Itinerary shortened to fit available space Day 1
You will be collected from our central Adelaide pick up at 1pm this afternoon for your 11 day 4WD Safari along the Oodnadatta, Birdsville and Strzelecki tracks. This first leg of our South Australian Outback adventure, takes us to Port Augusta, situated at the head of the Spencer Gulf and known as the “Crossroads of Australia” and Gateway to the Flinders Ranges, the outback and Spencer Gulf. After spending the afternoon getting to know each other, we’ll enjoy our first dinner together as a group, in the hotel restaurant. Overnight accommodation- motel room with en-suite, Port Augusta Day 2 (B,L,D)
Our destination today is the opal capital of the world, Coober Pedy and it will take us all day to get here. En-route we’ll stop for lunch and have a look at the salt lakes in the region including Lake Hart. We also take a look around the Heritage Museum and Missile Park at Woomera, which holds a special place in Australian National heritage as it was the 4th country in the world to launch it’s own satellite- after the US, Russia and France. The Woomera Rocket Range was established in 1947 as a joint British / Australian project for developing and testing experimental rockets, weapons and missiles. Nowadays the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) is the largest land testing range in the world. Coober Pedy is as famous for it’s underground homes as it is for it’s opals and 50% of the population live underground (in homes called “dugouts”), as well as using underground shops and churches. Overnight accommodation- underground motel room with en-suite, Coober Pedy (2 night stay)
Day 3 (B,D)
There’s some free time this morning for you to have a wander through the town
After lunch we take a guided tour through a working Opal Mine, where we get an insight of what it means to be an Opal Miner.
Late this afternoon, we make our way out of town to the nearby Breakaways Reserve, offering a striking & unique example of arid scenery.
Overnight accommodation- Coober Pedy
Day 4 (B,L,D)
This morning we depart Coober Pedy and head across the Moon Plain to the Painted Desert (Arckaringa Hills).
We’ll cross the Dog Fence for the first time today.The longest fence in the world, at 5300km’s, it stretches across 3 states.
The Painted Desert is an ancient Inland Sea bed where the hills are the result of rain, weather and erosion.
After viewing the Painted Desert from the lookout, we continue through to Oodnadatta. Famous for it’s pink roadhouse, the town was originally created when the Overland Telegraph Line was laid and then became the northern terminus for the Central Australia Railway.
After lunch we join the 615km unsealed Oodnadatta Track, which is littered with ruins of old town sites, station ruins, homes, cairns and remnants of the old railway line, the short-lived gold rush and the Overland Telegraph Line. En-route to William Creek, we stop at Algebuckina Bridge historic site.
Overnight accommodation — motel room with en-suite, William Creek Pub Hotel
Day 5 (B,L,D)
There’s time this morning for optional 1 hour scenic flights over Lake Eyre (own expense).
Departing William Creek, we make our way out to Halligan Bay at Lake Eyre North for a look at the magnificent lake with it’s incredible colours and patterns. Lake Eyre is Australia’s lowest point, the largest inland lake in Australia and the largest salt lake in the world !
We continue exploring the Oodnadatta Track this morning, heading south towards Marree, stopping en-route at the natural artesian springs within Wabma Kadarbu Mound Springs Conservation Park and the Lake Eyre South lookout. We then reach Marree, which is situated at the crossroads of the Oodnadatta and Birdsville Tracks and you have some free time to look around the town or visit the Tom Kruse Museum.
Overnight accommodation – motel room with en-suite, Marree Pub Hotel
Day 6 (B,L,D)
Departing Marree, we now travel north on the famous stock route, which is the Birdsville Track. the 517km track was established in the 1860s as the main stock route to bring cattle from central Queensland to the railway in Marree. En-route, we have a look at the ruins of the Lake Harry Date Plantation, stop at the Cooper Creek Crossing and Mungerannie pub and wetlands.
Crossing into Queensland, we arrive into Birdsville and then take a locally run tour out to “Big Red”, the largest and most famous sand dune in the Simpson Desert.
Overnight accommodation- motel room with en-suite, Birdsville Pub Hotel
Day 7 (B,L,D)
This morning we head south again, through Cattle Country and back into South Australia to Innamincka, made famous by Victorian explorers Burke and Wills and their ill-fated exploration across central Australia.
En-route we enjoy the view at Deon’s Lookout and visit The Dreamtime Serpent – a work of art representing a series of pathways travelled through Country to connect the river systems in the Channel Country of the Diamantina Shire.
On arrival into Innamincka, we visit the famous Burke and Wills Dig Tree (camp LXV).
Overnight accommodation- motel room with en-suite, Innamincka Pub Hotel
Day 8 (B,L,D)
We depart Innamincka this morning and head south to join the last of our legendary Outback Tracks- the Strzelecki Track, named after Polish explorer and geologist Paul Edmund de Strzelecki.
Our first stop today is the viewpoint at the Moomba oil and gasfields. Natural gas was first discovered in the region in 1966 and was followed by the discovery of oil in 1970. Moomba is now a major supplier of both for Australian and overseas markets.
We continue down the Strzelecki Track and turn off towards Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary. The privately owned sanctuary was founded in 1969 by Reg Sprigg, Biologist, Oceanographer, Conservationist, scientist and pioneer of eco-tourism.
Overnight accommodation- motel room with en-suite, Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary
Day 9 (B,L,D)
This morning you’ll take Arkaroola’s famous Ridgetop tour- an unforgettable encounter with the timeless terrain and unique natural beauty of Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary. Learn from your Arkaroola guides about Arkaroolas 1600 million year old geological history as they navigate the steep slopes and hair raising ascents of the Ridgetop Track. Inspiring images of red granite mountains and golden spinifex covered hillsides give way to a breath-taking view across the Freeling Heights, Lake From and the desert beyond. Take in the 360 degree panorama as you enjoy morning tea at Sillers Lookout- a lofty pinnacle at the end of the track.
Departing Arkaroola, we make our way today into the central Ikara- Flinders Ranges, known for their unique beauty, indigenous history, ancient geological formations, rich colours and textures and abundant wildlife. The Ikara-Flinders Ranges are home to a huge array of plant species, birds, reptiles and mammals and the vibrant colours of the 800 million-year-old quartzite and limestone outcrop that is the Flinders, are truly spectacular.
Conditions permitting, we’ll take the back road and stop en-route in the old mining town of Blinman.
Overnight accommodation- Wilpena Pound Resort- standard room with en-suite (2 night stay)
Day 10 (B,L,D)
This morning you have the option of taking a walk into Wilpena Pound or take a scenic flight (at own expense). Walk along the beautiful Wilpena Creek, framed by huge river red gums, into Wilpena Pound. Walking on to the Old Hills Homestead, you can learn about the hardships the Hills family had to face at the turn of the century with the option of walking up to the Wangara lookout to see the mystical heart of the Ikara-Flinders Ranges with stunning views over Wilpena Pound. There is a shuttle available to shorten the walk,t