DAY 1 (D): WAGGA WAGGA TO MILDURA: Wednesday 19 April 2017
Welcome to our 15 day tour to the Red Centre including a southbound overnight journey on the Legendary Ghan from Alice Springs to Adelaide. Today we depart home and make our way through to our first overnight stay in Mildura. Upon arrival we check into our accommodation and freshen up for our dinner cruise aboard the PS Rothbury (lunch at own cost / dinner cruise).
DAY 2 (BD): MILDURA TO PORT AUGUSTA: Thursday 20 April 2017
Following breakfast we travel via the riverland region of South Australia through to the once-thriving township of Burra where we stop to purchase lunch. In 1845 copper was discovered in Burra and very quickly the town developed into a large community of approximately 5000 people in 1851 (Adelaide’s population was 18,000 at that time). Today the whole town is on the State Heritage Register preserving its great historical value and mining heritage. Departing Burra we continue through to Peterborough, a town whose history is all about rail. The railways officially arrived in town on January 17, 1881 when the line from Jamestown opened. Soon Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Adelaide and the Silverton Mines (Broken Hill area) were all connected by rail tracks that passed through Peterborough. The town forged ahead in leaps and bounds with the railways playing a major part in the development of it. In 1927 the workforce of the Peterborough Division of the South Australian Railways was 1800 with two thirds of them living in the town. We enjoy a guided tour of the Steamtown Museum before completing the last leg of today’s journey to Port Augusta (breakfast & dinner in motel / lunch at own cost).
DAY 3 (BLD): PORT AUGUSTA TO COOBER PEDY: Friday 21 April 2017
Port Augusta is a town often referred to as the “Crossroads of Australia” as it is located at the junction of several major trans-continental transport services. The Indian Pacific, which travels between Sydney and Perth and the Ghan both stop here at Port Augusta, as do the main east west and north south highways. We have time to make a brief visit to the Wadlata Outback Centre, where a most impressive presentation on the harsh and vast outback area of South Australia awaits us. It is here, through “hand on” displays and audio visual presentations that the outback culture, its history and the incredible achievements of both the Aboriginal and European people are graphically displayed. Departing town we head to Pimba – a tiny settlement on the main Ghan Railway and home to Spuds Roadhouse – an interesting place to stop for lunch! Driving north we head to the very small settlement of Glendambo and then onto Coober Pedy. First time visitors, in particular, will be fascinated by Coober Pedy. About 80 per cent of the population lives underground. The reason for this is that the temperature can rise to 50°C and above in summer. Late afternoon we check into the Mud Hut Motel for the next two nights (breakfast & dinner in motel / lunch in Pimba).
DAY 4 (BLD): COOBER PEDY: Saturday 22 April 2017
Our touring this morning begins at the famous Old Timers Mine which offers visitors a window in to the opal mining of yesteryear with a self-guided tour through an original opal mine, hand dug in 1916. Precious opal still remains in the wall so that visitors can see opal in its natural state. The tour helps us relive the development of opal mining practices and appreciate the colourful past of Coober Pedy from a group of dishevelled tents to the modern mining town of today. The complex also incorporates a display dugout (underground home), a museum, an extensive opal display and a demonstration of opal mining machines. We continue our sightseeing which includes the Big Winch Lookout, an underground church, the Coober Pedy Golf Course (the only one in the world with reciprocal rights to Saint Andrews in Scotland!) After an interesting morning, lunch has been arranged at John’s Pizza Bar & Restaurant. This afternoon we head to the Breakaways – a reserve 32kms north of Coober Pedy consisting of colourful low hills which have broken away from the Stuart Range, hence their name ‘The Breakaways’. The Breakaways are a stunning natural landscape that has featured in a number of movies such as Mad Max 3, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Ground Zero. We return to Coober Pedy, with time to relax and refresh before dinner (breakfast & dinner in motel / lunch at restaurant).
DAY 5 (BLD): COOBER PEDY TO YULARA: Sunday 23 April 2017
We have a travel day today as we continue on the Stuart Highway through the vast and arid regions of northern South Australia. After a morning break in Marla we cross the border into the Northern Territory where we’ll stop for lunch at Erldunda, at the junction of the Lasseter highway. As we make our way through to Yulara this afternoon we pass Mount Connor on our left, the flat-topped mesa thought to be part of the vast rocky substrate beneath Uluru. We arrive in Yulara late afternoon and check into our next two night’s accommodation. Time permitting, we head out to the sunset viewing area to see the sun setting over Uluru. We’ll watch a remarkable light show unfold, the changing colours of Uluru from red to orange to lilac in a matter of minutes. We then return to the resort for dinner (breakfast & dinner in motel / lunch in Erldunda).
DAY 6 (BD): ULURU/KATA TJUTA: Monday 24 April 2017
After breakfast we head out to Uluru. Rising 348 metres from the desert floor, Uluru has a girth of 9.4km and is the world’s most famous monolith with at least two thirds of the Rock lying beneath the surface. We spend some time at the Cultural Centre and take a drive around the base of Uluru, stopping for photo opportunities along the way. Lunch today is available from the hotel or the café within the Yulara Shopping Village. This afternoon, we visit nearby Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) or ‘place of many domes’. There are excellent views from an observation deck and time for a short walk into the beautiful Mount Olga Gorge. This evening we enjoy the special Sounds of Silence Dinner. It will be a highlight of our stay in the Red Centre. The romance of the desert with the setting sun, the haunting sounds of a didgeridoo, sumptuous outback fare and the star-filled heavens are all distilled into four magic hours. After a feast of Northern Territory delights including barramundi and bush salads and classic Australian desserts, we are treated to some of the world’s best stargazing with the assistance of a resident astronomer. It will be a memorable experience! We are then transferred back to the resort (breakfast in resort / lunch at own cost / Sounds of Silence dinner).
DAY 7 (BLD): YULARA TO ALICE SPRINGS: Tuesday 25 April 2017
After breakfast we return to the Stuart Highway, stopping for our picnic lunches along the way. This afternoon we cross the Finke River and enjoy the ever changing scenery as we near Alice Springs. Many people are surprised how far Alice Springs is from Uluru. Arriving into town we check-in, unpack and settle in. Known as the “Heart of the Red Centre”, Alice Springs is nestled at the foot of the northern slopes of the MacDonnell Ranges. ‘The Alice’ as it is often referred to, lies almost geographically at the centre of the Australian continent (breakfast & dinner in hotel / picnic lunches included)
DAY 8 (BLD): ALICE SPRINGS: Wednesday 26 April 2017
We have an interesting day today touring into the Western McDonnell Ranges. Our first stop is at Simpsons Gap to visit the grave and monument of the Reverend John Flynn, founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. We then travel to Standley Chasm where we enjoy a walk into the chasm and a BBQ lunch. From here we return to Alice Springs, where we have time to visit the Old Telegraph Station – the site of the original Alice Springs settlement. Returning to town our final stop of the day is at ANZAC Hill for panoramic views of the town and the surrounding area. We return to Lasseters Hotel Casino to relax prior to dinner (breakfast & dinner in hotel / lunch on tour).
DAY 9 (BLD): LEGENDARY GHAN: Thursday 27 April 2017
This morning we head out to visit the National Road Transport Hall of Fame where we discover how Australia’s tough terrain broke the best vehicles the world could throw at it and how war at Australia’s doorstep brought mechanisation and development to this nation, Central Australia in particular. We learn how a unique breed of road transport pioneers used improvisation, innovation, ingenuity, common sense and sheer will to carve a road transport network from stark wilderness to give us an industry that has been the backbone of Australia’s development. Next door is the Old Ghan Train Railway Museum where we enjoy a light lunch. We are now transferred to the Interstate Rail Terminal where we board the famous Legendary Ghan for our southbound journey to Adelaide. We get settled into our cabins and take the opportunity to familiarise ourselves with the facilities on the train. This evening we dine in the classically styled Queen Adelaide Restaurant carriage before retiring for the evening (breakfast in hotel / lunch at museum / dinner on Ghan).
DAY 10 (BD): LEGENDARY GHAN ARRIVES IN ADELAIDE: Friday 28 April 2017
We wake this morning in South Australia, travelling south through to Adelaide. The Legendary Ghan arrives into Keswick Station at lunchtime. We disembark and are met by our Priests Coaches vehicle ready for our afternoon touring. After some time to buy lunch we are joined on the coach by a local guide who will give us a tour of the city. We’ll also make a stop at Montefiore Hill, where Colonel Light planned a great city of the future in the sweeping valley below. Dropping off our guide we check in at our overnight accommodation and freshen up for dinner (breakfast on train / lunch at own cost / dinner in motel).
DAY 11 (BLD): ADELAIDE TO CLARE: Saturday 29 April 2017
We depart Adelaide this morning and head for the wine district of the Clare Valley. Just south of Clare is Sevenhill, where we make a stop at Sevenhill Cellars, the oldest winery in Clare. Here we can experience their unique heritage and spiritual character as well as their outstanding wines. Sevenhill was established by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1851 to produce sacramental wine. While this tradition continues today, Sevenhill is also highly regarded for its premium table wines worldwide. We have time here to visit the cellars, wander through the gardens and visit the Church before reboarding the coach and heading to the Sevenhill Hotel for lunch. This afternoon we head to the nearby historic town of Mintaro for a tour of the grand Martindale Hall. This authentic 19th century Georgian mansion was built in 1879 for a 21 year old sheep farmer, Edmund Bowman Junior and is in near original condition, including furniture and fittings. It has a fascinating history of great tragedy and amazing successes, including being featured in the Australian Film “Picnic at Hanging Rock”, directed by Peter Weir. After our visit we make our way to our accommodation at the Clare Country Club for our overnight stay (breakfast & dinner in motel / lunch at hotel).
DAY 12 (BD): CLARE TO BROKEN HILL: Wednesday 30 April 2017
We depart Clare early this morning and travel through to Broken Hill. Upon arrival we have time for lunch (own expense) before our afternoon touring. This afternoon we collect our local guide who will describe the history of Broken Hill and show us some of the historic buildings – the Court House built in 1889, the Trades Hall (1898) and the Town Hall Facade, retained in 1974 after the main halls and offices were demolished. Our last visit of the day is to the Silver City Mint and Art Centre. Known as one of the best galleries in town, the centre houses jewellery made from local silver, a mineral display and an extensive range of original paintings by well-known artists. However it is the dramatic “Big Picture” painted by Peter Anderson that will be a highlight of our stop here. It’s the world’s largest acrylic painting on canvas that totally immerses visitors into the local landscape. We then check into our accommodation and relax prior to dinner (breakfast & dinner in motel / lunch at own cost).
DAY 13 (BLD): SILVERTON: Thursday 1 May 2017
This morning we drive out to Silverton, a town that preceded Broken Hill and was for a time the largest in the Barrier Ranges. Today it’s a virtual ghost town but a number of the historic buildings remain. Silverton has also been the location for movies such as Mad Max 2, A Town Like Alice and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Our first stop is at the Silverton Gaol and Historical Museum. Virtually every aspect of life in Silverton’s heyday is represented, with literally thousands of items on display. Tools of the trades of mining, transport, entertainment, technology, food, religion, sport, education and medicine are accompanied by a range of photographs, painting a vivid picture of Silverton’s early years. We have lunch at the Silverton Pub then head out to the Mundi Mundi Lookout. Located 5kms west of Silverton, the Mundi Mundi plains is a truly breathtaking place. The view must be seen to be believed. The wide flat heart of the Australian outback extends seemingly forever. On a clear day the curvature of the earth can be seen! Travelling back towards Broken Hill we stop to see the ‘The Living Desert Sculpture Symposium. A nationally successful sculpture symposium situated on a majestic hilltop within the centre of the reserve. The Symposium was completed in 1993 by artists from around the world, under the direction of organiser and artist Lawrence Beck. Thirteen sandstone sculptures highlight the skyline, all with a story to tell but also provides us with a fantastic view. We then return to our motel (breakfast & dinner in motel / lunch at Silverton).
DAY 14 (BLD): BROKEN HILL TO COBAR: Friday 2 May 2017
We say farewell to Broken Hill this morning and travel east through to Wilcannia, on the Darling River. Legends were made along the Darling. Literary myths were created by Henry Lawson, Will Ogilvie and Breaker Morant. Kidman, Tyson and McCaughey created pastoral kingdoms of unparalleled proportions. The Light Horsemen of World War I were bred on these vast plans. Wilcannia was once known as Queen City of the West and the site of the original Resches Brewery. We will make this our early lunch stop today and head to the Wilcannia Golf Club before continuing onto Cobar. Upon arrival we drop into the Great Cobar Heritage Centre. This is the former Administration Building (circa 1910) of the Great Cobar Copper Mine. The centre captures the essence of Cobar housing an outstanding collection of exhibits which date from 1869 to the present day. Inside the centre an amazing collection of artefacts reveal the extraordinary diverse local heritage of Cobar. The Visitors Information Centre is also located in the building. We can now check-in at our overnight accommodation (breakfast & dinner in motel / lunch at club).
DAY 15 (B): COBAR TO WAGGA WAGGA: Saturday 3 May 2017
We make our way home today, travelling south on Kidman Way. We’ll stop for comfort breaks and for lunch (own expense) before arriving back to Wagga Wagga this afternoon (breakfast in motel / lunch at own cost).
- 13 night’s motel accommodation
- 13 cooked motel breakfasts
- 11 motel dinners
- 9 included lunches – see below
- Overnight accommodation including all meals whilst aboard the Legendary Ghan service from Alice Springs to Adelaide
- Dinner cruise aboard the PV Rothbury, Mildura
- Guided tour of Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre, Peterborough
- Entry to the Wadlata Outback Centre, Port Augusta
- Lunch at Spuds Roadhouse, Pimba
- Entry to the Old Timers Mine, Coober Pedy
- Guided tour of Coober Pedy including the Breakaways
- Lunch in Coober Pedy
- Lunch in Erldunda
- Entry to Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park
- Accredited local guide at Uluru/Kata Tjuta
- Sounds of Silence Dinner- including transfers, Ayers Rock
- Picnic lunch for day 7
- Entry and BBQ lunch at Standley Chasm, Alice Springs
- Guided tour of the Old Telegraph Station precinct, Alice Springs
- Local coach operator for day 9
- Entry to National Road Transport Hall of Fame and the Old Ghan Train Railway Museum, Alice Springs
- Lunch on day 9
- Locally guided tour of Adelaide
- Tour of the Sevenhill Cellars and St Aloysius Church, Sevenhill
- Lunch at the Sevenhill Hotel
- Guided tour of Martindale Hall, Mintaro
- Guided tour of Broken Hill
- Entry to the Silver City Mint & Art Centre – incl Big Picture, Broken Hill
- Guided tour of Silverton
- Entry to the Silverton Gaol Museum
- Lunch at Silverton Hotel
- Entry to the Living Desert Sculpture Symposium , Broken Hill
- Lunch at Wilcannia Golf Club
- Entry to the Great Cobar Heritage Centre
Tour Dates and Prices:
Tour Commences: Wednesday 19th April, 2017
Tour Ends: Saturday 3rd May, 2017
Cost Per Person Twin Share: $4965.00
Cost Single: $4755.00
Single Supplement: $890.00
A deposit of $500 on booking is required to secure your seat.
Please contact Robyn on 0269 261298 to arrange payment. Thank you.
Alternatively you may email us [email protected]
All itineraries are subject to change due to occasional restrictions in opening times/days of some attractions, e.g. churches, wineries etc. We cannot be held responsible for any changes due to closures, inclement weather etc.