you will explore waterfalls, spring-fed streams and rugged sandstone escarpments before enjoying a BBQ lunch. Afterwards, discover rock holes and swim in the cascading falls of Buley Rockhole before heading back to Darwin for early evening.
After breakfast you will be collected by your tour group and taken into the world heritage listed Kakadu National Park, passing through the monsoonal rainforest, sandstone country and the world’s most protected river system, the South Alligator River.
Spend time at Kakadu’s premier Aboriginal art site, Ubirr, visiting rock art galleries and shelters, the hundreds of paintings on display here offer a glimpse across the timeline of Aboriginal history, with original drawings still being created up to as recently as 40 years ago.
Following lunch you will cruise through the Mary River wetlands system, housing the world’s highest concentration of crocodiles as well as a myriad of bird species, wallabies and water buffalo. Look forward to a glass of sparkling wine as you cruise serenely amongst sacred lotus lilies. As the day draws to a close, you’ll be taken back to your hotel in Darwin by early evening.
Today is a free day for you to enjoy Darwin. On Sundays and Wednesdays be sure to head to Mindil Beach Sunset Market near the Marina. With its quirky stalls and tons of street food on offer, watching the sun set on the beach with a beer in hand is a Darwin tradition!
You will be collected from your hotel and taken to the airport by shared transfer to connect with your onward journey.
Sydney is a great year-round destination. Peak season is the summer months between November & March, the period over Christmas and New Year can be costly and should be booked well in advance. The shoulder seasons of May and October can be a great time to visit with days still warm but crowds much fewer and accommodations cheaper.
The Red Centre is a year-round destination however please note that it will be very hot during December. The Red Centre has a semi-arid climate; between December and February, temperatures range between 20c and 35c and in winter temperatures range between 3c and 20c. Autumn is an excellent time to visit the Red Centre with warm days and cooler nights.
October to April is considered the ‘wet season’ so Darwin and Kakadu National Park will experience heavy rains, flash flooding, and many roads will close at some point. The included tour may operate a different programme at this time depending on the roads in the national parks. We recommend that you visit during May-September when roads are open, and the sun is shining in Kakadu and Darwin, the town is buzzing with visitors during these months, so booking ahead is worthwhile.
We’re experts in planning tailor-made holidays, so whether you’re looking for a luxury Australia holiday, ideas for a road trip, or multi-stop flights to Australia with stopovers – let us help you with the planning. Our experts can tailor-make precisely the trip you’re looking for - this itinerary is purely a suggestion, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.
8 nights in 4* standard accommodation.
Plus 1 night on board the Ghan in a Gold Twin Standard Cabin
Plus 2 nights in permanent tents with real bedding as part of your small group tour in the Red Centre.
Hotels in this category include: