Alice Springs To Darwin Rock To Top Adventure

Witness the beauty of the desert transform into the lush tropics

 

Explore the stunning Red Centre on a three-day camping tour, spend a day in Alice Springs to relax before travelling overland for three days to Darwin where you will witness the dry desert transform into the lush tropics. Can also start in Uluru at lunchtime  

Highlights of this fantastic seven-day tour include:

Camel Farm *currently unavailable*
View Mt. Connor (Atila)
Sunset at Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Uluru and Kata Tjuta Sunrise
Kata Tjuta walks
Kings Creek Station
Watarrka (Kings Canyon) National Park walks
Tropic of Capricorn 
Devils Marbles (Karlu Karlu) 
Banka Banka Cattle Station
Daly Waters Pub 
Mataranka Thermal Pools
Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park
Boat or Canoe Katherine Gorge (optional)

Booking Conditions

Age Restriction: 18+

Fitness Requirement: Must be able to walk 6km in hot environment

What's included

  • Pick up from central ASP accomm, AYQ airport or Resort
  • Professional guide
  • Travel in an air-conditioned mini-bus
  • Camping equipment including swag, pillow and pillow case
  • Two nights hostel accomm (dorm, twin/share or single)
  • Drinking water (please provide your own bottle)
  • Drop off at central DRW accomm

What To Bring

  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Walking shoes/boots
  • Swimwear
  • Swimming and/or bath towel
  • Insect repellent and fly net (if insects bother you)
  • Camera
  • Water bottle (1.5 litres)
  • Torch
  • Sleeping bag (if you prefer to use your own and not hire one)
  • Toiletries
  • Comfortable and casual clothing for seven days in a soft bag

Itinerary

Day 1 : Alice Springs to Uluru
It’s an early rise if you are joining us in Alice Springs where you will make the journey to Ayers Rock where we will meet our fellow travellers joining us there. This afternoon embark on an interpretive base walk of Uluru. Those choosing to climb will have the opportunity to do so, weather permitting. (Note: Uluru is a sacred site and the Anangu people ask visitors to respect their law and do not climb it). The Cultural Centre is impressive and well worth a visit before watching the ever changing colours of Uluru at sunset. After dinner, some stories and stargazing, it’s time for a good night’s rest at our private campsite before another active day tomorrow. *Lunch on Day 1 is only included for passengers beginning their tour in Alice Springs. Passengers starting in Ayers Rock will need to have eaten prior to pick up.
Meals :Lunch, Dinner

Day 2 : Uluru to Kings Creek Station via Kata Tjuta
Your guide will wake you bright and early to experience a mesmerising Uluru sunrise, early mornings being such a magical time in the desert. Then it’s a short drive to Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), an Aboriginal word for “many heads”, to explore its domes of which there are 36 in total. Pull on your hiking boots and take the Valley of the Winds walk through creek beds, domes and beautiful wilderness. After lunch, it’s farewell to Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park as we travel to Kings Creek Station to spend the night at our private camp.
Meals :Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 : Kings Creek Station to Alice Springs via Kings Canyon
This morning we enter the Watarrka (Kings Canyon) National Park, home of a mighty chasm with sheer red rock faces which soar over 100 metres above lush palm forests. The rim of Kings Canyon is a 6km round trip walk and you will visit the Amphitheatre, Lost City and tranquil Garden of Eden. After lunch together we begin our journey back to Alice Springs arriving in the early evening. Hostel accommodation included.
Meals :Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4 : Leisure Day
A day of leisure to either relax or explore the Red Centre township of Alice Springs. All activities and meals are at your own expense. Dorm or Budget ensuite (Twin/Single) accommodation in Alice Springs is included.
Meals :None

Day 5 : Alice Springs to Banka Banka Cattle Station
You will be collected from your Alice Springs accommodation at approximately 6.00am and then our adventure through the ‘Territory’ to Darwin begins. Just north of Alice Springs is the Tropic of Capricorn (80% of the Northern Territory lays north of this point). Further along the track is the Devils Marbles (Karlu Karlu) which are a collection of gigantic granite boulders magically balanced on top of one another. Our day winds to a close just north of Tennant Creek at historic Banka Banka Cattle Station where we camp in swags for the night.
Meals :Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 : Banka Banka to Mataranka
No trip to the ‘Territory’ is complete without a visit to the Daly Waters Pub, an important watering hole for explorers and drovers in days gone by and now a great spot for a cold beer, a bit of history and a ‘fair dinkum Outback experience’! Later in the day you can take a soak in the Mataranka Thermal Pools, a lush oasis fringed by paperbark trees and nearby where we camp overnight.
Meals :Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 : Katherine Gorge to Darwin
Your guide will wake you early this morning for the short drive to the Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park which is owned by the Jawoyn Aboriginal people. Ancient sandstone has been carved away by the Katherine River to create a deep and picturesque gorge. You may like to take a boat cruise or paddle a canoe (not available all year due to seasonal conditions) through the peaceful water (both optional and additional cost). In the afternoon, relax and watch the changing landscape as we travel to cosmopolitan Darwin and arrive in the early evening.
Meals :Breakfast, Lunch

Pickups

Departs                                            
Alice Springs                                     From central accommodation from 4:50am

Ayers Rock Airport                           12.55 / 13.55 depending on season.

Those arriving into AYQ in the morning can catch the free shuttle bus to Ayers Rock Resort for pick up from Outback Pioneer

Outback Pioneer (AYQ Resort)         12.55

Finishes                                            
Darwin                                               at approximately 5.30pm

AUD $25
Some of our tours require a local fee for National Parks that need to be paid directly to your guide while on tour.

Optional Excursions

Optional Activities (Available to sign up on tour with your guide)

  • Nature
  • Adventure
  • Outback

Available Extras

Customers are required to pay their $25 per person National Park Fee via credit card when reconfirming their tour for all tours departing until 31 March 2019. National Park Entry Fees included for all tours departing after 01 April 2019.
Travel from 1 November 2018 to 31 March 2019 - $25 per person

Boat cruise or canoe at Katherine Gorge is an optional activity and not included in price.

Camel ride is optional and at own expense and is available only to those starting in Alice Springs *current unavailable*

Those with specific dietary requirements may need to bring food supplements and snacks. Please inform us of dietary requirements at time of booking and confirm details with reservations when reconfirming tour.

Tents are available to hire on days 1-3 for $60 per person

Sleeping bag hire is a $50 local payment or you can bring your own. Must be pre-booked

No Credit Card or Booking Fees!!

Need More Information

We have 24/7 customer service support.

On this 7-day tour, you will travel from Alice Springs to Darwin. You will be able to enjoy all the stunning highlight the Northern Territory has to offer from a comfortable minibus. From the iconic Uluru to stunning Devil's Marble, this trip has it all.

Recent Independent Reviews

  • On Trip Advisor

    Donk was our guide. He took the time to explain what we wanted and needed to know. He ensured we were safe at all times and ensured we knew exactly what was expected so we could all get the best out of the trip. He even showed us how to sleep in our swags so we could get the most out of sleeping under the stars. (the swags had a great mattress and Donk swept the area so we would have a comfortable sleep without any stray sticks or rocks in our backs)

    We only had a small group of 10 from mixed countries, Donk helped us to get to know each other. By the end of day one we were like a little family.

    The tour was well thought out and Donk customised it according to the groups wishes. eg. Day two, we were meant to go to Kata Tjuta however due to fires the walk we were meant to do was closed by the park rangers. He was very open and transparent with the group about the situation - let's face it, we didn't want to get caught in a fire anyway. We, as a group were allowed some freedom in choosing what we wanted to do.

    Donk ensured we were on time without being over the top. He ensured we were well fed - there was lots of food with meat eaters and vegetarians both being catered for.

    For me it was the little things that meant a lot. I like birds, Donk carried with him a little bird chart on the Rim walk so we could identify them. He showed us a book that talked about the history and making of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. He had plenty of positive reinforcement about all of the things we were doing right.

    Donk even organised a dinner at Uncles at the end of the trip so we could say our last good byes. Everyone was dropped off at their accommodation, freshened up and made their own way to dinner. Everyone attended. I put this down to Donk's way of getting the group to work and come together.

    All in all we had a wonderful time. Yes it was hot, yes there were flies (lots of them) however we loved every second of it especially sleeping under the stars.

    On Trip Advisor

    Just finished a 4 day 3 night tour in Kakadu, Litchfield and Arnhem Land. Weather around 30 daily and 20 nightly - no rain. We had 2 campsites, 1 for 1 night the other for 2 nights. They were both tucked into a section of a much larger caravan park and camp grounds. I did think we would be out in the middle of nowhere, so it was a pleasant surprise, especially to see a swimming pool and have a cold drink at the bar when we returned each night. The shower and toilet blocks were typical of an Australian caravan park. Our tents had 2 single beds in each, and a couple had a bunk bed and a single. Kirsten, our guide, gave us a bottom & top sheet, pillow case, sleeping bag and bath towel each if required. We all helped out with prep etc of each meal, which I wasn't aware of prior from my booking agent, as I thought we would have a cook at the camp preparing our dinner nightly - ready when we returned. Our tour guide was an amazing 25yo woman who drove us around all day then prepared lunch and dinner daily with out help. Well done Kirsten!!! We packed a lot into each day which was incredible and the tour was flexible by not always watching the clock. Nothing seemed too much trouble. I had a great experience and would highly recommend the tour. Day 4 we were picked up from the campsite by Top End Day Tours (a different company that they must outsource to) to travel to Arnhem Land. Our tour guide Petra was very knowledgeable on the indigenous art in the region. At Injalak Art Centre we watched aboriginal artists screen printing and weaving, and learning of the style of indigenous art in the region which is quite different to indigenous art in Alice Springs. Roland, an indigenous artists, was our guide for Injalak Hill - where he lead us up and around - very carefully - all the rock art galleries and telling us the stories of each. We had lunch up on a rock on the hill with an amazing view, still amazed how Petra got all the food up the hill. After lunch and a few more rock art galleries we made our way back to the 4WD to find Petra again awaiting us with cold face washers - such a perfect touch for our hot sweaty faces. The only down fall I guess was the 2 tour companies don't seem to have the best communication as Petra was shocked to hear our hotel was at Darwin Airport and not in the city, as they apparently only drop back to the city..........but she did take us to our hotel. Thank you. What a fabulous 4 days & experience!!!!

    On Trip Advisor

    We took the rock to top tour which meant we had two different guides as the tour is broken into two seperate itineraries and covers seperate areas. Both guides offered their unique style of guiding and provided us with insight into indigenous knowledge and culture. Sleeping in swags under the stars with a warm fire burning was magical and difficult to describe in words. Food was great, fellow travellers were wonderful and the itinerary covered all the must see sights. Sunsets/sunrises were exceptional. I would highly recommend this tour if you want to be lead by a competent and caring guide who respects and values what this spiritual land has on offer. Way outback do it well!

    On Trip Advisor

     

    Unforgettable Rock to Top Adventure - 7 days Alice Springs to Darwin

    Had a fantastic unforgettable 7 days Alice Springs to Darwin adventure with the guys from Wayoutback! This trip is by far the best trip I have ever done in Australia.

    I booked this trip as a 7 day adventure but it was a combination of two three days trips. The first part focused on Uluru, Kata Tjuṯa, Kings Canyon and Alice Springs. The second three days trip focused on travelling from Alice Springs to Darwin. These trips are intensive and you should expect to be up before sunrise every day.

    Day 1. The first part of my tour began when I got picked up by my first guide (Alex) from Ayers Rock airport. Most of my fellow travellers had started their tour earlier that morning from Alice Springs. Including me, there were 24 travellers from all areas of the world.

    From Ayers Rock airport it was a short drive to the national park where we visited the cultural center and went for a short walk around the base of Uluru where Alex told us some stories about local Aboriginal culture and flora and fauna, after the walk we watched the most amazing sunset from viewing area.

    From other reviews online, I decided to purchase a fly net at Sydney airport. This was by far the best 6 dollars spent on this trip. My fellow travellers without net spent the day swatting flies or trying to hide their faces in other ways. Do not underestimate the flies. There are millions of them. Bring a fly net!

    We arrived at camp when it got dark (the flies left) and here we all worked together to cook dinner and light a fire. Alex served us BBQ chicken with rice and veggies, which was fresh and tasty! After some stories and stargazing it was time to go to bed in our swags. The swag that I collected was moldy, so I changed it to a new one without any trouble. I had little (but very comfy!) sleep because I have had never seen so many stars and the milkyway in my life.

    Day 2. Rise and shine early (approx 5:30 am) to have breakfast, pack up and make our way back to Uluru for sunrise. After a great sunset, we made our way to Kata Tjuṯa for a short (7km) hike up and around the spectacular rock formations. Alex was very knowledgeable about the geological history of the landscape and local flora and fauna.

    After the hike, we had lunch (hamburgers and sausages), collected fire wood on the way, stopped at some roadhouses for fuel and supplies (beer - if you wanted) and made our way Kings Creek Station where we spent the night. Kangaroo bolognese cooked on the coals (and veggie sauce for the squeamish or vegetarian people) was for dinner! We spent more time telling stories and stargazing after dinner before we crawled into our swags and had sweet dreams.

    Day 3. We got up early (again) to start our hike at King's Canyon before sunrise. The first climb of the canyon is called "Heart Attack Hill" and there is a defribilator at the top. The walk around the canyon was very impressive and beautiful!

    After the walk, we had lunch and made our way back (5 hours drive) to Alice Springs. On the way there were plenty of stops. At one roadhouse (Alex's favourite place in the world) there was a baby camel, birds and a baby snake that we could cuddle. Once in Alice Springs, Wayoutback arranged for my accommodation for two nights at Haven Hostel. In the evening those who wanted joined Alex and fellow travellers for dinner and drinks.

    This was a nice ending to three great days and the first part of my trip with Wayoutback. Thanks Alex!

    Day 4. Free day in Alice Springs. Spent the night in Haven Hostel, arranged by Wayoutback.

    The second part (three days) focused on travelling from Alice Springs to Darwin.

    Day 5. The second part of my trip started with an early pickup at the Haven Hostel. Only one other person out of my 23 fellow travellers from the first trip was going on this second adventure with me.

    Our guide Donk (a.k.a. Matt) was a real Aussie character, really enthusiastic and picked me and four other people up from the hostel and immediately set the tone for what was going to be a great three days together. In the bus were only three other people, making our total group only 8 people and Donk. Donk introduced himself and explained the rough outline of our three days together. It was going to be a lot of driving but also a lot of fun. He said that we could ask him anything and he would try to pull over anywhere in case we wanted to take a picture of something.

    Once on the road and a bit more awake, Donk handed out markers for us to decorate the windows and made one of us write a list on the window next to one of the seats near the front of the bus. The list was: name, where from, favourite food, celebrity crush, favourite super power, first/last kiss and what animal would you be. One by one we had to answer these questions. This was a great ice breaker in such a small group and made us to get to know each other really quick in a fun way!!

    We stopped at the Tropic of Capricorn (not so interesting imo) and at various roadhouses to get a coffee and fuel. Lunch brought us to Wycliffe Well; "the alien capital of Australia", which was a quirky place with loads of UFO/alien/sci-fi stuff to see. For lunch: grilled hamburgers with all the fresh toppings and condiments you could think of. Donk explained his way of presenting the food: if you take one more minute the time to present the food nicely (e.g. taking shredded cheese out of the package and placing it on a plate, or beetroot out of the can, etc.), people will respect it and enjoy it more! This turned out to be 100% true ánd made everyone enjoy the food and cooking together a lot! While driving, Donk told us a lot about the land, the surroundings, the culture, wildlife and fauna. He was very knowledgeable and knew the answer to almost every question!


    After lunch, we drove to the Devils Marbles along with some stops on the way. At Devils Marbles we did a short walk and climbed the lookout. After the impressive Devils Marbles, we were on our way to Banka Banka Cattle Station and stopped to see some termite mounts from close by and to get some beers (if you'd like to) in the town of Tennant Creek. Just out of Tennant Creek we stopped to look at a historic telegraph station. We arrived at Banka Banka at sundown and prepared a great meal of two different pasta's, chicken and salad. Around campfire it was time for some good stories and a beer! The atmosphere and group dynamic after this first day was amazing, and I already enjoyed it more than the first part of this trip. I went to bed at 3:30 (because of the stars, there was a shooting star every two minutes!!!!) and had one of the best nights in Australia.

    Day 6. Woke up at 5:00 to have breakfast, pack up and leave Banka Banka before the flies came out. On the way, we stopped at some quirky roadhouses for a coffee or a snack with a good story and made our way to the Daly Waters Pub where we had a beer (if you wanted) and looked around the town (population: 15, pub: 1). Donk prepared lunch for us!

    After lunch we were on our way to Mataranka where we visited both thermal pools - this was possible because we were a small group and could move quickly! We spent about an hour splashing in each of the pools. A great fairy-tale like refreshing after a long day on the bus! After swimming, we set up camp at sunset near Katherine and cooked up a storm for dinner. Tonight's dinner was steak, snags, spuds and salad. We had a great camp fire and another amazing night's sleep under the stars.

    Day 7. Donk woke us up before sunrise for breakfast and to pack up and to leave to Katherine Gorge for a climb up to the viewing platforms at sunrise. As soon as the sun popped over the horizon, it got very humid and hot - we were definitely in the tropics now! The views were great and Donk told us some great stories about local Aboriginal culture and crocodiles.

    In the afternoon, we visited Edith Falls where we did a short climb of 40 minutes up to the most magical swimming hole and waterfall I've ever been to in Australia. The steep climb was rewarded by swimming in the crystal clear water and jumping from the surrounding rocks and waterfalls.

    After the falls, it was en route to Darwin with a couple stops on the way before arriving in Darwin late afternoon, just in time before sunset. At night we met up again for dinner and drinks at a great place called Monsoons (bit of a party vibe, not for everyone, definitely for me though) where we looked back on an amazing trip and said goodbye to new friends! Thank you Donk for the best trip I've done in Australia.

    Personally I liked the second three days Alice Springs to Darwin the most because the travel was more intensive, the group was smaller, the places were quirkier and more middle-of-nowhere and the guide got more involved (which makes sense, 25+ or 8 passengers).

    Both guides were very professional, did not drink and did not sleep where the passengers were sleeping. I would highly recommend this unforgettable trip to anyone aged 20 - 35 who's up for a brilliant adventure!