In the early Summer of 2012 the Aussie Backpacker team had the pleasure of making the trek from Adelaide to Alice Springs. Here was our itinerary, which we highly recommend if you’re desperate for an escape from the bustle of the city and pine for a quintessential outback adventure.
From Adelaide we head north to one of oldest mountain ranges on earth, the Flinders Ranges. Take a walk through Alligator Gorge National Park, where you are greeted with spectacular views of the mountains and Spencer Gulf. Then travel through the picturesque Pichi Richi Pass to the historic township of Quorn, which was once the start of the original Ghan Railway. And in the spirit of the Afghans cameleers you will explore this spectacular area on camels before settling in to enjoy a wholesome meal cooked on the campfire. Tonight we are joined by local Aboriginal elders who will talk about their culture and history. Roll out your swags and sleep happy and contented under millions of stars.
Overnight: Flinders Ranges
Awake to the friendly call of our native birds and marvel at the Australian bush. Today we visit the Aboriginal art site at Yourambulla Caves, where our guide will introduce you to the history of the Flinders Ranges. Then venture into Wilpena Pound for a bush walk and magnificent views of this amazing natural amphitheatre, one of the unique wonders of the world. Enjoy lunch in the heart of Wilpena Pound, followed by an awe-inspiring drive along the northern side of Wilpena through the famous Bunyeroo and Brachina Gorges known as the “Corridors through Time”. This is a spectacular experience where you will pass through 130 million years geological history. We may even be lucky enough to spot the endangered Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby.
Overnight: Flinders Ranges
Leave the splendour of the rugged mountain scenery and travel North into the outback. At Lyndhurst we begin our journey up the famous Oodnadatta Track, following the historic route of the Cameleers and the Old Ghan Railway. Further north to Marree we visit the Arabunna Aboriginal centre and spend time with Aboriginal elders. Cross the dingo fence and check out Lake Eyre. Have a dip in Thermal springs; enjoy a nice cold beer at William creek, a real bush pub. Town’s population 8!
Overnight: Desert camp
In the morning, we arrive at Coober Pedy, the Opal Mining Capital of the World. Here we will enjoy an underground mine tour, fossick for opal, and watch an opal cutting display. Meet the locals who live in houses under the ground in one of the world’s most arid landscapes. Continue out into the Painted Desert and camp amongst the beautiful Arkaringa hills.
Overnight: Painted Desert
Morning at the Pink Roadhouse at Oodnadatta is an interesting coffee spot in the middle of nowhere. If time permits, we can stop at Australia’s first Royal Flying Doctor clinic. Later in the day we travel further
north into the remote outback of South Australia. Crossing red sand hills of the Simpson Desert. Take a rejuvenating dip in a desert oasis – Dalhousie Hot Springs (winter only).
Overnight: Desert camp
We head north/west to Finke aboriginal community and then onto Lamberts Centre, the geographical centre of the continent. Spend the afternoon travelling into the heart of Central Australia, exploring this unique and exciting area, which is alive with desert animals of all types.
Overnight: Bush camp
An exciting morning travelling to Uluru where we have time to fully appreciate the Aboriginal culture and spiritual meaning this area has to the traditional owners. Join our guided walk around the base of Uluru which introduces you to the traditional food sources and spirituality of this area. Here we can relax and learn the ways and listen to stories of the Anungu through displays and educational information at the Cultural Centre. Sunset at the Rock.
Sunrise at Uluru then we head out to another scared area for the Anungu and hike through the spectacular canyons and rock formations that make up, Kata Tjuta / The Olga’s. Learn about some of the bush tucker that grows in the area and photograph some of the most beautiful scenery the desert has to offer. After lunch we travel on north towards Watarka National Park and set up camp in the red sand hills protected by the majestic desert oak trees.
Overnight: Kings Canyon area
Regarded as one of the most rewarding walks of the tour, we spend approximately 5 hrs exploring Kings Canyon. Trek to places like the Amphitheatre and the lost city. In the afternoon, we will explore the huge comet crater at Gosses Bluff and perhaps search for the elusive Thorny Devil.
Overnight: Western MacDonnell Ranges
Travelling along the Western MacDonnell Ranges we will be stopping at Glen Helen Gorge then onto Ormiston Gorge. There will be the opportunity to swim at Ellery Creek Big Hole or Simpson Gap before entering Alice Springs around 5pm. Tonight is the night to get cleaned up, and hit the town.
The last ten days together, sharing this unique experience will leave you with an enormous sense of achievement. Our trips are led by experienced driver/guides who have a genuine interest in aboriginal history and culture.
If you have any questions or comments about our trek, give us a shout below!