Outback South Australia & Eyre Peninsula


This 19-day trip will take you into the heart of the South Australian Outback and then turn around and show you the best of the Eyre Peninsula and its wild coastline. From Adelaide, head toward the centre and visit the opal capital of Australia, see Silo Art and watch stars sparkling above Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park as you hear traditional stories of the Adnyamathanha people. Then, swap the desert landscapes for coastal vistas and explore Port Augusta, discover the diversity of the Gawler Ranges National Park, look out for southern right whales at the Head of Bight, snap pictures of the iconic Lake Macdonnell and dine on freshly shucked oysters in Coffin Bay. This trip takes you on an epic adventure across some of the most iconic South Australian scenery with a local guide to give you the inside scoop on everything along the way.

19 days, from

$6,650

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
Trip code: PZSLC
Style: Original
Theme: Explorer

Details

Countries Visited:  Australia
Accommodation: Motel (7 nights), Underground hotel (2 nights), Hotel (3 nights), Permanent tented camp (2 nights), Resort (2 nights), Cabin (with shared facilities) (2 nights)
Transportation: Private Vehicle , 4WD , Ferry
Included Meals:

  • 12 breakfasts
  • 7 lunches
  • 4 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Watch the night sky come alive as you enjoy a campfire dinner and learn about the stories and traditions of the First Nations Adnyamathanha people who are the traditional custodians of the Flinders Ranges. 

  • Enjoy a subterranean stay in Coober Pedy, the opal capital of Australia, in underground accommodation, which is cool, comfortable and unique to this part of the South Australian outback. 

  • Uncover the diverse flora, fauna and formations of the Gawler Ranges National Park, from salt pans to mountains, gorges and the spectacular Organ Pipes. 

  • Marvel at the pink and blue hues of Lake Macdonnell, watch the locals catch waves at the surf mecca of Cactus Beach and chill out in the laidback seaside town of Streaky Bay. 

  • Experience a working oyster farm with a local farmer, including a hands-on shucking lesson, and taste the freshest oysters you’ve ever tasted, straight out of the water. 

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Adelaide / Port Pirie / Port Augusta

Your adventure begins in Adelaide (Tandanya in the language of The Kaurna people, who are the traditional owners of the land on which Adelaide is now located). Your tour starts at 8:00 am with a group meeting at our start point hotel. Then head out of town towards Port Augusta. Stop at pretty pink Lake Bumbunga on the way to Snowtown. After a look around Fourth St and Railway Terrace, continue your journey to Port Pirie for a tour and lunch, hopefully at Solomontown Beach if the weather is good. On arrival at Port Augusta, you may like to enjoy an optional visit to the Wadlata Outback Centre or the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens. This evening, enjoy a relaxing night in Port Augusta.

Day 2: Woomera / Coober Pedy

Enjoy breakfast at a café in town before the drive to Woomera, a town that was purpose-built for testing rockets in the 1940s. Learn about nuclear and non-nuclear rocket testing and more at the Woomera Heritage Museum & Visitor Information Centre. There is time for lunch before the short drive to Lake Hart Rest Area for views of one of the region’s salt lakes. When you arrive in Coober Pedy, you could stroll around town, search out some street art, find a bar or buy jewellery as a souvenir. You are in the opal capital of Australia, after all. Tonight, you may choose to join your tour group for dinner at a local bar that offers up incredible views of the Breakaways and Coober Pedy.

Day 3: Coober Pedy

Spend your day exploring in and around Coober Pedy including a tour of an underground home, an underground church and a historic opal mine. In the late afternoon, visit Josephine’s Gallery which specialises in Aboriginal art and also doubles as a kangaroo orphanage. Here you can meet kangaroos and other native wildlife such as wombats and birds which are looked after by wildlife carers.

Day 4: Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park / William Creek

Head to Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park which is a registered Aboriginal heritage site and see the dog fence, also know as the dingo fence, before travelling back to Coober Pedy for optional lunch at a local café. Drive into the remote South Australian Outback proper, along a rough dirt road to William Creek where you can enjoy a cold beer and check out the "museum" of memorabilia across the street. Tonight, you may choose to join your tour group for dinner at the local pub.

Day 5: Oodnadatta Track / Marree

Perhaps enjoy an early morning scenic flight to see the Outback from a different angle, or sleep in before breakfast. Your leader will be able to help you book a flight if you are keen. Continue your drive deeper into the remote desert landscape to Lake Eyre via the legendary and famous Oodnadatta Track, with a stop at Wabma Kadarbu Mound Spring Conservation Park along the way. Stop at Lake Eyre for a picnic lunch before getting back on the road. If the group fancies it, you can stop off at Coward Springs, home to a charming museum and a natural spa – a welcome reprieve among the desert landscape. Continue to Marree, where on arrival you’ll stroll around town to see historical sites such as the old Afghan Mosque and remnants of the Historical Ghan Railway. Your leader will give you the background on local history.

Day 6: Farina / Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park / Iga Warta

After breakfast, drive to Farina Town. A once booming oasis on the edge of the desert, Farina Town boasted a population of around 600 towards the end of the 19th century, but things look a little different today – the town has a year-round population of just two people. Despite its ghost town status, Farina is home to a popular underground bakery which is opened once a year by the Farina Restoration Project Group to raise funds to rebuild the town. If your visit lines up with its opening, stop by this unique bakery and take a wander around the town where stone ruins remain. Then, head to Iga Warta where you will spend the day and evening learning about Adnyamathanha culture and gaining a deeper appreciation of Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park. Lunch is followed by a tour to an ancient painting site with a Traditional Owner and a cultural cookout dinner where you will enjoy a traditional meal along with music and Adnyamathanha Yura Muda (cultural stories and language).

Day 7: Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park / Iga Warta

After breakfast at Iga Warta, join your leader for a bush walk. Stop for a picnic lunch along the way and take in the scenery before driving back to Iga Warta. After dinner, sit around the campfire for a night of storytelling, singing and a damper supper served with quandong jam and billy tea.

Day 8: Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park / Wilpena Pound

After breakfast at Iga Warta, continue driving to the famous Wilpena Pound (Ikara), the centre piece of the Flinders Ranges and home to the Adnyamathanha people for thousands of years. After lunch, join your leader for a walk around Old Wilpena Station. Operating between 1851 and 1985, this former pastoral settlement provides a special glimpse into what rural life once looked like within the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park. Tonight, enjoy a relaxing evening at the resort.

Day 9: Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park / Wilpena Pound

After breakfast, join your leader for another bushwalk in Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park. You may decide to hike to the Wangara Lookout, take a shorter walk to Hills Homestead or spend the day swimming in the pool or enjoying other activities around the resort.

Day 10: Clare Valley / Adelaide

After breakfast, depart for Auburn, a village on the edge of the Clare Valley wine region. Stop for a wine tasting at a winery which is housed in an old railway station. Grab lunch at one of the cafes in Auburn, see the Silo Art at Farrell Flat and Owen before continuing to Adelaide where you'll spend the evening at your leisure before meeting your group leader and new travel companions to begin the next leg of your adventure tomorrow morning. 

Day 11: Adelaide / Port Augusta

Rise and shine, join your group leader and fellow travellers (some familiar, some fresh faces) for an 8 am meeting to meet everyone and discuss your upcoming adventure before hitting the road for Port Augusta. Your first stop of the day will be in Crystal Brook to snap a selfie with the Big Goanna, then drive past the Barunga Ranges on your way to Port Pirie. Check out examples of colonial architecture and views of the Spencer Gulf before completing the final leg of today’s journey to Port Augusta, where the outback meets the ocean. Head to the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens for some lunch at the cafe inspired by native ingredients, then take a guided walk around the gardens to discover the diverse and resilient range of plants that exist in the outback. Enjoy a free night before you continue further on your way tomorrow.

Day 12: Wudinna

You have some free time this morning to visit the Wadlata Outback Centre and Tunnel of Time if you wish, before saying goodbye to Port Augusta. Venture on to the town of Wudinna with a stop at the Big Galah in Kimba, said to mark the halfway point across Australia. While here you’ll also check out the impressive artwork painted on silos. Carry on to Wudinna, where on arrival you’ll have a free afternoon to climb Mt Wudinna, visit the Big Farmer statue or rest up before an exciting day exploring the Gawler Ranges National Park tomorrow.

Day 13: Gawler Ranges National Park / Wudinna

After breakfast this morning, head out for a full day exploring the Gawler Ranges National Park with a local guide, discovering the region’s fascinating flora, fauna and natural history. Pay a visit to Sturt’s Lake where a walk over coloured rocks will reveal how the land has changed over time, then head to Mt Sturt where a diverse array of plant life can be admired. Continue to the Old Paney Homestead, a restored sheep station which provides a glimpse into the history of the Gawler Ranges. Next up is a visit to the Yandinga Gorge where you’ll stop and take in the scenery over lunch (you may even be joined by some yellow-footed rock-wallabies!). Take a short walk through a stunning valley to the Organ Pipes, awe-inspiring rock formations created by volcanic activity more than 1500 million years ago. After an exciting day, return to Wudinna for the evening, but not before stopping off at Pildappa Rock, where the rippling wave formations make for a spectacular sight.

Day 14: Ceduna / Penong / Bookabie

Your first stop of the day is the lovely little town of Ceduna where you’ll grab some lunch, take a walk along the peaceful jetty and maybe pay a visit to the local art centre showcasing Aboriginal art by artists from the Far West Coast of South Australia if it's open today. Travel onwards to Penong, home to the windmill museum where you’ll find Bruce, the largest windmill in Australia. Your journey continues as you travel to the Scotdesco Aboriginal Community in the locality of Bookabie, named for the descendants of the founding Scott family, who still reside in and manage the community today. The community operates as a social and cultural hub while providing employment for local families. Spend the evening in Scotdesco, and be sure to keep an eye out for southern hairy-nosed wombats roaming the property!

Day 15: Head of Bight / Bookabie

After breakfast this morning, make the journey out to Head of Bight, one of Australia’s top whale watching spots, located at the edge of the Nullarbor Plain. From soaring limestone cliffs to a wash of white sand dunes, this slice of South Australia is certainly fantastic to look at, but the real stars of the show are the southern right whales who use the bight as a breeding ground and to calve during their winter migration. Various viewing platforms allow you to observe whales when they’re visiting, and also take in fantastic views of the Bunda Cliffs and surrounding landscape. Return to Scotdesco for an evening at leisure.

Day 16: Streaky Bay

Take part in a cultural activity this morning at Scotdesco to gain a deeper understanding of the community, then it's time to say your goodbyes and head to the famous Lake Macdonnell, one of the most iconic images of South Australia. With a road cutting through the middle, one side of this salt lake is (sometimes) a vivid pink, while the other side (can be) a deep blue – this striking natural phenomenon is a sight you won’t soon forget if you are lucky enough to be here at the right time. From here, it’s just a short drive to Cactus Beach, one of Australia’s premier surf spots. Watch the locals catch some waves before continuing on to Streaky Bay, a delightful seaside town on the western side of the Eyre Peninsula. With a laidback atmosphere and gorgeous coastline, Streaky Bay is the perfect place to stretch out on the beach or take a dip in the clear waters of the jetty pool. The historic town centre is pleasant to wander around and be sure to ask your leader for tips on the best places to dine tonight.

Day 17: Point Labatt / Port Lincoln

Hit the road and head to Murphy’s Haystacks, a series of wind worn boulders and pillars dating back some 100,000 years. Then it’s on to Point Labatt, home to the only permanent colony of Australian sea lions on the mainland. Watch these endearing creatures bask in the sun, and if you’re lucky you may even catch some seal pups learning how to swim. Your journey then takes you through Port Kenny, Venus Bay & Elliston, to the seaside city of Port Lincoln where you’ll enjoy a free afternoon. With a rich history of industry and seafaring and fishing, you can walk along the Parnkalla Walking Trail past historic sites and of course the city is celebrated for its phenomenal seafood, so be sure to tuck into some tonight.

Day 18: Coffin Bay / Port Lincoln

Start the day with a visit to Coffin Bay, brimming with wildlife both on shore and off. You’re in for a real treat as you don a pair of waders and take a seat at the 'The Salt Water Pavilion' which is located right in a working commercial oyster farm. Learn about this vital industry and you’ll even have the chance to sample some freshly shucked oysters too. The rest of the day is spent on further discoveries of the area. Explore the Coffin Bay National Park – dotted with walking trails, lookout points and an abundance of wildlife, there are few better places to spend an afternoon! Return to Port Lincoln for the evening.

Day 19: Tumby Bay / Adelaide

Leave Port Lincoln this morning and check out the Tumby Bay silo art before heading to Lucky Bay, where you’ll board a ferry to Wallaroo. Make the drive back to Adelaide, arriving in the early evening, at which point your Eyre Peninsula adventure will come to an end.