16 Day Adelaide to Darwin and Return on The Ghan

Featuring The Legendary Ghan

N.B. The itinerary is reversible depending on availability of THE GHAN

Days One and Two

We depart Adelaide Sunday afternoon on the Ghan, and arrive in Darwin Tuesday evening. The Ghan makes brief stops in Alice Springs and Katherine.

We stay in Darwin

Day Three

After breakfast we take a look around Darwin before heading to Kakadu National Park. On the way we join the Adelaide River Queen for a jumping crocodile cruise. We then take the Arnhem Highway to Ubirr, passing some enormous termite mounds along the way. At Ubirr we look at aboriginal paintings and enjoy the sweeping views of the surrounding Kakadu wetlands.

Bowali Visitor Centre is our next stop before heading to Nourlangie Rock art sites. A 1.5 kilometre walk takes you past an ancient aboriginal shelter and several art sites. Cooinda Lodge and Yellow Waters are our last stop for the day. Yellow Waters is a pristine environment that supports a truly wonderful variety of wildlife, including crocodiles.

We stay at Cooinda Lodge

Day Four

After breakfast we take the Kakadu Highway back to Stuart Highway (named after explorer John McDouall Stuart, and also known as Explorer's Way) on our way to Katherine. Along the way you have the option to enjoy a refreshing swim at Edith Falls. We then visit Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) and the hot springs on the banks of the Katherine River. The shady, spring-fed thermal creek is an ideal swimming area.

On arrival in Katherine we visit the Nitmiluk Visitor Centre, which is a great opportunity to experience aboriginal culture and discover more about Katherine's unique environment. You then have the choice of either a 2 hour relaxing cruise or a canoeing adventure in Katherine Gorge.

We spend the night in Nitmiluk.

Day Five

On this day we travel to Tennant Creek via the Stuart Highway. On the way, we visit the historic town of Mataranka (Land of the Never Never). The town is in the heart of Never Never country, so called as it is said that those who live in the area can never never leave. We visit Mataranka thermal pool, which is a constant 34 degrees Celcius, and flows from Rainbow Springs at an amazing 30.5 million litres per day! We then take the Stuart Highway to Daly Waters for lunch.

We stay in Tennant Creek overnight.

Day Six

We arrive in Alice Springs late in the afternoon.

Day Seven

We spend the morning exploring Alice Springs before heading to Kings Canyon, via the Western MacDonnell Ranges, and arriving late afternoon.

We stay in Kings Creek Station

Day Eight

After breakfast we head to Kings Canyon. A breath-taking walk around the rim of the canyon allows you to gaze down in awe at the sandstone chasm, which plunges 270 metres to the canyon floor. Otherwise, you can venture down into the chasm and discover luxuriant cycads around the permanent waterhole in the exotic Garden of Eden.

You can also discover traditional and contemporary Aboriginal Culture on a journey through an area of sacred caves and paintings, with Lilla Aboriginal Tours. Learn about traditional medicine and bush tucker and try your hand at spear, and boomerang throwing.

We stay at Kings Creek Station

Days Nine and Ten

We spend the next 2 days in Uluru and Kata Tjuta National Park. This means that there is plenty of time to appreciate the Aboriginal culture and environment on a 2-hour tour with an Aboriginal guide. We can also take a walk around the base of Uluru (aka. Ayers Rock).

A number of optional tours are available from Yalara, including:

  • Harley Davidson Tour of Uluru,
  • Camel rides to Uluru,
  • Helicopter flights over the Rock and Olgas,
  • And many more!

N.B. These optional tours are at your own expense.

Day Eleven

We head to Coober Pedy, which is in the heart of South Australia's vast outback, and is an opal wonderland. The town takes its name from the Aboriginal word Kupa (meaning "uninitiated man" or "white man") and Piti ("hole"). We also visit the Breakaway's Reserve and Moon Plain.

We spend the night in an underground motel.

Day Twelve

After breakfast we spend some time visiting mines and interpretive centres, which offer great insight into the town and its mining operations. If you would like to purchase some opal, there are over 30 opal shops to choose from!

After lunch we head to William Creek via the Oodnadatta Track. William Creek is the world's most isolated pub, where you can indulge in a well-deserved Australian beer. William Creek's claim to fame is that it is the smallest town in Australia, and it is located on the worlds largest cattle station, Anna Creek Station (32,500 square kilometres). You can then enjoy a walk along the old Ghan Railway line to the bridge at Breakfast Time Creek.

We stay at William Creek Hotel

Day Thirteen

Today's destination is Marree, accessed via the Oodnadatta Track. Maree is a land of contrasts. There are red gibber plains stretching to the horizon, mound springs that create bush oases and wetlands (we visit Bubbler Springs and Blanche Cup Springs), red gum-lined creeks, and vast areas of grey salt-bush spiky Spinifex. At Coward Springs you will have the opportunity for a relaxing soak in a hot pool. Remnants of the old Ghan Railway are abundant along the Oodnadatta Track.

We stay in Marree overnight.

Day Fourteen

Today we visit Iga Warta, where we spend some time learning about the Adnymathanha culture and environment, and listening to stories and music of the Adnymathanha people. Our first stop is the ghost town of Farina, which was set up in 1882 as a farming centre and railhead for wool and cattle.

From Farina we head to Lyndhurst, where we visit the spectacular red and brown ochre cliffs. From the ochre cliffs we head to Iga Warta to participate in a bush tucker walk and/or Aboriginal art walk (at your own expense).

On this evening, after dinner, we sit around a campfire sampling traditional damper with quandong jam.

We stay in Iga Warta
overnight (in a bungalow or camping).

Day Fifteen

After breakfast we head to Wilpena Pound Resort via Blinman, where we can see remnants of the original township built in 1859. We also visit the Blinman Hotel (built in 1865, and still trading) for a well deserved, ice-cold Aussie beer. At Wilpena we have a peaceful bush walk to Wangarra Lookouts and the Hill Homestead. After our walk, if time permits, we visit Sacred Canyon and Arkaroo Rock, which are major Aboriginal art sites.

We stay at Wilpena Pound Resort

Day Sixteen

We depart Wilpena Pound Resort at 9:00 am for Adelaide, and travel via the geological trail through the Bunyeroo Gorge and Brachina Gorge (which traces the geological history of the area for hundreds of million years). After Hawker, we visit Kanyaka ruins and Death Rock.

We then pass through Port Pirie, Port Germein and Port Augusta (the crossroads of Australia). At Port Augusta we explore the Flinders Ranges and Outback in Wadlata Outback Centre's Tunnel of Time. We discover it's origins, the Aboriginal Dreaming, European settlement, and much more. After lunch we head towards Adelaide, arriving at your accommodation at approximately 6:00 pm.


IF TRAVELLING ALONE PLEASE CONTACT PAUL ON 0414 807 891 TO CHECK AVAILIBILITYOperates: On demand, approximately 7:00 am day one to 6:00 pm day four.


  • Three nights twin share accommodation and camping,
  • Travel in Red Service comfort on The Ghan,
  • All breakfasts,
  • All dinners,
  • Some lunches,
  • Morning and afternoon teas,
  • Pick up / drop off at your accommodation by arrangement.


  • All other meals, unless specified in itinerary,
  • Mobile phone calls, souvenirs, optional tours and personal items,
  • Admission to attractions, unless specified in itinerary.

* It is suggested that appropriate sickness, accident & personal liability insurance be taken out. *

TOUR CONDITIONS: “JUST CRUISINreserve the right to alter or modify itinerary if prevailing weather, road conditions or adverse conditions require such change. Tour costs do not include additional accommodation, meals and incidental expenses incurred from flooding, natural delays, unavailable connections or other unforseen circumstances. It is suggested travel insurance is purchased to cover additional accommodation, meals and incidental expenses resulting from flooding, natural delays unavailable connections or other unforeseen expenses prior to departure. Due to the nature and remoteness of outback travel it is suggested anyone with health problems should seek advice from their doctor if necessary.

BOOKING CONDITIONS: A deposit of 20% is required to confirm your reservation. Balance is payable 21 days prior to departure.

CANCELLATIONS: Must be made 14 days prior to departure or full deposit is forfeited.

DON'T FORGET: Your camera, good walking shoes and hats. Please limit luggage to a small bag.

MOST OF ALL: Don't forget your sense of adventure!!!


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