Outback adventure: 7 trips that take you deep into Australia’s red heart

The Australian outback is home to endless landscapes, abundant wildlife and one of the most ancient cultures in the world. Discover it all on these amazing adventures in Australia’s other-worldly heartland

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1: Into the Never Never

A waterfall in Kakadu National Park (Dreamstime)

A waterfall in Kakadu National Park (Dreamstime)

Travel deep into the heart of Australia’s enigmatic Top End on this luxury, small group tour of outback Australia with Exsus Travel.

It is here, far from Australia’s cities and coastlines, that you’ll discover the scenery and wildlife that shapes this fascinating country. After a five-star stay in Darwin, you’ll venture into Darwin National Park and its mangrove ecosystems, then the wetlands of Fogg Dam and Corroboree Billabong, before heading to Kakadu National Park and Jabiru, encountering incredible wildlife along the way. 

Finally, you’ll fly to the remote Borradaile Safari Camp in Arnhem Land, before finishing your journey in Bamurru Plains and returning to Darwin.

Trip: Off The Beaten Track: Highlights Of The Northern Territory

Who: Exsus Travel

When: Departures throughout the year

How long: 13 nights

How much: From £9,450 (inc. flights)

2: Trek the Larapinta in comfort and style

Enjoying the scenery of the Larapinta Trail  (World Expeditions)

Enjoying the scenery of the Larapinta Trail (World Expeditions)

Explore the best sections of one of the world’s most iconic desert treks as you walk the legendary Larapinta Trail with World Expeditions.

On this fully supported trek, a winner of the 2016 and 2017 Ecotourism award in the Brolga Northern Territory Tourism Awards, you’ll follow the high ridge lines of the West MacDonnell Ranges and see the vast flood plains that form this ancient land. You’ll be dwarfed by the immensity of Ormiston and Serpentine Gorge and soothed by their idyllic waterholes. The dramatic colour changes in the rock formations at Simpsons Gap and Standley Chasm are astounding and, to top it all off, you’ll climb to the lofty peak of Mt Sonder to watch the sunrise.

At the end of each day you’ll relax in comfort at architect-designed camps with hot showers, comfortable lounges and heated dining shelter and enjoy gourmet 3-course dinners around the campfire. This is the ultimate Larapinta experience.

Trip: Classic Larapinta Trek In Comfort

Who: World Expeditions

When: Departures Apr-Sep

How long: 6 days

How much: From £1,530 (exc. flights)

3: Step back in time in East Arnhem Land

Aboriginal artist searching for supplies (Peter Moore)

Aboriginal artist searching for supplies (Peter Moore)

Witness the real connection between the land and the first people’s of Australia on this 7-day adventure through Australia’s little visited East Arnhem Land.

This vast and rugged wilderness is where the Yolngu people have lived for millennia. and, even today, you’ll still find clans fishing, sailing and enjoying the homeland of their ancestors. As you explore this stunning stretch of traditional land, you’ll learn how to hunt and gather, dance and make bark paintings under the guidance of clan leaders. 

The highlight of your visit will be your stay on Bremer Island, where you will feel  like a castaway, marooned on this spectacular oasis. There is no human development and interference here, just the world as it once was.

Trip: Expedition - Journey into East Arnhem Land

Who: Intrepid

When: Sep

How long: 7 days

How much: £3,585 (exc. flights)

4: The Outback, north to south

Welcome to Coober Pedy (Dreamstime)

Welcome to Coober Pedy (Dreamstime)

Get ready for an adventure jam packed with dramatic landscapes, abundant wildlife and outback characters as you travel the length of Australia’s red heart with G Adventures.

Travelling south from Darwin to Adelaide, you’ll enjoy everything the legendary outback has to offer. You’ll explore two of Australia’s greatest National Parks – Kakadu and Litchfield – checking out wildlife, waterfalls, and more. You’ll travel deep into the Red Centre and witness the magic of Uluru. And you’ll fossick for opals in Coober Pedy, a small town where everybody lives underground to escape the heat.

All the sights and the chance to strike it rich - what more do you want from a holiday?

Trip: Australia North To South – Darwin To Adelaide

Who: G Adventures

When: Departures May-Oct

How long: 13 days

How much: £1,329 (exc. flights)

5: Cruise the Kimberley

Horizontal Falls in the Kimberleys (Dreamstime)

Horizontal Falls in the Kimberleys (Dreamstime)

Discover the towering waterfalls, rugged cliffs, Aboriginal art and extraordinary wildlife of the Kimberley Coast on this small ship cruise through Australia’s remotest corner with Wildlife Worldwide.

Starting with a stay at a luxury lodge on the edge of Kakadu National Park, renowned for its teeming wildlife, you’ll join the comfortable expedition vessel, Coral Expeditions II, for a ten-day cruise along the deeply indented coastline of the Kimberley region. Along the way you’ll discover the majestic King George River with its towering 80-metre twin falls and the mysterious Bradshaw (Gwion) Paintings of Bigge Island. You’ll explore the Mitchell Plateau and cruise the Kimberley's ‘big' rivers before experiencing beautiful King Cascades, remarkable Montgomery Reef and the amazing natural phenomenon of the Horizontal Falls in the south.

Accompanied by experienced guides, you’ll gain an unparalleled insight into this stunning region, all in total comfort and unrivalled style.

Trip: Wildlife Of Kimberley & Bamurru Plains

Who: Wildlife Worldwide

When: Departures May-Sep

How long: 18 days

How much: From £7,345 (exc. flights)

6: Adventure on the Outback

Kakadu sunset (Dreamstime)

Kakadu sunset (Dreamstime)

Going Australia Sky on this adventure-filled 10 night tour of the wild side of Australia’s mysterious red centre. 

The trip begins at Uluru, the majestic, ever-changing ’Rock’, that sits at the heart of the nation. After learning its secrets, you’ll make your way north across the remote and less-trodden paths of the Top End, learning about Aboriginal history and lifestyle in the Outback and getting unparalleled access to Australia’s greatest natural wonders.  Take in the glorious sunset and sunrise over Uluru, walk through Kings Canyon, take a dip in Mataranka’s thermal pools, explore Litchfield National Park and swim beneath the Wangi Falls. The magic of the outback awaits.

Trip: Outback Adventure

Who: Australian Sky

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: 10 nights

How much: £2,599 (exc. flights)

7: Rock the rock

Uluru (Dreamstime)

Uluru (Dreamstime)

This 3-day adventure with Intrepid is the perfect way to fully experience and understand one of the world’s most iconic sights, Uluru.

Flying in and out of Yulara, you’ll witness this ancient monolith bathed in both early morning and late afternoon light and walk its base with an an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guide who will explain its spiritual significance and point out its hidden secrets. 

Your adventure will also take you to the towering facade of Kings Canyon and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), before returning for an unforgettable evening of open air Outback dining. Literally a 1,000 Star Dinner.

Trip: Uluru Adventure ex Yulara

Who: Intrepid

When: Regular departures throughout the year

How long: 3 days

How much: From £395 (exc. flights)

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