Day 1: Monday 29 April 2019
Adelaide – Port Augusta
Your coach crew will meet you at Adelaide Airport at 1.00pm – flights to Adelaide should be arranged to arrive into Adelaide no later than 12.30pm. Depart Adelaide and travel north to Port Wakefield located at the head of St Vincent Gulf. Break here, then continue north with views of the Southern Flinders Ranges to the east and Spencer Gulf To the west. On arrival in Port Augusta, take a closer look at this historic town located at the “Cross Roads of Australia” for road and rail transport.
Accommodation Acacia Ridge Motor Inn
Day 2: Tuesday 30 April 2019
Port Augusta – Coober Pedy
After breakfast depart Port Augusta and join the Stuart Highway north to the tiny railway settlement of Pimba where we turn off the main highway and travel the short distance to Woomera. The town of Woomera lies just to the south of the Defence Force’s Woomera Prohibited Area – which covers a massive 122 188 square kilometres. Explore this once off-limits town, including a visit to the Woomera Heritage Centre where you can gain an insight into the operation of the Woomera Rocket Range. On a drive around this purpose-built town you’ll also see the many rockets on display. Next, re-join the Stuart Highway to Glendambo which is named after the massive sheep station located nearby. Enjoy lunch at the Hotel before setting our sights on Coober Pedy. Arrive in this outback opal mining town late afternoon where we check into our accommodation for the next two nights.
Accommodation: Mud Hut Inn (2 nights)
Day 3: Wednesday 1 May 2019
This morning we’ll have a local guide board our coach for a sightseeing tour of Coober Pedy. Head out and see the sites of this amazing town and mining area. Stop off to view the famous golf course that has sand scrapes instead of greens, visit the Serbian underground church and visit a private underground home. With approximately 1.5 million open mining shafts in the area, most of which have been mined and abandoned, you’ll see Coober Pedy certainly has an interesting landscape. No visit would be complete without a visit to the Old Timers Mine, an attraction like no other, providing a fascinating insight into the iconic Outback town of Coober Pedy, its world-famous opal mining industry and its colourful people. The Mine’s extensive interpretive displays, historical memorabilia and the two underground dug-outs, fitted out exactly as they were in the 1920s and 30s, enable you to learn about the history and unique culture of Coober Pedy in a fun, interactive and informative way. The afternoon has been left free for you to explore your own interests around town, visit the opal shops, try your hand at noodling for opals (searching for opals in abandoned mullock heaps) or relax back at the motel.
Day 4: Thursday 2 May 2019
Coober Pedy – Marree
Today we hit the remote outback region of South Australia, travel east to William Creek, the closest town to Lake Eyre. Lake Eyre rarely has water in it but has received its last good fill in May 2018. This enormous salt pan contains the lowest natural point in Australia at 15 metres below sea level and when full, this is Australia’s largest lake covering some 9,500 square kilometres and has the same salinity as the sea. Enjoy an optional scenic flight over Lake Eyre before lunch at the William Creek Hotel and then join the Oodnadatta Track and travel east towards Marree. This afternoon stop off at Mound Springs to explore the artesian Springs which are formed by deep water within the Great Australian Basin. See the old railway siding at Curdimurka and follow along the original Ghan Railway line, see the longest fence in the world, the Wild Dog fence, prior to arriving into Marree.
Accommodation: Marree Hotel
Day 5: Friday 3 May 2019
Marree – Wilpena Pound
Before departing Marree, we’ll take a look at this old Afghan town, see the abandoned Commonwealth Railway engines, Marree Yacht Club, the Birdsville Mailman’s mail truck and we’ll stop at the start of the Birdsville Track for photo’s. Later, head south to the coal mining town of Leigh Creek, then follow along the edge of the Flinders Ranges to Parachilna. Enjoy lunch in the historic Parachilna Hotel, before entering the Central Flinders Ranges. This afternoon visit historic and picturesque Blinman, an old cooper mining town dating back to 1859. From here head south and in to the Flinders Ranges National Park, stop off for spectacular views from Stokes Hill Lookout before arriving at the Wilpena Pound Resort for the next 2 nights.
Accommodation: Wilpena Pound Resort (2 nights)
Day 6: Saturday 4 May 2019
Wilpena Pound and Flinders Ranges
This morning has been left free for you to take an optional scenic flight over Wilpena Pound, this is truly the only way to really experience the size and majesty of the Pound. Mid-morning join our guide for a leisurely walking tour along Wilpena Creek into Wilpena Pound and on to the Old Hills Homestead where you can learn about the hardships the Hills family had to face at the turn of the century. There is an optional hike up to Wangarra Hill lookout offering panoramic views of Wilpena Pound. Be silenced by the extraordinary beauty of the great river red gums as you nibble on cake and coffee by the Homestead. Return to the resort for lunch and then head out for the afternoon to explore more than 800 million years of geological history in the “Corridor Through Time”. Marvel at the rugged beauty of Brachina and Bunyeroo Gorges. Search for Yellow Footed Rock Wallabies and enjoy sweeping views of Bunyeroo Valley and the eastern wall of Wilpena Pound.
Day 7: Sunday 5 May 2019
Wilpena Pound – Adelaide
After breakfast depart Wilpena Pound Resort and head south, the scenery is outstanding as you travel through the Flinders Ranges past abandoned sheep stations and on to Hawker. From here travel through Carrieton, Orroroo, Peterborough to the beautiful Clare Valley Wine area for a lunch break. The final leg of our tour takes us back to Adelaide to arrive at the Adelaide Airport approximately 3.00pm. Flights back home should be planned to depart no earlier than 4.00pm. Meals BL