Day One: Melbourne, Essendon – Muloorina – Coober Pedy
Depart Melbourne at 0800 bound for the outback and beyond… Touch down outback-style at enormous Muloorina Station for lunch and a chat with the owners. After lunch your pilot will fly you over the southern part of gigantic Lake Eyre before arriving in Coober Pedy. A private tour of this fascinating town includes a beautiful underground church. See how opals are cut and polished, and take the opportunity to spoil someone with ‘mineshaft’ prices. Finish the day with a drive out to the Breakaways Range for a relaxing sunset, with champagne and nibbles.
Tonight you sleep underground with the opals at the Desert Cave Hotel or similar.
Flight time 5hrs total
Day Two: Coober Pedy – Alice Springs
After breakfast fly north to Alice Springs for a visit to Standley Chasm. Then, after a short scenic drive guests will discover just how alive the Red Centre really is with a visit to the Desert Park where we will have lunch. Desert Park is home to an array of Australian reptiles and mammals which thrive in this arid environment. Amongst many highlights of this visit is the free-flying raptors display.
Accommodation is at Chifley Alice Springs Resort or similar.
Flight time 1.5hrs
Day Three: Alice Springs – Tindal – Point Stuart
Departing Alice Springs this morning, our destination is Opium Creek Station’s airfield, for overnight accommodation at Point Stuart Wilderness Lodge. Rod Dyer and his team of AAA Tour Leaders decided to access this region for its unbounded beauty and isolation, offering all the wildlife and wetlands of the popular Kakadu National Park minus all the tourists. A beautiful little rainforest is right on your doorstep, you may choose to interview the water buffalo in the paddock, or just relax by the pool.
Accommodation tonight is at Point Stuart Wilderness Lodge.
Flight time 5hrs total
Day Four: Point Stuart, Mary River National Park
Today, as a privileged few, AAA guests will experience some special parts of Point Stuart, cruising the Mary River Wetlands. This area has an abundance of large wader birdlife and man’s least best friend, the saltwater crocodile. With the right tide, an afternoon of barramundi fishing is arranged for all who wish to participate. It is a lot of fun, and for non-fishing types the experience lends itself to an exceptional wildlife cruise. This evening your chef is on stand-by to prepare your own impossibly fresh barramundi delight.
Time to rest, in dreamtime; accommodation is at Point Stuart Wilderness Lodge.
No flight today
Day Five: Point Stuart – Bathurst Island – Darwin
Leaving Point Stuart after breakfast, pilots fly guests onto Bathurst Island where you are met by your Tiwi guide. Traditional owners welcome and escort guests throughout this fascinating island; visiting art and craft workshops. Tiwi art is sought the world over. Have morning tea and lunch with your Tiwi hosts before the short flight to Darwin.
Accommodation is at the Darwin Airport Resort or similar.
* On occasion, due to cultural reasons the Tiwi tour may be unavailable. A tour of Darwin will be a substitute.
Flight time 45mins
Day Six: Darwin – Faraway Bay
Airborne after an early start, depart Darwin crossing the Territory’s border into Western Australia. All guests immediately receive a sense of the extreme isolation that lies in the red ochre escarpments and colourful shell-scattered beaches below. One of the friendly Faraway Bay staff awaits your arrival at the airstrip before an inimitable 4WD transfer. The Bush Camp oasis has direct access to the beach, nearby freshwater pools and trails. After settling in, one of the options available includes a rewarding trek up to some of the famed Bradshaw rock art sites. These paintings, signs of day-to-day indigenous life, have been said to pre-date the pyramids. The abundance of wild life in the area is glorious and your Faraway Bay guide will inform you of the area’s ecology as well as traditional foods and bush tucker. Prior to dinner, your afternoon allows time to relax by the pool, read a favourite novel or a book by researcher Grahame Walsh, written specifically about the Bradshaw art.
Accommodation is at the Bush Camp at Faraway Bay.
Flight time 90mins
Day Seven: Faraway Bay – King George Falls
A peaceful morning by the bay, following breakfast, you are then welcomed aboard Faraway Bay’s own Diamond Lass for a private cruise along the stunning Kimberley coastline to the King George River. From this vantage point, marvel at how the river abruptly ends, forming an 80m twin waterfall. Shower under the gentle, dry season flow and enjoy lunch shaded by the towering escarpment. The cruise home involves dangling a line, often resulting in the freshest Spanish mackerel or queen fish for dinner. Another afternoon at your private Kimberley retreat. A regular comment from past AAA guests is ‘I have never been so relaxed in all my life’. Enjoy Faraway Bay, its beauty and its friendly and attentive hospitality for one more night.
No flight today
Day Eight: Faraway Bay – Bungle Bungle – Home Valley Station
After breakfast your flight tracks easterly across the massive estuarine waters to the rich agricultural town of Kununurra. Following lunch AAA guests continue their air safari of the Kimberley country with a low-level scenic flight over the Bungle Bungle Range. From the air you can really appreciate just how remarkable these striped domes are. Touching down at Home Valley Station you are welcomed and checked into your rooms. You can refresh before being driven down to the private Home Valley lookout. As the stars take their place in the sky, dinner is served in the Dusty Bar. Time to rest by the tranquil Bindoola Creek; accommodation in Home Valley’s Guest House Suites or similar.
Flight time 3hrs
Day Nine: Home Valley Station – Pentecost River – Cockburn Range
Everything about your Home Valley Station accommodation makes for a pleasant awakening. Today a million acres of Kimberley wilderness is yours to explore, with the assistance, care and expertise of your local Aboriginal guides. Activities on Home Valley are varied: walking trails, swimming at the croc-free Bindoola Falls, canoeing in the homestead billabong, fishing for Barramundi or visiting the Kimberley version of Bondi Beach where Osprey are on patrol. As well as a great place to visit, Home Valley is also an operational cattle station. Sunsets are a real event in this part of the world; with a cool drink in hand, witness the dramatic colour changes of the landscape as the sun rapidly sinks below the horizon.
Accommodation is at Home Valley Station.
No flight today
Day Ten: Home Valley Station – Prince Regent River – Broome
Departing Home Valley Station your pilot tracks west above the arduous Gibb River Road and over Rod Dyer’s former property Ellenbrae Station. AAA guests are informed of the colourful history behind Rod’s pursuits in the unrelenting Kimberley outback.
Yet another breathtaking scenic moment awaits as guests soar over the awesome Prince Regent River, Kings Cascade, Horizontal Waterfalls and Kimberley coastal fjords prior to arriving into Broome. Afternoon activities are varied: between the pristine Cable Beach right on your doorstep, and beautiful private grounds and gallery of Cable Beach Club Resort, displaying their collection of Sidney Nolan works.
Accommodation is at Cable Beach Club Resort or similar.
Flight time 2.5hrs
Day Eleven: Broome
Broome is not your typical Australian outback town, being very cosmopolitan in character. Today guests tour the town’s many points of interest on board private transport. The long Broome jetty is a great spot to land a fish and Chinatown comprises some very quaint buildings, as attractive today as they were when built. Broome offers a variety of town experiences, with lots to do. Diamonds, pearls and crafted pieces can be purchased from places like Linneys. This evening we will take you to join in an AAA tradition. Watch the sun sink into the sea from our secret location whilst sipping on champagne, simply perfect!
Another night at Cable Beach Club Resort or similar.
No flight today
Day Twelve: Broome – Yuendumu – Yulara (Ayers Rock)
After breakfast AAA guests depart skyward from Broome’s colourful waters, tracking south east to Australia’s Red Centre. From Broome, the first sector is to the Kimberley town of Halls Creek. Enjoy lunch onboard as you view Wolfe Creek meteor crater. Arrive at Yulara in time to view sunset over the Rock. Dinner and wine served in style, relax within the resort’s marvellous facilities before retiring to your luxurious suite.
Accommodation is at Desert Gardens Resort or similar.
Flight time 5.5hrs total
Day Thirteen: Yulara – Uluru – Kata Tjuta – Parachilna (Prairie Hotel)
After an early start to the day, guests make a circumnavigation of Ayers Rock by private vehicle. This tour includes the mysterious Olgas range. Depart the Red Centre across the desert to the tiny settlement of Parachilna where your accommodation for the night is at the surprisingly deluxe Prairie Hotel, famed for its gourmet outback inspired cuisine. The ‘feral antipasto’ will delight your tastebuds as you reminisce around the table with your new found friends.
Accommodation is at the Prairie Hotel.
Flight time 3hrs total
Day Fourteen: Parachilna – Essendon, Melbourne
This morning you are taken on a drive into the ancient western Flinders Ranges and Brachina Gorge. Spot the agile yellow-footed rock wallabies before returning for yet another gourmet encounter courtesy of the Prairie Hotel. AAA guests’ flight-leg homeward tracks over the almighty Wilpena Pound before refuelling in Mildura then continuing on to Melbourne, touching down at 1730.
Flight time 3hrs
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