Accommodation in the Sydney Explorer Tour

23 Mar 2012 Birdie asked



I have done 4 previous Contiki Tours and am now thinking about doing the Aussie Explorer Darwin start sometime next year (2013) and I want to find out more information about the accommodations, from people who have already done the tour, before I make my mind up.

I will most likely be paying the Single Supplement fee as I prefer to have my own room. I understand that there are times when I will be sharing a room with others (ex: the Outback Bush Camp) but I’d like to know more.

I did the NZ tour about a year ago and on the Milford Sound Boat I was told I would be sharing a room with 3 other girls just for that night when in reality we were in a dorm room setting so I was actually sharing a room with about 30 other people. This was a bit of a nasty surprise, it worked out fine, but I don’t want to get another nasty surprise like this, I want to be prepared. Any help you can give me would be excellent =)

For all of the stays I’d like to know what the rooms and showers were like too.
What are the hotels like in Darwin, Katherine, Kakadu National Park, Alice Spring’s and Surfer’s Paradise?

Does anyone know the names of all of them so I can look them up online? (There used to be a link on Contiki’s website to a list but I can’t find the link anymore).

What are the lodges like at Uluru and Fraser Island? The resorts at Cairns, Whitsundays and Surfer’s Paradise? Are they like a hotel?

What is the hostel like at Byron Bay?

What is the Surf Village like at Coff’s Harbour? Is the Farmstay nice?

How many of the above are places where I will absolutely have to share a room even if I pay the single supplement? How many people am I sharing with?

I really want to be prepared for this trip and I want to be able to have a good time without worrying any nasty surprises.

Also one more weird question: Will there be places to charge camera batteries in the outback at the places we stay (I know we won't be able to at the camp but at other places?)

Thanks in advance,

  • 23 Mar 2012 Birdie said


    I would also love to get more information on all the optionals. What people thought was worth the money and what people thought could have been avoided.

    The new Contiki site is missing a lot of the information it used to have so I’m having trouble finding the things I read about tours before.

  • 12 Jul 2012 davorah said


    Dear Birdie,

    I have booked the The Big Walkabout starting from Darwin for Jan 2013. I have had a friend who has done a tour of Australia with contiki and she enjoyed it, I didn’t really ask about accomodation but I can and see what she says and can let you know. I have also booked a tour of New Zealand, which I am excited for, I am doing the Kiwiana Panorama.



  • 13 Jul 2012 Birdie said


    Thanks Davorah =)

    New Zealand is lovely. I did the 15 day tour when I went and it was awesome! I met lots of great people and the country is beautiful. I also got to do my whole geek out to Lord of the Rings thing while I was there too. I wore elf ears and held a sword. It was brilliant =)

  • 15 Jul 2012 TravelCrazy said


    Hi Birdie, I did the Reefs and Rainforest with Sailing last year. So I can tell you about the accommodations for the East Coast part of the tour. Cairns, we stayed at The Rydges Esplanade, a decent hotel (no issues there), you can get a single room there, but I always shared.
    The Whitsundays` resort on Daydream Island is really nice, a hotel resort, whether or not you do the sailing you will be staying there at least one night. (Daydream Island Resort & Spa)
    The Farmstay was at Langmorn Cattle Ranch, my room had to bunk beds so it slept four. Separate shower and washroom facilities for guys and girls in a seperate building, much more traditional ranch style.
    Fraser Island we stayed at Kingfisher Bay Resort Fraser Island, cabins with bunks with four to a room, they had twin share available so, I`m assuming they had single as well. Decent enough place, no major issues.
    In Noosa we stayed in what were basically apartments at Australis Noosa Lakes Resort. Had everything we needed including FREE laundry! Don`t do much in Noosa, so it was a great night for laundry and relaxing.
    Surfer`s was a great hotel as well, Australis Sovereign Hotel Surfers Paradise. Nice pool, walking distance to beach and main strip and good breakfast.
    We stayed at Nomads in Byron Bay, which is known as a Flash Packers, a nicer version of a backpackers. We had 4-6 people in a room, but all had a full washroom in each room, pretty clean.
    Now Coffs Harbour was a little interesting. We stayed at Mojo Surf Spot X. We stayed in converted shipping containers, they weren’t horrible, as they did have a washroom, but they definitely were not a hotel.
    One of the guys on my tour paid for the single and for quite a few places did get his own room. As where I paid regular quad and shared with three others everytime except once and on the boat.

    Although I did not do the outback with Contiki, I did do it on another tour and the Uluru Resort were everyone stays, I believe, is actually quite decent for a camp ground.

    Every place we stayed had plugs to charge cameras, computers, phones, ipods, whatever you needed to charge. Sometimes you had to take turns as a few places had limited plugs, but my camera was always charged. There is even a plug on the coach bus with about 4 plugs, just in case you forgot to charge the night before, you will have plenty of time on the bus. When I was in the outback on a different tour we had plugs at every camp ground we stayed at, so you should not have a problem.

    I hope that helps you out, if you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. I LOVED my trip, I even did a blog about the whole adventure, so I literally have everything documented…weird I know, oh well. It allows me to remember the little details a year later.
    Sorry it was so long :P

  • 17 Jul 2012 Birdie said


    Thanks =)

    That is very helpful.



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