Day 01: Tuesday 3rd April 07 – MELBOURNE (-) H

The tour group assembles in Melbourne at Explorers Inn for a briefing meeting at 6.00pm. Meet your fellow travellers, the Austour crew and the tour coordinators. Multi-share accomm, no meals, overnight Explorers Inn, 16 Spencer Street, Melbourne.

Day 02: Wednesday 4th April 07 - GREAT OCEAN ROAD TO MT GAMBIER (BLD) T

Our safari tour commences at 7am as we journey to Geelong and on towards Colac, detouring to the Great Ocean Road. An exciting journey along this coastal scenic route takes us to the Twelve Apostles and the Port Campbell National Park. Visit Warrnambool and the sea-side fishing town of Port Fairy. Our overnight tonight is in the country town of Mt Gambier, South Australia. Overnight in tents at the Blue Lakes Holiday Park.

Day 03: Thursday 5th April 07 - TO ADELAIDE (BLD) T

A brief tour of Mt Gambier, noted for its blue volcanic crater lakes, then we continue along the Princes Highway through Millicent to Kingston. We are skirting the Coorong National Park, a coastal wilderness. Our tour continues on via Meningie across the Murray by punt to Strathalbyn, a popular holiday resort. Journey through the McClaren Vale wine district to Adelaide the capital city of South Australia for a brief down town stop. Overnight Adelaide Shores Park, West Beach near Glenelg. Evening free.

Day 04: Friday 6th April 07 - THE BAROSSA & CLARE VALLEY (BLD) T

Travel north through the Barossa Valley, renowned for its fine wine and German culture. Visit a winery, (tasting at own expense) then on to Clare Valley another important grape growing area. Afternoon stop in Port Augusta. Opportunity to visit Wadlata Outback Centre, (own expense). Our destination tonight is the lower Flinders Ranges with a stop over on a working sheep property Spear Creek Sheep Station. A beautiful setting for a campfire and to see a sheep shearing demonstration.

Day 05: Saturday 7th April 07 - PORT AUGUSTA TO COOBER PEDY (BLD) UD

Travel through salt bush and mulga country. See salt lakes, gibber plains and vast sheep station properties as we journey through the South Australian outback to Coober Pedy, Australia’s richest opal fields. Our local guide will show us the town, take us to an underground home, underground church and an opal mine. We will see opals cut and polished. Camp underground tonight at the Opal Cave dugouts.


The Breakaway Country lies to the east of Coober Pedy. It is here that the plateau drops away to the Lake Eyre Basin a moon like escarpment that has formed the backdrop for many film makers, including the Mad Max series. We will see part of the dingo fence that stretches for thousands of kilometers across Australia that keeps the dingoes from the sheep country to the south and defines the start of the cattle country to the north. Back to the Stuart Highway and on to the Northern Territory. Our destination is Kings Canyon Resort where we camp in the campground. Evening entertainment at the Resort, an enjoyable evening.

Day 07: Monday 9th April 07 - KINGS CANYON TO ULURU (BLD) T

This morning we walk the canyon rim. An exhilarating and breath taking experience. This is Australia’s largest canyon in the Watarrka National Park, a wonderful outback wilderness region. Return via the Luritja Road and Lasseter Highway. Evening visit to Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park and a chance to photograph Uluru at sunset. Optional Star Watch activity tonight, (own expense).

Day 08: Tuesday 10th April 07 - ULURU KATA TJUTA NATIONAL PARK (BLD) T

A morning of sight seeing in the National Park, a twice-listed world heritage area, previously known world wide as 'Ayers Rock'. Time to climb, walk and explore, see sacred sites, Aboriginal rock art. Visit the Cultural & Interpretive Centre and journey west to Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). Enjoy two walks into Walpa Gorge and through the Valley of the Winds. Perhaps sunset photographs at Kata Tjuta before returning to camp at Uluru.

Day 09: Wednesday 11th April 07 - ALICE SPRINGS (BL) T

Up early to photograph Uluru at sunrise from our camp before we depart for Alice Springs. We briefly stop at Curtin Springs Cattle Station and Mt Ebenezer Road House where you will see fascinating Aboriginal art. This afternoon we will visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the multi million-dollar Alice Springs Desert Park. Here we will see the feeding of the birds of prey, visit the nocturnal centre and much more. Evening free to sample the local cuisine and nightlife. Overnight camp in Alice Springs – Heavitree Gap Outback Lodge.

Day 10: Thursday 12th April 07 - ALICE SPRINGS TO WAUCHOPE (BD) T

Morning visit to Simpsons Gap in the beautiful MacDonnell Ranges then visit the School of the Air, before some shopping and free time in down town Alice. After lunch by own arrangement,, we head north along the Stuart Highway, crossing the Tropic of Capricorn and passing many outback roadside settlements. Our overnight is at Wauchope. Time for a visit to see sunset at the Devils Marbles. At Wauchope there is a typical outback hotel that provides for an entertaining night.

Day 11: Friday 13th April 07 - ACROSS THE NT TO MT ISA (BLD) T

Travel through Tennant Creek, join the Barkly Highway to travel west to Queensland. Stop at another outback town Camooweal, famous in the droving days. Our overnight stop is Mt Isa an important mining centre.

Day 12: Saturday 14th April 07 - OUTBACK QUEENSLAND TO WINTON (BL) T

We are now travelling through the real Queensland outback. It was here that the Royal Flying Doctor first operated from Cloncurry, Qantas operated their first flight and Banjo Paterson composed the song Waltzing Matilda in the 1890’s. Our destination is Winton, and a Saturday night out! It was here on a station property that ‘that once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong under the shade of a Coolibah tree’ – he stole a sheep, was chased by troopers – the red coats, and fell into a billabong and drowned! Hence the song!

Day 13: Sunday 15th April 07 - ILFRACOMBE VIA LONGREACH & HALL OF FAME (BLD) T

We are in the heart of the cattle country, the home of the Queensland drover, and gateway to the Channel Country Visit the famous Stockman’s Hall of Fame a true insight into Australian pioneering history. Then it is on to Ilfracombe. Take a look at the outdoor Heritage Museum or swim in the pool, try the mineral spa (own expense) or maybe visit the Wellshot Hotel. Another great night ‘Outback Queensland style’.

Day 14: Monday 16th April 07 – THROUGH TO GEM COUNTRY (BLD) M

Visit the important cattle centre of Barcaldine, It was at this town in the 1890s under the ‘Tree of Knowledge’ that a group of striking shearers sought to challenge the Government of Queensland and formed a workers political party. It is now recognised as the birth place of the Australian Labour Party. Travel east along the Capricorn Highway, we are in the heart of gem country. Anakie, Saphire, Rubyvale and Emerald are settlements in this region. Tonight we will stop over at Myella Farm a working property and great stop over. The Eather family have always been farmers and continue to run 400 beef cattle on Myella. Enjoy a wonderful campfire atmosphere, cow milking, horse feeding, whip cracking and lasso throwing with opportunity for students to discuss farming issues and practices.

Day 15: Tuesday 17th April 07 – TO THE EAST COAST & KEPPEL ISLAND (BLD) C

After some time on the station property, optional guided tour around the station, (own expense). Then we head for the coast, travelling through Rockhampton, to join our ferry to Great Keppel Island a paradise and holiday island at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. YHA Bunkhouse Village Great Keppel Island is our base for two nights.

Day 16: Wednesday 18th April 07 - GREAT KEPPEL ISLAND & SNORKELLING (B) C

A full day on the island to relax, swim or walk. In the afternoon enjoy a cruise through the blue pacific waters. You may care to try, boom net riding or snorkeling, its real fun. YHA Bunkhouse Village Great Keppel Island.

Day 17: Thursday 19th April 07 – TO THE SUNSHINE COAST (BLD) T

Our journey south along the Bruce Highway, takes us past Gladstone, Bundaberg and Maryborough, lots of sugar cane and pineapple growing. Maybe we will detour in to have a look at one of these coastal cities to see the sand and surf. Tonight our camp is at Yandina Caravan Park by the river.

Day 18: Friday 20th April 07 - TO BRISBANE & SURFERS PARADISE (B) T

This morning we will travel along the Sunshine Coast through Maroochydore, and Brisbane. A brief photo stop and then it is on to the Gold Coast - Australia’s holiday playground, shopping spree paradise! and our accommodation at Surfers Paradise. The evening is free for you to sample the local cuisine and the life at night in this premier resort destination. Overnight camp at Broadwater Tourist Park.

Day 19: - Saturday 21st April 07 - BYRON BAY, COFFS HARBOUR (BL) T

Our first stop is Byron Bay, noted for its alternative style living, its backpacker popular rendezvous and the home of the rich and famous. The lighthouse at Cape Byron is Australia’s most easterly point. Sugar cane country, banana growing and tourist holiday townships are a feature of this northern New South Wales coastal region. On arrival at Coffs Harbour visit the zoo and Koala Sanctuary. Our destination near Coffs Harbour, Park Beach Holiday and our last night on the road together. Evening free, maybe fish and chips on the beach own expense.

Day 20: Sunday 22nd April 07 - TO SYDNEY (BL) Y

Depart Coffs Harbour, and travel through Port Macquarie, and Kempsie, skirting Newcastle on route to our destination Sydney. Join the express ways and toll ways that quickly bring us back to the reality of big city living. We will cross the Sydney Harbour bridge, see the Opera House and settle in to our down town centrally located accommodation. Overnight accommodation: YHA Hostel, Sydney Central or similar.

Day 21: Monday 23rd April 07 - SYDNEY SIGHTS (BD) Y

Enjoy a morning cruise on Sydney Harbour; be at Circular Quay, Eastern Pontoon at 10am. Then see the sights of Sydney, they are all within walking distance. Tonight we have a farewell dinner at the Sydney (121-129 Crown Street) ‘Hard Rock Café. Be there at 7pm to reminisce on the places we have visited, the fun we have had together and the experiences we have shared and perhaps exchange addresses with our travelling companions. Overnight accommodation: YHA Hostel, Sydney Central or similar.

Day 22: Tuesday 24th April 07 - SYDNEY (B)

Breakfast is at our hotel. Please make your own transfer arrangements to point of departure as you head for home or onward destinations.

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