16 Mar 2016 - 26 Mar 2016
Nabbing a last minute deal for a spur of the moment trip to the Northern Territory, this tour delivered on everything I wanted to experience here.
Normally one to backpack, I chose the Outback Adventure tour instead since it offered a great price for this region (paired with the frequent Contiki traveller discount) of Aus which isn't so easy or affordable to travel solo.
I wasn't disappointed with the tour in any way and as an Australian, felt it was a wonderful option to see more of my own country.
Travelling quite a distance in a short time meant a lot of time on the bus which was super modern, comfortable and clean.
Youngy, our driver is amazing at his job and never failed to start the day (no matter how early or how many hundreds of km's he had to drive!) with a smile. Zammit, our guide was also extremely knowledgable, organised and passionate about his role and the pair made the tour look and feel seamlessly effortless for us all, despite the hard work that surely went on behind the scenes.
The accommodation at each stop was in my opinion, really great for where we were, which was often (unsurprisingly for this region) the middle of nowhere! We almost always had a pool and since our group was a small one (around 20 people) as we travelled in out of peak season in March, often quad share was less and we were only 3 to a room.
I usually choose a tour based on itinerary and this one covered a lot of highlights from Darwin to Alice Springs. The most exciting in my opinion was Kakadu, Katherine and Uluru, but each stop had its highlights. Even sleeping in a swag for the night was pretty fun, despite some original hesitations!
Compared to other companies which offer a similar product for often a much larger price tag, I felt the Outback Adventure tour with Contiki was a great value option to see the best of the NT :)
Review written May 2016event 0.3
02 Sep 2015 - 12 Sep 2015
As an Australian doing this trip I highly recommend this to all fellow Aussies as well as foreigners. This trip was incredible, there was never a free moment, we were constantly going somewhere and seeing something amazing. Our country may not be have castles and structures that are centuries old but we have incredible cultural heritage as well as some very old amazing sandstone structures that almost seem impossible to exist. These are our pyramids and stonehenge. They may not be man made but thinking about most of the place we visited, (Uluru, Katherine Gorge, Kakadu National Park etc) the fact that nature created those, and that they are so old that there are no fossils to be found, blows my mind.
I met some amazing people on this trip, made some great friends. We had a small group, only 16 and it made it really easy to get to know everyone and we became quite a close knit group. Many thanks to our informative Trip Manager (Mark) and amazing driver (Benny) who taught me many things I didn't know about my own country but also for the vague and confused looks they caused on the foreigners when they said something truly Aussie!
The Northern Territory feels like a whole other planet, it's so different and beautiful that doing this trip will really open your eyes to the wonders our planet holds.
I 100% recommend everyone does this trip, especially if you are interested in seeing some huge crocs (eating some too) in the wild as well as some massive rocks in the desert!
P.S. i suggest (If you have the funds) to do every single ME TIME Optional apart from the Harley Davidson Ride around Uluru (you walk around it and drive around it on the bus) and also the Crocosaurus Cage. Now it might just be me but when I saw people doing it, I got a better view from underneath. The crocs aren't interested, they are so docile from being in captivity it was sort of boring. Save the excitement for when you see them in the wild. Also if you can, do the longer helicopter flight over Uluru because you also get to go over Kata Tjuta which is just as beautiful.
Review written Sep 2015event 0.3
03 Sep 2014 - 13 Sep 2014
So what does one expect to find in the Outback? Let me tell you. ALOT of red dirt that contrast so well with the blue sky above. You'll do a lot of walking on this tour so I recommended a good pair of runners (tennis shoes) or hiking boots. It does get extremely hot out there (I went in Sept) so take a lot of sunscreen. September is Spring in Australia so it doesn't reach it's highest temp yet. I think the hottest day we had was about 36 degrees so bring sunscreen.
Bring along a travel pillow, this is handy to have for when you're sleeping under the stars and also for those long bus drives from one place to another.
I shared a room with 3 other girls for most of trip so I recommended buying a cheap power power from Kmart (I'm sure you can pick them up for about $3)
I would bring a lot more clothes you can wear during the day (not nice ones, they'll get smelly and ruined) because I felt like I was going through 2 tops a day.
If you plan to Visit the outback in Winter (June-Aug) make sure you bring something warm with you because it can get quiet cold at nights.
So many hightlights on this trip I can't just pick one!
Uluru was awesome! I did the helicopter flight over Uluru and the Olgas (did the 30min flight) as we felt that was enough time see all. Scenic flight over Kakadu was beautiful. it really does show you how small you actually are when you're up looking down at it.
The hot air balloon ride was beautiful - it was cold that morning but be sure to wear something warm and comfortable so it's easy to get into the basket :)
If you have some old clothes bring them as I went to a glow party and that paint stuff doesn't come out. we went to an op shop and bought some items there.
the Kings Canyon Rim Walk was beautiful! make sure you pack at least 1.5ltrs of water (Depending on the time of year you go) it takes about 2-3 hours to walk but it's worth it.
the walk around Uluru was long but good. it's about 10.6km around and we're given 3hrs to complete. we did it in 2hs and 40mins including stopping for photos.
keeping in mind that you can't take photos in certain areas (there are signs to tell you) bring thongs (flip flops) to use in the showers :)
Also you can't drink water in Kakadu so make sure you have bottled water with you and on that note I would buy 2 bottles and just keep filling them up when you can. cheaper than buying water all the time.
Bring at least 1 or 2 good outfits :) sunset champagne was an awesome end for the trip :) The thermal pools are really pretty. little suggestion, wear your swimmers there because the bathrooms are not close to the pools. Edith Falls was nice, but the water was cold and Litchfield national park was great! just be careful if you climb the rocks to jump off!
Accommodation wasn't that good in some places. Uluru is very small (2 lots of bunk beds) and that's it. you have to walk to the bath room.
Food is expensive and so is the alcohol. you're given plenty of chances to buy alcohol so buy a little bit more for other nights too.
I hope this helps! I can honestly say it was such a great trip and I'm glad I have seen more of my own back yard. if you have any questions I'll do my best to answer them :)
Review written Oct 2014event 0.3
27 Nov 2013 - 07 Dec 2013
Living in Australia but never having seen much more than my home town, I decided to do this tour to see something different. Once again contiki did not disappoint, tour manager and especially bus driver were very knowledgeable and helpful - great people! I would recommend this tour to overseas and Australian travellers - you'll have a great time!
Review written Sep 2014event 0.3
06 Aug 2014 - 16 Aug 2014
This tour truely has it all. It is one of my favourite tours I've ever done with Contiki. I'm a Person that likes to be impressed by nature, and truely that happened. We had a small Group (26 people) and although Contiki is traveling fast paced you have enough time time to relax during this trip. I appreciated it not to have big traffic, Clubs or Pubs in the outback. It's silent, breath-taking but NOT boring. It's a tour, also relaxing. The ideal combination for me. I'm looking forward to do more scenic Contiki tours. This nature touches your heart. ;-) I love it. Rebecca the tourmanager was very kind and funny. Australia forever.
Review written Sep 2014event 0.3
21 Mar 2012 - 31 Mar 2012
Brilliant tour for an Aussie from a big city. Different world really. Ulura was always going to be my highlight and the experience was everything I hoped for! Loved walking around the "rock" as well as champagne sunset. Heliflight around Ulura was a better experience than fixed wing flight around Kakadu. Great little outback town stops along the way. A couple of hikes in the heat - great for me and not so great for others on tour. Excellent natural scenic photography. Giant termite mounds an early highlight. Swag night sleeping under the stars another highlight (even saw a shooting star). Trip not a good idea if you absolutely hate hot heat and humidity or flies and other insects (but this just added to the experience for me - just need sunscreen, good insect repellent and maybe a fly net).
Review written Jun 2012event 0.3