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Golf Outback

Cape York & The Gulf

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Day One: Melbourne, Essendon – Broken Hill – Birdsville

Leaving Melbourne behind at 0800, fly north to Broken Hill for lunch and a tour of the Pro Hart and Jack Absalom galleries. Continue north to Birdsville for a trip out to the incredible John Menzies Working Museum. Enjoy the sunset and a cold beer from your ‘perch’ in the iconic Birdsville Pub and absorb the outback culture. Dinner tonight is in the pub’s dining room where you will meet travellers tackling the ‘Birdsville Track’. You may hear some interesting stories! 

Time to rest; accommodation tonight is at the Birdsville Hotel.

Flight time 5hrs total

Day Two: Birdsville – Mt Isa – Adels Grove, Lawn Hill NP

After an easy start to the day AAA guests are airborne, on route to Mt Isa where, prior to landing you are given the best view of the gigantic Mount Isa Mine. Farewell to civilisation as your pilot flies you over cattle station country before touching down in the oasis that is Adels Grove. On arrival you are taken on a guided adventure into Lawn Hill National Park, with an opportunity to stroll to the Cascades prior to your over-water journey, paddling through the peaceful gorge. Tonight you are treated to the sophisticated tents at Adel’s Grove, idyllically positioned beside a pristine stream. There are no en suite facilities here however, bathrooms are not far away. 

Flight time 3 hrs total

Day Three: Adel’s Grove – The Lost City – Groote Eylandt

This morning’s flight path will take you out across the Barkly Tablelands to an ancient rock formation known as the Lost City – marvel at the towering sandstone pillars rising out of the earth. Continuing the scenic flight out over the coast of the Gulf and landing on Groote Eylandt. The island offers a very special encounter with the local culture. Talk with artists as they work on their paintings, then learn how to hunt in the shallow waters of the beach out the front of your luxurious resort. The islanders have only just opened their doors to travellers and lends itself to a very genuine and rewarding encounter.

Accommodation is at the magnificent Dugong Beach Resort.

Flight time 2.5 hrs

Day Four: Groote Eylandt – Karumba

Depart skyward across the Gulf to the tiny, yet remarkably productive port of Karumba. Enjoy a ‘barra burger’ in the sunshine and check out the Barramundi Farm – set up to replenish the stocks in the Gulf. This afternoon step on board with the friendly crew at Croc‘n’Crab tours. The name really says it all; learn about Queensland Mud Crab and spot saltwater crocodiles on board their well appointed vessel. Cap the evening off sampling the regions freshest seafood on a tiny sand cay out in the Gulf….perfect!

Accommodation is at the award winning End of the Road Motel, Karumba.

Flight time 2 hrs

Day Five: Karumba – Horn Island

From the airport, pilots select a special scenic flight path tracking along the interior coast of the Cape, capturing the endless maze of estuaries below, over-flying the town of Weipa and the bauxite mine. Leave the mainland of Australia, flying northwards enjoying the changing colours of Torres Strait. This afternoon venture into the ‘Forgotten Island’. Horn Island offers an opportunity to sneak back in time to see remnants of bunkers and hidden revetments during a specialised guided tour, led by local historian and author Vanessa See Kee.

Accommodation is at the Torres Strait Gateway Resort or similar.

Flight time 2.5 hrs

Day Six: Thursday Island

Departing Horn Island, pilots now take over with a special scenic treat flying south, ensuring an orbit of the northernmost point of mainland Australia. The immense beauty of the tropical archipelago of Australia’s Torres Strait is accentuated by the islands’ residents.

Accommodation is at the Torres Strait Gateway Resort or similar.

No flight today

Day Seven: Horn Island – Bamaga (Tip of Cape York) – Cooktown

Depart the Torres Strait Islands this morning as your aerial armchair ride takes you over the northern-most point of mainland Australia. Land at Bamaga for a 4WD over-land adventure that will have you standing on this significant geographical point – congratulations, you have conquered the cape! Continue the scenic flying southwards over the Far North Great Barrier Reef and into the delightful town of Cooktown.

Accommodation is at Cooktown Sovereign Resort or similar.

Flight time 2 hrs total

Day Eight: Cooktown

After a pleasant breakfast it’s time to experience the foreshore and visit memorial sites of where Capt. James Cook careened the Endeavour for repairs. This afternoon you are taken on a tour of Cooktown with naturalist Justin Coventry as he unravels the stories of the past. Lunch is at the gallery in the gardens. The day finishes with a tour of the Captain James Cook Museum which houses an anchor from the Endeavour, amongst other pieces of historical significance. Tonight’s accommodation is at the Sovereign Motel Cooktown or similar

No flight today

Day Nine: Cooktown – Laura – Bloomfield Lodge

From Cooktown it is a brief flight to the tiny settlement of Laura. This is where we will access the forgotten rock art galleries of the Quinkan spirits. A drive through some lovely Cape York savannah country to the galleries, a very rewarding experience, with a picnic lunch out in the woodlands. Yet another brief flight before crossing the Bloomfield River and into Weary Bay where you are warmly welcomed to the secluded luxury of Bloomfield Lodge.

Flight time 30 mins total

Day Ten: Bloomfield Lodge, Daintree Rainforest

Today you can relax and breathe in the refreshing scents of the rainforest as you explore the region with a gentle boat cruise along the Bloomfield River. In the afternoon a walk amongst the towering tree trunks through a particularly pretty stretch of rainforest with your local guide. During your stay at Bloomfield, we welcome you to take part in your exclusive AAA massage treatment to ensure you find that ‘holiday mood’.

Accommodation is again at the beautifully remote Bloomfield Lodge.

No flight today

Day Eleven: Bloomfield Lodge – Charters Towers – Longreach

Fly south this morning to historic Charters Towers in time for a town tour and lunch at the country’s first stock exchange. Charters Towers has a rich gold mining history and some fine examples of 19th Century architecture. Continuing south, land on the original Qantas runway. Time to check into your hotel before joining a special dining experience on the banks of the Thomson River at the Drovers Camp Oven Dinner.

Accommodation is at the Albert Park Motor Inn or similar.

Flight time 3 hrs total

Day Twelve: Longreach – Carnarvon Gorge

This morning visit the Stockman’s Hall of Fame and the Hudson Fysh museum and hangar. A short drive out to visit friends at Longway Station for lunch in the Heritage Queenslander homestead, and a station tour. Rewan Station is where your pilot will make landing.  You will be welcomed at the airstrip and then transferred to luxurious safari tents at the Carnarvon Gorge Wilderness Lodge, surrounded by manicured lawns and shaded by the ancient macrozamias and eucalypts.

Flight time 2 hrs total

Day Thirteen: Carnarvon Gorge

Enjoy informative commentary on the trek through Carnarvon Gorge with friendly specialised guides. Massive sandstone walls towering over from above protect a mysterious and timeless land. Some of the narrow side gorges can be spanned by outstretched arms, while others are so narrow-twisted and deep, that sunlight never reaches the bottom. Photographers have entered their own special paradise within Carnarvon Gorge. The tour continues to the Moss Gardens and into an amazing natural amphitheatre; combined, these experiences are splendid features of the country’s wilderness and beauty. AAA guests will tonight break bread together on one last occasion, in celebration of their accomplishments throughout the entire adventure.

Accommodation is at Carnarvon Gorge Wilderness Lodge.

No flight today

Day Fourteen: Carnarvon Gorge – Bungle Gully Station – Essendon, Melbourne

Today, pilots fly homeward via our dear friends at either Haddon Rig Station or Bungle Gully Station, depending on availability and on rainfall activity. Welcomed as friends, either experience lends itself to a very special station visit, inclusive of a traditional homestead feast. Time to depart; arriving at Essendon Airport, Melbourne 1730.

Flight time 5 hrs total

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