From Darwin, cut a straight line across Australia to Alice Springs and Adelaide. Or arc through Australia’s north-west corner driving the Savannah Way to Broome. Canoe down Katherine Gorge and fly over the beehive-shaped Bungle Bungles in Western Australia’s wild Kimberley region along the way. From Darwin, drive the Nature’s Way to Kakadu National Park, World Heritage-listed for both its cultural and natural significance. See Uluru, Kings Canyon and other Red Centre attractions from the outback hub of Alice Springs. Elegant Adelaide is your base for exploring the Barossa Valley, Flinders Ranges, the Fleurieu Peninsula and the wildlife wonderland of Kangaroo Island.
Soak up Darwin’s balmy weather and the melting pot of food and cultures in the city’s many outdoor festivals and markets. Then explore the region’s dramatic history – from World War II air raids to Cyclone Tracy – in the museums and galleries. Sail Darwin harbour at sunset, cruise next to crocodiles and bushwalk through monsoon forest. Take a ferry or fly to the Tiwi Islands, where you can learn about the unique culture and beliefs of the Tiwi people. Watch them fashion art, pottery, sculptures and wooden carvings in the distinctive Tiwi style. Drive the Nature’s Way to World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, where you can hike the rugged escarpments, cruise the wetlands and discover a treasure trove of Aboriginal rock art. The drive continues to Litchfield National Park. Trek past tall termite mounds, cruise down the Reynolds River or swim beneath spring-fed Florence, Tolmer and Wangi waterfalls.
Fly from Darwin to Alice Springs or drive there down the Stuart Highway in two to three days. Join a tour or drive the Red Centre Way to iconic Uluru. On the way, visit the West MacDonnell Ranges, where you can swim in Glen Helen Gorge and see Standley Chasm blaze in the midday sun. Wander the desert oasis of Palm Valley in Finke Gorge National Park and trek to the rim of Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park. See Uluru from camel back, helicopter or motorbike, then walk around the base with an Anangu guide. Take in the steep russet domes of nearby Kata Tjuta on the Valley of the Winds Walk. For an alternative outback adventure, drive the Savannah Way from Darwin to Broome in Western Australia. Cruise through Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park, fly over the Bungle Bungle Range in Purnululu National Park and see king-sized tides in Derby. Finally, relax on Broome’s Cable Beach.
Fly from Darwin to Adelaide or board the Ghan for a classic rail journey from Darwin to Adelaide via the Red Centre. In Adelaide, explore the museums of North Terrace, swim with dolphins in Glenelg or picnic in gardens that sprawl over almost half the city. Drive to the picturesque Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley vineyards. Taste sacramental wine made by Jesuit priests in the Clare Valley and climb to the rim of Wilpena Pound in the ancient Flinders Ranges. Or drive south of Adelaide to visit wineries, do rugged coastal walks and dive with leafy sea dragons on the vast Fleurieu Peninsula. Take the ferry to Kangaroo Island, where all types of native animals frolic on the pristine beaches and in the forests, desert dunes and farmland. Get up close to penguins in Penneshaw and a sea lion colony at Seal Rocks and enjoy the regional produce of this unique island experience.